Three Ingredients Jar of Spooky Things

Oh applesauce! You might think this is a new episode and I don’t want to tease you…  Sorry, but it’s not more of the serial – I’m just telling you about something new.

Story Jar_Crystal ball

Cookbook-II Jar of Spooky Things

When I was doing my “Three Things” writing exercise (which inspired our first “interactive” serial) I made a jar filled with things written on strips of scrap paper.  I’d draw three bits of paper and write until I had mentioned each of the things.  If I was moved to keep writing after I had worked all three into whatever story snippet I came up with, then all the better.

Since this incarnation of the culinary mystery is part ghost story, I’ve wanted to add a spooky element to the random things that drive the tale – your ingredients.  But… the truth is, I really have a lot on my plate these days and I couldn’t think of an easy way to add another type of ingredient to our culinary mystery.  Then my eyes fell upon my three things exercise jar.  So I’ve repurposed the old Mason jar.  Now it’s the Jar of Spooky Things.Crystal w-Story Jar 06-29-14

To ensure that I really do use random ghostly elements, Crystal is on hand to supervise.  She has extraordinary supervisory skills.  Big-brother Aspen is schedule oriented.  He lets me know quite loudly when I’m up past my bedtime.  Between the two of them, they usually keep me in line. Well okay, so they have their hands — I mean paws full sometimes.Aspen-Crystal-New-Blanket 2-2014

Next Up – Squash, Ice, Goat’s Milk

Episode-4 will feature the ingredients: Squash, Ice, and Goat’s Milk.  Add to that mixture, the Spooky IngredientPhosphorescent.

See you next weekend!

Teagan sig

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

These images are the property of Teagan R. Geneviene

Three Ingredients II – 3: Aspic, Quail, Puff Pastry

Coco Lime SlushyToday’s ingredients are from Suzanne at A Pug in the KitchenI’m so excited on her behalf, because her recipe won a Whole Foods Market contest Your Best Drink for a Crowd! She didn’t know I was going to share that, but I’m pleased as punch. Or should I say that I’m silly over this slushy?

Next week’s ingredients come to you from Albuquerque, New Mexico and my friend RC.  I do miss the Land of Enchantment and my friends there.

I hope those of you who like long episodes can forgive me for a rather abbreviated post.  Mid-week I have a special task, and I need part of my weekend to prepare for it. I didn’t format a recipe for you this week, but there is a video.  Follow the links to recipes for the Suzanne’s Coco Lime Slushy and the vintage tomato aspic.

Now I bid you a spirited Bon appétit!

3.  Aspic, Quail, Puff Pastry

Maestro Martino, still on one knee, placed his hand over his heart… or over where his heart would be if he wasn’t a ghost.  He gazed adoringly at Granny Fanny.  Her eyebrows knitted.  It seemed like the cat had her tongue.  Finally she cleared her throat and turned to me.

“Paisley dear, is this strange, but very charming man one of your friends?” she asked.1920s Refrigerator

Then I was the one who was perplexed.  I was sure the first thing Granny would notice was the fact that there was a ghost in her kitchen!  However, when I took a good look at Maestro, I realized that he no longer had that semi-solid appearance.  He looked as rock-solid as the rest of us.  For some reason I found that development very unsettling.

I remembered his comment, “Well, I am one powerful poltergeist, Signorina!” and I was worried.  I couldn’t say quite why… but I had a good case of the heebie-jeebies.
While I stood in confusion, Granny’s hostess reflex kicked in.

“There’s a nice tomato aspic in the icebox if ya’ll want anything else,” she said, but then her eyes fell on the uneaten feast on the kitchen table.

http://eatjax.com/?p=5885

Vintage McCalls Recipe

It was actually a refrigerator.  Granny was quite proud of it, but she still called it an icebox.  She opened the door and took out the aspic, despite the abundance of food on the table.  She cut a slice of it and put it on a small plate that matched her teacups — green with a blue chrysanthemum design.  I noticed her hands were shaking.  Granny was steady as a stone. In all the drama and close calls we’d had, I never once saw her hands shake.

She also left the refrigerator door open, another thing that was very unlike her.  She offered all three of us the aspic.  Andy and I stood mutely and shook our heads to say no.  He cleared his throat as if he would speak. He even opened his mouth, but no words came out.

Grannys teacupI had never seen my grandmother act in such an odd manner.  I whispered to Andy to be ready to catch her if she fainted.  Andy moved closer to her.  I think he was about to introduce himself, but Granny’s strange behavior kept him silent.

“The Wongs are sending over some quail tomorrow,” she said in a hollow, absent tone.  “With half the family going to California to visit relatives, they’re cutting back the restaurant’s hours.  Arabella said they had too much food, so she’s sending some things to all the ladies in our book group.”

Granny placed the plate on the counter.  “Paisley,” she said, and the second use of my proper name did not escape me.  It usually meant I was on thin ice.  Or that Granny was in a very emotional state.  When I saw the undefinable expression in her eyes, I almost wished that this time “Paisley” meant I was in trouble.

buster n lucy

Buster Keaton and Lucille Ball

“Paisley, where are your manners?  Aren’t you going to introduce me?” she asked with a pointed look at Andy and a covert glance at Maestro.

I gave my old friend Andy a rather formal introduction.  I was that nervous.  The whole time I was trying to think of what to say about the ghost!  Andy shook Granny’s hand and was extremely polite.  I noticed that he kept cutting his eyes toward the spirit in an anxious way.

“And this,” I began uncertainly. “Well, this is Maestro Martino.  He’s… he’s a chef.”

Vintage world around us magIt seemed that Maestro was a rather fickle specter.  A moment earlier he had been overcome at Granny’s presence.  It seemed the refrigerator had been equally fascinating.  When I looked at the spirit he was bent over and leaning inside the electric icebox, murmuring and marveling about the technology.

As Maestro leaned further into the refrigerator Granny suddenly leapt toward it.  She gave his bottom a firm push.  Then she slammed the door shut and leaned back against it with Maestro inside.

“He’s a chef,” Granny said, arching one eyebrow at me.  “And he’s a ghost. When were you going to get around to that part, Paisley Idelle Peabody?”

Applesauce!  She’d used my whole name.  I really was in trouble.

“What do you think you were doing, bringing a ghost into my kitchen?” Granny Fanny demanded.

