Tag Archives: Catherine Bruns

A day in the life of Carrie Jorgenson by Catherine Bruns

Being a waitress is a draining job, both physically and mentally. Customers are often rude and it can be difficult to keep that smile plastered on your face all day. On the bright side, I fancy myself an actress so that part isn’t usually a problem.
Finding dead bodies, though? Yeah, that’s become somewhat of an issue for me.

My name is Carrie Jorgenson. I’ve lived in paradise (Hawaii) for almost four months and I’m finally starting to forget about my former life back in Vermont, which never actually was a life. But I prefer not to talk about the past anymore. My home and future are in Kauai now and I have a lot to be thankful for. Besides my fantastic boyfriend I have an adorable cat named Benny, an awesome little apartment and a full-time job at Loco Moco Café that I enjoy most days. And this Friday night is opening weekend at the Hana Hou Theater for Little Women, The Musical. I’m playing Beth—you know, the sister who contracts scarlet fever and dies. Oh, shoot. Maybe I shouldn’t have given that part away. . .

The ironic thing is that I’m in a musical and can’t even carry a tune. My coworkers Poncho and Vivian are always begging me not to sing karaoke at the cafe. But I love it and am improving, sort of. Last night I didn’t even shatter one drink glass. Success!

Keanu is a terrific guy and I’m so close to saying those three little words to him. Something seems to be holding me back, though. Keanu’s also my boss which sounds like it would be a problem, but it’s not. His parents? Eh, they’re a bit of a different story. They bought Loco Moco Café from Hale Akamu a few months ago. He’s the man whose dead body I found (waves hand) after work one night. Terry Church is Keanu’s dad and thinks I’m some type of gold digger. Yes, I heard him with my own two ears. It’s amazing the things you discover when hiding in a closet, let me tell you.

Anyhow, ever since Randolph Cremshaw walked into Loco Moco the other day, things have changed, and not for the better. You see, Randolph’s a mega popular food critic. He used to live in Hawaii and visits the island often. He came into the cafe and ordered our trademark loco moco, which is a yummy dish that consists of white rice and a hamburger patty with a fried egg on top, all smothered in mushroom gravy. Unfortunately, something went wrong with his order—let’s just say it was a flaming experience—and he’s using his powerful social media presence to inform everyone that our restaurant has “gone loco.” Nice, huh? That’s why Terry instructed me to bring Randolph a complimentary meal over to the Aloha Lagoon Resort, where he’s staying. Oh, and did I mention that Randolph enjoys having people bow and scrape at his feet? Sorry, not me, mister.

That should have been the end of it, except then Randolph informed me that his Kona coffee wasn’t hot enough. Apparently, his nickname is “Kona Man” because that’s his favorite beverage. Seriously, who can afford to drink Kona coffee every day? It’s wicked expensive. Randolph ordered me to bring him a new carafe right away. So, I’m on my way back with the coffee and now my temper is as searing hot as his beverage. Let’s see if either one is to his liking.

Why no one has killed this guy yet remains a mystery. I mean, he’s nasty as all get out and leaves one-star reviews for everyone. I tap on the door to his suite, which is slightly ajar. He must have left it open for me. When I look inside, I spot Randolph lying on the floor. He’s gasping for air and trying to tell me something. Panicked, I drop the carafe and coffee flies everywhere. By the time I dial 9-1-1, it’s too late. Randolph’s gone and I’ve stumbled on another dead body—again.

This whole daily grind thing is getting to be a bit too much.


Death of the Kona Man is the sequel to Death of the Big Kahuna and part of the multi-author Aloha Lagoon series with Gemma Halliday Publishing. Note: The Aloha Lagoon books can be read in any order.

Carrie Jorgenson is living the dream in Hawaii. She has a steady job as a waitress at the Loco Moco Café, a hot new love interest in her manager, and the curtain’s about to rise on her role in a local theater production. But when she’s asked to deliver food to a guest at the Aloha Lagoon resort—who then drops dead!—her dreams quickly become the stuff of nightmares.

