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Shirley Kiger Connolly

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Releasing in February!
Monday, July 16, 2007  3:21:00 PM

by Shirley Kiger Connolly

Historical Fiction
In FLAME FROM WITHIN, young and enchanting plantation-bred Amethyst Rose is about to wed the grandson of an English Baron, promising her continued years of ease and comfort, until the feared war finds its way to her beloved Vicksburg, Mississippi, and plans suddenly change. Hours before taking her arranged wedding vows, Amethyst Rose (lovingly called Aimée) discovers her betrothed is strangely missing-in-action. She soon finds herself occupying space in a filthy underground cave, hiding from the aggressive assaults of the Union Army. When her fleeing family prepares to join her, a Yankee-induced fire destroys them and her home, and now this devastated Vicksburg darling must decide whether life is even worth going on. Her only choice left is to move in with her elder and controlling sister, who runs a bordello in The French Quarter of New Orleans, guaranteed to destroy Aimée’s personal respect and tarnish her family name. With her bitter hatred towards all men dressed in the Yankee blue plunged into high gear, nothing seems to matter anymore, until, on a riverboat, she finds herself absorbed by the presence of not one, but two Union officers, and a deceptive Frenchman. Each in his own way find ways to tug at the heart and soul of this woman lost, until one-by-one, they discover the direction she is truly heading, yet, only one true warrior can win the heart of her heart. Will she let him?

Turning one last time to gaze at her papa’s black carriage, no longer shiny after months of storage in the underground cave, Aimée ran her slender, once dove-soft fingers along the carvings etched in the side. Leaning her head against its surface, she closed her eyes. Would her dreadful memories ever leave her? Right now, without any happiness or heartsease it appeared that would be impossible.
Was it going to be worth it to go on? Surely, a life could get no more out of kilter than it was right now. Amethyst Rose was sick of weeping, sick of thinking about the past, and sick of dreading what was to come. The only thing that helped her not to go crazy, perhaps, was to look around the busy dock, and see her situation was not at all isolated.
Although she felt completely alone, she could tell by the look on the faces of hundreds of others, there were many more, who hated life right now just as much as she did.
Lulu’s nudge on her shoulder brought her back to the present, and when she opened her eyes, to her relief, Elijah came into view.
“Come on, honey, let’s get going. We certainly can’t stay here any longer.”
Shirley Kiger Connolly~Romance Novelist ~ Etc.

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