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Excerpt for SECRETS AND LIES

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April 2012, ISBN: 0373776829

Genre: Contemporary Suspense

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SECRETS AND LIES–
HE’S JUST A COWBOY

Prologue
Gold Creek, California
The Present

Some men you never forget.

Heather Leonetti parked her Mercedes beneath a deep green canopy of pine branches. Her head pounded and her heart beat an icy tempo. Through the windshield, she stared at the calm waters of Whitefire Lake and wondered how she would find the strength to undo the string of lies that had started six years before–-lies she hadn’t meant to utter, lies that weren’t supposed to hurt anyone, lies that had her so bound, she didn’t know if she could untangle them.

Her mother had said it all, years ago. “The trouble with lying is, once you start, you never can seem to stop. Your father, for example. Just one lie after another, one Jezabel of a woman after the next . . .”

Heather closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. Soon her mother would know the truth, as would everyone in Gold Creek. As would Turner.

She had to tell him first. He deserved to know. Too late, she realized. He should have known six years before. She should have found a way to reach him, to let him know that he had become a father. Instead, after a few feeble attempts to reach him, she’d taken the easy way out. And now, Adam, her son, her reason for living, was paying. It just wasn’t fair.

Tears collected behind her eyes and clogged her throat, but she wouldn’t give into the pain. Not yet. Not while there was hope. She squeezed her eyes her shut for a minute and sent up a prayer for strength. Somehow she had to undo she had to undo all the wrongs; somehow she had to give her boy a chance to live a normal life. And Turner might be the answer. Although the horrid disease was now in remission and the doctors seemed to think that Adam had as good a chance as any for beating leukemia, Heather was scared to death . . . as she had been for nearly two years. It was time to face Turner.

Gritting her teeth, she forced her eyes open and knew she had to face Turner again.

Some men you never forget.

Turner Brooks was that kind of man.