Hazel Darling, The Ladies of Pistol Fanny’s ~ Book One
~ By Annie Rose Welch
A pinch of a sordid past.
A dash of vices.
A heaping handful of sisters.
A bit of faith.
And a lot of baking.
Stir it all together somewhere new, somewhere like Carmel, California.
Hazel Little Darling is hoping this is a recipe for a new start. Hazel is banking on a life full of flour, sugar, butter, and fairy tales to make all her dreams come true. A life far removed from the one she had been living—a life of secrets with her infamous gang of sisters. She swears off excess food, drinks, pills, and, boys, all in hopes of living the “good life.”
California brings the mysterious Tobias Jameson, who seems to materialize in the still of the night. Their fated rendezvous under the stars is a short one, leaving Hazel to draw her own conclusions about what exactly transpired between two passing souls. After their meeting, Hazel’s sure that she’ll never again see the handsome man who seemed to understand her without truly knowing her. Tobias has other plans, though, and he fights for a place in Hazel’s life— something Hazel has never experienced before and that makes her trust him even less. So when Hazel’s history is brought to light, she’s not sure whether her past will steal her happily ever after, or become the foundation of her life’s greatest recipe.
Her sweetest remedy, or nothing but a bitter goodbye.
Tobias studied Hazel’s eyes for a moment, but not even the fire of his gaze could penetrate Hazel’s stone wall. Years of masking her feelings had made her unreadable.
As the evening sun revolved into the depths of the sky, an outpouring of stars twinkled in the twilight’s den, over an ocean that had a pulse livelier than the two hearts that beat before it, Tobias pulled Hazel closer, putting his warm lips to hers, as if seeking answers by a deeper means, a means where words have no meaning.
A kiss cannot tell a lie.
Have you ever had to turn over a new leaf, Stranger? Or as my Uncle Hennessey likes to say, ‘turn your life upside down like a snow globe, just to see if you like the way the white pieces land better than they did before.’ I think what he really means is, if you don’t like the way your life is going, you have to shake it up a bit. And that’s what I’m doin’ here. Just shaking my snow globe.
… one of Tobias’s great aunts, paternal side, struck up a conversation with her. It was pleasant enough chatter, but the old gal had uncontrollable flatulence. It would strike every so often, like a gray snake out of thick smoke.
I’m ready to say goodbye to him – for good this time. Have you ate one of your favorite foods and then gotten sick off of it? Although you remember why it was your favorite, from that day forward it’s always tainted by the memories of sickness. That’s how I feel about Stroke. Every time I look at him I feel the need to vomit. It’s done wonders for my ‘healthy eating!’
Forever and happily ever after lives beyond the surface of this pool – your pool, the place fairies come to play. I’m going to steal a bit of it for you, bring it back, and rest it at your feet.
I fell for Annie Rose Welch when reading the first book in this series, Pistol Fanny’s Hank and Delilah. I adored the story and her turn of phrase. However, I enjoyed Hazel Darling: Sweetest Sister even more. Ms. Welch infused both tales with humor, fanciful musings, and lush descriptions that were colorful, artistic, and lavish. Every meal she mentioned seemed of feast quality and quickly stirred my hunger as each morsel sounded rich and satisfying on the tongue. Much like her creative and talented combinations of words on the page entertained my imagination and pricked my curiosity for more of the tale. I cannot wait to read future installments for each intriguing sister of this quirky clan of reformed bandits.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California).
Her passion for writing began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.
When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. Deciding on a whim to hitch up those same wagons, Annie currently resides in Texas (where everything is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).
For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website:
She can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.