By Haint Blue Publishing Company

The Heartbreak Bucket List

A. Lee Hughes


Eighteen years ago, when Ava Collette learned of her husband Eric’s affair, she stayed with him, choosing to keep her family together. She managed the betrayal, but only at the expense of her mental and emotional stability. Consuming herself with implementing rules and practices she thought would ensure she’d never again find herself blindsided, Ava developed obsessive-compulsive tendencies and an aversion to crowds. She believed that only home was safe from being hurt again. Today, eighteen years have passed, and Eric’s past arrives knocking at Ava’s door sending her spiraling with grief. At the encouragement of her best friend and her therapist, Ava leaves her home in Georgia and heads west where she plans to visit her mother in Phoenix and figure out how to deal with her exhumed devastation. While making the trip, she jots a list—her Heartbreak Bucket List. This time, rather than guarding herself from the pain, Ava decides to tackle her grief, starting from within. With the help of new friends Ava meets along her journey, she checks off the goals on her list, accomplishing what she once believed impossible: the freedom in forgiveness.

The Missing Lamb

A. Lee Hughes


The Missing Lamb is a serendipitous story about love, family, and opening your heart to the unexpected. Lucky James doesn’t feel very lucky. Just as she was headed to college, her father had a nervous breakdown, she lost both her wallet and her college paperwork, and she became stranded in a small town miles away from home and college. Only weeks from her eighteenth birthday, and worried about the implications for both herself and her father if anyone discovers that she’s a lost juvenile, Lucky takes her two bags—one with her father’s treasured lamb figurine packed inside—and settles in a local laundromat until she can figure things out. Unlike her name, Mary Christmas isn’t all that merry. She’s old and she’s tired—old enough to mind her own business and tired of her family always trying to stay in it. Mary lives alone, still takes care of herself, she still cooks, plays her lotto numbers, and even though she has a bad hip, she still gets around just fine. When Mary falls while at the laundromat and Lucky helps her, the two embark on a friendship that challenges both Mary’s resolve and teaches Lucky that her luck might not be as bad as she’s come to believe.