Muffled complaints emanated from the refrigerator.  Maestro Martino seemed to have gotten over his infatuation with refrigeration technology.  The stifled grumbles became more pronounced.

“Please, release me signora!” he cried.  “How could you do such a thing? My piccina puffed pastry!  Pardon me please, I present no problem. I am one pleasing poltergeist, I promise you,” he carried on with unashamed begging.Skull Ghost Bottle

Then Maestro started hiccupping again, in between pleas to be let out of the refrigerator.  Granny looked aghast.  She took in a breath and her eyes widened.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody!  That ghost is drunk!” she said.

Her eyes fell to the shards of the broken wine bottle on the floor.  Both her eyebrows went up when she saw the skull, which was still intact.  I thought she was catching on to what had happened.  Then she saw the ancient crate Andy and I brought from the abandoned factory — the crate where we found the cursed bottle where Maestro had been… marinating for who knew how many years.

Meanwhile the complaints from inside the refrigerator ceased.  At first I didn’t noticed that the pleas were replaced by a smacking sound.

Granny plopped down into one of the white ladder back chairs at the kitchen table.  She motioned to the crate.

“Andrew,” she began and I cringed to think she had used Andy’s given name because that probably meant he was in trouble with her too.  “Why don’t you open another wine bottle. We might as well see if he has a friend in there.”

Andy looked as relieved as I felt.  He opened the crate and hesitantly chose a bottle.  “You don’t really think…” his voice trailed away.  “No. That would be too impossible.”

As Andy uncorked the bottle of wine, a loud sound from the refrigerator made us all turn.

The ghost gave a grand belch.

***

How to Make: Quick Puff Pastry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_tgP6h6iAQ

 

***

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

Thanks to Siobhan for reviving the blog tour (and promoting my “Atonement, Tennessee”).
She has generously added a link to the first *8* chapters of her work in progress. You will love the gorgeous photos of her mother too.
Enjoy,
teagan

Siobhan Daiko

I love writing this blog, especially when visitors leave comments. A regular commentator is Teagan Geneviene and I really enjoy visiting her blog. When I read her post Meet My Main Character Blog Tour, and saw that she hadn’t found anyone to tag, I tagged myself. If you’ve visited her blog, you’ll know what fun it is – please drop by and read about the main character in her WIP, the sequel to Atonement, Tennessee. Teagan says, “You’ll meet many familiar characters in book 2, Atonement in Bloom. Once again, Ralda Lawton is the main character and primary narrator. Lilith the calico is back too, and the parts of the story Ralda can’t see are told through the cat’s eyes. The story is an urban fantasy, inspired by ancient Celtic mythology.” atonement_in_bloom_1_03-24-2014

Now it’s my turn in the “Meet My Main Character Blog Tour.”

For this virtual tour, we have to…

View original post 685 more words

Three Ingredients II – 2: Stilton Cheese, Rum, Pine Nuts

Pug Episode 2As I get to know each reader, all of you manage to become my heroes and sheroes. I hope you’re able to step outside yourselves and see the obstacles you’ve overcome and the things you’ve achieved the way I see them.  I’m proud to know each and every one of you.

During the relatively brief time I’ve been acquainted with Olga Núñez Miret, I’ve seen her be incredibly prolific as a writer.  I’ve said that I Olgas_Family-Lust-Camerascan’t even read books as fast as she seems to write them!

One of her most recent novels is Family, Lust and Cameras. Olga contemplates the thought, “What would happen if your life became the 1954 Hitchcock film Rear Window?” I just got this novel for my Nook, and can’t wait to take a peek (pardon the pun)!

Olga supplied the “ingredients” for today’s episode.  I’ve also given you a short video and a recipe.

Now, what do you get when you combine delicious food, the 1920’s, and a ghost?  Let’s find out.  Bon appétit!

2.  Stilton Cheese, Rum, Pine Nuts

Political cartoon criticizing the alliance between the prohibition and women's suffrage movements. The genii of Prohibition emerges from a bottle labelled "intolerance". Wikipedia.

Political cartoon criticizing the alliance between the prohibition and women’s suffrage movements. The genii of Prohibition emerges from a bottle labelled “intolerance”. Wikipedia.

The fizzy purple vapor dissipated and I found that my eyes had not deceived me.  A strange, semi-solid man bowed before me.  I was too stunned to think.  It seemed like the purple mist befuddled my head.  I gradually became aware of one other thing, a shrill unpleasant sound that went on and on…

“Andy!” I cried, suddenly becoming aware again.

My dear old friend Andy Avis, was screaming like a school girl.  I grabbed his arm and shook him.  He stopped screaming.  For five seconds.  Then he screamed right into my face.

I felt like slapping him, and only partly to bring him to his senses.  However, riotous giggling shocked both of us to silence.  The ghost stood in the kitchen bent double with laughter.  Apparently he found Andy’s reaction most amusing.

As seems to happen to me in times of stress, one detail stood out to me more than anything else.  I turned to Andy but pointed to the apparition.  “You can see him?” I said, and I wasn’t sure if it was a question or an accusation.

Daisy, the ghost woman, told me that though I hadn’t known it, I had the gift for seeingCasper cooking spirits.  She said Granny Fanny could too, but my grandmother had suppressed the
ability.  However, as you might expect, not everyone could see ghosts.  So I was surprised that Andy was able to see the spirit sitting sprawled at Granny’s kitchen table.

Before I took another breath I whirled on the ghost and demanded, “How can he see you?”

The apparition who had materialized from the gaudy bottle of spirits sobered.  He stuck out his lower lip in an exaggerated expression of consideration that I had a feeling was a habit with him.

“Well, I am one powerful poltergeist, Signorina!” he said between hiccupping giggles.  “It’s no effort for me to let anyone see me, and sometimes they do whether or not I’m intending it,” the ghost told me.

I thought poor Andy’s eyes were going to pop right out of his head.

The spirit looked longingly at the food on the table.  Andy and I hadn’t even started our meal.

He licked his lips and sighed.  “Signorina, a nice Stilton Cheese would be beautiful with that,” he said wistfully.Vintage girl broken dish card

“Err… Would you care for anything?” I asked, knowing that after all, Granny would expect me to be a good hostess.  Then I gave my head a shake.  Had I really said that?

“I rarely partake.  Sometimes that doesn’t turn out so well,” he said, but his eyes never strayed from the food.  “But if I could just take a whiff,” he said leaning toward the table — and closer to Andy.

