- Pub. Date:
The eighth book in a delicious series by New York Times bestselling author Sheryl Berk and her cupcake-obsessed daughter, Carrie.
Sadie's basketball coach falls on tough times. But the girls know that the power of friendship—and cupcakes—might be just what Coach Walsh needs!
But when Coach Walsh has to take a leave of absence from school, Sadie's suddenly at a loss. What will she do without coach's spot-on advice and uplifting encouragement? Luckily, Sadie's got Peace, Love, and Cupcakes on her side. Her friends know that the power of friendship—and cupcakes—might be just what Sadie needs! Together, they rally to whip up the largest batch of their lives, all to help support Coach Walsh. When the going gets tough, a little PLC goes a long way. But this record-breaking order might just be too much for the PLC...
Can the girls pull it together in time to score a win for Sadie—and Coach Walsh?
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About the Author
Her daughter, CARRIE, a cupcake connoisseur, cooked up the idea for the Cupcake Club series in second grade. Together, they have invented dozens of crazy cupcake recipes in their NYC kitchen (can you say Purple Velvet?) and have the frosting stains on the ceiling to prove it. Carrie maintains her own cupcake blog, featuring reviews, photos and recipes of her culinary adventures.
New York Times bestselling co-author of Soul Surfer, SHERYL BERK is the founding editor in chief of Life & Style Weekly as well as a contributor to InStyle, Martha Stewart, and other publications.
Her ten-year-old daughter, CARRIE, a cupcake connoisseur, cooked up the idea for the PLC series in second grade. Together, they have invented dozens of crazy cupcake recipes in their NYC kitchen (can you say Purple Velvet?) and have the frosting stains on the ceiling to prove it. Carrie maintains her own cupcake blog, featuring reviews, photos and recipes of her culinary adventures.
Read an Excerpt
The Cupcake Club
By Sheryl Berk, Carrie Berk
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk
All rights reserved.
Up, Up, and Away
Sadie Harris zipped down Frisbee Street on her new RipStik board, imagining herself carving down a powdery white ski slope.
"Yes!" she cheered as she took each curb expertly. She came to a screeching halt at Kylie Carson's house and waved to her friend. Thanks to her new speedy means of transportation — a Christmas gift from her two older brothers — she was the first to arrive at the cupcake club meeting.
"Does that thing only have two wheels?" Kylie gasped. "Sadie, you are a maniac!"
"It's so cool!" Sadie said, picking up the bright-red caster board and flipping it upside down to show Kylie its design. "I can do all these sick tricks — even a three-sixty turn. It's like a snowboard on wheels!"
Kylie nodded. "Yeah, I almost broke my neck on the bunny slope when my parents took me skiing last year. Better keep me far away from anything that goes fast and downhill."
Sadie smiled. "I could teach you sometime. It's really not hard."
"Not hard for you," Kylie replied. "You ace every sport you try. My parents nicknamed me 'Kylie Klutzarina' when I was three for a reason."
"It has a nice ring to it," Sadie teased her friend. She gave Kylie a playful punch in the arm.
"Since you're so sporty, you're gonna love our latest order," Kylie said. "It's pretty over the top."
No cupcake order could surprise Sadie anymore. Peace, Love, and Cupcakes had created cupcakes for an Elvis impersonator; cupcakes decorated to look like raw sushi; and even cupcakes for dogs, cats, and horses to eat.
"Go ahead — spill," Sadie said. "What's the new order, and are we renaming the club Peace, Love, and Crazy to Bake This?"
"I think we should wait till the rest of the girls get here," Kylie said, stalling her. "But I will give you one little hint: you'll be jumping up and down when I tell you what it is."
* * *
By the time Jenna Medina, Lexi Poole, and Delaney Noonan — the remaining members of PLC — arrived, Kylie had laid out all the details on her kitchen counter. "So the delivery is Saturday morning, which gives us a week," she said, glancing at the order form. "And the order is for four dozen in two different flavors — something chocolate, something vanilla." She opened her recipe binder and started flipping through it.
"It doesn't sound so complicated." Lexi weighed in. "Sadie told us you said this order was over the top."
"Well, the customer is leaving the design up to us, and the sky's the limit," Kylie replied.
Jenna realized her friend was trying to be punny. "There is no way I am delivering these cupcakes jumping out of a plane!"
"Relax! No skydiving." Kylie chuckled. "But you're right about the 'up in the air' part."
"Is this a cupcake order for birds?" Lexi guessed. "'Cause feathers and fondant don't exactly go well together."
"Nope, no birds," Kylie said. "And no helicopters or bungee jumping either."
Jenna scratched her head. "Qué pasa, chica? What are you not telling us?"
"The order is for a trampoline birthday party!" Kylie finally revealed. "How much fun is that?"
