Friday, March 27, 2020

Last chance...

Things are changing...

This is your last chance to get the Found Series books 1-3 at $.99 AND to get the entire series from other retailers besides Amazon.

Sunday night all the sale prices for books 1-3 of the Found Series will be going back to regular retail PLUS all four books will no longer be available at all retailers.

I am going to put the whole Found Series into Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program, which is good news for KU customers, but not so good news for readers on other platforms. This is an experiment, and right now I plan to only have the series in the program for 90 days.
Universal buy links for the entire Found Series
His entire life, Tommy Garrett has dealt with self-doubts. He thought he’d conquered the majority of them until a chance meeting with an author brought his illiteracy to the forefront...again. Growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia has left Tommy barely able to read, but books are his Nirvana. Now he spends his life creating art dedicated to the love of those “untouchable” items.

Robert McIntyre, Mac, is a best-selling, highly celebrated author. But his point of view has become a little bit too narrow...until Tommy opens his eyes. That chance meeting has changed everything about his world. He has no idea how to find the beautiful man he met, and offended, at the library book sale. But when he does, Tommy’s life is in crisis-mode. It’s the holidays and Mac can’t just standby when Tommy needs help, whether Tommy wants it or not.

Two artistic men. One shared passion for books.

Life is hard, and sometimes when conflict arises you have to write your own plot twist to pull yourself out of the fray.

Book #1 in the Found series:
Universal buy links for the entire Found Series
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...or does it?

Emily Hodges went to Vegas for her best friend's wedding. She was NOT looking for a husband. Been there, done that, never doing it again. She has enough scars on her heart, and doesn't need or want any more.

Brady Gresham went to Vegas to find his musical voice again. Instead he found an inspiring muse in the form of Emily. But right now his musical career is his focus. He's too young to want or need to be tied down.

Somehow their drunken get-together turned into a wedding that neither one of them can remember or explain.

Waking up married was never part of the plan, but you know what they say about best laid plans...

Book #3 in the Found series
After suffering a traumatic brain injury the final football game his senior year in high school, Ryder Garrett's life was never normal again. Most days he's happy when he can remember the way home. There's no room in his life for romance or love, which means he's destined to die a virgin.

Stig Minton doesn't remember what virginity felt like. Twelve years older than Ryder, he's been around the block too many times to count and has the scars to prove it...both physically and mentally.

But as these two men come together to help with a wedding, they forge a friendship, a friendship they both desperately need. As their relationship evolves, feelings go deeper. But is it stupid to risk this new--and, yes necessary--bond in pursuit of something that's doomed to fail?

They both think they're too broken to make this work. But what if they're wrong?

Two broken souls may just be able to find reparation in one another...

Book #2 in the Found Series. 
Universal buy links for the entire Found Series
A wounded rock star, a bodyguard, and a CEO get trapped in a snowed-in cabin...

It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s not. This is the start of an epic love story between three men. Three men who have a history twined together with encounters and impressions that have marked their years.

They just never realized how all those brief encounters would eventually change their lives forever.

Daniel, the rock star who survived a plane crash and is trying to figure out how to live his life without legs.

Luke, the bodyguard who made so many mistakes and now thinks he doesn’t deserve the man he’s loved for years.

Austin, the CEO who thinks he’s on the outside pulling the strings, but what he doesn’t realize is without him at the core, this relationship will never work...for any of them.

Three men, one snowy winter cabin, one epic love story waiting to be discovered...

Book #4 in the Found Series.
Universal buy links for the entire Found Series

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

All the news for this week PLUS a recommendation...

Are you hanging in there?

I get it. Believe me, I get it. Things are scary right now, but we've got this. The one thing that keeps me going is knowing that we're all in this together. The future is uncertain, but it's that way for the entire world so I have to believe that it's going to be okay...for all of us.

*positive thoughts*
Honestly, there is no better time to escape into a book (seriously, I will use any excuse I can to do this...even when the world is normal...LOL). And that's why I'm coming to you today with a recommendation. I love books that offer me a few hours of happy escape and this one is a good one for that!

