Genre: Contemporary Romance
Amelia Book one of The Three Mrs. Monroes
Release Date: July 31, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120387 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-038-1
Print ISBN-10: 1631120395 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-039-8
From loss breeds new opportunity.
Amelia Monroe had felt the sharp pain from the loss of a soldier before—Adam Monroe’s death didn’t have that same effect.
Sam Jackson had one job—deliver Adam Monroe’s revised will. Even he couldn’t have anticipated that he’d be entangled in the web of lies his client had woven.
Doing what is right had been inbred in Amelia. She’d planned to say her goodbyes and start fresh. Staying in Adam’s small town with his other lies, that wasn’t part of her plan.
About the Author:
Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it.
When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.
How to reach Bernadette Marie
@writesromance on Twitter
Excerpt of Amelia:
God she was miserable
Amelia Monroe rolled up the window on her Ford Blazer as she turned down the dirt road which led to the small church. She’d only been to Parson’s Gulch, Oklahoma once, and she certainly hadn’t been privy to its back roads.
No, her husband Adam didn’t want anything to do with the small town—and now she knew why.
She pulled into the lot of the small church and her heart began to race and a pain in her chest forced her to suck in a deep breath. She’d filed for divorce three months ago. Adam Monroe had lied to her for two years. There had been so much more to him and she’d failed to see it.
Now she sat in her truck, the heat suffocating her, as she watched his other wife and their two children climb from the black limousine and walk into the church.
The bastard had been married, with a family, long before he and Amelia had met. That was the end of her marriage. In that moment, she’d even contemplated killing him, but that wasn’t how she did things—she was just angry.
Amelia Monroe had been raised to think calmly and use her words to fight, not her hands—though she could. She was plenty capable of killing the man. She was a trained martial artist. There were hundreds of ways she could have taken him down.
There had been no need to do that though. A land mine in Iraq had ended his life.
She sucked back tears as she thought about it. Damn it, he might have been a bastard, but she’d loved him. His death wasn’t what she’d wanted—not really anyway.
She’d just wanted him to suffer for his lies and his deceptions. She didn’t want him to be taken from his children—now that she knew he had them.
But here she was at the funeral of her husband and she’d opted to not be singled out. There would be no front pew in the church. She didn’t want a flag or a limo. It would be better off if no one knew she was here.
She’d made the trek for peace of mind and, well, he was her husband. The fact that the attorney wanted to meet with her and Adam’s other wife after the funeral also had pushed her to attend. After all, there was a lot to sort out.
Well, Amelia wasn’t one to run. She’d hold her chin high and she’d face the woman Adam had lied to first. The children were only four and two. She wouldn’t do anything to upset them. There wasn’t a need for it. Besides, she knew one thing that the other woman didn’t. The day was only going to get worse.
In the front pew of the church sat Adam’s first wife, her children and what Amelia would assume were her parents. On the other side were his parents.
She’d never met them, but she recognized them from pictures. In fact, only until five months ago she was under the impression they were both dead.
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she sat down in the back pew of the church.
A man in a gray tailored suit stood at the end of the pew. “Are you Amelia?”
She held her breath. This wasn’t what she wanted. She didn’t want anyone to know who she was. With a slow nod she acknowledged that she was indeed Amelia.
“Sam Jackson, Adam’s attorney.”
The man extended his hand and she shook it. The tension in her shoulders began to slide away. At least this man carried as many secrets with him as she did.
“Do you mind if I sit with you? I don’t know anyone else.”
Amelia moved over and Sam sat down next to her. “You don’t know Vivian?” she whispered and nodded toward Adam’s other wife.
“No. My business with Adam was mostly done in Oklahoma City. I never met his wife. Wives.” He gritted his teeth. “Sorry.”
Amelia clasped her hands in her lap. “Not as sorry as I am.”
The small church had filled. The mourners were obviously from the community and had probably known Adam since he was a child. Many had gone to the front and hugged his mother and Vivian. The children, one on each side, stayed close to her.
As the pastor spoke to the congregation, Amelia’s eyes were glued to the casket draped with an American flag. She hadn’t seen Adam in months. The last time they’d spoken, they’d fought. She’d told him she’d wanted a divorce and he argued with her over it. He said it had all been a big mistake, but she knew that was a lie.
Oh, she’d hoped he’d pay for what he did. This, however, wasn’t what she’d had in mind.
She lowered her head and wiped her hand across her forehead.
Sam bent his head down. “Are you alright?”
She nodded. “I’m fine. It’s just a bit warm in here.”
The funeral was almost over when another woman walked through the door. She looked frazzled as if she’d taken that first dirt road and not the second, which Amelia had been warned about.
She’d been crying—a lot. Sam nodded to Amelia to scoot down and then signaled to the woman to sit next to him. She finally did so.
Amelia looked over at the woman who now was sobbing uncontrollably. She’d like to have cried over him like that too. Wasn’t the widow of a man supposed to be in the front row of the church? Wasn’t the widow of a U.S. solider supposed to know that she’d married an honorable man? Wasn’t…
She let out a long breath as the pastor walked toward Adam’s other wife and gave her a hug.
There was no reason to cause a scene. Sam was Adam’s attorney. He was the only reason Amelia had made the trip. Obviously, Adam thought enough to have left her something and that’s why she was here.
She wasn’t one to point fingers and make others mad, that was why she’d asked for a divorce. She wasn’t the kind of woman to show up on Vivian Monroe’s doorstep and tell her that her husband of ten years had been married to her for two years. What good would that have done for his children?
Amelia watched as Vivian’s daughter clung to her and her other daughter was held by her grandfather. Anger was quickly creeping into the areas that mourning hadn’t filled. How could Adam have done this to his children?
The pall bearers stood as the pastor began to walk down the aisle. They carried the casket in a procession and his wife, children, and family followed.
As Vivian reached the back of the church she turned her head and gave Amelia a very knowing glance. One that said you don’t belong here.
Sam touched her arm. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I wish you wouldn’t have asked me to be here.”
“I appreciate it,” he said as the woman next to him began to sob even harder.
Sam turned to her. “Ma’am, are you going to be okay?”
The woman, with her blonde curls bouncing every time she tried to suck in a breath, shook her head. “Was that his wife? His other wife?”
Amelia felt a pain shoot through her chest. She leaned across, in front of Sam as the other mourners left the church, and looked the woman in her bloodshot eyes.
“Are you Penelope?” she asked through gritted teeth and the woman slowly nodded.
Amelia sat back against the pew as the church emptied out and crossed her arms over her chest.
The first Mrs. Monroe had escorted her husband out of the church.
The second Mrs. Monroe was hidden in the back, as if she hadn’t existed.
And the third Mrs. Monroe had walked in late.