With my new book, How The Cookie Crumbles, launching on October 1st, I thought I’d feature an excerpt each day leading up to the launch. It’s such a long book that I could probably excerpt it for a year and still not have everything up! Did I mention it's 150K words? That's actually the length of two books, so it's a chance to get lost in a world that's funny, exciting, and romantic.
Our heroine, Frankie Taylor, is happily celebrating the end of her third-year university, by eating yummy doughnuts in the park. Suddenly, she’s brought down to earth by her boyfriend, Matt. He’s decided that it’s his last summer to have fun before he joins the real world of work. And his idea of fun does not include a steady girlfriend. Frankie is completely blindsided by the break-up, and limps back to her parent’s house to recover:
I definitely looked sadder now, but maybe nobody would notice.
My mother was already in the kitchen cooking dinner. I could smell tomato sauce and hmmm, chicken with rosemary roasting. I reached into the cookbook cupboard and pulled out the recipe box.
“What are you doing, Frances?” my mom asked curiously.
“I thought I’d make something for dessert. Maybe some brownies?”
“I was going to serve ice cream, but that would be nice, dear.” She gave me a suspicious look. “Isn’t Matt staying for dinner?”
“Um, no, he had to go.” I grabbed an apron and started pulling out the flour, sugar and cocoa. “Oh Mom, not Frye’s cocoa, didn’t I tell you to get the Dutch processed cocoa? It’s way better.”
“Well, unfortunately they don’t have it at the Superstore, and I don’t have time to search for it everywhere.” Mom was a great cook, but she wasn’t into anything too gourmet or too trendy.
I started measuring and sifting and creaming. Whenever things bothered me, I liked to bake. There was something comforting about the way that measuring precisely and following directions in a recipe meant things always turned out perfectly. Baking was so unlike life.
I would admit that I wasn’t the most spontaneous person in the world, but Matt had basically told me that I was boring. And it’s not like we had stayed home every night, we went out to parties, clubs, and friend’s places. I loved to entertain, but Matt enjoyed that too. He used to tease me about being a domestic goddess, but he never complained about all the creature comforts that went with that. Plus, I had thought that our sex life was great. Just seeing him undressed was a total turn-on for me; he had this amazing muscle definition and an actual six-pack. And Matt was experienced, so sex was way better than with Adam back in high school. Adam was clueless when it came to female anatomy. He should have been paying attention in Health instead of writing song lyrics in his notebook. But whatever, my sex life was over now.
I sighed quietly to myself so my mom didn’t hear anything.
I finished mixing the brownies, poured them into the greased and floured pan and popped them into the hot oven. Then I started creaming more butter for the icing. My older brother, Glen, walked in and stared at me.
“Did you break up with Matt?”
“Glen!” My mom admonished him. “Don’t pry, I’m sure Frances will tell us when she’s ready.”
I burst into tears. “Why does everyone know what’s going on with me? Am I so boring and predictable?”
My mom came over and hugged me awkwardly, since I was waving a buttery wooden spoon around. Glen came over and made it a group hug. “Sorry Franny,” he said, “It’s just when you start randomly baking, you’re usually upset about something and Matt had left, so I figured.…”
Poor Frankie! Will she ever recover, or will she be forced to drown her sorrows in Belgian chocolate? Stay tuned for a daily excerpt and be sure to mark your calendar for October 1st when How The Cookie Crumbles will be available for download.