The scents of roasting cliffpigeon and potatoes wafted around the kitchen like beckoning fingers.
I’ll get my turn once the evening rush is over, Lizbete thought. She bent over the cauldron of fish stew, stirring furiously. Her metal spoon clanked against the sides of the cast iron cooking pot—her guardian’s favorite, heavy as a boulder and black as the caverns that honeycombed the mountain side.
The two village boys, who acted as table runners, rushed from the steaming hot kitchen to the more breathable common room. Every time they pushed through the swinging doors, they allowed them to clack noisily back into place. Every time, Lizbete winced. Did it take so much effort to ease the door into place rather than let it swing as wildly as a sheepdog’s tail?
Steam rose off the stew and twined up her arms. She paused to savor the heat. Her eyes fell shut, and she swayed on her feet as the warmth trickled into her. It had been a long shift.
A particularly drizzly day had drawn more than the usual clientele into the tavern. Of course, there were the regulars. Fishermen lounged by the fires, thawing out after a day being battered by the cold ocean spray. Tradesmen crowded tables, eager to relax with a dose of burning wine. Auntie Katryn considered this liquor the tavern’s signature drink, brewed from potato mash and caraway seeds and carrying a delightful taste of citrus and licorice.
Today, though, a group of merchants had stomped their way over the In-Land plains from the distant capital to make the last of the season's trades. The village had swarmed the fresh faces, begging for outside news. Like as not, the winter snows would have the high passes closed before the end of the week. While the village was self-sufficient in terms of food and shelter, luxuries from the lands beyond the coastal peaks were greatly prized, as was any gossip from the larger villages with their scandalous politicians and occasional feuds. Lizbete could do without both. After all, the luxuries rarely came the way of a cook’s foundling assistant, and it wasn’t as if the village of Brumehome didn’t produce enough gossip without outside assistance.
Lizbete raised the spoon to her lips. The steaming liquid stung her tongue for a split second, but she’d found out long ago that she was immune to burning. Her blood absorbed the warmth, turning the broth to the perfect temperature. She concentrated on the way the individual flavors played off each other: warm butter, mild white fish, aromatic onions, and a bit of crisp white wine she’d stolen from behind the tavern’s bar. While the recipe was Auntie’s, Lizbete enjoyed making things her own by throwing in something unexpected, in this case, the wine. She just had a feeling that the oily fish and creamy base needed something to brighten it up, like sun shining through the edges of a cloud.
The warmth rising from the pot continued to ease its way into her bones. Her head nodded, though she continued stirring. True, down-to-the-marrow warmth was a rare treat. The villagers harnessed energy from volcanic steamvents to warm their houses and power some basic machinery. Still, Lizbete never felt the warmth of the steam made a dent against the inclement weather and the constant freezing winds that swept off the sea.
Oh, to be truly warm…
The stew began to push against her stirring. Brow furrowed, she opened her eyes. Had it simmered too long and begun to thicken and burn? Horror filled her chest. The top of the stew crusted with ice crystals.
She let go of her spoon and staggered back. The fire beneath the pot still crackled. She cast a frantic glance around the kitchen. Auntie Katryn had left her in charge of the stew so that the older woman—and owner of the tavern—could see to her guests. The serving boys still dashed in and out, but neither gave Lizbete a second glance.
Trying to force her body to draw heat from the steam floating around her rather than through her hand, Lizbete poked at the frozen surface of the stew with the tip of the spoon. Maybe the broth would thaw before it was needed? The few times she’d allowed her attention to lapse to the point of freezing food items, there’d always been time to thaw it. Having it happen in the middle of the dinner rush was inconvenient, but it would thaw. It had to thaw. If only they didn’t need it soon.
“Hey, Ash Lizard!”
She jumped and spun about, the spoon clattering on top of the ice in the pot.
A blurry figure approached her. Her near-sighted eyes only perceived an indistinct red face topped with a blur of flame she assumed to be hair. He stepped right up to her, finally coming into focus as Tieren, the older of the two serving boys. Tieren gave her a mean-spirited grin. Severe wind and sunburn scorched his otherwise pale cheeks, nose, and forehead, almost matching his flame-orange hair. He was perhaps a year younger than her, but like most of the villagers, far taller and stronger than she could ever hope to be.