With a blanched face and panicked eyes Andy staggered backward.  There was nowhere for him to go, so he bumped hard against the table.  The ornate wine bottle wobbled precariously at the edge for a moment, and then it crashed to the blue and white tile floor.  It shattered into dozens of pieces.

The ghost shrieked.

Andy shrieked when the ghost did.

I shrieked at both of them to stop their shrieking!

However, I had an unexpected concern for the spirit.  “Are you all right?  I mean, I’ll bet you were bound to that bottle somehow.  Weren’t you?  Are you going to be okay?”1920s Owl Clock

“Yes!  No!  Both!” he replied, rapid fire in his strange accent.  Then he gave a giddy giggle.  “Thank God that gaudy bottle is no more!  Can you imagine making your home in such an ugly vessel?” he commented.  “However I must have something, or there will be… consequences.  Ah! Symbol of the wisdom I should have had in life!” he exclaimed when he saw the carved wooden owl clock.  “This will do,” he said even as he held the clock to his chest and then disappeared.

The clock dropped the short distance to the counter, landing with a wobble and a clunk.  Andy and I looked at each other in stunned silence.  A moment later the spirit remerged from the owl clock.  He sprawled into one of the white ladder back chairs my grandfather had made.  That was when I noticed the Renaissance era garb beneath his apron.

Bene!  What a relief!” he said and lifted his brimless toque to mop his brow, or at least I thought the hat was called a toque.

I leaned closer, wondering if ghosts could sweat.  “If you didn’t like the bottle…” I began, but wasn’t sure how to ask what I wanted to know.  “Well, how come you’re — ” my words failed me so I pointed to the shards of the purple bottle.

15th centruy Pope“Ah Signorina,” the ghost began.  “It is a poignant tale.  I was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican.  I always preferred the pun as a form of humor, and the Pope, he shared this with me.  However, one evening we served dinner to a plethora of patrons, speaking Punjabi, Parsi, and Philippine.  I presented a perfect prawn pasta…  Perhaps something went awry with the translations…  But — you see, the short of it is that I pissed off the Pope!  And this predicament is my fate,” the ghost said with a mournful expression.

I marveled at the poltergeist’s capacity to use the letter “P” so many times in one sentence.  I gave a hard blink to clear my mind.  Then I looked from him to Andy, with no idea what to say or do next.  However, Andy found his voice.

“You’re not a genie then?  You really are a ghost?” Andy asked.  “Too bad.  Granting wishes would have been a great ice breaker,” he joked, abruptly loosening up to my surprised relief.  “We don’t have to rub the owl clock’s belly to get you to come out, do we?”

The poltergeist gave Andy that pursed lip expression, but then laughed heartily slapping his 1920s Life Faded blondeknee.  “No, young patron.  I can come and go as I please, so long as I bind myself to an object.  And mind you, I can’t be without one for more than a moment.  However, I tend to lose track of the time.  When I went into that gaudy bottle, I was in a great hurry, but that’s another story.  Anyhow, I think I was intoxicated on the noxious potion, so I did not wake for some little while.  Then you uncorked the bottle, and the rest, as you say, is history,” he said with a hiccup.

My nose wrinkled at the thought of being inside a bottle that smelled like that one had.  I said it must have been awful.  The apparition burped, blushed, and excused himself, making me think he might have become intoxicated from being cooped up in the wine bottle.

“Ah, one gets accustomed to the aroma,” he said affably.  “But now you speak of such… do you have any rum?  I do have a preference for the spirit, tee-hee!” he said with a giggle, inordinately pleased with his joke that a spirit would like spirits.

Alcohol into Sewer 1921 Library of Congress

Prohibition agents pouring alcohol into sewer, New York City, 1921 (Library of Congress)

When I explained prohibition, he looked very downcast.  He somehow hiccupped and burped at the same time.  Then he made a shocked comment about the state of things that would allow such a law.  Andy and I agreed enthusiastically.

I finally found my manners and thought to introduce myself and Andy.  The ghost bowed again, with a slight wobble.  “My great pleasure, Signorina o Signore.  I present myself, Maestro Martino.  Please do me the honor of calling me Maestro,” he said with a flourish.

Even as I wondered if I should curtsey or something, Andy tried to return the bow.  But he must have still felt as disoriented as I, because he stumbled back against the counter.  His elbow caught a small jar, overturning it.

“Oh gosh, Pip.  I’m sorry,” he said nervously, though I realized the jumpiness was because of the ghost, not the jar.

Andy righted the jar and peered through the glass.  “What are these?” he asked.

“They’re pine nuts,” I sighed.

Parrot PinThe pine nuts were tied to something that had me feeling a little blue.  “I got them as a treat for Cracker,” I said but both Andy and the ghost looked askance.  “Cracker is a beautiful parrot I’ve been looking after.  And she’s smart as all get-out too.  Anyway Cracker got really attached to a Federal marshal. The marshal got badly wounded.  And now Cracker hardly leaves his side,” I said, and sighed again before I could stop myself.

My friend nodded, but I could tell that Andy didn’t really get it.  However, Maestro pursed his lower lip and inclined his head in a very understanding way.  “And now you wonder if the pretty bird will return to you,” he said.  “The parrots, they are clever and devoted creatures, no?  If this marshal, you say?  A law man of some sort?” he asked and I affirmed.  “If this marshal has claimed her heart, perhaps she will still be your friend sometimes too.”

I tried to smile, but it only got halfway to my mouth.  “I don’t see how he can take care of Cracker… not in his line of work.  He travels sometimes for weeks at a time,” I complained, worried about the parrot’s welfare.chatelaine_1928 Feb

“Ah, you see!” the ghost exclaimed.  “There you have it!  You can take care of the parrot whenever he is away, keeping your friendship intact.”

That was something that had not occurred to me.  I guess I had been too preoccupied with feeling blue over everything.  First I couldn’t get anywhere with finding out who killed Daisy, the dainty dish.  Then I learned that I wouldn’t get to keep Cracker.  So I had been a real sad sack the past few weeks.

I heard the front door open and Granny’s muffled voice talking to Arabella Wong on the front porch.  “Oh now don’t you fret, Arabella.  It’s no trouble at all.  He’s such a cute little rascal.  You and Alastair have a good time, and get reacquainted with your cousins out west.  Don’t you worry about a thing,” Granny’s voice drifted to us in the kitchen.

