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The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties

Hardcover
$29.00 US
5.71"W x 8.54"H x 1.04"D   (14.5 x 21.7 x 2.6 cm) | 14 oz (403 g) | 12 per carton
On sale Mar 26, 2024 | 304 Pages | 978-0-593-54621-5
Sales rights: US, Canada, Open Mkt
What should have been a family celebration of Chinese New Year descends into chaos when longtime foes crash the party in this hilariously entertaining novel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties.

After an ultra-romantic honeymoon across Europe, Meddy Chan and her husband Nathan have landed in Jakarta to spend Chinese New Year with her entire extended family. Chinese New Year, already the biggest celebration of the Lunar calendar, gets even more festive when a former beau of Second Aunt’s shows up at the Chan residence bearing extravagant gifts—he’s determined to rekindle his romance with Second Aunt and the gifts are his way of announcing his courtship.
 
His grand gesture goes awry however, when it’s discovered that not all the gifts were meant for Second Aunt and the Chans—one particular gift was intended for a business rival to cement their alliance and included by accident. Of course the Aunties agree that it’s only right to return the gift—after all, anyone would forgive an honest mistake, right? But what should have been a simple retrieval turns disastrous and suddenly Meddy and the Aunties are helpless pawns in a decades-long war between Jakarta’s most powerful business factions. The fighting turns personal, however, when Nathan and the Aunties are endangered and it’s up to Meddy to come up with a plan to save them all.  Determined to rescue her loved ones, Meddy embarks on an impossible mission—but with the Aunties by her side, nothing is truly impossible…
1

The wind is a constant song in my ears, the air so cold and refreshing it sparkles against my cheeks as I whoosh down the ski slope. I can't believe this is the first time I've tried skiing. Growing up, Ma and the aunts had forbidden me from doing any "dangerous sports," which included anything more physically strenuous than chess or piano. When I was five, I suggested that I wanted to try out for the girls' soccer team. In response, Ma smacked her palms to her cheeks and wailed, "Aiya, the ball will hit you in the head and you will get brain hemo-hedge!"

"What's a brain hemo-hedge?" Images of a hedge growing out of my head swirled through my mind.

Ma waved her hands around her head, opening and closing her hands. "Is when all the blood come out of your head. All the blood."

My mind replaced the hedge bursting out of my head with buckets of blood exploding from it in a red geyser. I swallowed, feeling ill. "Wait, so this is a thing that happens when people play soccer?"

Ma nodded sagely.

My mouth dropped open in horror. "Jenny plays soccer!" I couldn't believe that Mrs. Andrews would let Jenny play such a dangerous sport.

Ma nodded again, this time somberly. "Ah yes. This because Jenny is middle child. You should be grateful you are only child."

After that day, I hugged Jenny tight whenever I could, because the poor thing had no idea she was (1) this close to having her head explode like a watermelon on the beach, and (2) unloved due to her fraught position in the family as a middle child.

Soccer was the first sport to be deemed too deadly by Ma, but over the next few months, she and the aunties added to the growing list.

Softball: The ball will smash right through your chest and come out the other side!

Basketball: The ball will decopitot you! (Decopitot: verb. To have something hit you in the head so forcefully that your head is replaced by that thing. Highly probable when playing high-velocity, high-strength sports like basketball in first grade.)

Swimming: There will be a shark in the water, and it will eat you! "But we would swim in the pool, not the s-"

"Are you talking back to your elders??!"

I joined the chess club. I was the worst member in the club because I wasn't actually into chess, but there wasn't a possibility of an errant projectile hitting me and making my head spontaneously combust, so there was that. It wasn't until college that I met Selena, who dragged me to the school gym and introduced me to the wonders of exercise. I found that I liked the rush of endorphins, and later, when I went into wedding photography, it became necessary to start lifting weights so I could carry around my heavy camera equipment without injuring myself. Of course, Ma and the aunts still nagged at me, telling me I was going to give myself a hernia or pop a blood vessel by doing weight training. If they knew that part of my honeymoon with Nathan was a ski trip to Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in France's Trois Vallées, they would freak out like never before. Probably even more than when I accidentally killed Ah Guan, or when we thought that my wedding vendors were mafia.

