Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Christmas Romance

I love these fake fiance books! This one is also a Christmas romance and the story of the oldest Hawk brother, Callum Hawk. I hope you love the book. 
Happy reading!
Find Her Billionaire Boss on Amazon. 
Free to Kindle Unlimited Readers.

Farm girl sass takes on America’s Most Eligible Bachelor in this fun fake fiance romance.

Monday, October 1, 2018

$100 Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

I'm excited to bring you this $100 giveaway sponsored by a FABULOUS group of authors.
We are giving away $100!
Just think how many books you could buy with $100! Or maybe you need a new Kindle! Or maybe you want to try Kindle Unlimited! So many possibilities!! Each of these sponsoring authors writes clean wholesome romance.  

Giveaway Sponsors

  Please show these amazing authors some love! Visit their sites. Sign up for their newsletters. Download their books. Review their books. Follow them on Social Media. There are so many ways you can support them!  

Giveaway Details

One winner will be awarded $100 in Paypal Cash or a $100 Amazon Gift Code! Winning entry will be verified! Make sure you actually subscribe and confirm your entries so you don’t get disqualified. Please give these authors a chance. I personally subscribe to all these newsletters and have read books by many of these authors. Their newsletters aren’t spammy and often contain great ebook freebies, deals, and new releases. Most authors email out at most once a week so your inbox isn’t going to be overflowing if you subscribe to all of them! If you already subscribe to an author’s newsletter you can, of course, claim the entry! Ends 11/2/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, Amazon, Paypal or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader/Clean Wholesome Romance and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Enter the $100 Giveaway via the rafflecopter below. $10 BONUS Giveaway #1 - Visit this Facebook Post & tag 2 friends to enter to win. $10 BONUS Giveaway #2 - Visit this Instagram Post & tag 2 friends to enter to win. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Determined Groom - $.99 Today!

This summer was busy fun with my three little boys and I didn't have much time to write. The characters in my head must've been going a little bit crazy because the last two books poured out in days. The Determined Groom wasn't even on the schedule but I just had to write it. I love the hero and heroine so much! I hope you love them too.
Happy reading,

Find The Determined Groom on Amazon for only $.99 today.

A broken football star. An elite female athlete. Should she tell off the flirty billionaire or fall in love with him?

Cambree Kinley is the toughest chick she knows, except when it comes to protecting her heart. Yet how can she resist the billionaire superstar Emmett Hawk? When he pursues her--treating her like gold and making her smile nonstop, only sheer grit can keep her from sprinting toward the Cinderella route again--loving a high-falutin' man who will dump her like moldy garbage when she offends his high-society friends and family.

Emmett Hawk is more than a rich football player--he's a celebrity, the face of the Hawk Family fortune, and practically his own high-end brand. When he blows his knee out and can't play the game he loves, he starts an elite fitness camp where he meets an intriguing woman who is brutally honest. Emmett falls for Cambree but she's holding back her heart.
Emmett won't force her to love him but their fierce determination to compete keeps bringing them together, despite Cambree's best intentions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

$.99 today only - The Irresistible Groom

Don't miss the latest Texas Titans Romance
for only $.99
FREE for KU members. 
Find it here.

A vivacious sports agent loses her memory and her safe, perfectly-planned life. The only hope is a tough security specialist who for some reason she's never allowed herself to fall for.
Claire Tucker is a feisty and successful sports agent. When she wakes up with amnesia she has to rely on a handsome security specialist, which doesn't seem too bad ... until she learns she's known him for years and has repeatedly rejected his date offers. When Brig proves irresistible to her, she realizes she needs to guard her heart until she gets some answers or her past will catch up to her.
Brig Hunsaker has everything he needs, except the sassy lady he's had a crush on for years. When Claire is injured, and the hospital staff believe he's her fiancé, he finally gets the chance to protect her and prove he's worth taking a chance on.
The Lost Ones...are for all those who want to know what happened to the other guy or girl who got away. This Lost One is about Claire Tucker, Brady Giles and Knox Sherman's agent and Brig Hunsaker, Knox's bodyguard.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Change of Plans - $.99

Change of Plans is out and only $.99.
I hope you love this fun romantic comedy.

Kaitlyn knows who she's destined to spend her life with, until superstar Axel Olsen turns her dreams upside down.

