WELCOME to my party! This week I am celebrating the one year anniversary of Darcy’s Melody and the launch of A Taste of Peanut Butter. It’s been a wonderful since publishing my first long novel and I want to thank those of you who have supported my work with purchases and encouraging messages. To add to the festivities I am having a spectacular giveaway featuring my new book and many other fun prizes. All you have to do is leave your comments to enter. The contest is open to all readers who have access to an Amazon Marketplace. Now let the fun begin! ♫
Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for baking and peanut butter happens to be her signature ingredient. William Darcy’s family owns Pemberley Network where she is a contestant in their next bake off. Will their newly found romance be complicated by a conflict of interest? Find out in A TASTE OF PEANUT BUTTER.
“A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.” Jane Austen ~ Pride and Prejudice
CHAPTER ONE What Are Men Compared to Cookies, Cakes, and Peanut Butter?
O’Hare International Airport – Friday afternoon, late spring
“So, did you have to pay extra to check your overweight bag?” Jane Bennet stood with her hands on her hips and gave her younger sister a quizzical look.
“I did—a total of one hundred dollars to be precise. Can you believe it? My bag was only nine pounds over the limit. Heck, I could have checked in an extra suitcase for that price. If only peanut butter didn’t weigh so much.”
Jane giggled. “Lizzy, you probably wouldn’t have had to pay a thing if you only left some of your baking pans and that ridiculous Chinese wok behind. Plus you wouldn’t have had to stuff so much in your carry-on and backpack.”
“What are you talking about? My flat is almost barren when it comes to kitchenware. Okay, I admit I probably could have gotten by without the wok even though I did promise my teammates from the bank that I’d cook Thai when we start working on our hospitality booth for Wimbledon. Believe me, by that time they will have had their fill of my practice desserts. Nevertheless, the bake off is coming up, and I need every single one of those baking pans if I’m going to keep practicing. I have big plans for my babies—chocolate peanut butter cream pie, peanut butter spice cake, not to mention my killer cheesecake. I only hope I don’t run short of peanut butter. The good stuff is like gold in the UK.”
“Now you listen to me, Elizabeth Anne Bennet! With the exception of the contest, you, my dear sister, are supposed to be taking a hiatus from cooking. Your roomy, Charlotte, is absolutely right. You will never get a decent guy to like you for the smart, intelligent, beautiful woman you are if you keep flaunting your cooking skills at every turn. Men aren’t normal when it comes to your culinary expertise. It’s like they’re on drugs or something. I’m tired of hearing about all the bozos who somehow think they’ve struck it rich with their own personal chef while forgetting how to treat you like a real date. I’d like to know, dear sister, when was the last time a guy friend invited you out to dinner instead of having you come over to his place with your apron in hand.”
“Look, Jane,” she huffed. “I won’t stop being who I am. That’s all there is to it. With going to school and my internship at the UBI, I have a very stressful schedule. Not to mention, I have to suffer through a nasty test on derivatives as soon as classes resume. Then, in addition to Wimbledon, our team is organizing another gala event for early autumn. Believe me; I need a diversion after putting in so many hours between the bank and school. Feeding my friends is how I relax.”
Jane couldn’t resist giving her younger sister a big hug. “Okay, I understand. I just wish you would give Charlotte’s plan a try the next time you go out with a new guy. How hard could it be to refrain from talking about your hobby on the first date? Better still—wait till you’ve had three. You know what they say—the third time’s the charm. Sweetie, I would love to see you graduate from Elizabeth Bennet, personal cook, pal or surrogate sister to girlfriend extraordinaire!”
“I know.” She pouted.
“Hey, don’t give me that. I want assurance and a pinky promise that you’ll at least try.” The two laughed as they went through the ritual.
“All right, I promise, I’ll do my best. But if….”
“No buts! Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s my reader. See if you can squeeze it in your bag. I loaded it with my favourite, Pride and Prejudice. Maybe you can take a hint from your namesake and challenge yourself to find a real Mr. Darcy.”
Elizabeth let out a hearty laugh. “Oh, Jane, I love how you have me giving up my cooking passion and meeting Mr. Darcy all in one fell swoop. You are without question one demanding sister!”
“Not really. I’m simply a romantic at heart, just like you. Now, get on through security. I’d better go before Dad gets a ticket out there in the mob.” The two sisters hugged, and Jane waved as she rushed toward the exit. “Don’t forget to text me once you get squared away on the other side. Love you!”
“Okay, Sis! I love you, too!” Elizabeth called as she clumsily lugged all of her things to the closest security checkpoint. Removing her sandals and pulling out all electronic devices from her backpack, she quickly filled two grey plastic holding bins and managed to hoist her overstuffed carry-on onto the conveyor belt.
Little did Elizabeth Bennet realize, however, that she was being closely eyed by a very interested party of the male persuasion. Captivated by the perky brunette, he had overheard her entire conversation and was now formulating his own plan.
Curious, I never thought of dating an American. She said that she is an intern at the UBI. I wonder why I haven’t ever seen her there. Of course, there are loads of interns at the bank. He couldn’t help smiling while candidly giving her the once over. Beautiful, long, dark, silky hair—nice. And her eyes…. I could easily get lost in those dark chocolate orbs if given the chance. Great figure and even more important, she cooks. I’ve never dated a woman who liked to cook. My dates would rather have me wine and dine them at expensive restaurants. Without a doubt, this Elizabeth is different from all the other Elizabeth Bennets I’ve ever met, or any other woman for that matter. She’s so … unpretentious, refreshing and obviously not a part of the corporate set. I wonder. Richard did suggest that I consider stepping out of my comfort zone for a change. Maybe….
And now for my giveaway!
Below you will see a list of prizes. Just tell me which items you would like to win and let me know what you think about Lizzy’s Blissful Peanut Butter Cheesecake in the comments. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, August 28. Enjoy!
A Taste of Peanut Butter – 3 eBooks or a choice of a Print book if you live in the United States
Darcy’s Melody – 2 eBooks
A Holiday to Remember – 2 eBooks
A Very Merry Mix-up – 2 eBooks
Taking Another Chance by Brenda Webb – 2 eBooks
One Jane Austen mug available to USA residents
One Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit® Counting Primer Board Book and Playset (BabyLit Playset) to USA residents
The Amazon Link for my book.
The Pinterest Link for both stories – a MUST see!