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Cooking Up A Story (excerpt guaranteed to bring enrichment to your life!)
Chapter 1 - The Proposal

Wednesday afternoon
   My do-or-die moment. If this doesn’t work, what next? Back to same-
old, same old like one more page spit out an endless copy machine of days?
  Placing her shaking hands on the floor plan and sketches lying between them, Faith straightened up and cleared her throat:
  “I do hope you’ll consider my proposal.” Faith looked at Tommy Chung with what she hoped was her most win-him-over face. He dabbed at his lips to remove a crumb of dark chocolate.
  “Miss Jordan, what you gave me to sample tastes amazing. Any more sweeties for me to try?”
  She beamed. “What you just tasted is a keepsake recipe from my mother. Top secret.”
  “Sweet but not overpowering. Sophisticated’s the term I’d use.” He paused and rubbed his chin in thought. “Might just have a real winner on your hands for choosy folks that like something d
ifferent. And I oughta’ know, seeing as I do so much sampling for the business. Flavor sits on the tongue like…like… a delicate springtime butterfly on the first cherry blossom.”
  He glanced around to see if shoppers were nearby then leaned in conspiratorially, “Trying out some fancy phrases from a book I’m reading: Improve Your Sales Talk With Poetry. How’m I doing?” Faith laughed and gave a mock eye-roll. “And your cookbook—most attractive. Might coax even me into picking up a mixing bowl and spoon. Such a talent you are—attractive chocolate recipe book, plate of elegant candies, topped with a solid business proposal. Knowing my schedule, in reality, all I’d do is drool over the pictures.”
  “Oh but people buy books just to look. You know that. My proposal’s perfect for your store…and….” She halted when Tommy raised his hand.
  “You almost got me persuaded.”
  Faith teetered between a sudden surge of excitement and anxiety.
  “Don’t know how you find the time but then you’re young…college instructor, community volunteer, active in church…now a book…goes without saying seeing as you teach English…” His fingers drummed on the counter. Faith stopped breathing waiting for ‘But'.
  It didn’t come.
  “Unless I’m wrong, I won’t be able to keep chocolates of that quality in stock or your glossy book.” He motored on. “And I like your floor plan and sketches.” He squinted his eyes closed. “I can see it now—postage-size display in my Emporium. Might just shoehorn it in.” He laughed. Faith held her breath. “Hmmm…need space to show off your recipe book, custom flavorings, imported cocoa powder, space for your weekend cooking demos.” He paused and looked at her hard. “You always been this ambitious? If you never been in business before you gotta know it takes energy and determination.”
  Pulling off his rimless glasses, Tommy stepped back and began to pace. Faith smiled and waited for an enthusiastic ‘It’s a deal’ and his handshake. There was a long pause. “I’d say your project’s a go, however…
  Here it comes. This is like shovelling out a ditch and praying for gourmet trout.
“There’s a huge but involved.”
  I knew it.
  Tommy Chung’s voice lowered to a whisper. “Actually two buts. You might even call it real bad news.”


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