Shannon here: Historical romance author, Caryl McAdoo shares an excerpt from her latest release, Vow Unbroken. Comment on any post dated March 17 – 21 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: March 29th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Caryl:
Thank you for having me. I love that your guest blogs are all about love! And it’s my pleasure to share how Henry and Susannah met today. Chapter One is all from Susannah’s point of view and ends with her on her way to the Buckmeyer’s place after her best lady friend bulldozes her into asking for help. Chapter Two, from Henry’s perspective, begins with him working outside his cabin until his dog lets him know someone is coming. It eases over to his gun then is surprised to hear a woman hail the house. He calls her in and is surprised to see it’s the beautiful Widow Baylor—and in trousers of all things on Larry Dawson’s horse.
Excerpt VOW UNBROKEN; Chapter 2
“Good day, Mister Buckmeyer. I’ve come with a business proposition for you.”
Returning the musket to its rest, he caught the horse’s headstall and then offered his hand toward her. She ignored it and swung out of the saddle without benefit of stirrups.
Immodest, rude, and a bit of a show off. “Business you say?”
She dusted her hands on her pants, looked around the yard again, then faced him. “I’ll come right to the point, sir. I’m looking for some assistance and would like to speak with you about the possibility of providing the help I need.”
“I’ve got two wagons full of cotton that I must get to Jefferson. They’re already loaded and waiting.”
“Didn’t everyone leave a few days ago?”
“Yes, they did. Four days to be exact.”
“Why didn’t you go with them?”
She stiffened. “If it’s any of your business, I had my crop sold.” She looked away. “Or at least, I thought I did.” She met his eyes again. “A business man had offered four cents a pound, a fair price, but when I took my cotton in this morning for the agreed delivery, the scoundrel tried to bilk me.”
She removed her hat. “So, I’ve decided I must take my cotton to market myself. I need someone to help me haul my lint south to Jefferson where I can sell it for gold coin. I am prepared to pay you a fair wage once it’s sold, sir, if you’re up to an honest day’s work.”
He laughed. She appeared so blue at the mizzen with her chin in the air, acting all high and mighty; it didn’t much fit her asking for his help. Her face turned red, and she glared. He smiled and waved off his social gaff. “Sorry, ma’am. I didn’t mean to laugh at you, but honest work is all I know. You’ve been listening to those old busy bodies’ scuttlebutt, haven’t you?”
“Well, I, er, uh; I suppose, but I truly –”
He let the gossip monger stammer on, not offering her pride any salve. While she chattered her apologies, he considered her proposition. Could be the opportunity he’d been looking for. Maybe not the exact order he planned, but the widow definitely needed someone to go with her; she’d never get to Jefferson without help. He should be able to sell his seeds there; save him the trip to Saint Louis.
He finally interrupted her. “I’ll go on one condition, Mis’ess Baylor.”
She stopped abruptly and stared. “What did you say?”
“I said I’ll go on one condition.”
She took the haughty posture again. “And what, may I ask, is your condition, sir?”
“I get to carry my own wares along.”
She shifted her weight. “How much room would you need? My wagons are pretty well loaded.”
“I have fifty hides and over a hundred pounds of seed. Plus, fifty or so pounds of tobacco. And, of course, my own tucker.”
She looked to the side then to the ground. “Before we come to agreement, there is something I’d like to ask.”
She faced him. “Are you a believer, Mister Buckmeyer?”
“Don’t talk to me about God.”
“But why not? Mis’ess Dawson said your mother’s a devoted Christian. Didn’t she teach you from the Good Book?”
“Mother taught me to read from the Bible, ma’am.” He could hardly believe the woman’s audacity. “And she was a believer to be sure, but I wonder if you might tell me where your God was when she lay in bed for a month suffering, hurting so bad she could barely stand it?”
Sue looked around as if searching for an answer. “I’m sorry, sir, I’m certain that the Lord was right there with her.” The volume of her voice lowered. “After all, He promises never to leave or forsake us.”
He shook his head. “Sure seemed to me that He forsook my mother. Anyway, I consider the state of one’s soul a personal topic, wholly inappropriate for open scrutiny. So why do you ask anyway?”
“Sir, it’s a matter of trust. The journey will be long, and you and I will be traveling together alone. I don’t know you all that well personally and am concerned about appearances, of course, but, well, if I knew you were a Christian, I could believe you are an honorable man. Certainly, you get my gist.”
“I can assure you, ma’am.” He took his hat off and wiped his brow with the back of his hand. “On my mother’s grave, I have never acted inappropriately with any woman in my life.”
She stepped toward him and took his hand. Hers seemed so small around his. “Oh, Mr. Buckmeyer! Your mother didn’t recover? I had no idea. How could it be that I hadn’t heard a word of it? When did she –”
“Three weeks now.” He pulled his hand away. No need for her to be acting like she cared. “Don’t fuss about it, she’s gone.”
“But I do feel so bad for being ignorant of that horrible news.”
About Caryl: With nine titles released by four publishers, Caryl McAdoo now enjoys a thirty-year, overnight success with her historical Christian romance VOW UNBROKEN set in 1832 Texas from Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books. The novelist also edits, paints, and writes new songs. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the Dallas / Ft. Worth Metroplex to the woods of Red River County. For more than ten years, four grandsons have lived with Grami—as Caryl is also known—and O’Pa. The couple counts four children and fourteen grandchildren life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. She hopes that her books will minister His love, mercy, and grace to all their readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.
Learn more: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com, http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo/author, http://www.CarylMcAdoo.blogspot.com, https://plus.google.com/u/0/116386927782468472563/posts, http://www.twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo, http://www.pinterest.com/gramilady, http://www.linkedIn.com/CarylMcAdoo,https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/181587.Caryl_McAdoo, http://angiesdiary.com/texas-tender/point-view-whos-head/, http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Caryl-McAdoo/411169289, http://www.amazon.com/Caryl-McAdoo/e/B00E963CFG. Contact Caryl: email@example.com, ComeVisit@CarylMcadoo.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the book – Vow Unbroken: A spunky young widow hires a veteran with a bad reputation to help her get her cotton to market in Jefferson, and sparks fly—but can she marry a man without the blessing of her estranged father?
Susannah Baylor believes her cotton crop is sold to a local business mand and waves goodbye to her neighbors’ wagon train. Four days later, the charlatan buyer tries to bilk her offering only half what he originally agreed to pay. Left with few choices, she reluctantly hires Henry Buckmeyer to help get both her wagons along the Jefferson Trace, the hard trail between her Northeast Texas farm and the cotton buyers at the port. It won’t matter that it’s her best crop ever if she doesn’t get a good price; she’ll be forced to sell off the land her husband and his brother left to her and the children.
Henry’s reputation as a drunken lay-about is well known, and she’s prepared for insolence, but not for his irresistible good looks or gentle manner. Romance soon entwines her heart with his, but she’s made a vow to marry only with her father’s blessing, and learning Henry doesn’t really know God further complicates everything. Plenty of dangers arise on the trace—but none so difficult as the desires of her heart.
Will love overcome all? Can she get her crop safely to market and sell it for enough? In this heartening and adventurous tale, Susannah’s family, fortitude, and faith are put to the ultimate test.
Come back March 24th for Vannetta Chapman!