I'd been resistant toward the idea of skiing before, due to the aforementioned upbringing of doom and disaster when it came to sports, but Nathan had convinced me and enrolled us in a two-day beginners class with a kindly instructor. That was five days ago, and I graduated from bunny slopes to green, and later, to blue slopes. Today is the last day of our trip, and I'm making the best of the remaining time I have here by skiing down my favorite blue slope, Gentiane. It's a wide slope that's so gentle I'm surprised it's a blue and not a green, and because most people prefer the more exciting reds and blacks, Nathan and I are the only two people on the slope for ages.

I glance at him now, skiing next to me. My husband. The term still sends a delightful little shiver down my back. Reflexively, the corners of my mouth quirk up into a smile. I'm sure that down the road, the words "my husband" will lose their sheen and I'll be able to say them without experiencing that little glow of joy, but for now, I still savor the words. It still takes me a moment to let them sink in. I'm married. To the One That Got Away. The man I've ached for since college. My one true love, who's covered up literal murder for my sake and done so much more to ensure the safety of me and my family. I'm so glad we capped off our tromp across Europe with this ski trip. It's been the most amazing month spent venturing into museums and actual castles complete with battlements and crenellations and old armor, not to mention eating our way through Europe. Thanks to all the incredibly rich cheese and silky chocolate we've been having, the waistband of my jeans feels a tad snugger than I'm used to.

A shrill, familiar jangle tears through the peaceful, snowy calm, shattering my focus. I startle, my right foot slips an inch to my right, and that's all it takes to overturn my balance. My skis swerve precariously, and the world tips sideways as I try-and fail-to stop myself from falling over. Luckily, the snow is as soft as a pile of feathers, and I barely feel it when I land very ungracefully on my side. Dimly, I can hear Nathan calling out my name. Moments later, he skids expertly to a stop and crouches down next to me.

"Are you okay?" His gloved hands cup my face, brushing away snow and gazing with open concern down at me.

I blink and try to catch my breath. "Yeah, nothing's broken, aside from my dignity."

Nathan's shoulders sag with relief, and he pulls me up into a hug. "What happened?"

As though in answer, the ringing starts up again. I grapple for my phone, tucked somewhere into one of the many pockets in my bulky ski jacket. My fingers are half-numb from the cold and clumsy due to my padded gloves, and it takes an eternity to locate the phone and pull it out. When I finally see the screen, my heart sinks. "It's Ma."

Nathan frowns, a crease folding between his eyebrows. "That can't be good."

I nod. Ma and the aunties have made a big show of not calling me on my honeymoon because, as Ma had said, "Don't spend time talking to me on your honeymoon, you must spend all your time and energy to make me grandbabies, okay!" I'd almost pointed out that we would hardly be spending all of our waking moments making babies, but then my sense of self-preservation had kicked in and I realized that this worked in my favor, since I didn't exactly want my mother calling me at all hours of the day while I was on my honeymoon. Still, throughout our trip, Nathan and I have been dutifully checking in on the family WhatsApp group every morning. He had been invited to join the family chat group the very next day after our wedding, and to my slight annoyance, he fit right in, even diving into the inane emoji game with gusto. He had already checked in with them this morning to assure them that we're okay and haven't been kidnapped by the same people who took Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken, so the fact that Ma is calling right now must mean there's legit bad news.

Ever since the unfortunate incident involving Ah Guan, followed by the appearance of his (understandably) vengeful family, every time Ma or the aunties call instead of using WhatsApp, I get this jolt of electric fear running through my entire body, jump-starting my heart rate into a gallop and making me break out into a sweat. God, I hope nothing's happened to them.

I struggle to pull my gloves off and hit Accept. "Ma, is everything okay?"

Ma's face fills my phone screen. As usual, she's holding the phone right up against her face, so all I can see is one eye and a nostril. "Aduh, Meddy, disaster!"

My stomach plummets. There it is. I just knew that Staphanie and her family wouldn't be able to let go of the fact that we'd killed their beloved Ah Guan. They only pretended to accept it so they could regroup and come back to get us with a better, deadlier plan. I can practically feel the blood draining from my head, making me dizzy. Next to me, the crease between Nathan's eyebrows is so deep it looks like a crevasse, but he grabs my free hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze. "It'll be okay," he mouths, though clearly, neither of us believes it. There are too many skeletons in our closet for anything to be okay. It's always been a matter of time before my past caught up with us. I'm only sorry that I dragged Nathan into all this mess. My sweet, loving, unfortunate husband.

