Mary Ellen Taylor’s southern family has always enjoyed tall tales and good yarns. Early on, Mary Ellen realized that Story had tremendous power to inspire laughter, love, sorrow and even fear. It didn’t matter if the tales were found in the pages of a book, spoken in hushed tones around a campfire, or shared at an old-fashioned southern family reunion, stories created connections.
This appreciation of story motivated Mary Ellen to earn an English degree from Virginia’s Hollins University. After a decade of working in marketing and sales, Mary Ellen became convinced she could write and sell one of the many stories swirling in her head. Fingers crossed, Mary Ellen left the marketing profession and devoted all her spare time to writing a novel.
Under the name Mary Burton, she has written twelve historical romances for Harlequin Historicals, four short romantic suspenses for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and now writes single title suspense novels for Kensington. Mary Burton is a 2005 RITA Finalist (Short Historical) and a 2006 nominee the Romantic Times’ Critics Choice Award.
Mary Ellen is an avid baker who spends many afternoons testing and tweaking recipes. She resides in Virginia where she enjoys yoga, hiking and her two miniature dachshunds, Buddy and Bella.
A gripping novel about family secrets…and coming home for the first time.
Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.
Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.
Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.
The author of The Union Street Bakery and At the Corner of King Street returns to Alexandria, Virginia, with a heartfelt tale of reconnection.
Rae McDonald was fifteen when a car accident took her sister’s life and threw her own into reckless turmoil. When she got pregnant a year later, she found a loving couple to adopt the child. Since then, she’s buried her grief and guilt under a heart of stone.
Lisa Smyth survived the fateful crash, but never told the truth about what happened. And when a family obligation draws her back to Alexandria, the weight of Lisa’s guilt grows heavier by the day.
As both women confront a past refusing to be forgotten, long-buried artifacts are discovered by the Shire Architectural Salvage Company that point to a shared history between families. Now, Rae and Lisa must finally ask themselves if denying the past is worth sacrificing the future.
Daisy McCrae knows that change can be sudden?and devastating. And while it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, change has the power to turn your whole world upside down....
Running the family bakery and living in the store’s attic might not be Daisy’s dream life, but she’s beginning to understand what being content feels like. And then she gets some unexpected news. In one moment, Daisy’s calm existence turns into chaos. Now she’s struggling to keep it together, especially with renovations at the bakery spiraling out of control.
But when a box of recipes and mementos is found hidden behind a wall in the bakery, Daisy suddenly has something to cling to?a mystery that echoes her own troubles and gives her the opportunity to figure out what she really wants out of life....
Life can turn on a dime. It’s a common cliché, and I’d heard it often enough. People die or move away. Investments go south. Affairs end. Loved ones betray us...Stuff happens.
Daisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.
Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.
What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life, and a chance to begin again with the courage and desire she thought she lost for good.