World renowned food critic Randolph Cremshaw has no shortage of enemies. He’s rude, patronizing, and famous for his one-star reviews. After the coffee Carrie delivers is discovered to have been poisoned, she and the café quickly rise to the top of the suspects list. A jealous co-worker, thefts at the restaurant, and a performance that threatens to blow up in Carrie’s face only make things worse. With an already full plate, Carrie is also forced into making a decision that may change everything for her. But this all pales in comparison when she comes face to face with Randolph’s killer and what might be the final curtain call. . .of her life.

Recipes included!

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win copy of Death of the Kona Man, either signed print (U.S. residents only) or Kindle/Nook (open to everyone), winner’s choice plus an Aloha Lagoon tote bag. The giveaway will end October 11, 2017. Good luck everyone!

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York mysteries and the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries. To find out more about future releases and giveaways, you can sign up for Catherine’s newsletter here. Please feel free to connect with her on social media as well: Facebook and Twitter.

A day in the life with Sally Muccio by Catherine Bruns

frosted-with-revengeIt’s finally happening. After all of these years, I’m about to marry the man of my dreams, the only one I’ve truly ever loved. Our invitations have been sent out, the venue is reserved and my crazy but well-meaning parents are cooperating. . .sort of. There’s just one little problem.

Someone is trying to kill me.

My name is Sally Muccio. The last name is pronounced Mooch-EE-oo. My life comes with many blessings and a few trials that include my parents who are–well, unique, to say the least. My father’s hobby is death. Yes, you heard me right. He’s gone from planning his own funeral to driving a hearse to studying to become an undertaker. Now Dad’s the proud operator of his own “killer” blog. Mom’s a lovely woman but she’s been acting very mother-of-the-bridezillish lately. My sister Gianna is always there for me and so is Grandma Rosa, who serves up sound advice along with the world’s best cheesecake.

Josie Sullivan is my best friend and head baker at Sally’s Samples, the novelty cookie shop that I own in Western New York. And of course there’s my fiancé, who would go to any lengths to protect me from this crazy person. Mike and I first dated in high school and broke up over a stupid misunderstanding on prom night, which lead to my marriage to another man (can you say rebound?) It’s been over ten years but we’re finally back together. . .forever. Till death do us part. I just hope that comes later rather than sooner.

You see, ever since I came back to my hometown a year ago when my divorce was final, strange things have been happening. Strange as in murder. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, those blasted fortune cookies are responsible. Every customer gets a free one with their purchase and the cookies are so popular that if I discontinued them, my business would suffer. The messages come from a novelty store but always seem to come true in some shape or form. My latest one said, “Revenge is sweet.” How silly. Why would I ever want revenge on someone? I have a good life, try to be a decent person and give people the benefit of the doubt. Then I finally understood that the message was a warning. . .for me.

Suddenly, I’m suspicious of everyone. I can’t walk down the street without looking over my shoulder. Josie already decked one person she thought was the killer with a batch of her famous Whoopie pies. Maybe I can hire her as a bodyguard. Did I mention that our new delivery boy seems to have a weird obsession with me? Or that a former girlfriend of my fiancé is still carrying a torch for him and hates me? It’s horrible to be afraid.

A woman I didn’t even know is dead, because of me. The killer is communicating with my father through his death blog (appropriate, right?) To top it all off, now this maniac has ended up hurting someone I love. That’s the final straw. You don’t mess with my family and friends.

The cops don’t have any concrete leads so I’ve hatched a plan. It’s dangerous but I can’t live like this anymore. This person will be stopped. . .

If it’s the last thing I do.


You can read more about Sally in FROSTED WITH REVENGE, the fourth book in the Cookies and Chance mystery series.

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next dangerously delicious Cookies & Chance Mystery.

Sally Muccio’s walk down the aisle might be her last.

