Honor Before Heart: Emerald Belles #1
by Heather McCorkle
GENRE: Historical Romance
Risking it all for love and valor . . .
When Corporal Sean MacBranian awakens after being injured in battle, he is sure the luck o’ the Irish has run out on him. Or that he’s died and gone to Heaven. There can be no other explanation for the blond-haired, blue-eyed angel standing before him. But his “angel” is a truehearted lass named Ashlinn, and she wears a nurse’s uniform. Her tender ministrations have brought him back from the brink of death—and have given him a new reason for living.
Ashlinn knows their parting is inevitable; her handsome hero must return to the 69th infantry of the Union army, and there are no guarantees of his safe return. With most of her family already destroyed by the war ravaging America, she is sure she cannot survive another loss. Yet she feels powerless against the draw of Sean’s strong and steady heart. Neither time nor distance nor the danger of battle seems to lessen their bond. But when their secret letters are intercepted, the devoted nurse’s love will face the ultimate test . . .
Not even the threat of rain heavy upon the Virginia air could banish the sickly sweet stench of death. The boom of cannons and rifle fire slowly trickled to a stop. That, or Sean’s hearing was going. A quick glance around revealed bodies of the dead and dying strewn across Malvern Hill, turning its green grass a brilliant red. Relief churned with the ever-present guilt of all he had done in the name of country and freedom this day. Turning his head up to the cloud-choked evening sky, he said a silent prayer for the fallen on both sides of the conflict.
Only soldiers in blue coats were left standing and not many of them down near the river where Sean was. It made him wonder how many of the 69th regiment had perished this day. So many Irish brothers lost…no, American brothers, he had to remind himself. They were more than just Irish now. They were Americans, and had died as such.
The muzzle of his rifle drooped until the bayonet fixed upon the end of it touched the muddy bank of the James River. With General Lee’s soldiers on the retreat, it seemed they had won the day. But at such a horrible cost. A rustling in the brush along the river pulled Sean from his dark musings. In the fading light, he couldn’t quite make out what moved within the tall brush. Whatever it was, it was close, no more than ten feet away. Though his heart hammered like a galloping horse, his hands were steady as he tossed his empty rifle aside and drew his saber.
“Damn beast!” a man cursed with a thick Southern drawl.
The voice came from much farther down the bank than the rustling brush. Sliding into a fighting stance, Sean split his attention between the direction of the voice and that of the rustling. From the brush emerged a furry shape that at first glance seemed the size of a bear. Wouldn’t that just be his luck? To survive such a battle only to be mauled by a bear. Huge brown eyes gazed out of a gray face that was decidedly canine. While the creature was over three feet at the shoulder, it was most certainly a dog. And it was a breed Sean knew well: an Irish wolfhound.
He began to wonder if perhaps he had been struck on the head. Such a dog didn’t exist in America. He hadn’t seen one since he’d left Ireland over three years ago. Mesmerized by the creature’s curious eyes, he took a step toward it. Pink tongue lolling from the side of its grinning mouth, it moved toward him as well.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Heather McCorkle is an award-winning author of paranormal, steampunk, and historical fiction. When she is not writing, editing, or designing book covers and websites, she can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, she enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as the worlds she creates on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though; connect to her instead on her blog and her many social networking sites. You can also find her the first Monday night of every month at 6:00 pm Pacific Time on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter, which she co-created and moderates. Entertaining readers and uncovering stories and points of view that haven’t been covered are two of her greatest passions.
Buy the book:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781516102860&c=books
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781516102860
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Heather will be awarding a digital copy of Honor Before Heart to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway