Loveys, I’ve got two book releases to tell you about! The book my sister and I have done together, Chosen, is available now in print and on Kindle at Amazon. com! Sara and I are so thrilled. If you’re on Instagram, you can follow the book at #the_chosen_trilogy. There are lots of really great posts! Sara and I have been doing a lot of book promotion on Insta, you can follow both of us @sahanson and @alittlebitofbrandy. If you read Chosen, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads and let us know what you thought about it! This book has been a labor of love for us, and to see it finally available and in the hands of readers is just wonderful. Hop over to Amazon and see what other people are saying about it.
Next book! The Romano Family Collection is available now in print and on Kindle! You guys know how partial I am to the Romano family. I wish I could pull up a chair at one of Leo’s restaurants and dive into a plate of Lobster Magnifico! You can also follow this one on Instagram at the hashtag #romanofamilycollection. And if you’re reading The Romano Family Collection in any form, I’d love for you to post a picture with the hashtag!
I mentioned before that this new repackage includes a bonus short story and recipe! I’m going to give you the first page of the short story as a teaser! Enjoy! And hop over to Amazon to grab this collection. You might want to grab something to snack on while you read!
A Southern Belle Road Trip
A Romano Family Collection Short Story
Ashley Gray looped her light brown hair into a loose bun on the top of her head, then stood with her hands on her hips, surveying the chaos of her apartment. Well, her apartment for the next week.
The front door opened and her friend Mandy peeked inside.
“I hate moving,” Ashley said, by way of greeting.
Mandy walked inside and set a plastic bag on the kitchen island. “At least the weather is decent. You won’t be driving in snow.” November had been a bit warmer than usual for Denver, Colorado. And while there was plenty of snow up in the mountains, Ashley was very grateful the roads where she lived were currently clear and dry. Traveling in cold weather was bad enough, snow would have been more than she could handle.
Mandy pointed to the bag. “Leo made a quiche this morning, and it was delicious. I brought you leftovers.”
“Hallelujah!” Ashley made a bee-line to the food. Mandy’s husband happened to be a talented chef, and Ashley’s stomach rumbled at the thought of breakfast. Mandy rounded the corner of the island and opened one of the cupboards.
“I see you haven’t packed the mugs yet. Or the coffee maker.”
“Fortification,” Ashley explained, pulling out a plastic container with two slices of quiche. She popped the Tupperware in the microwave for a minute while Mandy poured herself a cup of coffee. “I need the coffee to keep me going till all this is done.”
Once the food was warm, both girls sat together on barstools at the island, Ashley devouring the delectable egg-and-bacon quiche and Mandy sipping her coffee.
“So don’t move,” Mandy said. Ashley rolled her eyes and used her fork to motion to their surroundings.
“I’m halfway packed. I didn’t renew my lease. I have to move.”
“Tell me why.”
Ashley paused, her heart squeezing at the sight of her best friend’s sad look.
“You know why. We’ve talked about this. It’s time for a change.”
“But you’re going back to Virginia,” Mandy countered, tucking her hair behind her ears. “Is that the right kind of change? You’ve been there, done that, remember? You left for a reason.”
Ashley mulled that thought for a moment and then swallowed. “I left for adventure. A job opportunity opened up, and I’d never lived anywhere except for Sommersville, Virginia. It was time for me to spread my wings. I dreamed of moving out west and finding an amazing guy who’d fall head over heels for my Southern accent.”
Mandy smiled. “Well, it is pretty charming.”
Ashley was quiet for a moment.
“The thing is,” she finally said, “things didn’t quite turn out like I’d hoped, Mandy. Working at the church drained me, and I ended up so burned out. Working with the singles group was fun until everyone paired off or found someone or moved. And I felt like I was pulled in a million directions, helping with a ton of ministries, leaving no time for myself and not enough money to match the cost of living in Denver. I never met anyone—”
“Greg—” Mandy began but Ashley held up her hand.
“Do not mention Greg.” Ashley had no interest in talking about the one guy she’d dated, who happened to also be the worship leader of the church. Five months of dating had ended with him telling Ashley that they were better off as friends. Two weeks later he’d started dating another girl, and married her within six months. The fact that the girl had looked like a supermodel and Ashley’d had to continue working at the church in near proximity to the lovebirds—well, the whole experience had left Ashley feeling less-than-Christian for a good, long while.
“Okay. But you could do something different without moving.” Mandy glanced down at her buzzing phone. “Sorry. Leo’s watching Antonio and Olivia, and it looks like Antonio might have hijacked his phone. Either that, or Leo’s sending me text messages in some kind of code.”
Ashley chuckled and stood up to grab another cup of coffee for herself.
“Honestly, Mandy. You have to understand. You found your happily ever after. You got the gorgeous Italian, who can cook to boot. And now you’ve got two amazing kids. All I have is a drafty apartment. I’m out of options.”
“Ash,” Mandy said softly. “I remember you telling me once that there’s always another option. It’s called faith.”