The some-time amateur sleuth and full-time bakery owner is finally marrying the man of her dreams. But during a last minute taste testing of their wedding cake, Sally and her fiancé are witnesses—and almost victims!—of a random shooting. At least they think it’s random, until an original fortune cookie message proves otherwise. Is someone after Sally? And why does the mysterious shooter want to ice the baker? Sal tries to proceed with caution, but when someone close to her is attacked, all bets are off. She’ll do whatever it takes to bring this monster to justice, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.

Can Sal make it to the church on time. . .and alive?

Recipes included!

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York and Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries.
To find out more about future releases and giveaways, you can visit her website at catherinebruns.net and sign up for Catherine’s newsletter at here. Please feel free to connect with her on social media as well at Facebook and Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win copy of Frosted with Revenge, either Kindle (open to everyone) or print (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. The giveaway will end April 28, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Frosted with Revenge is available at online booksellers.

My Musing ~ Frosted With Revenge by Catherine Bruns

Frosted With Revenge by Catherine Bruns is the fourth book in the “Cookies & Chance” mystery series. Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing, April 25, 2017

Sally Muccio’s walk down the aisle might be her last.

The some-time amateur sleuth and full-time bakery owner is finally marrying the man of her dreams. But during a last minute taste testing of their wedding cake, Sally and her fiancé are witnesses—and almost victims!—of a random shooting. At least they think it’s random, until an original fortune cookie message proves otherwise. Is someone after Sally? And why does the mysterious shooter want to ice the baker? Sal tries to proceed with caution, but when someone close to her is attacked, all bets are off. She’ll do whatever it takes to bring this monster to justice, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.

Can Sal make it to the church on time. . .and alive?

Recipes Included!

I enjoyed the latest adventures with Sally Muccio and her family. Planning a wedding should be easy, but it’s not when there is a target on her back. Sally does what Sally does best and that is looking for the person who wants her dead.

This is a fast-paced and light hearted whodunit that kept me engaged throughout the telling of this tale. The mystery was nicely done, keeping me glued to the pages as I had to know what happened next. The suspect pool was small but the author enjoyed teasing me with clues here and there that every time I thought I had a handle on the killer, she changed direction all to the betterment of this drama. The narrative was visually appealing, putting me in the middle of all the action and I enjoyed the antics of her eccentric family, especially her death-loving father and her model mother. Rounding out the cast was her grandmother, sister, her best friend and the man she planned to marry. This was the best book in the series thus far and I’m so happy that more books with this cast of characters are coming.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.

A day in the life of Carrie Jorgenson by Catherine Bruns

death-of-the-big-kahunaAloha, kakou!

All right, I have a confession to make. I can’t really speak Hawaiian. In fact, those are the only words of the language I’m familiar with, except for a few that our chef, Poncho, mumbles under his breath occasionally when someone complains that the food is cold or there’s a mistake with their order. And I don’t dare ask him what they mean because I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out.

My name is Carrie Jorgenson. I’m new to Hawaii and the island of Kauai. I’m new to waitressing as well, but please don’t tell anyone. Hopefully no one noticed that earlier mishap when I spilled coffee on a co-worker or face planted into a Mai Tai on the patio table. Hazards of the job, right?

At my interview, I told the owner, Mr. Akamu, that I had experience serving customers. What that really amounts to is that I once worked at a Walmart. I have no waitressing experience at all. Zero, none, zilch. But hey, how hard could it be to carry this off?

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d lived my entire life in Vermont, amid six feet of snow in the winter, rural dirt roads and a family that I’d rather not talk about. Anxious to escape more than just the weather back home, I followed my boyfriend Brad here. He’s the new head surfing instructor at the Aloha Lagoon resort. Loco Moco Café, where I am now employed, is also part of the same resort.

