Three Little Wishes

Three Little Wishes

Book 2 in the Sunshine Bay Series — May 7, 2024

USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason takes another trip to Sunshine Bay with a heartwarming story about a family, romance, and self-discovery.

Nothing gets Willow Rosetti down. She adores everything about her life in Sunshine Bay, particularly the close proximity to her beloved family and her job as a meteorologist. So when she finds out Channel 5 may close and she and her coworkers will be out of work, she goes behind her family’s back to call her estranged aunt, a famous actress. Willow has never met her aunt and has no idea why her family disowned her, but she’s hopeful Camilla can deliver the ratings they need to convince Noah Elliot, the station’s gorgeous and grumpy owner, to save Channel 5.

When Camilla Monroe learns her niece Willow is trying to contact her, she fears the worst—that her secret has finally come out. Distracted, she doesn’t see the e-bike in the road. Now a case of amnesia has Camilla back in Sunshine Bay, and she’s getting Willow into one mess after another.

With a little bit of scheming and a whole lot of heart, this unlikely duo might just have the summer of a lifetime, saving the station, healing their fractured family, and even paving the way for love.

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Books in the Sunshine Bay Series:

Summer on Sunshine BayThree Little Wishes


“What was it you said last night on the evening news, Lucy? A thirty percent chance of light rain, was it?” Amos, the seventysomething fisherman in the yellow rain coat and hat shouted at Willow as she battled the gale force winds and lashing rain on her way back to the TV station, goading her like he always did whenever her weather forecast was the least bit off.

He’d no doubt been standing in the window of Brew Bros hoping to catch a glimpse of her. The coffee shop was half a block from the station. She cupped one claw-covered hand to the side of her mouth while clamping her other claw-covered hand on the head of her lobster costume to keep the wind from ripping it off.

“The rain is light, Amos!” At least it had been when it started twenty minutes ago. “It’s just that the winds are a little stronger than the satellite images indicated. Blame it on climate change,” she yelled, forcing a wide smile so he wouldn’t think she was shouting at him because he’d embarrassed her.

She was a Rosetti. She didn’t embarrass easily.

But besides Amos and the over-seventy crowd, no one in her seaside hometown took her forecasts seriously. How could they when she delivered the weather in costume? Which was one of the reasons she hadn’t complained—much—a few months earlier when her boss at Channel 5 informed her she’d be reporting the weather as Lucy the Lobster. The Lobster Pot on Main Street must be raking it in if they could afford to advertise on Channel 5 from May through September.

She looked down at the costume clinging to her like a second skin. It was an improvement over the itsy-bitsy yellow polka dot bikini that Don, her boss, had her wear last summer.

“A little rain? It’ll take me at least three hours to bail out my boat. If I hadn’t listened to you, I would’ve put the cover on!” Amos yelled, throwing up his arms and nearly upending his to-go cup of coffee.

The violent flapping of the awning above Brew Bros front window drowned out Willow’s sigh. Amos had a point, and she felt a smidgen of guilt for missing the band of storms currently in a holding pattern over Sunshine Bay. She’d had a lot on her mind last night so it’s possible her calculations had been off and this wasn’t a fluke weather event.

“Tomorrow’s going to be a gorgeous, sunshiny seventy-three degrees, and I’ll come give you a hand after I wrap up the morning weather report. We’ll have your boat mopped up in no time.” Her heartfelt offer earned her a derisive lip curl. Honestly, there was no pleasing the man.

“You know, Amos, not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path,” she said, quoting Paulo Coelho while walking backward into the wind on the sidewalk. “Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something.”

Like it was time for him to sell his boat. Last month, a search party had gone out at 2:00 in the morning looking for him. He'd fallen asleep on board his boat and was headed for Canada.

“Stop spouting claptrap and watch where you’re . . .” He trailed off, his eyes going wide.

She was about to glance over her shoulder to see what had caught his attention when her back slammed into the pole holding up the Bookworm’s awning, emptying a gallon of water onto her head.

Sputtering, she jumped out of the way to avoid another bucketful, only to get hit by a surf-size wave when a black Mercedes sped through a puddle on the road. Muddy water dripping off her face and her costume, she roundly cursed the entitled jerk as he whizzed by. Of course it was a man, and a tourist. Those definitely weren’t cape plates.

