Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate #1)
By: Lola Dodge
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Publication Date: January 16th, 2018
Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.
Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.
The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.
If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.
Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?
Deadly Sweet was definitely inspired by my love of baking! The main characters I’ve written until now have always shared my traits to some extent, but Anise is the first character I’ve written who’s really like me—although, to be honest, all my heroines end up waxing on about food for some reason…
Coming out of high school, I seriously considered going to culinary school, but I ended up wanting to pursue publishing more than cooking. After I graduated, I was working at a publishing company more or less living the dream, but I caught the baking bug. I knew I wanted to go back to school, but I wasn’t sure if I’d go for writing or pastry—so I started taking classes for both after work. That was way back when I lived in New York and had access to a really awesome culinary program at the local community college. I took baking and cake decorating classes and learned a TON but also realized I couldn’t handle a professional kitchen. I’m way too slow to keep up. My instructor’s pastry war stories were the last straw—she told us she once spent an entire day peeling peaches… I do not have the patience.
Not long after, I left New York to attend writing school. I’ve bopped around the world since then, mostly living in teensy apartments without kitchens, let alone ovens, so I definitely resonate with Anise, wanting to bake and try new recipes, but being limited by circumstances.
Portraying women in power was also important to me with the Spellwork Syndicate. So often in YA, the adults are idiots and the teens are left to their own devices. I wanted to write a world filled with powerful older women and women and girls who support each other. I’m excited for the series to continue so I can introduce more of the characters and show more aspects of the world. The next few books will focus on Anise and her work at Agatha’s Bakeshop, but then I’m hoping Gabi and Blair will have books of their own!
Lola Dodge is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University–and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.
Find the author:
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway and more were provided by Xpresso Book Tours.