Friday, December 8, 2023

Reaper of Chaos

Blood of Saviors Book 1

A Reign of Goddesses Spinoff Series

by C.D. Britt

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

She loves death.
He is Death.
Thanatos took a fifty-year vacation from his duties as Death, psychopomp of the Underworld.
Returning to Halcyon, he meets Lira, a professor of Thanatology with the ability to see souls . . . and
Intrigued, he finds himself obsessed with learning about the woman who studies, and sees, death.
As he finds himself growing closer to the woman who has him fascinated for the first time in centuries, a devastating problem arises in both the mortal world and the Underworld.
People are no longer dying.
Thanatos and Lira now have a choice to make: each other or death itself.

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

Book Links:



**Don’t miss the Reign of Goddesses Series!**

Find them on Amazon

About the Author

C.D. Britt began her writing journey when her husband told her she needed to use her excessive imagination to write stories as opposed to creating a daily narrative for him. Ever since she penned her first words, life has been a lot more peaceful for him.

She currently resides in Texas where she has yet to adapt to the heat. Her husband thrives in it, so unfortunately, they will not be relocating to colder climates anytime soon.

Their two young children would honestly complain either way.

When she is not in her writing cave (hiding from the sun), she enjoys ignoring the world as much as her children will allow with a good book, music, and vast amounts of coffee (until it’s time for wine).

C.D. Britt is the author of the Reign of Goddesses series, Clan of Shadows series, and the new Blood of Saviors series.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


Author Links









$10 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

My Big Heart-Shaped Fail

by Cindy Callaghan

Genre: Tween, Upper Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction

 A tween comedy-of-errors that chronicles the most cringe-worthy day of 13 year-old Abby Gray's life.


Award-winning middle-grade novel from the author of Just Add Magic and Saltwater Secrets . . . . 

 In this hourly time-stamped, action-packed tween comedy of errors, Abby Gray, feeling weighed down by her secrets and lies, lets five balloons float into the sky with her deepest secrets attached to them in a desperate attempt to clear her conscience. Her relief is short-lived, though: the next day, those balloons start dropping one by one at her school, revealing Abby’s innermost thoughts to both friends and frenemies and creating hilarious misinterpretations of crushes amongst her peers.

This is the worst day of her life . . . or is it? Before the last bell rings, Abby manages to integrate the oddball who is blackmailing her into her friend group and to fix the mix-ups the notes have caused—not only getting couples back together but also making a few new love matches—and finally comes clean as the author of the notes that have created such chaos.


8:00 AM


The temperature dove below zero and snow flurries whirled, but my mom braved the cold and helped me haul boxes of decorations into school.

“Thanks,” I said as she dropped a bag from the Donut Hole into the last box for me to manage on my own. The Hole was right next to the school and, like most kids, we often stopped and grabbed breakfast on our way to school.

My math teacher, Mr. Valdez, pulled his pickup truck into the parking lot. Mom waved and flashed him her signature smile, which she always has even when she’s tired from working late into the night.

She kissed her hand and touched my cheek with it. As she left, she called to Mr. Valdez, “Have a nice day.”

He waved to her with his free hand while the other fiddled with his car’s antenna.

“What’s that?” I called to him.

“Oh, nothing.” He put something in his pocket, walked over to me, and put a red ribbon into my box. “Here, I think maybe you or someone dropped this.”

“Uh, thanks,” I said, but I hadn’t been near his car, so I don’t see how I could’ve dropped it there. Maybe a stray piece of ribbon blew over.

“Go on inside before you freeze,” he said, his eyes following my mom’s car as it pulled out.


It was impossible not to notice the school office since it was overflowing with balloons. A delivery guy walked in behind me with another bunch.

“I’ll take those,” I offered, and towed a bunch of balloons to the gym along with my box. It was going to take a lot of trips to transport the rest of the delivery from the office.

Jess and Paige had started early and already striped one entire wall with red and white streamers. It looked great, like peppermint sticks, except they’d made ten stripes, while peppermint sticks had eleven, my favorite of all the prime numbers. I figured I’d add one more stripe later when no one was around. There was no need to be inaccurate.

Paige beamed at the balloons. “Yay! They’re here.” She looked behind me and the smile drained from her face. “Where’s the guy?”

“What guy?” I asked.

