Dacey Culpepper Biel comes from a long line of pie bakers. Her family's shop, Pies N' Prattle, is legendary in her small Texas town. But Dacey didn't inherit a gift for baking. Her pies always end up as messy or burnt disasters. Even worse? Business has been slow lately, and Dacey wishes she could do something to help.
Then opportunity knocks: A popular TV show wants to feature the shop! But that means Dacey will have to spend time with Chayton Freedel, her arch-rival and the cute son of the show's host. And when clues arise about a long-hidden family recipe, life at the shop may never be the same.
With a sprinkling of luck and some Southern charm, will Dacey be able to find the recipe, work alongside Chayton . . . and save her family's legacy?
About the Author
Suzanne Nelson has written several children's books, including Cake Pop Crush, Macarons at Midnight, Hot Cocoa Hearts, You're Bacon Me Crazy, Donut Go Breaking My Heart, Sundae My Prince Will Come, and Serendipity's Footsteps. She lives with her family in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she can also be found experimenting with all kinds of cooking. Learn more about Suzanne at suzannenelson.com.
Read an Excerpt
Zari took a deep breath, then let the words fly in a furious tumble. "ChaytonFreedellisbackintown."
I blinked. My heart tripped. "I didn't hear you right. I thought you said Chayton Freedell is . . . back?" I hadn't said that name in two years, and it tasted bitter on my tongue.
"He is," Zari squeaked.
"What?" I shrieked, and Mrs. Beaumont dropped her knitting to clutch her chest.
"Everything's fine," Zari reassured everyone, then lowered her voice at me. "Breathe. I know you said you never wanted to see him again, but don't go Hulk on me."
I pressed my palms into the table and leaned towards her. "Don't you remember what he did to me?" I hissed.
"The pie disaster?" Zari scoffed. "Of course I do. I was the one who spent hours helping you wash the pie out of your hair."
I dropped my head to the table, my anger fizzling into dismay. "Why is he back?" I groaned.
"What's this about now?" Mom asked, coming over.
"Good news for Bonnet, actually, Miss Edie," Zari chirped. "Do you remember Julip Freedell?" Mom nodded, and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. Chayton's mom was now famous as the host of the uber-popular cooking and lifestyle show "Prairie Living." Julip traveled all over Texas scouting for obscure craft ideas, antiques, and recipes.
"I just saw Mrs. Freedell at the middle school," Zara explained. "She was registering Chayton for classes. She's come back to Bonnet to film a special 'Homecoming' episode of her show. It's going to feature the Bonnet County Fair and pie-eating contest!"
"Well." If it were possible for Mom to look even cheerier than usual (which was a tall order, believe me), she did. "I'd call that news better than good. Julip's show might breathe some life back into Bonnet, and bring in some fresh customers."
"And save us from boredom," Zari put in. "Newcomers mean intrigue and scandals and "
"Trouble," I grumbled.
Zari shook her head at me. "It'll be fine. You'll hardly notice Chayton's back at all."
All I could picture was my ten-year-old self, covered head to toe in huckleberry pie. I cringed. Hardly notice the return of my arch-nemesis? Not a chance.