It’s time for a little excerpt from the book!
My thoughts linger on Dad, but I push them away.
I grab four soufflé sample cups and expertly fill them with our more seasonal flavors: candy cane, eggnog, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon roll. I swoop up to Nichole at her table and present the four with a flourish.
“I noticed you went right for vanilla, for a wild child that is highly unusual,” I say to her.
She drops her spoon back into her cup with a clunk. I pick up the first sample cup.
“Candy cane aka peppermint. A familiar flavor disguised as a seasonal favorite. It goes by many names throughout the year: mint, Girl Scout cookie something or other, etc., but ultimately it is recognized during the holiday season in its home as candy cane.” I hold out the miniature serving and whip it back and forth under her nose, as if scents are wafting up from the yogurt. She inhales deeply and scrunches up her nose. “Come on, Nichole, you can’t go through life as a Plain Jane vanilla. You have to branch out.”
“I branch out with everything that I do, can’t you leave my ice cream and frozen yogurt blandness alone. I LIKE vanilla,” she counters.
“Ok, well you can’t deny this next one.” I set down the candy cane and pick up the eggnog. “THIS is a classic and undeniably a favorite. For three out of twelve months it makes its debut and everyone is clamoring for it.”
“Ugh, not the pumpkin spice!” Nichole interjects.
“No! You Starbucks peon. Anyways, that’s the next one. No interrupting. I’m working on my sales pitch here.”
Nichole tips her head toward the door as its familiar tinkle brings me back to reality. Working a real job is not as much fun as I thought it would be. It’s just full of interruptions and cranky people.
Letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.
Vanessa Smith hasn’t been the same since her father’s death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner’s wife and son from a burning building. Nessa has always blamed the boy, Ben, for her loss, and her thoughts are consumed with ways to make him as miserable as she is.
Nichole Adams knows Nessa can never heal until she learns to let go of her hatred, but bringing back her best friend is proving more difficult than she could’ve imagined. In a last ditch effort to break Nessa’s obsession, Nichole hopes signing up for the local food challenge is just the thing to bust her out of her shell.
A single choice defines the road ahead for Nessa. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but living with the consequences of doing nothing might be worse.