 “Didn’t the party store send a balloon-arch-maker guy?”

“No guy,” I said.

Logan Murphy swaggered in behind me. “I’m a guy.” This was the understatement of the trimester. Logan wasn’t just any guy. He was Mount Lebanon Middle School’s “It Guy.” Logan worked in the school office on his free periods, like now, which gave him access to hall passes, which was a big deal. At The Mount, hall passes were gold.

“Hi Abby,” he said to me without a hint of flirtation, yet I felt my cheeks blush.

All the girls at The Mount liked Logan. So far, he hadn’t asked anyone to the dance, and lots of girls were holding out in hopes he’d ask them.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

Before he could answer, Jess said, “Well, that’s not gonna work. Logan can’t build a balloon arch. He couldn’t even build an Egyptian pyramid out of Legos in Social Studies.”

Logan said, “Legos are rectangles and pyramids are triangles, so it’s not as easy as it sounds.”

As if Jess hadn’t heard his defense, she said to me and Paige, “Look, he might have an awesome smile and be captain of the basketball team, but he is NOT a balloon arch builder. We need a professional.” Then, she added, “Just sayin’.”

Logan didn’t seem offended. “You don’t have to apologize for thinking I have an awesome smile. People tell me that a lot.” He showed off the famous grin. Geez, he was cute.

“Okay,” Paige said. “Slight problem with the crème de la crème of our decorations. And as chairwoman, I have a solution. We’re going to make this arch ourselves with directions I’m going to download and print right now.”

Nothing would stand in Paige Bakenya’s way of transforming this gym into a Peppermint Twist Dance Wonderland.

 “Okay committee, stripe the next wall. I’ll be back before you can say ‘peppermint.’”  With that, she took the one coveted hall pass Mr. Valdez had given us for the day.

“I’ll let you girls handle this stripe business,” Logan said, “and I’ll get more balloons from the office.”

“Paige just took the hall pass,” Jess said.

He chuckled. “Dude, it’s me. I navigate these halls like a stealth weapon.” On his way out, he was decked by Chloe, who entered the gym dancing and singing.

“What the heck?” Logan asked, picking himself up and wiping gym floor dust off his basketball shorts—yeah, he wore shorts all winter. 

Chloe ignored him. “He likes me!” she said and twirled.

“Uh, yeah, so I’m outta here.” Logan left the gym.

“Who?” Jess and I asked.

Chloe said, “Tao.”

WTW? Paige’s Tao?

This was shocking. So shocking that I couldn’t get words out to ask for clarification.

Chloe continued pirouetting, as if she were in a magical love trance. “I love love. Don’t you?”

Luckily, Paige wasn’t around to hear this because she would’ve choked on her Peppermint Twist planner at the idea that her boyfriend, who she’d recently kissed for the first time, liked Chloe. This was so Chloe to stir up drama.

Jess asked, “What are you talking about?”

“You heard me right. Sorry for your friend Paige—actually, sorry, I’m not sorry—but here’s the harsh reality, Jessica Sawyer: Tao likes me.”

Lots of girls were jealous of Paige. She was pretty, friendly to new kids, handed in assignments early, and had the best-decorated locker. She always shared her homemade cookies with everyone, and somehow they always seemed just out of the oven, even when it was late in the day. It was a mystery no one’s ever been able to solve.

“Everyone knows Tao and Paige are boyfriend and girlfriend,” Jess said. “Where did you even get this idea? I’m just sayin’, the idea is ridiculous.” Sometimes Jess not having a filter was good because it got her point out in the open rather than beating around the bush.

 “Ridiculous, you say? Then why did he give me this?” Chloe held up a paper that Jess snatched and read to herself. When she was done, she handed it to me. But I didn’t have to read it.

I already knew what it said, because Tao hadn’t written it.

I had.

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Bookbub * Goodreads

Book Links:








Book Trailer:

The Girl Who Ruined Christmas

by Cindy Callaghan

Award-winning middle-grade Christmas novel from the author of Just Add Magic and Saltwater Secrets . . . . 

Imagine you’re a tween visiting a small town that loves nothing more than its prize fir—a perfect Christmas tree destined for the White House. Now picture yourself accidentally destroying that tree, making you public enemy number one. Lastly, imagine that to repay your debt, you have to remain in said town for the Christmas season.

