Normally, my day is like that old Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. You know the one, where the bleary eyed guy with the mustache stumbles though his day, saying “It’s time to make the donuts.” The problem being I’m not really a morning person, so I am even more unattractive than the guy with the mustache. Oh, and I don’t make donuts rather I’m a cupcake girl. Other than that, yeah, the similarity is spot on.

You see, I own Fairy Tale Cupcakes, a cupcake bakery in Old Town Scottsdale, so instead of “It’s time to make the donuts” my life is more “It’s time to bake the cupcakes.” Either way, it requires crawling out of bed much earlier than I’d like. Currently, my mornings are even worse because my partner Angie DeLaura and I got the crazy idea to enter the challenge to the chefs competition at the Scottsdale Food Festival and Angie is very serious about her 4:30 in the morning practice schedule, or as I like to call it — the baking boot camp from hell.

Yesterday, she woke me up by dumping ice cold water on me. My boyfriend Joe, who also happens to be Angie’s older brother, was not amused. Today, I caught her sneaking up the stairs to my apartment with two pot lids that I think she was planning to bang together like cymbals. I may have to take back her key to my apartment as she’s abusing the privilege.

Once I stagger down to the bakery kitchen, our business partner and lifelong friend Tate Harper hits us with a surprise ingredient that I have one hour to make into a scrumptious dessert. Yesterday, it was parsnips. I tell you, I had no idea what I was getting into when I agreed to this crazy scheme. The only upside so far is that my bakery rival Olivia Puckett, the owner of Confections Bakery, tried to stop us from entering the competition but we managed to get around her and I have to admit that beating Olivia would certainly be the frosting on my cupcake. So for now, I will continue to rise at the obscene hour of 4:30 and bake my booty off to insure a win against Olivia. I mean it’s a baking competition, what could possibly go wrong?

Will Angie and Mel win? To find out, be sure to follow their baking competition adventures in DEATH BY THE DOZEN out on October 4, 2011!
You can read more about Melanie in DEATH BY THE DOZEN, the third book in the “Cupcake Bakery” mystery series. The first book in the series is SPRINKLE WITH MURDER.

Jenn McKinlay is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery mystery series and the “Library Lover’s” mystery series. She also writes the Decoupage mystery series under the name Lucy Lawrence and the “Good Buy Girls” mystery series under the name Josie Belle. Her main interests are reading, writing, baking, knitting and skateboarding. She lives in sunny AZ in a house overrun with kids, pets and guitars. Visit Jenn’s website at

** To celebrate the release of DEATH BY THE DOZEN, I’m giving away one copy of the book, thanks to the publisher. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. Please break it up by using (at) and (dot), like domain(at)host(dot)com. This is open only to US addresses at the publisher’s request. Contest ends on October 9th at 6pm EST. Winner will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

%d bloggers like this: