The truth will set you free--if it doesn't get you killed
Savannah Slade is not the person she thought she was. The reading of her "father's" will has led her to a world-shattering revelation: her sisters are not her blood kin--and she may be the heiress to a massive fortune. Her not-quite-fianc� Judd doesn't care where she came from--he only wants her by his side. But the primal need to uncover her past wins out, and Savannah trades the Montana ranges for Miami's moneyed oceanside enclaves.
The wealthy and powerful Stoss family is less than overjoyed to find that Gerald Stoss's daughter has emerged from the past. But theirs is a clan seldom troubled by...inconveniences. They've always had the means to eradicate any blemish on their perfect lives. One more won't make a difference.
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May 30, 2011
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Excerpt from Blood Ties by Sharon Sala
My life is a lie.
Savannah Slade stood before a mirror, staring at her own image as if she'd never seen it before. She knew the statistics: twenty-two years old, barely five feet four inches tall, shoulder-length white-blond hair and big blue eyes. She had a baby-doll look, but there was nothing babyish about her.
Her recently deceased father, Andrew Slade, had raised his daughters to be tough and self-sufficient, and she'd always considered herself that and more. But today she'd learned a devastating secret at the reading of his will. Andrew wasn't her father, and her sisters weren't really her sisters. The journal she was holding held even more secrets--secrets that, if revealed, were going to shatter more people's lives than just her own.
She opened the journal that Coleman Rice, the family lawyer, had given her. Her hands were still shaking. Even though she'd already read the entire book twice over, she returned to the first line. No matter how startling the information, there was no mistaking the truth.
You are not my child, and my darling Hannah was not your mother. Your real mother's name was Chloe Stewart, and when I first met her in Miami, Florida, she was dying of cancer.
She backed up to her bed, then sat down with a thump, swallowed past the lump in her throat and continued to read.
She said she was not married to your father but his name was Gerald Stoss, oldest of twin boys born to Rupert Stoss, and the heir to a massive fortune. She claimed Gerald did not know of your existence until she learned she had inoperable cancer. After that, she contacted him for help. He was devastated to learn your mother was dying, but he assured her he would take care of you. In fact, bring you both into his home and care for her during her last days, and claim you as his rightful heir.
Savannah shivered. So she was a bastard child. Not unusual. If that had been the only revelation, this would have been a bit easier to accept. But such was not the case.
She laid the journal aside and walked to the windows overlooking the south side of the ranch, then leaned her forehead against the panes. If only she could close her eyes and wish this horror story away.
A hard wind suddenly whipped around the corner of the ranch house, reminding her that spring had yet to make a full-fledged appearance in Montana. The weather had been chilly ever since the funeral, and now, three days later, was still the same. The house was warm, the two-story rock-and-cedar structure a strong bulwark against the unforgiving winds that continued to blow. But Savannah garnered no comfort from the familiarity. The family home no longer represented safety to her, and she wondered if she would never know peace again.
Everything she and her sisters had known from as far back as she could remember was a lie--a convoluted fabrication of bits of their pasts that Andrew had woven into their lives with him.
She felt sick. According to the lawyer, each of them, at different phases of their lives, had been taken in by Andrew, but only after their respective mothers claimed that the girls' lives were in danger. At this point, Savannah was so shocked and angry at the entire revelation that it was difficult to grieve for Andrew's passing. She looked back at the bed and the journal she'd just abandoned. The sight of it taunted her. Unable to leave it alone, she sat down on the mattress, searched for the phrase that had left her speechless and read it again.
They said they would kill you, just like they'd killed your father.