That’s what happens to Brady Bancroft.

When Brady ruins Harper Hollow Fall’s prize tree, she’s sentenced to stay in the holiday-festooned town for the month of December. At first, she couldn’t be more depressed about the whole situation; but during her month there, she is surprised to discover that there’s much more than pine needles to the little town holding her captive. In the end, Harper Hollow Falls reminds Brady of the true meaning of Christmas—and she, in turn, saves the town.

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Bookbub * Goodreads

Book Links:








Book Trailer:


About the Author

Cindy Callaghan is the award-winning author of eleven MG novels including JUST ADD MAGIC and JUST ADD MAGIC 2: POTION PROBLEMS, which were made into an Emmy-nominated Amazon Original series now in its fifth season and distributed world-wide via Nickelodeon. She’s well-known for the best-selling Lost In… books: LOST IN LONDON, LOST IN PARIS, LOST IN ROME, LOST IN HOLLYWOOD, and LOST IN IRELAND. Her Agatha award-winning stand-alone SYDNEY MACKENZIE KNOCKS ‘EM DEAD sells out every year around Halloween.

Her 2020 book SALTWATER SECRETS, which is nominated for an Agatha Award, won Delaware Press Association and National Federation of Press Women’s awards, and two International Book Awards, is set up by a major studio.

Triple-award-winning THE GIRL WHO RUINED CHRISTMAS, (October 2021) sold out its first print run before Thanksgiving. MY BIG HEART-SHAPED FAIL has won three awards since it's 2022 launch. These books along with original concepts are actively being shopped to producers, networks and streamers along with Cindy’s robust portfolio of original features and series.

A Jersey girl at heart, Cindy lives in Delaware with her family and rescued-pets.

Website * Facebook * X * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links










$10 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Monday, December 4, 2023

Christmas With a Cowboy

Cowboys of Burton Springs Book 7

by Pam Mantovani

Genre: Holiday Romance

  The holiday spirit has wrapped up a cowboy just for her, but romance isn't in her plans.

She’s all wrapped up in him . . .

 Avery McClain is looking forward to her first Christmas in Montana with her little girl. But as soon as she arrives, she’s caught in an unexpected tug of war between two ranchers wanting to buy the land left to her by her favorite uncle. All she wants to do is make the holiday special for daughter. But instead, she’s overwhelmed with attempts to pressure her into selling. And she’s uncomfortably attracted to one of the men competing for her property.

 Judson Ford wants Avery McClain’s land to expand his horse breeding operation. He didn’t anticipate his attraction to her, or his admiration for her courage. And her little girl is so damn cute! Before he knows it, he’s been swept up in her Christmas spirit. Suddenly, Avery and her daughter are filling all the empty spaces in his life.

 But then, Avery is offered a job opportunity that would mean she’d have to relocate. And Judson realizes that everything in him is pushing him to ask her to stay and make a life—a family—with him.

 Unfortunately, someone else has other ideas.


Chapter One

AVERY MCCLAIN didn’t cry when she signed the divorce papers. Tears, along with regrets, had disappeared as she’d fought her now ex-husband for what she wanted . . .what was rightfully hers.

Since he was a prominent attorney from a long line of pro­minent attorneys, it had not been an easy battle. Still, despite all his slick tactics, all his demands, all his legal maneuvers, she’d refused to bend.

When something mattered, when it was important, she fought to keep what had been given to her and her alone.

Timothy had argued harder and longer for the ownership of the cabin in Montana—the cabin she’d inherited from her uncle—than he did over signing away any and all claim to their daughter.

Walking out of the attorney’s office, she smiled for the first time in months. A dark limo waited at the curb. The driver nod­ded as he opened the door, offering a hand to assist her inside the luxurious interior.

“You didn’t have to do this.”

“Of course, I did.” Londyn Fitzgerald, her college room­mate, wildly popular fantasy author, and Avery’s only constant friend, waved a hand. “What’s the point of being famous—and very, very rich—if I can’t do something for my best friend?”

“He never even asked about her.”

Londyn blew out a long breath as the driver pulled into traf­fic. “He never deserved sweet Brenna,” she said, naming Avery’s three-year-old daughter. “Or you.”

“Well, now he doesn’t have either one of us.” She turned to peer through the smoke-tinted window. “I’m going to Montana.”