My recommendation....

I've talked a lot about the Ticket To True Love titles (seriously, they're all so good!), but the one I'm featuring today is special because I was lucky enough to get to beta read this book for the author. AND it's one of my favorite tropes...second chance at love. SWOON!

Jeremy and Darcy are a couple with a history. They were together  (as friends and lovers) in college until Darcy disappeared, leaving Jeremy heartbroken with no clue what had gone wrong. This book takes place several years later when Darcy shows up offering a business proposition to Jeremy that he really can't afford to turn down.

The problem? He's still just as attracted to her as he ever was, but now he doesn't trust her.

Seriously...it's so good. I think I may need a reread soon!
Buy GOOD VIBES AT THE VINE Now

Other recent Ticket to True Love releases...

Buy Now
Buy Now
Buy Now

And all the news on my TTTL titles...

I just finished drafting the final book in my Locating Love series that falls in the Ticket to True Love series. Quickly Falling in Qatar features an Air Force Intelligence officer and the FBI agent who left him for her job. There is some MAJOR unfinished business between them...like the fact that they're still in love. (I mentioned I like second chance love stories, right?) Also this book goes back to my romantic suspense roots with a disappearance that the two are having to investigate.

Quickly Falling in Qatar will be out June 23. Preorder links aren't up yet, but I will let you know as soon as they are.

But in the meantime, the other two books in the cousins series are available. I love these three books so much. I hope you'll give them a chance. They are simply light, happy reads that are perfect for these difficult days.

Book #1, Amorous in Appleton, features a pop star hiding out in a small orchard in Pennsylvania, but she's about to be discovered.

Book #2, Falling Hard in Frisco, features a couple of hot-for-one-another architects who are vying for the same job...they just don't realize it.
Buy Amorous in Appleton
Buy Falling Hard in Frisco

And a quick reminder...

Both this sale (on the first three titles) and the availability of this series on other retailers is only going to last until 

***March 29***

Then the books will go back to regular price on Amazon and will be pulled from the other retailers.
Hopefully, it will only take a couple of weeks before they will then all go into Kindle Unlimited and be exclusive to Amazon.

I know this isn't ideal for everyone, but money is tight for a lot of us right now and I'm trying to do what's best financially for me as an author and my readers. My plan is to put the series wide again in 90 days, but that isn't set in stone. 
Universal retailer link to the whole FOUND SERIES

Friday, March 20, 2020

Let's BREATHE together...PLUS all the ***FOUND SERIES NEWS***

Breathe...

