Title: Snow Globes
Series: Snow Globes Bundle, Books 1-4 and Epilogue
Author: Ava Kelly
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 11/16/2021
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Genre: Contemporary Holiday, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, gay, holiday, Christmas, interracial/intercult., kids, teacher, sweet, family drama, established couple, pansexual, trans, grief, lesbian, family, traditions, foster care, middle school, found family
Based around the holidays, the Snow Globes series follows a family as it comes together over four winters. Daniel, an elementary school teacher with a big heart and a collection of snow globes to match his travels, longs for a place to belong. When a snowstorm strands him in the home of Jeff and his daughter, Abby, Daniel wonders if this could be the family he yearns for. Out of misfortune, can a wish come true?
Over time, Daniel, Jeff, and Abby’s family grows. After years of self-enforced exile, Abby’s biological father Nick returns to claim his place in his family. Jeff’s friend Amber gains a girlfriend, and new members, twins Leon and Sara, are welcomed into the fold. When ten-year-old Ben, Abby’s bestie, is suddenly in need of a home, relationships are strained. Happiness, and what it means for each of them, needs to be redefined. But will it make them stronger?
With each holiday they share together, more and more traditions are added to the celebrations in this multicultural group. In the new series epilogue, Abby and Ben face an adventure of their own, and we take a peek into the future.
Ava Kelly © 2021
All Rights Reserved
The hallway was silent around them. Across from where they were sitting, at the counter dividing the office part of the school from the waiting area, a woman busily wrote in a big notebook with thick covers and yellowing pages. Abby didn’t know her name, not like she’d known everyone’s back at her old school. Starting middle school had been exciting and scary all at once, but both Daddy and Daniel had assured her it was what all kids felt when a big change happened. It was what adults felt as well, and Abby had marched forward with her chin high and her belly in knots.
She shouldn’t have been worried. The very first week of classes, she’d found that most of her classmates were the same, and the teachers were awesome. It didn’t hurt that the middle and elementary school buildings sat next to each other, sharing a big yard. So Abby still got to see Daniel, and Ben got to see Amber and Sara when their breaks aligned.
Abby tapped her toes against the floor, the swift patter too soft to cause much noise. She’d waited on a similar bench many times for Daniel to finish classes and drive them home. Except, the other building was made directly the opposite, so everything was like in a mirror world. Left was right and right was left, and thankfully up wasn’t down, but it still felt wrong.
Next to her, Ben hadn’t moved, curled up with his arms around his knees and his face hidden. He held the hem of his skirt tightly in his shaking fists, and Abby bit her cheek. Before she could say anything, footsteps echoed in hurried thumps, and soon Sara stopped beside Ben.
“What happened?” she asked, eyes set on him.
“Ms. Gauthier,” the woman at the counter said. “Apologies for pulling you out of class. There was an incident, and you’re listed as this boy’s guardian?”
Sara pushed the curls off her forehead and sat down with a hand on Ben’s shoulder. Abby shivered, both waiting for and dreading the moment when—
The outside door opened, and in rushed Daniel.
“Abby, are you all right? Hey,” he said when Abby crossed her arms, unwilling to look up. But Daniel’s face came into view anyway as he crouched in front of her. “What’s wrong?”
Instead of words, Abby could only release a trembling breath, and she squeezed her eyes shut. So much for being strong. Even so, warmth fell around her like the softest blanket as Daniel hugged her to his side, and for a while, Abby focused on that. The palm rubbing up and down her arm was soothing. Neither Daniel nor Daddy had ever been disappointed in her, but they might be now. Not that Abby had done anything wrong; she was sure of it. Well, almost anything.
“Amber’s on her way,” Daniel was saying. “I was lucky my class has gym, but she had to find someone to supervise hers.”
Abby leaned in closer. Daniel was teaching first grade again this year. When Abby had been in his class for those few months before Daddy and Daniel had fallen in love over winter vacation, she’d hated gym so much. Daniel had explained why it was important, and then he did all the exercises with them, and it had become fun. She wondered if the little kids liked it or not, but then her eyes fell on Ben, and it was back to today.
While she hadn’t been paying attention, Amber had arrived. Now, at least Ben was talking to his moms instead of looking like a hiding turtle.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Daniel asked in that voice he had when Daddy was upset and needed a smile.
But nothing could make it better, and Abby shook her head stubbornly. She wished today had never happened. Middle school sucked.
Principal Saunders came out and talked to Sara in the hallway, but even though Sara seemed angry, they weren’t loud enough for Abby to hear. Then, Daniel was called in, and Ben left with his moms without even looking at her. It was fine though. Ben would be by for dinner later, like always on a Monday, because they had chess practice. All would be well.