Author’s note

State of Love & Trust - review

State of Love & Trust, a novel by Grace Ombry

I’m serializing the first 10% of State of Love & Trust here on my blog. It’s a story about Pearl Jam fans in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown.

Begin with the first installment. This is post #2 in the series.


Chapter 2 – Corduroy “Pretzels” (part 1)

Ellie – Detroit, Mich. – Sunday, June 25, 2006

I rang up three soft pretzels with five sides of melted cheese and a mega large Diet Pepsi for a lady who was paying in rolls of nickels. My shift didn’t end for another fifteen minutes, but Reece had already parked his Buick Roadmaster in front of Mr. Salty’s House of Pretzels. Shelby Williams, my manager, frowned on early departures. She also didn’t like employees having visitors.

We’d called that car the Roadbastard since before Reece’s dad sold it to him. It was a freaking yacht, a shameless gas hog, a rolling representation of why Detroit was all but out of business. Old Mr. LeFanch still got misty-eyed about that car. Water droplets glimmered on the front bumper—Reece had the car ready for his dad to inspect. I, on the other hand, was hardly ready to choke down my least favorite meal of the month, Sunday dinner at the LeFanch’s.

I swiped at the mustard stain on my polyester Mr. Salty’s
uniform and hoped Reece remembered to throw a clean T-shirt in the car for me. I already had shorts on under my work pants, even though they made my butt look lumpy.

Shelby pulled her nose down in disapproval when Reece walked in. Sometimes I spied her practicing that look while polishing fingerprints off the door after dark.

“Hey there, Ms. Shelby,” Reece said. “Your pretzels smell heavenly. I’ll take two, with cinnamon.”

“They’ll ruin your appetite,” I said, though he wasn’t talking to me.

“That’s barely enough to whet it. Shelby, do you ever think about rolling pretzels in caramel and pecans?” He licked his lips.

“It’s a franchise.” She smoothed her hands over her already perfect magenta hair and adjusted her bright blue visor. “We can only sell what corporate tells us. But boy do I adore pecans. And caramel.”

“And toffee,” Reece said. “Toffee’s pure awesome.”

I bugged my eyes at Reece and dragged a finger across my neck. My boss and I had enough issues without Reece flirting with her. She wrapped two cinnamon pretzels in waxed paper and pushed them across the counter to him. “No charge. Save ‘em for dessert.”

He didn’t. He ate them sitting crossways in a booth while I worked to the end of my shift. I didn’t take the free pretzel I was entitled to after my four-hour shift because Reece would eat that one too. Then Marjorie LeFanch would pout when her baby boy didn’t take seconds and she’d probably blame me for spoiling his din-din.

Stay tuned for the next installment of State of Love & Trust!

Can’t wait?

State of Love & Trust is available in print through and Barnes & Noble.

Kindle or eBook editions can be downloaded at these fine purveyors of books.

Spotify playlist for Stae of Love & Trust


State of Love & Trust. Copyright 2016 © Grace Ombry. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form what­soever without the written permission of the author.

Photo by Pierre Gui on Unsplash