“What? Why?”

“It’ll be good for me and Brenna to have a fresh start.”

“Come to New York.”

“I love you for offering, but I feel like I owe it to Uncle Alex to use his cabin.” She looked at Londyn. “Maybe I’m just being stubborn. Maybe I’m going simply because Timothy fought so hard to take it from me.”

“Can’t you just picture him, sitting there in one of his three-piece suits, in a hunting cabin?” Both women chuckled. “I’m sorry, Av,” she said. “But what the hell did you ever see in him?”

“I was lonely. He saw that and used it for his own pur­poses.” She frowned. “I won’t let something like that happen again,” she promised.

“And you think Montana is the place to start again?”

She shrugged. “I won’t know if I don’t go.” A store sign caught her eye, and she pointed at it.

“The Christmas sales start earlier and earlier,” Londyn commented.

“In Montana I can give Brenna a traditional Christmas with a real tree, snow, and the magic of Santa. And maybe it’ll restore my faith in joy and goodness.”

“Christmas shopping in New York could do that.”

Avery laughed, wrapped an arm around her friend’s shoulder. “I’ll call you every week,” she promised.

It took time. She packed up and shipped out the few items she wanted to keep, along with giving her new contractor time to complete necessary renovations to the cabin before they moved in. Londyn, as only an understanding and the best of friends would do, postponed returning to New York and completing the final installment of her fantasy series to provide moral support. The day Avery dropped off Londyn at the airport, she and Brenna began their cross-country trip.

She took her time driving. After all, a three-year-old could only stand sitting in a car seat for so long. She constantly talked to Brenna, warding off fatigue or restlessness until they stopped, either to run off energy or take in sights along the way.

They stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast in Tennessee, then toured the Kentucky Derby Museum. Brenna squealed with delight while Avery got nauseous at the top of the Arch in St. Louis. Londyn laughed when Avery told her about the experi­ence later that night during their weekly phone call. When road construction got in the way, she changed routes. Crossing into Montana, beneath an eye-searing blue sky where she spotted her first eagle, the vast landscape ranged from rugged mountains, already topped with snow, to dense evergreen forests and more lakes than she’d imagined.

Impatient to get to her new home, she skipped a drive through Yellowstone. “We’ll come back,” she promised Brenna, who played with the stuffed moose she’d become infatuated with at a truck stop.

She took time to stop in the town of Burton Springs and pick up some basic groceries before heading to the cabin. People nodded in that friendly smalltown way she’d come across once or twice during her travels. This time, however, it felt different. These would be her neighbors. Still, she rushed through her purchases and headed out, following the directions.

At the end of a long gravel road, she braked to a stop, shut down the engine and stared through the windshield, taking it all in. A hundred yards away was the cabin that held warm mem­ories of an uncle who had welcomed her in the summers, given her the attention and love she’d so rarely known from her par­ents.

“Mama,” Brenna cried from the back seat. “Out.”

“Home,” she corrected her daughter. “We’re home.”

“YOUR UNCLE WAS a heck of an outdoorsman, but a lousy housekeeper,” Harley Barker said as he signed his name to the final document.

She’d arrived in Burton Springs two days ago and was now taking care of official business. Harley Barker, her uncle’s attor­ney, was the first stop. “Whenever I visited Uncle Alex, I always felt like I was going on a treasure hunt,” Avery recalled, thankful that the happy memories were starting to replace her guilt for having neglected him for so long. “I would find a bird’s nest, an old arrowhead, a collection of elk antlers, a turtle shell he used as a bowl to hold rocks and nuts, and, once, a bear claw.”

“The place is cleaned and updated for you now.”

“I appreciate you taking care of everything,” she said. The attorney had been helpful in so many ways since he’d informed her of her uncle’s passing fourteen months earlier.

“I’m obliged to tell you I’ve been approached by someone to inquire if you might be interested in selling your property.”

“No, I’m not.”

“A hundred acres of land is a big responsibility for a young woman.”

She smiled slightly. “You mean a young woman who’s lived her entire life in a city in Georgia?”

He paused, glancing at the corner where Brenna talked toddler gibberish to a collection of stuffed animals. “I mean a single mother with a young daughter.”

