by Wilhelmina Stolen
A single day shattered her life and set in motion, events that would change the Sullivan family for generations.
Marnie Joe Sullivan had the perfect life as the daughter of a wealthy Virginia businessman, but perfection wouldn't last. As the War Between the States ends, she is struggling to keep her family together. After a botched robbery, fleeing rebels leave her mother dead and Marnie at the mercy of a killer. The year is 1867 and Virginia is still home to Confederate conspirators and a killer that must be stopped. Loyalty and love run deep in the Sullivan family and Marnie is no exception. As the eldest Sullivan, she feels obligated to rescue her father from the hangman’s noose. But a jailbreak at midnight lands her in the arms of Marshal Mason Kane.
Death is never fair. Mason Kane is proof of that. The horror of war and the death of his brother made him a drunk. Consumed by guilt and grief, he finds himself occupying Richmond saloons and starting fights. But a forgotten promise to his brother forces him to put down the bottle and accept a friend’s plea for help. Mason has no idea that the scrawny, mud covered boy he just hit is Sullivan’s daughter and he has no idea just how tempting she is until he tries to mend her wounds. Bound by honor and promise, Mason sets out to find a killer. What he finds is the outlaw Marnie Sullivan. A woman he can’t live without and secrets that lie in the way.
“Are you ready to ride?”
Marnie’s voice dragged him from his thoughts. Without looking at her, he shoved the gun back into the holster at his hip. He could tell by her tone that she wasn’t pleased about spending more time with him. As he turned to face her, he smiled and raised an eyebrow at her muddy, blood stained clothes.
Marnie crossed her arms over her chest in an attempt to block his roaming eyes. She could feel courage drain as his lips formed a slow seductive smile. It always made her heart flutter,
“This is all I have. Callie didn’t bring anything but a gown. It’ll have to do until I get home.”
“The gown’s fine by me.”
Amusement covered his face, “Where are we going?”
He glanced back at the house.
Marnie bit her lip and thought about what Lucas said. What if he did work for Talon? What if Uncle Max had sent him? He could be her father’s only hope, “I’m taking you to my house-” she said evenly, “the Sullivan house.”
Confusion came over his face, "I thought this was the Sullivan house.”
Marnie smiled, “This is the Ritchie house. The Sullivan house is up there.” She pointed to the mountain.
“You’d have to be a mountain goat to live up there.” Mason’s voice was playful.
Marnie mounted her horse with her good arm. After she’d firmly planted herself in the saddle, she smiled over her shoulder and shot him a provocative look, “Marshal, you of all people should know that looks can be deceiving.”
Under the thick beard she saw a smile, a smile that made her stomach flip, “Little girl, you
shouldn’t start something you can’t finish.” His voice was low and meaningful. Marnie blushed and turned her attention to her horse.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Wilhelmina Stolen is the pseudonym for romance writer, Shannon Hayes. Shannon is a native of Kentucky and makes her home in small southern town close to the Tennessee line. During her adolescence, her mother s free spirited nature became restless causing the family to embark on a slew of adventurous moves across the country. The moves provoked a hunger for adventure and romance and introduced her to a wonderful world of history and beauty.
As with most writers, her stories began at an early age with long sessions of seclusion and secrecy. While her classmates and friends were outside playing, Shannon was locked away in her room hammering out ideas on an old 1940 s Royal typewriter.
After finding Mr. Right, Shannon found herself wanting the comfort and security of the small Kentucky town she longed to escape as a child. Fortune smiled upon her and she became the family historian; gathering pictures,wills, marriage certificates and everything else that somehow managed to fall into her lap. Stories flooded her mind and writing quickly became an obsession that turned into the Way of Hearts Saga. The saga spans six generations and three families.
Shannon holds an Associates in Applied Science in Technology, a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Management as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership. Visit her author page at www.wilhelminastolen.com to learn more about the saga.
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