Coral Memories BONUS Scene | Author Jan Moran
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

Coral Memories BONUS Scene

Coral Memories Bonus Scene Generic

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Footsteps sounded in the hallway, and Marina appeared at the doorway wearing her chef jacket. “Ginger, everyone is here, and we’re ready for you.”

“You’re early,” Ginger said, rising from her desk. “I’m ready precisely at the appointed time on Heather’s event schedule.” Casting a glance at Marina, she thought the younger woman looked a little anxious. She rested a hand on her shoulder. “I wouldn’t miss seeing your first book in print.”

Tonight would be a memorable evening for all of them. Ginger smoothed her flowing coral silk dress and adjusted the South Sea pearls Bertrand had given her years ago on a sunny island holiday. One must always look one’s best, she thought, recalling his advice.

That enchanting, romantic trip hadn’t made it into Jack’s book. After all, how much of one’s life could fit into just one book? Those were stories for another time, she’d decided.

Or maybe they were hers alone.

She followed Marina to the door. “Debuting your first cookbook is quite the achievement.”

Marina held the rear door for her. “Fortunately, the special cookbook menu was popular today at lunch.”

“That was an excellent idea of Heather’s.”

“I’m lucky to have her on board.” Marina seemed to relax a little at that thought. “The plans she’s outlined for branding the Coral Cafe are impressive.”

“She takes after her mother.” Ginger beamed with pride. With Heather as a full-time member of the team this summer, she expected a huge leap forward for the cafe.

They followed the path to the cafe. Tall banners of Marina in the cafe kitchen flanked the entryway. She blushed at the sight. “These are a little much, I thought.”

“Nonsense; the photography is excellent,” Ginger exclaimed. “This is strong branding, just as your daughter envisioned.”

Heather had enlarged the photos Kai had taken of Marina, which they also used on the book cover, although no one except Heather had seen the final printed copy yet. Ginger was impressed with the decorations, the cookbook menu, and the array of featured dishes from the cookbook that Marina had spent the day preparing.

Ginger imagined the evening would go smoothly and that early reviews would be good. She glanced at Marina. “Are you nervous?”

“A little. Heather invited food critics from local and regional media outlets. I know many of them, but there are some new ones I’m worried about.”

“Don’t be. Everyone had an opinion. Either way, the exposure is good.”

“I’ll try to remember that. I’ve never published a cookbook before, and Heather has an entire series planned. I’m worried that if this first one is a flop, that will hinder those plans and her entire branding campaign. I’m worried about her course grade for this.”

“I can understand that, but I’m sure her professor will be suitably impressed.” Ginger was impressed with the step Heather had taken. She had formed a venture with a small press in Summer Beach to produce and distribute the cookbook, and they were sharing costs and profits.

People crowded around the table where Marina’s dishes were arranged, accompanied by framed copies of the cookbook recipes. Ginger noted Marina’s popular vegetarian and shrimp pesto pizzas, quiche Lorraine, sweet potato fries, salmon sliders, grilled vegetables, sweet-and-sour kebobs, and other casual beach fare.

More people were arriving, including many friends of Heather and Blake, along with his mother, Arlette.

At a nearby table, Brooke sat with her baby and Kai’s in portable carriers. Both were sleeping peacefully through it all—for now, anyway.

Heather had set up a table on the dining patio near the open kitchen. Tiny fairy lights sparkled overhead, and a coral cloth covered a center table. A large tropical floral bouquet of red ginger flowers, birds of paradise, and palm fronds graced the center.

“Aren’t those lovely,” Ginger remarked. Oliver often surprised her with the fragrant red ginger stalks. These, she imagined, were likely courtesy of their friend Imani, who owned Blossoms on Main Street.

She turned to greet Imani, who was in a group of other friends from the Seabreeze Inn, including Ivy and Shelly, the industrious sisters who renovated Amelia Erickson’s sprawling beach house, Las Brisas del Mar.

“My goodness, everyone turned out for this,” Ginger said, greeting her friends with warmth. She embraced Imani and asked, “How is Jamir doing?”

“He was just accepted to medical school,” Imani replied, beaming.

“What a marvelous accomplishment.” Several years ago, Ginger had tutored her son in math while he was in high school and studying for college entrance exams.  “He’ll make a fine doctor. Maybe he’ll consider practicing in Summer Beach.”

Kai approached them. Lifting her camera, she said, “Hold that, please.”

Ginger and Imani complied while Marina chuckled. “Heather asked Kai to take photos and videos, so she created a storyboard of the event. She’s taking her directing very seriously.”

“As she should. That’s what she does at the Seashell theater.” Ginger smiled as an idea came to her. “Maybe Kai will direct films or start her own production company for film or television. She could be the next Lupino or Varda.”

“Who?” Marina asked.

Snapping photos, Kai grinned. “Or DuVernay or Gerwig.”

Imani nodded, and Marina, recognizing the contemporary filmmakers, said, “Oh, you’re serious.”

“Of course I am.” Ginger bristled. “With her theatrical background, she’s a natural.”

Kai quirked a hip and snapped her fingers. “Just because I had a baby doesn’t mean my brain is on hiatus.”

“Oh no, I didn’t mean that,” Marina said quickly. “I just hadn’t thought of it.”

“Actually, neither had I,” Kai said, looking thoughtful. “But when Ginger believes in you, you feel like anything is possible.”

“Like this cookbook,” Marina said, nodding. “You inspire us all, Ginger.”

“Life is long. Be ready for the incredible.” Ginger smoothed a hand over her granddaughter’s shoulder. “My job is to stretch the imagination of what’s possible in life—yours and everyone else’s. Now, when are we going to see this new book?”

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Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

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