The reminder that she, and she alone, was responsible for her daughter’s welfare could have depressed her if it hadn’t been true since the day Brenna was born. Her ex-husband hadn’t at­tempted to hide his disappointment at being told he had a daugh­ter instead of a son. His loss, she thought now as she watched Brenna put the stuffed animals in a basket, then laugh when she tipped it over so they spilled out. His very great loss.

“I appreciate your concern, Mr. Barker.”

“Harley,” he reminded her. “It’s a generous offer, one that could give you and your daughter a comfortable life.”

“You know how hard I had to fight to keep this property.” He nodded. “I have fond memories of the summers I spent here with Uncle Alex. I’m not going to dishonor his legacy by selling it off before the ink is dry on the deed.”

“Do you have any idea what you’re going to do with the land?”

“No, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure I’ll stay in Montana beyond Christmas.” She pointed at the wall calendar a month shy of turning the page to November. “But I am looking forward to spending the holidays here.”

“The town does it up right. There’ll be plenty for you to do and see.”

“I look forward to it.”

Harley stood and offered his hand. “If you need anything, you know where to find me.”

AVERY WAS USED to the stares. Although she had arrived seven weeks earlier, people in this small and close-knit com­munity still looked at her as if she was a stranger rather than their newest neighbor. The bulk of those seven weeks she’d spent in the cabin, setting up house, acclimating herself and Brenna to their new surroundings. She’d had work deadlines to meet—she was just starting out as a graphic designer and knew that she had a reputation to keep up—and, she smiled a little, she’d also spent considerable time shopping for winter wardrobes.

Today, however, the stares were for a little girl who was fussy and tired. Avery knew she was blessed with a child who willingly went down for naps. The problem today was, with Thanksgiving two days away–she’d spotted some businesses already starting on their Christmas decorations—Avery had needed to run errands. And they’d taken longer than she’d anticipated. She wouldn’t be preparing a traditional feast, or contacting a caterer to serve it for her ex-husband’s family and associates, but she did want to make the day as special for her and Brenna as she could.

She glanced down into her cart. Most of the other shoppers had full ones, with the traditional turkey, stuffing, and other as­sorted items for big family gatherings. Tossed in with their dis­carded coats, her cart held a box of Breanna’s preferred macaroni and cheese and a frozen lasagna for herself. Along with a nice bottle of wine.

“Brenna . . .” Avery rubbed a thumb on her daughter’s palm, a gesture that, since birth, always calmed her. Her eyes, green like her father’s, were heavy with fatigue and her full bottom lip, inherited from her mother, trembled against the urge to cry. “Okay, sweetie, we’re going.” It would mean a trip back to the store tomorrow, when it was likely to be a madhouse, but she would manage.

“Uh, oh. Looks like someone missed their nap.”

Avery watched as a man leaned down to smile at Brenna. “I know just how you feel, sweetheart. I get cranky myself if I don’t get enough sleep.”

Maybe it was a small town, but Avery didn’t like the idea of a stranger being so close to her daughter. She unhooked the safety strap and lifted Brenna out of the seat . . .then gasped in surprise when Brenna flung herself into the man’s arms.

“I’m sorry,” Avery said, reaching for Brenna.

“No problem. Well,” he said, smiling as he leaned back when Brenna reached out for the brim of his caramel-colored cowboy hat. “Maybe one. Sorry sweetheart, but no woman, no matter how cute, gets her hands on my hat.” He removed it and tossed it into Avery’s cart.

“She doesn’t usually go to strangers,” Avery said, nervously.

“Then let me introduce myself. I’m Judson, Judson Ford. I own the New Horizon Ranch.”

“’Udson.” Brenna said, earning a chuckle from him.

He pointed a finger at Avery. “And who’s this lovely lady?”


Maybe because this man held her precious daughter so care­fully, charming her by making funny faces and earning delighted giggles, Avery couldn’t dismiss him outright, as she’d easily been able to do with every man who’d crossed her path in the past year. Still, she wouldn’t let down her guard either.

Then, over her daughter’s head, his eyes locked with hers. She felt a shock, an intense streak of fire, race down her spine. She had no idea what had caused it, had no idea why she’d felt it. All she knew was it wasn’t entirely sexual in nature.

“I was sorry to hear about Alex Mitchell’s death.”

“Did you know him?”

