Mobsters for the Holidays by Beth Mathison

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ISBN: 9781611877144
Pages: 68
Meet the most inept crime family you're ever likely to run across! Although they aim to perform on the same level of some of the best Mafia families...well...they never QUITE reach their goal and things usually end up with hilarious consequences. From meddling mothers and cupcakes to illegal fireworks and potato salad these stories will be sure to keep you laughing out loud all year long!
Included in this collection are these short stories to make your holidays more fun:
A Mobster's Recipe for Cupcakes: A Valentine's Day Story
A Mobster's Toast to St. Patrick's Day
A Mobster's Menu for Mother's Day Brunch
A Mobster's Gift on Father's Day
A Mobster's Independence Day Picnic
A Mobster's Guide to Cranberry Sauce
“You can never have enough frosting on a cupcake.”
“Well, that’s not really true. You put too much icing on this thing and it will topple right over,” Carla said. She swirled a generous portion of cream frosting on a red velvet cupcake. The bakery’s kitchen was warm, with dozens of unfrosted cupcakes linking the marble countertop.
“I’m speaking theoretically,” Jeremy answered. “In theory, you can never have enough frosting in life.”
Carla paused, icing knife mid-swipe. “Ugh,” she replied. “I’m all for moderation.”
“No kidding,” Jeremy said with a smile. He broke two eggs on the side of the bowl, fishing the shells out of the batter with a mixing spoon. 
“Don’t be sarcastic,” Carla remarked. It’s not a sin to have balance in your life. Really. You have too much frosting in life and you don’t appreciate the meat and potatoes.”
“You sound like my mother.”
“Your mother is a saint.”
“My mother runs a numbers game for Vito Spumoni.”
Carla held up the knife. “No talking about family business. You promised.”
Jeremy nodded, adding flour to the bowl. “I know, I know. I’m sorry. It just slipped out.”
“I love your family, you know that. It’s their business practices that are…questionable.”
“You know my family ties are…tight.”
“You mean binding?” Carla asked. 
“More like bungee cords.”
There was a sharp tap-tap-tap on the back door off the kitchen, and Aunt Shirley stepped into the kitchen after stomping her boots on the landing to the alley.
“You need a mat back here, dear,” she said, swinging a shopping bag onto the counter. She took off her plastic hair covering and shook it outside before closing the door. “People are going to track snow on your kitchen floor.”
“Aunt Shirley,” Carla said. “It’s a pleasure.”
“Carla,” Aunt Shirley said, unloading the grocery bag. “I see you’re keeping my godson out of trouble and in the kitchen.”
“What’s all this?” Jeremy asked, peering at the cans on the counter. Aunt Shirley had lined up five industrial-sized cans of cranberries. 
“I thought that maybe for Valentine’s Day you could incorporate your love of cranberries into your cupcakes. Cranberries are red, after all. It’s the color of love.”
Carla snorted with laughter, then cleared her throat to cover it up. “I think it’s a great idea. Cranberry cupcakes for Valentine’s Day.”
Jeremy shot her a death glare and returned to the batter, carefully pouring it into a large cupcake pan. “Aunt Shirley, you know I’m done with cranberries. I’ve moved on to sweeter things.”
“Well, I just wanted to help….”
“Why are you really here?” Jeremy asked, sticking the tin into the oven.
“What? I can’t come to visit and help you with your new business venture?” She removed her coat and hung it up on the peg next to the door.
Jeremy leaned against the counter, a hand on his hip, staring at her.
Aunt Shirley began to fidget, wiping at the counter with a dish rag. “You certainly keep the shop clean, don’t you? These countertops are very tidy.”
“Spill it, Aunt Shirley…” Jeremy said.
The back door swung open and Harry and Charlie stepped into the kitchen, their dress shoes tracking in clumps of snow.
“Spill what?” Harry said, unbuttoning his coat. Charlie ran his hand through his hair, sending snow flying through the kitchen.
“Heavens!” Aunt Shirley yelled. “You’re getting snow everywhere. Out!” She moved closer to Harry and Charlie, forcing them back out the door. Once outside, they stomped their shoes and shook their jackets. Looking back at Aunt Shirley, they waited for her nod of approval, and then came back inside. Both wore dark overcoats and bright red scarves with big pink hearts on them.
Jeremy, Aunt Shirley, and Carla stared at them.
“What?” Charlie asked.
“That’s a bold fashion choice,” Carla finally said. “Choices.”
“Thanks,” Charlie answered, smoothing his scarf. “They were gifts.”
“From Cupid?” Jeremy asked, returning to his cupcakes.
“No, from Connie Patchuchi,” Harry said. “She works in the deli at Alphonso’s.”
Aunt Shirley continued to stare. “We all know who Connie Patchuchi is. She gave you each a scarf? Don’t you think that’s a little…odd?” 
“She’s very generous,” Charlie said. 
“And hot,” Harry added.

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