Today an old friend posted on fb about the trials and tribulations of her airline experience. She arrived at the gate and discovered the flight was overbooked. She accepted another flight with an upgrade. On her way there her long skirt got caught in the escalator. OMG, can you imagine. Luckily she was wearing bike pants underneath. Not exactly a silver lining, but one that worked. To add to the mayhem, of course her upgraded flight was delayed due to a mechanical problem.
The bright side of her experience is her ability to laugh at the whole thing and the inspiration for this blog.
In Chocolate Couture, my heroine, Lily is a talented, but klutzy pastry chef. The book opens with Lily having an experience that could ruin her day, but there is a bright side.
Read an excerpt.
LILY PERADOU WATCHED as a tray of her lime- elderflower cupcakes toppled to the floor. Like a line of ballerinas falling into an orchestra pit, two-dozen of her most popular pastries now lay at her feet.
“Oh, Chef. What a mess.” Olivia, her assistant looked down at the floor. “I tried to warn you. It all happened so fast.” Friends and co-workers, embarrassed by Lily’s clumsiness, often tried to minimize the experience with excuses.
Lily knew better, she had no one to blame. She had caused the cupcakes’ demise. “I’ll clean up. You open the shop.”
Olivia stepped over the squished chocolate cakes and inched her way between Lily and the prep counter. A plethora of pans and mixing bowls hung from every available inch of wall space. Ovens, coolers, and baking appliances covered the opposite wall. In this cramped, but organized narrow kitchen, Lily managed to create the finest cakes in Brooklyn.
The shop at 41⁄2 Smith Street would be considered limiting to anyone. No one suspected that the showcases filled with the sweetest desserts ever created held hidden dangers for a klutz like Lily.Many years ago her brother, Zach had appropriately nicknamed her Clum, a sticky matter in the universe that makes things go wrong. Being near Lily had the potential of a dormant volcano waiting to erupt. This morning’s big bang proved that not much had changed since that day when he bestowed the name on her.
This was not the time to think about past events. The mess at her feet needed immediate attention. She reached over the fallen sweets and grabbed her broom and dustpan. In minutes, the work-area sparkled.
Miraculously, two halves of the cupcake hung precariously at the edge of the counter. Lily worked best under pressure. Could she still make something out of this mess?
Her customers would soon be lining up for what they had voted Brooklyn’s Best Cupcake. She needed to do something fast. It might not be what they were expecting, but she wouldn’t disappoint them.
She cut the remaining pieces into bite-sized servings and placed a delicate slice of lime on each piece. A drizzle of elderberry juice over the top completed the free samples. That should satisfy her elderberry addicts until the next batch hit the shelves later in the day.
Before joining Olivia at the front counter, she carried the trash out the back door to the dumpster.
Lingering winter weather greeted her as she hurried outside. At first glance, the alley appeared like any other dusty Brooklyn alley. A closer look revealed it was more than another deserted street hidden behind rows of old buildings.
This alley had personality. Graffiti covered walls revealed the history of the merchants behind the brick facades. Before
Lily owned her shop, several movie crews used the street and its hidden artwork as a backdrop. It was not unusual for tourists to come searching for this back street.
From the corner of her eye, she noticed a man poking around the back door of 5 Smith Street. The old gray brick wall around the door was decorated with abstract designs of women’s fashions. It marked the back entrance to the late Sally James’ popular dress shop.
The man jiggled the door handle. It was locked, of course.
Maybe he was a relative of Sally’s. If he were related, she would like to talk to him and make an offer for the store. The perfect solution for her space problem was 5 Smith Street.
Dwarfed by the giant metal container, Lily felt a temporary sense of security. She used her advantage to assess the situation and the stranger. He didn’t look like a tourist. There was no sign of a camera or guidebook. He didn’t walk with a leisurely stroll of someone sightseeing. His stride was with purpose.
Was he a thief? If he were, he was a neatly dressed thief. But his shiny leather cowboy boots looked out of place on this Brooklyn street. Stylishly worn jeans hugged all the right places. His face was handsome, definitely not the look of an axe murderer. There was something ridiculously sexy about him.