Bring Your Own Baker
by D.E. Haggerty
Bring Your Own Baker (Death by Cupcake Book 2)
Print Length: 166 pages
Publication Date: June 20, 2016
Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal, Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation of Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur, or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations?
Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.
Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bring-your-own-baker-de-haggerty/1123795411?ean=2940153018690
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Bring Your Own Baker
Book #2 in the Death by Cupcake Series
I grasp the weapon in my hand and throw it with all my might at him. The weapon makes a ‘tee-hee’ sound as it hits his stomach.
“Did you just throw a Pillsbury dough boy at me?” His voice carries a hint of humor. The Pillsbury dough boy was probably not the best item to grab from the kitchen to use as a weapon. Obviously, I’m totally losing it.
I inch backward into the kitchen searching for a more appropriate weapon. Dag nab it! The knives are way over on the other side. I have no choice. Without taking my eyes of the man, I grab a perfectly formed and probably fricking delicious muffin from the tin and throw it at the intruder. It seems my fastball needs some work as he just catches the muffin as if I merely lobbed it in his direction. He smiles and, not bothering with the paper liner, takes a huge bite.
“Mmmm…,” he groans around a mouthful. “This is really good.”
“Seriously?” I throw my arms in the air before planting my hands on my hips. “If you want my muffins, just come to the bakery. You don’t have to break in.” Uh oh, I nearly forgot that he broke in. I start backing up again, getting ever closer to those knives.
The man’s eyes narrow as he notices me shuffling my way towards the potential weapons. He stalks me and, when he’s only an arm’s length away, reaches around me and grabs the knife block. He keeps his eyes steady on me as he places the block on top of the refrigerator. Somewhere I can only reach if I get out my step ladder.
“Who are you? And what are you doing here?” I may be terrified and my voice may stutter a bit, but I’m not backing down. Not. One. Bit.
“You’re a feisty little thing, aren’t you?”
“Who you calling little?” Apparently, I have no regard for my safety at all as I’m now goading an intruder.
The man chuckles. His smile shows a perfect set of teeth. Huh, not exactly what I expected from Mr. Piercings and Tattoos. “For a pink-haired pixie, you sure aren’t afraid, are you?”
I look up to discover a man standing in front of my door with his arms crossed over his chest. His hair, or what’s left of it, is greasy and slicked into a comb-over that clearly indicates how vain the man is. He’s wearing a suit that’s shinier than the silver twinkles Callie insisted I buy for the Christmas cupcakes last year. Sweet honeydew! The man looks like a mobster. His appearance at my place can only be the result of one thing – Arthur. Was Arthur involved with the mob as well? I didn’t even know there was a mob presence in our town.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I mumble as I stand. I shake my head at the man before walking to the kitchen and opening the freezer. This calls for emergency measures. I push the ice cream pints out of my way until my hand lands on gold – a bottle of vodka. I twist the cap off and take a swig. It burns, but I manage not to cough – too hard. I shut the freezer door and turn to the man who followed me into the
kitchen. “Alright, I’m ready now. What do you want?”
The man chuckles. “You are not what I expected.”
“No?” I raise an eyebrow. “You’re not what I expected either. In fact,” I take another swig, “I didn’t expect you at all.”
“Maybe you should slow down with that,” he says and tries to take the bottle from me.
I hug the bottle near. “Don’t. You. Dare.” I sneer at him, and he backs off with his arms raised. He’s still chuckling, though, and I throw him the evil eye. Now he starts to laugh out loud.
“Well shoot, if I had known what fun you would be, I would have visited Arthur to meet you.” I knew it! He’s here about Arthur. Good gracious. What was that man doing with his life?
“Who are you? Some mob boss or something?”
He tilts his head back and barks out a laugh before answering. “No, babe, I’m a facilitator.”
I raise an eyebrow at his deliberately vague response. “What is it exactly that you facilitate?”
He shrugs. “I help people to take risks in their lives.”
I roll my eyes. “You’re a bookie.”
“And you’re just as smart as I thought you’d be.” I don’t like those words. I’m pretty sure I’d shiver or something if my whole body weren’t starting to turn numb from the vodka. Oh yeah, the vodka. I release my death grip on the bottle and put it back in the freezer.
“Apparently, I’m smart and could take over Arthur’s ‘position’. Oh, and I’m beautiful.” I snort again because really? The bookie must be in dire need of someone to play poker for him if he’s calling me beautiful.
“You are beautiful,” Logan whispers. Before I can snort again, he places a hand over my nose and mouth. “Baby, how can you not know you’re beautiful?”
My eyes widen at his question. “You’re serious?” At his nod, I continue. “Because I’m a pink-haired pixie. No one thinks a pixie’s beautiful.”
Logan’s grin is wicked. “I always thought Tinker Bell was hot.”
I huff. “Tinker Bell’s a fairy, not a pixie.”
“Pixie, fairy, whatever.” He shrugs. “Hot,” he mumbles as his lips find mine. He wastes no time in sticking his tongue down my throat but then abruptly stops. He licks his lips. “Have you been drinking?”
“Vodka.” I nod.
“Vodka doesn’t taste like coconut.”
“It does if it comes out of my freezer,” I tell him with no uncertainty.
He rolls his eyes at me. “You’re a nut.”
“Technically coconut is a fruit, not a nut,” I clarify.
Logan grabs my wrist as I’m about to face-plant on my bed. He pulls and twists, turning my body towards him. Before I have a chance to ask him what in the world he’s doing, his lips are on mine. There’s nothing gentle about this kiss. It’s desperate and possessive all in one. I hang on for the ride. Before I realize what’s happening, I’m lying on the bed with Logan over me. He releases my lips but keeps me trapped by his own body on top of mine.
“I’ve been dying to do that all night,” he whispers as he closes his eyes and buries his head in the joint connecting my neck and shoulder.
“I’m keeping this dress,” I proclaim.
Logan chuckles. “Babe, the dress is hot and you were scorching in it, but you always turn me on, even dressed in your cupcake pajamas.”
I roll my eyes and huff. “Whatever.”
“Now.” He sits back on his heels while pulling me up so that my back is leaning against the headboard. “Fill me in on what happened in the hallway.”
There’s a knock on the door before I have a chance to open my mouth, probably because it’s taking me a while to form thoughts with Logan’s hard muscles on full display. When did he lose his shirt? Logan immediately jumps off the bed and stalks to the bedroom door. “Stay here,” he orders as he leaves. Yeah right, that won’t be happening.
Ben obviously doesn’t need any further explanation. “Yeah,” he nods. “I can pick her up. Meet you at a neutral location.”
“I hope you don’t think you’re going to meet with her without me.” I point to myself. “Because that ain’t happening.”
“Pixie girl,” Logan starts, but I cut him off.
“Don’t you dare ‘pixie girl’ me! I’m…” Callie clears her throat – loudly. I roll my eyes. “We’re the ones that found this clue. You can’t shut us out.” My grin turns evil. “Besides, she’s obviously scared of her own shadow. She’s going to be terrified by Giant Bear Detective and Gang Banger Hipster.”
Logan’s mouth twitches. “Did you just call me a hipster?”
I roll my eyes. “I was just trying to soften the whole gang banger thing.”
Ben chuckles. “Well, at least you’re not a Giant Bear.”
Logan shakes his head at Ben. “Dude, a hipster?”