Town in a Sweet PickleThis morning I woke up early in anticipation of an eventful day. My name is Candy Holliday, and I live on a blueberry farm in the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington in Down East Maine. It’s 7 a.m. on a sunny, brisk Friday in early October. After drinking my morning cup of ginger lemon mint tea and downing two wild blueberry muffins, I’m ready to go outside to feed the “girls”—my chickens. I’d love to have more animals on the farm I run with my dad, but right now the chickens are all I have time for.

I wear many hats for many jobs. There are times I feel like the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, only I’m a baker, farmer, editor, and town sleuth. Today, I’m happy to be an editor, and I head off to my office at the Cape Crier, the town’s newspaper. I’m especially honored to be the interim managing editor this year, since the paper turns 200 years old! Wanda Boyle is our community correspondent, and together we’ve been planning a series of events to celebrate the paper’s bicentennial. I have so much to do to prepare for the special bicentennial edition coming out in a few weeks, and it’s keeping me very busy.

There are other things on my agenda today. The new event, called the Community Cook-Off Contest, takes place today at 3 p.m. at the high school gymnasium. We set up all the tables last evening. We have so many talented townspeople entering everything from cheeses and preserved foods to candies, pies, and breads. One whole table is set up just for pickles and sauerkrauts!

The judging will be done by Herr Georg Wolfsburger from the Black Forest Bakery, cookbook author Julia Von Fleming, and Colin Trevor Jones, executive chef at the Lightkeeper’s Inn. I cannot enter the cook-off or serve as a judge myself, since I work for the paper, which is sponsoring the event.

I just stopped at the inn to borrow more tablecloths for the tables. Now I’m on my way to the high school gym to meet Wanda and go over the opening introductions. Yes, I’m working side by side with Wanda! We seem to have developed a mutual dislike of each other, yet we need to get along and work together. She’s giving the introductions at the cook-off event, but I need to be there to meet and greet everyone.

Here I am at the cook-off contest, one hour later. The tables are all set, the judges are ready, but no Wanda! Where is she? Last I heard from her she was headed to Sally Ann Longfellow’s house. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

Well, guess I have to do the introductions myself, so here goes: “Welcome, everyone, to the Cape Willington Bicentennial Celebration Community Cook-Off . . . .!”


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on February 27 for the chance to win a copy of Town In A Sweet Pickle. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

Town in a Sweet Pickle, which is Book #6 in the Candy Holliday Murder Mystery Series, was published on Feb. 3, 2015 by Berkeley Prime Crime. It is available in print and as an ebook. Other titles in the New York Times bestselling series include Town in a Blueberry Jam, Town in a Wild Moose Chase, and Town in a Strawberry Swirl. Large print editions are also available for each book, as well as an audiobook for Town in a Blueberry Jam. For more information on the series, visit hollidaysblueberryacres.com.

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