By Lily Roberts from the Tea by the Sea Mysteries by Vicki Delany
Hi, there. I’d like to introduce myself. My name’s Lily Roberts and I hope we can get to know each other better. I’ll make my first appearance in print in July in Tea and Treachery, the first in the brand new Tea by the Sea Mysteries from Kensington.
I own, manage, and bake at Tea by the Sea, a traditional English afternoon tea room near North Augusta, on Cape Cod. The tea room sits on the property of Victoria-On-Sea, a huge monstrosity of a 19th century Victorian mansion now run by my grandmother Rose Campbell as a B&B.
Rose hates having a B&B but that’s the only way she can afford the taxes and the upkeep on the house, and it had long been her dream to have a multi-turreted, front-porched, gingerbread-encrusted house (with a full formal English garden) on the bluffs overlooking Cape Cod Bay.
My grandmother is English, you see, and she came to America in the 1950s when she married my grandfather. They lived their entire married life in Iowa which, as Rose will tell you, is no place for an Englishwoman who needs to be near the sound of the sea. They had, by all accounts, a very happy marriage, but when Granddad died, Rose pursued her dream and bought Victoria-On-Sea.
She then set about trying to convince me to help her run it. I had no desire to do that, but we hit on the idea of turning an abandoned stone cottage on the property into a tea room. Unlike Rose I’ve lived my entire life in Manhattan (yes, near the sea but not exactly what Rose had in mind). I’m a pastry chef, and I’ve worked in Manhattan bakeries and Michelin-starred restaurants. Owning my own place has long been my dream, and I was taught by my very English grandmother to appreciate everything about the ritual of afternoon tea.
And so, here I am. Trying to make a go of my tea room and keep my grandmother’s head above water, and her out of trouble. I have a feeling it’s not going to be easy.
Tea and Treachery is the first in the Tea by the Sea mysteries from Kensington. Tea and Treachery will be released on July 28th and is now available for pre-order.
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