Winner Bakes All

Winner Bakes All by Sheryl Berk Page B

Book: Winner Bakes All by Sheryl Berk Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sheryl Berk
got everyone pumped up. When Jenna complained last week that she was tired of the usual soundtrack and wanted some Latin rhythms, Delaney obliged. She jumped on the couch and sang J.Lo’s “Let’s Get Loud” into a wooden spoon. Delaney was a riot—and the only person she knew who could sing the entire “Gangnam Style” in the original Korean!
    â€œHow did you memorize that?” Sadie gasped. “I can barely memorize my multiplication tables!”
    Delaney smiled. “I am a whiz with lyrics. Anything I need to learn, I sing. I got a 98 on my American History test because I could rap the entire Preamble!”
    Then there was Jenna. Kylie made her the official “taster” for the cupcake club right after their first meeting. Jenna had to admit she had some talented tastebuds. She could tell with one bite what type of vanilla (Madagascar? Tahitian? Mexican?) or brand of chocolate (Callebaut from Belgium? Amadei from Italy? El Rey from Venezuela?) went into a cake batter. While other kids at Blakely Elementary teased her about being overweight, her friends never judged her. That was the thing about PLC: everyone appreciated each other for the unique talents they possessed—and the special people they were.
    And in a family of five kids where she landed smack in the middle, being appreciated was all Jenna ever wanted. She felt most of the time like she got lost in the crowd. She wasn’t as pretty as Gabby or as smart as Marisol. And her twin brothers, Enrique and Emanuel, were just too much trouble to compete with. They were seven years old and in first grade at Blakely. Kylie nicknamed them “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum,” but Jenna preferred “The Disaster Duo.” Wherever they went, chaos followed.
    This morning was no different: the living room looked like a tornado had swept through it. There were toys, blocks, sneakers—even a tube of toothpaste—scattered around the room. Manny was busy building with Legos in a corner and Ricky….where was Ricky?
    â€œYou the only one up?” Jenna asked, peering behind the sofa and in the closet. Ricky loved to jump out and scare her to death, and she suspected that’s what he was plotting.
    â€œHe’s with Mami mixing cake,” Manny pointed to the kitchen. “He says he’s going to join your cupcake club.”
    Jenna bristled at the thought. That’s all she needed: her crazy little brother finger painting the walls of Blakely with frosting. She knew Kylie would feel the same, but Juliette, their club advisor, always reminded them “the more the merrier.” She didn’t think anyone who wanted to join a club should be excluded. She had never met Ricky.
    â€œCake? You mean magdelenas . My favorite Spanish sweet!” Jenna replied.
    â€œNo. She said it’s a wedding cake.”
    Jenna looked puzzled. “A wedding cake? Why would Mami be making a wedding cake?”
    Manny scratched his nose—that’s what he did whenever he was thinking something over. “Dunno.”
    â€œAy, dios mio !” Jenna exclaimed. It was her Spanish version of “OMG.” She would have to get to the bottom of this.
    She barged through the kitchen door and found her mother and Ricky at the counter frosting a white cake.
    â€œ Buenos dias, mija !” her mom smiled brightly.
    Ricky held up his hands, covered in frosting. “ Hola , Jenna!”
    â€œEveryone is up so early today,” said a voice behind her. It was her mother’s boyfriend, Leo. Jenna spun around and gave him an icy stare. What was he doing here?
    He tried to kiss her on the top of her head, but Jenna pulled away. Hadn’t she made it clear every time he was here that she didn’t like him? She’d practically ignored him the entire Christmas Eve dinner, keeping her face buried in her plate of cordero asado —her mom’s famous roast lamb.
    â€œYou’re very quiet,

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