Wiping her face with her forearm while the driver continued blithely along Main Street, all smug and warm and dry, a gust of wind pushed her around as if she were a blow-up punching bag.

Willow wondered what else life had in store for her. The wind picking her up and hurling her onto the roof of a car? The poles holding up the awning coming loose and stabbing her in the heart?

All right, so she was being dramatic. But in her defense, if she had any luck at all these days, it was bad luck. Case in point, two weeks ago, her landlord had informed her his son was moving back to town, and Willow had a month to find somewhere else to live. Right, because finding a place to rent mid-July in a beach town was so easy. Don’t even get her started on affordability.

Everything in and around Sunshine Bay was rented until at least September. Everything except her aunt’s place, which was located in spitting distance of her mother’s and grandmother’s apartments. It was also in spitting distance of La Dolce Vita, her family’s restaurant, where Willow was currently waitressing part-time in order to cover her monthly expenses. She was as close to broke as she’d ever been, and that wasn’t going to change if the rumor at work was true.

After the death of the founding family’s matriarch and company CEO fifteen months earlier, Bennett Broadcasting Group had begun divesting their assets, of which Channel 5 was one. Except according to gossip, they weren’t selling the TV station in Sunshine Bay, they were closing it.

Willow stomped along the sidewalk, cursing Bennett Broadcasting Group’s acting CEO, Noah Elliot, entitled tourists with no respect for pedestrians, and the gale force winds and teeming rain.

“You’ve got the face of an angel and the mouth of a fisherman, Lucy!” Amos shouted after her with what sounded like an admiring chuckle.

She waved good-bye as the wind buffeted her from one side of the sidewalk to the other. Amos was right. She had been spouting a pile of crap. Storms weren’t a good thing. They didn’t clear a path. They wrecked havoc wherever they went, and she had a feeling a storm of epic proportions was coming her way if actress Camilla Monroe, her estranged aunt, agreed to appear on Good Morning, Sunshine! They needed star power to launch the inaugural episode of their new and improved morning show, and people would definitely tune in to see her aunt.

The objective was to convince Bennett’s acting CEO that they had a viable business plan to increase Channel 5’s viewership exponentially as well as advertising dollars, and Willow’s idea for Good Morning, Sunshine! was how they’d do it. Surely then, Noah Elliot would see the value of selling the station instead of closing it.

But Willow was getting ahead of herself. Her aunt might not even agree to appear on the morning show. After all, she hadn’t spoken to Camilla directly. Yesterday her aunt’s agent had finally gotten back to her with a number, and she’d spoken to Camilla’s assistant earlier this morning, explaining that she had something urgent to discuss with her aunt.

If Willow thought her life had sucked these past few weeks, it was nothing compared to how badly it would suck when her family found out she was inviting Camilla to Sunshine Bay. In Willow’s twenty-eight trips around the sun, it was the most disloyal thing she’d ever done. She was selling out her family for a chance at making her dreams come true.

But it wasn’t just about her and her dreams. It was about everyone she worked with at Channel 5. They were her family too, and they needed the inaugural episode of Good Morning, Sunshine! to wow Noah Elliot when he met with Don in two weeks’ time.

Willow’s aunt wasn’t exactly an A-list celebrity but she’d had the dubious honor of spending the better part of the year on the front pages of the tabloids. She was also a hometown girl, even if she hadn’t set foot in Sunshine Bay for the past two decades, which would make her appearance on the morning show even more of a draw.

Willow’s boss had agreed. It was just a happy coincidence that hosting a show like Good Morning, Sunshine! was Willow’s dream job and Don had promised her a seat at the table. If they could change Noah Elliot’s mind about closing the station. They had to change his mind. Willow would be lost without her job at the station and so would her coworkers.

She waited for her defense of why she’d had no choice but to call her aunt to relieve the guilt she felt at betraying her family. Instead, the mistress of guilt, her grandmother, Carmen Rosetti, popped into her head, listing everything the family had ever done for her while demanding to know what they’d done to deserve her betrayal.

