Guilty Confections

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Even after a few months spent back in her hometown of Moss Hollow, Georgia, Jillian Green has much to learn about Southern living ... and still more to learn about the bread-and-butter of the family business, The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery. 

She’s as much a blundering baker as ever, but Jillian finds her detective instincts stirred up when she discovers an old leather-bound journal tucked away in the attic of Belle Haven, her family’s ancestral home. And with this remarkable Civil War-era find, a simple afternoon spent clearing out the dusty contents of the long-neglected storage space quickly turns into a whirlwind of wartime romance, buried secrets and murder.

 As she flips through the pages in Bridgett Summerlin’s diary, she realizes she’s in for a fresh batch of trouble. Alone and away from her home for the first time, young Bridgett bore witness to a terrible crime, one which left her no choice but to aid the perpetrator in covering up the act. Having narrowly escaped marriage to her criminal ex-fiancé, Jillian sympathizes with the young woman and resolves to help poor Bridgett, even if her assistance comes 150 years too late.

Jillian seeks information from the cantankerous Otis Dupree, the only remaining descendant of the victim’s family. The old man is less than helpful, and Jillian worries that she’ll never learn the truth about what Bridgett’s diary revealed. With a measure of stubbornness that would make her grandmother Bertie proud, she decides to try her luck with the old curmudgeon once more. It is on her second trip to the Dupree estate that she realizes just how little she will learn from Otis Dupree ... when she discovers the man lying dead in his beloved peach grove!

The heat is on for Jillian and the people of Moss Hollow as she strives to uncover the truth about Otis’s demise, and the historical implications it represents. Although Otis had shared nothing about his ancestors’ actions, perhaps one of the unpleasant man’s enemies aimed to silence him once and for all. With her connections to the past dwindling, will Jillian be able to solve the mystery before anyone else is sent to the sweet hereafter? 

The Characters

At 39, Jillian is living the life she always dreamed. Using her creative talents, she's built a successful career as one of the top executives at a prestigious advertising agency in California, and she's engaged to an amazing man who showers her with love and the finer things in life. Life couldn't be more perfect.

But as quickly as a chocolate souffle can flop, Jillian's "perfect" fiance is arrested for embezzlement, putting a quick end to the engagement, and the advertising agency coincidentally "downsizes" Jillian after the scandal, leaving her without a job. But Jillian is a strong Southern woman who has learned how to endure from her feisty and iron-willed grandmother. She decides to leave California and make a fresh start where her life began, in the quaint town of Moss Hollow, Ga.

Under Grandma Bertie's roof at Belle Haven mansion and under her wing, Jillian prepares to take over the family business: The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery & Cafe. But she doesn't expect to find murder on the menu! Will returning home to reconnect with her Southern roots ultimately prove to be a blessing or a fatal mistake?

Longtime member of the Sweetie Pies baking club and grandmother extraordinaire, Lenora has managed the bakery for decades and is considered a part of the family. Since fixing a salad is Jillian's greatest culinary accomplishment on most days, she encounters a few hurdles while learning how to create the decadent treats the bakery is known for. She's grateful for Lenora's wise counsel and encouragement!

The curious and cuddly house cat keeps a close eye on the happenings at Belle Haven mansion and lends a hand -- or paw -- in helping Jillian solve the intriguing mysteries of the small town.

Savannah is one of Jillian's oldest and best friends. She's delighted Jillian moved back to town and looks forward to reconnecting with her childhood companion. But she's also keeping a secret that may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Nadine's untimely demise.

Jillian's down-to-earth and lovable grandmother is ready to retire from the hectic demands of running The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery & Café, but she refuses to sell to a complete stranger. Jillian is her last hope for keeping the business in the family, even if Jillian can barely boil water. Bertie is determined to help Jillian succeed in the business and to see her marry a good Southern man before the bloom falls completely off the rose.

Cornelia may be Bertie's twin, but she is different from her sister in every way, from her flair for the dramatic to her eccentric nature. She moved back to Belle Haven mansion to live with Bertie five years ago after the death of her husband. She claims to possess a joie de vivre that simply cannot be tamed. Bertie prefers to call it "flighty." Despite her theatrics, Cornelia has a generous heart and wants nothing but the best for her grandniece. She will do anything to see Jillian happy and settled in Moss Hollow ... even if it means bending a few rules.