Hello there! I’m so honored to be asked to share a day in my life – though truth be told I’m a little flummoxed by why anyone would be interested in such a thing. I mean, I love my life. A LOT. But that’s in large part because it’s so quiet and sedate.
Mornings I’m up early, and Dash – that’s my corgi – and I go down to my tiny kitchen from the loft. When I say tiny, it’s not just the kitchen, of course. You’ve heard of the Tiny House movement? Well, I live in one. It was converted from a garden shed at the back of the lot where my perfume and aromatherapy business, Scents & Nonsense, sits at the end of Poppyville’s Corona Street.
After I walked in on my husband boffing Wanda Simmons in the walk-in freezer of our restaurant, the Roux Grill, I divorced him and started Sense & Nonsense. Poppyville, California is a small town, so I run into Harris fairly often. It’s sure not something I seek out, though.
In between my tiny house and the shop is where I put the Enchanted Garden – with plenty of help from my friend Thea Nelson, mind you. Her brother, Ritter, just came back to town. One look, and that old feeling I had for him in high school washed right though me . . . yikes!
The Enchanted Garden is chock full of flowers and herbs, tiny pathways, and fairy tableaus. I love to garden, and I adore the notion of miniature worlds existing within our own – a throwback to my vivid childhood imagination, I guess.
After breakfast, Dash and I head out to the garden to work for a while. My best friend, Astrid Moneypenny, drops by every morning with freshly baked cookies to go with the coffee and tea I offer customers all day, and we get a chance to catch up before the shop opens. Astrids’s awesome: a red-headed, bike riding, animal loving, bourbon drinking Buddhist who is always ready to leap to the defense of anything that needs defending – including me, on occasion.
I spend almost all of the rest of my day in Scents & Nonsense. I have a work area where people can watch me create handmade, scented bath products. (Vanilla almond milk bath anyone? Lemon foot scrub?). So I can get a lot done when things are slow. In addition to what I make on site, I scour the world for high-quality, scented products that I think will help customers. Only real essential oils, please! No fake stuff.
Ah, and then there are the perfumes. Since I was a little girl helping my gamma in the garden, I’ve often internalized other people’s feelings. And along with that, I seem to have a knack for knowing exactly which scent or combination of scents will help them feel better. It’s funny how we associate smells with memory and emotion. I try to mix up “perfumes” that will trigger good feelings and good memories.
Sometimes I go a step further. My gamma died when I was quite young. She left me her garden journal, an illustrated, smudged tome of unorganized information that always seems to have new bits I’ve never seen, no matter how many times I peruse it. She also left me her copper alembic, which is essentially a still. Think moonshine, only I distill the essences of plants in the Enchanted Garden. The perfumes I make from those seem to pack even more of a punch.
I don’t spend all my time in Sense & Nonsense, though. I have part time help come in and cover for me while I run errands or simply take a needed break. Unfortunately, I found my last employee, Josie Overland, murdered on the boardwalk out in front of the shop. Detective Max Lang, my ex-husband’s best friend, seemed to think I was the prime suspect. Just because she was killed in front of my store. Just because she’d told me the day before that she and my ex had started dating. I tried to explain that I liked Josie a lot more than I liked Harris, and that I’d only been worried that she’d get hurt. But no. Harris painted a horrible picture of me as jealous Ellie, and Max bought it completely.
But his partner, Detective Lupe Garcia, is willing to look at other suspects. She’s new to town, though, so I guess it’s up to me – and Astrid – to find someone else who might have wanted to kill Josie.
So much for quiet and sedate, eh?
Daisies for Innocence is the first book in the NEW “Enchanted Garden” mystery series, published by Obsidian, January 2016.
About Daisies for Innocence
From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright.
The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.
Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost. . .supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions, bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.
But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud.
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All comments are welcomed.
About the author
Bailey Cattrell is the author of the Enchanted Garden Mysteries. As Bailey Cates she also writes the NYT bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries featuring baker and new witch Katie Lightfoot. She writes, gardens, and cooks in northern Colorado, where she lives with her guy and two felines: Cheesecat the Orange and Minerva the asthmatic wonder kitty. You can keep up with all of her books and personas at www.baileycates.com.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of DAISIES FOR INNOCENCE. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 13 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!