Willow sighed. No one did guilt like an Italian grandma, even if she was only in Willow’s imagination.

But all thoughts about the eventual showdown with her family vanished the moment she spotted a familiar black Mercedes idling in the parking lot next to the station.

Her tentacles bobbing in front of her face, Willow ran into the lot, unable to avoid a pond-size puddle. Water seeped into her clawed feet, and she looked longingly at the station. Right about now, she’d kill for dry clothes, a cup of hot coffee, and the doughnut her friend and camerawoman had promised her. Ha! It was going to take a lot more than a coffee and a doughnut for her to forgive Naomi for making her walk back to the station in the rain.

Willow marched to the Mecedes, ignoring the thought that her anger at the inconsiderate driver might be a tad over-the-top. But the occupants of the luxury vehicle needed to know the speed limit on Main Street was not fifty miles per hour before they once again ventured onto the roads, putting innocent pedestrians lives at risk.

The town council had lowered the speed limit on Main Street to twenty-five miles an hour in early June. They wouldn’t begin ticketing speeders going over the new limit until the end of summer. Something that Willow had no intention of sharing with this particular speed demon.

She spied the Mercedes’ license plate and rolled her eyes. A New Yorker, figures. She couldn’t make out much more than a shadowy figure through the fogged-up windows but she heard a deep, muffled voice which seemed to confirm her initial impression that the driver was a man. Since she couldn’t make out another occupant, she assumed he was on the phone.

She rapped lightly on the fogged glass. The shadow moved, and her gaze narrowed. Did he just turn his back on her? If he thought she’d let his dangerous driving go unchecked, he had another thing coming. He was a menace on the road. He had to be stopped, or at the very least schooled on proper driving etiquette. She also expected an apology—a genuine, heartfelt apology. Some groveling wouldn’t be out of place.

As she lifted her hand to knock on the window again, a gust of wind shoved her into the car, causing her lobster claw to slam onto the glass. The shadow jerked away as though startled. Then just as quickly, he went back to carrying on his conversation on the phone as if she weren’t there. Of all the nerve.

“I can see you in there, and I’m not going anywhere so you might as well lower the window.”

It went down a few inches. Dark, long-lashed eyes under inky brows stared at her. “Yes,” he drawled, his voice smooth and deep. It was the kind of drawl that insinuated she was wasting his precious time.

Well too bad for him. “Are you aware that you were going fifty in a twenty-five?”

“I’m sorry, are you a crosswalk monitor? Traffic control?”

“Do I look like a crosswalk monitor or traffic control?” She gave her head a disbelieving shake at his condescending tone, the water flying off her tentacles unintentionally hit him in the eyes. She pressed her lips together. It took a moment before she was able to say, without a gurgle of laughter in her voice, “Sorry. I have no control over my tentacles.”

He raised an arrogant eyebrow, holding her gaze as he brought a starched white handkerchief to his face. Wiping the water droplets away, he ignored her apology, responding instead to the question she’d asked in a tone as superior as the look in his eyes.

“No. You don’t look like a crosswalk monitor or traffic control, which is why I asked. Because unless you are, I have no idea why it’s any concern of yours. But I assure you, I wasn’t driving over the fifty-mile-an-hour speed limit.” His voice was as dry as the desert.

“Ha!” She pointed her lobster claw at him, and he jerked back. “The speed limit is twenty-five miles an hour.”

“No, it’s—” His window went up.

“Seriously?” She rapped on the glass.

He held up a finger while typing on his phone.

She had no idea who this guy thought he was and raised her hand to knock on the window again, only he suddenly lowered it and her lobster claw clunked him on the forehead instead of the glass.

She winced. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to smack you.”

Rubbing his now-damp forehead with his handkerchief, he drawled, “You’ll forgive me if I don’t believe you.”

He was as bad as Amos. Her apology had been heartfelt. “No. But if you apologize for nearly drowning me when you drove through the puddle like you were an extra in Fast & Furious, I’ll consider forgiving you.”

She wasn’t sure, but she thought there might be a hint of amusement lurking behind his dark eyes. Then he angled his head and, in his smooth, superior voice, said, “I didn’t think it was possible to drown a lobster.”

