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427 First Ave.

427 First Ave.

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He doesn’t need any complications, especially in the form of a curvy brunette.
But in true “Ginger” fashion, she goes after what she wants.
Proving to Ozzie that the past can be forgiven, the future is what you make it and love conquers all.

Main Tropes

  • Protective Man
  • Curvy Woman
  • Ex-Con
  • Tattoo Artist
  • OTT
  • All the Feels


She knows what she wants… and it’s him.

Ginger is wild, loves to line dance and is a huge flirt. She goes to the tattoo shop looking for her next big adventure. As soon as she sets her eyes on Ozzie, she knows he’s the one.
He asks her what she wants, thinking she’s going to pick a butterfly or a rose.
But he’s shocked when she says it’s him she wants.

Ozzie is an ex-con turned tattoo artist that is trying to get his life in order.
He doesn’t need any complications, especially in the form of a curvy brunette.
But in true “Ginger” fashion, she goes after what she wants.
Proving to Ozzie that the past can be forgiven, the future is what you make it and love conquers all.

Cherry Falls is filled with returning characters and iconic destinations that will begin to feel like family. When you leave the city, and drive into Cherry Falls, it’s like you’ve finally come home.

The cherry on top? Each book delivers a swoon-worthy, high heat romance!
So welcome to Cherry Falls, we hope you stay awhile!

Intro to Chapter 1

Chapter 1


“Hey, Mom,” I call from the front of
Pearl’s Pawn Shop and Liquor Store. My mom is Pearl. I’m thirty-two years old,
and I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I’m a momma’s boy. No one would ever
guess it by looking at me, but it’s the truth. We’ve been through a lot of shit
together, so it is what it is.

She’s handing over a
brown paper bag to a customer as she looks my way. “Hey, Ozz!”

Walking toward the
counter, I see she’s helping old man Tate. He’s been coming in as long as I can
remember, and I’m sure he’s drinking the same Jack Daniels that he always gets.
“How you doing, Mr. Tate?”

He holds up the
bottle. “Good. Good, son. How you doing?”

I laugh as he opens
the bottle before he even gets out of the store. “I’m good. See ya later, Mr.

I’m smiling as I get
to the counter, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by my mother. “Well, there’s that
smile that I like to see. I don’t get to see it a lot, so let me get my

“Har, har, Mom.
You’re funny.”

“Well, it’s the
truth.” She’s shaking her head like I’m still a little boy instead of a grown
man that towers over her. “So what’s the smile about?”

I hold out the
envelope to her. “This. Paid in full.”

She doesn’t hold her
hand out, which she never does. I always have to force her to take the money.
Money that is rightfully hers.

“Let’s not do this
again. Just take the money. I don’t want to argue with you about it.”

“Ozz, I don’t want
your money. Can’t your old mom just do something nice for you?”

But I’m already
shaking my head. If it was anyone else, I’d be pissed off, but I know with my
mom, I have to take it easy on her. She’s dealing with a lot of misplaced
guilt. Guilt for something she didn’t do and wasn’t her fault.

“Mom, you do stuff
for me all the time, but this is different, and you know it. You loaned me the
money so I could go into business with Duke. It’s been three years, and
here...”—I force the envelope in her hand—“is the final payment.”

She puts her hand
down on the counter, and the anguish on her face is enough to gut me. She’s
been through so much from me and my brother. I can’t make up for the past, but
I can sure as hell make it a good future for her. “You don’t have to do this,”
she huffs.

“I want to. Now I’m
going to start looking for houses. I can’t live over the shop for the rest of
my life.”

She raises the
envelope. “See? You need the money. Take it.”

Holding my hand up,
I laugh and shake my head. “I’m not taking the money. Plus, I’ve got enough for
a down payment. I’ve been doing really good at saving, and the shop is doing
way better than I ever dreamed.”

She tries to hand me
the envelope. “That’s good, honey. This can be your housewarming gift.”

Instead of taking
it, I wrap my arms around her. “Thanks, Mom, but I want to do this on my own.”

She’s shaking her
head as she pulls away and starts straightening the already straight bottles on
the shelf behind her. I know what she’s thinking, and she’s wrong.

“Mom, we’ve gone
over this. Me going to prison was not your fault.”

