Legacy of Lies

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Overview

What if everything you thought you knew about your family turned out to be a lie? Penelope Livingston has had an ache in her heart for twenty-five years--ever since that traumatic day she gave her baby up for adoption. Now she's trying to locate her daughter. Research uncovers a young woman named Claire who seems to be a perfect match. The two women believe it is Fate that they found each other, and they begin to forge a happy friendship. Unfortunately, only the baby's father, Larry O'Neill knows the truth--that ...
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Overview

What if everything you thought you knew about your family turned out to be a lie? Penelope Livingston has had an ache in her heart for twenty-five years--ever since that traumatic day she gave her baby up for adoption. Now she's trying to locate her daughter. Research uncovers a young woman named Claire who seems to be a perfect match. The two women believe it is Fate that they found each other, and they begin to forge a happy friendship. Unfortunately, only the baby's father, Larry O'Neill knows the truth--that he never allowed his daughter to be given up for adoption. He raised the baby himself, with the help of his babysitter, Sally, who quickly became his wife. Now how does he keep Penelope off his daughter Melody's trail, so that he can keep his family intact and himself out of jail?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593743222
  • Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Twenty-five years ago

"Go! Go faster! Oh my God, can't you push this pile of junk any faster?" When she received no reply from her friend but a harried shake of her head, Penelope Livingston pried her attention back to the matter at hand.

Her breathing.

When had a perfectly natural act like breathing become so difficult? Puffing furiously, yet rhythmically, she managed to sneak a glance down--past her engorged breasts that had been sore to touch or even brush against, for every day of the last nine months--to her ridiculously enlarged stomach. Toting that load around, like she had for as far back as recent memory allowed her, caused a certain degree of difficulty in everything.

Every little thing. Walking. Sitting. Lying down. Tying her shoes. Getting dressed. Eating. Breathing.

Cursing the huge appendage that her stomach had become, she puffed in ragged, panting breaths.

"I think you're doing that wrong, Penny," her friend Marsha, the driver, managed.

Penny looked at her from the passenger side. "What do you mean? The book said to breathe."

"Yeah, breathe, but slowly. Long, cleansing breaths, to bring air into your system and slow everything down. Not pant like a dog in the summer, desperate for a bowl of water."

"What do you know anyway? You've never been pregnant," Penny fumed. She continued panting quickly until she realized that her limbs were tingling, and she could see little fairies and stars floating in front of her eyes.

Maybe the skinny chick had a point.

With a Herculean effort, Penny stopped panting. For thirty seconds she held her breath, and then concentrated on slowly drawing air into herlungs, while absentmindedly brushing both her hands around the gargantuan lump of her stomach.

Marsha looked over from the driver's side. "That's better. Do you feel it? Is it improving?"

For a moment, it improved. Penny glanced at her friend with a look of dawning realization. And gratitude. She'd evolved. She had this childbirth thing down pat. All she had to do was relax. Breathe deeply. Calm down. And it would just happen, serenely, as it had for millions of women since the dawn of time.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" The scream was a primal outlash that was conceived in the base of her soul and expelled, unwelcome, from her mouth. "Oh my God, Marsha. It hurts so bad! The breathing ain't cutting it."

"You're in labor, Pen. I'm driving as fast as I can. Just concentrate on breathing slowly, and we'll get there soon."

In a few minutes the pain was manageable again. The deep, slow breathing helped to calm her until the next gut-wrenching cramp hit her. "How do you know so much about labor anyway?"

"I watched my sister go through it. I helped her until we got to the delivery room; then her husband went in with her."

As they passed a large blue sign with a white H, the pains returned and Penny screamed.

"We're passing a hospital, Pen! Why don't I just pull in there? Why do we have to go all the way to Chicago General?"

A tidal wave of agony warring inside Penny's midsection made it impossible to reply. She panted and moaned, and after a few minutes, she could sit up straight again and form words. "That's St. Mary's. They don't have free doctors. Only Chicago General will deliver your baby if you don't have insurance."

Marsha nodded. "It should only be a few more minutes. The good thing is, your baby decided to make its appearance in the middle of the night, and there's hardly any traffic."

Penny's stunned gaze shot to Marsha's face. Marsha looked at her, her eyebrows forming a silent question. "Baby?"

Marsha nodded and glanced back at the road.

"You said the B word, Marsha."

"Yeah, Penny. Your baby's coming today. Soon. Today's the day, pal."

Another contraction delayed Penny from thinking of the inevitability of what today would bring. But once her uterus had calmed again, Penny drifted into silence and pondered her situation.

She knew, obviously, that there was a baby in this monstrosity of a stomach. And she knew, even though she'd skipped the birth preparation classes at the hospital, that she'd be pregnant for nine months, and that she'd keep growing and growing until she looked and felt like she was a child's overgrown soap bubble, ripe for explosion.

She knew it wasn't healthy to smoke or drink during the pregnancy, so she hadn't. Much. She wasn't a smoker anyway, but occasionally she'd had a drink when life had gotten a little too tough to deal with.

She knew she should eat balanced meals, and she'd tried. As balanced as they could be, when her mother was out of the apartment before Penny even woke up, off to her first job of the day at the diner, leaving Penny to fix her own breakfast.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Great book!

    As a first time reader of Laurie Larsen's I really enjoyed this book. She has a wonderful way of telling a story and an easy, flowing, and descriptive way of writing. The book held my interest from cover to cover and I had a hard time putting it down. I will be reading more from this talented author and can't wait to start my next selection.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Laurie Larsen...one from the archives. Great Read!

    If you love Lauries recent works, Preacher Man or Casey V, take the time to pick up a copy of Legacy. Laurie has a unique voice, an illustrators wit, and the ability to weave believeable tales that engage readers, satisfying their thirst for a great story, with twists and turns, topped off with happy endings. If you have not read Lauries works- please join the hundreds of fans who enjoy her novels and anxiously await her next releases.

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