The Cakes of WrathGood morning, sugars! I’m so pleased to have this chance to sit for a while and visit with y’all. My name is Frances Mae Renier, but most folks call me Miss Frankie. Since my only son died, I’ve been running his bakery, Zydeco Cakes, with my daughter-in-law, Rita Lucero. Rita’s a sweet thing and she tries hard, but she doesn’t know a lot about life in the South. And, bless her heart, she doesn’t always understand how the people who can afford to buy one of our high-end cakes behave. No doubt about it, we do things differently around here. New Orleans is a world of its own.

My days are busy, busy, busy what with all my volunteer work and social obligations. Those keep me from spending a lot of time at Zydeco. And, of course, I’m not a trained pastry chef, so I leave the day-to-day details to Rita and the rest of the staff. That’s not to say that I don’t know my way around a kitchen. More importantly, I know what Philippe wanted Zydeco to be. It’s my duty as his mother to keep the shop on track and to shoot down any ideas that might turn it into something else.

Like when Ox (a dear boy and a great friend of Philippe’s) suggested that we add a line of more affordable cakes. What he meant was that he wanted to start selling ordinary cakes that almost anyone could afford. That’s all right for some, I suppose, but it’s not what Philippe had in mind at all.

Not being involved in the actual cake making gives me plenty of time to make contact with old friends and line up new opportunities for Rita. Why just recently, I seized the chance to get Zydeco involved with the Magnolia Square Small Business Alliance and talked Rita into taking a seat at the table. She put up an argument, of course. She said that if I thought Zydeco should join the alliance, I should be the bakery’s representative. Goodness knows I’m far too busy for that. See what I mean about her lack of understanding?

Not that I’m complaining. I couldn’t ask for a better daughter-in-law or business partner. I’m just as pleased as I can be that Rita’s such a big part of my life. And, really, she should be glad I’m around to help her when she gets into trouble—which she does with alarming regularity. You won’t believe the difficulties she encounters after attending one of the Magnolia Square Small Business Alliance meetings. It will simply boggle your minds.

Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of “The Cakes of Wrath” to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends September 27; US entries only per publisher’s request.

To read more about Miss Frankie (and, of course Rita and the crew at Zydeco) pick up the latest “Piece of Cake” Mystery by Jacklyn Brady, THE CAKES OF WRATH from Berkley Prime Crime, due in stores and wherever you buy books on September 3, 2013.

Meet the Author
Jacklyn Brady is the national bestselling author of the Piece of Cake Mystery series. She lives along the Gulf Coast, just minutes from white sand beaches and sparkling emerald water. She’s the proud mother of two daughters and grandmother of two more. You can find her online at her Website on Facebook and on Twitter.

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