Saturday, July 04, 2015

Guest Blog by Bailey Cates, author of the Magical Bakery Mysteries - July 4, 2015

Please welcome Bailey Cates to The Qwillery. Bailey is the author of the Magical Bakery Mystery series. Magic and Macaroons will be published on July 7th by Obsidian (NAL).

Magic and Macaroons is the fifth Magical Bakery Mystery featuring kitchen witch and one-third owner of the Honeybee Bakery, Katie Lightfoot. Katie has been in Savannah, Georgia for a year and a half now, and is still learning about the Craft from the members of the spellbook club. Mimsey Carmichael specializes in flower and color magic and dabbles in divination, while Bianca Devereaux focuses on traditional Wiccan spell work and moon magic. Jaida French is a tarot expert, and Cookie Rios -- well, she's a generalist since she turned away from the voodoo she grew up with in Haiti.

But Katie's specialty is hedgewitchery, or green magic, like her aunt Lucy whom she works with in the bakery. Together, they use their special knowledge of herbs and spices to gently bewitch the delicious goodies they bake up at the Honeybee with spells for love, prosperity, health, peace and more. She's also learned that she's a lightwitch, and while that might account for why she stumbles into so many murder investigations involving magic, she still doesn't know exactly what else being a lightwitch entails. Her mentor in that regard, Detective Franklin Taite, is now dead, and she's waiting for the replacement he promised would show up in her life.

As Magic and Macaroons begins, it's an unseasonably hot August in Georgia, and Katies is battling the heat with cool treats for the Honeybee patrons. But then a meeting of the spellbook club is interrupted by a stranger collapsing on the floor of the bakery, mumbling something about a missing talisman and voodoo queens. Soon an impossibly dead body is added to the mix.

Katie is compelled to investigate, and the first thing she does is enlist a reluctant Cookie Rios' help to find out more about Savannah's infamous voodoo queens and the possible uses for the missing talisman. She meets several members of this largely underground community, all quite different, and all possible suspects at first.

But they aren't the only suspects, and with the help of the members of the spellbook club, her boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, Declan's improbable Uncle Connell, and Steve Dawes, Katie tracks the magical killer.

I'm fascinated by the different aspects of magic, and how they relate to everything from quantum physics to psychic readings. However, friends became a bit alarmed when I started researching voodoo. It has a reputation for dark magic, for voodoo dolls and curses. I heard quite a few interesting stories during the year I conducted research.

However,there are many, many flavors of voodoo/voudou/vodou/hoodoo. Almost all are based on West African religions that date back centuries, but many of those have been added to, subtracted from, or altered by local culture. In the end, my goal was to address the magical aspects of voodoo with the respect I try to show all magical or pagan practices in the series. I did a lot of reading (a LOT), and spoke numerous times with a voodoo queen a friend referred me to. She was enormously helpful.

One thing I learned from my exploration of voodoo? Well, here's how Cookie Rios puts it in the book when she's trying to explain the ideas of dark and light magic to Katie: "[Voodoo] is black. It is white. It is purple and green and red. You and the others always talk about gray magic, as if the only colors of magic can be found on some continuum between white and black. But magic is bigger, wider, deeper than that."

This more expansive vision of magic rings true, however you happen to define it in your own life. Besides the spell work side of things, there's always a lot of food in the Magical Bakery Mysteries! For Magic and Macaroons, I include a recipe for coconut macaroons (what else?).

My (Katie's) version is also a thumbprint cookie. You can fill the center indentations with any kind of jam, but I also provide recipes for making your own pineapple jam and pomegranate jelly. The other recipe is for Pao de Quiejo, or Brazilian cheese bread. I am completely addicted to these cheese puffs made with tapioca flour, and had to share how super easy they are to make. As an added, if unintentional, bonus, all these recipes are gluten free.

Next up: Enchanted Garden Mystery #1! This is a new series starting in January of 2016, which I write as Bailey Cattrell. The first one is called Daisies for Innocence (the titles reflect the language of flowers) and features perfumer and gardener (miniature fairy gardens!) named Elliana Allbright. And, of course, I'm also working on Magical Bakery Mystery #6, Spells and Scones!