Somehow, I manage to find my voice. "What is it, Ma? Wait, tell me in Indonesian," I add as an extra precaution, though Nathan and I are still alone on the piste.

Ma's face scrunches up into a picture of sheer anguish. "Mama ngga keburu beli Porto's cheese rolls."

I blink. Narrow my eyes at her. "Come again? Say it in English this time, just so I know I'm not mishearing."

"I come to Porto's too late. They are out of cheese rolls!"

Only a few seconds ago, I'd felt like all of my blood had rushed out of my head and I was ready to faint. Now, I can feel a river of blood rushing up to my head. I'm about ready to blow a gasket. "Ma." It's a struggle keeping my voice even. "Why are you calling me because of Porto's cheese rolls? I thought we agreed that while I'm on my honeymoon, phone calls are for emergencies only?"

"This is emergency," she snaps, glaring at me so hard her gaze is like a laser shooting through the phone screen. "I promise everyone in Jakarta Porto's cheese rolls. You know how everyone love it so much. Every year I come back, I bring cheese rolls. Everybody love it. Now, if I don't bring cheese roll, I will lose face!"

"You're not going to lose face just because you-"

"And you know Fourth Aunt always trying to up me one. Last year, she bring Ladurée macarons for everyone. Ladurée. You know how expensive they are? Is so obvious she just want to up me one. I say to her, I say Aiya why are you so norak? Ladurée in Singapore also have, why you need to bring all the way from LA? And she say-you know what she say?"

"Let me guess," Nathan says with a smile, "she said the ones from LA are different from the ones in Singapore?"

"YES!" Ma cries with indignant triumph. "As if she can tell the difference. Is a franchise, of course they will all taste the same. But you know how Fourth Aunt is, keep talking and talking nonstop until everyone agree with her. Wah, they all say, yes, the macarons from LA very different from the ones from Singapore." She sniffs. "Now I will have to go back empty-hand, no face."

A vision of a handless, faceless Ma swims to my mind, and despite myself, I have to stifle a laugh. Argh, what is it about Ma that makes me want to hug her even while she infuriates the heck out of me?

"Well," Nathan says, "lucky for you, we're actually in France right now. At Val Tho-"

I nudge him in the ribs. Hard. Ma and the aunties aren't supposed to know we're skiing. I'm even being super careful with how I hold my phone so she can only see my face and the sky and that's it. If Ma and the aunties knew we were going skiing, they would zoom here in a chopper and yank us all the way back to LA by our ears, while lecturing us about the multitude of ways that one could get themselves killed by skiing.

"Ow. Uh, I mean, we're in Versailles. And we'll be flying out of Paris tomorrow, so how about we bring back a gigantic box of Ladurée macarons? Then you can tell your relatives that these aren't from Singapore or LA, they're from the original Ladurée shop."

Ma's mouth gapes open as she takes in a sharp breath. She leans even closer to the phone, so now all I can see is one eyeball. "From the . . . original Ladurée shop?" Her voice is furtive and soft with reverence, like she's referring to the crown jewels.

"Yep. The flagship store. I believe it's on rue Royale."

My eyes widen. How in the world does Nathan know this? As though reading my mind, he shrugs like, I don't know, I'm just guessing here.

"The flagship store," Ma breathes. The one visible eye is practically glittering at the thought of one-upping Fourth Aunt with macarons from the original Ladurée store. Then she throws her head back and cackles. A literal witchy cackle. Nathan and I exchange a glance. Uh oh, Ma has ascended to her final form. "Yes!" she positively shrieks. "Oh, Fourth Aunt will be so embarrass. So embarrass. Nowhere to put her face!" She cackles again. "Buy the biggest box, okay? Everyone will want one."

"Ma, do you know how expensive those things are?"

Nathan waves me off. "We'll buy the biggest box of macarons they have. And a few other treats for you as well."

"Aiya, you no need to waste money on me."

Before Nathan can reply, I say, "Okay, we won't buy you anything."

