Did you miss part one of Chapter One?
Chapter One Continued
“Oh!” Kristen’s eyes widened, and she snapped her fingers as if
she’d forgotten something. “I’m an idiot. Julia, could you run down
the street to the bank and get the last five month’s transactions for the
festival account? I was supposed to print those off this morning. I
need to see if a sponsor’s check has cleared. They called me up
yesterday and asked if I would look into it. It cleared a while ago, but
they’re old-school, and I want to be able to show them a physical
paper trail when they come by this afternoon.”
“Fine,” huffed Julia. She grabbed her purse and stalked out the
As soon as the door closed behind her, Kristen shot Vicki a
conspiratorial grin. “That should give us some time.”
Vicki smiled back. She liked Kristen’s style.
“So, what do we have in the baskets?” asked Kristen. “Well, I
assume jam and honey? Julia mentioned something about the honey
situation from last year. She . . . can be a bit much, can’t she?”
Vicki breathed a sigh of relief and searched for something diplo‐
matic. “I like Julia, but her tastes and mine don’t necessarily jive.”
Kristen laughed aloud. “My tastes don’t jive with Julia’s either. I
think she just doesn’t like jam, to be honest. In the years she ran the
festival, she rarely let any vendors sell jam. I, however, enjoy it just
fine—and even if I didn’t, I’m aware enough to know that someone
Tin by tin, Vicki handed over the samples. She held her breath as
Kristen smelled the two body scrubs and tasted Vicki’s cinnamon
honey and Mona’s jam.
“Where do you get your supply of honey?” Kristen asked.
“I have my own beehives,” said Vicki, running her thumb along the
rim of the wicker basket. Kristen looked impressed, so she added, “I
also grow and dry my own herbs.”
“This is what I call good quality,” said Kristen, tucking the last tin
back inside the basket. “I would love to have you sell your goods at the
Yes! Vicki forced herself to maintain a professional grin rather than
break out into a disco celebration. “Thank you,” she said. “I hope Julia
doesn’t give you too much grief about that.”
Kristen waved a dismissive hand. “Ignore Julia. She’s had a tough
few years with her family problems. You saw how crazy her stepdad
Vicki hesitated. “I don’t mean to pry, but . . .”
“But anyone would be curious after the yelling display they put on
out there?” Kristen said with a knowing look.
Vicki nodded sheepishly.
“Well”—Kristen glanced back and forth as if to make sure no one
was near enough to overhear them, though they were the only two
people in the warehouse—“Julia’s mom has been very sick for a few
years. Julia’s stepdad wants her to drop everything and wait on her
mother hand and foot. Like, he wants her to stay at home and take
care of her mom because it’s a daughter’s duty, or something. Now,
Julia isn’t an only child. She has a brother who’d be happy to help. But
her stepdad insists that it’s Julia’s job and only Julia’s job. He’s already
gone behind Julia’s back once and gotten her demoted to second-in-charge
of the festival. Even told her afterward that she should have
more time to look after her mom now.”
“He sounds like a real winner,” said Vicki sarcastically. Might
explain why Julia has been so mean. She has her own problems.
“Julia even offered to pay for a live-in nurse. And it’s not like she
doesn’t see her mom! She’s there literally every day—she just doesn’t
want to spend every single minute there. But the idea that Julia would
leave her mom’s bedside for even five minutes sends the man into an
“Wow, you’d think he’d appreciate Julia’s offer to pay for a nurse.”
Vicki picked up the basket.
“You’d think.” Kristen tapped her fingers on the table and glared at
the door. “But he’s crazy. He’s so insistent that Julia be at home with
her mom that he’s threatened to ruin the Fall Festival.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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