Frail and thin, Lizbete sported ashen skin that resembled the silver-scaled cave lizards that lurked in the warmth of the steamvents, only emerging from their caves to eat flies. The comparison of her complexion, combined with the unfortunate first syllable of her name and the way she always clung to sources of heat like a lizard, had been the cause of her cruel moniker. As much as Auntie had tried to discourage “Ash Lizard”, not allowing it to be spoken in her presence, the town was more like to call Lizbete that than her actual name.
A shiver cut through her. If Tieren saw the frozen stew, he’d ask questions, questions she couldn’t—or at least didn’t want to—answer.
Moving to block his view of the icy stew, Lizbete squared her shoulders. “Madam Katryn doesn’t like it when you call me that.”
His lips curled back over yellowed teeth. “Madam Katryn isn’t here now, is she?”
Lizbete opened her mouth to snap that she’d tell on him, only to immediately clamp it shut.
Tieren was only a temporary employee, on loan to Katryn while her usual waitress, Falla, was abed after childbirth. The threat of firing didn’t hold much fear for the boy in the short run, and in the long run, he would likely remember the ill-turn and use it as an excuse to torment Lizbete. His father was the local butcher, someone she had to do business with on Katryn’s behalf on a regular basis. The likelihood of seeing Tieren outside of Katryn’s protection was too high to risk his wrath.
“Whatever.” She’d put up with him, but she didn’t have to be pleasant about it. “Did you want something?”
“The guests are hungry and the roast ewe is almost gone. The boss wants you to get the stew ready to serve, then put what’s left of the ewe in the big pot to boil down for stock.”
Lizbete’s shoulders tensed.
“All—all right,” she stammered.
Tieren narrowed his eyes. “Get a move on it, Ash Lizard.” He turned away.
Lizbete fished the spoon out of the pot, an easy enough task as the utensil lay on the frozen surface of the stew. She hit the spoon against the top of the stew, breaking off ice crystals. If she could crack the broth into smaller pieces, it might thaw faster. “Blast it all …”
Auntie Katryn would never serve cold stew, let alone frozen stew. Why did those vent-blasted patrons have to eat so much so quickly? The spoon clinked against the solid stew, barely denting it.
“Oh, Skywatcher, not now!” she groaned. If the Skywatcher deity was listening, he didn’t immediately answer. She tossed log onto the flames beneath the pot. The fire roared to new life, but while the edges of the chunk of stew began to sweat, the middle remained unchanged.
“Three orders for fish stew!” Dori, the other serving boy, shouted from the door.
Lizbete groaned inwardly. She needed to get Katryn.
Setting the spoon in a bracket attached to the hearth, she crept through the kitchen towards the noisy, smoky common room. Her shoulders hunched towards her ears. Auntie Katryn wouldn’t be mad. Auntie was rarely mad, but the frozen stew would set the evening back a bit. Customers might complain, forcing her to compensate with free food, which would cost her money. Auntie already put up with enough inconvenience and local derision for having Lizbete under her care. Lizbete didn’t want to cause her more trouble.
Still, the longer Lizbete waited to tell her guardian, the worse things would get. With a deep breath, she pushed her way through the swinging double doors and out into the press of the dinner rush.
She bounced off Tieren’s chest. The young man dropped the stack of empty wooden bowls he’d been rushing to the kitchen to fill. He staggered back a step, scowling.
“What are you doing out of your steamvent, you dirty, sooty thing?”
Eyes darted to them, and a hush fell across the room. Lizbete cringed. She had hoped to sneak through unnoticed. A murmur of “Ash Lizard” rose from the nearest table at a volume they probably assumed would go unnoted—and for anyone but Lizbete, they would’ve been right. For whatever reason, Lizbete’s senses had decided to compensate for her awful eyesight by giving her acute hearing. As someone often on the receiving end of malicious whispering, she could’ve done without this ability.
The majority of Brumehome villagers had ruddy complexions and tall, broad-shouldered frames, but with Lizbete’s poor vision, they blurred together into one intimidating swoosh of browns, reds, pinks, and the occasional blond. From the patrons close enough to see, however, she could tell that everyone was staring at her.
