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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.3) 335

50%-off 10 EBOOK clean romantic comedies from the award-winning author Amey Zeigler in one convenient book bundle.


One broken heart. One broken house. One broken neighborhood. One casserole dish to fix them all.

After a bitter divorce, house rehabber Lisa Bennigan needs a fresh start with her three kids. When she inherits a house in St. Louis, she soon discovers she's out of her depth. Will she be able to rehab the house on her own?

Country boy, Jackson Tydell, needs something to shake him from his rut. Living alone with his dog, Marshall, he's working from home, wearing the same sweatpants and t-shirt everyday.

When an interesting woman moves into the house behind him. He's intrigued and offers to contribute his skills. Will their friendship blossom into something more?

When the neighborhood erupts into gossip about her, Lisa is thrown into despair. Can she ever out-live her husband's shameful past? Can a slightly magical casserole dish heal their neighborhood? Or will Lisa need to move again?

Read this award-winning women's fiction covering topics frequently facing women: pregnancy loss, divorce, infidelity, depression, and transition to retirement.

Intro to Chapter 1

The Casserole Dish--an award-winning Runner-Up for the Rone for Sweet Contemporary Romance.

Who could she call for help? Coughing into her sleeve, Lisa Bennigan picked up her phone from a pile of bills. Each red line sent hot daggers toward her ex-husband.

Rock bottom. She’d hit rock bottom. No. She was under the rock in rock bottom. Underneath and buried. All because of Keith.

Sitting on a moving box in her kitchen, surrounded by packing paper and unwashed dishes, Lisa gripped her phone. Flatware, packaged food, and cups littered the countertops ready to wrap and store. Several half-packed boxes clogged the floor with crumpled paper springing out like pale jack-in-the-boxes.
Holding the cell, she scrolled through her recent calls. Fifty of them. All to secure an apartment for the four of them within her budget in the Phoenix valley. Each one wanted an additional twelve-hundred-dollar pet deposit for Edith’s white schnauzer-mix, Missy. Twelve hundred dollars Lisa didn’t have. 
Lisa clenched her jaw. Because of Keith, Edith already had to start first grade at a new school. Still, Edith cried for him at night. She couldn’t lose Missy, too. Could Lisa hock a kidney? Missy had to stay with the family. For Edith’s sake.
With a constricted chest, Lisa scrolled until names appeared on her recent call list and hoped for a sign of biblical proportions—pillars of fire over a number or trumpeting angels signaling aid. She needed a lifeline, a listening ear, or someone who could remove this boulder from her chest. And the stress of a looming deadline. She needed a miracle.
Coughing again, Lisa’s thumb hovered over her sister-in-law’s number. She should call Kate about the rose-print china, anyway. But Kate’s demanding court docket meant a likely voicemail answer. Lisa could at least leave a message or perhaps catch Kate at a late lunch. It was only one p.m. in Missouri. After a moment’s hesitation, she clicked on her number.

Tears leaked from her eyes, and relief flooded her when Kate’s groggy voice greeted her. “You’re lucky you caught me working from home today. Heather’s sick. Stomach flu. Isn’t that great? I stayed up all night cleaning pizza-laced vomit off bookshelves and stuffed animals. That kid has a projectile range any missile launcher would be proud of. But enough about my problems. How are you doing? It’s been a while.”

Lisa’s voice caught on a chord of gratitude. Just hearing Kate’s voice softened the ache in her shoulders. Then she coughed. “Do you want your mother’s wedding china?”

Kate blew air from her lips. “Who needs china? We don’t have time for ceramic. At dinner, we use legal briefs as paper plates to catch the crumbs as we inhale food.”

Lisa chuckled at the image and removed a plate from the careful packaging surrounding the delicate china. Oh, how she had admired the rose-print china when Keith claimed it after his mother’s death. How she loathed it now after the divorce. “Should I just shoot it for skeet practice, then?”

“Heh. Save it for Edith or—wait. Why are you asking?”

Lisa tucked back in the plate. “I’m just packing up.”

“Are you moving?”

