Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

COOKING UP A MYSTERY
6/26/2020 1:00:00 AM by: GAIL PALLOTTA

PLEASE WELCOME

GAIL PALLOTTA

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM COOKING UP A MYSTERY 

Laney Eskridge took a breather from polishing the bakery display case and surveyed the dining area in her small tea house. A soft glow from the lamppost out front shone through the large window and danced on the blue-flowered curtains. She rubbed the fabric of a tie back between her thumb and forefinger. Sometimes in the quiet moments after the customers and George, her assistant, left, she gazed around and marveled that the place belonged to her. Mom had named it Laney’s Delectable Delights. She would’ve loved the decor.

Pots and pans clanged in the kitchen.

Laney jumped. Was the rolling worktable bashing into the wall? Not by itself. Horror that an intruder wrecked the new appliances buckled Laney’s knees. She leaned against the counter and slid to the floor.

Clanks, bonks, and crashes reverberated. Laney buried her head between her legs and trembled like a leaf in a storm. Rattling and slamming resounded. Tears cascaded down Laney’s face. Had she lost everything? Silence fell as suddenly as the commotion had started, and the aroma of her bread baking tickled her nostrils. She raised her head and wiped her cheeks. Calling on all the strength she had left inside, she stood. Would her wobbly legs take her to the kitchen?

***

Laney rolled the gray food warmer up a cement walkway past a white hydrangea. Each click pounded the importance of every customer in her head. How could a person with no college degree run a business? She never would’ve opened the place if she’d known Mom would die. She breathed in false confidence and pressed the bell by the beveled glass door. No one answered.

She shielded her eyes from the May sun and tapped her foot. Come on. I have work to do. Her gaze fell on a mountain laurel bush and nearby dogwood blossoms. Soon summer would bring tourists to the North Carolina Mountains, and she’d hardly noticed the spring flowers. She rushed around like a mosquito in a chef’s hat trying to cook and serve enough food to keep Laney’s Delectable Delights afloat. If only she and Mom could’ve run the business together, as they’d planned.

Mom would be minding the restaurant, and the future would look secure. Laney wouldn’t wake each day trembling with fear she might have to close because she’d mismanaged money and supplies, or she hadn’t cooked enough gourmet meals to bring in customers. Last night after hearing those horrible noises, she’d dreamed the sheriff evicted her and padlocked the business.

Was anyone here? Laney shifted her weight and mashed the bell several times. Still, no one responded. She glanced at the food warmer, then the SUV and started to leave. Instead, she cracked the portal. “Mr. Crider, it’s Laney’s Delectable Delights here with dinner.”

ABOUT COOKING UP A MYSTERY

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She's on edge from the emotional scars and her parents' deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it's all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney's in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him … and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There's more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Buy links: Amazon -  https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-up-Mystery-Gail-Pallotta-ebook/dp/B085LJMH5V/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Cooking+up+a+Mystery+by+gail+pallotta&qid=1584746377&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cooking-up-a-mystery-gail-pallotta/1136612098?ean=9781522398806

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cooking-up-a-mystery

ABOUT GAIL PALLOTTA

Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets, and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Nominee. She’s published six books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. She loves to connect with readers. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.gailpallotta.com/mainphp.html and visit her website at https://www.gailpallotta.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore

 

 

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Comments

Gail Pallotta From Georgia At 6/27/2020 9:02:32 AM

Hi Robin, Thank you for coming by and your kind words. Nicola Martinez at Pelican Book Group created the cover, and I agree she did a great job. I'm so glad you like the title.

Robin Bayne From MD At 6/27/2020 8:10:36 AM

Fun cover and title!

Gail Pallotta From Georgia At 6/26/2020 1:17:47 PM

Thanks for having me, LInda.

Reply by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Glad to have you.

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