Book 1, Spellwork Syndicate
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
For fans of Hex Hall, The Magicians, Practical Magic, and Food Wars!
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 no 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?
Spells & Sugar: Recipe for Fun!
All Anise wants is to become a pastry chef, but applying to college isn’t easy when you’re a witch. Shouldn’t magic make her life easier? In small ways, maybe. But baking a little happiness into cookies isn’t the same thing as waving a magic wand and making all your dreams come true. Normal people are scared of her, and even her own mother—the only other witch Anise has ever known—would rather she didn’t use her powers at all.
When Anise is assaulted at a local fair, her untempered magic comes to her rescue, incinerating the baking tent and leaving a trail of crime behind. Then, with superior witchy timing, Anise’s great-aunt invites her to apprentice at the only witch-sanctioned bakery in the country, and Anise jumps at the chance. But things go from bad to worse as Anise discovers that finally embracing her power might come with a terrible price.
I just loved this read! I mean, spells and sugar? My two favorite things! Add a young woman trying to find her way in the world, and, yeah, Lola Dodge hooked me hard. The first chapter is one of my favorite first chapters ever, so I think might have over-hyped myself for the rest of the book. (Can you over-hype yourself on a read? What do you think? Is that a thing?)
After that brilliant start, I wanted to see more of Anise’s baking power. There was plenty of magic and plenty of baking, but I wanted more of the two together. I wanted to see magical baking. I wanted to feel it. And I wanted to read the spell books! What’s in there??? WHAT SECRETS DO THEY POSSESS???
Ahem. Anyhoo (read that first syllable all drawn out, btw: “AAAAAAAAAnyhoo”), the book was still a super fun read, and if it left me wanting more, hey, that’s a good thing! The series promises to get deeper into her magical training later on, and Anise promises to get stronger and wiser over time. I’m looking forward to both, and I’ll definitely be reading the next book just as soon as I can get my hands on it!