Ma stops short and stares at us. There is a pregnant pause. "Yes, don't waste money on your own mother. I always tell you, no need to buy me any gifts. Other people always asking their children to buy gifts, but no, I say, I don't want to burden my daughter. As long as she happy and healthy, I am okay. Don't need her to make fuss over me or anything like that."

"Yep, we won't get you anything." I bite back the smile that's threatening to take over my face. Next to me, Nathan is giving me WTF looks, but I ignore him.

"Good, good," she mumbles, looking like I've just punched her in the heart.
"Sutanto packs in loads of local color, and gives the aunties ample opportunity to let their freak flags fly.”—Publishers Weekly

“Sutanto delivers another addictive romp, managing to negotiate a thrilling (multi) happily-everafter finale because, alas, this concludes the Aunties series.”—Booklist


“Sutanto’s hilarious triptych ends with a finale that could just as well have been titled ‘An Auntie You Can’t Refuse.’”—Kirkus Reviews

"The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties is a fun, fast-paced read and a satisfying conclusion to the popular series."—Bookpage

"Jesse Q. Sutanto puts both the action and the comedy in this story at the forefront. One second, you’ll be worrying for Meddy’s life, and in the next second, you’ll be cracking up at a comment one of her aunties made. To put it simply, Jesse Q. Sutanto has a gift."—Culturess
© Michael Hart
Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore, and Oxford, and considers all three places her home. She has a Masters from Oxford University, but she has yet to figure out how to say that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse has forty-two first cousins and thirty aunties and uncles, many of whom live just down the road. She used to game but with two little ones and a husband, she no longer has time for hobbies. She aspires to one day find one (1) hobby. View titles by Jesse Q. Sutanto
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About

What should have been a family celebration of Chinese New Year descends into chaos when longtime foes crash the party in this hilariously entertaining novel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties.

After an ultra-romantic honeymoon across Europe, Meddy Chan and her husband Nathan have landed in Jakarta to spend Chinese New Year with her entire extended family. Chinese New Year, already the biggest celebration of the Lunar calendar, gets even more festive when a former beau of Second Aunt’s shows up at the Chan residence bearing extravagant gifts—he’s determined to rekindle his romance with Second Aunt and the gifts are his way of announcing his courtship.
 
His grand gesture goes awry however, when it’s discovered that not all the gifts were meant for Second Aunt and the Chans—one particular gift was intended for a business rival to cement their alliance and included by accident. Of course the Aunties agree that it’s only right to return the gift—after all, anyone would forgive an honest mistake, right? But what should have been a simple retrieval turns disastrous and suddenly Meddy and the Aunties are helpless pawns in a decades-long war between Jakarta’s most powerful business factions. The fighting turns personal, however, when Nathan and the Aunties are endangered and it’s up to Meddy to come up with a plan to save them all.  Determined to rescue her loved ones, Meddy embarks on an impossible mission—but with the Aunties by her side, nothing is truly impossible…

Excerpt

1

The wind is a constant song in my ears, the air so cold and refreshing it sparkles against my cheeks as I whoosh down the ski slope. I can't believe this is the first time I've tried skiing. Growing up, Ma and the aunts had forbidden me from doing any "dangerous sports," which included anything more physically strenuous than chess or piano. When I was five, I suggested that I wanted to try out for the girls' soccer team. In response, Ma smacked her palms to her cheeks and wailed, "Aiya, the ball will hit you in the head and you will get brain hemo-hedge!"

"What's a brain hemo-hedge?" Images of a hedge growing out of my head swirled through my mind.

Ma waved her hands around her head, opening and closing her hands. "Is when all the blood come out of your head. All the blood."

My mind replaced the hedge bursting out of my head with buckets of blood exploding from it in a red geyser. I swallowed, feeling ill. "Wait, so this is a thing that happens when people play soccer?"

Ma nodded sagely.

My mouth dropped open in horror. "Jenny plays soccer!" I couldn't believe that Mrs. Andrews would let Jenny play such a dangerous sport.

Ma nodded again, this time somberly. "Ah yes. This because Jenny is middle child. You should be grateful you are only child."

