There was a spring in Leo Lawson’s step as he walked the
hay-bale-filled passageways of the Fall Festival at Magnolia
Today was the day.
He was finally going to ask Mona out. He’d known her since they
were kids. Because she was his sister’s best friend, he’d always figured
their relationship couldn’t ever be more than platonic. But the time
had come. He couldn’t stand the torment anymore. He had to ask her.
All around, the sights and sounds and smells of the Fall Festival
tugged at him. Homemade pies. Locally brewed beer. Handcrafted
furniture. The tangy scent of barbecue hit his nostrils, and his
stomach rumbled. But no—he would not be lured away by Bandit
Bob’s BBQ or their fine pulled-pork sandwiches. He was a man on a
He headed straight to the Jammin’ Honey booth, where both Mona
and his sister would be. Over the top of a hay bale, he spotted a
colorful cowgirl hat that could only belong to Mona’s eccentric
Abort! He couldn’t do this with Aunt Bee here. She was wonderful,
but she had a way of commandeering the room—and was never, ever
shy about expressing her thoughts.
Leo spun on his heel to make a run for it, but Aunt Bee had spotted
She grabbed his elbow. She sure was fast on her feet for an octo‐
“Leo! I knew you’d make it. Have you had a chance to grab our
Aunt Bee ran the local Coupon Clippers club, and she’d stop at
nothing to get a great deal on a purchase.
“I’ve got the latest steal for you, hon,” she said, squeezing his bicep
as if she were juicing a lemon.
“What’s that, Aunt Bee?” he asked, untangling himself from her
“It’s a two-for-one over at Greta Cox’s beer booth.” She gave him a
direct look and waggled her eyebrows.
He laughed aloud. “That sounds great. Right up my alley. But I’m
“Well, save it for later,” she said, turning her attention to the aisle,
no doubt looking for her next catch.
Leo smiled despite himself and approached the Jammin’ Honey
booth. Vicki, his sister and the world’s best purveyor of honeybee
products, was chatting with some customers, but he didn’t see Mona.
Where could she be? The anxious tug in his belly surprised him.
Vicki spotted him and waved him over. She finished chatting with
her customer and then picked up a couple of packets and held them
out toward Leo. “Got some samples for you.”
He gave her a look. “Haven’t I tried all your stuff before?”
Leo tended to be Vicki’s guinea pig for all her body scrubs and face
products. Some had turned out great, while others had been a little
questionable. She’d once turned his face green.
Vicki laughed. “You can never have too many scrubs.”
“I’m here to eat.” Leo patted his abs and looked around. “Where’s
Vicki smirked at him. “Mona doesn’t need to be here to feed you.
Help yourself.” She pointed toward the samples of homemade jams
and jellies on the gluten-free bread Mona loved so much. Leo picked
up a couple and stuffed them in his mouth.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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