Huh. She hadn’t expected him to have a sense of humor. Unwilling to give him the satisfaction of seeing her smile or hear her laugh, she once again cleared the amusement from her voice. “Don’t give up your day job.”

“What makes you think I’m not a stand-up comedian?”

“You’re not funny.”

“Or perhaps you don’t have a sense of humor.” He reached for his ringing phone “Except the fact you don’t mind walking around in public dressed as a giant lobster suggests that you do. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to take this call.” The window began going up as he greeted the person on the other end.

“I most certainly do mind,” she said, sticking her lobster claw through the window to keep it from closing. She winced. She’d unintentionally punched him again, this time in his ear.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. But you owe me an apology, and I’m not leaving until I get one.”

His shoulders—which she couldn’t help but notice filled out his navy suit jacket very nicely—rose, and he blew out what could only be described as a thoroughly ticked-off breath.

“I’ll be with you in a moment,” he said to whomever was on the other end, and then he looked at her and, in that patronizing tone that made her grit her teeth, said, “I’m sorry that my car sprayed you while you were standing too close to the curb in a torrential downpour.”

She stared at him. “You can’t seriously be putting the blame on me.”

He lifted a broad shoulder. “If the claw fits.”

“You aren’t funny.”

“I believe we’ve already established that.” He lifted his hand, shooing her away as if she were the hired help. “Now, if you don’t mind, I have to take this call.” He didn’t give her a chance to respond, pressing the window’s lever instead.

“Wait! My claw’s caught.” She ripped her hand from inside the costume before it got squashed between the glass and the frame, staring at the claw dangling from the now-closed window. Even if she hadn’t seen the corners of his lips curve, it was obvious he was inwardly laughing. He couldn’t hide the amusement in his eyes when he looked from the claw to her.

She tugged it free and slapped the glass, cursing Mercedes Man all the way to Channel 5.

When she opened the front door and stomped through the station lobby, Naomi, her six-foot tall, stunning, Black camerawoman, who’d recently shaved her head, was talking to her girlfriend Veronica at the reception desk. Petite with curly black hair and an effervescent personality, Veronica was the ying to Naomi’s yang.

Naomi turned, grimacing as she took in the state of Willow’s costume. “I’m sorry. If you hadn’t rolled around on the wharf, I would’ve driven you back to the station. But my truck’s new, and I’d never get the smell of dead fish out of it.”

Retrieving a mug and a chocolate doughnut with pink sprinkles from Veronica’s desk, Naomi held them out as if they were a peace offering.

Willow considered refusing the doughnut and coffee to make a point that her forgiveness couldn’t be bought, but who was she kidding? She could totally be bought. Besides needing a hot cup of coffee and a sugar infusion like she needed her next breath, she could never hold a grudge, no matter how hard she tried.

She freed her hands from the claws and accepted the mug and doughnut from Naomi, taking several sips of coffee before practically inhaling the doughnut. She hummed her appreciation and thanks as she placed the half-eaten doughnut on Veronica’s desk.

“You’re forgiven,” Willow said. “But if I smell like dead fish”—she totally did—“it’s your fault. Yours and Don’s.” They were the ones who’d insisted that she do the broadcast live on the pier in gale-force winds.

According to Naomi and their boss, ratings were highest when Willow reported out and about in Sunshine Bay. “You’re just lucky the wind knocked me down on the wharf and didn’t send me flying off the pier. Otherwise, you would’ve had to call water rescue.” She didn’t add again.

As if on cue, footage from this morning’s weather broadcast at the pier appeared on every screen in the station, including the one hanging on the white-washed brick wall behind Veronica. And there was Lucy the Lobster (aka Willow) lying stretched out on the wharf, hanging onto a lamppost for dear life. Guffaws of laughter filled the station when she began shouting her weather report while her body twisted in the wind. Needless to say, bleeps were interspersed throughout the broadcast.

“I’d like to see you guys walk in my claws for a day,” she shouted to be heard above the laughter, groaning when a seal chasing her across the rocks at Hidden Cove began playing on the screens. “You made a blooper reel of me?”