After that day, I hugged Jenny tight whenever I could, because the poor thing had no idea she was (1) this close to having her head explode like a watermelon on the beach, and (2) unloved due to her fraught position in the family as a middle child.

Soccer was the first sport to be deemed too deadly by Ma, but over the next few months, she and the aunties added to the growing list.

Softball: The ball will smash right through your chest and come out the other side!

Basketball: The ball will decopitot you! (Decopitot: verb. To have something hit you in the head so forcefully that your head is replaced by that thing. Highly probable when playing high-velocity, high-strength sports like basketball in first grade.)

Swimming: There will be a shark in the water, and it will eat you! "But we would swim in the pool, not the s-"

"Are you talking back to your elders??!"

I joined the chess club. I was the worst member in the club because I wasn't actually into chess, but there wasn't a possibility of an errant projectile hitting me and making my head spontaneously combust, so there was that. It wasn't until college that I met Selena, who dragged me to the school gym and introduced me to the wonders of exercise. I found that I liked the rush of endorphins, and later, when I went into wedding photography, it became necessary to start lifting weights so I could carry around my heavy camera equipment without injuring myself. Of course, Ma and the aunts still nagged at me, telling me I was going to give myself a hernia or pop a blood vessel by doing weight training. If they knew that part of my honeymoon with Nathan was a ski trip to Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in France's Trois Vallées, they would freak out like never before. Probably even more than when I accidentally killed Ah Guan, or when we thought that my wedding vendors were mafia.

I'd been resistant toward the idea of skiing before, due to the aforementioned upbringing of doom and disaster when it came to sports, but Nathan had convinced me and enrolled us in a two-day beginners class with a kindly instructor. That was five days ago, and I graduated from bunny slopes to green, and later, to blue slopes. Today is the last day of our trip, and I'm making the best of the remaining time I have here by skiing down my favorite blue slope, Gentiane. It's a wide slope that's so gentle I'm surprised it's a blue and not a green, and because most people prefer the more exciting reds and blacks, Nathan and I are the only two people on the slope for ages.

I glance at him now, skiing next to me. My husband. The term still sends a delightful little shiver down my back. Reflexively, the corners of my mouth quirk up into a smile. I'm sure that down the road, the words "my husband" will lose their sheen and I'll be able to say them without experiencing that little glow of joy, but for now, I still savor the words. It still takes me a moment to let them sink in. I'm married. To the One That Got Away. The man I've ached for since college. My one true love, who's covered up literal murder for my sake and done so much more to ensure the safety of me and my family. I'm so glad we capped off our tromp across Europe with this ski trip. It's been the most amazing month spent venturing into museums and actual castles complete with battlements and crenellations and old armor, not to mention eating our way through Europe. Thanks to all the incredibly rich cheese and silky chocolate we've been having, the waistband of my jeans feels a tad snugger than I'm used to.

A shrill, familiar jangle tears through the peaceful, snowy calm, shattering my focus. I startle, my right foot slips an inch to my right, and that's all it takes to overturn my balance. My skis swerve precariously, and the world tips sideways as I try-and fail-to stop myself from falling over. Luckily, the snow is as soft as a pile of feathers, and I barely feel it when I land very ungracefully on my side. Dimly, I can hear Nathan calling out my name. Moments later, he skids expertly to a stop and crouches down next to me.

"Are you okay?" His gloved hands cup my face, brushing away snow and gazing with open concern down at me.

I blink and try to catch my breath. "Yeah, nothing's broken, aside from my dignity."

Nathan's shoulders sag with relief, and he pulls me up into a hug. "What happened?"

As though in answer, the ringing starts up again. I grapple for my phone, tucked somewhere into one of the many pockets in my bulky ski jacket. My fingers are half-numb from the cold and clumsy due to my padded gloves, and it takes an eternity to locate the phone and pull it out. When I finally see the screen, my heart sinks. "It's Ma."

Nathan frowns, a crease folding between his eyebrows. "That can't be good."