I've chosen a new word a year for the last several years. Ironically, BREATHE was my word for 2020. Who knew I would need that reminder so much?
Dang, this has been a year already, hasn't it?
We're all doing everything we can to get through it, but if you're like me, you're probably still more than a little stressed.
So, this is your reminder from me...JUST BREATHE.
Relax.
Nothing was ever solved by constant worry. In fact, that shit (worrying all the time) will just make everything worse.
So, I'm here to remind of a few ways to find your inner Zen, peace, or to just remind you to chill and relax. 
  1. Breathe...take a few minutes, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths. It helps to just allow yourself to "be"...no stress.
  2. Meditate...This is something I've been doing for a few months now. Taking ten to fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of the day to relax does wonders for your mental health. (Note: I use the Calm app and love it.)
  3. Listen to Nature...one of the most relaxing, energizing things in this world is the sound of birds in the morning. Open your windows for a few moments and enjoy nature's gorgeous symphony (this also works at night with the night bugs, or taking a walk to where you can listen to the sound of rushing water...all good things OR there is a soundscapes section on the Calm app that has an amazing choice for different sounds)
  4. Escape into Music...there's a reason that spas choose the music that they do. It helps to relax you. Find something you can play in the background of your life (replace the sound of news in the background) that helps you feel soothed and relaxed (most the music streaming services have a spa station...you just have to find it...or something like that that makes you feel better).
  5. Create a Safe Zone...lighting is huge for a relaxed state. Turn off your bright overhead lights. Light your candles, put a fire in the fireplace, pull out your Christmas twinkle lights, create a softer, more relaxed ambience.
  6. Escape Reality...read (obviously, my choice) or binge watch something light and fun. Even my husband who prefers to live with the news on came home the other day and put on a romantic comedy movie for us to watch (Mr. Right for those wondering...it was cute even with its dark twist). Everyone hits their limit. Escape to keep your mental stability in place.
  7. Art...adult coloring books are a thing for a reason. It's fun to color. It's a mindless activity that you can do while listening to an audiobook. Personally, I escape into art by watercoloring stamped images. Other ideas are creating Zentangles (look it up if you don't know what they are)...all you need is a pen and paper. Easy, relaxing, fun.
  8. Write a Letter...we're all staying home more these days. Think about everyone else out there in the same boat, and send them a letter. This is a fun thing to do with your kids, too. Find penpals. Get the mailing address to your local retirement home. We can connect even while staying home and what's better than this old-style method of keeping touch without actual touch. 
  9. Shut Down the Stress...This is important...***turn off the news and social media***. It doesn't have to be permanent. Choose an hour a day and unplug. It doesn't take much, but will be huge for how you feel.
and now for all
the Found Series news...
The last year hasn't been the best for my writing and me (there's a reason that BREATHE was my word of choice for 2020). As a result, book #4 in this series, FOUND AT THE ROCK CONCERT is coming out more than a year later than I'd planned.
But I'm so happy with where this book is now.
I hope you'll agree that it was worth the wait.
But because it's been so long between the release of this book and the other 3 in the series, I'm changing things up in the release for this one. Plus I'd love for you to catch up with any books in the series you may have missed.

FYI:
Found at the Library (#1) is m/m.
Found at the Bookstore (#2) is m/m.
Found at the Jazz Club (#3) is m/f.
Found at the Rock Concert (#4) is m/m/m.

All four books can be read as standalones since they all feature their own individual couplings...BUT the same core group of characters flow from one book to another AND books 3 and 4 have overlapping scenes.
 
Warning...this is going to sound complicated, but I"ll try to break it down simply.
 
From now until March 29th:
Books 1-3 will be on sale for $.99 each at all retailers.

March 30th:
ALL 4 books will be coming down from the other retailers so that I can put the whole series into Kindle Unlimited.

Sometime in mid-April:
(depending on how long it takes the books to come down at the other retailers)

ALL 4 books will only be available through Kindle Unlimited and will be back at normal retail prices.
Found at the Rock Concert

releases 

TODAY!
(which coincidentally is the International Day of Happiness...
It's fitting, right?)
A wounded rock star, a bodyguard, and a CEO get trapped in a snowed-in cabin...

It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s not. This is the start of an epic love story between three men. Three men who have a history twined together with encounters and impressions that have marked their years.

They just never realized how all those brief encounters would eventually change their lives forever.

Daniel, the rock star who survived a plane crash and is trying to figure out how to live his life without legs.

Luke, the bodyguard who made so many mistakes and now thinks he doesn’t deserve the man he’s loved for years.

Austin, the CEO who thinks he’s on the outside pulling the strings, but what he doesn’t realize is without him at the core, this relationship will never work...for any of them.

Three men, one snowy winter cabin, one epic love story waiting to be discovered...
Buy Now - Amazon
Buy Now - All other retailers
Be on the lookout for more newsletters and posts on my blog about the entire Found Series and other things happening in my writing world over the next few weeks. I have lots of things planned to help us all keep from getting bored while we are all in this strange limbo...
http://christi-snow.blogspot.com/
And if there's something you WANT to hear from me, drop me an email to let me know...
snowchris_01@yahoo.com 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Are you ready for a new read?


He’s been forced to take a leave of absence. She gratefully landed a temporary position. Can their romance survive when they find out it’s the same job?

Justice James is trying to be a good son, even though his mother’s stroke means taking some time off just as he’s about to make partner.

Ari Whiticomb is barely hanging onto her career after the FBI arrested her last boss and mentor. But maybe she can make this new job permanent.

