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Diana Lee Johnson
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With the Civil War drawing to an inevitable close, wounded Matthew Keene falls into the capable hands of Brenna McKeon. Following her father’s example, Brenna cares for him as she has troops from both armies throughout the war. Torrey McKeon battles unknown enemies to hold on to the family land, while he and Brenna share a deep secret.
Brenna holds the Union Army responsible for her father’s untimely demise. All her resolve to become a doctor cannot keep her from falling in love as Matthew heals. He discovers her secret. Though he helps rescue her twin brother, when Brenna discovers Matthew’s hidden agenda, she cannot forgive him.
"Well, my friend, will you wake up today?" She put her cool hand on Keene’s forehead, knowing he would still be burning with fever.
"Why, you’re not hot! Good Lord, did you die?" She put her head to his chest to listen to his heart, her eyes closed. Before she could concentrate enough to hear the beating, a hand touched her cheek. Brenna bolted up with a startled gasp. Her right hand clutched her wrapper to her chest. She tried to breathe as she looked toward him. His eyes were still closed.
"M--Mr. K--Keene? Can you hear me?"
Slowly, his eyes slitted open as he tried to open them to the daylight. "I’m not dead?" His words were but a dull rasp.
"No, you certainly are not! And you’re not going to be, if I can help it." Brenna was truly joyful at the prospect he might be mending.
"Do," he ran his dry tongue over his parched, cracked lips, "do I know you?"
"I’m Brenna McKeon. I operated on you a few days ago."
"You what?" He tried to clear his throat, but he was too weak. He had a vague memory of asking a boy on the road for water, then seeing a woman with a shotgun. Then a blur of an angel with raven black hair and pale white skin asking him where to find his name. This was the angel. He wasn’t sure about the lady with the shotgun or the boy.
Brenna went to the table and poured a glass of water from a pitcher as she continued to talk. "I operated on you. I took the bullets from your chest and shoulder, and I closed up the wound in your thigh."
"Are you a nurse?"
"No, I want to be a doctor. My father was a doctor, ‘til a Yankee major shot him for taking off a gangrenous leg and saving his life." She felt his forehead for fever, and smoothed his hair away from his eyes. "The war made it impossible, for now." Brenna put her right arm under the pillow and raised his head so he could sip the water. "Slowly now," she whispered.
"That was good, but I’d rather it was whiskey. I hurt like hell! Sorry, ma’am."
"I understand, Mr. Keene. Believe me, I’ve heard a good deal worse since this war began." Brenna studied his face. It was the first time his eyes were open for more than a moment. They were unusual, such a beautiful dark blue with a rim of brown that almost made them look completely brown, but they weren’t. They were blue--deep, rich, piercing indigo blue, and at the moment, Brenna felt as if they were burning a hole in her.
She swallowed and tried to collect her thoughts as she adjusted her wrapper making sure nothing untoward was showing.
Matthew Keene’s right hand slowly found its way to his bearded face. "Guess I’ve been out a while," he rasped.
"Four days and nights. It will be sometime yet before I can be sure, but I think you’re going to be all right."
"I--" Matthew coughed, his dry throat getting the better of him. The first cough set his chest on fire and he gave a single, short groan as he fought the pain which stole his breath away. He writhed on the bed with a strength he could ill-afford.
Brenna grabbed his arms, forcing him back down to the bed with her body. "Shhhh. You have to be still. You’ll tear the stitches loose. Shhhh." She tried to get him to quiet down. "It will come. You can breathe. Just slowly," she whispered, "slowly." She smoothed her hand over his forehead and hair, stroking him to calm him down. She knew he was in great pain, but he must remain still.
Eventually, as she stroked and shushed, Matthew’s desperate gasps for air became short panting breaths.
"I need to explain about your injuries, but first, let me get some laudanum. I know you’re hurting. I want to help, Mr. Keene. Please trust me."
He nodded weakly, the little energy he had, now gone. He lay silently shaking from head to toe as he tried to be strong, tried not to surrender to the urge to cry out from the pain.
Diana Lee Johnson is a native of Northern Virginia. By day she’s the Purchasing Agent for a municipal government. By night (and weekends) she’s a writer.