Kaitlyn Johanson is chosen by heartthrob, nationally-acclaimed lacrosse player, Axel Olsen, for a dream date. She didn't know a man touching her hand could feel like heaven, but she awkwardly blacks out then admits to him that she's in a relationship.
Kaitlyn comes home to Echo Ridge hoping to rekindle her relationship with her high school boyfriend, Mason. She never expects Axel to show up in her hometown, hosting a lacrosse camp with Mason and his stepdad.
When Axel steals her attention and possibly her heart from the man she is supposed to marry, she has to decide if she'll take a risk on new love or give old love a second chance.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Fake Fiance Groom

Don't miss this fabulous Texas Titan Romance!
Find it on Amazon.

Walker Kent, professional football player, hates the press. After a year of dealing with a dishonorable discharge, he’s in no mood to play nice at a bachelor auction. When a beautiful actress buys him, then announces he’s her fiancé … his barely endurable night has just turned to purgatory.
After discovering her ex is engaged to her best friend (ex best friend, thank you very much) Scarlett Powers is desperate to find a fake fiancé to take to her brother’s wedding to show the happy couple she’s NOT a pity case. Good thing she spots the perfect bad-boy football player to take with her—Walker Kent. Too bad he turns her down! 
After re-negotiating terms of the fake fiancé deal, Scarlett soon finds herself in the middle of a controlling father, a cougar mother-in-law, and a crazy bridezilla who wants to personalize the wedding with DIY craft projects for the guests. When Walker sweeps her off her feet by taking her on an ‘off books’ date, she finds herself on a Ferris wheel, sharing things with him she’s never told another living soul.
When a secret comes to light and she is forced to tell the truth, she has to make a choice—walk away or risk losing the only thing that’s ever been real.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Hometown Groom - $.99 today only!

Find The Hometown Groom on
Amazon for $.99 today only.
A hunky quarterback, a debutante, 
and the merger that might forever keep them apart.

Emerson Stein has no intention of marrying billionaire Finley Landers just so her daddy’s merger will go through, no matter how much of a hissy fit her mama throws. When she skips out of a high-profile barbecue to barrel race at a rodeo, she never expects to meet Riker Dylan, the new starting quarterback for the Titans. With his startling blue eyes, easy smile, and boyish charm, Riker turns Emerson’s head and sends her pulse racing to the stars. Too bad she chews him out and punches him in the gut. 

Growing up just outside Dallas, Riker Dylan never imagined he’d get the chance to play football for the Titans. An unexpected encounter with a copper-haired beauty puts him on an uncharted path. Why does he get the feeling there’s more to her than meets the eye?

When the stakes get impossibly high, will Emerson have the courage to choose her own path to be with the man she loves, or will the family pressure prove to be too great?
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Privacy Policy

www.camichecketts.com Privacy Policy
This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their 'Personally Identifiable Information' (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?

When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address or other details to help you with your experience.

When do we collect information?

We collect information from you when you subscribe to a newsletter or enter information on our site.

How do we use your information? 

We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:
       To send periodic emails regarding your order or other products and services.

How do we protect your information?

We do not use vulnerability scanning and/or scanning to PCI standards.
We only provide articles and information. We never ask for credit card numbers.
We use regular Malware Scanning.
We do not use an SSL certificate
       We only provide articles and information. We never ask for personal or private information like names, email addresses, or credit card numbers.

Do we use 'cookies'?

We do not use cookies for tracking purposes 

You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser's Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.

If you turn cookies off .

Third-party disclosure

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information unless we provide users with advance notice. This does not include website hosting partners and other parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or serving our users, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release information when it's release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others' rights, property or safety.

However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses. 

Third-party links

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third-party products or services on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.


Google's advertising requirements can be summed up by Google's Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en
We have not enabled Google AdSense on our site but we may do so in the future.

California Online Privacy Protection Act

CalOPPA is the first state law in the nation to require commercial websites and online services to post a privacy policy. The law's reach stretches well beyond California to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates websites collecting Personally Identifiable Information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its website stating exactly the information being collected and those individuals or companies with whom it is being shared. - See more at: http://consumercal.org/california-online-privacy-protection-act-caloppa/#sthash.0FdRbT51.dpuf

According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following:
Users can visit our site anonymously.
Once this privacy policy is created, we will add a link to it on our home page or as a minimum, on the first significant page after entering our website.
Our Privacy Policy link includes the word 'Privacy' and can easily be found on the page specified above.

You will be notified of any Privacy Policy changes:
       On our Privacy Policy Page
Can change your personal information:
       By emailing us

How does our site handle Do Not Track signals?
We honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place. 

