Shannon here: Historical romance author, Darlene Franklin shares an excerpt from her latest novella, Infusion of Love. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Feb 27th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’ s Darlene:
Mahala Stout and Jothan Kent have known each other all their lives. But their childhood friendship has faded in the light of two growing problems.
One is Mahala’s wealthy status and Jothan’s working class income. Can she make the transition?
The other issue threatens to tear the town of Greenwich apart: tea. Mahala enjoys her morning tea—and can afford it. Jothan’s family has switched to herbal infusions. He doesn’t know if he can protect her from the building confrontation.
This first page takes place at the wedding of Mahala’s brother to Jothan’s sister.
Excerpt from Infusion of Love:
Greenwich, New Jersey, December 1774
“ ‘Charity vaunteth not itself.’ Your love does not depend on the size of the house or how many outfits you have to wear.” Reverend Jay, pastor of the First Church of Greenwich, continued preaching through 1 Corinthians 13 for the wedding sermon. A small group of close friends and family sat in the Stouts’ parlor for the ceremony.
Mahala Kent held back a smile from her spot by the bride’s side. Those were brave words to say at a wedding of the heir to the wealthiest man in town. Their preacher’s neutral stance on the recent tea troubles didn’t stem from a lack of courage.
Primrose only had eyes for Mahala’s brother, Archie, only. She radiated happiness in her new dress made of green wool. If. No, when—Mahala told herself firmly—her time came, she would prefer brocade. A pale peach or beige would complement her dark hair.
The affianced couple bent their heads toward each other as they listened to the sermon. On Archie’s other side stood Primrose’s brother Jothan. A small smile lit his lips and he wiggled his fingers at Mahala. She almost giggled.
He had a habit of getting her into trouble, although he hadn’t done that for a while. With all the arguments about the Stamp Act, solemn lines on his face had replaced the kindly expression of her childhood friend.
“‘Charity beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’”
How could a bachelor like St. Paul write such perfect words about love? What would Johan say to that question? He could debate anything. When she glanced at him, his eyes had fixed out the window, as if bored with the ceremony.
Or thinking about the tea shipment sitting in a storehouse in Greenwich’s Market Square. Mahala pushed that thought away. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Life in Greenwich was pleasant, and her days were full. She prayed it would stay that way.
Only Reverend Jay could make such beautiful words sound boring. As a child, she’d escaped long sermons by crawling under the pews. That was another prank Jothan goaded her into doing. Now they were grown. While Primrose and Archie had grown closer together, Jothan and Mahala had drifted apart.
Her nose itched. If this sermon lasted much longer, she’d give in to the temptation to scratch it and shame her mother. Jothan winked, as if he had noticed her nose twitching. Mahala turned her head aside to keep from laughing or, even worse, sneezing.
At last they reached the exchange of vows. “Do you promise to love, cherish, and obey?” Obey. Mahala didn’t like that word. Yes, a wife should submit to her husband, but obey made it sound like she was still a child. But when her time came, she would make the same promise with all her heart. When God brought the right man into her life.
The thought made her look at Jothan again. This time he was smiling at her. Why did she keep thinking about him? He wasn’t the only eligible bachelor in Greenwich.
About Darlene: Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. 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. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. Learn more and connect: Darlene’s Website Darlene’s Facebook
About the novella – Infusion of Love: When Mahala Kent’s tea party honoring her brother’s marriage turns into a brawl over tea, she’s forced out of her wealthy neutrality. A public debate on the subject pushes her even closer to her childhood friend and hoped-for suitor, Jothan Stout. Will the arrival of a tea shipment in Greenwich push Jothan and Mahala further apart—or give them a common taste for herbal infusions?
Question for Readers: What’s your favorite tea flavor? And how do you like it served – hot, iced, sweet, unsweet. . ?
Come back Feb 18th for Becky Lyles!