The first thing that came to my mind was the fact that there was a sloshed spirit in Granny Fanny’s kitchen!  How was I going to explain that?  I probably should have told him to hide or get inside that owl clock to which he had “bound” himself a few minutes before.

Vintage Pug paintingScrabbling sounds distracted me and a second later Wriggles the pug raced excitedly into the kitchen.  The little dog skidded to a stop at Maestro’s feet.  He sniffed the strange Renaissance era boots, and then stretched up to investigate the white apron.  The pug scooted back a step and looked up inquisitively at the tall rippled white hat that sat jauntily on the ghost chef’s head.

The pug’s large eyes squinted as he took in the hat.  Enthusiastic yapping ensued.  Wriggles barked so hard that every yap pushed him backward a few inches.  I had a horrific sudden thought.  What would the ghost do, confronted with a barking little dog?  Instinctively I took a protective step toward Wriggles, but the dog barked all the more.  I supposed he was over-excited by then.

Granny’s voice grew closer and I heard her footsteps in the hallway, moving toward the kitchen.  First the rambunctious dog, and now my grandmother…  How would the intoxicated ghost react?  After all, I had just met him.  I couldn’t predict what the spirit would do when sober, let alone zozzled as he was.  Maestro even described himself as a1920s Man on Moon Drinking “powerful poltergeist.”  Could I trust him to continue to be as affable as he had so far been toward Andy and me — amid the dog’s yapping and the shock I expected my grandmother to display.  What if Granny started screaming like Andy had done? 
Applesauce!
 What was I going to do?

My grandmother was talking to us from the hallway as she walked, explaining that she was going to look after Wriggles while the Wongs went to California.  She said something about the food and asked if we needed anything else.  I knew she’d be in the room with us in about a second.  Before my over-worked noodle could think of anything to do, Granny Fanny walked into the kitchen.

She crossed the threshold and abruptly stopped and stood in mute astonishment.  Her brow knitted when she took in the chef’s old fashioned attire.

The ghost gasped, and I was afraid he would shriek the way he did when the antique bottle broke.  I saw a look of open mouthed astonishment on his face.

Che bella sorpresa!” he murmured on an exhaled breath.

For a moment I thought he’d been rendered speechless, but he quickly found his tongue.  “Such radiance, such unaffected beauty!  Please forgive my surprise,” Maestro said while Granny looked more puzzled than ever.

The ghost swept off his white toque, and the dog finally stopped barking.  Wriggles seemed afraid to get any closer, but he stretched as close to the hat as his short legs and body would allow.  His twitching black nose sniffed the brimless white hat.

To my amazement, Maestro Martino gave an even grander bow, and then he dropped to one knee at Granny Fanny’s feet.young Lucy blue

***

Harvesting Pine Nuts as a Food Source

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10dQ7ozCEMs

 

Recipe:  Stilton Dip with Red Pears and Carr’s Table Water Crackers

Stilton cheese dip

Recipe and Photo Credit:  StiltonCheese.co.uk

Preparation Time:  5 Minutes

Ingredients

10g/4oz Stilton blue cheese

3 tablespoons whipping cream

25g/1oz chopped walnuts, toasted

1 ripe red pear, thinly sliced

Carr’s Table Water Crackers with Cracked Pepper

Method

1. Lightly blend cheese and whipping cream

2. Stir in walnuts, Chill

3. Spread 2 teaspoons cheese mixture on Carr’s Table Water Crackers with Cracked Pepper

4. Top cheese mixture with pear slices

Makes 12 crackers

 ***

 

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images from Pinterest unless otherwise noted.

 

Cookbook-2 Begins! Cherries, Mascarpone, Marsala

Cat_menu_Episode-1Hello and welcome back!

I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve been patient during the past couple of weeks, while I got ready for Cookbook-2 of our Three Ingredients Serial.  

The first set of “ingredients” for Cookbook-2 came from Evelyne Holingue. I guess they’re leftovers,  because I’ve been hanging onto them.  Evelyne sent them just before the first Three Ingredients Serial concluded.  Thank you, Evelyne for being patient while I got around to using them.

The first time I visited Evelyne’s blog I was amazed by how much I feel she has accomplished.  The blog is charming and includes posts in English and French.  There are also links to some National Public Radio (NPR) recordings of her lovely voice as she reads her stories.  (Yes, Americans are always charmed by accents, but hers really is lovely.) You will also find information about her books, including Trapped in Paris.

I can’t promise to dive right in for immediate shenanigans and chaos. Sometimes it1920s face
takes a bit of writing for the ingredients to lead the story, but I hope to entertain you just the same.

The cupboards are bare — so leave a comment with your three food-related ingredients.  

As before, I’m determined to let your “ingredients” drive the story.  I considered moving this story several years forward… but that was just what I wanted to do.  When I sat down with the ingredients, “Marsala” had other ideas.  So Cookbook-2 picks up about a month after the previous story.  It also brings back an old friend from The Three Things serial. (And watch out for that Marsala. Wink.)

Bon appétit!

1.  Cherries, Mascarpone, Marsala

Lucille Ball teenaged 1The pile of pits grew steadily as I worked.  My thoughts were a million miles away so I did the task absently.  But I wasn’t so preoccupied that I didn’t pop one of the dark ripe cherries into my mouth now and then.

It had been a month since the spirit of Daisy, the dainty dish, asked me for help.  She wanted me to find out who killed her.  However, I was no closer to solving that mystery than I had been the night she made the request.  Daisy helped me get incriminating evidence against the murderous gangsters, but she asked for my assistance in return.

I sighed and ate another cherry.

I had not seen Daisy again since that night.  Despite her claim that both Granny Fanny and I could see spirits, I hadn’t seen her or any other ghost.  I was actually relieved about that part.  However, I was very frustrated at not finding any new information about Daisy or her death.  I didn’t see how I was going to be able to do anything helpful.  The idea of not keeping the promise I made to her irked me.1920s Owl Clock

Occasionally I looked up at the clock on the counter.  I didn’t want to be late.  I wondered where my grandmother had gotten that unusual clock.  It was set into a hand carved wooden owl.  It took a while for the clock to grow on me, but I decided that I liked it.  When the owl chimed fifteen minutes past the hour, I got up and washed my hands, popping one last cherry into my mouth.