They have one rule to keep their new relationship string free: No mentioning work. Uh-oh.

AVAILABLE NOW!



There are three books in this series, 
but they are all stand-alone stories with 
interconnected cousins tying the books together.




Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The first three chapters...




Prologue
Delaney
Delaney Matthews watched the press footage on the television screen with dawning horror.
On the screen, large, protective, sexy, alpha Micah Frederickson shot through the door glaring like he’d kill one of the reporters surrounding him with a look if they dared to mess with the five pre-teens in his care. His wide arms protected them as he tried to get them to the limo by sheer will and brute force.
The girls looked terrified.
Micah looked fierce.
Delaney felt sick.
Reporters surrounded them. Light bulbs went off from every direction while reporters yelled questions at him. Cameras and microphones got shoved into his face. It sounded like the click of a thousand or more cameras taking photos.
And then the questions:
“Micah! Laney loves you. How do you feel about her?”
“What’s it like to date America’s most notorious heartbreaker?”
“Can you tell us where Laney’s been?”
“Was she institutionalized?”
“Where’s she been hiding?”
“Will there be a wedding soon?”
She wanted to sob at this violation. Those girls had been at the concert tonight for a fun birthday celebration, and Micah didn’t understand what he’d been walking into.
Because she’d lied to him.
God, she should have come clean before now.
On the screen, several of the girls were crying. Micah continued to hold on to as many of them as he could and made sure they stayed close to the two massive guards’ backs that led them to the limo.
Finally, all five of the girls were in the car. Before crawling in after them, Micah grabbed the arm of one of the security guards and spoke to him, but on the screen, she couldn’t tell what he’d said.
Get in the car, she silently urged. Get out of here before it gets worse.
Not that it could get much worse. The reporters were in a frenzy.
Even knowing that this had happened hours ago, her heartbeat galloped in panic for their safety.
No one was safe when the reporters got like this.
Finally, Micah got into the car and they slowly pulled away from the building. As the limo left the reporters pressed cameras up against the windows. It was utterly crazy and more than a little frightening just watching it. She couldn’t imagine how traumatized those girls were now.
And it was all her fault.
Her lies and evasions had led to this.
She had to fix it.


Chapter One
Micah
Three weeks before...
“You need a woman in your life.”
Micah Frederickson choked and coughed on the coffee he’d just sipped. “Are you insane?” He glared at his sister as he snatched up a napkin to sop up the scalding liquid from his lips and beard. “Why would you say that? Especially since you know how bad everything went down with Cynthia?”
His ex-wife had been a nightmare.
She shrugged as she took another bite of pie. “I don’t know. I just think if you had a wife you wouldn’t be over here pawning off your pies on me and I wouldn’t be gaining all this weight.”
His gaze dropped to her large, protruding, pregnant belly. “Um, Alex, maybe you should have a talk with mom because I hate to break it to you, but,” he nodded his head at her stomach, “that didn’t happen because you ate apple pies.”
She snorted around a mouthful of pie. “I know that you idiot, but my doctor says that I should only gain around twenty-five pounds throughout the entire pregnancy. I’m only seven months pregnant and I’ve already gained thirty-four.”
There wasn’t a damn thing safe for him to say to that, especially as she shoved another mouthful of pie into her mouth. He knew better than to go anywhere near her weight gain as a topic of conversation. That would have been off-limits before she got pregnant. Now he put the future health of his balls into jeopardy if he said a word more.
So, instead, he changed the subject. “So, you have your first renter in the house this week, right?”
“Yeah. Matthew Delaney. He arrived a couple of days ago. I haven’t heard anything from him, so the house must be okay. I have to admit that’s a relief because after his hefty list of requirements beforehand, I was a bit worried.” She took another bite and moaned around the chunk of pie before opening her eyes and stealing a bite off his plate, even though she still had over half a piece on hers.
Not going to say a thing.
He pushed his piece over so she could reach it better. Again, he wouldn’t get in the way of a pregnant woman and her food. Plus, he still had two other pies cooling at his place. He wouldn’t go without.
“That sounds great, sis. I’m so proud of you. How long does he have the place rented for?”
She closed her eyes appreciatively as she appeared to roll the pie around in her mouth. “He wanted to leave it open-ended,” she said around the big bite of pie, “but hopes to be here through Thanksgiving at least.”
“Wow, that’s a big chunk of time.” Since it was only mid-October now.
She nodded, but then her face scrunched up and her eyes filled with tears like it was actually a tragedy.
Uh-oh. This was the problem dealing with her pregnancy hormones. He had no idea what these tears meant. It could be the whole weight gain thing again, or they could be happy tears for the good occupancy of her rental house, or she could just be thinking about a sad commercial she saw on TV.
He had to tread lightly here.
“You okay?”
“Yeah.” She sniffled. “It’s just so sad. I don’t think he has anyone with him. He’ll be spending the holiday alone. How miserable would that be?” Then she burst into full-body sobs.
As he gathered her up in his arms and tried to figure out how to surreptitiously text his brother-in-law for help, it occurred to him that alone for Thanksgiving might not be such a bad thing. At least Mr. Delaney wouldn’t be dealing with a highly emotional, very pregnant, irrational woman for what could already be a stress-filled family day.