Living in a tropical paradise is a dream come true for me. Since I was a little girl, my other dream has concerned the theater. Acting in shows was an escape from reality and I love to sing as well. Oh, how I hope to get a part in the Hana Hou’s production of Little Women, the Musical. Last night I sang karaoke out on the patio of the Loco Moco and didn’t even shatter one drink glass this time! Success.

The entire island is gorgeous. I mean, it’s January and here I am wearing shorts and sandals, and riding on the back of mopeds. Back home, my former neighbors are shoveling out their cars and clearing windshields with ice scrapers after the latest blizzard. There’s a gentle breeze stirring through nearby banyan trees, a view of the ocean to die for (oops, shouldn’t have said it like that) and the water is the most gorgeous shade of blue, with the exception of a certain man’s eyes around here.

While it may be paradise on the outside, the inside of the Loco Moco is anything but. Like most restaurants, there’s a constant gossip mill going and the biggest piece of chatter concerns our owner, Hale Akamu. No one likes the man because—well, there’s simply nothing to like. Don’t get me wrong. He’s handsome in a similar way to the man from those reruns of the old television show, Magnum P.I. Tom something, right? Hale’s obscenely wealthy because in addition to the café, he owns a shopping mall in Oahu too.

Yes, the man has got it all going for him—tall, dark, and vile. Hale also has more enemies than the entire state of Hawaii has pineapples. Let’s just say that I could go on and on about who he’s wronged and the terrible things he’s done to people—especially his own employees, but that seems uncalled for now. Why, you might ask?

Because he’s dead. Wouldn’t you know that I was the lucky one to stumble upon his lifeless body? The police have their suspects, but they aren’t talking. . .

And I’m pretty sure they’re looking at me.


DEATH OF THE BIG KAHUNA is the first Carrie Jorgenson mystery, and part of the Aloha Lagoon multi-author series published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, January 2017. Note: The Aloha Lagoon books can be read in any order.

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns, comes an Aloha Lagoon Mystery that proves sometimes paradise isn’t all it’s served up to be.

New to both Hawaii and the Aloha Lagoon Resort, Carrie Jorgenson has big dreams of stardom. But while she awaits fame and fortune, she’s forced to accept a job waitressing at the resort’s The Loco Moco Café. It isn’t long before she discovers the dish on her new boss—also known to many as “The Big Kahuna.” Hale Akamu is rich, handsome, repulsive…and dead. When Carrie discovers Hale’s lifeless body, she’s suddenly forced into yet another role—amateur sleuth. With everyone from Carrie to the saucy chef to the café’s hot assistant manager under suspicion, Carrie needs to track a killer before she becomes his next main entrée!

**Recipes included!**

The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:
1. Ukulele Murder
2. Murder on the Aloha Express
3. Deadly Wipeout
4. Deadly Bubbles in the Wine
5. Mele Kalikimaka Murder
6. Death of the Big Kahuna

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York mysteries and the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries.

To find out more about future releases and giveaways, you can sign up for Catherine’s newsletter here. Please feel free to connect with her on social media as well on Facebook and on Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print, signed copy of Death of the Big Kahuna. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends January 20, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Josie Sullivan by Catherine Bruns

Burned To A CrispI’ve seen some pretty strange things in my life. There was the time when my eldest son glued the baby’s diaper to the floor, or when my five-year-old ate a fly—on purpose—because he wanted to know what they tasted like. “Kind of salty,” was his response when I asked.

This all pales in comparison to a day at Sally’s Samples. It’s a specialty cookie shop owned by my best friend, Sally (Sal) Muccio. Since she returned home from Florida a year ago after leaving her loser, cheating ex-husband, I have witnessed some really weird, totally out there freaky events at the bakery, plus a couple of dead bodies thrown in as well. They take the cake—literally.

If you happen to be one of the few people in Colwestern, New York who doesn’t know me, my given name is Josephine Annabelle Sullivan. However, if you call me by that, I may have to hurt you. Josie will do just fine. I’m married with four little boys, and head baker at Sally’s Samples. Not to sound boastful, but my cookies are the best in town, especially the oatmeal crème pie ones. I tell you, Little Debbie has got nothing on me.

