Friday, August 2, 2019

The Sweetest Things


Starlight Harbor’s Sweetheart has had enough. When the town shows up on a list of Top Ten Tacky Tiny Towns, she brings out her spicy side. Spence Cote doesn’t quite know what to think when his website gets inundated with comments, so he sets out to fix things. Can he make things right with the little baker? THE SWEETEST THINGS is a sweet and sassy romantic comedy that you are sure to fall in love with.

Starlight Harbor’s Sweetheart has had enough…

Lyra Grigor is the easy going, sweet, smile-at-everyone owner of The Sweetest Things.  When an annoying travel site puts Starlight Harbor on their Top Ten Tacky Tiny Towns list for the fourth year running, she knows it’s time to give the writer a bit of spicy tart instead of a teaspoon of sugar.
An outsider who just wants out…
Spence Côte has no idea what hit his site. Nearly a thousand replies on some little baker’s comment and everything has blown up. Since the site is up for sale, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Now he has to drive up to the middle of nowhere coast of Maine and get this resolved. ASAP. 
Two worlds collide…
Between the puppies dressed as pirates, the old women masquerading as tavern wenches, and the sweetest little baker he’s ever seen, Spence knows Starlight Harbor might not just be freakishly adorable….it might be what he’d been looking for.



Excerpt:

One
Lyra
“That man.” Lyra Grigor slammed her tiny, flour covered fist down on the counter. “That…words, words, words man.”
Her best friend, Vivian, looked up from where she was sipping her coffee and eating an old-fashioned donut. ”Must be pretty bad to have gotten the triple words curse replacement.”
Lyra glanced past her to make sure the bakery was empty. She didn’t want people to think the owner of The Sweetest Things had suddenly become a crazy web stalker. But this article on the travel blog Roadside Adventures was really bringing out a thread of ticked off in her she wasn’t used to.
She was used to being the softhearted mushy one.
“Well, you’re in here this year, too. Made the cut, so to say.” She glanced down at the tablet and read, “…so quaint it even has a female mechanic for the four cars in town.”
“Huh.” Vi took another bite of her donut—well, her second donut—and sat back on her barstool, knowing Lyra didn’t let things go easily that riled her up.
Lyra glared at the so-called article: “Top Ten Tacky Tiny Towns.”
It just beat her butter that there was even an article, let alone that Starlight Harbor, with its gorgeous port and its wonderful traditions, made the list.
There was nothing tacky about what they did here.
Four years running they’d been on his insulting list.
“I bet he hasn’t even been here. He just heard about our Christmas schedule, turned that into ‘Christmas every day,’ and puts us up there with the largest ball of twine or the singing shark.”
That got Vi’s attention. “Where’s the singing shark?”
“Yeah. It got taken off in year two because it was proven to be a hoax.” She flashed Vivian a triumphant look. “See? This guy can’t even research articles enough to spot a fraud.”
“Well, there ya go.” Vivian glanced at the pastry case, considering.
“You know,” Lyra jumped in, “if I didn’t love you, I’d totally hate you. I see you eyeing that cookie after two donuts.”
She gave her friend the once-over. Vivian’s tall, thin frame could probably carry a couple more pounds and not look out of place. But she carried her model body and looks and hair with something close to disdain, the tough chick keeping all her worries locked out with her kickass boots and her fitted tanks.
Granted, that was also what she needed to wear to work in her garage, but still. Vivian didn’t take crap. She’d come back to town with her son and lived on her own terms since.
Vivian wouldn’t let someone kick around people she loved.
“You know what?” Lyra demanded, getting Vi’s attention from the sugar in the glass case between them. “I’m not letting him get away with this again. I stood by for three years thinking he’d let it go. But, every year he finds tackier and tackier things that are just roadside tourist rip-offs but keeps Starlight Harbor on there.”
Lyra grabbed her tablet, setting up an account with the stupid wannabe travel magazine site.
“Someone needs to give this bully a piece of her mind.”
Vi set her coffee cup on the bus tray, grinning indulgently as she stuffed a dollar in the tip jar that kept appearing on Lyra’s counter no matter how many times she took it away.
“Go get him, tiger.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She waved Vi off, because she was already typing madly into the comments section.

Dear Mr. Judger of People’s Homes,

I can’t help but notice that for a fourth year in a row you’ve included Starlight Harbor, Maine, on your list of Tiny Tacky Towns. The only tacky thing here is taking a beautiful community who honors military families by creating a place to celebrate the holidays they were separated for based while serving ungrateful jackasses bullies.
 While you may not appreciate these traditions, I would think that at least the sheer beauty of the Maine coast and a centuries-old village would be obvious even to a Neanderthal like you.
Perhaps you didn’t do your research, or you just hate Christmas. I mean, we all know that sharks can’t sing.
Well, most of us do.
Next time, before you attack hardworking people and their quaint seaside village, you should do your research. Perhaps start with the definition of the word tacky. I’ve included a link to the word’s page in Merriam-Webster.
That’s a dictionary, for those who don’t know. It tells you what words mean.
Yours,
Starlight Cupcake

Lyra stared at her words and got angry all over again. How dare he attack a place where people were dedicated to helping others?
He obviously had no soul.
Thank goodness she didn’t have to deal with people like that. It was the number one reason she’d had no doubt she’d come back to Starlight Harbor after she finished getting her degree from Johnson & Wales.
She’d seen what the competition and the general ambitions of the city had done to her fellow pastry chefs and bakers. The push to get ahead had quickly made the beauty of baking and the joy it gave others shrink in importance.
But now, now that she’d said her piece, all was right in her world again—and she had cookies to decorate for the Historical Society’s trip to the hospital to tell stories about smugglers and their mascot dogs to the children.
Life was pretty darn good.

About Bria Quinlan:
RWA RITA award finalist and USA Today Best Seller Bria Quinlan writes Diet-Coke-Snort-Worthy Rom Coms about what it's like to be a girl and deal with crap and still look for love. She also writes books for teens that take hard topics and make you laugh through your tears. Some people call them issue books. Some people call them romantic comedies. Bria calls them what-life-looks-like. 

Her stories remind you that life is an adventure not to be ignored. You can contact her at www.briaquinlan.com OR on Twitter @briaquinlan.

Rep'd by Laird Lauren Macleod of the Clan.... Oh, wait. Of Strothman Agency

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