featuring a Valentine’s Day with the Kelly Family
Picturing Perfect by Melissa Brown

Life may not turn out like we planned, but sometimes that’s what makes it perfect…
Hadley Foster has always been a planner. But, since the age of nineteen, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan… not at all. And the changes continue to mount when a trip to Europe with her best friend starts a domino effect in all aspects of her life. Suddenly, the future she had envisioned for herself seems unlikely to happen. It’s time to, make a new plan… or accept the dominoes as they fall.
Jason Kelly has a great life. He’s a successful self-published writer who’s living his dreams. But, something is missing. Hadley Foster. Letting her slip through his fingers is one of his biggest regrets. Over time, he had to accept the idea of being without his first love as he watched her fall in love with someone else.
When circumstances bring Jason and Hadley back into one another’s lives, they’re forced to deal with their past, their present and the possibility of a future together


“Good job, little man.” I heard Jason say from down the hall. I’d been sequestered to our bedroom while he and Marty ‘prepared’ for Valentine’s Day. I heard rustling papers and plastic and couldn’t help but be intrigued. “Mommy’s gonna love this.”
I could hear the pride in his voice. My heart swelled in anticipation. Observing Jason and Marty interact would never get old.
“Mommy Vaaaa-tine.” Marty yelled from the living room.
“You’re blowing our cover,” Jason whispered with a laugh. “All right, all right. I guess you can join us on the couch, Mommy. We’re as ready as we’re gonna be.”
Quickly, I placed Jason’s gift in my pocket and walked toward the living room. When I rounded the hallway corner, I couldn’t help but gasp. Red streamers and white twinkle lights dangled from the ceiling. Small vases were placed around the shelves and countertops—each one filled with three flowers. One red, one white, one pink… each color representing a member of our family.
“You never cease to amaze me, Mr. Kelly.”
“Marty stayed up all night… he’s been anxious. Wanted to give you a proper Valentine’s Day.”
“Vaaa-tine,” my two year old little guy ran to my feet and extended his hand. A simple red heart, scribbled with white and pink was tucked between his pudgy little fingers.
“Thank you, sweetheart. I love it.”
Scooping Marty in my arms, I joined Jason on the couch, placing the little guy on my lap. It was obvious that Jason was doing his best to disguise a smile, but I could see right through him. “Marty stayed up all night, huh?”
He nodded emphatically, “Mmm hmm. I was just his grunt. He’s been bossing me around all morning.”
“It smells good,” I said, smelling the aroma of coffee and cinnamon coming from the kitchen. Marty hopped off my lap and returned to coloring at the coffee table.
“Fresh cinnamon rolls.”
“My favorite.”
“I know,” Jason said, placing a small kiss on my lips. “I have a confession to make.”
“What’s that?” I whispered, curious.
“I didn’t get you any flowers.”
I pressed the small red valentine to my chest, “This is all I need. Seriously.”
“That’s from your son. I have something else for you.”
“Seriously, Jase. You’ve already done enough! Breakfast, homemade valentines, streamers…”
“Here,” he said, placing a small box in my hand.
“It’s nothing. Just open it.”
The small velvet box creaked as I opened it. My hand pressed to my mouth as I stared at the locket that hung from a silver chain, Marty’s birth stone dangled from the chain.
“Open it,” Jason said, adjusting his glasses, a wide grin on his handsome face.
The vintage locket opened easily. Inside was a picture of Marty and a simple note that said. “We love you. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“I love it,” I said, wrapping my arms around Jason’s neck, nuzzling my lips against his warm skin.
“Good.” Jason’s voice was soft and loving as he stroked my back.
“I have bad news, though.” I pulled away from him, looking back at the locket.
“What’s that?” His brow furrowed.
“This side… it’s not going to work.” I said, pointing at the small note inside the locket.
“What do you mean?” He asked, “Why not?”
I had absolutely no poker face, but I did my best to stay serious as I removed the envelope from my pocket.
“Here.” I said.
Confusion remained on Jason’s face as he opened the envelope. When he removed the ultrasound picture, his eyes widened and his chest heaved.
“You’re… you mean you’re…pregnant?”
I nodded, tears welling in my eyes. “We’re pregnant. So, I’m afraid we’ll need that space in the locket…for his or her picture.”
“Oh my god, Haddie,” he said, placing his hand on my abdomen. “I can’t believe it.”
“Are you happy?”
“Are you kidding me? I’m… I’m… I can’t even form the words right now. That’s how awesome I feel.”
“Good,” I said, a satisfied grin.
“How far along?”
“Just eight weeks. I didn’t want to say anything until I knew for sure.”
Marty wandered back to the couch, hoisting himself up to Jason’s lap.
“Hopefully Mr. Marty Pants won’t mind sharing the spotlight.”
Jason shook his head, “He’s a champ. He’ll be just fine.” Jason placed a small kiss on the top of Marty’s head. “Won’t you, big brother?”
“That’s right, buddy. Mommy just gave us the best Valentine ever.” He turned to me. “Seriously. The best ever.”
I have always been fascinated with books—-ever since I was a little girl sitting in front of my record player, following along with my huge 12×12 storybooks.
I love books—everything about them. I love reading them, being surrounded by them in bookstores and libraries, and most recently, writing some of my own.
“Bouquet Toss” is available as an e-book and paperback on It is a story that is very close to my heart, one that was very cathartic to write and has opened me up to all sorts of writing possibilities.
“Champagne Toast” is a companion book to Bouquet Toss and was released on January 8th and is also available as an e-book and paperback through amazon.

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