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Shattered Dreams by @ScreenWryter13 is a Book Series Starter pick #freebiealert #free #romance

Title: Shattered Dreams

Author: Diana Stout

Genre: Romance

Book Blurb:

A second chance at love... Mason Baylock returns to his hometown as a newly appointed judge. He wants to reconnect with his high school sweetheart, Shelley Willis, but she's not interested. To keep him foremost in her mind, he frequents the diner where she works, which is located across the street from the courthouse. Once a week for the past three months, he's been asking her out, and she's been turning him down, every time.

Then one evening by accident, they become locked up in the kitchen's cooler. Because there's no escaping. the real conversation begins and the heat gets turned on. She can't deny she isn't attracted to him, but she won't date someone who shattered her dreams years ago, either.

And then, she discovers there is more to the earth-shattering breakup than even she imagined, which threatens to fracture and splinter life as they know it. Will both of their dreams be shattered forever, or does enough of a spark remain that they can rekindle the love they once shared?


(They're locked in the diner's freezer where Shelley works.)

Shelley heard him moving around. “Where are you?” she asked.

“Smile so I can see you.”

Shelley chuckled, unable to help herself. So like Mason to joke when there was a problem.

She heard him moving. “What are you doing?”

“Let’s pretend we’re blind, and we’ll talk with our hands.”

“We are blind. It’s dark, remember? Besides, I can’t see your hands.”

“That’s the point. We can use the braille method.”

Silence filled the room. No way was she responding to that innuendo.

Shelley frowned. He sounded closer. “Where are you?”


She jumped hearing his voice next to her. She hadn't even heard him move. Just like the old days.

She took a step back. Shelves dug into her back. She felt him move too. Toward her.

“Why are you running from me, Shelley?”

“I'm not.”

“If the lights were on, we'd both see that your nose is getting longer. You've been running from me ever since I came back to Laurel Ridge. And, I want to know why.”

“You're imagining things.”

“I'm not. The only reason we're having a discussion here at all is because the door shut.”

“We have discussions all the time.”

“Yeah, like what I want to eat.”

She wished he'd stopped talking. The more he talked, the more she wanted to melt into a puddle, despite the frigid air. That voice....

His voice always had been her undoing. Especially in the dark. It was as if the years had melted away and they were out in the middle of nowhere again, far removed from anyone or anything. At their secret place in the country with no lights around them except the stars. Necking in the car. She could have sworn she was seeing stars now. She shivered.

She felt his breath on her neck. “Cold?” he asked. “I bet you didn't know that the best way to create heat is to rub two people together. Remember?”

She was trying hard to forget. “You mean sticks.”

“You do it your way, I'll do it mine. Let me show you.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Shattered Dreams is free from Jan 10-14!

What makes your featured book a must-read?

It's the first of a series of 7 stories of 7 couples, 7 romances. Nine of these 14 people are classmates, some as best friends and two couples having dated in high school. Three of the newcomers are best friends, and every story is connected to a VW beetle that was fished out of the lake, as first seen in Shattered Dreams when it's being towed past the diner and then talked about, letting us know that there is more to come regarding this accident and with other characters.

Wild Women Authors reviewer Kat Henry Doran told me that the characters, all of them, just "leap off the page." She, like other readers, have become fans of the series, waiting for the next one to be published. The last three will be published in early 2023.

I've come to enjoy these characters so much, I wish they were real so that I could hang out with them! I want them as my friends!

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs January 10 – January 18, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on January 19, 2023.

Author Biography:

Born in Mississippi, raised in Michigan, and having lived in the deep south for nearly a decade in the 90s, Diana now appreciates Michigan's winters for its distinctive seasons. She has a love of trees, the hum of summer, the colors of fall, sweater weather, her small flower bed, and feeding the birds.

A published and multi-genre award-winning writer, she returned to school late in life so she could become an accredited English professor, allowing her to merge the two loves of her life: teaching and writing – thus, teaching writing classes at the university level.

She claims she travels with a crowd—characters who tell her their stories and demanding, "“Write me. Me. Me! Me! It’s my turn!”

When not writing, she enjoys books, movies, and jigsaw puzzles.

Social Media Links:


Jan 18, 2023

This sounds great! & my fave series is Driven series by K Bromberg!


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Jan 11, 2023

Thank you, Diana, for sharing your freebie in our Book Series Starter Bookish Event!

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