As if on cue, Granny came into the kitchen.  She began mixing milk, coffee, and mascarpone cheese, humming an old song as she worked.

“If the train is on time, you and your friend are welcome to have a snack with us.  Arabella’s cousin might come with her, but I expect it will just be Arabella and me,” Granny said.

Arabella Wong’s family came to the United States from England.  (It was many generations since that branch of their family had been in Hong Kong.)  So tea was customary with the Wongs.  It was something Granny enjoyed too.

1920s RefrigeratorEver the generous and flexible hostess, Granny wouldn’t mind if I brought half the people on the train, or if Arabella brought her family and everybody who worked at Wong’s Chinese, for that matter.  The friendship between Granny and Arabella Wong
had grown since the night of the big shindig Granny catered.  The two women, without guns or knives, fought back Queenie Wetson’s henchmen long enough for Detective Daniels and the mysterious Mr. Farceur to move into action.

“Is it okay if I play that by ear, Granny?” I asked.

“Of course, Sweet Pea.  I know you young people have a lot of catching up to do,” she said amiably.

Excited yapping preceded the sound of a knock at the front door.  Granny didn’t seem surprised, but I wasn’t expecting to hear a dog.  I followed her to the door and greeted Arabella.  She had brought a little pug dog.  Its curled tail wagged merrily.

“Where did you come from?” I said as I stooped to scratch the dog’s back.

“I haven’t had him long.  This is Wriggles,” Arabella said and the little dog wagged his tail so hard that his entire back half wagged along with it.Vintage Pug

Granny laughed.  “I can see how he got his name.  It’s too bad he didn’t get to be in the pet parade,” she said, referring to part of the aforementioned party.

“Oh no, he gets into things. You know how puppies are, and Wriggles is only six months old.  There’s no telling what trouble he would have caused at a posh party like that,” she said, but then she put her hand to her mouth and giggled.

Arabella was right. The pet parade had turned into utter chaos, so we all laughed.  “But I suppose he would have fit right in with the other pets,” she added.  “Anyway, there wasn’t anyone at home today, and I didn’t want to leave him alone.  So thank you Fanny, for letting me bring him with me.”

A moment later I was on my way to Union Station.  To my delight, Granny let me use her yellow automobile.  It was as old as the hills, but she kept it in pristine condition.

When I reached the station I realized the train arrived early.  I looked all around for a familiar face.  Finally I saw a man standing at the courtesy desk, talking animatedly on the telephone.  I’d know him anywhere.  I moved up behind him and stayed quiet while he finished his conversation.  He hadn’t heard me sneak up on him.  After a moment he hung up the phone.

Union Station, Savannah, GA

Union Station, Savannah, GA

“Andy, look at you puttin’ on the Ritz!” I said, causing him to jump and turn around.

“Pip!  You’re the cat’s pajamas for picking me up.  It’s great to see you,” Andy Avis exclaimed.

Back where I lived in the same building with my group of friends in Florida, I had nicknamed Andy the Astronaute-man because he wrote science fiction type stories.  You know, like H. G. Wells or Jules Verne.  Thanks to John Ringling, Andy made connections out in Hollywood, California and sold one of his screenplays.  He had been living out there ever since.  Based on the nice suit of clothes he wore, Andy was doing Buster Keatonpretty well for himself in Hollywood.

“Mona wrote to say she was going to Hollywood for that short film thing you got started back at Ca’d’Zan.  So I was surprised you would leave,” I said, trying not to let speculation show on my face.

My shy little Astronaute-man had always carried a torch for our beautiful friend Mona, but she didn’t return his feelings.  I knew he took it hard when she developed a really serious interest in our other friend, Boris.  Andy blushed and looked down.  I figured he was still hurting from that.

“Actually, that was one reason why I took this trip.  It kind of smarts to see Mona.  But she was looking great, as always.  Said to give you a big hug for her,” he said and followed Mona’s instruction.

Andy wasn’t much taller than me, so he had to bend back some to get my feet off the 1920s Friends at Beachground in a big bear hug.  We both laughed.  It was the bee’s knees to see Andy again.  Yes, I had been missing my little group of friends.  But I didn’t realize just how terribly I missed them until that moment.  I brushed a tear away while Andy wasn’t looking.

“One of the executives at the studio, Manny Mayer, he knows I’m from Florida, and he figured that wasn’t much different from Savannah,” Andy said and rolled his eyes.  “The guy needs to brush up on his geography… But I remembered you were here.  So anyway, I’m here for a couple of reasons,” he chattered away.

I chuckled to myself about the executive.  From then on, I’d think of him as Manny Mayer the Movie Maker.  After all, it went along with the other nicknames I’d given folks, Andy the Astronaute-man, Boris the Ballerina, and Frankie the Fireman.  Frankie — I didn’t want to think about him any more than Andy wanted to think about Mona.  Wishing my thoughts had not gone there, I turned my full attention back to Andy.

“So Manny asked if I could look at an abandoned factory he’s thinking of buying here.  He even gave me power of attorney to buy it, if I think it’s decent.  So I’m hoping we
can go take a look at it,” he said with an imploring expression.

“Sure thing,” I told him.  “Want to go check it out right now?” I asked and he agreed wholeheartedly.1914_Ford_Model_T_Speedster

“But here’s the fun part,” Andy said in a conspiratorial tone and wriggled his eyebrows playfully.  “The building predates the Civil War.  I looked into it before I ever left Hollywood.  It was a stop, a sort of hideout for blockade runners back then!” Andy said excitedly.  “There’s no telling what kind of stuff we might find in there — Naturally I told Manny about all that.  I wouldn’t swindle anybody.  He laughed and told me if I found anything I wanted that it was mine.”

I got caught up in Andy’s enthusiasm and grinned at him.  “That was a long time ago,” I said gently, not wanting to disappoint him.  “It’s probably been ransacked of anything good years ago.”

Maybe not…” he said in a meaningful tone.  “It’s supposed to be haunted!

Well, I can tell you… that was one spooky old building.  There was no wonder it had a abandoned factoryreputation for being haunted.  With all the cobwebs and the thick coat of dust that covered everything, it was hard to tell much about what was inside the old factory.

So Andy set about business first, and went over the big old place from top to bottom, making sure it was still solid, at least for the most part.  He said that it fit within the guidelines Manny Mayer gave him, so afterward went into town and took care of the paperwork.  Mr. Mayer was the proud owner of an abandoned Civil War era factory.

