Shannon here: Historical Romance author, Darlene Franklin shares an excerpt from her latest release Love’s Glory, one of five books included in Lawmen and the Lawless: Five Texas Couples Find Love. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: May 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Darlene:
Abilene, Texas, May, 1919
Alfred, one of the new flying aces, was finally coming home from the war in Europe. Beth Smith waited at the edge of the airstrip with her friend Agnes Collins, Alfred’s twin sister.
Compared to the crowd that welcomed home the doughboys after Armistice Day late last year, the waiting crowd was small. Only about twenty-five people peppered the air strip, prepared to greet Alfred and his best friend Smitty, both flying aces shot down over Germany toward the end of the war. She had never met either of them, but she shared in the Collins’s excitement.
Beth and Agnes wore matching outfits of white shirtwaists tucked into blue serge skirts and red satin sashes across their shoulders to complete the patriotic colors. Mr. Collins held a flag aloft, a brisk wind making the thirteen stripes and forty-eight stars ripple like clouds crossing the sky.
Everyone trained their eyes on the sky, each hoping to be the first to catch sight of the Curtiss flying boat that had helped the United States bring home the victory and end the awful war.
A tiny black speck appeared in the sky, and Beth’s hand flew to her mouth. The crowd hushed as they spotted the aeroplane and heard the buzz of an oversized hornet sailing through the sky.
“I see ‘em!” Agnes’s youngest brother voice was filled with excitement and awe. Beth tipped her head back until she could make out two shapes inside the flying machine that looked so unlikely to stay in the sky. She feared flying as much as her childhood friend Garan had wanted to escape to the skies. He’d enlisted, then disappeared, presumed dead. Beth blinked back the tears that threatened to ruin this special day. When she opened her eyes again, the two heads appeared closer. Lifting her toddler into her arms, she waved at the skies. “Look at the aeroplane, Dottie.”
With all the head gear on the two men in the aeroplane, no one could make out their features. A long scarf flew behind the neck of the man in front. The United States flag decorated the tail.
The aeroplane swooshed above the trees. The man in the back seat waved and shouted, his words unheard over the roar of the engine. They went higher and higher, making an arc until they hung upside down before soaring down to complete the circle.
Beth had barely regained her breath when the aeroplane pulled out of the loop and landed gently. Agnes and her family rushed forward to greet Alfred as he climbed down from the back seat. When Beth hung back to give them privacy, Agnes called her forward.
Beth turned to the older woman beside her. “Will you watch Dottie, keep her away from the planes?” At her nod, Beth headed to join the family.
As she walked across the tarmac, the pilot climbed out. Imposing at six feet tall, he looked like someone she should recognize. He looked like. . .but he couldn’t be. . .
He whipped the goggles and hat off his head, as shocked to see her as she was to see him. “Guten morgen, Elsbeth Koch. I didn’t expect to see you here.”
About Darlene: Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over fifty books and more than 250 devotionals. Learn more and connect:
About the book: Take a trip to a time when the west was truly wild, where all roads and people crossed the Lone Star State, the proudest of them all. Lawmen and the lawless fought for the upper hand–and love–in these five stories.
When one extreme meets the other, only God’s intervention can smooth the path to true love for these five couples.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Purchase now: Lawmen and the Lawless
Question for Readers: Have you ever flown? If so, do you like it? If not, why?
Come back April 28th for Morgan Busse!