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Cherry Shakes in the Park by Wendy Kendall is a Love and Romance Festival pick #romanticmystery #win

Title: Cherry Shakes in the Park

Author: Wendy Kendall

Genre: Romantic Mystery

Book Blurb:

Selling ice cream on a bike cart, Bryson Tanner pedals his way into a romantic triangle. Life serves him up a swirl of divas, danger, and frothy delights.

Bryson's training for Olympic trials in track and field is showing slow times because he's plagued by mysteries of the heart. His ex, Marta is back in town, starring in the acting troupe's weekend show in the park. She had stomped on his heart once, but now seems thrilled to see him. Can he trust her with his love again?

Marta's co-star, Senona charms Bryson over cherry shakes in the park. He's torn between rekindling his past, or starting a new flame. Senona invites him to partner with her on the actors' mystery scavenger hunt game, where the winner receives a career-boosting prize, and romance receives a romantic boost. Intrigue escalates during a midsummer night's dalliance at romantic and desolate Loon point.


Jumping back on the bike and pedaling toward his last stop, Bryson calculated the amount of ice cream left in the cart. After rounding the corner and coasting into the lot, he slammed on the brakes. No mistaking it. Those painted flowers and rainbows framing the words, The Not Royal Shakes Company. This was a bus like no other. The memory of her turning her back on him, stepping on his heart and boarding that bus seared his vision. He wiped the sweat off his face with a shaking hand. Is Marta here?

A dozen people and a noisy dog paraded back and forth across the expanse of lawn between the parking lot and the bluff overlooking scenic Puget Sound. The company of actors emptied the bus of costumes, equipment, props, and more. It was a scene of comical Renaissance flair. The set up was promising with the Bay as the stage backdrop. With that work and this heat, they’d want ice cream. Bryson studied each face. No Marta. Was he glad, or disappointed?

What next? Did he want to see her? What would he say? Did she want to see him? She didn’t text him. Maybe he should leave, but Arturo was expecting him to sell here, all weekend.

He walked the bike cart across the lawn to a shady spot near the children’s playground, away from the bus. Birds chirped providing background noise to the grunts, laughs, and chatter that came from the actors.

Delighted shouts erupted when the kids on swings discovered him and his colorful cart. A surge raced his way, surrounded him, and shouted their excitement for ice cream. He armed himself with a scooper and a smile.

After the minors’ assault, Bryson grabbed a cherry shake and sat. He grinned at Arturo calling it magical. He indulged in the creaminess glittering in the sun. Impressed, he drank again and stretched out his legs. He stole a furtive glance toward the bus, hoping and not hoping to see Marta. The scent of the pine trees combined with the slight ocean breeze. He thought of sitting here with her, a sweet gift from paradise. A hawk soared, circling, maybe scanning for unwary prey.

A light female voice with a rhythmic, musical tone floated over him. “Hola. Do you know a place to get ice cream?” Her giggle sounded like a serenade of castanets.

She had one fist on her hip that jutted attractively outward, accenting her tiny waist and shapely curves. Her jet-black hair flowed straight down her back. She used a tissue to wipe her forehead.

Conscious he was sweating after his ride, he stood with his arms close to his sides. She was sweating as well, but it looked good on her. She was a glowing, summer sight in white sneakers with pink socks peeking out and tight pink shorts. Her sleeveless, white midriff top had very thin straps and fit her cleavage well. She pulled her locks behind one ear and smiled. “I’m Senona. Nice to meet you. What’s your name?”

Before he could speak, Bryson heard that familiar sweet voice. “His name is Bryson.”

Frozen in place and savoring the sound, he stared at his Marta. He searched her eyes, hoping to see a longing for him there.

Senona said, “This is the Bryson you talked about?”

A warmth rushed into his face. Marta had talked about him. Now she twisted her sandaled foot in the grass in that coy way he liked. She wore a bright yellow sun dress and her hair swung back and forth in a ponytail. “It’s good to see you.”

He relished how she said those words. He stammered, “I didn’t know you were coming back to town this weekend. We can catch up…”

Senona took a step toward his brightly painted cart. “The sight of your ice cream’s been driving us all crazy. We finished unloading in a hurry. Did the kids leave us actors any?”

Bryson couldn’t understand why Marta didn’t answer him, why she didn’t walk closer. She had come to him though. He couldn’t wait to be alone with her. He grinned at Senona. “No worries. I still have a scoop or two.”

A tall, buff guy in khaki shorts and a Washington State tank top jogged over and stood behind Marta. He peered over her and had the nerve to put his hands on her shoulders in a familiar way.

She let his hands stay there. “Oh, Dean, you’re here.” Marta laughed that darling burst Bryson normally thrilled at. Instead, chills went through him to see her with another guy. He frowned. A woman walked past them with a greeting as if Marta and he were a couple. As if. The pack of actors zeroed in on his cart.

Buy Links (including BookBub):

What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?

I'm in love with writing romance. My favorite emotion within the genre is writing about hope. The characters' hope of finding their heart's desire, and daring to wish for sharing happiness with another feels like a grand adventure. It's exciting to write about the serendipity of what life throws in a couple's path, and their reaction to it.

Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:

Add fun and smiles to your romance. Plan a romantic scavenger hunt for each other, with sweet clues and loving finds along the way – a loving soundtrack of music, or book of poems, or romantic Cherry Shakes in the Park, or perhaps wild flowers, or treats to eat. End with a final clue that leads to your romantic place.

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card.

Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.

Runs February 1 – 28, 2023.

Drawing will be held on March 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

The result of Wendy Kendall's passion for mystery and romance is the intriguing In Purse-Suit Mysteries. Kat Out of the Bag introduces Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth. As Kat moves from designer bags to body bags, she's uncovering clues to a murder. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. Finalist for best Romantic Suspense at Killer Nashville, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For creates a tangle of mystery and love and raises suspicions about Desiree's romantic new sweetheart, Leo. A summer romantic triangle that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, Cherry Shakes In The Park blends divas, dangers and frothy delights. And her newest has ribbons of love running through it, Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams. Wendy loves investigating the Pacific Northwest life, and she leaves a trail of her own clues as a blogger, YouTube podcaster, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist.

Social Media Links:

Twitter - @wendywrites1

Instagram - wendyekendall

1 Comment

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Feb 23, 2023

Thank you, Wendy, for sharing your book in our Love and Romance Book Festival!

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