We decided to come back with flashlights the next day, so we could get a better look at things.  However, there was one storeroom where part of the floor above it had fallen in.  Under the debris we spotted some old crates that turned out to be filled with bottles of Italian wine.  The crates were heavy, but the two of us managed to get them to Granny’s automobile.

I told Andy that he could store them at Granny’s for the time being.  Granny Fanny also offered the guest room to him.  So we headed back to the cottage.

When we got there I found a note from my grandmother saying that she would be spending the evening with her ladies group.  She also left fried chicken, hush puppies, and coleslaw. “Incase Andy decided to stay,” the note said.  Based on the amount of Back porchfood, she must have been pretty sure he would stick around.  Andy’s expression when he saw all that home-cooked food was enough to confirm he was at least going to stay for dinner.

We had left the crates of wine on the cottage’s wraparound porch, beside the kitchen door.  All the crates looked old, but one of them was even older than the rest. We had to move it very carefully because it was about to fall apart.  Andy opened the crate and pulled out a remarkably ornate bottle.

Marsala!  I guess we should have white wine with chicken, but I won’t stand on formality.  Will you?” he asked with a wink.  Then looking more serious he warned, “It might be spoiled.  I can’t make out the date, but this must be plenty old.”

Andy dusted off the label.  We could make out a vineyard name, and Italy, and other words that told us it was in fact wine, but the date was not readable.  The bottle was so dirty that I insisted on washing it before we opened it.  I took a damp cloth and carefully cleaned every curve and crevice of the lovely old bottle.  Some of the designs were amazingly intricate.  This was going to be a very special bottle of wine, I was absolutely certain!

1922 Cherry RocherI didn’t realize that I was humming as I worked until Andy asked me what I as singing.  Suddenly puzzled, I stopped because I had no idea what the song was.  It was a tune I wasn’t even aware of knowing.  I hummed it louder for Andy, but he didn’t recognize it either.  I shrugged it off.  Obviously I must have heard the tune somewhere.
Turning the bottle this way and that, I admired my handiwork, as well as the beautiful design.  Only then did I notice that the top of the bottle’s neck was shaped like a skull with two swords beneath it.  I made a face and showed Andy.

“You don’t think that means it’s poison do you?” he asked.  “I’m sure the label doesn’t say that. And the seal hasn’t been broken.”

I had really been excited about that gorgeous bottle of wine.  I didn’t want to think it was anything other than what the label said.

“Wait.  For poison they use a skull and crossbones.  Those things look like swords — not bones.  Isn’t that the pirate symbol?” I commented and Andy nodded and grinned.

“Maybe that means it really is a pirate’s bottle!” he offered.  “This wine could have been made before the Civil War.  Or even before that.  It could date back to the American Revolution — or who knows how far!”

I handed Andy the corkscrew and told him to do the honors.  However, the cork was stubborn.  Finally I held the bottle with both hands, while he removed the cork.  It came loose with a reverberating pop, which I felt inside my teeth and eardrums.  The harmonic sound shifted into the melody I was humming a moment before.

“Holy Hannah,” Andy commented quietly.Skull Ghost Bottle

For a moment I thought the bottle must have been mislabeled. I thought it must contain Champagne rather than marsala.  A sort of fizzy purple vapor filled the air, expanding wider and taller.  I started waving a napkin, trying to clear the air.  Then I sneezed.  It was a big bend your neck, eye-squinting, bless-you-and-everybody-around-you sneeze.  Like I said, the vapor was weirdly fizzy.

I was about to make a smart-alecky remark to Andy about the fact that he didn’t say “Bless you.”  But as I raised my head and opened my eyes I saw a man standing where the vapors had been.  He wore a white apron, but his clothes were from an era long past.  When I looked closely, I realized that he wasn’t particularly… well… solid.

He bowed quite formally.  “At your service, Signorina,” the ghost said.

***

Recipe:  Coffee Milk Mascarpone

Coffee Mascarpone

Recipe and Photo Credit:  Purewow.com

Yields:  1 cup

Total Time:  2 hours 25 minutes (includes chilling time)

Ingredients

½ cup mascarpone cheese

¼ cup strong espresso

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Ladyfingers or shortbread cookies, for serving

Cinnamon, for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cheese with the espresso, condensed milk and salt on medium speed until medium-stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Remove the coffee milk mascarpone from the refrigerator and let warm until just slightly chilled. Garnish with the cinnamon, if desired, and serve immediately with desired accompaniments.

 

All images from Pinterest unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

1905 Double-Decker Bus

Blog Tour (in my imagination)

I really do get a lot of satisfaction from writing this blog, and especially from my interactions with all of you, my friends.  Recently Mike and Evelyne, both tagged me to take part in the Meet My Main Character Blog Tour.  If you’ve visited their blogs, then you know how enjoyable they are  — if not, then you’re in for a treat.

Thanks so much, Evelyne and Mike, for including me in this tour!  I hope everyone will check out the other writers they have tagged for the tour as well!  There are a lot of wonderful indie novels out there.

Evelyne Holingue’s young adult novel is Trapped in Paris. Set in contemporary Paris and the Parisian suburbs.  Trapped in Paris is a fast paced action novel on a background of loss. Social and cultural differences separate Cameron and Framboise, yet when the two teenagers find themselves stuck at the airport in Paris, their paths cross, and they become unlikely partners.

trapped_in_paris_Evelyne

Michael S. Fedison’s The Eye Dancers also appeals to young adults and (not so young, like me) adults alike. It’s a story about friendship, overcoming obstacles, keeping the faith, and believing in possibilities.  The four main characters must learn valuable insights. The most important thing they need to learn is this:  Everything is connected.  Events and people that seem so far away, a universe away, are, in actuality, much closer to us than we ever dared to think.eye_dancers_lowres3

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

For this virtual tour, we have to answer a series of questions about the main character in a work-in-progress (WIP).  I have a few of those, but no time to actually do the work for which the “W” stands. However, I’m now focusing my efforts on one WIP — the sequel to Atonement, Tennessee.

veil_of_sky_open_1 copy

First Novel in the Atonement Series

You’ll meet many familiar characters in book-2, Atonement in Bloom.  Once again Ralda Lawton is the main character and primary narrator.  Yes, Lilith the calico is back too, and the parts of the story Ralda can’t see are told through the cat’s eyes.  The story is an urban fantasy.  It might not be okay for me to mention it outright, but if you miss the “Sookie” books, now that the well loved series set in a small Louisiana town (with HBO series based on it), has come to an end (wink-nudge-wink), then I think you will like my Atonement series.  There are no vampires (not that I know of), but there are characters inspired by ancient Celtic mythology.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

I’m excited to add that yesterday I wrote the prologue! And it is chapter-length.  (Maybe I was channeling Robert Jordan, who wrote thrilling detailed prologues… Though mine can’t compare with his.) While I have lots and lots of notes and some random scenes, this was the first significant writing I’ve gotten to do on the sequel.

