A promise to wait forever shatters from doubt. Doubt in her fiancé and doubt in herself causes Treena Andrews to make a choice she comes to regret. Fifteen years later, can she make the broken pieces of her life whole?
Treena Michaels glanced at the miniscule diamond engagement ring on the third finger of her left hand. Four months ago, Rick Wilson had put the ring there and promised to return to her. Everything she’d dreamed of had happened in the space of two short years. She no longer lived with her father—a man who preached blind obedience for women to their men and enforced his teachings with fists and hateful words in his home. For the first time in her life, she was free to pursue a career she’d always dreamed of having, becoming a social worker for children who lived as she had after her mother disappeared. Within the next year, she would be Rick Wilson’s wife. All she had to do was wait for him to come home from the War on Terrorism unscathed.
“He’ll come home,” she whispered. “Rick promised.”
He had never broken a promise to her, not since the morning her mother disappeared, and he’d found her sobbing her heart out at the park in the center of Landry. Since that day, they’d grown closer and closer until she couldn’t imagine living without him.
The tragic death of their child in a horrific fire scars Keri-Lynne and Jack Montrose in ways they never could have imagined, driving them apart for eighteen years. It is only when the truth of the fire comes out that they have one last chance to accept and embrace the love that they buried for so long.
A soft breeze, the kind that came during the warming from winter to spring, ruffled Keri-Lynne Montrose’s waist-length blonde hair. Her hair wasn’t the blonde idolized as the perfect American female but rather a honey color with streaks of strawberry tones that never came from a bottle. Creamy skin most thought would burn under the South’s strong sun tanned gently. Hazel eyes surveyed a greenhouse hidden behind a high hedge, to keep others from knowing she was experimenting with the forbidden, but only forbidden by hidebound traditionalists who feared change.
“What today?” She examined the herbs she nurtured in this glass building. “I have to find a way to help Mother.”
Almost two months have passed since the nightmare of non-custodial abduction that Keri and Shane endured. She still suffers from nightmares and a deep-seated fear of repeating the experience. He can’t help trying to make her life easier, better in the hopes that she’ll relax.
Keri & Shane fought back in Lost & Scared. Can they now look forward to a New Future on the most romantic night of the year?
The craziness that was the lives of my family is still long from over, but I’m trying to forget all that tonight. Today is Saturday. The date is February 14, the most romantic day of the year, and I’m more than ready to celebrate with my bestie and our boyfriends. Specifically, my bestie will show up at my house with my guy, to meet her guy and me for a romantic dinner. Oh, did I mention how her guy just happens to be my twin?
“Hey.” Shane darts in the back door, a dozen grocery bags dangling from one hand. “Smells fabulous. What is it?”
“A surprise.” My hands shake as I slice into the strawberries that I’ve picked out of the basket I got at the fruit market this morning. “If this part works.”
Christmas was almost here.
Caryn O’Brien and Johnson Angel lost the music in their lives when circumstances tore them away from each other. Together, they were a talented team, but separate, all they had were empty spaces in their souls. It didn’t help that the gulf between them was being forced open even wider by the bigotry and anger that surrounded them.
They had no way of knowing that those very things, which drove them apart, would also bring them together.
Caryn O’Brien stood in front of the choir, at the front of her church. On Christmas Eve she would celebrate her twenty-third birthday the same way she had done it since she was seven—by singing a solo of the one holiday song that meant so much to her.
She bowed her head forward, letting her copper colored hair conceal her face. It was better this way, so no one could see her excruciating pain. The source of said pain wasn’t visible. How does one show that their heart has shattered? How does a person get over the worst betrayal of their life? No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t bring her voice to the level of intensity required to make this song memorable.
I’ve loved Silent Night since the first time I heard it. Why can’t I sing it right now?
The organ player wasn’t getting the beat right. Her pathetic attempt to put everything in her heart into the music was failing miserably. All the classes she’d taken since fourth grade to improve her voice and make her into a singer had been nothing but a waste of time and money.
I’m lost without Johnson. He’s the reason I have always sounded so good.
A special bikini puts courage into Beth to approach the guy of her dreams. Trane looks forward to the waves and talking to a girl who has caught his eye. The Summer of ’72 on the longest day of the year, two teens discover love on the beach, amid adventure and fun.
“Oh, that is so gorgeous!”
Beth Ramsey ignored the tiny, square bedroom lost in the sixties to admire her slim figure in a mirror hanging on her door. The orange bikini she now wore offset her dark tan so well. The tiny gold clasp holding the top on tight might cause problems later, if she didn’t lather up that area with a lot of Swedish Tanning Secret. But she was prepared with not one but three tubes of the lotion that had helped her achieve the healthy glow on her skin.
