EXCERPT: Oven Baked Secrets by Tyora Moody

Oven Baked Secrets by Tyora Moody
A Eugeena Patterson Mystery, Book 2

EUGEENA PATTERSON is not happy about her next-door neighbor, Louise Hopkins, being sent to live in a nursing home. Without her fellow neighborhood watch buddy, Sugar Creek isn’t the same anymore. In fact, life after retirement has become a whole new adventure of exploring social media and blogging.

While she tries not to meddle into her adult children’s lives, Eugeena can’t help but dish out relationship advice. Eugeena’s own budding romance with Amos Jones has her emotions in upheaval. Is she really finding love again as she turns sixty?

When a stranger reveals a stunning secret about Louise’ past, Eugeena questions if the young woman’s claim is for real or if she is a con artist? Roping in Amos for help, Eugeena digs up a few skeletons from her elderly friend’s closet. When Eugeena stumbles upon a long forgotten murder case, she realizes the layers of a long dormant secret still have the potential to be deadly.

Meet Eugeena Patterson on her blog: http://eugeenapatterson.com  or join her fans on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eugeenapatterson.  Don't forget to check-out the first book in the series, Deep Fried Trouble, Book 1.


I blinked. I opened my mouth and then shut it to give my mind a chance to process. I stared at the girl. Despite her creative outfit, she was really a pretty little thing, her big eyes were slanted and she had full lips that would’ve rivaled Angelina Jolie’s. I guess what I was seeking was some resemblance. It occurred to me despite my rash response, that the girl could’ve been telling the truth.

Louise’s son, William, wasn’t exactly the most responsible man in the world despite him being well over forty years old. He’d never married, but it’s quite possible he had a love child. How often had I heard Louise talk about wanting to be a grandmother? Why would William keep that from his mother? Or did William know he was a father?

I motioned for the girl to walk away from the side of Louise’s bed. As she came closer, I placed my hand on my hip. “Are you trying to tell me you’re Louise’s granddaughter?”

The woman shook her head like she had a puppet master pulling her strings. “Yes, ma’am.”

I looked at her for a minute and then shook my head as if this was a bad dream. Despite my better judgment, I said exactly what came to my mind. It just slipped out. “No sugar, that can’t be.”

The girl stepped back as if offended. “Ma’am?”

“You see I’ve known Louise for many, many years. If this woman had a grandchild she would’ve told the whole world.”

The girl put her hand on her hip. “I told you I’m her granddaughter. My mom told me so and she wouldn’t lie about it.”

I held my hand up as if stopping traffic. “Okay, calm down. Let’s start over. I don’t think I introduced myself. I’m Eugeena Patterson, Louise’s next door neighbor. Now tell me your name?”

The girl let out a sigh before responding. “I’m Jocelyn Miller.”

“That’s a pretty name. So, you live around here?” I hated small talk, but I was really digging for more information. What I did know was William didn’t stay put for long and he’d only recently been back in South Carolina the last few months.

“I was raised in Beaufort.”

“Oh. Gullah country.” The language from West Africa still thrived in certain areas of South Carolina and mixed with English it was known as Gullah.

Jocelyn smiled. “Yes, I have relatives that talk Gullah or Geechee.”

I glanced over at Louise, wondering if she could hear us. Was she just pretending to be sleep or had that medicine really knocked her out? I wanted to shake her awake. Jocelyn seemed like a nice woman, but I still wasn’t sure what was going on.

I cleared my throat. “Jocelyn, did your mother tell you about your father? I mean have you met him?”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Your dad is Miss Louise’s son.” Knowing his egotistical behind, William might have known about his daughter and rejected the girl. That would have been a real shame.

Jocelyn started to shake her head furiously. “My dad’s name is David Miller.”

Words escaped me. And my head started to hurt because this girl was confusing the mess out of me. “Is David your dad or your step-dad?”

“My biological dad.”

I’m a smart, educated woman, with three grown children, four grandchildren and one on the way. Children aren’t this complicated. Okay some of us do come in the world a bit willy-nilly, me being one of those people. But this girl can’t be related to Louise as much as she would like to be. “Honey, I’m trying to work with you here. Are you sure you have the right room?”

“Mrs. Patterson, I promise you; I have the right room. This woman is my grandmother. Look, I will show you something and you tell me what you see.” Jocelyn went over to the chair in the corner.

I hadn’t noticed the hot pink backpack. I watched her pull out a black marbled notebook. She flipped it open and pulled out what appeared to be a photo. Jocelyn walked around the bed and handed it to me. “Here, this is my family. I’m much younger on this one, only about sixteen. There’s my mom, dad and my brother. My dad passed away a few years ago.”

I took the photo from her. Now I could tell this girl was telling the truth about her father. Despite the difference in skin tones, Jocelyn was the spitting image of the dark brown-skinned man. Jocelyn definitely had his eyes.

Now Jocelyn shared the same honey-colored complexion as her mom. Both mom and daughter shared the same full lips.

That’s when it hit me.

The more and more I stared at Jocelyn’s mom, I started to see something. It was the heart shape of the woman’s face and her eyes. The woman’s complexion was more bronze, but her eyes were vivid blue. I glanced at Jocelyn, who was staring back at me with bated breath.

Then I looked back at the photo.

Dear Lord!

Louise moaned from the bed. I stared over in her direction catching as my friend’s eyes flickered open.

Louise Hopkins, you got some explaining to do.

There was no denying this one. In a lifetime I didn’t know anything about, had my dear old friend given birth to a daughter? It didn’t go past me that the woman in the photo was mixed race. So who could have been the father of Louise’s love child?

( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Tyora Moody. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Oven Baked Secrets by Tyora Moody
Link: http://amzn.com/B00S2AORI6 

Meet the Author
Tyora Moody
is the author Soul-Searching Suspense novels in the Serena Manchester Series, Victory Gospel Series and the Eugeena Patterson Mysteries. As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. Popular services include online publicity, social media management, book trailers and book covers. She is also the author of the nonfiction series, The Literary Entrepreneur's Toolkit, and the host of The Literary Entrepreneur Podcast.

Tyora won 2nd Place for the 2014 Yerby Award for Fiction. She is the 2013 Urban Literary Awards Debut Author Winner and 2013 Urban Literary Awards Mystery / Thriller / Suspense Winner.

Tyora is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers. For more information about her literary endeavors, visit her online at TyoraMoody.com

Tyora "Ty" Moody, Author and Literary Entrepreneur
TyoraMoody.com   |   TheLiteraryEntrepreneur.com
Books by Tyora: http://www.amazon.com/Tyora-Moody/e/B005966RJ8


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