Lucky Denver has wandering feet, sticky fingers and an unreliable moral compass—he’s never had a home and he’s not so sure he cares about what he’s missing.
Arnold Kreed who runs a small-town B&B knows what a home should be. So does his home, The Oaks—aka Mildred—and she has some very definite opinions on who should stay and who should go.
Mildred wants Lucky to stay—and while Kreed is surprised, he can’t really blame the old girl. He’s getting sort of attached himself. Lucky might be fine with the house’s eccentricities, but he’s not so sure Kreed will be fine with the man attached to Lucky’s real name. When Kreed falls ill, Lucky needs to make a decision—wander away like he’s always done or stay and be his better self. Kreed’s hoping he’ll stay—and so is The Oaks, and Mildred has a way of getting what she wants.
Who Inspired Mildred, you ask?
Growing up, I lived in a huge house. Not a Victorian mansion, by any means, but a house big enough to be home to a family of eleven people. We shared rooms. The kitchen was—and still is—tiny. There was no clothes dryer. Still isn’t. Mom hangs the clothes on the line to dry. It’s not state-of-the-art or magazine ready or historical (except to us). But it is familiar, and it is, for all its size, cozy and perfect.
I love it.
I miss it.
During this time of physical distancing, I have had to forego my weekly visits where I would sit in the armchair in the living room to write. Dad lights a fire when it’s chilly. It’s quiet with just the two of them and me in the house, but the calm stillness goes a long way to helping me concentrate on getting words on the page.
There are other members of the extended family who aren’t super full of love to be in that huge place alone, especially at night. It makes sounds. Pipes have been known to rattle. There used to be a water pump in the basement you could hear on the second floor when it came on to pull water out of the well. The furnace thumps. Its’s old enough the bones creak and the rafters pop.
I don’t think my childhood home has a name. At least, not one I am aware of. But it sure was in the back of my mind as Mildred formed in my head and appeared on the page. And a good deal of this book was written there, so thanks to the “Ancestral Acreage” as my cousin likes to call the place, for inspiring one of the most fun characters I’ve ever written, even if that character never speaks a word.
Here’s to Mildred.
About Jaime Samms
Jaime Samms is a plaid-hearted Canadian who spends the too-long winters writing stories about love between men and the too-short summers digging in the garden.
A multi-published author whose work has been translated into French, Italian, and German, Jaime delights in the intricate dance of words that leads her through tales of the lost and broken hearted men she writes about, to the love stories that find and mend them.
She also makes pretty things with yarn and fabric scraps because in her world, no heart is too broken to love, and nothing is too worn or tired it can’t be made beautiful. All it takes is determination and the ability to see life a little bit left of center.
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms
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