Hallelujah! SINS OF THE MOTHERS is here! Book Four in the historical Christian Texas Romance series! The first story of the next generation!
Henry and Sue's oldest daughter together, Mary Rachel is only seventeen. Propelled by blind first love, she defies her father and elopes with Caleb Wheeler.
He whisks her away to California while her daddy is off to Europe. In the gold rush days of 1851 San Francisco, the newlyweds partner with his cousin John in his dry goods business.
Unbeknownst to the young bride, her new husband sends his kissing cousin Lanelle ahead. He wants his love and his new wife’s money, too.
Betrayal and murder drive Mary, soon a young mother, to the depths of despair. But she can't go home, and hates the one man who loves her enough to cover her sins and deliver her out of the horrible pit she’s dug for herself.
Or does she?
From frontier Texas to the raw bone boomtown of the west coast, then all the way to genteel New York, Mary travels to find redemption for the sins of her mothers.
This is the one everyone's been waiting for, and all the early buzz says it's the best yet!It's different from the first three in that I venture to the Golden State where I was born in 1950--right at one hundred years after Mary Rachel Buckmeyer was there--except I was not born in the city by the bay, but a little south in Long Beach. And Debut Day for SINS OF THE MOTHER, May 3rd, just happens to be my sixty-fifth birthday, too :)
What an exciting that must have been for my young heroine, but she could never imagine how many things could and would go wrong for her.
With everyone on the porch for the clan’s sendoff, Mary Rachel decided for sure and for certain and could wait no longer. She took a deep breath and hugged his neck. “Daddy, I’m sorry. I really am, but I can’t go. No, I mean I’m not going. I can’t leave. I won’t.”
He leaned back and stared at her for too long a minute, his face suddenly stone cold. “What did you just say?”
She grimaced; steam rose to her cheeks. He softened just like he always had when her mother turned on him. Saying it aloud made it all the more real, strengthened her resolve. “I cannot be gone for seven months. I thought for a while maybe I could, but I can’t, Daddy.”
Her new mother stepped close. “But Mary Rachel, why? It’s the trip of a lifetime. I promise you’ll adore Europe.”
“It’s just Mary now, please. No Rachel. That’s what Caleb calls me.”
His voice lowered to almost a whisper, he slipped some of the steel back on. “So. This is about that boy.”
“He’s a man, Daddy, and you know it. We love each other.”
“If he loves you, baby, then he’ll wait. It’s only seven months. He should be thrilled you have this opportunity to travel Europe.”
“Well, I’ve made my decision, and I’m not going.”
“We’ve booked your passage.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner, but I knew you wouldn’t be happy about my decision.” She looked off at the tree line, hating the disappointment in his eyes. But that was a coward’s way, so she faced him again. “Like I said, I thought I could. Anyway, let Bonnie take my place.”
From somewhere, her youngest sister burst into the middle. “Can I, Daddy? Please take me! I’ll be good. Mama, tell him how good I’ll be.” She turned those doe eyes on him. “Pleeeease.”
* * * * *
Six miles, north by northwest as the turkey vultures soar from Clarksville, Texas, the very reason Mary stayed home, rode his best mule as he skidded the black walnut saw log back to his cabin. Caleb looked behind. “Slow, girl, almost there.”
He nudged the animal a bit further, the timber only feet from his makeshift hoist. Two more steps, then he eased Harley Sue to a stop. He hopped down then rubbed the old girl’s near ear. “You sure are a good mule.”
The distant rattle of trace chains turned him east, for a minute he stared, then she waved. “Well, look here what the cat drug in.”
He unhooked the skid and led Harley Sue to the barn’s corral; got back before Lanelle had the brake set on her wagon. “She go?”
He nodded. “You sure? Saw it with your own eyes?”
“Yep, he took the three younger girls, but not the princess.” She stood and threw him a smirk. “Help me down.”
“Sure.” He stepped toward her with his arms held out, she fell into them. He caught her then twirled her around as she wrapped hers around his neck. He set her feet to the ground then stepped back a bit. Business first. “Anyone see you turn on my road?”
“No, but what difference would it make? I’m only bringing supplies for my kin.”
“True, you get it all?”
“A pound of salt pork, two ounces of salt, and a pound of coffee, but you best get yourself to town. Old man Hobbs wants a word with you. Wasn’t too happy when I told him to put it on your bill ‘stead of Pappy’s.”
Caleb nodded toward his wagon. “I should have this lumber loaded by Saturday. I’ll see to him on my way to Jefferson.”
She shrugged then turned and moseyed toward the cabin. “That last batch any better?”
Heading the opposite direction to the well, he soon went to cranking; retrieved the jug, pulled the cork, and sipped a taste. When he didn’t follow, she looked around then trotted to him grinning. He extended his home brew. “You tell me.”
Always a sight to behold, she accepted the jug without an ounce of pretension. Licked her lips then took a short pull and wiped her mouth. “Boogers, Caleb.” She grinned then got herself a real drink. “Woo! I’d say that may be the best you’ve cooked yet.”
He took the jug back and sipped a few gulps more. Burned good all the way down. Replacing the cork, he nodded toward the cabin. “You got time?”
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