A Plain Scandal“Yowl!” Chloe’s Siamese cat, Gigabyte, wove in and around my ankles as I put the last touches on my master piece, a three layered chocolate torte. I found the recipe online. It’s amazing how many recipes that you can find on the Internet. I was amazed what you could find on the Internet in general, and to think I knew nothing about it a few months ago.

Chloe Humphrey was my roommate and as soon as she gets home from work at the college, we were going to my parents’ Amish farm for dinner.

The door opened. “I’m home,” Chloe called.

“In the kitchen,” I said.

Chloe walked in the kitchen. She looked so smart and sophisticated in her tailored blouse and charcoal pants. Her sleek red hair hung to her shoulders. “What is that? I’m not eating that.” She pointed at the cake.

Chloe was always afraid of getting fat. She could gain a thousand pounds, and my brother Timothy wouldn’t notice. He was that much in love with her.

After Chloe changed her clothes into jeans and T-shirt, we loaded her car and drove to my parents’. I held tightly to the cake plate on my lap.

Chloe smiled at me. “Don’t worry. They are always happy to see you.”

She knew when I needed her encouragement.

The car turned up our long driveway, and I saw the familiar white farmhouse and large dairy barn in back. Outside the house my entire family, my parents, siblings—including Timothy, who also left the Amish—and my grandfather on his braces stood. They waved. Even though I left them, there they all were waiting to greet me. I was so afraid they wouldn’t love me anymore, but I realized they still loved me.

My grossdaddi opened my car door and gawked at the cake. “What is that?”

Careful not to drop the cake, I got out of the car. “A torte.”

Mamm frowned. “Becky, I told you not to bring anything. I said I would make dinner.”

I held up the heavy plate. “It’s just a cake.” I noticed that Timothy was standing next to Chloe now.

Grossdaddi yanked on his long white beard. “That is not just a cake. It’s a chocolate mountain.”

“I want a big slice,” my younger brother Thomas said.

Daed scowled. “After you eat all of your dinner that includes the green beans.”

Thomas folded his arms. “I hate green beans.”

Three-year-old Naomi wrapped herself around my leg and smiled sweetly up at me.

Ruth who was only four years my junior scowled. “I made dessert today, Becky. I made a cobbler. You can’t come here with your Englisch food and expect us to eat it.”

“Ruth, that is enough,” Daed said.

My teenaged sister spun around and stalked back to the house. I wished we were close like we used to be.

Grossdaddi rubbed his hands together. “I, for one, never say no to two desserts. It’s why Gott gave us two hands, right Thomas?”

“Right,” my brother crowed and raced for the house.

Mamm shook her head. “Let’s go inside before the cake melts.”

Inside my mother’s large kitchen, the table was set for a roast beef dinner. Even though it was Tuesday night, each meal time was treated as if it was special. Grossdaddi and Daed sat on the chairs on either end of the table and rest of us sat on backless benches on either side. Naomi wiggled her way in between Chloe and Timothy, and they smiled at each other.

We bowed our head’s, and as Daed said the blessing, I was content. I had my life, but I still had my family too.


Amanda is giving away one (1) copy of A PLAIN SCANDAL. Contest open to US residents only and ends February 22. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly from the author.


You can read more about Becky in A Plain Scandal, the second book in the “Appleseed Creek” mystery series. The first book in the series is A Plain Death.

Meet the author
Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

Visit Amanda at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Killer Characters.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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