"Please tell me we don't have to make cupcakes that bounce," Jenna said, groaning.
"Can we do that?" Delaney asked excitedly. She loved to kid around, but she could also be a little clueless sometimes.
"The birthday boy is turning five and has invited his whole kindergarten class to Up, Up, and Away Trampoline Center in Stamford."
"Cool!" Sadie said. "So we have to come up with cupcakes that have a trampoline theme."
"Exactly," Kylie said. "Any ideas?"
For a few minutes, the room was silent as the girls thought hard.
"Feet!" Lexi suddenly tossed out. "Or maybe socks? Isn't that what you wear to jump on a trampoline?"
"Flies," Sadie added. "They're always in the air. And little boys love bugs, right?"
"Falling," Jenna grumped. "As in splat on your face or butt. Which is what I would do on a trampoline."
"Um, I'm not seeing any of those things on a cupcake," Kylie tried her hardest to envision their suggestions, but all she could see was Jenna flopping on a trampoline face-first. As cupcake club president, Kylie had the power to veto an idea — and smelly feet and flies didn't sound particularly appetizing.
"What about balloons — balloons go up, up, and away if you accidentally let them go," Delaney suggested. "And they're pretty and colorful — and every birthday party has them."
"That's just it," Sadie jumped in. "Cupcakes with balloons on them are so ordinary. We're PLC. We can do better than that."
Lexi took out her sketchbook. Designing cupcake decorations was her job. "Sadie's right. What if we did something like this ..." She drew a cupcake with blue piping around the edges and a black fondant top to represent the trampoline. In the middle of the cupcake was a small figure of a boy bending his knees with his arms in the air.
"Ooh, that is amazing," Kylie said, watching as Lexi used her colored pencils to bring the cupcake to life on the page. "We could use fondant to mold the little jumping guys."
"And no boring vanilla or chocolate flavors either," Jenna insisted. As the official taste tester, it was her job to make each cupcake delectable. "I'm thinking chocolate-chocolate chip cake filled with marshmallow and churro cupcakes with a hint of cinnamon to give the vanilla a kick."
"Nice." Sadie high-fived her. "Do you suppose we'll get to try out those trampolines when we make the delivery?"
"Tu mejor que yo — better you than me!" Jenna said. "I get motion sickness if my little brothers bounce on the couch."
"Then I'd say we have a plan," Kylie said, taking notes in her binder. "Let's get jumpin' on those cupcake recipes."CHAPTER 2
Anything You Can Do, I Can Do ...
Saturday morning, bright and early, Sadie's dad showed up with Sadie in his contractor's truck to drive with Kylie to the trampoline party.
"This sounds like an easy order," Mr. Harris said as the girls loaded four boxes in the backseat. "You didn't give me a Leaning Tower of Pisa or a seven-foot-tall spinning sphere to build for you this week."
"Nope," Kylie said, climbing in beside the boxes. "No crazy cupcake display. This order was easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy."
"Every time you say that you jinx us," Sadie reminded her. "Remember when we had to deliver that order to the horse show and we got stuck in traffic for two hours?"
Her dad tuned to the news on the radio. "Traffic reporter says it's all clear," he said. "We should be there in plenty of time."
"You see?" Kylie said. "No need to worry, Sadie."
They made it to the party with a half hour to spare. The trampoline studio was a giant, indoor play-park, filled with ball pits, slides, tumbling mats, and — of course — trampolines of all shapes and sizes for kids to jump on.
"Where would you like us to put these?" Sadie asked the birthday boy's mom. She and Kylie each carried two boxes.
"Why don't you set them down over there?" The mom pointed to a table decorated with dinosaur plates, cups, and streamers. "We have some platters for you to arrange them on."
"Roar!" A little boy jumped out in front of Sadie. She was startled for a second — and nearly dropped the boxes of cupcakes.
"Hey!" she said, tightening her grip. "You scared me! We almost had a cupcake catastrophe."
"ROAR!" the boy repeated. "That's my T. rex voice."
"Well, it's impressive," Kylie complimented him. "You must be Justin, the birthday boy."
"How'd ya know?" he asked, eyes wide.
Kylie pointed to his T-shirt that read, "I'm the Birthday Boy."
"Oh." He grinned sheepishly. "I can't read yet." He raced back to his classmates, who were all jumping headfirst into a pit filled with colorful plastic balls.
Kylie glanced over at Sadie who was mesmerized watching the action. "You want to try it, don't ya?" Kylie teased her. "You want to go jump in the ball pit."
"Kinda." Sadie blushed. "Would that be silly? An eleven-year-old playing with kindergartners?"
Kylie put down her boxes and took Sadie's cupcakes from her. "I'll set these up. You go have some fun."
