HUNTING FOR HAPPENSTANCE
(A Merchant Street Mystery Book 2)
Cindy A. Christiansen
Daniela Estrada slammed the meat cleaver down, pulverizing the beef roast and chopping a deep slice into the butcher block cutting board on the counter. Poppa would not be pleased. Nor had he been pleased with anything she had done or said these past few weeks.
She pushed back a strand of hair that had escaped her ponytail and sighed. She had to get out of the butcher shop before she mutilated another pot roast into ground beef. She washed up, grabbed her sweater, and headed out the door.
“I have to go out, Poppa,” she called over her shoulder.
She didn’t wait for his answer. If she stayed one more second, she’d explode, her hot Chilean temper getting the better of her. Why couldn’t she be more like Mamá than Poppa? Mamá was a docile woman who never raised her voice or a hand to anyone. Poppa was the boisterous, cantankerous type who said what he thought without thinking. How she had always longed to be more sweet and demure like Beth Marsh in Little Women. That was far from her image of herself.
Daniela turned her thoughts to Holly’s bridal shower and let the cool autumn air fill her senses. She marveled at how easily Holly Waterbury had come to Salt Lake City from Idaho to help her Uncle Kipp and met Zach Abberley, who had pretended to be homeless just to get to know her. Now, just like that, they were getting married.
Why did relationships have to be so difficult for Daniela?
Before she could answer her own question, she reached the clock shop and pushed open the huge antique door. The old-fashioned bell jingled over the door and Kipp Waterbury’s Scottish terrier, McTavish, rushed to greet her. She gave him a coo and a pat on the head, and he padded back upstairs to his owner.
The transformation of the clock shop from a cluttered, dirty mess to a beautiful showroom had all been Holly’s doing. And what a statement it made. Holly’s presence had helped improve sales and morale for everyone on Merchant Street. Well, eventually. At first, the store owners on the street had acted like a mob of vigilantes. Daniela had had her own reservations. In the end, most everyone pulled together. Daniela still wished her father would hire Holly to make the same kind of changes to their shop, but he refused. He rejected any changes, including letting her make her own decisions.
“Hi, Daniela,” Holly said, coming in from the backroom.
Daniela smiled. Holly with her flowing red hair and glistening green eyes looked perfectly radiant. Love agreed with her.
“Hallo,” Daniela said. “You will make beautiful bride.”
Holly looked adoringly down at her marquise-cut diamond engagement ring. “I’m still on cloud nine.”
“Well, I come to talk about your bridal shower.” Daniela moved around the counter and took a bar stool next to her friend.
“You look unhappy. What’s wrong?” Holly asked.
“¡Ay! No, no. We talk about your bridal shower.”
Sweet Cravings: http://bit.ly/1evhycC