Does our site allow third-party behavioral tracking?
It's also important to note that we allow third-party behavioral tracking

COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)

When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States' consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children's privacy and safety online.
We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.

Fair Information Practices

The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.
In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:
We will notify you via email
       Within 1 business day

We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.


The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
We collect your email address in order to:
       Market to our mailing list or continue to send emails to our clients after the original transaction has occurred.

To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:
       Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.
       Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.
       Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters.
       Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
       Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.
       Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at
       Follow the instructions at the bottom of each email.
and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below.
5127 N 800 W
Smithfield, UT 84335

Last Edited on 2018-05-23
Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Beastly Groom

Yay for round three of the Texas Titans! I absolutely love being part of this world and hope you all enjoy this Beauty and the Beast spin-off. 
Find The Beastly Groom on Amazon
Free for KU members.

A reclusive, billionaire football star. A reality show-host looking to expose his personal life. Will this hero turn into the Beast to protect his daughter and his privacy?

Knox Sherman, aka the Beast, left the military to raise his best friend's daughter and play professional football. When an irresistible reality show-host buys a date with him at a charity auction, it's all he can do to keep her away from his heart and his home.
Ema Kahue is fighting her way into the top rankings of television. If she can be the first to crack the Beast's intense security it will propel her career to stardom. Yet when she's given a sneak peek into his heart and his relationship with his daughter, Ema wants a shot at taming the Beast for life.
Can these two overcome repeated misunderstandings and a vicious predator to give love a chance?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Forbidden Groom - $.99 today only!

  The Forbidden Groom by Sarah Gay
 Cole isn't looking for love. In fact, it's forbidden by his PR firm and agent until a new contract can be negotiated with the Texas Titans. His resolve is tested when he lays eyes on Maggie, the spunky caterer. Ever since she caught him from falling, he can't seem to stop himself from falling for her. Maggie, a Park City Firefighter, needs a change of scenery. When an offer comes in to possibly take over a successful event planning business in sunny Dallas, Texas, she jumps at it. After a group of NFL players crash her first event, Maggie's amazing opportunity fizzles. Cole, the handsome football player has ruined her employment prospects and wounded her pride. She may find the true love she has always dreamed of if she can forgive him.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Captivating Warrior

Find The Captivating Warrior on Amazon - $.99 today only!

A lost love. Decades of pain. Is love a mission Sutton Smith will ever complete?

Twenty-five years ago, Sutton Smith was stripped of his rank of commodore and his promising career in the British Royal Navy.  The real loss came when the love of his life dumped him and married a scheming duke. 

Duchess Elizabeth Gunthry has never been able to search for the only man she ever loved, she’s had to protect her daughter from the man she was forced to marry. After obtaining a secret divorce, she is still trapped under the duke's oppressive thumb. When the enigma she’s mourned for twenty-five years, Sutton Smith, appears at a formal ball to rescue her daughter, Liz is grateful to have one last dance with the love of her life and discovers all the old feelings instantly surface. 

When Sutton asks her to leave with them and trust him, she has to make a choice: trust in the man she’s always loved or play it safe and lose everything.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Honorable Warrior by Kimberly Krey

Find The Honorable Warrior on Amazon.
When Blayze falls in love with the woman he's 
protecting, his desperation to keep her safe just 
might blur his view.

Blayze Brockton's been working in the private 
protection industry since he retired his position 
as a Navy SEAL. So when he takes a job to protect 
Sophia Vasco, daughter of San Bernardino's 
district attorney, Blayze is confident he can keep 
her safe. Yet after spending a day with the beautiful, 
intriguing woman, he discovers the undeniable 
chemistry between them. Spending night and 
day by Sophia's side might prove more difficult 
than he thought.

Sophia Vasco is determined to speak at her father's 
campaign rallies despite the threats she's received. 
She has a vision of how the next two weeks will go, 
and with protection agent, Blayze Brockton, by her 
side things should run according to plan. But 
developing feelings for the handsome protector 
wasn't part of the deal. Just as the two give into a 
moment of passion, the threats start up anew, 
sending them into hiding for a time. When Sophia 
puts her foot down and insists on speaking at the 
campaign's largest event, will the hostile make good 
on his threats?
Thursday, March 29, 2018

$.99. Today Only! The Peaceful Warrior by Daniel Banner

The Peaceful Warrior 

Only $.99 on Amazon.
Cannon Culver is known for his big heart, but
there’s no denying it's the heart of a warrior.

