Book layout and design by Secret Staircase Books
Cover image © Robertas Pezas
Cupcake illustration © Makeitdoubleplz
Mystery/Female Sleuth/Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Chocolate icing shot out of the pastry bag as Samantha Sweet tested the consistency of her newest batch. The ridges held shape. Perfect. She picked up a triple-chocolate Kahlua cupcake and proceeded to pipe a thick base of chocolate buttercream on it. On top of that, a smaller cone, which she built up then tapered to form a snout. Two perky ears. Switching to a small round tip she quickly added short fur and watched as the cupcake became a shaggy puppy’s head. White chocolate eyes with dark chocolate irises. White chocolate tinted pink for its tiny tongue.
Sam smiled at the happy little face she had created. Set him down and started another. The order was for the Tuesday night book group and local chapter of Chocoholics Unanimous. Every detail, right down to the dogs’ collars, had to be chocolate, and Sam enjoyed matching the theme of the weekly treats to that of the book they were reading, in this case a story featuring a dog walker. Unlike typical ‘anonymous’ twelve-step groups, this bunch celebrated their addiction. They reveled in the utter enjoyment of all things chocolate. There was absolutely no intention of overcoming their mutual habit. Sam wasn’t complaining—the weekly order gave a nice boost to her fledgling little home business. And someday . . . a shop . . . Sweet’s Sweets.