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Snowdrop Dreams, Cherry Thumbprint Screams is a Christmas in July Fete pick #romanticsuspense

Title: Snowdrop Dreams, Cherry Thumbprint Screams

Author: Kimberly Baer

Genre: Romantic suspense

Book Blurb:

When Annie Barkley discovers a boy living in the attic of her cookie shop, she’s stunned—and oddly elated. She can almost believe the universe is giving her back the infant son she lost eleven years ago.

Annie senses that something bad happened to the boy, but he won’t talk. All she knows is that he’s terrified of being found. When her long-ago crush, police captain Sam Stern, stops by to inquire about a missing boy, Annie says she hasn’t seen him.

Big mistake. Because that lie might cost her more than a romance with Sam. It also leaves her vulnerable to a ruthless pursuer, one who’s determined to silence the boy for good.


She was startled by a thump from above, followed by the muffled slide of the attic window, first up, then down. The groan of floorboards beneath traipsing feet.

Goosebumps prickled across her scalp. Why hadn’t she thought to grab something to use for self-defense? A knife or a fork or Gram’s old cast-iron baking pan, which maybe, just maybe, would deflect bullets. There might be a metal nail file in her purse, except she had no time to hunt for it, because the trap door was creaking open, and—oh, God!—someone was coming down the stairs.

Footfalls thudded across the floor, mere feet from where she was hunkered behind the island. Squinting through the grainy dimness, she peeked around the corner in time to glimpse a slight, dark figure creeping into the room out front. She got to her feet and followed.

She came to a halt just beyond the doorway. The big neon clock on the rear wall glowed blue, giving the room a bar-like ambience. The cookie burglar was standing behind the counter to her left, cramming snowdrop cookies into his mouth.

God in heaven, it was a boy. The cookie burglar was a boy. And he was eleven. She was sure of that, even though the light was dim and she was seeing him only in profile. Something about him seemed familiar—his slouched shoulders, perhaps, or the long, straight slope of his nose. He was slender like her, though a few inches shorter. His hair was matted and dark but with a good shampooing would probably be the same tawny shade as her own.

An eleven-year-old brown-haired boy, come down from above to burgle her cookie shop…

She stepped forward with a gasp. “Jonah?”

The boy gave a mighty start. He jerked his head around, wild-eyed like the raccoon that had once entered Annie’s house through the long-unused doggie door and couldn’t find its way back out. He was trapped behind the counter because Annie was standing just outside the little exit gate. He tried to hurl himself over the counter. Annie stepped to the right, blocking him.

“Stop right there, buster. You’re not going anywhere.”

The boy slid off the counter and shrank into the corner, peering up at her like a baby mouse about to be devoured by an alley cat. She had just opened her mouth to ask what the heck was going on when he clutched his stomach and made a gagging, gulping noise.

“Uh-oh,” said Annie. With fumbling fingers, she unlatched the gate. The boy raced to the bathroom and slammed the door shut. She heard him throwing up.

After a minute, she rapped on the door. “Hey, buddy. You okay?”

No reply.

She turned on the kitchen lights and paced up and down the short hallway, patting her thudding chest. It’s not Jonah, she told herself. It isn’t him. This was some other boy. Some other mother’s son. Not hers.

But Jonah, if he’d lived? He might look like this.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What I love most about the holiday season:

Making new memories with my family—there’s nothing better. Do I need snow to make my holiday perfect? Absolutely not. It’s a pain to shovel, it makes travel risky, and we do our celebrating indoors, so who needs it?

Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?

This story is steeped in romance, sweetened by cookies, and sprinkled with snow. According to InD’tale magazine, “Kimberly Baer has given the reader a thoughtful holiday romance, with an expert blend of sweet and bitter flavors.” So grab a mug of hot chocolate, adjourn to your favorite reading spot, and dig into this romantic suspense novella. You’ll soon forget it’s July!

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card:

Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.

Runs July 1 – 31, 2023.

Drawing will be held on August 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

Kimberly Baer wrote her first story at age six. It was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl's Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. Nowadays she writes in a variety of genres, including adult romantic suspense, young adult, and middle-grade. She lives in Virginia, where she likes to go power-walking on days when it's not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you might find her binge-watching one of her favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Friends,The Office, or Breaking Bad.

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