Daisy Close fantasizes about a perfect boyfriend
who puts her first and loves to talk until all hours
of the night. While on a train along the Pacific Coast,
she meets the perfect fantasy boyfriend. Not only is he sophisticated, handsome, and strong, he’s also a
bodyguard for a delightful little girl who instantly
loves Daisy and invites her to dinner with her and Mr. Fantasy.

Ex-Navy SEAL Cannon Culver, has one mission—the safety of a little girl. When Daisy Close is pulled into the situation, his gut instinct is to trust no one, but even he finds himself unable to resist this ‘Snow White’ type woman who everyone seems to flock to. After an all-nighter talking, a date with more danger than they bargained for, and then leaving her when he gets summoned to a mission … Cannon realizes there is no room for a woman in his life.

Too bad he can’t get her out of his mind and too bad she doesn’t let go that easily. When dangerous forces threaten everyone’s safety, Cannon has to make a choice—give up the woman he loves for his sense of duty or let go and trust in a higher power.

Excerpt of The Peaceful Warrior 

Chapter 1
Just boarded. Departing soon. She you tomorrow! Daisy Close added an emoji of a train and an excited smiley then pressed send on the text to Maia. Tucking her phone away, she glanced out the window at the busy platform, and then pulled out her well-worn copy of Jane Eyre. An actual paperback book. For a minute she just flipped the pages, savoring the feel of them along her thumb. For a woman who worked with books—editing novels for a living—it was a rare occasion to pick up a paperback and read for pleasure. She was going to have to get some work done during the 36-hour train trip to Seattle to visit her old college roommate. But for a few moments at least, she planned to indulge in one of her all-time favorites.
The coach car of the train was much roomier than coach on an airplane, with only two seats on each side of the aisle and the ability to recline almost completely flat. Taking a long train ride had always been on her unofficial bucket list and here she was, about to depart. For now, the seat next to her was empty, but in the next five minutes, or at any of the twenty or so stops along the way, that could change.
Overhead announcements echoed through the car, but Daisy was already getting lost in her book. She was vaguely aware of the other passengers as they filed down the aisle stashing luggage and filling in seats. With a gentle lurch, the train started rolling. If it hadn’t been for the initial movement and the view of the Los Angeles Union Station passing outside, she wouldn’t know they were moving. The train was much smoother than she expected. And the most serendipitous aspect of the whole thing, she had the row to herself. Nearly every seat in the car was filled and she had two seats for her little old self. Even more room to spread out.
“Wanna let me squeeze past,” said a man at her shoulder.
And just like that, Daisy’s luck was shattered. She never should have gotten her hopes up so soon.
Returning her seat to the upright position, Daisy stood and moved into the aisle, facing forward to avoid seeing the guy who would be her neighbor. With any luck he’d be handsome, strong, and have nothing to do for the next 36 hours other than discuss the classics with her.
She turned to see her new boyfriend and saw … something else completely.  The man was 30-ish, maybe five years older than her, but that was where the compatibility ended. He was unshaven—not sporting a little stubble, which she didn’t like anyway, but downright scruffy. It had probably been as long since he shaved as it had since he’d brushed his hair. And probably longer since he washed his shirt, judging by the food stains on it. Even with the wide aisles and spacious accommodations, he was going to have a hard time squeezing between the seats. Daisy wondered if his girth would spill over and fill part of her seat.
He grunted at her as he lifted one of his backpacks on to her seat and, completely blocking the aisle, started sorting the contents. Daisy couldn’t tell what he was saying. She could only assume he was prepping his bags to put one in the overhead storage and keep one at his seat with him.
So much for her travel boyfriend. Keeping things positive, she imagined a backstory for him. He had probably spent the last year sequestered in a … leper colony? Did they still have those? Sure, why not? And now he was taking some well-deserved time off for himself. That sounded right.
Daisy smiled at him, and took inventory of the rest of the car as her seatmate repacked his belongings. She picked up a rank odor—tofu or blue cheese maybe—and looked around to see which of the other passengers had brought stinky food with them. The coach ticket did not include any meals, so most of the people in her car would be eating food they’d packed along with them.
The people around Daisy were intent on their phones and tablets and naps. No one had food out.
