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WHY DID BERNIE HAVE TO DIE?Prequel to the Halo Legacy Series￼--A wild Irish rogue tempts trouble one time too manyand comes face to face with the consequences.
As a cop, Bernie usually commanded the driver's seat.Now he sat chained in the back of a police cruiser on the way to thecounty jail.An "offer" from a dirty cop could have been Bernie's ticket to freedom.But the same Irish stubbornness that drove him to take risks gave him the backbone to face the consequences.
He begins a journey to atone for what he has done, which becomes a mission to save kids from unspeakable conditions.He doesn't plan on finding a womanwho becomes his courageous life partnerand enemies among those he thought were his friends.
Bernie's heartbeat stuttered as his old pickup topped the gentle rise ofland that marked the boundary of his grandparents' farm. The burned outremains of the old house slammed memories as hard as a fist into his gutas he braked to a stop.The flames licked greedily up the brick chimney, consuming the tinderdry wood siding, and lighting up the night sky. Bernie bellowed inhelpless rage, dunking himself in the water trough used for livestockbefore plunging into the flames and toward the bedroom his grandparentshad shared since their marriage decades earlier.Fury fueled his strength as he cradled his grandmother in his arms andcarried her outside, then returned for his grandfather. He laid themside by side on the cool, damp grass, searching frantically for a pulse.But he knew it was futile. They were already dead.Tallie laid her hand over Bernie's whitened knuckles. Through the sheenof his tears, he saw the mirror of his sadness in her eyes. He turnedhis hand over and clasped hers tightly.Together, they would rebuild. A house. A family. A legacy this townwould never forget.~ * ~Bernie pushed open the door to the general store and stepped inside,pausing to fill his lungs with the remembered smells of ripe cheese,pickles, cured meats, leather, and tobacco smoke that had permeated thebuilding's walls since the store opened over a hundred years before.Even the old pot-bellied stove remained in one corner, flanked byseveral wooden chairs that once invited pioneers to sit a spell and swapstories.However, shelves once crowded with treasures that fascinated Bernie as aboy now held only a few sparse items."Well, Bernie O'Shea. I heard you were back in town." A white-haired oldman with a curved back limped slowly toward him with the assistance of aknobby cane."Mr. Haroldson." Bernie walked across the plank flooring and stretchedout his hand in greeting. "I need a few things to build a house on mygrandparents' place.""So it's true?""Yessir.""Took you long enough to come back, boy.""I have a wife and two boys now. We plan to make our home here."A slow smile curved the older man's mouth. "The hell you say.""Think you could order some lumber, nails and roofing for the house?""Might need some plumbing supplies and paint too.""That we might. I can give you the cash up front."The old man grinned and clapped Bernie on the shoulder. "Welcome home,boy. Welcome home."
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A satisfied feeling settled in Bernie's gut as he drove back to hisgrandparents' property. The feeling lasted until he topped the rise ofland from where he could see the site of their future home--and a policecar parked in the driveway.Bernie pulled his shotgun out of its rack as he drove the pickup aroundthe cruiser. He stopped beside Tallie and the boys, opening the door soit shielded her. When he stepped out of the pickup, the shotgun waspointed at Randall Weston's chest. "You're trespassing, Weston."The chief of police eased back toward his cruiser. "Just checking out areport of squatters at your grandparents' property.""My property. My wife. My kids. Get off and don't come back.""Well, that's not very neighborly--"The metallic ka-ching of Bernie cocking a shell into the barrel hadWeston back-stepping quickly. He slid behind the wheel of the policecruiser and sped away.
COMING IN FEBRUARY 2018The print version ofPICTURE PERFECT LEGACYBook 1 of the Halo Legacy Romantic Mysteries