I had thought about and worked on four possible Cherry Hill stories before that:
- FRIENDLY FIRE--about Laura Grace Chandler meeting Samantha Smith, an abused foster child
- CONSUMING FIRE--about the prosecution of Samantha's abusers and a growing relationship between Laura Grace and Mack Singer
- LINE OF FIRE--about Laura Grace's new family and the discovery of Mack's unknown son, a young Marine
- HEART FIRE--about Samantha's children and the aging of her mother
- "Well, she’s pretty enough and has the Chandler coloring,” her silver hair didn’t shift as she turned back to me, “but you know she’s not a real Chandler, Laura Grace.”
- The embossed ivory invitation was from the one address I'd hoped never to see again, and the initials on the flap--HCC--made my stomach clench.
- Over the years her eyes had faded to ice blue and now they looked on my child with chilling disapproval.
- Her perfume was the same--a mix of rose and gardenia--but with a subtle addition I could only identify as old lady skin.
- I had never faced her without Tom at my side, but now that my knight was gone, I was on my own, and I was Samantha's only shield.
Here's a taste of what I've discovered:
- "While the extravagant charity of the Cherry and Chandler families is well known, Thomas, we do not practice it with our marriage vows."
- "My vows are charity only if you use the Biblical definition of the word—love. But that wasn't what you were referring to, was it, Mother?"
- The warmth of the flame consuming the pine limbs spread up his arms and the tension wiring his shoulders taut eased, a sharp contrast to the cold tone Mother had used to voice her displeasure of him and his plans.
- She was still spare and elegant, and so was the room.