I nod. Ma and the aunties have made a big show of not calling me on my honeymoon because, as Ma had said, "Don't spend time talking to me on your honeymoon, you must spend all your time and energy to make me grandbabies, okay!" I'd almost pointed out that we would hardly be spending all of our waking moments making babies, but then my sense of self-preservation had kicked in and I realized that this worked in my favor, since I didn't exactly want my mother calling me at all hours of the day while I was on my honeymoon. Still, throughout our trip, Nathan and I have been dutifully checking in on the family WhatsApp group every morning. He had been invited to join the family chat group the very next day after our wedding, and to my slight annoyance, he fit right in, even diving into the inane emoji game with gusto. He had already checked in with them this morning to assure them that we're okay and haven't been kidnapped by the same people who took Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken, so the fact that Ma is calling right now must mean there's legit bad news.

Ever since the unfortunate incident involving Ah Guan, followed by the appearance of his (understandably) vengeful family, every time Ma or the aunties call instead of using WhatsApp, I get this jolt of electric fear running through my entire body, jump-starting my heart rate into a gallop and making me break out into a sweat. God, I hope nothing's happened to them.

I struggle to pull my gloves off and hit Accept. "Ma, is everything okay?"

Ma's face fills my phone screen. As usual, she's holding the phone right up against her face, so all I can see is one eye and a nostril. "Aduh, Meddy, disaster!"

My stomach plummets. There it is. I just knew that Staphanie and her family wouldn't be able to let go of the fact that we'd killed their beloved Ah Guan. They only pretended to accept it so they could regroup and come back to get us with a better, deadlier plan. I can practically feel the blood draining from my head, making me dizzy. Next to me, the crease between Nathan's eyebrows is so deep it looks like a crevasse, but he grabs my free hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze. "It'll be okay," he mouths, though clearly, neither of us believes it. There are too many skeletons in our closet for anything to be okay. It's always been a matter of time before my past caught up with us. I'm only sorry that I dragged Nathan into all this mess. My sweet, loving, unfortunate husband.

Somehow, I manage to find my voice. "What is it, Ma? Wait, tell me in Indonesian," I add as an extra precaution, though Nathan and I are still alone on the piste.

Ma's face scrunches up into a picture of sheer anguish. "Mama ngga keburu beli Porto's cheese rolls."

I blink. Narrow my eyes at her. "Come again? Say it in English this time, just so I know I'm not mishearing."

"I come to Porto's too late. They are out of cheese rolls!"

Only a few seconds ago, I'd felt like all of my blood had rushed out of my head and I was ready to faint. Now, I can feel a river of blood rushing up to my head. I'm about ready to blow a gasket. "Ma." It's a struggle keeping my voice even. "Why are you calling me because of Porto's cheese rolls? I thought we agreed that while I'm on my honeymoon, phone calls are for emergencies only?"

"This is emergency," she snaps, glaring at me so hard her gaze is like a laser shooting through the phone screen. "I promise everyone in Jakarta Porto's cheese rolls. You know how everyone love it so much. Every year I come back, I bring cheese rolls. Everybody love it. Now, if I don't bring cheese roll, I will lose face!"

"You're not going to lose face just because you-"

"And you know Fourth Aunt always trying to up me one. Last year, she bring Ladurée macarons for everyone. Ladurée. You know how expensive they are? Is so obvious she just want to up me one. I say to her, I say Aiya why are you so norak? Ladurée in Singapore also have, why you need to bring all the way from LA? And she say-you know what she say?"

"Let me guess," Nathan says with a smile, "she said the ones from LA are different from the ones in Singapore?"

"YES!" Ma cries with indignant triumph. "As if she can tell the difference. Is a franchise, of course they will all taste the same. But you know how Fourth Aunt is, keep talking and talking nonstop until everyone agree with her. Wah, they all say, yes, the macarons from LA very different from the ones from Singapore." She sniffs. "Now I will have to go back empty-hand, no face."

A vision of a handless, faceless Ma swims to my mind, and despite myself, I have to stifle a laugh. Argh, what is it about Ma that makes me want to hug her even while she infuriates the heck out of me?

"Well," Nathan says, "lucky for you, we're actually in France right now. At Val Tho-"

I nudge him in the ribs. Hard. Ma and the aunties aren't supposed to know we're skiing. I'm even being super careful with how I hold my phone so she can only see my face and the sky and that's it. If Ma and the aunties knew we were going skiing, they would zoom here in a chopper and yank us all the way back to LA by our ears, while lecturing us about the multitude of ways that one could get themselves killed by skiing.

