Sassy Blonde - Stacey Kennedy
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
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Copyright © 2020 by Stacey Kennedy. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact Stacey Kennedy.
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Edited by Lexi Smail
Copy Edited by Jolene Perry
Proofread by Christa Désir
Cover Design by Regina Wamba
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Manufactured in Canada
Maisie Carter followed her two older sisters, Clara and Amelia, out of the big, white, colonial-style house, the gravel driveway crunching under her pink Converse, and the blistering hot sun above promising a beautiful day. Clara was all the things Maisie wasn’t. Responsible. Organized. Dependable. Not that Maisie didn’t try to be those things, but she always came up short. Amelia’s personality had always fallen smack dab between Clara’s buttoned-up ways and Maisie’s free spirit. Amelia was definitely the most well-adjusted.
Maisie stayed a step behind as they headed toward the black barn that once belonged to their beloved grandfather, Pops. He’d passed away a month ago, leaving the farm, an idea for a brewery, and all his savings to the three sisters. A blessing, for sure, and not an unexpected one either. Their grandfather had raised them after their parents died in a fiery car crash. Maisie had only been four months old. Amelia was two, and Clara four. None of them remembered their parents, and maybe that was a good thing. The loss didn’t feel so great, not when they’d been raised by their father’s doting parents. A heart attack had stolen their grandmother away five years go. And a month ago, Pops had gone too.
Maisie missed her grandparents. Even now, when Pops’s last wish had created a dark cloud over Maisie’s life. She was an artist and never wanted to own a brewery, but she’d always kept that thought to herself.
Hindsight was a bitch.
“How long until the beer is ready?” Clara, their oldest sister, asked Amelia. Clara had long, reddish-brown hair that she wore in a tight ponytail most days, and a good three inches of height on Maisie. She was pretty in a very elegant way. Her fine features and full lips belonged on an old Hollywood movie screen.
Next to her, Amelia answered, “Weeks away still. I’m close to getting the formula right, but something is still missing.” The sunlight picked up the natural golden highlights in Amelia’s hair. At twenty-six years old, and with her ginger-colored hair and freckles dusting her nose, Maisie would argue that Amelia was the prettiest sister.
Both her sisters took after their mother with the reddish hue in their hair. Maisie didn’t have a drop of red in her blond hair. Even physically, she was their opposite, the outcast, the one in the family who didn’t actually belong. Clara and Amelia had always been cut from the same cloth. Maisie had always been…different. Even now, as she walked behind them while they planned the future of their craft brewery, she knew that while she owned one-third of the business, no one really expected her to put much into the company…besides designing the logo. Which she’d done as soon as they’d come up with the name: Three Chicks Brewery. Pops had always called them the three chicklets, a spin-off from the Three Musketeers. The name felt right, and she used the old Charlie’s Angels logo as inspiration for the design, drawing her and her sisters each holding a beer bottle, with the name in calligraphy. But this company belonged to Clara and Amelia, and everyone knew it.
The business plan was simple: Clara, with her business degree, would handle all of the logistics of running the brewery. Amelia had become a brewmaster last year after finishing a program in Denver and was adjusting their grandfather’s homemade brew for market to a larger audience. And Maisie…well, she was the third wheel, the one who had a stake in the business, but was completely and totally out of her league.
When they entered the barn, Maisie followed, greeted by cobwebs, an old straw floor, and a moldy scent mixed with thick dust. A loud war scream echoed in the barn, and a blur of light brown hair and bright green eyes rushed by.
Clara’s four-year-old son, Mason, charged forward, a fake sword in his hands, while he ran to hunt and kill the monsters in the barn.