Sugar Plums for Dry Creek and At Home in Dry Creek: Sugar Plums for Dry CreekAt Home in Dry Creek (Love Inspired Classics)

Lizette Baker wished her mother had worried less about showing her the perfect way to pirouette and more about teaching her a few practical things, like how to coax more warm air out of her old car's heating system and how to put snow chains on tires so smooth they slipped on every icy patch she found as she drove east on Interstate 94 in southern Montana. A colder, frostier place Lizette had never seen. Even with a wool scarf wrapped around her neck and mittens on her hands, she couldn't stay warm. It was only mid-November and it was already less than ten degrees Fahrenheit outside. No wonder hers was the only car in sight as she drove along this road hoping to reach Dry Creek, Montana, before her heater gave out completely. The attendant in the gas station she'd stopped at back in Forsyth had offered to call a mechanic to repair her heater. Another man, with a dirty blond beard and a snake tattooed on his arm, had made a different suggestion. "Why put out good money for a mechanic?" he'd asked in an artificially friendly voice. Lizette hadn't liked the way he was looking at her. "I'll keep you warm if you give me a ride down the road a bit. I'm looking for my kids." He'd reached into his pocket and pulled out a worn snapshot, which he'd then shoved at her. "Kids need to see their old man. You haven't seen them, have you?" Lizette would have rather given the snake on the man's arm a ride than the man himself, but she hadn't wanted any trouble, so she'd politely looked at the picture of his two children. "No, but they're beautiful children." And the children probably would have been beautiful, she thought, if they hadn't looked so skinny and scared. "Sorry about the ride, but I have a car full of boxes. Moving, you know." Lizette hoped the man hadn't looked at her car too closely. If she'd shifted the boxes around a little, she could have cleared enough room in the front seat for a passenger. The tattooed man hadn't said anything more, but he'd put the picture back in his pocket. After a moment's silence, the attendant had finally asked, "So do you want the mechanic to come over to fix that heater? He doesn't keep regular hours, but he can get down here in fifteen minutes flat." Lizette had shaken her head. "Thanks though." She barely had enough money left to get her ballet school going; she couldn't afford to fix anything that wasn't actually falling off the car. The heater was spitting out just enough warm air to keep her from freezing to death, so it would have to do for now. She'd looked out her rearview mirror as she'd pulled away from the gas station and had seen the man with the snake on his arm watching her leave. It wasn't the first time since she'd left Seattle that Lizette had wondered if she was making a mistake. Her whole life had changed in the last few months though, and she needed a new beginning. Besides, where else could she get free rent to start her own business? Lizette had learned to be fru