“Our paths crossed from time to time, since his property borders mine.” He paused. “Since it’s yours now, that makes us neighbors.”

“I’ll keep that in mind in case I need a cup of sugar.”

“That and a few other basics are about all I have in my kitchen.”

Avery glanced down at her cart. “Maybe I should pick up some sugar to have on hand.” She smiled at Brenna. “And for when I make Christmas c-o-o-k-i-e-s.”

“That doesn’t look like much of a Thanksgiving feast.”

Heat rose on her cheeks. “Brenna’s too young to have turkey, and it hardly seemed worth the effort to cook for one,” Avery said.

“Can’t blame you there.”

Avery watched Judson’s gaze move over her shoulder and warmth softened the dark color of his eyes.

“Audra,” he said, pleasure evident in his voice.

Avery turned, surprised to find a woman pushing a cart. Inside it were two young boys, and another holding onto the cart handle. All three children were currently entertained with toy cars and action figures.

“Hello, Judson. I’m surprised to find you here.”

“Audra Montgomery, this is Avery McClain. She’s the new owner of the property next to mind.”

“Oh, you’re Alex Mitchell’s niece. I didn’t know him, but I’ve heard good things about him. Welcome to Burton Springs.” Her features softened as she studied Brenna, who now had her head lowered to Judson’s shoulder. “What a beautiful little girl you have.” She sighed and stroked a hand over the small bump of her belly before reaching over to snag the car her three boys fought over. It took only a single look to stop the arguing. “I’ll be outnumbered five to one come July.”

“Carter’s a lucky man,” Judson said.

“No,” Audra corrected him, smiling at her three boys. “I’m the lucky one.”

“Audra and Carter got engaged on Thanksgiving,” Judson said. “Since then, it’s become a tradition for them to open their house to whoever wants to come.”

“Please join us,” Audra said. She nodded at Judson, a ges­ture of acceptance of what he’d been suggesting. “If you don’t, I’ll worry all day about you being alone.”

“That’s very kind of you, and I appreciate the invitation. Really. But Brenna and I will be fine.” She hesitated. “We’re used to being alone. And, as you can see, she likes her nap time.”

“You talk funny.”

“Bradley,” Audra gasped with embarrassment.

“Well, she does. I didn’t say she sounds bad.” The boy stand­ing at the handle hunched his shoulders. “It’s kind of like music.”

Avery leaned forward and tapped a fingertip to his nose, when what she really wanted to do was sweep him into her arms. “That, kind sir, is just about the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

“Hey,” Judson protested. “Are you trying to steal away my reputation as the most eligible man in town?”

“No, sir. You’re not ‘pose to steal. Aunt Kendall will arrest you if you do.”

“My sister-in-law,” Audra said with a chuckle. “Is a deputy sheriff.”

“Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s just jealous because you’re so sweet,” Avery said, grinning when the two other brothers made kissing noises. She straightened, looked at Audra, then gave in. If she wanted to become part of the community, she needed to participate. “What can I bring?”

“Nothing this year. It’s your first time, and we always have plenty.”

“Enough for me to take home a leftover dish?” Judson asked.

“Or two,” Audra agreed. She brushed a hand over Bradley’s hair.

“Really, I can’t come empty-handed.”

“A bottle of wine?” She looked at the boys. “Maybe some­thing special for the kids?”

The boys piped up with their favorites and Audra gave Avery her address before she led the boys away to complete their shopping.

“I’ll take her now,” Avery said to Judson, holding out her arms, only to realize Brenna had fallen asleep.

“You don’t want to wake her when she just fell asleep, do you?”

“And you want to hold her?”

“It’s called being a good neighbor.”

Avery gave in and selected two additional bottles of wine, along with a bouquet of flowers for Audra, before picking out the drinks the boys had mentioned. Standing behind her as she paid for her purchases, Judson Ford kept up a conversation with the clerk, who bounced curious glances between him and Avery. When her transaction was complete, and her bags stored in the cart, she turned to Judson.

“I’ve got her.”

“But it’s cold outside,” Avery protested, holding up Brenna’s coat.

“I’ll keep her warm.”

Rather than make a scene in the front of the store, Avery said nothing and turned to push the cart toward her vehicle.

“This time next year, you won’t even need a coat,” Judson said beside her. She looked over to find him studying her.