She put out all the cupcakes on the platters, admiring how each of the fondant figures attached to a toothpick was a little boy or girl in midair. They were perfection! She looked around the room for Sadie and spied her on a huge trampoline with Justin. When she walked over, she discovered the pair trying to outjump each other.
"Betcha can't do a knee drop into a backflip," the little boy dared Sadie.
"Oh yeah? Watch this!" Sadie expertly dropped to her knees, then sprang in the air into a flip.
"I can bounce higher than you," Justin taunted her. "I can bounce all the way to the moon!"
Sadie never backed down from a challenge. "But can you do it with your eyes closed?" she dared him back.
"Wait, Sadie," Kylie tried to warn her, "I'm not sure that's a good idea ..."
But Sadie paid no attention — she was too determined to win this trampoline showdown. Kylie watched as her friend covered her eyes with her hands and bounced higher and higher on the trampoline.
"Go! Go! Higher! Higher!" Justin egged her on.
Sadie was laughing and bouncing wildly. "Check this out!" she said, doing another backward somersault — this time with her eyes closed. Kylie watched it unfold in slow motion: Sadie flipped in the air but missed the trampoline on her landing. She crashed to the floor and fell flat on her back.
"I win!" Justin cheered triumphantly.
Kylie raced to Sadie's side. She was lying on a mat, dazed. Her foot was twisted under her.
"Are you okay, Sadie?" Kylie asked, helping her sit up.
"Yeah, just embarrassed that I lost to a five-year-old."
A crowd of kids and parents was now gathered around them, and Mr. Harris pushed his way through.
"What happened, honey? Are you okay?" he asked anxiously.
"I'm fine, Dad," Sadie replied. "I just got the wind knocked out of me, that's all." She leaned on Kylie and tried to stand up — but her foot gave way under her.
"Ouch!" She grimaced at the pain.
"You are not okay," Mr. Harris insisted. "I hope you didn't break something."
Sadie gritted her teeth and put pressure on her sore foot. "It's fine, it's fine. I just need to walk it off ..."
She hobbled around the floor, and Kylie saw tears welling in Sadie's eyes. It hurt terribly.
"Sadie, I think you should go to the hospital and get it x-rayed," Kylie said softly.
Mr. Harris nodded. "I agree. I'll bring the car around, and we'll go to the emergency room."
Justin's mom brought over a chair. "I'm so sorry," she apologized.
"No, it's not your fault," Sadie insisted. "I was the one who told Justin I could do it with my eyes closed. It was silly and immature."
"It was cool!" Justin said. "But I didn't mean for you to get a boo-boo."
"I know you didn't." Sadie tried to smile. "Let's just hope it's not a big boo-boo."CHAPTER 3
If there was one thing Sadie hated, it was staying still — and that was precisely what the doctor at the hospital had prescribed. Lots of rest, lots of relaxation: fractures of the metatarsal bone only healed that way. She felt silly letting her mom fuss over her while she just lay there in bed with her foot wrapped tightly in a bandage. She'd skinned her knees dozens of times, even twisted her ankle and been on crutches. But this was the first time she'd ever broken a bone. Her pride hurt as much as her foot.
"I know you're not happy about this," her mom said, propping a pillow under Sadie's leg. "But it's Dr. Cohan's orders."
"Knock-knock!" her older brother Tyler said, tapping on her door. "So how'd you manage to break your foot? You didn't try some crazy trick on the new RipStik, did you?"
"I don't want to talk about it," Sadie grumped. Frankly, it was too humiliating!
"Your sister had a little accident," Mrs. Harris explained. "She was jumping on a trampoline at a birthday party and fell off."
Her other older brother, Corey, poked his head in the room. "Hey, Dad says you got your butt kicked by a kindergartner. Way to go!"
Sadie rolled her eyes. "Could everyone please just go away and leave me alone?" She pulled the cover over her head.
"What about your basketball game this week against the Stamford Sea Lions?" Tyler asked. He had a one-track mind and it was always on sports. "Coach Walsh is gonna have your head!"
"I don't wanna talk about it," Sadie repeated. Couldn't they just let it go? She knew Coach Walsh would be disappointed — the Sea Lions were a tough team with a near-perfect record. Then there was her cupcake club. They had so many orders scheduled and she was leaving them one baker short.
"This is a disaster!" Sadie moaned. "My life is ruined! Ruined!" She knew she was being a bit melodramatic, but that's the way she felt. Like everything that mattered to her had to go on hold because of this stupid accident.
"Okay, guys, let's leave your sister alone to rest." Her mom ushered Tyler and Corey out of the room. "I think she feels bad enough without you two making it worse."
"Exactly!" came a muffled voice from under the blankets.
When the door shut behind them, Sadie came out from hiding and reached for her cell phone to text Kylie.
Can't believe this!!!! she typed with a sad-face emoji after it.