Oh no. That wasn’t food. The smell was being emitted by the man she was about to spend a day and a half with. Her stomach turned over at the image of remnants of rotting flesh from the imaginary leper colony.
Sometimes her active imagination was a curse. How quickly her dream vacation had been chopped up, shoved into the disposal, and blended into a million slimy pieces.
Daisy turned her back on her failed boyfriend and saw the door from the next car slide open.
At the far end of the car, her real travel boyfriend was stepping through the door. Tall, clean cut, bold bearing, and as handsome as Mr. Rochester was plain. Why couldn’t that guy get stuck next to her? Judging by his perfectly cut suit—on a body she couldn’t see much of, but appeared to be perfectly proportioned—he wasn’t riding in the cheap coach seats. Daisy’s eyes started fluttering like some silly girl before she got them under control.
The guy, her new boyfriend, was scanning the train car as if he was playing Where’s Waldo. The grin on his lips seemed to say, Life is good. His eyes slid over the contents of the car without stopping on anything … until they caught on Daisy’s eyes, where he paused like a sprinkler reaching the end of its swivel.
We met on a train. When I looked into his eyes, everyone else on the train evaporated like mist. The aisle was a mile long, but as we stood still, locked in a gaze, the magnetism between us brought us speeding together as the distance shrunk in an instant. He put his hands on my shoulders and—
Her boyfriend pulled his gaze away, continuing his scan of the compartment and giving Daisy whiplash.
Sometimes she wrote little snippets of her life—okay, snippets of the fantasy she wished was her life—inside her head, and she’d been way too deep in that one. It came from editing multiple novels every week, analyzing the love story, the setting, the prose, and overall the romanticism of it all. This perfect specimen of a man walking through the door just when her other travel boyfriend had gone up in smoke had caught her way off guard and she found herself catching her breath.
Daisy checked behind her and saw that her former boyfriend had set up a yard sale on her seat. She wasn’t getting in any time soon, so she turned back to the more pleasant view.
Apparently her new boyfriend had finished looking for whatever he was seeking and had stepped aside. A woman and a little girl stepped out from behind him and started up the aisle.
A little family.
Well, that was low of her. She’d never claimed a guy who was with his family as her imaginary boyfriend before.
The poised, perfect woman led the way up the aisle and Daisy looked for somewhere she could curl up and die from shame, but there was nowhere but the aisle to do so. Daisy just waited and tried to keep her blush down as the family walked up the aisle toward her.
The wife carried herself with an air of confidence, and was as perfectly put-together as the man. Straight, dark hair, makeup so flawless it looked like she’d been born with it, and grace that seemed inhuman on a moving train.  A large Hermes bag hung on her shoulder.
In romance novels, a scene when a future romantic couple met for the first time was called a meet cute. And now Daisy was face-to-face with the woman after she’d imaginarily meet-cuted her husband right in front of her.
“Hi,” said Daisy, angling her body to hide her blush and also allow the woman to see past her to the roadblock.
The woman smiled back and said, “Hello.” Oh, a British accent. So both of these people were ideal specimens.
From behind the mom, a cute little towheaded girl leaned out and said, “Hi, what’s your name?”
“Daisy Close. What’s yours?”
The girl was tiny enough to squeeze past her mom and step up to Daisy. She was maybe five years old. With a crooked finger, she summoned Daisy down to her level.
The darling little girl reminded Daisy of a straight-haired Shirley Temple. She bent down to come face to face with her.
“Nice to meet you, Ms. Close. I’m Pasha,” whispered the girl. “I’m not s’pose to say that too loud though.”
“That’s a very pretty name,” said Daisy quietly, wondering why the girl didn’t have a British accent.
Pasha was missing a front tooth, so she spoke with a bit of a lisp. “My real name’s Appassionata.”
That sounded familiar and it only took Daisy a second to place it. “Is that from something called Li’l Abner?”
The girl’s eyes lit up. “Yeah! That’s what my mommy told me!”
“Guess what,” said Daisy conspiratorially. “My real name’s Daisy Mae. That’s from Li’l Abner too.”
Pasha’s eyes lit up like she was talking to a Disney princess. “That means we’re like sisters! I always wanted a sister.”
That was super sweet, but Daisy had mixed feelings about her own sister. “Well now you have one. And so you should call me Daisy.”
Pasha’s parents were quiet, allowing their daughter to make new friends while they waited for Daisy’s seat to clear so she could clear the aisle. Mom just looked down patiently. Dad watched much more intently as if he was worried Daisy meant his daughter harm, but every two seconds or so his eyes darted to another part of the car.
