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Book Hooks - New Beginnings #MFRWhooks, #WFRWAuthor

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current WIP or previously published book by possibly new to you authors.

 New Beginnings is the first book in the Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series. 


 After a traumatic event in her life, Connie Acosta heads down to the Jersey Shore to stay with her friend, Sara Mazza, who lives in a fifty-five and over community. For Connie, this is a temporary stop until she figures out what she wants to do.

Connie and Sara have a brief discussion and decide to start the baking business they had spoken about decades before. But things take a dramatic turn when Sara gets Connie involved in a mysterious adventure at the clubhouse.


It was the perfect day for a pep rally. The sky was blue with clouds scattered toward the east. Connie Acosta couldn’t believe how warm the weather was for a fall day. Usually at the first pep rally of the school year, she always stood on the sidelines in a bulky sweater. But this year was different. For the beginning of October the temperatures were still in the seventies, a treat for suburban mothers in Staten Island, New York. Standing out in the cold had never been her forte.

All the teachers were already standing on the sidelines when she arrived. She had just run a few errands for her husband, Teddy, who was the high school football coach, happy to have made it back in time for the start of the pep rally.

“Connie, over here,” Rita, the principal, waved her over.

Connie joined Rita at the platform stage under the goal posts. Up on stage was a podium with a microphone and eight black and red football helmets. Earlier, Teddy had revealed to her that eight of the junior varsity football players were being moved up to the varsity team, which was why she had gone shopping to pick up the gold uniform numbers to give to the new varsity players, a ritual Teddy had done since he took over the team.

“How was your summer?” Rita asked, hugging Connie.
“Great. Teddy and I went down to Florida for two weeks. How about you?”
“I did my usual. Did the summer school stint and then went to California for a week to visit my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.”
“How old is she now?”
“I can’t believe she is already seven. Time goes by so fast.” Rita slid her sunglasses onto the top of her head. “How’s the attorneys?”
“Both my sons are doing well. They opened their own law firm Acosta and Associates and brought their cousin into the firm with them. Unfortunately neither one is close to giving me a grandchild. ”
Rita patted her on the back. “Don’t worry it will eventually happen.”
The music began and the marching band came onto the field playing the school’s song, causing everyone in the stands to stand up and sing along before cheering at the end of the song. As the band played their next song, they got into their position on the opposite sidelines making room for Teddy to jog across the field to the podium. When he past by the faculty, he high-fived each of his colleagues, until he came to her. Teddy gave her a quick hug without exchanging words and continued up to the podium where he stood waiting for the band to finish playing.
“How pumped up is Teddy this year?” Rita asked, leaning into Connie.
“Really pumped. The moment our vacation ended, he had the boys down here practicing everyday.”
“So I heard. I few of the parents thought he was being obsessive with the practicing, but I assured them in the end it pays off. Teddy has won the state championship eight years in a row.”
“That’s my husband. Sometimes I think football is his soul mate.” She laughed.
“Welcome and thank you all for coming out to attend our first pep rally of the school year,” Teddy’s voice echoed through the stadium.
The cheerleaders ran out onto the field with their black and red pompoms, making the students go crazy screaming. They performed a routine and ended it with the girls forming a pyramid with the cheerleader captain standing on top.
“Thank you ladies.”
The girls disengaged and stood in two parallel lines with their pompoms raised above their heads.
“It is my pleasure to introduce the varsity football team,” he spoke, his voice rising through the PA system above the band that began playing again.
The players jogged in one at a time between the cheerleaders. Connie looked up at Teddy who stood watching with a huge smile on his face. She knew how proud he was of his boys. He put a lot of time into making sure the boys were physically fit and kept their grades up. Teddy was a stickler for making sure all the players maintained at least a B average in all their subjects. If they didn’t, they were benched.
Connie couldn’t be any prouder of her husband. Thirty-eight years earlier she stood on this same field cheering for her Teddy, who was a senior, while she only a freshman. She spent her first year of high school dating the high school quarterback, any girl’s dream come true. Teddy went on to college, got his teaching degree in physical education and returned to teach at the same school he attended.
“It’s with great joy that I introduce you to our varsity football team.” While everyone cheered, Teddy bent down to lift up the first of the eight helmets. “This year I will be adding eight junior varsity players to my team. These boys worked hard and each maintained a B average throughout the school year. They cursed me when I benched them for failing back to back tests, but in the long run, all my boys in the past went on to college with full scholarships.”
The stadium exploded again in cheers. The band began playing again and the cheerleaders did another routine. The music and cheering was so loud, that no one heard the siren of the police cars driving onto the football field.
“Your husband is full of surprises,” Rita yelled over the music. “I can’t believe he got the police to come here to escort in the new players to the varsity team.”
“Neither can I. This is just as much a surprise for me too. But that’s my hubby.”
The police cars slowly approached the stage as the band played louder and the cheerleaders surrounded the police cars. Connie was impressed with how Teddy still had the knack of keeping surprises to himself, in fear that she might accidentally let it slip out.
“Please move away from the cars,” a voice echoed through from the speakers of the police car.
Everyone cheered even louder, sending the whole stadium into a roar. But when the words were spoken again, there was an authority to the voice that sent chills through Connie, as well as the rest of the stadium, with everyone becoming silent when another police car and two unmarked cars sped into the stadium.
Connie watched as the cops got out of their cars, and men in suits with gold shields on silver link chains hung around their necks walked right up to the podium. Rita touched her shoulder, squeezed it and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
“Theodore David Acosta?” blared over the PA system.
"Yes," Teddy answered.
"You're under arrest..."



  1. Well that was quite a surprise.

  2. I love cozy mysteries! This sounds like it's full of twists. :D


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