Chapter Two
Delaney
Delaney Matthew’s throat grew tight as she took in the beauty of the quaint little town, filled with cute little gift shops with awnings over the windows, lanterns on poles lining the streets, and huge old-growth trees turning all the shades of red and gold of the autumnal season.
All of it combined to make her misery seem all that worse. How could there be this much peaceful beauty when her life was in utter chaos?
Talk about first world problems. She was drowning in them today.
Maybe all her haters had it right. The world might be better off without her.
Oh, god, had she just had that thought? She internally rolled her eyes.
Get over yourself, Delaney!
And now she was acting like a freaking drama queen, proving all the haters right. That’s why she’d come to this tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. She needed a dose of real life, not the insane dramatic chaos her life had become over the last ten years.
Living in the public spotlight since she’d turned fifteen had warped her sense of the world. That year she’d hit number one with her hit single, Love Me, and every single album released since then had debuted on the Billboard Pop charts.
She’d forgotten what normal looked like.
Peace and quiet and normal...this is what she’d needed.
Someone across the street yelled. She didn’t hear the words, but that didn’t matter.
Her heart rate ratcheted up in panic and she dove behind a bush, frantically searching for some place to hide, to escape. She ducked her head, praying they couldn’t see her. She ignored the branches cutting into her exposed skin. Her security was more important.
“Whoa, whoa there, little filly.” A gnarled hand covered with age spots reached into the bush, grabbed her, and tugged her away from the camouflaging foliage.
She immediately ducked her head, hoping the black long hair of her wig combined with her hat would conceal her identity from the paparazzi that had found her.
Why hadn’t she hired bodyguards? “Please don’t,” she pleaded with the man tugging her. “I’m not her.”
She gazed up at the elderly, kind-looking man tugging her from the bush and realized he didn’t have a camera or a phone shoved at her.
But that didn’t change the danger. “They will see me,” she hissed at the man still holding her arm as she tried to escape from his grip.
He glanced around the town square, a deep furrow in between his eyebrows. “Someone’s chasing you? I don’t see anyone who isn’t normally around.”
Slowly she lifted her head and searched in the direction from where the person had yelled. Two men stood there hugging and laughing like they hadn’t seen one another in a long time. Nobody else was around and nobody looked their direction.
Her face heated. “Sorry. I thought it was someone else.”
The old man focused his rheumy eyes on her. His frown deepened. “No harm, darling.” He stroked her arm, trying to soothe her. “I can’t help but notice you’re still shaking like a leaf, though.”
He wasn’t lying, and suddenly her throat tightened with tears. Maybe she should have followed her manager’s suggestion and checked herself into a clinic.
She’d thought a few weeks alone would settle her stress levels, but she’d been here two days already and she felt even more on edge than she’d been when she’d arrived.
She expected paparazzi and crazed fans to be around every corner. She couldn’t live like this. Her life had become a nightmare and the constant fear had left her with a diagnosed case of PTSD. How about that for ridiculous? She had PTSD from her legions of fans.
Again the phrase first world problems flitted through her brain. No wonder she’d become constant fodder for the late-night comics.
Fame had turned out to be nothing like her teenage dreams. Instead, it was a nightmare, one that she couldn’t seem to escape.
“Where are you from, girly?” the old man asked.
“California,” she whispered, hoping he wouldn’t get a good enough look at her to recognize her, although he sure didn’t fall into her typical fan demographic, so maybe she’d be safe.
“Well, no wonder you’re shivering. You aren’t used to these cool fall temperatures. I know just what will fix you up. Let’s head on over to Brewster’s and I’ll treat you to some of their specially made hot chai tea.”