Behind the bar, the rounded shape of Auntie Katryn stood out from the rest of the throng, made further visible by the red kerchief she constantly wore in her hair. She paused in her work of pouring burning wine into wooden tumblers for the line of boisterous guests.
“Lil’ Liz!” The middle-aged woman bustled around the bar. The various patrons scattered to avoid being mowed down by her considerable girth. By the time she reached Lizbete, she was red-faced and puffing. Her blue eyes watered and her graying brown hair was coming loose from its braids. Auntie stopped short of bowling the much smaller Lizbete over, worry furrowing her brow.
Lizbete dropped her gaze to the stone tiles of the floor. Warmth filtered through the thin soles of her skin shoes. Like many of the finer homes and businesses within Brumehome, the tavern was heated by steamvents that traced throughout the town like veins through flesh. Lizbete concentrated on this warmth and tried to find her courage.
“There’s a problem with the stew,” she said in a hoarse whisper.
Auntie set her hand on the girl’s shoulder. “A problem is only a solution waiting to happen.”
They entered the kitchen. Tieren craned his neck over Auntie Katryn’s head, trying to look around her. She shooed him back into the common room and let the door snap shut behind him.
Together they crossed to the hearth. Lizbete prayed that when she looked this time, the frozen stew would have returned into bubbling, steaming liquid. No such luck. Auntie tapped at the brick of iced food with her finger and gave a low whistle. The stew ice sank a little bit, squelching within the pot.
“I see.” She clicked her tongue. “Lil’ Liz, Lil’ Liz, how did you manage …” Her gaze fell on the spoon in its bracket. “Ah, you used a metal spoon to stir it?”
Lizbete flushed. Of course. She had been so panicked, she hadn’t even considered that detail. “The wooden ones all needed to be washed after the afternoon’s cooking. I thought it would be all right since the room is so warm.”
“Metal draws in heat, and your body always takes from the easiest source. If you’d used the wooden spoon, you probably would’ve drawn from the air, but instead the heat got lapped up like milk by a cat.” Auntie continued to poke at the stew. She then pointed to the other fireplace where the remains of the roasted ewe still spun on a spit, waiting for Lizbete to gather up the scraps and simmer the bones for stock. “Get the drippings from the pan beneath it. They should still be plenty hot.”
Lizbete ran and snatched up the pan. The immediate contact with the heated metal stung, but only for a heartbeat. Her body absorbed the excess heat and the surface cooled to a manageable temperature. Lizbete hurried to give the vessel to Auntie, lest Lizbete’s pulling of the heat had frozen the drippings.
Auntie Katryn mixed the drippings into the stew. The surface spluttered, hissed, and steamed. Then the ice broke apart. She took up the metal spoon and stirred. The solid chunks became smaller and smaller until they disappeared altogether.
“Give it a few minutes so we don’t serve cold stew, then have the boys ladle it out.” She set her hands on her broad hips and gave a hearty laugh. “Actually, it might improve the flavor. Mutton-enhanced fish stew. I’m going to call it a special!”
Relief eased the tension between Lizbete’s shoulders. She should’ve known Auntie would be able to fix everything. She always managed.
Auntie examined Lizbete’s face, then reached into her apron pocket for a handkerchief. “You’ve managed to get ashes smudged on your face again, Lil’ Liz.” She brushed her finger across Lizbete’s cheek.
Embarrassed, Lizbete took the square of cloth and rubbed fiercely at her skin. “It’s warm among the ashes.”
“It’s also warm in the dining room near the fire.” Auntie squeezed Lizbete’s shoulder. “You’ve spent enough time in this lonely kitchen. Come sit at the bar while I pour out. The boys can handle the rest of the meal.”
Lizbete hesitated, remembering the ugly whispers her brief appearance in the common room had evoked.
A sad smile crossed Auntie’s face, and her voice dropped to a sympathetic murmur. “You can’t hide away in the smoke and steam forever, Lil’ Liz.”
“I wouldn’t mind a bowl of stew.” Liz forced a grin. “Especially knowing it’s a special.”
