Doing what’s right in the face of danger

I wrote CONVICTION OF THE HEART several years ago, its story of single-mom attorney Suzanne Taylor very close to my own. I, too, had been a single mother with two teenaged girls, practicing law in Pennsylvania, and I found myself at odds with the husbands of some of my clients. I’d been shot at in Florida, when practicing there. There’s a bullet hole in the front window of my house here, where my office is also located.

Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t safe. But that doesn’t mean you don’t do it.


Suzanne considered the best way to approach the councilman’s wife. “Maddie, tell me about the last violent incident, the one where your daughter was injured.”

            The woman haltingly went through the event, how Gregory had come home late from work one afternoon, found the children’s toys in his recliner, and exploded into a rage, throwing the children like stuffed animals, beating Maddie with both sides of his hands.  The stories reminded Suzanne of many others she’d heard about batterers. The way Maddie presented it, with the constant small excuses, such as “I know I should have picked up the toys before he came home,” placing the blame on herself, rang true. But this man’s short fuse seemed shorter than most. He didn’t restrain himself to avoid legal consequences, which puzzled Suzanne, considering his stature in the community.

            Batterers often understood the letter of the law and governed themselves accordingly. They could verbally abuse as much as they wanted. As long as they didn’t leave marks, they could physically abuse as well, because without medical evidence, the court judged one spouse’s word against the other. Even if they left bruises, by reminding the dependent spouse who controlled the financial lifelines, the harsh reality hit—no other option but to stay.

            Perhaps Greg Morgan believed he was invincible. If she remembered correctly, Morgan was part of a larger family entity that reached out to charities in the community. Morgan benevolence included a scholarship for minority youth, substantial contributions to United Way and other local causes, and big donations to the ‘right’ political campaigns as well.

            It would be hard to convince the court Greg Morgan’s public mask hid an evil underlining.

            But this man had callously broken his child’s arm. He had to be stopped.


Suzanne is threatened by the wealthy councilman husband of her client, but she continues the fight for safety for Maddie and her children. Even when he comes after Suzanne’s own children. Fortunately, she’s just started a relationship with Pittsburgh police lieutenant Nick Sansone, giving her some much-needed backup. Nick’s the kind of man who won’t let anything–and I mean anything–happen to the ones he loves.

Here’s the blurb:

Family law attorney Suzanne Taylor understands her clients’ problems–her own husband left her with two babies to raise alone. Now that they’re teenagers, her life is full. The last thing she wants is the romantic attentions of a police lieutenant, no matter how good-looking.

Lt. Nick Sansone is juggling the demands of a new promotion and doesn’t need complications either. But when he sends a councilman’s battered wife to Suzanne for help, he realizes he wants to connect with the lovely, prickly lawyer on more than a professional level.

They are soon confronted with a different battle when the abused woman’s husband threatens retribution. The powerful, well-connected councilman can damage both their careers–not to mention hurt those they love. Can they bend enough to admit they need each other in a time of crisis? Or will a husband’s revenge take them down before they ever get a chance?

Book two of the series

Book two of the series

Buy it for your Kindle here            or in paperback here,  from the Wild Rose Press. Find out more at my website about this and the other books of the Pittsburgh Lady lawyers series. See the book trailer–

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