Baked To DeathIt’s amazing how much of a difference twenty-four hours can make. Yesterday life couldn’t have been more perfect. But today my world resembles a brown slush pile like the one the snowplow just pushed past my bakery.

My name is Sally Muccio. The last name is pronounced Mooch-EE-o. Now, I don’t mean to complain. I have a very supportive albeit cuckoo family. My father is obsessed with death and drives a hearse for a local funeral home. I love my mother dearly but she’s like a middle aged woman trapped in a Barbie doll’s body. Sometimes I think Mom and I should have starred in the Freaky Friday movie. She’s been talking about entering the local Hotties over Fifty pageant. If she does my sister Gianna may start drinking. . .heavily. Last night she downed three glasses of wine in record time over dinner. Gianna’s busy cramming for her bar exam next week and close to having a nervous breakdown.

The sanest one in the family is my Grandma Rosa. She has always been my rock. Grandma gives sound advice plus she makes the world’s best cheesecake. A win-win situation for me.

The sad part is, their worlds are normal when compared to mine.

Life isn’t all bad. I’m in love with a terrific guy. I know he’s the one but I just went through a painful divorce a few months ago and the “M” word he’s been hinting at lately is starting to freak me out. I need to take things slow and fortunately, he understands that.

My new bakery, Sally’s Samples, is doing fantastic despite the fact that the holiday season is over. Josie Sullivan, my best friend and partner, just received the most thrilling news. We’ve been selected to appear on the popular reality baking show, Cookie Crusades! Omg, I’m so excited. We’ll be flying down to Orlando later this week. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I mean, who wants to be stuck in New York during the month of January, you know? Like I don’t have enough to be depressed about already.

Boy, do I need to get away. I’m sitting here with my fifth cup of coffee and it isn’t even noon yet. I should stop. Or switch over to espresso. At least then I could add whipped cream…

I blame the fortune cookies. Really, I do. I never should have used them as the theme for my bakery. You see, patrons get a free homemade one whenever they buy something. And from the beginning, the messages have been downright eerie. And strangely foreboding. Just like the one I got right before my ex-husband, Colin, came into the bakery yesterday.

I’m not sure what’s happened to Colin. Maybe it’s drugs or booze or perhaps both. We were married for five years but when I caught him cheating on me with an old high school rival it quickly became apparent that I didn’t know him at all. Now he’s found out about the success of my bakery and is trying to cash in on the dough. . .yeah, slight pun intended there.

Although I didn’t want to, I had to share the news with my boyfriend. He’s very protective of me. Unfortunately, they ran into each other last night at the local tavern and had words. Okay, not exactly words. My boyfriend beat him up. But the fight wasn’t his fault—Colin started it.

Afterward, my boyfriend said that if Colin comes near me again, he’ll kill him.

Yep, here it comes. . .

Shortly after their fight, Colin was murdered. And now my boyfriend has been arrested for the crime. They even found his fingerprints at the scene.

I’m never going to read another fortune cookie again.


Baked to Death is the second book in the Cookies & Chance mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, January 2016.

About Baked to Death

Baker turned reluctant amateur sleuth, Sally Muccio’s, finally found the happiness that’s eluded her for years. She’s in love with a great guy, her bakery is thriving, and now she and her best friend Josie Sullivan are gearing up to appear on the popular reality baking show, Cookie Crusades. But a visit from Sal’s greedy ex-husband Colin, who’s looking to cash in on the bakery’s dough, changes everything. Within a few hours Sal’s world—like the shop’s original fortune cookies—is broken apart when Colin turns up dead, and her boyfriend’s arrested for the crime. Now Sal’s mixing it up with vengeful ex-inlaws, a suspicious new employee, slippery baking competitors, and a greasy mobster who’ll stop at nothing to collect on Colin’s unpaid debt. Can Sal prove her man is innocent in time? Or is she about to get baked herself?

Recipes included!

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Catherine is the #1 best-selling cozy mystery author of Tastes Like Murder. She lives in a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English/Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She writes both the Cookies & Chance and the Cindy York mysteries. Her next release, Priced to Kill, is scheduled for spring 2016.

You can visit Catherine atwww.catherinebruns.net, on Facebook and on Twitter

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or a digital version (open to everyone) of Baked To Death. The giveaway will end January 27 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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