Auntie guffawed and served her a wooden bowl.
With the non-conductive wood holding her stew, Lizbete was able to take her time getting to the bar without fear of her blood cooling her dinner too much. She smushed herself into the corner where the bar met the wall, both to avoid the crowd and absorb the heat rising through the steam pipes running through that section of the wall. She took a bite of her stew. The fishy flavor contrasted nicely with the fresh herbs from Auntie’s garden box, along with the unctuous and savory hint of mutton fat. She held the stew in her mouth until her blood absorbed all its heat, then swallowed it down.
One of the merchants brought out a bone flute prompting Baldric, the town’s minstrel, to produce his boxy, horse-hair harp. The other patrons cleared a space around them as the two men began an “impromptu” duet too good for it to be spontaneous—especially too good for Lizbete, who had heard them through the walls earlier that night, planning out their spectacle. Even so, it didn’t take away from the skill of both men, or the way the happy, lilting tune waltzed through her soul. She leaned against the wall, heart lightening. No one looked in her direction, but as the audience began to sway as one, some clapping their hands in time to the beat, she felt less alone. For a moment, she was part of the revelry, if only as an unwelcome guest.
Before she could lose herself completely in the bliss, a trio of young people pushed their way to the open seats midway down the bar. Lizbete tensed. She recognized one of the boy’s height and dark hair almost immediately. Squinting to better her vision, she managed to confirm that the features belonged to the handsome but haughty face of Einar, the mayor’s second son. The girl on his arm was the shapely Marget, who was the same age as Lizbete but with far more curves to show for it. The daughter of a local fisherman who had expanded his fleet to three boats and employed a crew for each, she was the closest thing Brumehome had to a princess. The third youth wasn’t familiar to Lizbete, and his road-worn clothes and olive complexion suggested a traveler.
None of them took any notice of Lizbete, though Einar’s gaze darted about the room like an owl on the hunt.
“Where are the servers?” He crossed his arms.
“They’re probably shorthanded.” Marget tossed her auburn waves from one shoulder to the next. “That lazy waitress your aunt employs is still out with child. You’d think she have learned to shove her husband out of bed by this point. Six children is far more than I’d personally like.”
“I’m not in a hurry,” the stranger said in a pleasantly exotic accent, rolling his r’s. “Good music and good company.”
“I didn’t bring you to my family’s establishment to wait.” Putting both hands on the bar top, Einar vaulted over it. The bar shook under his weight, and a few of the nearby patrons shot him dirty looks. Einar snatched an unopened bottle of burning wine off the shelf and proceeded to pour himself and his companions drinks.
The stranger took a sip and then coughed. “This is what you drink here?”
Einar knocked back his tumbler with exaggerated relish. Ironic considering how many times Lizbete had seen him puking his guts out after an evening of drinking. “It warms you up.” He smirked. “We need something fiercer than you folks of sunnier lands.”
“I prefer a sweet red wine.” The stranger shrugged.
“Got mead.” Einar exhibited a smaller bottle.
A smile blossomed on the stranger’s face. “That’ll do.”
The three sipped in silence. Lizbete considered slipping further from them. While Einar hadn’t noticed her yet, he would, and he never passed up an opportunity to call her names or push her around.
“So, Chiro …” Marget turned her tumbler in a slow circle. “You said you’d run into someone from our village while on your journey?”
“Yes, at the next village over.” The stranger—Chiro apparently—wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “He was consulting with the local healer. When he found we were headed in this direction, he asked us to bring word to his family that he’d be returning within two days. This is why I sought you out, Einar, while my fellow merchants were unloading.”
Lizbete stiffened. Could it be?
Einar scoffed. “Sounds like Brynar. Still messing around with quacks and charlatans, trying to stop the inevitable for our sister.”
“It’s rather heroic of him, don’t you think?” Marget gave a dreamy sigh.
Lizbete rather thought so too, as much as she hated to agree with Marget.
“My brother’s a fool who wastes time seeking a cure that doesn’t exist, when he should be preparing to take my father’s place. It only draws out hope and therefore pain.” Einar’s scowl deepened, and for a moment, Lizbete thought she could hear distress in his voice—though that would require an emotional depth she wouldn’t have attributed to the vain and selfish youth. “Let him stay away. The village runs fine without him.”
