Sunday, May 5, 2019

Today I'm joining Berkley Mystery
in hosting author
Jenn McKinlay
and her new release
DYING FOR DEVIL'S FOOD
Book 11 in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


As the New York Times bestselling series continues, it's going to take every recipe the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew has to whip up a quick defense for Mel Cooper when her high school reunion goes from a cake walk to a car wreck...

Melanie Cooper has zero interest in catering her fifteen-year high school reunion, but Angie insists it's only right that they bask in the success of Fairy Tale Cupcakes--and Mel's engagement to the delicious Joe DeLaura is the cherry on top!

Everything is going better than expected until Cassidy Havers, resident mean girl and Mel's high school nemesis, picks a fight. No longer willing to put up with Cassidy's bullying, Mel is ready to tell the former homecoming queen to shut her piehole and call it a night. But as Mel and Joe prepare to depart, Cassidy is found dead in the girl's bathroom, next to a note written in lipstick that points right to Mel--making her the prime suspect.

Now, Mel must follow the clues to find the real killer and keep her reputation from being frosted for a crime she didn't commit.

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!!!GIVEAWAY!!!
Win a print copy of

DYING FOR DEVIL'S FOOD

USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post

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A word from Jenn McKinlay about 
DYING FOR DEVIL'S FOOD

     Bullies. No one likes a bully. When I started writing Dying for Devil’s Food and I knew Melanie Cooper was going to be confronted with the opportunity to face down her old nemeses, I had to think for the first time about why her school tormentors were they way they were. What made them so vicious and mean? This is Character Development 101 – figure out your character’s motivations because no one is a jerk for no reason. At least, I hope not.

     Cassidy Havers and Dwight Pickard were the two students most responsible for Mel’s misery in high school. Cassidy nicknamed her “Melephant” and did everything she could to torture Mel about her weight, her looks, and her shyness. But why? Why would someone go out of their way to make another person so miserable?

     I didn’t have much of a frame of reference for this because I was pretty lucky in school in that I can’t remember being bullied. Oh, sure, at six feet tall, I was teased just like the kid with the sticky out ears, the girl with the super thick glasses, and the boy who was so skinny he looked like he was made of string. But while I was teased for my height I never felt bullied, not like Mel did, so what made Cassidy so mean to her?

     “Hurt people hurt people.” I read this sentence in a discussion about bullying awhile ago and it’s always stuck with me. It’s true, a person who is hurting will strike out and hurt other people. Knowing this, I thought long and hard about why Cassidy had wanted to hurt Mel so much back in high school. To my surprise, this added all new twists and turns to the plot that I hadn’t expected but was delighted to explore. I’d say more, but I don’t want to give away too much.

     The other element of the story that surprised me was a surprise reconciliation with one of her former bullies. When one of her former tormentors grudgingly helps Mel track down the killer, it was an opportunity for the characters to discover each other beyond the persona of bully and victim. But after so much pain, could two people actually find friendship? Again, I can’t say too much but how does a person forgive someone for making them miserable during the most vulnerable years of their life? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

     Here’s a longer description of Dying for Devil’s Food to whet your appetite: Melanie Cooper has zero interest in catering her fifteen-year high school reunion, but Angie insists it's only right that they bask in the success of Fairy Tale Cupcakes--and Mel's engagement to the delicious Joe DeLaura is the cherry on top!

Everything is going better than expected until Cassidy Havers, resident mean girl and Mel's high school nemesis, picks a fight. No longer willing to put up with Cassidy's bullying, Mel is ready to tell the former homecoming queen to shut her piehole and call it a night. But as Mel and Joe prepare to depart, Cassidy is found dead in the girl's bathroom, next to a note written in lipstick that points right to Mel--making her the prime suspect.

Now, Mel must follow the clues to find the real killer and keep her reputation from being frosted for a crime she didn't commit.

📚📖📚📖📚


MY REVIEW


I cleared a few hours of my day because I knew I’d be reading this book in one setting. The Cupcake Bakery Mysteries have long topped my list of favorite cozy mystery series. Containing one of my all-time favorite cast of characters ever, this wonderful group of unlikely friends/co-workers/family always make me smile. I love their fierce loyalty toward one another. Anytime I’m back with the crew at Fairy Tale Cupcakes, I’m a happy person. DYING FOR DEVIL’S FOOD is no exception.

I will come right out and say it. The school reunion theme of this story did not thrill me. Like lead character Mel, school was a living nightmare for me. Unlike Mel, I didn’t have friends to help me through. I was the overweight, quiet kid that no one wanted anything to do with unless it was to pick on me. So, I was having some ugly memories pop up during certain scenes.

Now, with the above being said, and my flashbacks aside, I still loved DYING FOR DEVIL’S FOOD. I’m always good with a bad person being killed off in a book. And, in this tale a school bully gets hers. But solving the mystery wasn’t easy. There were plenty of suspects, all with really good reasons for wanting her dead. I kept flip-flopping back and forth in my choice of the killer. But, as author Jenn McKinlay is sure to do, she had me fooled right up until the reveal.   

You’ll also find a nod to author McKinlay’s Hat Shop Mysteries in the story. Fun! And of course, yummy recipes!

I’m dying for you to read DYING FOR DEVIL’S FOOD, so I can read your review!

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GOOD LUCK!

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8 comments:

  1. Thank you for your review on "DYING FOR DEVIL'S FOOD" by Jenn McKinlay.

    LOVE this author's books and I'm waiting not so patiently for the opportunity to read this one.

    Loved hearing from Jenn on bullying and about the book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  2. Taylor R. WilliamsMay 5, 2019 at 2:11 PM

    I sure like your website - thanks for the contest.

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  3. Great review thank you! I love this series and have them all read to date, I'm so looking forward to this one.
    Penney

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  4. Thanks for your review of "Dying for Devil's Food" by Jenn McKinlay. I have loved her other books, and look forward to reading this one!

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  5. Great review! This is one of my all-time favorite series, and I can’t wait to read Dying for Devil’s Food.

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  6. Get your reviews via email, which I share with my husband. He reads them too and really likes the recipe days!!!

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  7. I was teased and bullied too. It was the worst in junior high and high school (not so bad in elementary school). So I never went to prom or other dances. I wouldn't want to go to a high school reunion.

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