Sal always says it’s our shop but she’s being nice. If you ask me, she’s too nice. Sal’s the one who owns the place. Still, she lets me tell her what to do. . .most of the time.

So, here’s the thing. I love Sal dearly but she’s kind of like this magnet for disaster. Every time her life is going good, something happens and then she gets burned. Yeah, pun intended. A few months ago, her ex came back into her life and threatened to sue her for the business, then he turned up dead and Sal’s boyfriend (now fiancé) was accused of his murder. I mean, the girl just can’t catch a break.

Last night, the bakery caught on fire. I was sound asleep, exhausted from chasing my little monsters around the house when the phone rang. It was Sal, screaming that the place was going up in flames. Even worse? It looks like someone did this deliberately and yep, you guessed it—they found a dead body in the back room. How original (eye roll.)

Sal’s younger sister, Gianna, lives over the bakery. She wasn’t in the building at the time, thank goodness, but now she’s disappeared. Gianna’s a newly appointed lawyer and her first case was defending some sleaze named Bernardo Napoli who got brought up on racketeering charges. The case was dismissed when one of the jurors asked Gianna out. I know. . .more bad luck for the Muccio family.

Speaking of luck, Sal thinks the fortune cookies are to blame for everything. We hand out free homemade ones to customers whenever they make a purchase. I bake the cookies but don’t write the messages—we buy them from a novelty shop. Everyone adores the cookies but Sal. She thinks they’re evil. I mean, that’s crazy, right? Just because she got a message inside one yesterday that read, “Things will heat up for you tonight.” Totally a coincidence. Right?

Until we find another building, we’ll be running the bakery from Sal’s parents’ house. They’re lovely people, but also certifiably nuts. Her mother enters beauty contests and acts and dresses like a teenager. Sal’s father has a coffin in the living room, in case one of our customers wants to take it for a “test drive.” Yep, he’s definitely missing a few screws upstairs.

So why, you might ask, did someone burn down Sal’s bakery? Oh and did I forget to mention that the body belonged to Gianna’s client, Bernardo? Who killed him and why was he in the bakery alone? How come Sal’s fiancé is lying to her? Sal wants answers so maybe we should ask the fortune cookies.

Nah, that’s just being silly.

Right?


Burned to a Crisp is the third book in the Cookies & Chance mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, October 2016.

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next sinfully delicious Cookies & Chance Mystery. . .

Just when things appear to be going well for baker and sometime sleuth, Sally Muccio, life turns up the heat again.

It’s summertime, and the living is easy for the Muccio clan. Sal’s wedding to her beloved fiancé is rapidly approaching, Mom’s won a beauty contest, and sister Gianna is now a licensed public defender. But when the bakery Sal’s worked so hard for goes up in smoke—along with her dreams!—she’s not sure how much more she can stand. Even worse, the man found dead in the bakery’s back room is none other than Gianna’s latest client, Bernardo Napoli.

The dough really hits the fan for Sal and Josie when they’re forced to temporarily relocate their bakery to the crazy Muccio home. Trouble is quickly stirred up as the best friend team must now contend with Sal’s father and his new mortuary business “undertakings,” a middle aged mother parading around customers in bikinis, and an Italian family hell bent on revenge. For Sal, several questions demand answers. Where has Gianna disappeared to? What role did she play in Bernardo’s death? What secret is Sal’s fiancé hiding from her? Sal is determined to find answers. . .before she gets burned once again!

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Catherine also writes the Cindy York mysteries and coming next January, the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries. Connect with Catherine at catherinebruns.net.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a print (U.S. residents only, please) or e-book (open to everyone) of Burned to a Crisp. The giveaway will end October 14, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Troubled Day in the Life of Cindy York by Catherine Bruns

Priced To KillHave you ever had an event so traumatic happen in your life that you know it will haunt you forever? And maybe deep down, you’ve always suspected something was off about the situation, but you just couldn’t put your finger on it?