“You’re just saying that because you know the local girls won’t give you a second glance if your brother is there to distract them.” Marget sniffed.
“Only the foolish ones. My father is wealthy enough to set me up in whatever trade or business I’d like.” Einar’s chin shot into the air, his arrogance chasing away the trace of grief that had almost humanized him to Lizbete. “My brother? He’ll never be anything but the next mayor.”
“Oh, yes, only a lowly mayor.” Marget rolled her eyes.
Lizbete pushed the last few bites of stew around her bowl. She hadn’t seen Brynar in over three months, and that in passing, as he hurried after his father on official business. The last time they’d actually talked … it had been at least a year. An emptiness formed in the pit of her stomach in spite of the large serving of satisfying stew. Brynar had been one of the few villagers who would talk to her. Until he wouldn’t. She missed their talks, him listening to her worries as he helped her carry water back from the well, and especially the way his eyes lit up when he laughed. She’d tried to tell herself he was just busy, and he obviously was. Still, a few moments to drop by the tavern didn’t seem too much to ask.
“You should know from watching your father that a savvy fisherman can gather far more wealth than my father has the ability to,” Einar said.
“I prefer a man who doesn’t stink of fish.” She shuddered.
Chiro eased closer to her. “Perhaps a merchant, then? Exotic lands provide us many chances to make our fortune.”
Marget fluttered her eyelashes at him.
“Hey!” Einar shouldered his way between the two. “Get away from my girl.”
Lizbete bit back a contemptuous laugh. While Einar spent the most time around Marget, he was an equal opportunity flirt. According to Brynar, Einar would’ve been much worse had their father not taken both young men aside at an early age and told them if they ever got a girl with child, they’d be required to marry her immediately.
“If you can’t take a little competition, I’m sure I can find other suitable females.” Chiro’s gaze swept the gathered crowds. Lizbete dropped her own stare to the bar-top, not wanting to be caught watching Einar and his friends. “What about that little one there in the corner? I’ve never seen someone so pale. It’s rather exotic.”
Lizbete’s stomach flip-flopped as she realized he was referring to her. Boys never noticed her.
“If you think cradling a corpse would be alluring.” Einar made a face. “I’ve seen week-dead bodies with more color and life than Ash Lizard.”
Shame rippled through her.
“Ash Lizard?” Confusion flavored Chiro’s tone.
“That’s what we call the little monster,” Marget said in a disdainful hiss. “The girl is cursed by dark spirits. In fact, some say she might be one of them. You get too close, she’ll suck out your soul and leave you an empty husk.”
Chiro chuckled. “Really, now. I may be a stranger to your lands, but I’m not an idiot you can scare with wild tales.” Lizbete slowly raised her head. Unwilling to look directly at them, her vision weakened further. Still, she could see their movements. They drew together even as their voices dropped to whispers.
“No, it’s true.” Marget grasped Chiro’s arm. “Sixteen years ago she was left on the meeting hall’s doorstep in the dead of winter. By the time a local herdsman found her, she was stiff and cold—he thought dead. However, he brought her in and laid her by the hearth and she came back to life. Started squawking like a rooster running from the axe.”
“A strange tale, but hardly frightening.” Chiro shrugged.
“Aye, but that night, not having a place to keep her—herdsman here often live in temporary structures out with their flocks—he brought her into the heated barn he kept for his birthing animals.” Marget gave an exaggerated shudder.
Einar placed his hand by his mouth. “The next morning half the sheep in the barn were blue and stiff, frozen solid. That little gray maggot lay beside them, as hale and whole as ever.”
Lizbete’s chest tightened, and her dinner threatened to force its way back up her throat. She’d heard the story before, though Auntie had tried to shelter her from it. She didn’t like the idea that she’d killed that many animals, even if she hadn’t known what she was doing at the time or couldn’t remember the deed.
“If she’s such a foul creature, why is she here?” Chiro asked.