Now for the blog tour questions…

1.  What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Ralda (Esmeralda) Lawton returns for book-2.  She’s a fictional character. Atonement, Tennessee, the first Ralda-in-car_dreamstime_xs_28934268book in the series, was a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel.  I designed everything about that story to be something I could do in the single month of NaNoWriMo.  Typically none of my characters are based on real people. But with the need for speed in mind, I let Ralda share some of my outlooks. Plus her profession is similar to mine.  But she isn’t me, I promise.

2.  When and where is the story set?TN Welcome Sign

Following the advice “Write what you know,” I wanted a small southern town as the setting.  I chose Tennessee for the state of my fictional town.  (Even making up a fictional town was intended for speed – it wouldn’t need as much research!) But what to name this town? Suddenly “Atonement” popped into my mind as the name for the town.  So my setting for book-2 is also the fictional town, Atonement, Tennessee.

 

3.  What should we know about him/her?

Hummm…  That’s really hard to say without giving away parts of the story.  And I don’t want to spoil anything for people who have not read the first book, Atonement, Tennessee.

3 friends oval

New Friends in Atonement

Okay…  Ralda has been hurt badly in the past, and more than once.  She’d like to keep an open mind about things like relationships, but she’s afraid to try.  Besides, she doesn’t think the “pluses” outweigh the “minuses” anyway.  On the other hand, she makes friends quickly and readily.  If she cares about someone, she’s fiercely protective.

She’s highly intuitive, and smart.  Those assets lead her to unravel the mysteries that surround her in her new home, Atonement, Tennessee.

 

4.  What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Meadow w-Butterflies

Meadow

Ultimately, what messes up Ralda’s life (repeatedly) are the supernatural beings that either live in or frequent the strange little town and the old estate house in which she lives (and its grave yard).  The main conflict?  Wouldn’t you know, I haven’t written a synopsis yet.  Let’s see if I can put it into words without giving everything away.

Lew with hat

Lew Lawton-Gyffes

Atonement in Bloom brings some new characters (pictured).  One is Lew.  Lew Lawton-Gyffes shows up in town claiming to be Ralda’s relative.  (She has little family to speak of, so it is a surprise to her.)  Whether or not he really is a distant relation of our heroine, we learn early on that he is Gwydion’s nephew.  Gwydion is one of the supernatural beings, so you can expect some excitement around Lew.

Lew has a purpose in coming to the tiny rural town.  He is looking for a wife.  As with many of my characters, Lew is not simply black and

Beira (Cailleach Bheur)

Beira (Cailleach Bheur)

white.  I like to leave you to make up your own minds about whether some characters are “good” or “bad.”

As in the first story, there are two conflicts.  First the town bursts into bloom in the middle of a winter snow storm.  But then, the plants and trees in Atonement and nearby farms begin to die, inexplicably — a serious problem in an agricultural area. Lew is mostly the cause of the other conflict (or maybe conflicts).

 

5.  What is the personal goal of the character?

Ralda Lawton just wants a peaceful life in her new town.  She succeeded in getting away from the big city by moving to quaint Atonement, Tennessee in book-1.  However, so far, her new life has been anything but quiet.  How could she know the tiny town rests on a very powerful ley line?  It seems to draw mythological entities like a magnet.TN_Ley-Lines

 

6.  Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Yes, I’ve settled on the title, and I’m pretty sure of my book cover.  Atonement in Bloom.  You can learn more about most of the characters here on my blog.  Using the Categories on the right-hand side of the page click on either “Atonement, Tennessee” or “Character Interviews.”

 Atonement_in_Bloom_1_03-24-2014

7.  When can we expect the book to be published?

As Pip, from The Three Ingredients would say, Applesauce!  I work full-time, and it is extremely stressful.  Then I spend all my free time on the blog serial.  So that doesn’t leave much time for my novels.  I make neither promises nor predictions.  However, I would very much like to finish and publish it before the calendar year is over.  I’d really like that a lot.  Universe?  Did you hear that Universe? I’m putting it out there…

 Now simmer down…  I’m not tagging you

If you’ve looked at this blog tour, you’re expecting my “tags” and links to other great indie books here.  I feel like I’m letting Mike and Evelyne (and myself) down, but nobody I approached wanted to be tagged.  So my part in this charming tour basically ends here and I have to “get off the bus.”

However, I do enjoy promoting others, whether or not I get anything from it. I just feel good, thinking I’ve given someone a chance or a compliment. Since my blog features a culinary mystery serial (The Three Ingredients) I’m sharing some lovely cooking and food related blogs since there was no one to tag.Cat_menu_Episode-6 copy

On the links below you’ll find dozens of delicious dishes to prepare (or if you’re like me to dream about).  And now that you’ve checked out Mike and Evelyne you have some lovely books to read while you wait for those delightful dishes to cook.

Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen

Ishita at Kooky Cookyng

Phuong at Dr. Phuong Le Callaway’s Store (Her blog is about leadership, rather than cooking.)

Please visit their sites and while you’re at it, check out some of the wonderful commenters and the great folks who’ve left a “like.”

Great-big-hugs to you all,

teagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prep for Cookbook-2: Interview with Daisy

Prepping the Kitchen for Cookbook-2

Dog-Cat-Cooking_dreamstime_s_24255835

For the past ten years or so, I’ve felt very lucky to have a work schedule that gives me every other Friday off. In a two week pay period, week-1 has me working four 9-hour days and one 8-hour day. While week-2 lets me work just four 9-hour days. But when I have a “short” weekend, it’s hard to get everything done.  You guessed it — this is not my three-day weekend, and my mind has been racing as I try to begin the next incarnation of our interactive serial.

