Cookie Spotlight: Sofia Aves


Exchanging gunfire is easier than facing reintegration at Christmas alone.

A package determined to derail his scheduled future delivered by a mystery woman. A tiny note hints at who she is—and how to find her.

When veteran and acting Brigadier General Dominic Cage returns from deployment days before Christmas, he’s unprepared for the shortbread cookies pressed into his hands in a case of mistaken identity by a stunning woman. Unable to forget her, Cage trusts Violet’s promise of a true Christmas—until the lines of his reality blur.

Damaged and resolute, and unable to escape the gunfire that haunts him, Cage’s choice could cost them everything.


A personal bit of information that I’ll slowly be filtering through over time: Most of you know that I’m an Aussie defence wife to a veteran and that we’ve spent years working through PTSD. Actually, nearly every generation of my family has produced at least one soldier going back quite a long way.

Shortbread Shakedown was inspired by hubs experience in the US, travelling out of uniform. An elderly gentleman he didn’t know approached him with a bag of shortbread cookies to say ‘thank you for your service”. The gentleman hands out cookies his wife makes every weekend at the airport. He refused to take hubs’ explanation that he wasn’t from the US, but the man had recognised him as military regardless. As an Afghanistan veteran, hubs was floored, and that moment still brings me to tears.

Shortbread Shakedown is centred around this tradition, and I’m rather heavily invested in this book that releases November 16 as an ebook only due to length.

The second part of my reasoning for this book is a little less serious but no less heart wrenching. Last year, my then 4 year old son finished Kindy and we discovered afterward that the little girl he was best friends with wasn’t going to his school. As an ESL family, I’d had little contact with Violet’s dad. On the final afternoon of kindy, my son burst into tears and I discovered to my absolute horror that Violet had been his first girlfriend. Amidst tears on both sides, he made me promise to write a story about Violet….and so here she is.

And now I’m in tears. Again.