“Oh, some in the village wanted to kill the little beast the moment the deaths were discovered, but my father has some strange ideas about justice. He says spirits and curses are all superstitious nonsense, and he wouldn’t let a baby be killed based solely on such irrational notions.” Einar grunted in agitation. “So he gave her to my aunt. Aunt Katryn has always had a thing for strays.”
“Since then, nothing else has died around her, though if you’re near her, you get an uneasy feeling. No one likes it. No one chooses to be around her long.”
Lizbete bristled. That wasn’t completely true. Auntie chose to be around her, and Falla didn’t mind her so much. There was also little Elin, Einar’s own sister. And of course, Brynar.
“Your siblings do,” Marget pointed out, perhaps just for the joy of contradicting Einar.
“Elin is practically a ghost herself. One hand grasping this life even as the rest of her is drawn into the spirit world. Brynar, he used to rub elbows with the girl from time to time, but even he cut it off. After all, wouldn’t do for the future mayor to have such disreputable connections.”
Lizbete froze. Brynar had cut her off? No, Einar had to be just saying that. Yes, Brynar had stopped visiting with her, rather suddenly at that, but he’d always been kind to her, often when no one else would be. He’d just gotten busy, that was all. It wasn’t intentional.
It couldn’t be.
She remembered Brynar’s kind smile and clear blue eyes, always so sincere and intent. Always ready to listen to her, ready to acknowledge her when the rest of the town would rather pretend she didn’t exist. No, he wouldn’t have just abandoned her. That wasn’t who he was.
Or was it?
“If you want female companionship that’s a little less likely to kill you, I have a cousin.” Marget stood and offered Chiro her hand. “It’s too bad you will be leaving so soon. She needs someone to take her to the festival of the First Frost. All of us will be there. It wouldn’t do to have a cousin of mine go without an escort, but her worthless boyfriend … it’s a long story. I’ll tell you it after this dance.”
“Hey now!” Einar burst to his feet. His girl and his guest were already striding into the center of the room. Momentary pleasure at his humiliation warmed Lizbete’s chest, only to fade as quickly as it had sprung up.
She’d never been to the Festival of First Frost, though she’d stared at the glow of the lights and listened to the lilting, lovely music from her bedroom window. The idea of being in the center of that joyous gathering, rather than watching from a distance, filled her with a quiet longing. Last year she’d almost gone, if only to sit on the sidelines. She’d lost her nerve hours before the music started. Even Auntie had encouraged her to make an appearance, and Brynar had said he’d save her a seat at the feasting table.
Loneliness squeezed her heart. She tried to recollect the last time she’d spoken with Brynar. He’d been preparing for a journey, but he’d also been acting awkward rather than his usual easygoing self. Was Einar telling the truth? They were brothers, after all, and while different in almost every way, still flesh and blood.
But she couldn’t believe that about Brynar. If he had rejected her, that cut her circle of true friends nearly in half. Taking up her bowl, she retreated to the kitchen, now empty except for a simmering pot filled with the bones of that evening’s ewe roast. She pressed her back against the large ovens that were cooling after a day of bread making and closed her eyes. She was so tired of being alone. Yes, Auntie Katryn was family, but she would’ve done anything for one friend her own age to talk to.
“Oh, Skywatcher,” she breathed into the dark, “is it really so much to ask? Just someone to talk to who doesn’t see me as a monster or a freak?”
The kitchen was silent except for the bubbles popping at the surface of the simmer pot. Her hands smoothed the ashes at the edge of the hearth, feather soft, leaving her pale gray skin smudged once more. Well, it wasn’t as if she needed to be presentable for customers anyway. With a sigh, she sank to the floor, pressed her cheek against the oven as if it were the softest of pillows, and tried to forget what Einar had said about Brynar.
Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?
Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.
When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.
Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?
A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.
Heidi writes under H. L. Burke because initials are cool. She's a mother, military spouse (married to a now retired Marine), and cat keeper. A fantasy author, Heidi writes everything from Fairy Tales to Superhero fiction. Though she's always chasing shiny things (and what's shiny to her can differ a great deal from week to week!) all her books are infused with with humor, feelz, and just enough wonder to make you feel like you’ve found a world worth hanging out in.
Sign Up for H. L. Burke's Newsletter!
Connect with H. L. Burke on Social:
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you or the author!