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Spooning Daisy

Maggie McConnell

LYRICAL SHINE Kensington Publishing Corp. www.kensingtonbooks.com


To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.

LYRICAL SHINE BOOKS are published by Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018 Copyright Š 2016 by Margaret Shelton McConnell All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews. All Kensington titles, imprints, and distributed lines are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotion, premiums, fund-raising, educational, or institutional use. Special book excerpts or customized printings can also be created to fit specific needs. For details, write or phone the office of the Kensington Sales Manager: Kensington Publishing Corp., 119 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018. Attn. Sales Department. Phone: 1-800-221-2647. Lyrical Shine and Lyrical Shine logo are trademarks of Kensington Publishing Corp. First Electronic Edition: June 2016 eISBN-13: 978-1-60183-686-1 eISBN-10: 1-60183-686-4 First Print Edition: June 2016 ISBN-13: 978-1-60183-687-8 ISBN-10: 1-60183-687-2 Printed in the United States of America


Chapter One

ya take for this?” “What’ll Daisy Moon lifted her glazed eyes from a makeshift ply-

wood table where she had been tidying pieces of her past. She focused on the midlife, mostly brunette whose brassy streaks fit her gravel voice. Backlit by the golden afternoon pushing into the garage, the woman appeared heaven-sent. After a closer look, Daisy knew better. In her right hand, a cigarette was wedged between two fingers while her left hand strangled a porcelain figurine, its milky pastels and melted contours in unhappy contrast to the black polish on the woman’s talons. “I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t smoke,” Daisy said politely. “There’s a bucket outside—” Too late. The cigarette was crushed between the sole of one strappy stiletto sandal and the pristine concrete of Daisy’s double garage. “So how much?” A cloud dulled the sun and the saintly aura faded. Stepping back to allow yet another stranger to judge the resale value of her life, Daisy answered the brunette. “Doesn’t the tag say fifty dollars?” as if she couldn’t remember how, in the wee hours of the morning while Lady Antebellum pleaded “Need You Now,” she’d painstakingly tied the price tag around the necks of the porcelain lovers. “Ye-ahh,” the woman answered as if Daisy were dense. “But how much will you take?” “Excuse me,” a voice from behind interrupted. “What size is this?”


2 • Maggie McConnell

Daisy turned to a stout woman who held a Kelly-green midcalf skirt and matching short jacket. Daisy loved that suit—it perfectly complemented her Irish genes—but love wasn’t a good enough reason to keep something that squeezed the breath from her. “Size six.” “Is there some place I could try it on?” “Try it on . . . ?” Daisy imagined popped buttons and exploding seams. “I’ll handle this,” Charity Wagstaff whispered, coming through the milling browsers. “You take care of Cruella.” Daisy shot her eyes toward the heavens. “But remember,” her best friend softly chided, “you’re turning the page, moving on, taking risks. You’re letting go—” “I know, I know.” Forcing a smile, Daisy attended to the brunette. “Make me an offer.” “Ten bucks.” “Ten bucks? That’s a Lladró!” The brunette stared impatiently, as if she were tapping a foot. “It’s a limited edition and it cost $275 last year. They’ve probably broken the mold.” “Well, if it’s so valuable, why’re y’ selling it?” Because it was meant to crown the top layer of a fabulous, fivetier Amaretto wedding cake . . . “Because I’m moving,” Daisy said instead. “And I don’t have the room.” The brunette yawned. “It’s like this—” Daisy tried to look pitiful. But it took memories of her long-departed mutt, Sophie, to produce the tears needed for effect. “My husband died and I have to downsize.” “Twenty bucks,” countered the dry-eyed shopper. “She’ll take it,” Charity said, sneaking up from behind. Her auburn frizz quivering with indignation, Daisy spun toward the sunny blonde. “Have you lost your mind? It’s worth more than twenty dollars. It’s worth more than fifty dollars!” “Let it go.” “It’s so beautiful.” “It’s only clay. Let it go.” “I don’t have all day.” The woman held out a rumpled bill. “Y’ want the twenty or not?”


Spooning Daisy • 3

Reaching across the plywood, Charity snatched the money. “I’ve changed my mind, it’s not for sale!” Daisy screamed. Charity blocked her attempt to chase the woman, who fled down the drive like a hyena with carrion. Daisy wilted, then quickly tensed. The browsing had stopped and all eyes were upon her. A Miss Marple–type linked elbows with her equally tweedy companion and the two scurried out of the garage, pausing briefly at the garden tools displayed along the drive before glancing back and continuing their escape. Sympathetically, Charity said, “Why don’t you take a break? You’ve been at this for hours.” Daisy took a shuddering breath, the embarrassment and humiliation of the last year dumping on her like a sudden downpour. She didn’t even know these people who were picking over the remnants of her life. Why should she care what they thought? It was her garage—for another two weeks. If she wanted, she could be as contrary and unpredictable as the Seattle weather. “Maybe a short break,” Daisy conceded, before wending her way between bookshelves and lamps and a widescreen television marked with a SOLD sign. Who could’ve predicted that only weeks after Jason had replaced his reliable television with a sleeker state-of-the-art model, he’d do the same with his fiancée? Certainly not Daisy, who, nonetheless, had taken the high road, thanks to the example set by her mother, a corporate wife who always kept her smile in the face of adversity. With more at stake than just her personal relationship, Daisy had been civil, allowing Jason to move out at his leisure; she had never intended to keep either the television or the telltale Callaway golf clubs until she received the certified letter from Dritz Klak & Smite. She’d fantasized about bashing the $2,500 television with the $600 driver, but the ever-pragmatic Charity convinced her to sell them instead. “You’ll get the best price on eBay,” Charity had told her. But money was less the objective than expediency; Daisy didn’t have time to photograph, upload, monitor, and mail. And fear of another “Craigslist Killer” kept her away from that website. So, the old-fashioned method it was; anything remaining at day’s end would be donated to the SPCA thrift shop.


4 • Maggie McConnell

Of course, Jason didn’t know his precious belongings were the main course at a garage sale. Although short-lived, the thought cheered Daisy as she passed from the netherworld of her garage into the haven of her kitchen. But not before fluffing the potpourri of carnation petals strategically placed between a crystal mantel clock and a silver-plated chafing dish.

Profile for Kensington Publishing

Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell  

It's a long way from Seattle to Otter Bite, Alaska. But if one woman can survive the trip--and the locals--she just might find what her hear...

Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell  

It's a long way from Seattle to Otter Bite, Alaska. But if one woman can survive the trip--and the locals--she just might find what her hear...

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