“It’s a long way from Georgia. Or is it Alabama? Tennessee, maybe? C’mon,” he said when Avery looked at him. “Even before Bradley said anything, you knew we could all hear the magnolias in your voice. Or is it peaches?”

“Peaches,” she confirmed as her lips twitched. “Atlanta to be specific.” Using her key fob, she opened the rear hatch of her SUV and unlocked the doors before turning to him. She had the added feature of the engine starting, and therefore the heater going as well. “I’ll get her strapped in the car seat if you don’t mind putting the bags in the back.”

She had a hand slipped between Brenna’s body and his chest when she froze. It was, she realized, the first time she’d had to make this kind of transfer. Brenna’s father had never held his daughter, not even as an infant.

“Are you okay?”

She nodded, completing the transfer. But she held Brenna close a moment, before moving to place her in the car seat. It was nice to have an extra pair of hands, someone to take care of the groceries while she settled Brenna. “Thank you,” she said sincerely when he came to her door.

“What time should I pick you up on Thanksgiving?”

“I appreciate the offer, but I’d rather drive myself,” she said, clicking her seatbelt in place. “I need to do some work that morning, and if I have my own car, I can leave if Brenna gets cranky.”

He stepped back. “Okay. See you then.”

Hours later, after dinner, bath, and cuddle time with Brenna before she fell asleep, Avery poured a glass of wine and thought back over the day. A part of her questioned how she’d allowed herself to be railroaded into spending Thanksgiving Day with stran­gers but another part of her had been warmed by the invitation. Besides, how could she deny the sweetness of having a small boy tell her that she sounded like music when she talked?

There’d been little sweet about Judson Ford. Oh, he’d been charming, but there’d also been a sharpness and intensity beneath that public layer. It reminded her, painfully, of why she was in Montana. She recalled Thomas’ pursuit of her back when they’d been dating. At the time, it had been flattering to be the center of his attention.

Then again, Judson had made no effort to change her mind when she insisted on driving to the Montgomery ranch on Thanksgiving.

She roamed the central room, with an unobstructed view of the eating area and kitchen. The master bedroom and bath were on the other side of the cabin, with two remaining bedrooms, split by a bathroom, lining the rear of the house. A wide deck, now covered in a foot of snow, extended the front length of the house and would be a great place to sit outside in warmer months. Maybe she’d speak to Jessica Thorne, the woman who’d handled the renovations, about building a swing set for Brenna. And a rocker for herself.

It was a far different, more updated version of the house she’d stayed in while visiting her uncle. But the house had just been somewhere to be when they couldn’t be outdoors. She’d had a different freedom here than at home. There had been so much to explore and discover. Uncle Alex had shown limitless patience as he taught her about the environment and respect for the wildlife.

He'd laughed with delight when she’d caught her first fish, had beamed with satisfaction when he taught her how to select and cut a thick branch to make into a hiking stick. She recalled the two of them sitting on the back porch, juice running down their chins from the first freshly picked tomato they’d grown together. He’d never been too busy to answer questions or explain something to her. He’d given her the attention her own parents had been too interested in their careers to offer.

She vowed Brenna would never doubt her mother’s love.

Taking her wine with her, she went into the bedroom she’d set up as an office. She’d take her mind off disappointments, heart­ache, and the surprising attraction to Judson Ford by con­cen­trating on work. If she succeeded in winning the graphic design contract for a national cookie company, it could make all the difference in the world for her and Brenna. Not only would it give her more financial security, but it would ensure she could keep working from home and always be available for Brenna.

Whether home ended up being here or somewhere else was a question to be answered later.

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Bookbub * Goodreads

Book Links:








About the Author

An author of passionate, emotional romances with heart, Pam loves crafting stories about independent women and men who discover the thrill and joy of falling in love. After years of moving as both an Army Brat and corporate wife, Pam and her craftsman husband settled in Atlanta, close to family and friends. When not writing, Pam enjoys quilting, planting beautiful flowers, home improvement projects and spending time with her wonderful family.


Website * Facebook * X * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


Author Links









$10 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,

$5 Amazon giftcard + ebook of Christmas with a Cowboy – 3 winners!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Reaper of Chaos

Blood of Saviors Book 1 A Reign of Goddesses Spinoff Series by C.D. Britt Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance She loves death. He  is  Dea...