Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Potions & Pastries by Bailey Cates

Potions and Pastries is the seventh in the Magical Bakery Mystery Series featuring Katie Lightfoot and the ladies of the spellbook club – another name for her informal coven of witches. Katie, her aunt Lucy, and uncle Ben own the Honeybee Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. Katie and Lucy are both hereditary hedgewitches, also known as green witches, and add magically enhanced herbs and spices to their baked goods to benefit their customers.

After celebrating the second year of success at the Honeybee with a dinner out, Katie, her fiancé Declan, Ben and Lucy come across Orla Black, a friend who’s a fortune teller. Shortly after Orla hints at something in Katie’s future, she meets with what appears to be a terrible accident. However, between her instincts and a few otherworldly hints, Katie knows it was much more than that. Since the authorities don’t believe foul play was involved in Orla’s death, Katie dives in to track the killer with the help of her friends.

In the process, she learns the Black family is a group of Irish travelers, sometimes known as gypsies. They live in a series of connected townhouses and often busk along the busy Savannah riverfront. Their skill set is varied, with a mime, a unicyclist, a ventriloquist, and a hypnotist, as well as fortune telling.

Mimsey Carmichael, the octogenarian florist who is also the de facto leader of the spellbook club, explains to Katie about the family’s background:

Mimsey removed her glasses. “Well, first off, Irish travelers aren’t exactly gypsies. I mean, some have Romany heritage, but most are ethnically Irish.”

“Do they dislike being called gypsies?” I asked.

“Let’s just say it’s inaccurate. The Rom, or Romany Gypsies, are descended from peoples in India. No one knows for sure how the Irish travelers came to live the nomadic lifestyle they do, but Orla told me it was probably a combination of things that pushed folks out of their homes and made them into wanderers. Cromwell’s policies in England in the 1650s and people being discriminated against for their religion—the flip-flopping between whether Protestantism or Catholicism was the accepted religion of the land was dangerous for a lot of citizens of Britain for centuries. The Potato Famine forced many people onto the road as well.”

“That was in the 1800s, though,” I said. “From what I understand, there are still groups of travelers in Ireland—and apparently in the U.S. as well.”

“Indeed, there are. There was a massive influx of Irish immigrants into the U.S. back then. They weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms, either. The travelers certainly suffered as much here as they did in their native land. Still, they retained their culture. And I think ‘families’ is more accurate than ‘groups.’”

“And the Blacks are one of those families? Orla seemed pretty normal,” I said. “I mean, other than when she was all dressed up to tell fortunes.”

Mimsey shrugged. “What’s ‘normal’? She functioned in the mainstream quite successfully, but make no mistake, the Blacks live by many of their own rules. Like other cultural groups—Mennonites, Hutterites, the Amish—they have retained what they can of their cultural identity by keeping to themselves. However, unlike those other groups, their primary identity isn’t related to religion.”

“What’s it related to, then?” I asked.

She tipped her head to the side. “Other traditions. Other skills.”

Seeing the twinkle in her eye, I asked, “Magical skills?”

It seemed inevitable that one of the Magical Bakery Mysteries would have an Irish connection. After all, there are already several. Katie has Irish blood from her mother, a freckled redhead (her father is Shawnee), and her fiancé, Declan McCarthy is not many generations removed from the Old Country responsible for his surname. Not only that, but Declan is occasionally visited by the spirit of an ancient leprechaun caught in a kind of supernatural purgatory. Can’t get much more Irish than a leprechaun!

Savannah also has a strong link to Ireland. The city received an influx of people fleeing the Irish potato famine, and many stayed. Today, there are nearly 200 names in the phone book that begin with O’, and the St. Patrick Day’s Parade in Savannah is the second largest in the United States with more than 400,000 people attending — pretty impressive for a city with a population of just under 150,000!

The recipes in the back of Potions and Pastries are for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (mmmm!) and, for a savory option, Rhubarb and Ricotta Crostini.

Guest post provided by the publisher.

Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery (Book 7)
Publisher: Berkley (November 7, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0399586997
ISBN-13: 978-0399586996
ASIN: B06X17WWYK
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

potions-and-pastries

In this New York Times bestselling mystery series, witch Katie Lightfoot bakes enchanted treats—and faces more than her fair share of toil and trouble….


It’s been exactly two years since Katie and her aunt and uncle opened the Honeybee Bakery, where they serve delicious—and bespelled—treats to the good people of Savannah. After a dinner celebrating the bakery’s anniversary, they all take a stroll along the waterfront and meet Aunt Lucy’s friend Orla, a colorful character who has been telling the fortunes of locals and tourists alike for years.
 
The next day, Orla meets with what seems like a terrible accident, but Katie’s witchy intuition tells her it was something more sinister. Together with her trustworthy coven and her firefighter boyfriend, she’ll race to find out what happened to the unfortunate fortune-teller before the piping hot trail goes cold….

Thanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of Potions and Pastries to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on November 16th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

 

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

New York Times bestselling author Bailey Cates believes magic is all around us if we only look for it. She studied philosophy, English and history and has held a variety of positions ranging from driver's license examiner to soap maker. She traveled the world as a localization program manager for Microsoft, but now sticks close to home where she writes two mystery series, tends to a dozen garden beds, bakes up a storm and plays the occasional round of golf.

Having apprenticed with a master herbalist for a year, she's prone to concocting teas and tinctures for family and friends from the stash of herbs stored in the corner cabinet in her office. She owns a working spinning wheel and is on a first name basis with several alpacas and two sheep with questionable dispositions.

Bailey/Website * Bailey/Facebook * Bailey/Blog * Bailey/Goodreads * Cricket/Facebook * Cricket/Twitter * Cricket/Goodreads * Cricket/Blog

 

Magical Bakery Mystery Series

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Awesome series, it sounds so interesting.

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