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Almost There!

Yes, I’m still thinking about birthday cakes. So many different varieties, shapes, sizes–yellow sheet cake, triple layer chocolate cake, angel food. And most of them I love. I’m not a fan of peanut butter icing (it’s okay, more for you!), but there are almost no limits to the kinds of cake I would eat, or have eaten in the past.

When I was younger, my mom had a friend who made a rum cake one year when we visited. There was rum in the cake (I can still remember how moist that cake was), rum in the creamy filling between the layers, and rum in the frosting. You could probably get a good buzz from that cake if you had enough. I remember my first bite kind of took my breath away, with all of the rum in it. I kind of wish I had the recipe now to make it myself to find out if it is really as good as I remember.

My mom used to make fruitcake at holiday time. I’m not talking about the gross, hard, dry things they sell at the grocery stores in December. I’m talking about moist, rich cake full of different fruits and then soaked for a couple of weeks in bourbon or some other alcohol. They were amazing! I did find a decent fruit cake recipe some time back, but have lost it since, so I haven’t made any in ages. I miss that one.

I tend not to make my own birthday cake, though. Usually I pick up something pretty at the grocery store bakery. Sometimes they’re good, but usually not all that memorable. I’ve finally narrowed down my cake choices to one for this year. I love Junior’s Cheesecake, and my very favorite flavor is their red velvet. It is definitely a splurge, but the way this year has been, I’m okay with that. Plus I’ll send half of it home with the boys so I won’t be tempted to eat it all. Half of a cheesecake isn’t quite as bad as a whole. Right? Plus it’s so decadent, it doesn’t need ice cream. Though I do also love ice cream with cake, like the one below.

(Cake and ice-cream – Depositphotos )

It’s been very hot here the past few weeks, steady temps in the 90s, and the last couple of days, it’s hit 100 degrees, even if only briefly. Today’s high (so far) is 102, but it’s clouding over, so maybe if we’re getting a thunderstorm, that will cool it off a tad. At least until tomorrow which is supposed to be even hotter. I’m so happy we have working air conditioning.

This afternoon, I have a little snippet from one of my shifter manuscripts to share with you.


Piper realized she was staring and dragged her gaze away from Joe’s wide chest, back to the book on her lap, flushing hotly. Holy shit.

He cleared his throat. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you were in here.”

“It’s your house,” she mumbled. She heard a soft sound and hoped it was his shirt going on.

“And you’re a guest here.” He cleared his throat again.

She dared a peek and found him watching her, hands in the pockets of his low-slung jeans, a faded blue t-shirt stretched over his chest. “Don’t be silly. You should be able to do as you like in your own house. And we’re only here for a few more days.”

He exhaled roughly. “Really?”

“I spoke to someone this afternoon at a complex in Auburndale, near the office. They have a vacancy.”

“I’ll go with you to look at it.”

She frowned. “That isn’t necessary.”

His mouth flattened. “It is. Is it a shifter complex?”

Piper narrowed her eyes at him. “That doesn’t matter.”

Irritation sparked in his eyes. “It matters, Piper. You can’t take your child somewhere that’s not secure.”

She clamped her jaw shut. Telling him to butt out of her business would be stupid at this point. Without his concern, she’d be scrambling to feed Keely on tips and less than minimum wage hours at a seedy, dive diner. She forced herself to take a slow breath.

Joe sat on the low table in front of her, and she noted the softening of his mouth. “I just want to be sure you two are okay.”

“Why?” She blinked. She hadn’t meant to ask that.

“Because you don’t have anyone else to do it.”

She looked away, stung.

He touched her knee, and she slanted a wary glance at him. “I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. Like I wouldn’t do it otherwise. If I’d realized sooner–”

Piper closed the book and got to her feet. “I’m not your responsibility, Joe. Not the annoying tag-along little sister.” She ignored the burn in her chest and turned away.

He caught her upper arm and swung her back as he stood. “Don’t put words in my mouth, Piper.”

She opened her own mouth to say…something. But she didn’t know what, and it didn’t matter–Joe kissed her. Kissed. Her. Hard, open-mouthed. For a second, she froze, and then realized she was kissing him back.

Stupid, Piper.

But oh, holy hell, could he kiss!


Now I need to go figure out some dinner, something that doesn’t involve turning on the stove and making the house warmer than it already is. Do you have a favorite birthday cake memory? Or just a cake memory that makes you happy? Heck, even a favorite kind of cake.

In case you need something to read this week while you’re cooped up indoors to avoid the excessive heat, I’ve love if you checked out Light the Way Home. Hope it’s cooler this week where you are!


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