“No, I couldn’t—”
“Nonsense. I insist. Come on. Give this old guy some pretty eye candy for my arm. You’ll help me build my rep.” He winked at her.
She found herself unexpectedly charmed. It had been a long time since someone had approached her for honest reasons. He seemed like the exception and that made her trust him.
Please don’t let me be wrong. Her mental stability couldn’t handle the blow that another betrayal would level.
When he waggled his eyebrows at her, she couldn’t help but giggle. She also couldn’t turn him down, not with those blazing blue eyes gazing at her so earnestly. “With such a charming invitation, who am I to refuse?”
He hooked his arm through hers and patted her forearm. “Good. Stick with me, girly, and I’ll show you all the secrets of what Appleton offers.”
“Secrets? That sounds intriguing.” She’d come to this little quiet area of Pennsylvania because some of her best childhood memories—before fame had occupied every moment of her time—had come from visiting the Poconos with her family.
He gave her a mischievous eyebrow waggle. “You have no idea.”
She couldn’t resist letting loose with the wide smile that spread over her face. When her face muscles strained with the move, she realized it was the first time she’d truly smiled in months. This might be fun.
“Okay, but first things first.” She reached a hand out to him. “I think I need to know the name of the handsome gentleman taking me out on this date. My name’s Delaney Matthews.” It was her real name that she never used, not her stage name, Laney Starr, so no one should recognize her from it. “What’s yours?”
“You are exactly right, Ms. Matthews. Where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself.” He shook her hand with both of his wrapped around it, making her feel like this meant more than it did. “I am Eustis P. Montague, the Third.” Then he kissed the back of her hand.
“Charmed, Mr. Montague.”
“Pshaw, call me Eustis. Everyone does. We aren’t formal here in Appleton.”
“Then you must call me Delaney.”
“Excellent.” He re-engaged his elbow inside hers and guided her down the street. “Now I think you promised to accompany me to Brewster’s,” he said.
“Lead the way. I am in your hands.” And as they leisurely strolled down the scenic sidewalk, it occurred to her that for the first time in a very long time she didn’t have that itchy feeling crawling under her skin, as if someone would jump out and take her photo at any moment.
She felt...free to breathe.
God, this was what she’d been hoping for when she decided to visit here.
“I think it’s a very good thing that I met you today, Eustis P. Montague, the Third.”
He winked at her. “Aww, now you’ll give me a big head and make all these young bucks around here jealous because I have the prettiest girl in town on my arm.” He stopped walking. “But wait, you may already have a beau. Tell me, Ms. Delaney, are you attached to some hot young stud...or studette?” He frowned. “I understand that’s a thing nowadays, not that I’m judging. I’m definitely not.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.
She laughed. “It is indeed a thing for some people, but not for me. If I were attached, it would be to a stud, but alas...my luck with love has not been very kind to me.” In fact, it had been about as bad as it could get—from getting left at the altar by one man to being left with crippling debt by another. There’d been countless cheaters and abusers. Somewhere karma had decided she should be a doormat. Either that or she just had deplorable taste in men.
Luckily, heartache made for great songwriting. She’d made a career out of her many, many, many tragic breakups. In fact, that was the thing she was most known for. Nothing like being infamous for being unlucky in love.
“You’re still young.” He patted the back of her hand. “Enjoy sowing those wild oats while you can.”
Delaney had to bite back the bitter chuckle. She’d learned her lesson, way too many times to count. There would be no more sowing for her wild oats, or rather, normal bland, vanilla oats. She had vowed that from here on out she would live an oat-less life.