She turns with the
dusting towel in her hand and waves it around. “Well, it sure wasn’t your
fault. I’m the one that kicked your no-good dad out the door when you and your
brother were young. You didn’t have a father figure, and I’m the one that
always told you that since you’re older, you should take care of your brother.
I put that on you. And look what it got you. You’re a convicted felon.”

All I can do is
listen. This isn’t a new argument for us. We have it at least once a month. She
acts as what happened was her fault, and that can’t be further from the truth.
Whether she wanted me to or not, I would have done anything to protect my little
brother. He was nineteen and got mixed with the wrong crowd. When I told the
cops the drugs were mine, I had no idea I would face a felony charge and three
years in prison. My brother was in a lot deeper than I thought. There are so
many things I’d do differently now. But who would have thought that while I was
in prison, my brother would get so hopped up on drugs he’d get arrested for
armed robbery? He’s serving time over at the Syn City Penitentiary, and I
haven’t gone to see him since I got out three years ago.

I snap out of my
daydream with my mom staring at me. “Go see him,” she says.

“I know. I need to.
I will, I just...”

She interrupts,
looking at me with way more understanding than anything. “I know. It’s hard to
see him like that. But I’m glad he’s in there. The drugs were going to kill
him, Ozzie. Right now, it’s the best place for him.”

“I know, Mom. I just
feel like I’ve let him down some way, that’s all.”

She’s nodding her
head, not even going to waste her time arguing with me. “He doesn’t think that.
And you shouldn’t either. Your brother is his own man. I hate to say it, but he
did this to himself.”

I grab the broom and
start sweeping behind the counter. I’ve helped out here for years, and it’s
second nature to just pitch in when it’s needed. But today, it’s more to change
the subject. I hate thinking about my little brother in jail. And yeah, he deserved
it, and he may be better off there, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow.

Mom must know I’m
done talking about it because she changes the subject. “So what do you have
going on tonight? You have a date?”

I shake my head and
laugh. She may have changed the subject, but she’s just jumping to the other
topic that I don’t like to think about. I haven’t dated since I got out of
prison. It’s a tough thing to deal with, knowing that you’re a convicted felon.
How do you even bring that up in conversation when you meet someone? “No, Mom.
I have to work tonight.”

She throws her hands
up. “Work? That’s all you do is work. You need some free time. You need to find
a good girl and give me grandbabies.”

“You’re too young to
be a grandma,” I tease her.

She puts her hand on
her hip. “Too young! I’m fifty years old. I need them now when I can still keep
up with them.”

I finish sweeping
the floor and walk back to her with broom and dustpan in hand. “I’ll work on
it, okay? I’ll keep my eyes open for a good woman.” I tell her what she wants
to hear, but even I can hear the lie in my voice. Since I got out of prison,
I’ve been on the straight and narrow. I work, pay my bills, and save money. I
just want a house and somewhere I can call home. A place that isn’t over top of
the Cherry Bomb Tattoo Parlor. And yeah, there’s nights I want to have a woman
by my side, but just the thought of having to explain that I’m a convicted
felon... well, it’s just not going to happen.

Mom walks toward me
to hug me bye. My mom is quite frankly a bit of a badass. She has to be to own
a liquor store and a pawn shop, but with me and my brother, she’s always been
as sweet as pie. “You’re just saying that. I’m not stupid. You’re so stuck in
your ways.” She starts to ramble, stops, and takes a deep breath. “I just want
you happy. That’s all.”

I give her my
biggest smile and wrap an arm around her. “I am happy, Mom.”

She nods and gets up
on her tiptoes. “Fine. Have a good night at work.”

I give her a tight
squeeze, let her go, and give her one last wave as I get to the door. “I love
you!” I holler to her.

“Love you too.”

I walk out
whistling. Even with everything else going on, it feels good to be on track and
have one last bill to pay off. I’m now free and clear with paying Mom back for
the down payment of the shop. Next step, a place to live.

I go and get into my
car and rush back to the shop. I have a few appointments lined up tonight, and
I like to have everything cleaned and ready to go before my first appointment
gets there. The Cherry Bomb Tattoo Parlor has been a dream come true for me,
and I’m determined to put my all into making and keeping it a success.

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