#1 The Red Quilt

How horribly wrong, or right, could a last-minute Christmas trip go?

~ * ~

A last-minute Christmas trip goes horribly wrong for Eli and his five-year-old granddaughter, Ruby. On their way to a Bed and Breakfast on Prince Edward Island after a kitchen fire forced them out of their house, they get caught in a blizzard and end up in the ditch.


Retired Military Nurse, Lana, lives on a potato farm with the ghosts of her husband and son. She welcomes into her home the marooned Eli and the young child he raises alone. The storm outside rages on and problems arise as Eli faces the demons and mistakes of his past, Lana becomes entangled in her neighbors’ illegal activities, and Ruby wishes for something Santa cannot give her.


The resulting mix offers hope for a second chance even as it threatens their lives. Can Eli and Lana survive another storm to enjoy the love growing between them? And will Ruby’s wish be granted?


Sweet Romantic Mystery

74,500 words - 260 pages

BWL Publishing Inc

ISBN: 978-0-2286-1864-5  (ebook)

ISBN: 978-0-2286-1867-6 (print)

EBOOKS are available at List of stores

PAPERBACKS are available at Amazon-CanadaAmazon-US 


Fearing he might have overstepped, Eli turned his gaze toward the woman leaning against the door frame with a dreamy expression. “Lana, I wasn’t—”

“I was waiting for someone to chop my Christmas tree down.” Her right hand concealed behind her back, the woman dressed in her winter gear approached the bed. “Is Papili good with an axe?”

“Don’t know.” Ruby shrugged. “Papili uses a saw when he cuts trees in the backyard. Maybe you can teach him?”

Amusement sizzled in Eli’s chest.

“Maybe I can, and maybe this little guy could help too.” Lana brought her right hand forward waving a fluffy owl.

“Feather! You found Feather.” His granddaughter squealed in excitement as she grabbed her favorite stuffy and hugged it. “I missed you so much, Feather.”

Over Ruby’s head, Eli mouthed two words. Thank you.

“There’s more. I’ll be right back.” Moments later, she returned carrying their suitcases and Ruby’s backpack. She put the cases down in front of a small dresser and the pack on the bed. “I emptied your vehicle before it became inaccessible. I also took the liberty of searching the glove compartment and the middle console for anything I felt shouldn’t fall into anyone’s hands.” She dug her hands into the pockets of her parka and retrieved his wallet, his insurance papers, and the subpoena he had received months ago. “Now I’ll go boil water to make coffee.”

If the snow had fallen at the same intensity as the wind had whined and pounded on the bedroom window during the night, then his SUV would have been buried deep by the time Lana reached it this morning. Astounded that someone he barely knew braved the weather to dig out their belongings, he stared at the empty doorway.

“Papili?” Ruby poked his chest with her owl. “What does inaccissible mean?”

“It’s inaccessible, munchkin. It means you cannot get to it like...like the cookie jar on the top of the fridge at home. It’s inaccessible to you.” He kissed the top of her nose. “You cannot get to it.”

“Yes, I can. I push a chair against the fridge and I...” Her sweet little face blushed a rosy shade of red. “Nothing.”

He shook his head in a mix of disbelief and pride. Not only was his munchkin way too smart and resourceful for her age, it also explained why the cookies mysteriously disappeared from the jar. 

“Okay, my little thief, pick out some clothes from your suitcase and get dressed while I help Lana with breakfast.”

~ * ~

I used the French press last week. Where on earth did I put it?

Lana stood on her tiptoes at the top of a stepladder, rummaging through the upper cupboard of the pantry.

You have to be here somewhere. That cupboard was the only place she hadn’t searched.

A deep fryer she had cleaned a few days prior stood in the way. As she pushed the appliance aside, her weight shifted. The ladder wobbled. To prevent it from reaching the tipping point, she lowered her heels on the step only to feel the ladder pulled from under her feet.

Tumbling down, she braced herself for a whole load of pain. A frantic heartbeat later, she fell into something warmer and softer than the kitchen floor.

“You’re as bad as Ruby.” Eli lowered her down, leaving behind the imprint of his arms around her body and a pungent scent. “You also need a taller ladder. What were you looking for anyway?”

“What I need is a cup of coffee, and my French press to make it.” She poked a finger at his bare chest. “What you need is a shower. Right now, you smell worse than Chewy, and that’s not a compliment.”

“Yes, ma’am.” A smile toyed with his lips, warming his swollen eyes. “Before I go take a cold shower, I want to point out that venturing back into the storm was crazy, maybe not as much as tiptoeing on that stepladder, but nonetheless, I could have kissed you when you brought back Feather. I owe you more than I could ever repay.”

“You don’t owe me anything, Eli.” You and Ruby brought a part of me back to life that I thought had died. I am the one in your debt. Resisting the temptation to hug him, she glanced at the kitchen window. The wind had picked up speed again. “The storm eased off for a few hours, so I took advantage of it. I also brought back Ruby’s car seat, in case we need it, a hockey bag, and a weirdly packed duffel bag. I wasn’t sure if you wanted the bags in the house, so I left them in the garage.”

Closing the gap between them, he cupped her face and placed a tender kiss on her forehead. “Thank you.”

~ * ~


NOVEMBER 12, 2021

 4.5 STARS from Between The Pages (Still Moments Magazine - Nov 2021)

Lana and Eli are older leading characters, but their attraction is still real and emotional. Ruby is beyond sweet, as is Chewy. The visual is done well, placing you into the snowy winter setting.  And just when you think all the presents are neatly wrapped up, the author throws in a surprise at the end. A great holiday read. 

For full review, please visit Still Moments Magazine