Hi all y’all! (Okay, I grew up in Ohio, but I’m learning a few things about living in the South.)

A day in my life is usually pretty long. I’m a baker by trade, and I have a condition where I don’t sleep much anyway, so I’m usually up at 4:00 a.m. – if not earlier – and ready to go. Usually I have time to pump up my endorphin level with a run before heading into work. I’ve also been known to do my grocery shopping at the twenty-four hour market in the wee hours. Then coffee, and little time in my spell garden – did I mention I’m a witch? – with my familiar, Mungo. He’s a cairn terrier, as cute as they come. Smart, too.

Then we’re off to the Honeybee Bakery in downtown Savannah that I own with Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben. Yep, Mungo comes along with me, even though the Health Department would throw a fit if they knew. He keeps his head down, though, and spends most of the day in the office while Lucy and I mix and shape and bake all sorts of goodies each day. Out front, Ben handles espresso orders and the register. Most of our baked goods contain a little extra something — for example, a bit of sage added to the cheddar scones along with a short incantation to bring wisdom and prosperity to our customers.

Because that’s what hedgewitches do, you know. No extra charge. I’m still pretty new to it, but it turns out I’ve always had an instinct for such things. After all, both my parents are hereditary witches. Too bad they hid my gifts from me when I was growing up.

Anyway, throughout the day different members of Lucy’s book club usually drop by. That’s “spell book club” by the way. They don’t like to use the word “coven”. Mimsey Carmichael is the oldest at seventy-eight. She looks like she’s in her early sixties but swears there’s no magic involved in her youthful appearance. I’m not so sure I believe her. The others are Bianca, Jaida, and Cookie. Everyone has their magical specialties, if you know what I mean: divination, color magic, flower magic, moon spells, tarot magic, even voodoo.

I’m learning a lot, let me tell you!

In the evenings I spend time studying and practicing spells, gardening, hanging out with my neighbor, Margie Coopersmith, and her kids – or fending off the affections of Declan McCarthy or Steve Dawes. I swore to take six months off all men after my fiancé bailed on me, and I’m doing my best to stick to my guns. It’s not easy when a tall, blue-eyed firefighter and a clever, sexy journalist are both so persistent, though.

I’m happy with how tame and predictable my life is – when it is tame and predictable. See, things seem to, er, happen around me a lot. Lately I had to enlist the help of Declan, Steve and the spell book club when someone killed nasty old Mavis Templeton in front of the Honeybee. Can you believe the police actually thought Uncle Ben did it? It took a lot of running around Savannah, tracking down suspects, and dealing with some pretty creepy folks before I managed to figure out the identity of the murderer and clear my uncle’s name.

Talk about an upset to my routine! But sometimes a witch just has to do what a witch has to do.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of BROWNIES AND BROOMSTICKS to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends May 5. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Bailey Cates concocts healing teas and tinctures for family and friends, but doesn’t consider herself an actual hedgewitch. She does believe magic is all around us. She’s held a variety of positions ranging from driver’s license examiner to soap maker and traveled the world as a software program manager. Now Bailey sticks close to home where she writes two mystery series, tends her garden beds, and bakes up a storm. BROWNIES AND BROOMSTICKS is the first of her Magical Bakery Mysteries. She also writes the Home Crafting Mystery Series as Cricket McRae. Visit Bailey at www.baileycates.com and Cricket at www.cricketmcrae.com

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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