“Don’t blame me,” Naomi said, pointing at the other cameramen who were roaring with laughter as the bow of the boat Willow was standing on hit a wave and tossed her into the ocean.

She might not find her blooper reel as funny as some of her coworkers but she knew they weren’t laughing at her . . . All right, so they were totally laughing at her, but not in a mean way. Every single person here would have her back, and she’d have theirs. Except maybe Don. She moved to the left and saw him leaning against the door of his glass-enclosed office, looking at the screen nearest him. He glanced at her and raised his coffee mug, shaking his head with a grin.

She smiled, raising her mug in turn. Their working relationship had improved once she’d realized the decisions he made weren’t because he had an ax to grind with her or that he was purposefully exploiting her. He’d been trying to save the station. She just hadn’t known they’d needed saving until a few weeks ago.

A sniff drew her attention to a teary-eyed Veronica, plucking tissues from the box on her desk.

Willow groaned. “Please tell me those are tears of laughter.”

“How can anyone laugh at a time like this, Will? I don’t know what am I going to do without you guys, without this job,” Veronica said, her voice clogged with emotion.

“Oh, come on. You’re acting like we don’t have a chance of changing Noah Elliot’s mind.” Willow glanced at Naomi and lowered her voice. “No calls?”

She’d only shared their celebrity guest’s identity with her boss, Naomi, and Veronica. As much as she loved the rest of her colleagues, she didn’t trust them to keep their guest star’s identity a secret until she had time to break the news to her family.

Naomi glumly shook her head, reaching in the pocket of her jacket. She handed Willow her phone, and Willow entered her passcode. No calls, no texts, and no emails from her aunt. “It’s still early. Her assistant said she’d call before the end of the day.”

“But that’s just it.” Veronica blew her nose. “Noah Elliot moved up his meeting with Don. It’s today.”

Willow’s heart jumped into her throat. “Today, today?”

Veronica nodded, offering the box of tissues to several of their colleagues who’d congregated around the reception desk, noses red and eyes watery.

If Willow didn’t turn this around, everyone in the station would be crying, including her. They might as well give up then. Tears wouldn’t save the station, and they really, really needed to save the station, she thought, looking at the familiar faces of the friends she’d worked with since she’d begun volunteering at the station as a teenager. They needed a pep talk.

Willow put down her coffee mug, cleared a claw-sized space on Veronica’s desk, and then climbed on top of it. She ignored Don who was on the phone, motioning for her to get off the desk.

She stuck two fingers in her mouth, whistling for everyone’s attention. “Come on, people. This is a hiccup. We’ve got this. We’ll pitch the idea to Elliot as if our guest celebrity has already confirmed. We know she will, right?” Willow put a hand behind her ear. “Right?” She got a few lackluster responses and said it again, louder this time.

She smiled encouragingly when several of the guys yelled “Right!”

“That’s more like it!” She pumped her fist and then continued. “I got Don onboard with my presentation for Good Morning, Sunshine! And if I can convince Don, I sure as heck can convince Noah Elliot. Right?” She got several subdued “Rights.”

“Oh, come on. I’m wounded,” she said to the downcast faces gathered around her. She lifted her gaze to the guys standing around the cameras on the set. “When have any of you known a man who can resist a Rosetti when she has her mind set on something?”

“Never!” the cameramen shouted while several of her female colleagues snickered.

“You know it. I’ve got this,” she said in a sing-song voice, adding a little shimmy-shake. “All I have to do is get my hook into Noah Eliot, and reel him in.” She cast an imaginary fishing line and reeled it in, earning her some laughter and, even better, smiling faces. She could do this. They could do this.

Veronica tapped her claw-foot, and Willow looked down. Widening her eyes, Veronica lifted her chin at something behind Willow.

Willow turned to see a man standing in the lobby. She’d know those inky, arrogant eyebrows and sardonic dark eyes anywhere. It was Mercedes Man. He was way taller and way broader than he’d looked sitting behind the wheel, and even more intimidating.

She fisted her hands on her hips. “What are you doing here? Did you follow me?”

Before he could answer, Don hurried past the desk, throwing her an exasperated look while extending his hand to Mercedes Man. “Mr. Elliot, welcome to Channel 5!”

Continue to Chapter Two