Authors: Aleatha Romig
Copyright © 2013 Aleatha Romig
Published by Aleatha Romig
Edited by Lucy D’Andrea and Sherry Weir
ISBN e-book: 978-0-9884891-4-1
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This book is available in print from most on line retailers.
2013 Edition License
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the appropriate retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Interior design by Angela McLaurin, Fictional Formats
Thank you to everyone who has made my story
Tony and Claire—real!
I couldn’t continue to spend untold hours sitting at my computer and interacting with readers if it weren’t for the love, devotion, AND patience of my husband and children. Thank you!
Thank you to my fantastic group of betas, affectionately known as
! Your direction and honesty has helped to create CONVICTED! I couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to, do it without you! Thank you, Sherry, Val, Angie, Kelli, Heather, and our newest angel Kirsten! Believe me—from time to time—it takes angels to put up with me!
A special thank you to Ilona, a wonderful reader who won a contest and was allowed to name one of the characters in CONVICTED—thank you Ilona—I hope you enjoy your character!
To my agent, Danielle Egan-Miller and my editor, Lucy D’Andrea, thank you! I continue to learn from your wisdom every day!
I absolutely love creating and continuing this saga, but it has been the outpouring of encouragement and support that I’ve received from the best readers in the world that made this a wonderful journey. I can’t thank you
enough for the continued love which you have shown to me! Whether it is in person—at an author event or online—I hope you know how much your kind words have meant! Thank you!!
I also, hope that you’ll understand how difficult it was for me to end this series. Tony and Claire as well as many of the other characters have become my real life friends and foes...saying goodbye is never easy...but knowing that I’m not doing it alone has given me courage...I hope it will help you too!
Be brave...and learn how with the TRUTH there are CONSEQUENCES...CONVICTED!
This is the third book in the CONSEQUENCES Series. It’s recommended to read them in order. The CONSEQUENCES series contains adult dark content. Although excessive use of description and detail are not used, the content contains innuendos of kidnapping, rape, and abuse—physical and mental. If you’re unable to read this material—please do not purchase. If can enter this world of fiction—welcome aboard and enjoy the ride!
The evil you create will ultimately destroy you, you cannot escape the consequences of your actions.
The woman stood silently, concealed within the shadows of the tall trees. With the Iowa wind rustling leaves above her head, she watched in fascination as children ran around the well-kept playground. Although many youngsters vied for position on the ladders and ramps, her attention centered on the beautiful, dark-haired little girl and blonde headed little boy playing in the sandbox. She’d seen the children on numerous occasions—always from a distance. She knew the little girl was almost two and a half years old and the little boy was almost two years old. Steeling her shoulders, she decided today was the day she’d finally voice her appeal—face the barrier to her goal—and make her request known.
The children wouldn’t know who she was or why she was there. There was no doubt, the woman with the eagle eyes of a mother and aunt—the woman watching the children’s every move, wouldn’t only know her—she wouldn’t hesitate to send her away or call the authorities.
Inhaling deeply, New York Times bestselling author, Meredith Banks, stepped from the shadows into the sunlight. As the proximity of her goal increased, so did her anxiety. This wouldn’t be easy. Emily Vandersol had made it crystal clear that she didn’t want the children exposed to the media circus. That circus had already exposed too many family secrets—secrets which, for their sake, would’ve been better left hidden.
As Meredith neared the park bench, Emily’s ever present scan of the crowd zeroed in on her, and their eyes met. Before Emily could protest, Meredith rushed to the park bench and touched Emily’s sleeve. “Emily, please let me speak. Please...let me finish their story.”
Momentarily looking away from the children, Emily stared toward Meredith, her green eyes burned with emotion. Her back straightened as her hushed words overflowed with intended harshness. “You’re
allowed to be this close to me or to her. I have a restraining order against
members of the press.”
“I know, but I’m not just the press—I’m Claire’s friend—I was”—Meredith added thoughtfully—“Please—I want the world to know the rest of their story.”
Emily leaned closer as her perturbed tone hardened. “Don’t you think
told enough? One day, I’m going to have to explain your book to her. Don’t you think you’ve done enough damage? Or maybe it’s just the money you want. I’m sure revealing more private information will sell more books.”
Meredith didn’t like Emily’s tone. Although she knew she deserved it; she wouldn’t let it stop her quest. After all, engaging Claire’s sister in any conversation was more than she’d accomplished in the past. “I hope you know this isn’t about selling books. Claire approached
with her story. We had an agreement, and I followed through. I’m not denying that her story’s made me a fortune. What do you want me to say? I’ll donate all proceeds from the rest of their story to Nichol? I’d gladly do that, but we both know she isn’t lacking for money.”