Megan Palmer is a fighter, although she’s never considered herself one. She simply sets a goal and works to achieve it. It’s been the pattern of her life, and she doesn’t see it changing anytime soon. She’s now a widow with children to raise, and she’s simply trying to put one foot in front of the other to achieve a lifetime goal.

She wants her children to have a simpler life. She knows it exists – she had a taste of it herself when she was young. She’s already tossed away a high-profile career for marriage, security, and family and now, she’s throwing in the towel again. She’s done with being in a crowded city and is heading for a small town in Texas Hill Country. Megan wants an uncomplicated lifestyle, where neighbors not only know one another, but care about each other.

Promise, her new town, isn’t so promising at first, but time and good neighbors begin to make her dream into a reality. A handsome Pastor next door with a few problems of his own is going to cause her a few new problems, but he is also going to teach her the true values she’s been searching for.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary, small-town romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, sensual scenes, and power exchange.


Megan felt her heart swell as she steered the van closer to the sidewalk, slowly driving down the street where no two houses were alike. The front yards were small, but Megan remembered the backyards as being large and fenced.

She turned into the driveway of all 112 Duvall Avenue, smiling with relief. Her eyes welled as she held back tears. She wouldn’t cry. These were tears of happiness, but the Ts associated all of her tears with the loss of their father.

Aunt Callie’s house was a Victorian, a description Megan had not known as a child. It was a masterpiece of eighteenth-century architecture, standing three stories high with a turret. Scalloped shingles decorated the steeply pitched gabled slate roof. A front porch wrapped across the front and around both sides of the house, and a stately balcony, the width of the front entrance, graced the second floor. Elaborate gingerbread adorned each eave. Wooden rosettes connected swags of hand-carved greenery on the flat fascia boards around the porch and under the stained glass and etched windows. The porch itself was nearly as wide as the townhouse they had left behind.

Her memories of Promise were of this grand house and living with Aunt Callie. Those memories were visceral. She could almost smell the cookies baking and feel Callie’s loving touches as she braided Megan’s hair, or tucked her unruly curls behind her ears.

Author Bio

Who am I? Mariella Starr is a pseudonym. If you’ve read some of my books, hopefully you’re a fan. If you aren’t yet– welcome to my world.

I have a sign on my office door that says:

      “I know I’m in my own little world,

      but they know me here.”

All the people, storylines, and on-going soap opera’s that have been in my head all my life, are finding a home on written pages. I can’t read a book, or watch a movie without mentally changing the ending, or a plot line. I don’t mess with some of my favorite authors—they are that good—but most of the time I do.

When my characters come to me sometimes they roll out with the details of their appearances, and their personalities formed. Other times I’ll change a name several times before it feels right for that character. Plot lines can come quickly, or they can be a royal pain, and insufferably slow, but eventually my characters will tell their stories.

I do the best I can, and I’m usually satisfied with the results. Then I’m off to meet new characters.

I have fit into an early retirement joyfully, although I’m still a workaholic. Some of my friends say I get more done before seven a.m. than they do all day, but that’s how I’m built. I enjoy writing, sculpting, and painting, but there is nothing is leisurely about how I approach them. The only time I’m casual is when I’m traveling on vacations. Then, it’s my husband’s job to keep me occupied, by visiting museums, ghost towns, antique shops, and old historic sites.

New avenues of interest will always be open, and I look forward to them. Life is good and we are living it to the fullest. I also love receiving e-mail from readers and can be contacted at