Friday, March 21, 2014

Tasty Book Tours ~ Spotlight on Sprinkled with Kisses by Darlene Panzera

Stacey McIntyre thinks she’ll pay off her debt in no time when Andi, Rachel, and Kim ask her to manage Creative Cupcakes’ stand on the beach. But selling cupcakes isn’t as easy as it seems. Especially when Dave Wright, the handsome owner of an ice cream truck proves he’s as determined as the dive-bombing seagulls to take away her sales.

Dave’s done with dating and done with beautiful, headstrong women like Stacey. Then the refrigeration on his truck breaks and instead of gloating, Stacey helps him out of a tight spot…and is rewarded with a kiss.

Now Stacey isn’t sure where they stand. Will Dave push her back into the role of rival? Or can she convince Mr. Wright that working together will lead to sweeter rewards?

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The clouds moved in, chasing her customers off the beach and her anticipated sales along with them. She tried lowering the price, even though she’d have to make up the difference out of her own salary. Better than paying for them all, she reasoned. But reducing the cost didn’t work.
Why was Dave still selling? What was it about ice cream that drew more people to him than to her cupcake stand?
A group of teenagers remained on the beach about fifty feet in front of her. She bet they’d like cupcakes, especially if she brought some out to them. Picking up an open box of marshmallow fudge sundae cupcakes, she left the Volkswagen bus and walked out on to the sand.
But even the seagulls were against her. They gathered together out of nowhere and swirled in a gray-and-white mass above, squawking back and forth to each other, as if discussing the best plan for attack.
Suddenly, they dive-bombed, one swooping down toward the cupcake box, then another doing the same. The wings from one of the birds brushed over the top of her head. She tried to swat them away while protecting the box at the same time.
It didn’t work. A seagull’s sharp beak nipped at her arm. The pinch startled her, and she lifted the cupcakes higher. The birds must have thought the gesture was one of surrender because at least six of them flew down, tore the edge of the box, and pecked the cupcakes apart in a frightening feeding frenzy.
Stacey shrieked, dropped the box, and ran for cover. She must have smelled like cupcakes, because some of the birds followed her. She screamed again, waving her hands this way and that, to ward off the terrors. Then someone threw half of a sandwich past her, and the birds left her alone to devour the new eye-catching feast.
Dave smirked as she ran past him, but she didn’t care. Her heart pounded in her chest. Blood rushed up to her ears. Her head felt as unbalanced as her feet. She’d never seen such mean, spiteful birds. As a final insult, a lone gull flew over and pooped on the cupcake counter.
Stacey sat on an overturned five-gallon bucket to regroup and watched Dave throw his brown paper lunch bag in the trash.
“Thank you for calling off your minions.”
“They don’t work for me.” He laughed, then gave her a direct look. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.”
Dave didn’t look as if he believed her. Then he grinned. “Well, you finally got some customers.”

Meet Darlene Panzera         
Darlene Panzera is the winner of the “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest sponsored by Avon Books. The win led her novella, The Bet, to be published with Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair. The award-winning novella (chosen in a blind-read by Debbie Macomber) was then published as a full length novel retitled, Bet You’ll Marry Me. Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, two horses, and loves: camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake.

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting today and featuring The Cupcake Diaries: Sprinkled with Kisses! I value your support!