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Hello, First name / my friend
I have a few quick things for you before a belated Valentine's Day visit with Shay, Noah, and Gennie.
  1. Book gifts! Click here to get a copy of Annika Martin's Most Eligible Billionaire. I went on a wild Annika Martin binge last summer and regret absolutely nothing. Her work is amazing and hilarious, and I'm so happy to have this gift for you. Enjoy!
  2. New looks! Before Girl, The Worst Guy, and Boss in the Bedsheets are getting makeovers come March. If you strongly favor any of these masculine covers, this is your chance to snag them.
  3. Audio news! In a Jam is now available in audio.
  4. What I'm reading: I finished listening to Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez and moved along to The Happy Ever After Playlist which is similarly delightful though content warning for a strong grief plot line.
I hope you're doing well and I hope to be back with some updates about my next release next month. Things have been topsy-turvy for me in 2023 but we'll have good things to talk about soon. 
xo kate

A Valentine's Visit with Shay and Noah
“Is this…what it’s supposed to be?”
I glanced over at Noah. He carried a wide tray of pink-frosted cupcakes with one hand while clutching a pair of crates packed with half pints of chocolate milk in the other. He was dressed in a suit though the jacket was long gone and he’d rolled up his shirtsleeves to the elbow sometime between setting up the cafeteria tables and unloading the last of the treats prepared by the Little Star bake house.
I was not complaining.
“What do you mean?” I asked, fighting back a grin. A sweetheart dance for elementary-aged kids and their families was nothing short of sugar-charged chaos.
“I mean” —he set down the provisions and waved at the children engaged in a cutthroat game of kick-the-balloon and a few others running and sliding on their knees across the floor— “isn’t there supposed to be dancing?”
I motioned toward the clump of kindergarten girls in Frozen and Tangled dresses. They were clinging to each other and moving together like a single entity. “They’re dancing.”
“Is it inappropriate to say they look like every drunk girl at the bar when a sad Taylor Swift song comes on? Because…I’ve seen a twenty years in the future version of this.”
“I don’t think you should say that, no,” I said with a laugh.
He brushed a hand over his tie. It was black with tiny pink dots, a Gennie selection to be sure. She was dressed in her favorite black-and-white skirt, black tights, and black sweater. Her shoes were off and probably lost forever, and she was running around the room with a few other kids. “I thought it was supposed to be more formal.”
I started arranging the cupcakes he’d delivered. “Let me explain a few things to you about elementary school dances. First, there will be a handful of real, proper dances but that will be after the kids get their zoomies out.”
“Yeah, you know zoomies. When dogs get that crazy burst of energy and run around like mad for five minutes and then they’ve burned it off and can be normal again. Kids are the same way.” I motioned to the families spilling into the cafeteria, the children in their best dresses and suits and parents looking like they’d survived epic battles to be here. “They need to burn off some puppy energy.” I patted his shoulder. “You’ll get a dance with her. I promise.”
Noah watched as Gennie sank into a split in the middle of the cafeteria and then somersaulted to her feet. With a shake of his head and an amused sigh, he turned to face me. “And what about you, wife? Will I get a dance with you? Maybe more than one?”
I waved an arm at the treat table. “Just as soon as my duty as cupcake queen has been fulfilled.”
He traced the frilly sleeve of my dress down to my wrist. It was conservative enough for a school event but it was still flowery and flowy and absolutely over the top in every way. And my earrings were gigantic baby Cupids shooting love-poisoned arrows. Could not be better. “And when will that be?”
“I don’t know,” I said, shrugging. “You brought an awful lot of cupcakes.”
He glared at the table. “You want me to get rid of these? Say the word and I’ll hand-sell the shit out of these cupcakes.”
“They’re free.” I laughed.
“Then I’ll call the bake house and get someone to pick them up.”
“You’re not doing that! They’re for the dance!”
He hoisted the tray. “Give me five minutes.”
I locked a hand around his forearm. “Or you could stay here. You could help me hand out treats while the kids do their thing.” When he only blinked at me, I continued. “They need time to play and I…well, we could engage in some friendly competition, farmers market style.”
He swept a gaze over the treats on the cafeteria table. Rice crispy treats, cake pops, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and dozens upon dozens of cupcakes. “Pink or chocolate?”
“I’ll give you the advantage with pink,” I said.
“Ah, wife,” he rumbled, “chocolate is always the advantage.”
“Not on Valentine’s Day,” I said, “and not with kids.”
He set the tray down and looped an arm around my waist. “What do I get if I win?”
I tipped my head back to smile at him. “What would you like?”
“Many, many things,” he said. “But we could start with—“
“Can I have one of these?”
At once, we turned toward the small voice and found a child with one hand poised over a pink cupcake and the other already clutching three cake pops.
“Take two,” Noah said while I responded, “Daniel, do you really need all those treats?”
“That’s not how you win,” Noah whispered, still holding me close.
Daniel held up the hand with the pops. “These are for my sister and her friends.”
Likely story. “Did an adult give you permission?” I asked.
“You’re never going to win this way,” Noah continued. “You’re much better at the farmers market.”
“My dad said it was okay,” Daniel said, hooking his pinkie around a chocolate-dipped pretzel. He backed away slowly as I scanned the room for his parents. When I glanced back down, he’d vanished.
“Maybe you don’t want to win,” Noah mused. “Maybe you want—“
“What? The many, many things you’re thinking about?” I looked around to make sure no one was close enough to hear our conversation. “I think you know I always want the many, many things in your mind. I love the things in your mind. I don’t know how you come up with half of them but I still love it. And I think you know I want nothing more than to fall into bed tonight and let you do all of them. But I still want to win—and make sure none of these kids gorge themselves and end up puking all over the place before the end of the night.”
He stared at me for a long moment before saying, “In all the dreams I had of spending Valentine’s Day with you, none of them ever included doing it in this town while KidzBop played and we policed cakes.”
“But isn’t this better?” When he didn’t responded, I went on. “It’s better. It’s better in so many ways. It’s better because I haven’t wasted a penny on fancy lingerie that’s crazy hot but uncomfortable and—“
“—and will be shredded in a fucking minute.”
“And we’re not fighting for a table at some trendy restaurant that will be fine but very crowded and everything is heart-shaped not as much fun as it sounds. We won’t be having lots of champagne-drunk sex—“
“—oh, yes, we will.”
“—without worrying about waking up the child down the hall or little knocks on the door first thing in the morning because someone needs a chocolate chip pancake or the goats got out again.”
“—those goddamn goats.” 
“But I promise this is better. It’s so much better. If for no other reason than we get to watch Gennie breakdancing and that’s more entertaining than anything we’d plan for ourselves in New York. And she’ll busy herself for at least two hours in the morning if we tell her it’s a brunch day rather than breakfast day.” I slapped his ass and jerked my chin toward the pink cupcakes. “Now, get back to work. Don’t think I’m going to let you win.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it, wife.” He leaned in and kissed my jaw. “You might be right, you know. This might be better.”
If you haven't met Shay and Noah yet, check out In a Jam.

We always have something to talk about. Usually involves shenanigans.
p.s. There are probably typos and/or broken links in this message. Definitely in the Valentine's scene. It's okay. You don't have to let me know. I have not yet perfected the art of going back in time so we'll have to let it be.