The Enchanted Garden Cafe
(South Side Stories, #1)
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
For her sixth birthday, Fiona Campbell’s mother, Claire, made her a peace sign piñata filled with wishes for a better planet instead of candy. When she got her period, her mother held a womanhood ceremony at their café and invited the neighborhood. On her sixteenth birthday, they celebrated with a drum circle.
Fiona grew up trying to keep the impulsive Claire in check, and their struggling café afloat. She plans to move out, but first must find a way to stop a big corporation from tearing down their business and destroying her mother’s livelihood.
Claire thinks karma will solve their financial and legal problems. Fiona prefers a spreadsheet and a solid business plan. The last thing she has time for is Matthew Monroe, a handsome complication who walks through their door with a guitar on his back and a naughty gleam in his eye. But when disaster strikes, and Fiona’s forced to turn to him for help, will she learn to open her heart and find she can believe in something magical after all?
The cab let me off right in front of the café. People sat at the small tables we’d set up on the sidewalk, and others hovered near the door, listening. It was quite a crowd, and as soon as the sound of the music reached my ears, I understood why.
Matthew sat on a barstool, strumming his guitar. Mom softly kept the beat with a set of bongos she had tucked between her legs. Moses played his saxophone, the sound twisting and winding though Matthew’s music like an intricate quilt. A young woman with braided hair and skin that glowed in the candlelight belted out a soulful melody about love and loss and hope.
I stopped, as enthralled by the music as the others. The woman had a lovely voice, and Moses was a genius, but Matthew grabbed my attention and held it. His black shirt and jeans accentuated his sleek, muscular body.A necklace with a yin and yang symbol carved in wood hung on a leather cord around his neck. His dark hair brushed his shoulders, as soft and smooth as silk, and his elegant fingers flew skillfully over the guitar, making it moan and sing and cry with a hauntingly beautiful sound. I’d never heard anything like it, and Matthew was as mesmerizing as his music.
As soon as the song finished, Matthew’s eyes met mine. I’d been caught watching him but couldn’t look away. This time he didn’t smile. He stared back at me, his expression as haunted and sad and beautiful as the song he’d played.
Mom came up and touched my arm. “Isn’t he amazing?”
I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.
Award winning author Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, fun, and sexy. Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
Abigail, who also writes young adult fiction under the name Wende Dikec, is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Prism Award for her book Traveller, and the International Digital Award for her young adult book, Tiger Lily. In addition, she was a finalist in the Golden Pen, the Golden Leaf, the Dante Rossetti Book Award, and the Cygnus Award for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
For more information about Abigail, visit her website at http://www.abigaildrake.com.