"Ow. Uh, I mean, we're in Versailles. And we'll be flying out of Paris tomorrow, so how about we bring back a gigantic box of Ladurée macarons? Then you can tell your relatives that these aren't from Singapore or LA, they're from the original Ladurée shop."

Ma's mouth gapes open as she takes in a sharp breath. She leans even closer to the phone, so now all I can see is one eyeball. "From the . . . original Ladurée shop?" Her voice is furtive and soft with reverence, like she's referring to the crown jewels.

"Yep. The flagship store. I believe it's on rue Royale."

My eyes widen. How in the world does Nathan know this? As though reading my mind, he shrugs like, I don't know, I'm just guessing here.

"The flagship store," Ma breathes. The one visible eye is practically glittering at the thought of one-upping Fourth Aunt with macarons from the original Ladurée store. Then she throws her head back and cackles. A literal witchy cackle. Nathan and I exchange a glance. Uh oh, Ma has ascended to her final form. "Yes!" she positively shrieks. "Oh, Fourth Aunt will be so embarrass. So embarrass. Nowhere to put her face!" She cackles again. "Buy the biggest box, okay? Everyone will want one."

"Ma, do you know how expensive those things are?"

Nathan waves me off. "We'll buy the biggest box of macarons they have. And a few other treats for you as well."

"Aiya, you no need to waste money on me."

Before Nathan can reply, I say, "Okay, we won't buy you anything."

Ma stops short and stares at us. There is a pregnant pause. "Yes, don't waste money on your own mother. I always tell you, no need to buy me any gifts. Other people always asking their children to buy gifts, but no, I say, I don't want to burden my daughter. As long as she happy and healthy, I am okay. Don't need her to make fuss over me or anything like that."

"Yep, we won't get you anything." I bite back the smile that's threatening to take over my face. Next to me, Nathan is giving me WTF looks, but I ignore him.

"Good, good," she mumbles, looking like I've just punched her in the heart.

Praise

"Sutanto packs in loads of local color, and gives the aunties ample opportunity to let their freak flags fly.”—Publishers Weekly

“Sutanto delivers another addictive romp, managing to negotiate a thrilling (multi) happily-everafter finale because, alas, this concludes the Aunties series.”—Booklist


“Sutanto’s hilarious triptych ends with a finale that could just as well have been titled ‘An Auntie You Can’t Refuse.’”—Kirkus Reviews

"The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties is a fun, fast-paced read and a satisfying conclusion to the popular series."—Bookpage

"Jesse Q. Sutanto puts both the action and the comedy in this story at the forefront. One second, you’ll be worrying for Meddy’s life, and in the next second, you’ll be cracking up at a comment one of her aunties made. To put it simply, Jesse Q. Sutanto has a gift."—Culturess

Author

© Michael Hart
Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore, and Oxford, and considers all three places her home. She has a Masters from Oxford University, but she has yet to figure out how to say that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse has forty-two first cousins and thirty aunties and uncles, many of whom live just down the road. She used to game but with two little ones and a husband, she no longer has time for hobbies. She aspires to one day find one (1) hobby. View titles by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Rights

Available for sale exclusive:
•     Canada
•     Guam
•     Minor Outl.Ins.
•     North Mariana
•     Philippines
•     Puerto Rico
•     Samoa,American
•     US Virgin Is.
•     USA

