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Alexis Cool as a Cupcake
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CHAPTER 1

Partners. What Partners.

Business first. That's one of my mottoes.

This means I kind of take care of everything—pricing, scheduling, and ingredient inventory—the nuts and bolts of it all. So when we actually go to make the cupcakes and sell them, we're all set.

Mia Vélaz-Cruz is our fashion-forward, stylish person, who is great at presentation and coming up with really good ideas, and Katie Brown and Emma Taylor are real bakers, so they have lots of ideas on ingredients and how things should taste. Together we make a great team.

But today, when we were having our weekly meeting at Mia's house, they would not let me do my job. It was so frustrating!



"Ooh! The high school in our town holds a huge parade and pep rally right before school starts. It's a pretty big deal. One year some kids decided to dress up in costumes for the parade, and now everybody dresses up. The local newspaper sends reporters, and there are usually pictures of it on the first page of the paper the very next day.

"Oh good, what is it." asked Katie, as if she was thrilled for the interruption.

"Are we conducting business here or having a coffee klatch." That's what our favourite science teacher, Ms. Biddle, said when we whispered in class. Apparently, a coffee klatch is something gossipy old ladies do: drink coffee and chatter mindlessly.

"Yeah, c'mon, guys. Let's get through this," said Emma. As if they just had to listen to me before they got to the fun stuff. That was kind of insulting!



"Sorry, Alexis! It was kind of a lame apology, since she was admitting she was spacing out during my presentation.

"

"No, no, we're listening!" protested Katie. "Go on!



Emma seemed relieved and didn't protest.

Then fine! No need to involve the whole club, anyway. But of course, it wasn't about business.

"Well." asked Katie.

And you can get George Martinez to be an astronaut." Mia was smiling with pride at her idea.

"Ooooh!" squealed Katie." She propped her chin on her hand and frowned.

"Wait!" interrupted Emma. "Why would George Martinez need to be an astronaut."

Mia looked at her like she was crazy. "Because a boy has to be your partner for the parade. You know that!"

Emma flushed a deep red. Who told you that."

"Yeah, who told you that.

Mia and Katie shrugged and looked at each other, then back at us.

"It's just common knowledge."

"No, it is not common knowledge.

"Sorry," said Mia sheepishly.

Who are you going with."

Mia looked away.

"Do you have lots of choices. Mia is really pretty and stylish and not that nervous around boys.

She laughed a little. "Not exactly. But Katie does!"



"Stop!" Katie laughed, turning beet red again.

"Well, 'fess up! Who are they.

Katie rolled her eyes."

Mia began ticking off names on her fingers. "George Martinez always teases her when he sees her, which we all know means he likes her. He even mentioned something about the parade and asked Katie what her costume was going to be, right."

Katie nodded.

Mia continued, "And then there's Joe Fraser. Another possibility."

"Stop!" protested Katie. "That's all. This is too mortifying! Let's change the subject to something boring, like Cupcake revenue!"

"Thanks a lot!



"It stresses me out to talk about who likes whom."

Still.

"Well, no one likes me!" said Emma.

"That's not true.

"What do we do if we don't have a boy to go with.

"Well, girls could go with their girl friends, but no one really does that. . . ."

Since when was Mia such a know-it-all about the pep rally and what was done and what wasn't and what was dorky and what wasn't.

. . ," said Emma, kind of thinking out loud.

"What.! After all, he had asked me to dance at my sister's sweet sixteen party.

Emma looked at me. "What."

"You'd go with your brother. Isn't that kind of dorky.



But Mia shook her head. "No, not if your brother is older and is cool, like Matt; it's not dorky."

Oh great. "You know what. I'm going to cheque with Dylan on all this, My older sister would certainly know all the details of how this should be done. And she was definitely not dorky.

There was an uncomfortable silence." And at last they were eager to discuss my favourite subject, if only because the other topics had turned out to be so stressful for us.

"We have Jake's best friend Max's party, and Max's mom wants something like what we did for Jake. . . ." We'd made Jake Cakes—dirt with worms cupcakes made out of crushed Oreos and gummy worms for Emma's little brother's party, and they were a huge hit.

"Right," said Emma, nodding."

"Excellent. Let's think about what we need for the ingredients. There's—"

"Sorry to interrupt, but . . ."

We all looked at Katie.

"Just one more tiny question. Do you think Joe Fraser is a little bit cooler than George Martinez."

"What does that have to do with Mud Pies."

"Sorry," said Katie, shrugging."

"Anyway, Mud Pie ingredients are . . ."

We brainstormed, uninterrupted, for another five minutes and got a list of things kind of organised for a Mud Pie proposal and sample baking session. Then we turned to our next big job, baking cupcakes for a regional swim meet fund-raiser.

Mia had been absentmindedly sketching in her notebook, and now she looked up."

"Oh, let's see!

"Oh,

"Sorry," she said."

"This meeting is adjourned."

"Come on, Alexis," said Mia. "It's not that big a deal."

"Yeah, all work and no play makes for a bad day, boss lady!" added Katie.

Not anymore! You guys can figure this all out on your own."



"Hey, Alexis, please! We aren't trying to be mean, we're just distracted!" said Mia.

"You guys think this is all a joke!"

"Look, it's true you do all the work," agreed Emma. "But we thought you enjoyed it. If you're tired of it, we can divvy it up, right, girls." she said, looking at Mia and Katie.

"Sure! Why not." said Mia, flinging her hair behind her shoulders in the way she does when she's getting down to work.

"Fine,

" said Mia.





"What about invoicing, purchasing, and inventory."

We agreed that they would e-mail or call me with questions when they needed my help.

"Great,

Product Details

About the Author

Coco Simon always dreamed of opening a cupcake bakery but she was afraid she would eat all the profits. When she's not daydreaming about cupcakes, Coco edits children's books and has written close to one hundred books for children, tweens, and young adults, which is a lot less than the number of cupcakes she's eaten. Cupcake Diaries is the first time Coco has mixed her love of cupcakes with writing.

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