For information about all my books, please visit

Magic and Macaroons
A Magical Bakery Mystery 5
Obsidian (NAL), July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

From the New York Times bestselling author of Some Enchanted éclair comes a tale of delicious desserts and supernatural sleuthing…
For magical baker Katie Lightfoot, the only way to beat the Savannah summer heat is to whip up some cool treats for the Honeybee Bakery’s patrons. But when a meeting of the spellbook club is interrupted by a stranger collapsing on the floor of her shop, mumbling something about a voodoo talisman, Katie drops everything to begin investigating.
Her search for answers quickly leads her into a dangerous blend of Savannah’s infamous voodoo queens, a powerful missing charm—and a deadly witch who seems to be targeting the city’s magical community. And with the case getting hotter by the second, Katie will have to work fast to track down the talisman and the killer before the timer runs out…


About Cricket / Bailey

Author of the Magical Bakery Mysteries. Also writes the Home Crafting Mysteries as Cricket McRae.

A former resident of the Pacific Northwest where her novels are set, Cricket McRae has always dabbled in the kind of practical home crafts that were once necessary to everyday life. The magical chemistry of making soap, the satisfaction of canning garden produce, and the sensuous side of fiber arts like spinning and knitting are just a few of the reasons these activities have fascinated her since childhood. As a girl she was as much a fan of Nancy Drew as of Laura Ingalls Wilder, so it's no surprise that her contemporary cozy series features a soap maker with a nose for investigation.

For two years Cricket managed her own soap making business, including all product design, manufacturing and marketing. She has also worked at a variety of other jobs, ranging from driver's license examiner to program manager at Microsoft. This fulfills her mother's warning that she'd never have a "regular" job if she insisted on studying philosophy and English in college.

Now she lives in Colorado, fitting her interest in all things domestic around writing, hiking, biking and, currently, learning how to hate the game of golf.

Website  ~  Twitter @WriterBailey  ~  Facebook


Daisies for Innocence
     as Bailey Cattrell
An Enchanted Garden Mystery 1
NAL, January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,

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….


Brownies and Broomsticks
A Magical Bakery Mystery 1
Obsidian (NAL), May 1, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


Katie Lightfoot’s tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy’s cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren’t just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben’s name and find the real killer.

Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti
A Magical Bakery Mystery 2
Obsidian (NAL), December 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


As a new witch—not to mention owner of Savannah’s most enchanting bakery—Katie Lightfoot is still getting used to casting spells, brewing potions, and mastering her magical powers. But that doesn’t mean she can’t find time to enjoy a picnic with firefighter Declan McCarthy…until she stumbles upon a corpse.

The dead man’s tattoo reveals he was a member of a secret society—and it turns out he's missing an object that was very important to the group. When Katie learns the killer was after more than the man's life, she and her Aunt Lucy leave the baked goods on the rack to cool and set off in hot pursuit of a killer.

Charms and Chocolate Chips
A Magical Bakery Mystery 3
Obsidian (NAL), November 5, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


Between brewing magically spiced treats at Honeybee Bakery and volunteering with a local conservation group, Katie Lightfoot barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, much less delve further into her destiny as a witch. But avoiding her fate won’t be as easy as whipping up a new recipe—especially when Katie finds herself once again mixed up in murder.

When a fellow volunteer for the conservation group is found dead, Katie’s mystical senses tell her that there’s more to the death than meets the eye. Her suspicions are confirmed when members of her coven are targeted next. Katie will have to embrace her powers quickly...or she may find herself chewed up and spit out by some serious black magic.

Some Enchanted Éclair
A Magical Bakery Mystery 4
Obsidian (NAL), July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


When Hollywood invades Savannah’s historic district to film a Revolutionary War movie, magical baker Katie Lightfoot, and her witches’ coven, the Spellbook Club, take a break from casting spells for casting calls. One of the witches snags a part as an extra, while Katie’s firefighter boyfriend, Declan, acts as on-set security. Katie and her aunt Lucy decide to stay out of the action, but after the movie’s “fixer” fires the caterer, the Honeybee Bakery comes to the rescue, working their magic to keep the hungry crew happy.

But when someone fixes the fixer—permanently—and a spooky psychic predicts Katie will find the killer, the charming baker and her fellow conjurers step in to sift through the suspects…before someone else winds up on the cutting room floor….


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