Snowdrop Dreams, Cherry Thumbprint Screams (Christmas Cookies)


Cookie Heaven has a cookie thief! Someone with a fondness for snowdrops, snickerdoodles, and macaroons has been visiting at night. When store owner Annie Barkley confronts the brown-haired boy who has been burgling her cookies, she can’t believe her eyes. The boy looks just as she would imagine her son Jonah would look, if he had lived. Determined to satisfy the maternal instinct that has been bubbling inside her since the loss of her own baby, Annie goes to great lengths to shelter the young runaway. But the boy’s Snowdrop dreams bring haunting memories of Cherry Thumbprint screams. Cherry Thumbprints were his mother’s favorite cookies, and this little fugitive has a very sad story to tell.

The bond that develops between Annie and the cookie thief forms the heartwarming core of this cookie loving novella. The boy’s tragic past casts an ominous cloud over their secret friendship. Ironically, Annie must hide the boy from her childhood crush, Sam Stern, now a dashing policeman who wants to get closely reacquainted with her. Annie’s love story feels quite secondary to the relationship she has with “Jonah”. Based on infrequent childhood memories and recent reciprocal stalking, with over a decade of nothing in between, Annie and Sam’s sudden professed love doesn't feel substantial. Nevertheless, it’s good to have that dashing policeman on your side when a dark past comes crashing into your world. Sam and Annie provide a happier ending for the boy Annie sees as her son, although not in the manner she had hoped. Kimberly Baer has given the reader a thoughtful holiday romance, with an expert blend of sweet and bitter flavors.

Joan Lai