Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Enchanted Garden Café by Abigail Drake

The Enchanted Garden Café
South Side Stories
Book One
Abigail Drake

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Kindle Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2018


Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 89,000

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber

Tagline: Something magical is happening in the garden.

Book Description:

For her sixth birthday, Fiona Campbell’s mother, Claire, made her a peace sign piñata filled with wishes for a better planet instead of candy. When she got her period, her mother held a womanhood ceremony at their café and invited the neighborhood. On her sixteenth birthday, they celebrated with a drum circle.

Fiona grew up trying to keep the impulsive Claire in check, and their struggling café afloat. She plans to move out, but first must find a way to stop a big corporation from tearing down their business and destroying her mother’s livelihood.

Claire thinks karma will solve their financial and legal problems. Fiona prefers a spreadsheet and a solid business plan. The last thing she has time for is Matthew Monroe, a handsome complication who walks through their door with a guitar on his back and a naughty gleam in his eye. But when disaster strikes, and Fiona’s forced to turn to him for help, will she learn to open her heart and find she can believe in something magical after all?

in love is like baking.
may vary with experience.

Chapter One

opened the box and stepped back, tripping over a pile of Himalayan wind chimes
I’d left lying behind me on the floor of the shop. They clanked in a discordant
melody as I untangled them from my feet.
the heck?” I asked, ignoring the chimes and focusing on the parcel that had
arrived in the mail earlier that morning. Tiny stone phalluses in various
shades of gray filled the container to the brim. Checking the return address, I
noticed the shipping cost and wanted to cry. Most of our inventory budget for
the entire month had been used to mail this one small box halfway around the
what exactly did you order from Inuyama, Japan?”
mother popped her head around the corner, a bright smile on her face. “Did they
finally arrive, Fiona? I’ve been waiting for ages.”
“For stone penises?”
Why was I even surprised? This
wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, and it probably
wouldn’t be the last. My mother, Claire de Lune Campbell, had never been the
master of impulse control, and she had a history of making very poor decisions.
She’d been born Claire Campbell and added the “de Lune” in, what I can only
guess, was a moment of pot-induced inspiration. The pot no longer played a part
in her life, but the total inability to make common-sense decisions remained.
picked up one of the stone penises, a happy twinkle in her eye. “Aren’t they
On the outside, Mom and I looked
alike. The same blonde hair, the same blue eyes, the same stubborn tilt to our
chins, but there the resemblance ended. Mom was as happy and bright as a
butterfly landing on a flower, and she had the same level of fiscal
responsibility. I stressed about everything, especially money, but I had good
My mom owned and operated the
Enchanted Garden Café, where we served food, coffee, and specially blended teas
and sold unusual items in our small gift shop. Nestled in the middle of the
South Side, the funky hippie district of Pittsburgh, it was the perfect spot
for my mom but a constant source of anxiety for me.
I wiped sweat from my face and
brushed off my clothing. Dust covered my T-shirt and shorts, and some kind of
stone powder had fallen out of the box from Inuyama onto my tennis shoes. Mom,
glowing in a dress made from recycled saris, didn’t have a speck of dust on
her, but she hadn’t handled the phalluses.
Kate, the girl who worked behind
the counter, came over to us, her blue eyes alight with curiosity. “I want to
see them,” she said. Mom handed her one, and she studied it closely, peering at
it through the thick black frames of her retro hipster glasses. Her ebony hair
was pulled off to the side in a low ponytail, and her colorful tattoos peeked
through the crocheted black cardigan covering her pale skin. “At least they are
anatomically correct. Look at those veins.”
cheeks grew warm, and Mom smiled, putting a cool hand against my face. “Aww,
Fiona is blushing.”
I’m not. It’s hot in here.”
course it is,” she said, making me feel twelve instead of twenty-five, but it
was hot for early June, and the air-conditioning was broken. Again. Even with
all the windows open, it still felt stuffy.
ignored her and picked up a penis. “What are these things anyway?”
beamed at me with pure, unfiltered happiness. “Fertility charms from a little
shrine in the mountains of Japan. They have a big festival there every year. I
went once.”
sighed, most likely remembering happy times at the fertility festival, and went
back to the kitchen. I looked at Kate and rolled my eyes, making her snicker,
before getting back to work. The fertility charms came in all sizes and seemed
handmade. I just wasn’t sure how to sell them or where to display them in our
Victorian eyesore, the café was painted on the outside in what once had been a
mix of bright pink and various shades of green. The pink had faded to a dull
rose, and the green looked like the color of old limes just before they rotted.
It needed work and a fresh coat of paint, but instead of doing so, we spent our
money on phalluses from Japan. That was how things worked with my mother. No
planning. No rhyme or reason. No logic. No rational thought.
bell above the door tinkled, and I turned, a penis in each hand, as a stranger
walked into the shop. I couldn’t see his face at first because the sun was at
his back, but he carried a guitar case. A sure sign of trouble.
he said as he came closer.
He had straight dark hair that
brushed his shoulders, brown eyes, and a goatee. He reminded me of a sexy,
naughty French pirate, and I knew his kind well. Close to my age, he was
definitely one of the artsy, flighty types who always hung out around my mom. I
could spot them a mile away.

guacamole, if he were any hotter, I’d need new underwear,” whispered Kate,
taking off to the back of the shop and leaving me alone to greet the stranger.

About the Author:

Abigail Drake is the award-winning author of twelve novels, including three young adult books under the name Wende Dikec. She has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun.

Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
She is a member of Pennwriters, RWA, Three Rivers Romance Writers, Mindful Writers, Women's Fiction Writers, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She teaches writing to children, and her non-fiction article about the life of a child in Istanbul was published in Faces Magazine (an imprint of Cricket Magazine) in February 2016.

Interview with Abigail Drake
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
It’s a little of both! I have a basic idea about what I want my characters to do and say, but sometimes they surprise me. In “The Enchanted Garden Café,” new characters kept popping up and demanding to be heard. That’s why I knew I had to turn it into a series. The next book, “The Hocus Pocus Magic Shoppe” will be coming out next.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
In a time when it feels like there is so much negativity and darkness in the world, I think we need something happy; something that makes us feel good, and more positive. “The Enchanted Garden Café” is a romance, a mystery, and a coming of age story, but it’s also the story of the love between a mother and her daughter, and the love from the friends and neighbors who surround them.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
“The Enchanted Garden Café” is my 12th published work. I also write young adult fiction under the name Wende Dikec.  If you include a short story that will be published in an anthology in May 2018, that will bring me to lucky number 13! All of my finished books, novellas, and short stories have been published. Like the number 13, I’ve been very lucky.
Pen or typewriter or computer?
Definitely a computer! I have terrible handwriting, and make far too many typos to every consider using a typewriter.
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I hope you enjoy reading “The Enchanted Garden Café” as much as I enjoyed writing it. With its quirky characters and eclectic setting, it was truly a labor of love. As one of my readers said, the book contains “….a dash of mystery, a pinch of magic and heaping spoon of much appreciated humor.” So make a cup of tea, curl up on a cozy chair, and enter into the world of “The Enchanted Garden Café.” You might want to much on some cookies as well, and savor that moment. It’s just that kind of book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment: