‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Mischa Thrace

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of this year’s participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Mischa Thrace

Mischa Thrace has worked as an English teacher, a horse trainer, a baker, and a librarian and has amassed enough random skills to survive most apocalypses. (Except a spider plague – there’s no surviving that.) She lives in Middle-of-Nowhere, Massachusetts with her husband, a one-eyed dog, and a cranky cat who rarely leaves the basement. She loves tea, all things geek, and not getting ax-murdered on long walks in the woods.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

Christmas Eve morning in the bakery smelled like vanilla, cinnamon, and chaos. We were only open from 7-12 and the phone rang off the hook with people desperate for last minute cookie platters and pastries that they could offer up as their own handy work to judgmental in-laws.

We didn’t disappoint.

All hands were on deck, which meant me and Sam, the other baker, in the back, and the owner Eric was manning the front with his on-again/off-again boyfriend Tom. In the small kitchen, trays of cookies stood ready and waiting as I tackled sheet after sheet of cream puffs. We had closed cream puff orders a week ago, but we knew we’d sell as many as we could make to walk-ins, so cream puffs ruled the day. Classic rock fought back the Christmas music filtering in from the front on a welcome draft of cold air every time the door opened. It might’ve been snowing outside, but between the heat from the oven and the steam of the dish bay, it was balmy enough in the back for short sleeves and bits of choux clung to my bare arms.

Pate a Choux is a deceptively humble dough. Water, butter, flour and eggs are combined until they form a ribbony paste, then piped into shapes. The trick to piping cream puff shells is rhythm. Once you establish the size of the first two or three, muscle memory kicks in and the bag takes on a life of its own, dancing over the pan until there is a perfect grid of unassuming little lumps of batter ready for the oven.

The filling was a snowy Bavarian cream that we made in five-gallon batches in the hulking Hobart floor mixer. Normally people could choose their flavor, but on Christmas Eve everyone got vanilla and if anyone complained they were swiftly reminded by the shop owner that they were lucky to be getting them at all.

I have never really been a fan of Christmas, but I was a fan of this Christmas-inspired chaos and I filled creampuffs three at a time before passing them to Sam to be arranged into the wreaths that Eric swooped in to grab the second they were finished. The frenetic pace meant it was hard not to get in the spirit.

Plus, I had a secret.

It had felt wrong to confess it at home, but in the kitchen, high on the energy of the morning and the sugar of too many stolen cookies, it seemed safe to say it out loud.

“Adam’s proposing tonight.”

A grin split Sam’s face. “What? That’s awesome! Congratulations! Wait, he told you ahead of time?”

I laughed. “Not in so many words. It’s more like he was working so hard not to say it, that he might as well have said it. Poker, really not his game.”

It was true. The man may have had many redeeming qualities, but pulling off a surprise was not one of them. I had suspected it would be a Christmas Eve proposal, when all of his family could be there, and before I left work that morning, he confirmed it by making a big show of telling me how this would be a Christmas Eve I’d remember forever.

Stealthy he is not.

Sam looked up from the pile of cream puffs. “Does he know you know?”

“Know what?” Eric asked, already sliding the finished wreath away from Sam.

“Mischa’s getting engaged,” Sam announced, and once Tom was called in to join the impromptu celebration, I told them of my morning and was instantly awash in a sea of congratulations.

“And no,” I said, “He doesn’t know I know. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he was spoiling the surprise.”

“Well I think it’s sweet that he’s so excited,” Eric said before he was pulled back to the counter by another customer.

And it was.

It turned out, surprise or not, that Adam was right; it was a Christmas Eve for the memories. That entire Christmas was probably the best of my life. I had a job I loved, an incredible group of friends, and the best fiancé I could ask for. So while I may not be a fan of Christmas in general, I was definitely a fan of that one in particular.

Title My Whole Truth
Author Mischa Thrace
Pages 256 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Mystery
To Be Published October 2nd 2018 by Flux
Find It On Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know how effectively a mallet could destroy someone’s head.

But the universe doesn’t care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn’t care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she’s arrested for murder.

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