Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lindsey Bakewell from Darci Hannah's MURDER AT THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE BAKE-OFF introduces herself

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off (Beacon Bakeshop Mystery, #2)
by: Darci Hannah
Series: Beacon Bakeshop
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | BAM | 2 Dandelions Bookshop | Goodreads

Tucked away inside an old lighthouse in Beacon Harbor, Michigan, bakeshop café owner Lindsey Bakewell is ready to make her first Christmas in town shine bright. But her merry plans crumble fast when murder appears under the mistletoe...

With the spirit of the holidays wafting through the Beacon Bakeshop, Lindsey thinks she has the recipe for the sweetest Christmas ever--winning the town-wide cookie bake-off. Unfortunately, striving for a picture-perfect December in Beacon Harbor is a lot like biting into stale shortbread. Low on staff and bombarded by visits from family, Lindsey can barely meet demands at work, let alone summon the confidence to face fierce competition...

Self-appointed Christmas know-it-all Felicity Stewart is determined to take the top spot in the bake-off, and she's not afraid to dump a little coal in everyone's stocking to do it. Just as the competition heats up, everything falls apart when the judge is found dead--and covered in crumbs from Lindsey's signature cookie!

Solving a murder was never on Lindsey's wish list. But with her reputation on the line during the happiest time of the year, she'll need to bring her best talents to the table in order to sift out the true Christmas Cookie culprit.

Welcome to the Beacon Bakeshop!
By Lindsey Bakewell

Have you ever woken up and wondered how you got to be where you are? It happens to me quite often, especially at this time of the year. I used to live in a posh high-rise apartment in New York City. I worked on Wall Street as an investment banker. Now I wake up at three in the morning and stare at the dark ceiling of my bedroom as the frightful December winds whip across the partially frozen lake to rattle my windows. Sometimes I even hear the echo of footsteps, long forgotten, as they dutifully climb the light tower stairs. When I first moved into the old lighthouse, I thought (like every sane New Yorker would think), that it was just the wind. But I now live in Beacon Harbor, Michigan, a small village surrounded by woodland and nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan. I know better. Perhaps I should have delved into the history of the old lighthouse before purchasing it? However, I wasn’t in a sound frame of mind at the time the Beacon Harbor Lighthouse popped up on my computer screen after searching cool places to live on the internet. I was sad and angry, having just broken off my engagement to a rising celebrity chef. I might have been drunk too. But there was something about the old lighthouse that captured my imagination, and I knew that I just had to have it. I needed a change, and the stoic old building had answered my request.

The footsteps that I sometimes hear belong to Captain Willy Riggs, the first keeper of the lighthouse. Although Captain Willy is long gone, his duty to his profession draws him back here from time to time. Some might be unsettled by this, but not me. Captain Willy and I have an agreement regarding boundaries in the lighthouse. Besides, Wellington, my giant, fluffy Newfoundland dog, seems to like our resident ghost. I take that as a good sign because Welly is a good judge of character. My dog was the one who first introduced me to my hunky neighbor, Rory Campbell. It wasn’t an ideal first introduction, but let’s just say that Wellington knew what he was doing when he paid a visit to Rory’s log home. We’re now dating, and the mere thought makes me grin with delight.

For Rory, December in Beacon Harbor, Michigan, means ice fishing. I really don’t see the allure there, but it makes him happy, and that’s really all that matters. Besides, I have enough on my plate just now. The Beacon Bakeshop is busier than ever. It’s my first holiday season here, and the specialty Christmas orders are pouring in faster than I can address them. I’ve tried to hire an assistant baker, but for now it’s just me and my devoted young staff. Tom and Elizabeth, the Beacon’s baristas, have taken the lead on our specialty coffee drinks. Their peppermint mocha is to die for! Our customers love Alaina and Ryan, who work the bakery and sandwich counters like champs. And Wendy has been invaluable to me in the kitchen, frosting donuts, decorating cookies, and coming up with delicious cupcake flavors. But we have a lot of baking to do. Then there’s the fact that my family is coming to stay with me for the holidays. I’m super excited about this, especially since my best friend, Kennedy Kapoor, is coming too. I can’t wait for her to see all the amazing Christmas decorations I have in store for the lighthouse! But the baking comes first.

Although three in the morning comes early, I really do love running the Beacon Bakeshop. There’s something so freeing and rewarding about running your own business. I find baking relaxing. It’s also a creative outlet for me. And I love it when a customer takes a bite of one of my donuts, or cinnamon rolls, or another baked good I’ve made, and utters a little moan of ecstasy. That’s what baked goods are, little nuggets of ecstasy. I also have visions of pulling off the perfect Christmas. But now there’s another twist that just might get in my way. Felicity Stewart, owner of the year-round Christmas store, The Tannenbaum Shoppe, and a self-proclaimed Christmas diva, has just announced a town-wide Christmas cookie bake-off. Is she nuts? I’m already swamped to the gills with Christmas baking! However, I must be nuts too, because I really want to win the first-ever Beacon Harbor Christmas Cookie Bake-Off! It really might be my best Christmas ever.

Purchase Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off from:

The Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Series:

Cozy mystery author, Darci Hannah, is a native of the Midwest and currently lives in a small town in Michigan. Darci is a lifelong lover of the Great Lakes, a natural wonder that inspires many of her stories. When Darci isn’t baking for family and friends, hiking with her furry pals, Ripley and Finn, or concocting her next cozy mystery, she can be found wandering around picturesque lakeside villages with her hubby, sampling baked goods and breaking for coffee more often than she should.

Places to find Darci Hannah:

You can follow the Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off Blog Tour here.


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