Kate scooped a spoonful of Sweet Charlene’s Honey out of the jar and dumped it into her cup of tea. She loved drinking out of these antique cups that Mia said belonged to their great grandmother. They were so delicate that she was afraid she’d drop one and break it, but she adored looking at them with their little blue flowers. Smaller than modern tea cups and coffee mugs, they barely held a few sips, but she didn’t mind refilling her cup when needed.
Today’s tea was a blend of autumn flavors with hints of orange and ginger. A longtime coffee drinker, she’d starting enjoying more hot tea now that they owned a honey company. There was just something about tea with honey. It was soothing to her soul.
“Care for some tea with your honey?” Mia joked. She was sitting at the breakfast bar drinking her own cup of tea, although she still preferred coffee.
“You’re one to talk! This isn’t nearly as potent as that sweet tea you drink with practically every meal. I’m surprised you aren’t bouncing off the ceiling all the time!”
Mia laughed. “You get used to it when you’re raised that way. Momma used to put sweet tea in my baby bottle. In fact, I have a picture of me walking around with it hanging out of my mouth, clutching that little rubber nipple with my front teeth.”
Kate rolled her eyes. “Have you been checked for diabetes?”
“Coffee, I need coffee…” Evie said, stomping down the stairs, her fluffy bunny slippers not helping to soften her footsteps. Her hair, sticking up all over the place, showed what a fitful night of sleep she’d apparently had.
“Sorry, sweetie, but we only have tea this morning.”
Evie glared at her mother, her eyes red. “Seriously? Who drinks this much tea?”
“I think it’s better for you,” Kate said.
Evie groaned. “I need coffee. Stat.”
Mia stood up and took Evie’s hand, leading her to the breakfast bar. “Sit down. I’ll make you a cup.”
“Thank you, Aunt Mia. At least someone around here loves me.”
Kate chuckled. “Yes, you really live a rough life. Why are you so tired anyway?”
“I can’t seem to get my sleep schedule back on track. At Dad’s house, the kids would stay up until all hours. Now, I need to get back on schedule before school starts next week.”
“Good idea,” Mia said as she poured water into the coffee maker.
“Do we have guests?” Evie asked, laying her forehead on the counter. She always asked the question, mainly so she knew whether she had to be on her best behavior or could walk around the house looking like a troll.
“Nope. Our busy season is over until after Halloween, so we probably won’t see a lot of people these next few weeks while school starts back. Gives us time to work on the honey business and take a break from the summer rush,” Kate said, carefully washing her teacup and then setting it on the drying rack.
“Not good,” Mia interjected. “We need guests to pay money so we can keep this place open.”
“Don’t worry, sis. The new business is doing pretty good, so it will take up most of the slack until we get more reservations.”
“Still, I wish we could find a way to get our name out there more. This is a B&B, after all. With no guests, we’re just a big, costly house.”
“Coffee…” Evie groaned again as she lightly tapped her forehead on the counter.
“It’s coming,” Mia said with a laugh. “Hang in there.”
Just as Kate was walking toward the living room to sit down, her cell phone buzzed in her pocket. “Hello?”
“Is this Kate Miller?”
The voice on the other end was female, and she sounded very official. “Yes, it is. Who is this?”
“Hi, Kate. My name is Carmen Spencer. I’m the editor of Grits And Glory Magazine.”
Kate froze in place. Grits And Glory Magazine was was the premier southern magazine, having been founded just two years previous. Everyone raved about the travel, decor and food related articles in the magazine, and it was a coup to be featured in it. But she had no idea why this woman was calling her.
“Oh wow. Nice to meet you,” Kate stammered, feeling like an idiot.
“And you as well. Listen, we’ve heard about Sweet Charlene’s Honey and had a chance to sample it recently.”
“Yes. Turns out one of our interns was visiting family in your area this summer and picked up a jar at a festival. She brought some back to give to our taste testers and then to me. It’s amazing!”
“Thank you so much.”
“I mean, I’ve always thought that honey is honey, you know? But there’s something different about this honey. What’s your secret?”
Kate laughed. “I guess we just have good bees.” What a dumb answer, the she thought to herself.
“My reason for calling is that we’d like to do a feature story in the magazine.”
“Really?” At this point, Kate’s excitement caught Mia’s interest. She slid a cup of coffee over to Evie, who had already dozed off with her head on the counter.
“What?” Mia whispered. Kate waved her away.
“Yes. But it would require one of our writers to come stay at your B&B for a few days to interview you and take some photos. Would that be possible?”
Kate’s cheeks hurt from grinning. “Absolutely!”
“Great. How about next week? On Monday?”
“That would be fantastic. We’ll have a room ready!”
“Okay, great. I’ll send you an email with some details and confirmation. Sound good?”
“Sounds wonderful. And thank you so much for calling!” As Kate pressed end, she stood there stunned.
“What was that about?” Mia asked.
Kate smiled. “Our lives are about to change.”
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