Cupcakes (etc) – sneak peek – excerpt #1
UPDATE: Tamika has won the Cupcakes (etc) eARC from last week – YAY!!
The following is a (approx.) 450 word excerpt from my upcoming release, Cupcakes, Trinkets & Other Deadly Magic. Want to read more? Comment on this post to win a prerelease ebook (eARC) with your email address (e.g. name AT gmail DOT com). A new winner will be randomly selected every Wednesday throughout June. An excerpt and chance to win will be posted every Wednesday in June.
The vampire stood at the door to my bakery.
My heart skipped a beat. The sun hadn’t even fully set — damn daylight saving time — and the vampire wasn’t even wearing sunglasses or a hat. He was old, then. Or maybe young? I never could remember whether their skin got more or less sensitive with age. But then, I’d never seen a vampire before, so there’d been no reason to remember my vampire lore lessons.
I was a magical dowser of sorts. I found and attracted magical things, so it wasn’t completely weird that a vampire wound up at my door — except the wards protecting my bakery should have safeguarded me from magical detection. If vampires were even capable of detecting magic on that level. Again I had no idea. I lowered my eyes to nestle a sixth cupcake into the box I was currently packing. Maybe if I ignored him, he’d go away. Because that always worked, right?
The bakery’s seating area was standing room only. The line of customers at the counter stretched almost to the door, as it always did in the hours after work and before dinner. Three of us always worked the counter for the final two hours of any week day. I moved along behind the display case parallel with my very human customer, dodged my employees Bryn and Todd, and added another cupcake to the box. Dark chocolate cake with strawberry butter icing — one of my favorites. I called it Love in a Cup. I made up cute names for all my cupcakes, and the occasional cookie I decided to bake. My bakery was aptly, though perhaps unimaginatively, named “Cake in a Cup”. I certainly never pretended to be a wordsmith or anything. Not all my customers were fully human, but even the magically lacking seemed to believe there was something extra special about my baking. A magical ingredient. There wasn’t.
I glanced up to check on the vampire. He was still on the sidewalk but had moved farther along the window to peer through the paned-glass. He seemed to be watching a little blond girl, who was maybe four and dressed in the prettiest pink ballerina outfit. The child had climbed off her stool and was straining her cake-crusted chubby fingers to reach for one of the trinkets hanging in the storefront window.
I placed an eighth cupcake in the box — a peanut butter-iced fudge cake I called Bliss in a Cup — without taking my attention off the vampire. He narrowed his ice-blue eyes at the child. With his short-cropped, almost-white hair, broad forehead, and lanky frame, all he needed was an uber chic ski jacket to look even more Scandinavian. He was probably sexy — in that angular, chiseled way — to anyone who didn’t know his love bites were deadly. I bristled, and reassuringly brushed my fingers over the invisible knife I wore underneath my apron. No one was going to be snacking on any children in my bakery.
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