“Nope,” she chirped. “I routinely pack the house just to see how many boxes I need.” Keith’s conviction flipped her life upside down. Her sanity and her sense of humor hung by a thread.

“Har, har. Didn’t the judge award you the house?”

“She did.” The truth flamed her cheeks and tore at her gut. How could she tell Kate what happened? She who never had a financial worry in her marriage. “But we can’t afford to live here anymore.” Lisa luckily limped through the bills until the house sold.

“But how is that?”

A wry smile pressed on her lips. “Despite my stellar skills, I can’t keep the rehabbing business together.” Coughing, Lisa held the phone away and thumped her chest. “Sorry about all my hacking,” she said when she returned to the phone. “I can’t get rid of this cough. It’s been plaguing me for months.”

“You’re selling?”

“Sold.” Lisa wrapped two bowls in packing paper, but needing a fresh taped box, she left them on the cluttered counter. “Selling is the only way to pay the debts of the rehabbing business. And the court costs.”

Kate huffed slightly.
Kicking paper and extra bubble wrap on the floor, Lisa headed for the table. “But desperation rarely turns a profit. I’ll have a little money after the sale to pay debts. Selling is better than foreclosing.” A laugh-turned-cough gurgled from her throat. “Ironic, don’t you think? I used to help people by buying their foreclosures, and I almost foreclosed.”

“Keith’s a cad. I can say that because he’s my brother.”

“I can’t believe he’d be so selfish. Didn’t he think where his actions would leave him? Would leave us? And the neighborhood gossip is eating me alive.” Time for rest ended. The kids could walk through the door any minute. She tucked a stray hair into her bagel bun. “I don’t want my kids to know. So far, I’ve kept Keith’s sentencing from them.”

Silence expanded on the other end.

“You think that’s wrong?” Lisa picked up a black marker and labeled the contents on the box: Kitchen Junk To Sort Later.

“Transitions are hard. I won’t pass judgment.”

“The kids don’t deserve to be hurt by Keith’s actions.”

“I agree.”

“I need a fresh start.” She set down the marker. “Or I could nanny for some rich family in London. Think they’d mind if I brought along a teenager, a ten-, and a six-year-old?”

“Funny you should say that.” Kate’s voice grew excited. 

Hope sprung in Lisa’s heart. “Tell me you have a flat in London you’re not using.”

Kate chuckled. “No. I just had a brilliant idea. Six months ago, we moved Grandma Maybelle into a home near us for daily care.” She drew a breath. “But we never sold her house in St. Louis. Moving there could be the change you’re searching for.”

“St. Louis?” Lisa didn’t know anything about the city except it was famous for an arch.

“Don is the executor on her estate. We could add you to the trust and gift you the house. It needs a little TLC—maybe a coat of paint or so. You fix up houses. You can take it off our hands.”

Lisa arched her eyebrow at the term TLC. It usually meant Tough Luck Case. Amateurs always underestimated how much work a house needed. “I could at least check it out. If I can’t do it, then I’ll let you know what needs to be done.”

Kate continued. “Oh, you can do it. You did a lot of the heavy lifting in the business. And nobody in the family wants the seventy-year-old house.”

Lisa’s power tools glistened in the sunny window from where she laid them out for packing. How would the kids react to a move half-way across the country?

“And if you decide to stay here in Missouri, you can rebuild your life and your business where no one knows about Keith. Have a fresh start.” 
She excelled at helping people unload unwanted houses. But on her own? Keith had always been there, making decisions alongside her. “You’re mighty persuasive.”

“Persuading people is what I do all day.”

“I feel like I’m at the end of my troubles.”

“Yes, but which end?”

Lisa’s laugh erupted into a cough.

eBooks in the bundle

  • The Casserole Dish
  • The Christmas Mug
  • Billionaires Don't Date Camp Directors
  • Billionaires Don't Date Grad Students
  • Billionaires Don't Date Their Tenants
  • A White Christmas Lie
  • The Autumn Fallout
  • First Kisses
  • Origins of the Sugar Mamas
  • A Seasons of Sugar Creek Cookbook
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