That’s pretty much been the story of my life for the past 25 years.

My name is Cindy York. I’m a wife, mother and real estate agent at Forte Realty, owned by my best friend, Jacques Forte. I adore Jacques and he’s fabulous at what he does, but unfortunately soon after he acquired the business, the real estate market dried up in New York State. The weather is sweltering outside while our sales have been downright cold.

My husband Greg is a wonderful man who I’m madly in love with but he’s somewhat possessed as of late. He’s always thinking about romance (eye roll) while all I want to do is to sleep. I have three children plus a mother-in-law who comes airmailed straight from hell. Unfortunately, she’s all I have for babysitting options, unless I want to ask my moody teenaged daughter. Hey, we all have problems, right?

Anyway, back to the real estate market situation. Jacques was getting prepared to make some drastic changes but then we got the phone call from Ben Steadman, asking me to list his mansion for sale. I should be thrilled. I mean, this is the deal of a lifetime for me. Up until now I’ve been selling tar paper shacks at a modest rate. There’s only one problem with this fantastic deal. Ben’s brother, Paul, was my best friend. He killed himself in that same house 25 years ago, and I was the one to find his lifeless body. So as you might guess, I’m not in any hurry to go near the place again.

Paul visits me frequently in my dreams. Try as I might, I can’t erase the vision of finding him curled up in a fetal position, gun in hand. He had just won a full scholarship to medical school. He was rich, good looking, and a brain. Like the saying, he had everything going for him. So why, you might ask, did he do this? And how was I not even remotely aware what was running through his head that day?

Since Greg was out of town, Jacques agreed to accompany me to my 25th high school reunion being held at the Steadman mansion. Ben’s wife, Michelle, was a former classmate of mine and Paul’s. I kept chanting the same words over and over in my head: I can do this, I can do this. And actually, things weren’t that bad until we opened the time capsule after dinner and I found Paul’s note addressed to me. Me.

I won’t go into detail about everything that he said, but believe me, it was a doozy. And now I know the truth. There’s no way Paul committed suicide.

Someone killed him.

How does one go about looking for a murderer after 25 years? If you’ve got any ideas, please feel free to send them along. I need all the help I can get right now. . .

Because I won’t rest until I find out who did this to my friend.


Priced To Kill is the second book in the Cindy York mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, April 2016.

Some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried forever.

Real estate agent and super sleuth, Cindy York, has always been haunted by thoughts of her childhood friend, Paul Steadman, who committed suicide 25 years ago. A high school reunion and the prospective sale of his former home—where Cindy was the one to discover his lifeless body—bring the memories back in full force. New boss and best friend, Jacques Forte, pleads with her to accept the listing as their agency is going through some rough financial times. But Cindy gets more than she negotiated for when new information comes to light that convinces her Paul’s death was anything but self-inflicted. Vowing justice for her friend, Cindy’s meddling only leads to further complications with the Steadman family as she quickly uncovers hot details to a very cold case. Cindy needs to close the deal and find a killer—before she too winds up six feet under!

# # # # # # # # # # #

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. in English/Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Her next release, Burned to a Crisp, is scheduled for Fall 2016.

Links: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter
Sign up for her newsletter here.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or e-book (open to everyone) of Priced To Kill. The giveaway will end April 27, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

Another Day in the Life of Sally Muccio by Catherine Bruns

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!

# # # # # # # # # # #

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!

A Day in the Life of Cindy York by Catherine Bruns

Killer Transaction“This is Cindy, how may I assist you?”

Oh, my apologies. I forgot where I was for a second. My mind is constantly in sales pitch mode these days. You see, the real estate market hasn’t been kind to me as of late. It’s really difficult trying to make a living when your co-worker keeps stealing your listings!

