Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tessa's Teacakes - Tessa & Colin

Hi Mary, this ever repeating countdown must be driving you crazy. How can you let go when they're brought up again and again. These people must seem like family to you!

Well, let's see if we can't spend some quality time with Tessa and Colin today.

The jangling of the bell overhead doesn't bother me so much now that I'm used to it. Several days here in the Sweet Treats Bakery has made me immune to sounds and much more sensitive to smells.

"Good morning, ladies. You're tables all set with today's coffee special and a few of Tessa's teacakes," Mattie said as she wiped her hands on the apron around her waist. "We have a bunch of orders to get ready for today so all of us are around..." She looked around. "...somewhere."
With a smile she gestured toward a table. "Have a seat. I'm sure Tessa will be out soon. I'm pretty sure she has a batch of teacakes about ready to come out."

Mattie stepped to one of the ovens, flipped on the light and peered through the glass. "Mmmhmm." She opened the door to the back room and yelled for Tessa. "Your visitor's are here."

"Oh no, I forgot all about them. I've got to get two more batches done for The Ladies Auxiliary, plus..."

"I know. I know. It's okay. We're right on schedule. I know these ladies won't take too much time. They know we're busy." With a glance she made sure we were paying attention and both of us nodded.

"Okay, okay, I'm coming."

Like a whirlwind she swept through the door and stepped over to their table. "Thank you so much for coming, and for talking with all of us, but today is just really...hectic." She glanced back and took a step toward the stove. "Oh no, Mattie, get those out before they're too brown."

Mattie waved her back and took care of getting the trays out.

"Look, I'm not sure I can concentrate on very much--"

The bells over the door rang and in walked a large police officer. He glanced from Tessa to us and his smile turned serious. "You okay. Are these ladies bothering you?"

That brought a grin to Tessa's face. "Oh, cool it, officer." She brushed a hand to his shoulder. "This is Ms. Manners and her friend. I told you they were coming."

"Okay, so what's the problem?"

She waved a hand in the air. "We're just a little busy, here..."

"Really, I only have one question," I said with a shrug. "How did the two of you meet? I mean other than the old line about cops and their coffee and doughnuts..."

Colin's eyes twinkled. "Nothing wrong with a good cup of coffee to keep us alert."

Tessa glanced up at him with a twinkle of her own. "Nothing so tame as that. We met on opposite sides of crime scene tape, or whatever they call it, and he nearly arrested me."

He wrapped his arms around her. "I should have, too. You scared twenty years off me that day. Thank God you promised to spend the rest of them right here at my side."

Sigh. Nothing like a happy ending, or answered prayers...


Tessa, the youngest Spencer sister--and the most impulsive--rushes into the Mount Ridge crisis center bent on saving her brother-in-law. She's ready to handle Brent's abductor, with or without help. What she's not ready to handle is the effect policeman, Colin Phillips, has on her. Romance is the last thing on Tessa's mind. She longs for the adventure and fast-pace of New York City, not being tied to Mount Ridge and a man who insists she shouldn't be so impetuous. After all "independent spirit" is what Tessa does best!

Colin transferred from the police force in Atlanta in order to find closure after the brutal murder of his younger sister. He wants a nice, safe future, not one filled with caring and worrying about another impulsive woman. His sister was naïve and unpredictable, and while Colin is drawn to Tessa's spunk and vitality, her willingness to rush into danger scares him. No way could he cope with another devastating loss. His heart must remain closed where Tessa is concerned.

But God has His own plans...and His own way of changing hearts and cultivating love.


“Mattie—Jason Sloane’s up there with Brent.” Tessa stepped forward and dipped beneath the caution tape. “Remember the threats Jason made last week when Brent tried to help his wife?”

“Yes.” Mattie paused as she approached the caution tape. Blue and red light washed over her. “But, Tessa, wait! You can’t just go in there.”

Undaunted, Tessa wiggled from Mattie’s grasp and pressed forward. Her heart pounded, and she shivered as the wind picked up and the spill of rain grew from a spit to a shower. The caution tape fluttered and danced in cadence to her nerves. Jason Sloane had fumed when Brent offered Jason’s wife the childcare job at the center, had said he wanted her home with their kids, not raising someone else’s. If Jason Sloane was up there, Brent was in danger. She couldn’t just stand there and wait for something to happen—for someone to help him. “Of course I can go in there…and I will.”

“Hold up there.” The cop holding back the line of spectators planted himself like a gigantic boulder, shoulders back, palms clasped tight at his waist. “Move back.” He thrust his head toward the tape. “Get behind it.”

“No.” Tessa sidestepped to dart around him, but, despite his size, he was just as agile and blocked her path. His gaze speared her as she crossed her arms and stretched to her full height. The rain made it difficult to see, and she wiped moisture from her eyes with the back of her hand. “Let me through.”

A flash of shock brightened his eyes as his jaw clenched. A burst of light revealed a shadow of stubble that covered his chin, and Tessa imagined he couldn’t be much older than she was. His hand clasp tightened and his shoulders flexed. The outline of a bulletproof vest beneath his navy blue shirt made Tessa’s heart stutter. For a fleeting moment, she felt as if she’d been swept up into the movie set of the latest blockbuster thriller. Things like this—cruisers on the lawn of the town square, cops in bulletproof vests—just didn’t happen in Mount Ridge.

“No one’s going into that center until we have the perimeter secured—not even me.” The cop took one giant step toward her, his gaze like daggers, and lifted the caution tape as he herded her toward it. “Now move back.”


Indeed, the family that bakes together, stays together. These sisters define what true family is - standing together and beside each other through thick and thin (and I don't just mean batter).

Tessa certainly seems to have met her match in Sergeant Colin Phillips as she jumps right in to protect her extended family. And in turn, he endeavors to protect her and her sister from jumping in harms way. Sparks fly between Colin and Tessa even as admiration and respect grows.

The empathy and love in this family is a blessing to all who come in contact with them, and a real treasure for all who read about them.


  1. Mary, these are wonderful stories! Thank you so much for letting God's hand guide your writing. They are truly a blessing to us!

  2. Donna, thank you so much for your wonderful posts. You have really captured the spirit and feel of Sweet Treats Bakery, as well as the love the Spencer sisters share. This has been a real treat for ME!

  3. Great posts, ladies - I always enjoy a visit to the Sweet Treats Bakery, and anything Mary writes is solid gold. Congrats, and God's blessings to you both.

  4. I'm looking forward to another sweet read. Thanks, ladies, for treating readers.

  5. Marianne and LoRee,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. You both are great encouragers. I appreciate you!!!