“I can’t wait until Trane sees me.” She blew a kiss at her reflection and yanked on a pair of short shorts that were nothing more than a pair of her old jeans she’d cut off. A flimsy, see through, white blouse would provide some protection against the wind later, when she returned home from what she planned to be a celebration of the summer solstice on Malibu beach tonight.
The discovery of three teenage girls found hanging from an ancient elm tree, alleged suicides, on the grounds of abandoned Starlight Mansion by a teenage boy sets him on a mission to find the truth. Nearly forty years later, now the sheriff, Big Jake finds himself drawn into the investigation of a mysterious “suicide” and the disappearance of another teenager.
Jayme Barclay sees her fifteen-year-old daughter swinging on a rope from a tree at the mansion the county commissioner is turning into a resort. Brad Patterson loses a piece of himself when he answers the 911 call to get to Starlight on a snowy December night.
A year later, the mystery surrounding Tawni's alleged suicide still haunts both Jayme and Brad. Big Jake has been shackled in this investigation, much like another sheriff so many years ago.
Reluctant teens hold back information, until Jayme returns to the hometown she abandoned, to find the truth. Brad hates that he had to intrude on her grief, but also believes this is his chance to redeem himself for not protecting the daughter of the woman he loves. Big Jake suspects who the killer is and that the person isn’t done yet, but must stand back and allow a younger man stand up against a powerful and corrupt group of politicians.
Sleet and snow whipped around Starlight Mansion. A young teen, a mere thirteen-years-old, scampered in and around the tree stumps, scooted around boulders filling a former field where corn had once grown tall, and laughed as the winter storm pelted his face and bare hands. Jake Haskins had no problem with the bitter cold. Not one bit. Even the legends surrounding the long abandoned, decrepit mansion didn’t bother him.
Being the normally curious boy that he was, Jake crept up on the rear of the fabled house and tiptoed onto the back porch. Planks creaked under his boots, held together with duct tape around the toes. There’d been hints he’d get a new pair tomorrow, if he was good. He figured being good meant staying away from Mama until she cooled off after their earlier confrontation. Of course, she might not cool off much, since their words had been those of an exasperated woman putting up with half a dozen young children and a surly teen stuck in a house that was too small at best. Getting angry with his life had never been something Jake did, but he was fed up with being called a poor pig farmer whose daddy couldn’t rub two nickels together.
Can love be rekindled after a lifetime?
Mel dashes Joe’s hopes for marriage when she decides to pursue a career. Thirty years later, retired and without close family, she reunites with her first love.
Joe Stockton chided himself for picking this moment. Both he and the woman he loved, Mel Hoffman, had just come off a twelve-hour shift, preparing the F-16 jet fighter aircraft at Hahn Air Base in Germany for flight. Both were dog tired, ready for a hot cup of coffee and a tasty meal, and then to drop into bed until they had to report for duty again, about twelve hours from now.
Ah, quit being a coward. You love her. She loves you. Haven’t both of us said that many times since we got here?
They were stationed at one of the bases where the F-16 reigned supreme. Both of them were crew chiefs and expected to have a long and illustrious career. Although, if Joe had to admit it, Mel would do far better than he would. She had a certain drive to prove herself in this male-oriented world. Sure, he was good with a wrench, but she was better. And she knew how to deal with those at the top of the maintenance unit. Truth be told, he’d be happy to run a squadron as the NCOIC, but he could see Mel being someone who would be picked for all the prime positions at higher headquarters.
He touched the pocket of his fatigues, where the black velvet box rested. Little did Mel know that he’d bought this gorgeous ring at Zaragoza Air Base in Spain, from a vendor who had dickered with him for nearly an hour before agreeing on a price. Joe grinned at how much this beautiful piece of original jewelry would impress Mel.
When? Should I wait until we eat or do it in the chow hall?
Caught up in his musings, he didn’t notice that Mel had already gone inside the squat building at the center of the base. He ran after her, catching up as she was ordering her morning omelet.
“Three eggs,” she said in a firm voice. “Cheese, peppers, onions only.”
While the cook was making the omelet, she pointed at the bacon and biscuits. Once her plate was complete, Mel moved to get orange juice and coffee.
“What she had,” Joe told the cook with a grin.
“Sure thing.” The older German man glanced at her. “Pretty girl. Make someone a good wife someday.”
My wife. Joe kept that thought to himself, afraid of jinxing the upcoming proposal.