Stories flow through her mind like movies projecting in her head, waiting for her to find time to write them down. Diana must switch them off so she can work at her day job. “I weave a little of myself into everything I write. My characters take on their own personalities and I wait like the reader to hear what they say next.”
Writing poetry since the age of 6, Diana dabbled in short stories at 13, but took prose more seriously as an outlet after she turned 30. She enjoys writing fiction in several genres hoping to entertain a variety of readers with drama, suspense, humor, and romance. Her characters could be someone you know or someone so outrageous you can only imagine meeting them.
She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website:, or write her at P. O. Box 3003, Falls Church, VA 22043.
Dramatically written, this poignant tale will touch your heart. Diana Lee Johnson has penned another winner. I can't wait to read her next book.-- Judith Rippelmeyer, Editor in Chief, The Word On Romance, www.thewordonromance.com
Wrong Side of Love is a remarkable story with a clever twist that will surprise and amaze the reader. It is a meticulously compiled and authentic historical novel that takes place during the Civil War era and has an enduring theme of family love and devotion...Tina Dean, Associate Editor, Virginia Writing
Castle of Sorrows: “How skillfully Diana Johnson has revealed yet another dimension of her craft with this exciting and enchanting novel. The colorful narrative in which Castle of Sorrows is clothed, and the skeleton of events on which it hangs, all show the marks of a storyteller who writes with sensitivity and is gifted with exceptional human understanding. This suspenseful novel is a thrill from beginning to end.”--Tina Dean, Associate Editor, Virginia Writing
“Very different from Diana Lee Johnson’s previous books, CASTLE OF SORROWS is nevertheless an excellent read. Let Donald, Douglas, Dierdre, Grandee, and the ghosts of the past enchant you. Drift away to the beautiful Scottish countryside, filled with castles and tradition and enjoy CASTLE OF SORROWS.” --Judith Rippelmeyer, Editor in Chief, The Word on Romance
Tomorrow Came Early, the much-anticipated sequel to Too Late for Tomorrow, is a fabulous read! The saga of the spirited Hamiltons continues in this moving and powerfully written historical novel set at the end of the Civil War. The love, devotion, and courage of this dynamic family, especially young Andrew Hamilton, will touch your heart and soul as you read this compelling story; family secrets and intrigue will keep you on the edge of your seat. Prepare to be carried away on the wings of this highly recommended book!-- Tina Dean, Associate Editor, Virginia Writing
…Steeped in the rich history of the turbulent pre-Civil War and Civil War years, TOO LATE FOR TOMORROW sets readers deep into the heart of the issue of slavery and its consequences on this nation. Deftly intertwined with the issue of slavery, Ms Johnson adds Jeremy and Gabby's personal tale of love, deception, and obsession.
I wouldn't consider this a light read, or mere entertainment, but an attention involving novel. TOO LATE FOR TOMORROW is nevertheless a marvelously written story from the pen of a wonderfully erudite author. Readers who love Civil War period romances will adore TOO LATE FOR TOMORROW. I highly recommend it. --Judith Rippelmeyer, The Word on Romance
An exciting and heartwarming story of family love! This is a must-read book for anyone who loves historical romances, particularly those of the Civil War era. The characters are rich and full, with family ties and love being the strings that bind them all in one way or another. This is a novel of a family forced to deal with strong beliefs and opinions, frequently at odds with each other, but always with love enough to fill even the reader's heart. You will want to read every word on every page of this Civil War saga. I have just three more words to say: sequel, sequel, sequel! --Tina Dean, Assoc. Editor, Virginia Writing
Just Deserts is a sweet read. Warm and witty characters, a fabulous story, and a dollop of humor makes this recipe another winner for Diana Lee Johnson. Make room on your keeper shelf for Just Deserts. -- Judith Rippelmeyer
Pretty as she is, Carolyn isn't looking for love when she enrolls in a college course. However, in the weeks that follow she finds herself being courted by two men who are determined to win her affections while having much more in mind than just their amorous feelings.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 394
Paper Weight (lb): 16.4
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