Things don’t always go as you plan, do they? MLR Press and I planned to have my foodie novella, Stirring Up Trouble, out by middle to late May and it doesn’t look like that is going to be possible. Since I always like to take my time in the figurative kitchen of my imagination, making sure that everything is Done To Perfection (Ooh, I smell a sequel) and served up piping hot for my readers it makes sense to wait till it’s fully cooked and ready to go…
Next month, I’m expecting the release of Jacob’s Ladder, which is the third in the St. Nacho’s series. So forgive a little shuffling, both are going to be delicious, but Jacob’s Ladder is going to be first, then expect Stirring Up Trouble in July.
In the meantime, let me tease you with the cover art for Stirring and a little bit of an excerpt, just as a tiny taste of what you can expect. Stirring Up Trouble should be added to anyone’s summer reading, it’s a light, delicate blend of humor and mayhem, served up with a heaping helping of love on a bed of family loyalty drizzled with hot sweaty work in the kitchen.
Toby broached the subject that was uppermost on his mind. “Right now, we’re playing restaurant with our friends. What you own is a diner, a family place that you can run as is, essentially, with no further need for someone like me.”
Evan nodded and kept on walking. “I know. And it’s working. You’ve begun building up a regular, loyal customer base for us.” Wryly he added, “Plus, your imaginative use of babies as a commodity has paid off like crazy.”
Toby grinned. “That’s common sense. You direct the bull by the horns, not the tail, my man-skirt wearing friend. Moms will go where their babies are happy.” Toby laughed. “You could keep going along like that indefinitely. People seem to like having children. You could fire up a toddler menu, a boxed lunch school alternative menu, Saturday and Sunday brunch for Mom’s Day Out. Camp Chocolate, a dessert-only service with champagne at midnight when there’s a full moon…”
Evan only shook his head. “You are fucking amazing.”
Toby’s ears heated when he heard it. He shrugged off Evan’s praise.
Evan caught his arm to stop him and pulled him to the side so that people could move around them on the busy sidewalk. “No, really. The very things that made Dom despise that place are the things you’re already cashing in on. You’ve done more for Le Potiron in a week than he did in months and months.”
“You probably didn’t get the memo but as chef/owner it’s your job to keep me on completely uneven ground. I’m supposed to feel like I have one foot on a banana peel and the other in the deep fryer at all times.”
Evan’s eyes softened and he trotted out his dimples. They flexed and preened on his face like traveling sideshow strongmen.
Oh, no fair.
“Maybe that’s not how I work. Maybe I carrot-and-stick my employees.”
Toby slipped a hand surreptitiously around Evan’s waist and up under his jacket, stroking the wiry man’s back through his shirt and finding lean, strong muscles there. “Can we just skip the carrot?” Toby asked without giving himself a chance to think. “Can we get to the stick already?”
Evan looked around and licked his lips. “Has anyone ever told you that you have impulse control issues?”
“Yeah, everyone.” Toby grabbed Evan’s hand and started heading back toward Le Potiron at a ground eating pace. “At least once.”