The Holiday Dilemma Release
The Holiday Dilemma by S.L. Sterling is available now!
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𝐈𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬
This year, my favorite magazine, Festive Treasures, is hosting their Countdown to Christmas bake-off event right here in Willow Valley. The last two years I’d entered, I’d come in second place. Everyone tells me that the third time's a charm, so with the whole town routing for me I enter my newest creation cinnamon buns.
When I get my acceptance letter, I discover that Tristan Ryan is sitting on the judges panel. We went to culinary school together. We didn’t have a good relationship then, especially when he voiced that he didn’t think I deserved to be at one of the top culinary schools if all I was going to do was take over my mother’s bakery back in my small hometown.
I don’t let that deter me. Instead, the day of the try-outs I arrive with my buns and a smile. When my name was called, I raised my head high and climbed up the stairs to the stage. That was when it happened, my ankle went rolling, my rolls went flying, and the next thing I know I woke up in the hospital.
I wake to see my assistant, and my arch enemy by her side. He immediately claimed guilt for what happened. He volunteered to take care of me and my badly sprained ankle. He even volunteered to move in and help with the bakery. I don’t know what I was thinking when I accepted. Tristan always had a way of testing my patience. I figured it would never last. To my surprise, the criticism seemed to stop, and something else started. I was beginning to like the big dumb jerk.
I still wasn’t convinced that the trip was just an accident, but, I was convinced he’d decide soon enough there was nothing for him in this little town, including me, so what harm would come from a little fling?
My head was throbbing, and I could hear murmured conversations in the room. I slowly opened my eyes, the bright lights hurting. As the voices continued, I wished that whoever was speaking would stop. As the room came into view, nothing about it seemed familiar and I frowned, first looking down to the bottom of the bed where I saw my right foot in an air cast.
“Oh my goodness, she’s awake!” I heard a familiar voice exclaim.
I looked to the left and saw Melinda coming over to my side.
“We were so worried about you,” she said, taking hold of my hand.
“What happened?” I questioned, looking back down to my foot.
“Oh, Brooke, it was horrible. You had an accident at the bake-off tryouts. You tripped, fell, hit your head, and well, you have a severely sprained ankle,” she cried.
It was all slowly coming back to me. I’d been running late and had been rushing into the auditorium. I walked in just as they were just announcing me. I’d ripped the clear wrap off the plate of cookies I’d been carrying, bolted up the side of the auditorium to the staircase at the bottom of the stage, and rushed up the stairs. I’d just gotten to the top and was on my way across the stage when I tripped over something. Cookies went flying and so did I.
“God, I remember it now. I’ve made a complete ass of myself.” I cried, burying my face into my hands. “Did everyone see it happen? Does anyone know what it was I tripped on?” I questioned.
Melinda looked to me and then over to the other side of the room without saying anything. Her eyes reverted back to mine. I knew she knew what had happened.
“What? What is it, Melinda?”
“He tripped you!” she exclaimed, looking over to the other side of the room again.
“Who?” I questioned. I hadn’t seen anyone in the room with us.
“I did not! How dare you accuse me,” a deep voice cried out. “It was an accident. I’d never do such a thing on purpose.”
I glanced to my right to see Tristan Ryan step into my view. What the hell was he doing here?
S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs.
An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel "It Was Always You" was born.
When S.L. Sterling isn't writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader.
In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.
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