Daisy wondered what his hurry was. Everyone on the train was relaxed and ready for a long, laid-back trip, but this guy had a hard time standing still and waiting for the aisle to open.
Behind Daisy, her seatmate started having a coughing fit. For about half a minute he coughed into a paper napkin. Maybe it was a tuberculosis sanatorium where he’d been living and volunteering for the last twelve months. When he was done coughing, he appeared out of breath and a little sweaty.
“Do you want something to drink?” asked Daisy, touching his shoulder. He nodded so she pulled a bottle of water out of her carryon.
He rasped, “Thanks,” then cracked it open and started draining it.
The dad of the group was staring at Daisy, distracted from his inspection of the train car. Everyone else was looking at the man, probably wondering if he’d keel over. But not the hot dad. It was like he couldn’t believe Daisy was engaging with the man, but what else was she supposed to do? She could afford a few bucks to replace the bottled water and kindness didn’t cost anything.
Realizing he’d been staring, the dad went back to scanning everything. Daisy looked and saw her seatmate squeeze in front of her seat and plop down heavily into his own. He immediately claimed all of the armrest as well as part of her seat.
Good thing Daisy was slender and didn’t need all of her space. She was happy to give up what she wasn’t using. Daisy took her seat and said, “It was very nice to meet you, sister.”
“We’re going to see the last car, but they told me it has passengers in it. Is it still called a caboose?” The little girl was in no rush to move on.
Daisy leaned on the armrest by the aisle. “I don’t know. I’ve never been on a train before.”
“I ride trains all the time,” said Pasha. “Next week—”
“Pasha,” said her dad gently.
“Oh.” The girl obviously wasn’t supposed to say what she’d been about to say so she changed tracks. “I know everything about trains.”
“That’s good,” said Daisy. “Now I know who to ask when I have questions.”
“We’ll be right back after we find out if there’s a caboose on this train. You should come to the parlour car with us when we come back.”
Daisy had read about a lounge car and a Pacific Parlour car where people could hang out and get a better view of the beautiful scenery. But she was still a little fuzzy on exactly what amenities were available to coach passengers.
“Maybe,” said Daisy. “Ask me when you come back this way.”
“Okay. Bye, big sister.”
“Bye, little sister.”
Pasha went skipping up the aisle. Mom mouthed, thank you as she followed her. The dad paused momentarily and examined the seating arrangement in Daisy’s row. The guy in the next seat over was already busy with a movie on a tablet—no headphones—and a bag of chips, half of which appeared to be ending up in his facial hair and on his shirt. The dad looked like he was about to speak to Daisy, but  instead, just gave her a wink and a smile then snapped forward like he was pulled by an invisible leash attached to his family.
Daisy just stared at him, stunned. Was that a thank-you wink? Judging by the butterflies that took flight in her stomach, it sure didn’t feel like that. Daisy had no interest in flirting with a married man; she would never go there. But her body didn’t seem to be listening to her mind and her heart was beating like a bass drum.
Why couldn’t a hot, single guy wink at her like that? Unattached. Available. Oh well. Daisy sighed and went back to her book, leaning onto her armrest and encroaching into the aisle as the guy next to her was encroaching into her personal space.
It was going to be a long trip.
Before she had made it through an entire page, Pasha was tapping her on the arm.
“Hi, big sister.”
“You’re back already? Is it a caboose?”
Pasha sighed. In her cute little lisp she said, “It’s kinda confusing if you don’t know a lot about trains. Come with us to the parlour car and I’ll ‘splain it.”
The idea of sitting anywhere besides her assigned seat appealed to Daisy. But she didn’t trust the five-year old’s invitation that a coach passenger was really allowed up there. “Is it okay with your parents?”
Without looking up, Pasha said, “My parents said I can make friends on the train as long as I stay with Miss Dee and Cannon.”
Who? wondered Daisy. She looked up at the mom who picked up on her confusion.
In a confidential voice, the mom said, “We aren’t Miss Pasha’s parents. I’m Miss Dee, and this is Cannon.” Her refined English accent was straight out of a British Royalty movie.
The guy—who was not Dad—was leaning around Miss Dee. His smile had turned somewhat amused, but he didn’t speak. Wait, that meant … the wink …. Oh! Daisy gulped. So he was available on the boyfriend buffet again, and Daisy immediately claimed him as her new fake boyfriend again.
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