I’m not quite ready to dive right into the new “cookbook.”  Any kitchen needs preparation before cooking up a feast. So for as another prelude, I’m going to interview the Daisy character.  I hope it entertains you.

Interview:  Daisy, the Dainty Dishcandle

Teagan:  Welcome Daisy. Thank you for taking physical form to kindly speak to everyone.

Daisy:  It’s my pleasure, Teagan. I’m happy to have a chance to tell your readers that they needn’t fear me as an apparition. I truly am a kind soul. While I would like to see justice for my murder, I don’t think I’m a vindictive sort of spirit. Although none of us knows what we’re capable of until we’re put to the test.

Teagan:  Of course.  These stories are always meant to be “in good fun” and harmless, though I hope I add some suspense and excitement along the way. (Smiles.)

You told Pip that you didn’t know who killed you.  (Daisy nods.)

But I gather that you have some suspicions, or at least some doubts about some of the people who are alive in the timeline of our culinary mystery.  (She sighs, and takes a tornadodeep breath.)

Daisy:  Things were very different then — a world away from your own world, Teagan.  My family was dirt poor, and sometimes my father gambled.  That usually ended badly. Female children often weren’t valued. My parents figured the best they could hope for was to marry me off the first chance they got.

But one spring there was a bad tornado.  You haven’t told about it in the story, but it was the same tornado that orphaned Pip’s granny.

Teagan:  That’s right.  The “ingredients” haven’t taken the serial to Granny Fanny’s past yet.

Daisy:  Well, we were luckier than Miss Fanny’s family. The tornado took most of the roof off our house, but we all got to the storm cellar.  However, we lost our cows and the crops were devastated. In desperation, my father gambled with the last cent they had.  He lost.

I was horrified to learn that he tried to sell me to Henry Kingston to cover his gambling losses. Until then, I never realized how little my parents valued me.  So I was hurt by those events in many ways.

Everyone thought Henry Kingston was taking me as his dainty dish, a tart, little more vintage queen of the maythan a harlot. Frankly, it was what I expected too.  I can’t tell you how frightened I was when my father left me with a strange man who worked for the Kingstons. He dumped me in an upstairs room of that big house, and left me there alone.  For hours I stared at the locked door in fear.  I strained my ears, listening all night for the sound of footsteps, or the squeak of the doorknob turning.

However, no one came.

The next morning a young maid came to help me draw a bath and give me a clean dress.  It was a hundred times nicer than the one I wore… the only dress I had left after the storm.  Her name was Hortense.  Later she became the Kingston housekeeper.  She was kind to me, but she seemed to always be nervous or even fearful. I was happy to see that in later years she got over whatever bothered her back then.

Henry Kingston treated me like a guest in his home.  But whenever I left the house, people were unkind to me.  Some called me names. Some children even threw rocks once.  I cried when I understood that it was because they thought I was just… you know… (Daisy looks down at her hands, folded in her lap.  A tear lands on the back of one hand, just below a wedding band.)

Teagan:  Kingston was kind to you. Did he really fall in love with you?1926 Wedding

Daisy:  (Smiles fondly) Yes he did.  And I loved him too. The last time I saw my parents, they were arguing with Henry.  No one realized I was within hearing.  Henry told them I was not his prisoner or anything else. He said they could take me home, as long as my father never gambled again.  I was stunned when they said it would be a burden, and then asked in a very accusatory way if Henry was going back on his word.

It hurt me deeply.  As I got older I realized that my family had always behaved indifferently to me. I tried to reconcile myself to it… that was just how it was.  You know?  (I nod.)

Soon Henry and I were married. The Justice of the Peace came to the estate house.  Henry invited a few of his closest friends.  They were polite and even charming that day.  But they always acted sort of cool toward me. Their smiles never reached their eyes.

And my step-son, Henry III… he told Pip the story of why he’s the third, rather than Henery II.  Anyway, little Henry never accepted me.  He often said cruel things — when his father wasn’t in the room at least.  He and his friends… they were bullies.  I hate to say it, but I was afraid to be alone with those boys.

Teagan:  You don’t think the boys… Did they have something to do with your death?1920s Vogue poster

Daisy:  As I said, I don’t know. The boys truly were cruel. However, there were plenty of people who were jealous.  Others were resentful and it showed in various ways.

Also, Henry was a wealthy man. To my knowledge, he was a good and honest man… But that was a time when business was not typically discussed in front of the women folk. Sometimes he seemed more worried than I thought he should be for ordinary business things.

Teagan:  I get the impression that your happiness with Henry was always overshadowed by the attitude of other people toward you.  I guess they thought he “married below his station” as they used to say.  (Daisy nods.)

So you think it’s possible that someone killed you, whether deliberately or maybe accidentally, to get at your husband?  Or maybe you just got in the way when they meant to hurt him.  Collateral damage, as some might say.

Daisy:  I’ve had a long time to think about it… and I just don’t know.  However, some people make a chill go over me when I see them.  My step-son for one. Bradley Binghamton, who grew up to become a bishop, of all things!  When I look at him, thereNiven as Binghamton is just something that bothers me. I can’t put my finger on it. He and his brother, Byron — and Charlie Childers, the man with the chihuahua? Those four boys were thick as thieves.

But it isn’t just my doubt about the boys that leaves me restless. There were others.  Queenie for one. The years have been kind to her, but she isn’t much older than my step-son. Her beginnings were poor too, but not so poor as to prevent her looking down on me — and resenting my suddenly improved status. She behaved spitefully toward me.  You already know how vindictive Queenie Wetson is.  She is inordinately pleased to have seduced my step-son, mostly because she thinks it takes a jab at Henry and me.

Also there are plenty of townspeople who have passed on who made me wonder. It would be even harder for Pip to prove one of them had something to do with my death.  But if Pip can tap into her unused gifts, I think she can figure out what happened to me.  I think she can help me be at rest.

Teagan:   That seems like a tall order for Pip.Lucille Ball teenaged 1

Daisy:  Well, she will do the best she can.  I’ve no doubt of that. I hope she succeeds in finding my killer.  But if she does not, it is not my nature to hold it against her.

However, I admit to feeling a little guilty. In helping me, Pip might open herself to things that are even more dangerous than Queenie’s gang of bootleggers.  Murderers, yes. But supernatural things too.

Teagan:  Thank you Diasy, for gracing us with your presence.  I wish you peace.

(Daisy smiles and fades from view.)

Victorian parlor