Yes, you heard me right. I was all set to have Mrs. Hunter sign on the dotted line this morning. That sweet, elderly woman is so forgetful, she doesn’t remember my name half the time. But I worked very hard for her as I do all my clients. In the past week alone, I’ve brought salmon for her enormous, temperamental cat while my husband Greg fixed her leaky toilet—which, by the way, is where my career is headed—all because Tiffany Roberts beat me to the punch. Again.

Tiffany is almost twenty years my junior. She’s gorgeous and one of the top agents in the entire state. She’s also deceitful, dishonest and despicable. Should I go on?

I know it may sound like I’m jealous of Tiffany, but not in the manner you might think. I’ve just had enough of her contemptible ways. I’m madly in love with my husband Greg and we have three terrific kids. Darcy’s fifteen and, like most teenagers, a bit self-centered at times. Stevie and Seth are our eight-year-old twins. They’re good boys, except when they’re trying to set the house on fire.

My best friend, Jacques, is a co-worker and complete genius when it comes to the real estate market. He’s second in sales only to Tiffany, but at least he comes by them honestly. Jacques has also been very instrumental in guiding my career at Hospitable Homes the past three years, which is a good thing, because our manager would just as soon that I didn’t have one. She’s looking for any excuse to fire me. Oh, and did I mention that Tiffany is her pet?

When I found out Tiffany had stolen the Hunter listing out from under me—well, I kind of snapped. I mean, not really snapped, but she did push a few buttons. You see, I can tolerate many things, such as the puppy peeing on the carpet, the twins flooding the bathroom, or sometimes even my mother-in-law!

No way will Tiffany get the best of me again. Greg was so proud when I told him. I arranged to meet her at the office tonight after I fed my family dinner. We had steak, by the way. It was kind of tough. (Why can’t you buy good steak anymore?)

I’m not greedy, but we do need the money. Hopefully Greg’s raise comes through soon. Darcy wants a new dress for the spring dance and the twins are outgrowing their clothes at an alarming rate. Plus, the puppy really needs to be neutered.

Okay, deep breath here. I’ve had enough. Tiffany will not treat me like a doormat. I will not settle for less than 70% of the transaction. I will not haul off and smack her. Well, maybe. Did I also forget to mention that I threatened her earlier on the phone? Yes, you heard it here first. I told her to give me back the listing—unless she wanted to die young.

She was waiting for me at the office that night. Alone. And—you guessed it—she was dead.

Now what am I going to do??


You can learn more about Cindy in Killer Transaction, the first book in the NEW “Cindy York” Mysteries, available now from Gemma Halliday Publishing.

About Killer Transaction

Real estate deals can be murder.

All struggling real estate agent Cindy York wants is the home listing that was promised to her. But her deceitful co-worker, Tiffany Roberts, has other ideas, and she always manages to get what she wants. Tired of being manipulated, Cindy tells her to back off—or else! But when Cindy stumbles upon Tiffany’s lifeless body, she suddenly finds herself front and center in a deadly investigation. Now everyone from her kids’ classmates to her monstrous mother-in-law is sold on the idea that Cindy’s guilty. Determined to find out who’s trying to frame her, Cindy enlists the help of her best buddy, Jacques, to negotiate a slew of suspects, a host of clues, and an office full of cutthroat agents…before the next contract is out on her!

# # # # # # # # # # #

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 27 for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or the digital version (open to everyone) of Killer Transaction. Good luck everyone!

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, Baked to Death, is scheduled for January 2016.

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

A Day in the Life of Sally Muccio by Catherine Bruns

Tastes Like MurderHello there! My name is Sally Muccio. The last name is pronounced Mooch-EE-o. Please feel free to call me Sal–everyone does. In high school, kids nicknamed me Sal the Mooch when I forgot to pay someone back once. Totally embarrassing, right? But today, I have even bigger problems.

I left my cheating ex-husband in Florida and relocated back to my hometown of Colwestern, New York. It’s a small area in the Buffalo region. At least now all I have to worry about is six feet of snow in the winter. Or so I thought….

