It's release day for
It’s been six years since Sophie and Mia inherited a house from Clara Bellinger.
Life is good for the now teenaged Mia, even if she does have to deal with a dragon lady for a teacher. But then a man named Darren Schuster shows up in Hobart. Mia knows something is up when Sophie and Mark cut their weekend away short and rush home in the middle of the night. When Sophie won’t answer Mia’s questions, emotions run high, and Zach, the neighbour from across the road, confirms Darren’s identity to Mia. Disappointed, angry and feeling alone, Mia runs away.
Zach had been watching Mia for his friends while they took a much needed weekend away. When the late Clara Bellinger’s ex-husband, Darren, showed up, bringing Sophie and Mark home from their trip, Mia is filled with questions. But it’s Zach who gives Mia the answers she’s seeking. When she runs off, he must find her. He enlists the help of her teacher, Miss Peterson, and finds out that the ‘dragon’, is really more of a kitten.
I will update the purchase links as soon as I get them:
Mia let out a mighty sigh. She had joined Zach at the front porch and sat next to him on the swing. Enjoying a cool drink, he asked her to grab a soft drink from the fridge as well. It was a warm summer day, and the air showed no sign of cooling down. A lot of people in Hobart were tired and weary of the unusual hot spell for the very southern Australian city.
With another hefty sigh, Mia raked through her long, blond hair and focused into the distance.
"Honestly, Zach, she’s a dragon. I’m sure she does that on purpose. She doesn’t like me. She thinks I’m spoilt."
The dragon was Miss Peterson, Mia’s high school English teacher. Mia liked school and enjoyed her classes. English wasn’t her worst subject, but it certainly was the toughest, with Miss Peterson piling on homework one after the other.
Zach sipped on his drink. "Hey, pumpkin, settle down. What is that supposed to mean ‘you’re spoilt’?"
She shrugged. "You know!"
His eyebrows shot up. "Actually I don’t know! Isn’t she Sophie’s good friend?"
Another shrug. "Kinda, I s’pose. They used to do the boxing stuff together, and since Soph’s carrying a baby, they go and enjoy cake instead."
Ignoring his laugh and the subject, she went inside and helped herself to cold lemonade. She opened the can with a simple click and took a long sip. "Man, it’s hot."
Zach seemed to ponder on that thought just like Mia, when she suddenly said, "You need to cut the grass, Zach."
He almost spilled the drink. "Good grief, thanks, honey." There wasn’t much yard in front of Zach’s house. A flagstone path crossed the patch of lawn, and he’d kept the rest of the garden as low maintenance as possible. But he loved sitting on the front porch, watching the world go by.
He placed his arm around her and drew her in a bit closer. "Have you talked to Soph about your teacher?"
She nodded. "Yes. Her reply was that for most fourteen-year-old girls all the teachers seem like dragons. She remembers her science teacher who gave her a hard time. She blames it on my hormones because she thinks," Mia snorted and then continued, "Miss Peterson is a really nice person."
He chuckled, which earned him a momentary glare from Mia.
Zach shrugged his left shoulder. "I s’pose she has a point."
Rolling her eyes, she moved away from him again. "Too hot for sentiments like that."
He laughed. She had come a long way from when he had first met her. That was six years earlier, and she had been only eight. Eight years old with already enough character for three teenagers combined. But he’d liked her from more or less their first meeting on. He had been helping the girls find some stuff in their attic when he had mistaken her for Sophie’s daughter. With hands on hips she’d said to him, "Do I look like her daughter? I mean, seriously." She had the genes to become a pretty girl and she was heading that way in big steps. The stylish haircut, a slight touch of make-up to emphasise her grey-green eyes, and always dressed in the latest fashion to compliment her slim figure. And she did have her heart in the right place.
"You’ll meet her tomorrow when you drop me off at the school sports."
Eyes wide open, he turned to look at her. "I will?"
"Oh man, didn’t Sophie tell you?"
"Apparently not. Or she might have." He scratched the back of his head. "I guess she probably left a note on my calendar."
"You’ll take me, won’t you?"
He gave a small nod. "Yup."
Zach lived across the road from Sophie and Mia Levesque. The sisters had moved into Sixty-Four Chestnut Avenue six years earlier. He had shared a hot kiss with Sophie, but in the end it was Mark she’d fallen in love with.
"Will what’s-his-name be there?"
Mia rolled her eyes. "Josh. Yes he will. Remember he’s in my class."
He chuckled. "Pumpkin, just because what’s-his-name is in your class ain’t mean he’s participating in a sports day."
She took a deep breath. "It’s doesn’t mean and not ain’t. You know it drives Soph mad when you use the American lingo."
He turned to look at her. "I honestly have no idea how I’ve survived the last few years with you guys across the road."
Checking the time, she stood. "Thanks for the drink." She leaned forward to give him a kiss on the cheek. "Eight o’clock tomorrow morning?"
Zach nodded. "Does your dragon spit fire?"
With her hands on her hips, she replied, "You’re not taking me seriously, are you?"
She tilted her head slightly. "Let me see," she paused for effect. "With your green eyes, athletic body, husky voice, blond hair, which, by the way, is in serious need of a trim, ... hmm... she might like you. But then again, your job as an escort might disturb her."
Shaking his head, he stood and took her empty can of lemonade. "Instead of giving me a hard time with my lingo, Sophie should keep an eye on the books you read. All that romance stuff is making you silly in the head. Husky voice." He laughed and went into the house.
"At eight?" she screamed after him.
"Yeah, I’ll be there."