Shannon and Ryan’s story, and a work in progress. I just finished up the manuscript about a story that takes place on a Vermont farm during the holidays, and the family that’s gathered there to celebrate. A romance develops between a marine and his brother’s widow.  Passion, love and a promise binds them together but guilt threatens to keep them apart. I hope to submit it to a publisher soon. 

Here’s a brief, unedited excerpt of, “THE PROMISE”

Just as she stepped off the bottom step she heard a noise at the front door. She hesitated, unsure what to do. Who could be calling at this hour? She expected to hear a knock but heard something else instead.  A key was being inserted into the lock, and right before Shannon’s startled eyes she watched the knob turn and the door open.  Her eyes landed on a pair of army boots and slowly traveled upward. Her mouth dropped open in shock.

Ryan had come home!

He appeared as startled as she was. Halting in the threshold as their eyes met, his expression carved in granite. Only his eyes, those piercing blue orbs, showed any sign of life, if you could call it that. Shannon had a feeling that Ryan Hayes didn’t reveal any emotions that weren’t hardened by years of fighting.  For a moment she thought he wasn’t going to speak, and half expected him to back out and leave.

“Do you mind if I come in?” His deep voice was just as Shannon remembered. “It’s damn cold out here.”

 For the first time she realized she was blocking his way. Swallowing, she stepped back enough for him to enter and close the door behind him. He dropped a large army bag at the floor by his feet, shaking off the snow onto the floor mat. All the while keeping his eyes trained on her, as though she were the enemy. Shannon took a nervous step further into the foyer, directly into the soft glow of the lamp that had been left on in the living room.

Ryan looked just like he did the last time she saw him. Big and tall, cloaked in that attitude of quiet strength he seemed to possess. His black hair was cut in military fashion and suited his strong, square boned face. Though sporting a tiny scar over his left eyebrow and another, bigger one halfway down his left cheek he was still a handsome man. And he eluded danger in practically every move he made, in every glance.

His eyes dropped, running over Shannon rapidly, making her painfully aware of her disheveled state. But she refused to reach up and smooth her hair back, knowing it would do no good. The tiniest quirk on his full, sensuous mouth revealed he found her condition amusing. But his lips thinned almost menacingly when his gaze narrowed on her breasts. And it was then that Shannon reached up, pulling her ruined blouse together where the buttons had come off.

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