I’m proud to announce that I have a new novelty cookie shop called Sally’s Samples. My best friend Josie is the head baker. She’s fabulous at decorations and can think up recipes on the spur of the moment. Josie makes the best cookies ever. I think her fudgy delights are my favorite. Well, maybe not. I also love the genettis. Or was it the raspberry cheesecake ones?

Okay, who am I kidding, I love them all! And I really need my comfort foods these days. I just moved out of my parents’ house and into my own apartment above the shop. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a moment too soon. I mean, I love them dearly but they’re a bit whack a doodle. And I have enough drama going on in my life right now.

One person I was not happy to see in my shop today was Amanda Gregorio. We went to high school together, and she’s always had it in for me. I’m not sure why. She’s rich and beautiful and owns an overpriced spa in town for the wealthy. I’d love a facial but knowing her, she’d probably shave my head instead. With so much going for her, you’d think Amanda would be happy but she’s quite possibly the nastiest person alive. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I once caught her in bed with my now ex-husband?

This is the second day in a row Amanda’s visited my shop. I know she’s trying to torment me, but I’m determined not to let her win. Josie wanted to throw Amanda out on her *insert word*, but I stopped her just in time. Why, you might ask? Well, Amanda’s family is powerful and she’d love to make trouble for my new bakery. Josie said she’d get her just desserts someday. I think there’s a pun in that statement somewhere.

I’ll admit it—I was proud of how well I handled the situation. I figured that this was a test of some sort. I mean, if I can wait on Amanda, I can handle anybody, right? The next thing you know, my ex-boyfriend from high school will probably come strolling in. Even though it’s been ten years I can’t seem to forget about him, and often wonder what could have been, if it wasn’t for Backseat Brenda.

Anyhow, can you believe that Amanda even tried to wrangle a discount from me? With all the money she’s got? Then she demanded her fortune cookie. They’re the theme of my shop, and customers get a free one with every purchase. Josie’s are fabulous. She dips them in chocolate, vanilla or heath bar topping with sprinkles. Like all of Josie’s cookies, they are to die for. Quite literally. You see, there’s something about these cookies that kind of bothers me. The messages–it’s like there’s some truth to them. The predictions are always spot on. If I didn’t know any better I’d think they were psychic. Isn’t that just the silliest thing you’ve ever heard?

So when Amanda opened her fortune cookie and read that strange message—maybe, just maybe, I should have known….

That I’d find her body lying on my front porch.

(Sigh.) It’s going to be a long night.


You can read more about Sally in Tastes Like Murder, the first book in the NEW “Cookies & Chance” mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.

About Tastes Like Murder

Sally Muccio’s had her crosses to bear: a cheating ex-boyfriend, crazy Italian parents, and an unfaithful husband, just to name a few. After her divorce, she returns to her hometown to start a novelty cookie shop whose specialties include original fortune cookies, served with a sprinkle of foreshadowing. But there’s no warning when her ex-husband’s mistress drops dead on Sal’s porch, and police confirm it’s a homicide. Determined to stop her life from becoming a recipe for disaster, Sal takes matters into her own hands. With two very different men vying for her affection, dead bodies piling up, and a reputation hanging by an apron string, Sal finds herself in a race against time to save both her business and life—before the last cookie crumbles.

# # # # # # # # # # #

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Friday, September 18 for the chance to win either a print or an e-book copy of Tastes Like Murder. The print giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The e-book giveaway is open to everyone. Good luck everyone!

Meet the author
Catherine lives in a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, two cats and dogs. She has wanted to be a writer since the age of eight when she wrote her own version of Cinderella. Fortunately, Disney never sued. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English/Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter. Her second mystery series, featuring a real estate agent, debuts in November from Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book is titled Killer Transaction.

You can visit Catherine at her website: www.catherinebruns.net, on Facebook and on Twitter