Men weren’t worth the heartache.
Eustis drew her to a halt outside a cute little coffee shop, complete with small tables outside under an awning filled with small clusters of happy, smiling people having a good time. She welcomed the diversion from the depressing turn her thoughts had taken. “How have I missed this place? It’s so cute.”
“Just wait until you try their drinks. You won’t want to get your coffee or tea from anywhere else in town.” He held the front door open for her as she entered the bustling shop.
They filed into the back of the line waiting to order.
Delaney ducked her head, hoping against hope that no one recognized her. But everyone around them focused on their own lives and didn’t pay the two of them any mind.
After a moment, when no one screamed her name, she hazarded a glance at the hand-drawn menu above the counter. “Wow. They have everything, don’t they?” They literally covered the wall with writing because there were so many choices.
“Trust me?” Eustis asked.
She nodded.
“Good girl. Let me order. I won’t steer you wrong.”
“Sounds good.”
The line moved quickly and then they stood in front of a tiny pixie of an Asian girl with purple hair that faded to green tips and a jeweled nose ring. She was gorgeous and had used heavy makeup to accent her exotic, delicate features.
“Hey, how’s it hanging, Mayor E?”
Mayor? Delaney had no idea that she’d garnered such esteemed attention. That was the last thing she needed.
The cashier reached across and exchanged a complicated fist bump and a handshake with Eustis. “You haven’t been in lately? Have you been avoiding me?”
“Never, Brewster,” he answered.
This was Brewster? She’d expected an older middle-aged guy with a paunch, not this barely-legal-looking rebel.
Eustis shook his head. “I’ve just been lying low lately. I caught a late summer cold, and it took longer to shake.” He shook his head. “Getting older is not for the faint of heart, but it’s better than the option. And I’m feeling much better now and craving some of your chai for myself and my friend.” He turned toward Delaney with a wave of his hand. “Brewster, meet Delaney. She’s visiting us temporarily so I want you to treat her with your very best brew so she will come back.”
Delaney shot a small closed-mouth smile at Brewster, whose eyes widened when she got a good look at Delaney. Yeah, Brewster may be more rock than pop, but she still fit the core demographic for Laney Starr’s audience.
Even with Delaney wearing the wig, big hat and sunglasses, and an obvious lack of makeup, the coffee barista knew who Delaney was immediately.
But instead of screaming out her name or doing something else to draw attention to Delaney, she composed herself rather quickly and nodded toward her. “Any friend of Eustis’ is welcome here. What can I get you both today?”
“We want to order two of your large nutmeg, vanilla chai’s.”
She nodded and began to punch their order into the computer, but suddenly stopped sending a hard to read look at Delaney. “For you,” she nodded at Delaney, “I’ll add a True Love Tonic, on the house.”
Delaney felt her eyes go wide. “And what is that?”
Brewster laughed. “I’ll let Eustis explain it to you while you wait for your drinks, but believe me, you need it.”
That sounded...ominous.
The two of them stepped over to the side to wait and Delaney raised her eyebrows at Eustis. “So, the True Love Tonic? Tell me it’s not some sort of hippie psychotropic drug.” The last thing she needed now was a drug scandal on top of everything else.
He snorted. “No. It’s actually very good for you. A town to the north of us has a natural spring. They say the water from it is blessed and if you drink the water from the spring, you’ll find your true love.”
“So, not psychotropic, just psychotic. Got it.” She eyed the menu again and spotted the True Love Tonic option on it. Wow. They thought highly of that imported spring water, didn’t they? She shrugged. Since she didn’t believe in true love and knew the power of media spin to earn a buck, she didn’t worry too much about it.
True love couldn’t find her because it didn’t exist.



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