The truth could not be revealed -- until now....
A fter the tragic death of her adoptive father, Willow De Beers receives an unexpected gift: a family diary that unlocks all the secrets of her world -- and shatters the life she's known in glitzy Palm Beach, Florida. At last, Willow learns the identity of her real father, and unearths his secret love affair with her real mother. She discovers the reasons for her adoptive mother's cruelty...and the truth about the mysterious woman who couldn't keep her, but would love her forever.
Look inside for the original e-book prequel Dark Seed -- first time in print! Also inside...a preview of the thrilling Broken Wings series -- coming soon from Pocket Star Books
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December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from Hidden Leaves by V.C. Andrews
If someone had told me that someday I would fall in love with one of my patients, I would have recommended that he or she become one of my patients.
Now I have to admit that this most improbable event has occurred at my own clinic. It got so I couldn't wait to get there every morning. It was as if I had found that the doorway to paradise was always right in front of me. I quickly discovered that when you're with someone you love, the most mundane things suddenly become wonderful.
I suppose I'll never forget the day your mother arrived, Willow. She and I often talked about it, first as part of her therapy, and then, as time passed and our relationship grew into something I'm sure neither of us had expected, we were actually able to laugh about it.
You know how people often discuss what they were doing when some major historical event occurred. My father used to talk about where he was when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, for example, and I often think about what I was doing the day President Kennedy was shot. Events like those are so imprinted on your mind it is as if life went on pause for a while and then began again.
Shall I tell you that when I first looked at your mother and she looked at me, my heart paused and then went on again Shall I tell you that during those moments it felt as if there was no one else in the world but us Does all this sound too romantic, perhaps more like the words in a love song than the words of a psychiatrist
As a psychiatrist, I am too analytical, I know. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with my work. I don't really like to dissect people's emotions like some pathologist in a lab, but it is what I have been trained to do. Forgive me for how often I do that while writing this to you, Willow.
The truth is I remember everything about that day your mother arrived. It was unseasonably warm. Ordinarily I don't pay very much attention to the weather. I spend so much of my time indoors at the clinic, I don't care whether it's raining or not, whether it's cloudy or sunny, but for some reason (I hesitate to call it Fate or anything similar -- it wouldn't be very professional of me) I remember sitting at my desk and looking out the window and admiring the soft, lithe look of a cloud moving lazily over the tops of the trees in front of my clinic. I don't daydream very often. I simply didn't have time for it with my patient load at the clinic, but that day it struck me that this was the only cloud in the eastern sky and I thought it looked lonely. I could even see a sad face in its fluffy surface and told myself something my mother used to tell me when I was a little boy: Rain, she said, was merely the teardrops of sad clouds, and when it stopped raining, we knew the clouds were happy again, sunshine lighting up their smiles.
"All smiles have to have sunshine behind them, Claude," she told me, "otherwise, they are not smiles; they are masks."
Perhaps that was my first lesson in psychiatry.