You'll be okay! Kylie immediately texted back. Lexi's mom says broken bones heal quickly. She added four smiley faces after that.
Sadie sighed. Dr. Poole was a veterinarian. Maybe she was talking about dog and cat bones, not people's!
No school, no basketball, no RipStik, no cupcake club ... what else was there in life?
Hello? Kylie texted. U there?
GTG, Sadie wrote back and turned off her phone. Nothing anybody could say would convince her this wasn't the worst thing that had ever happened. She wished she could hit Instant Replay and redo the whole morning. Why did she have to get on that silly trampoline anyway? What was she trying to prove? That she was better at it than a five-year-old? It was silly and reckless, and now she regretted it. But it was too late. The damage was done.
Once again, there was a knock at her door.
"I thought I told you to bug off!" Sadie shouted angrily, figuring either Tyler or Corey had come back to torture her.
When the door creaked open, she hurled a foam football at it. "Out! Get out!"
Coach Walsh ducked, but the ball still bounced off her head. "Whoa! Take it easy. I come in peace," she teased.
"Oh my gosh! Coach, I'm so sorry! I thought you were one of my annoying brothers," Sadie apologized.
"Nope, just your annoying basketball coach," Coach Walsh said, handing Sadie a white paper bag. "I got you some jelly doughnuts. I always find they're the best medicine for whatever ails you."
Sadie nodded and took one out. The smell of sugar immediately perked her up. She was surprisingly hungry after the whole morning ordeal.
"I bet you didn't expect to see me here, huh?" her coach asked.
"Not really," Sadie replied, licking the powdered sugar off her fingertips. She'd never seen Coach Walsh outside a basketball court or locker room, and certainly never out of her green-and-white Blakely Bears uniform. She usually wore her black hair in a ponytail tucked under a baseball cap. But now it was long, loose, and flowing in soft waves down her back.
"Your parents called me and told me what happened," she explained.
Sadie rolled her eyes. "It's humiliating. I was at a birthday party for five-year-olds, and I fell off the trampoline because I was showing off."
Coach Walsh nodded. "I think you should stick to jump shots instead of jumping on trampolines."
"It's a pretty bad break," Sadie said, sighing. "The doctor thinks I might need surgery."
"I know. And I also know how upset you are — maybe even a little scared too?"
Sadie shrugged. "Yeah, I've never had an operation before. I keep picturing it like one of Kylie's Frankenstein movies."
Coach Walsh smiled. "I don't think Dr. Frankenstein will be doing the surgery. I'm sure you'll have an excellent orthopedist."
"I guess," Sadie said, sighing. "Still, it's scary."
"It is scary," her coach replied. "And sometimes you have to face scary head-on. If a player from the opposing team is coming at you, do you turn and run — or do you stand your ground?"
Sadie knew Coach Walsh was trying to give her one of her famous pep talks — but it wasn't working. She still felt terrible. "Why did this have to happen?" she asked quietly.
"Things happen," Coach Walsh answered. "Stupid things. Bad things, and often to good people. The question you should be asking yourself isn't 'Why?' It's 'What am I going to do about it?' The challenges in life show us who we really are."
Sadie considered for a few minutes. "I guess I have to wait and see what the doctor says. She said we'll know in a day or two if I need surgery."
"Until then, you'll hope for the best, right?" her coach said. "No moping, no whining 'Woe is me,' no throwing footballs at people's heads."
Sadie chuckled. "Unless it's my brothers'."
Coach Walsh held out her hand to shake. "Deal!" Then she dug into the bag of doughnuts. "I could tell you 'doughnut' worry, everything will be okay," she said. "But that would be a pretty bad pun, don't you think?"
For the first time that entire day, Sadie smiled. "An awful pun! As bad as one of Jenna's. But thanks for saying it."
"I mean it," Coach Walsh said, patting Sadie on the back. "The famous writer Oscar Wilde said, 'The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole.'"
Sadie scratched her head. Who knew Coach Walsh was into reading — or that she could be so deep? She took another doughnut out of the bag and examined it. "You know jelly doughnuts have no holes."
Excerpted from Sweet Victory by Sheryl Berk, Carrie Berk. Copyright © 2015 Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. Up, Up, and Away,
2. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do ...,
3. R & R,
4. The Best Medicine,
5. Back to Business,
6. In the Dark,
7. Good as New,
8. That's What Friends Are For,
9. Herbie at the Helm,
10. In the Zone,
11. Cupcakes for a Cause,
12. Back in the Game,
13. Peace Offering,
Hula-rious Pineapple Cupcakes,
Coach's Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes,
Coyote Creamsicle Cupcakes,
Carrie's Q & A: Blakely Rae Colvin, Founder, Cupcakes for Cancer,
About the Authors,
A Sneak Peek at The Fashion Academy Series,