It’s called comfort food for a reason.
Not much is known about the cookbook, except that years ago, the mysterious Granny B collected a set of magical recipes and wrote them down. Over the years, each book has been modified, corrected, added to, and passed down through the generations to accumulate its own unique history. The secrets behind these very special recipes are about to find their way into new hands and new lives, just when they’re needed the most.
Food created out of love casts a spell all its own, but Granny B’s recipes add a little something extra. This curious cookbook holds not only delicious food, but also the secrets of love, trust, and healing, and it’s about to work its magic once again.
Each Book in Tales of The Curious Cookbook Can Be Read As a Standalone
Tales of the Curious Cookbook
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date of Publication: April 29, 2015
Number of pages: 87
Word Count: 29k
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He’s invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and in his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.
Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone’s past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.
I waited, like I always did, like I’d been taught, letting the silence stretch so they both understood beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was capable of more than they knew. Before I went legitimate and became first a construction contractor and then a gallery owner, I had moved and fenced all kinds of merchandise, starting in Tokyo when I was still in my teens. I wasn’t proud of it, but at the time, right after my mother died when I was all alone, I’d had two choices, and the other one was moving drugs. I didn’t want to do that; I’d already lost too many friends to a variety of illegal substances, so I went the other way. It was no more aboveboard, but as shatei—little brother—my options were to work or be an enforcer. The prostitution was just as hard to deal with as the drugs, so I put myself directly in the line of fire instead of in the shadows behind someone else. I wasn’t proud of it, but it had been, for me, the least of all evils.
Now, with those days long behind me except for the tattoos on my body, I no longer needed to carry a gun. The most important part for the two losers in front of me was that I still walked like I was packing, and that combined with my height and build gave them the message loud and clear.
“We get it, man, hands off your boy. He’s invisible from here on out.”
Excellent. “Okay,” I growled, then turned and strode away.
I caught up with Scott after he passed the Court of the Two Sisters, and I was glad that even though he was moving really fast, very obviously pissed, he was walking toward my place and not his.
“Sorry,” I said as I slipped into step beside him and threw my arm around his shoulders, “but they were assholes.”
“They’re just guys, Boone, and I need to get laid,” he explained as we crossed Toulouse.
I would take care of that for him whenever he wanted.
“And I know you don’t need it like I do.”
How could one person be so wrong?
“But me—I need it.”
Taking a breath, calming my pounding heart, I tightened my hold to bring him in closer so I could smell his cologne, the lavender and burnt wood, and then the spices from his restaurant, nutmeg, pepper, all swirled together with the musk that was him alone.
“So the next time I meet a guy—”
“He’s gotta be nice,” I insisted, leaning into him and nuzzling my face into his thick, silky blond hair.
“Fine,” he grumbled, giving up any and all irritation, content as he always was once we were alone.
I shoved him away gently before I was tempted to veer off the street and down an alley to take him right there up against the side of a building. There was no doubt in my mind that we would fit together perfectly; already his head notched easily under my chin. I was sure his legs would feel amazing wrapped around my hips. It was really a terrible waste that he didn’t notice me at all and that I couldn’t make him see me without the worry of losing him. He was in and out of relationships at the drop of a hat, and by the time he broke it off with one and I had talked myself into going for it, there was a new guy to wait out. The end was inevitable, but my timing was crappy. Unless….
“I’m sorry I got pissed. I know you’re just being a good guy and watching out for me. I don’t know what I’d do without you as my guardian angel.”
“You’re the only one who’s always on my side.”
With Scott, it was better to keep him as my best friend than to try and turn him into the dream in my head. A couple of weeks of having him in my bed wasn’t worth missing him for a lifetime after he bailed. At least, that was what I told myself.
“Okay,” he sighed, as we fell into step again, side by side. “Since I apparently can’t pick for crap, you need to find a good guy for me, all right?”
“I certainly will,” I promised.
Mary Calmes lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and two children and loves all the seasons except summer. She graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. Due to the fact that it is English lit and not English grammar, do not ask her to point out a clause for you, as it will so not happen. She loves writing, becoming immersed in the process, and falling into the work.
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Paperback copy of Tales of the Curious Cookbook
Paperback copy of Floodgates
$25 Giftcard to Dreamspinner Press