Available for sale non-exclusive:
•     Afghanistan
•     Aland Islands
•     Albania
•     Algeria
•     Andorra
•     Angola
•     Anguilla
•     Antarctica
•     Argentina
•     Armenia
•     Aruba
•     Austria
•     Azerbaijan
•     Bahrain
•     Belarus
•     Belgium
•     Benin
•     Bhutan
•     Bolivia
•     Bonaire, Saba
•     Bosnia Herzeg.
•     Bouvet Island
•     Brazil
•     Bulgaria
•     Burkina Faso
•     Burundi
•     Cambodia
•     Cameroon
•     Cape Verde
•     Centr.Afr.Rep.
•     Chad
•     Chile
•     China
•     Colombia
•     Comoro Is.
•     Congo
•     Cook Islands
•     Costa Rica
•     Croatia
•     Cuba
•     Curacao
•     Czech Republic
•     Dem. Rep. Congo
•     Denmark
•     Djibouti
•     Dominican Rep.
•     Ecuador
•     Egypt
•     El Salvador
•     Equatorial Gui.
•     Eritrea
•     Estonia
•     Ethiopia
•     Faroe Islands
•     Finland
•     France
•     Fren.Polynesia
•     French Guinea
•     Gabon
•     Georgia
•     Germany
•     Greece
•     Greenland
•     Guadeloupe
•     Guatemala
•     Guinea Republic
•     Guinea-Bissau
•     Haiti
•     Heard/McDon.Isl
•     Honduras
•     Hong Kong
•     Hungary
•     Iceland
•     Indonesia
•     Iran
•     Iraq
•     Israel
•     Italy
•     Ivory Coast
•     Japan
•     Jordan
•     Kazakhstan
•     Kuwait
•     Kyrgyzstan
•     Laos
•     Latvia
•     Lebanon
•     Liberia
•     Libya
•     Liechtenstein
•     Lithuania
•     Luxembourg
•     Macau
•     Macedonia
•     Madagascar
•     Malaysia
•     Maldives
•     Mali
•     Marshall island
•     Martinique
•     Mauritania
•     Mayotte
•     Mexico
•     Micronesia
•     Moldavia
•     Monaco
•     Mongolia
•     Montenegro
•     Morocco
•     Myanmar
•     Nepal
•     Netherlands
•     New Caledonia
•     Nicaragua
•     Niger
•     Niue
•     Norfolk Island
•     North Korea
•     Norway
•     Oman
•     Palau
•     Palestinian Ter
•     Panama
•     Paraguay
•     Peru
•     Poland
•     Portugal
•     Qatar
•     Reunion Island
•     Romania
•     Russian Fed.
•     Rwanda
•     Saint Martin
•     San Marino
•     SaoTome Princip
•     Saudi Arabia
•     Senegal
•     Serbia
•     Singapore
•     Sint Maarten
•     Slovakia
•     Slovenia
•     South Korea
•     South Sudan
•     Spain
•     St Barthelemy
•     St.Pier,Miquel.
•     Sth Terr. Franc
•     Sudan
•     Suriname
•     Svalbard
•     Sweden
•     Switzerland
•     Syria
•     Tadschikistan
•     Taiwan
•     Thailand
•     Timor-Leste
•     Togo
•     Tokelau Islands
•     Tunisia
•     Turkey
•     Turkmenistan
•     Ukraine
•     Unit.Arab Emir.
•     Uruguay
•     Uzbekistan
•     Vatican City
•     Venezuela
•     Vietnam
•     Wallis,Futuna
•     West Saharan
•     Western Samoa
•     Yemen

Not available for sale:
•     Antigua/Barbuda
•     Australia
•     Bahamas
•     Bangladesh
•     Barbados
•     Belize
•     Bermuda
•     Botswana
•     Brit.Ind.Oc.Ter
•     Brit.Virgin Is.
•     Brunei
•     Cayman Islands
•     Christmas Islnd
•     Cocos Islands
•     Cyprus
•     Dominica
•     Falkland Islnds
•     Fiji
•     Gambia
•     Ghana
•     Gibraltar
•     Grenada
•     Guernsey
•     Guyana
•     India
•     Ireland
•     Isle of Man
•     Jamaica
•     Jersey
•     Kenya
•     Kiribati
•     Lesotho
•     Malawi
•     Malta
•     Mauritius
•     Montserrat
•     Mozambique
•     Namibia
•     Nauru
•     New Zealand
•     Nigeria
•     Pakistan
•     PapuaNewGuinea
•     Pitcairn Islnds
•     S. Sandwich Ins
•     Seychelles
•     Sierra Leone
•     Solomon Islands
•     Somalia
•     South Africa
•     Sri Lanka
•     St. Helena
•     St. Lucia
•     St. Vincent
•     St.Chr.,Nevis
•     Swaziland
•     Tanzania
•     Tonga
•     Trinidad,Tobago
•     Turks&Caicos Is
•     Tuvalu
•     Uganda
•     United Kingdom
•     Vanuatu
•     Zambia
•     Zimbabwe