#FridayReads – DEATH BY CHOCOLATE – Sweet Lies and Bitter Truths

Friday Reads Featured Book


Today I’m sharing an excerpt from Death By Chocolate, one of my stories in Tales From The Cacao Tree, the fourth book in the Mind’s Eyes Series. For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it’s a collaboration between authors and photographers. The photos are randomly distributed to the authors. We’re given no background or any sort of context at all on the photos, because we want to ensure the stories are completely subjective and spontaneous. We have no rules as to genre. We simply look at the photos and write the story we see there.

You may have guessed that the photos and stories in this book share the theme of chocolate. I thought, Stories about chocolate, how hard can that be? Turns out it was harder than I thought. You see, I don’t write romance. My mind simply does not work that way. I write about twisted minds and murder. Chocolate goes well with romance. Murder, not so much. I was given three photos, and for some reason one in particular had me stumped for weeks. This is said photo:

Death By Chocolate

The photo was taken by Helle Gade, a supremely talented photographer and poet. (Her poetry is also featured in this book.) There was nothing wrong with the photo; my mind simply did not know what to do with it.

And then one day as I sat staring hopelessly at this photo on my computer screen, I thought, You can’t kill someone with a chocolate mint stick. In my frustration, I typed the sentence. Surprisingly, thoughts flowed easily from there. I kept writing. A couple of hours later, I had my story. Here is the opening:

You can’t kill someone with a chocolate mint stick. That’s just plain silly. What are you going to do, push it through his eye with enough force to ram the thing into his brain? Stupid, right? The stick might hurt his eye, but it’ll snap in half before it does too much damage. It certainly wouldn’t kill him. Then you’d be left with chocolate smeared all over your hands and a furious man to contend with.

And yet…

I want to do just that. Kill him with the chocolate mint sticks.

I could jam them down his throat, a fistful of the things, chocolate mint twigs choking off the air he fights to breathe.

But how do you get someone to open wide while you shove sticks down his throat?

If I could figure that out, I’d have the karmic solution to the problem of his existence. Death by chocolate. He’d die with minty breath and chocolate lips. A mouthful of anger he couldn’t swallow. I could take a photo and display it on Facebook as his epitaph, this man with his chocolate mint stick addiction.

Chocolate fingerprints on my keyboard. Chocolate on the TV remote. Chocolate kisses and chocolate lies.


Back up.

My name is Teresa Jackson. I’m thirty-two years old, and I live in a small New England town famous for inventing the chocolate chip cookie. But Toll House cookies aren’t the problem; chocolate mint sticks are the problem.


Did Teresa manage to kill someone with those chocolate mint sticks? You’ll have to read the story to find out. 🙂

Sensations wrapped in colorful foil.

Sweet Lies
Bitter Truths

What would you do
For the love of chocolate?


Includes 22 photos, 12 stories, and 10 poems

Amazon / Amazon UK

Thanks for reading. 🙂