Taste for Cupcakes: A Taste for Love Novella
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach... hers might be through his kitchen...
Morag MacPherson returns to Scotland with one dream, and that is to open her open cupcake shop. She knows she has to work hard and may have to wait a while before fulfilling that dream, but she doesn’t mind that. She will not let one obnoxious man, accusing her of things she will never consider, derails her plan.
When Peter Moriarty realises he made a big mistake, he tries his best to rectify it, but Morag is not a feisty red-head for nothing. He has to work hard to gain her trust and friendship. What can he do to win her heart?
Peter has an ace up his sleeve, however. What is that saying again? The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Hers might be through his kitchen.
Release date: October 18, 2020
Publisher: Francine Beaton
Print pages: 106
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Taste for Cupcakes: A Taste for Love Novella
Morag opened the window to take in the view in front of her. She had done it every morning for the last six months. It was beautiful and quiet here but yet still so close to the San Lorenzo Market. The garden was already displaying its early spring beauty. It was as if the grass had turned greener overnight, competing with wildflowers, daisies and poppies to provide a riot of colour. Breathing deep, a sense of wellness engulfed her. As it had the past week, it made her feel good and full of energy and ideas. The last week she had an added ingredient, which even surprised her but since that thought took a foothold, there was nothing she could do about it. She had no choice than to fall in with the plans her mind seemed to have made for her.
Behind her, her one large suitcase and backpack were stacked neatly, crammed with all her worldly belongings, ready for her next adventure.
She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds around her. The birds which had made the garden their home vied with the sounds of the wakening city. Being Sunday, it was quieter than usual and the every weekday bustle of the market would be missing. Now and again, a blast of sirens or a car horn could break the peace.
Morag breathed the air one more time before she stepped back and determinedly closed the window for the last time. She had chosen to leave on a Sunday when the market would be closed. It would’ve broken her heart to know she was going to leave all her friends behind, working their stalls. Sundays were best.
This time Morag was not off to explore another city or learn a new skill. This time her destination was Edinburgh, Scotland, country of her birth. In her pocket, she had a paper with a hastily scribbled note with a name and address Morag hoped could be the chance of a new opportunity and a new life. She didn’t know what to expect and if there even was an opportunity for her. Morag only had the note that Olivia Holmes pressed into her hand four months ago. She had barely met the girl while serving her coffee one day in the market. A week later, Olivia followed the broad Argentinian she had met so recently to the US, and since then they lost contact.
Morag took out the note to read it for the umpteenth time, but she knew it off by heart: Joe/Kirsty Brown, Joe’s Coffee House, Leith Road, Leith, followed by a phone number Morag had memorised the last few days.
She sighed and put it back in her pocket. There would be no time for regrets or worrying whether she made the right decision or not. It’s time to face the future, and it was up to her what she was going to make of it. She’d done it before, starting from scratch and building a life for herself. She could do it again. And this time she had enough skills to fulfil her dream finally.
Three months later
The smell of fresh coffee was already permeating the air. It was still early, and the stallholders rushed to get their stalls ready. It surprised Peter that he remembered the rituals and smells so well. When last had he spent the morning at the market, helping his mother to set up? It didn’t often happen anymore – not as he used to do when he was still at school. These days he was already on his way to his job by the time the market was ready to open for the public. He, therefore, didn’t get much opportunity to help his mother.
He snorted as he read his mother’s detailed instructions of where to pack the last of the wares in its glass cupboards. He didn’t need her detailed instructions as he had seen and done it so many times in the years his mother had run her stalls all over Edinburgh. It must be close to twenty years since they settled in Edinburgh after his father’s passing. Was it his imagination, or did the unpacking went far quicker today?
He shrugged as he remembered those early days when they arrived in Edinburgh. With his father’s pension and insurance payout, his mother bought a comfortable cottage in Leith. What was left of his father’s pension, the proceeds of his mother’s baking were enough for the two of them to live comfortably. They were not rich, but neither were they poor. Peter could never complain, although he might have grumbled that his mother had never been home over weekends.
These days he mostly saw his mother in passing. His job often took him away for months on end, as it did the last three months. When he didn’t work, he spent his time behind the books, cramming for his head full of business concepts and financial jargon to obtain his degree. This was not his first qualification, but by completing this academic course might help him to make it on his own one day. Peter was grateful for the opportunity he had, though. He could build up contacts and learn the creative side of a designing business from someone like Geoff, the man who gave him his first break as a teenager. He would be forever grateful for that.
Peter shook his head. He didn’t want to think about work or studies today. He was going to enjoy running his mother’s stall. When last had he the opportunity to enjoy the June sunshine? He could while away his time, chattering to the owners of the neighbouring stalls who had become family over the years and exchanging pleasantries with the customers.
Letting his gaze slide over the wares one more time, he glanced at his watch. He still had time for a quick trip to the bathroom and grabbing a coffee on the way back.
“Donny,” he called out to his neighbour to his left who were selling leather belts. “Can you keep an eye out for me, please? I’ll bring back coffee.”
“Cool man,” the old hippy replied without even looking his way.
This was as it had always been, and Peter smiled as he turned towards the bathroom, barely missing a red projectile hurtling past him. He followed the progress of a woman in tight jeans and an abundance of red curls shouting an apology over her shoulder, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! I’m late!”
Peter shook his head as he watched her disappear, an armful of containers clutched against her chest. The way she was going, she might not have much left of her wares to sell.
His trip to the bathroom didn’t take long, and he still had about fifteen minutes before the market opened. He was now dying for a cup of coffee, his staple throughout a typical working day.
Greeting old friends along the way, he made his way along to the coffee kiosk. After giving his order to the woman behind the counter and answering her incessant questions about his mother and his work and the lack of love life, Peter took the coffees and turned to make his escape from Mary’s chatter. He didn’t get far, though. As he turned, a flash of red caught his eye, and he stopped in his tracks.
The red-headed woman from earlier was humming happily in a stall opposite the coffee kiosk. She had now tied that red hair in a ponytail above her head. It swung with each movement as she re-arranged her display to her satisfaction, her body moving effortlessly to the rhythm of the song playing over the loudspeakers.
“What is that?” he grunted over his shoulder to Mary. The older woman was leaning on the counter and also studied the girl.
“You mean who, young Peter...” Mary admonished, but he didn’t give her time.
“No, I meant what is she selling? Is that...?”
“Yes!” Mary laughed. “Cupcakes! Can you believe that you get so many different cupcakes? It is ama...”
“No, that won’t do. She can’t sell cupcakes. You know the rules.”
Peter didn’t listen. There was a rule, and rules were meant to be kept. That rule clearly stated that there would be no two stallholders with similar wares. Peter was going to make sure it was not going to happen. There was no way that woman was going to steal away his mother’s customers.
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