—Nine Historical Romances Grow Alongside a New Country—
Meet the faithful dreamers who helped build the foundation of the new American nation—from four brothers in Colonial Connecticut determined to make something of their lives, to a colony of Quakers in North Carolina resolute in their faith, to settlers in the northwest frontier staking their claim in hostile territory. Watch as nine romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed.
Lifting the brass knocker, Jonathan gave the door three swift raps. A moment later, the door opened, and a petite yet sturdy maiden greeted them with a warm smile that traveled from her delicately bow-shaped lips to her shining grey eyes. With her mob cap slightly askew, and several tendrils of chestnut hair escaping the confines of her single braid, she looked a great deal younger than what he presumed her age to be. The aromas of beef, baked ham, and what smelled like onion pie assailed his nostrils. His stomach rumbled in response, earning a charming giggle from the maiden before him.
Sweeping off his hat and tucking it beneath his left arm, Jonathan bowed. “Good evening, miss. My name is Captain Jonathan Ingersoll, and I command the Rivier Handelaar. The flooded river has forced us to lay anchor about two hundred yards south, and this dismal rain has us all soaked through. My crew and I would be in your debt for a hot meal, if you have it to spare.”
The young girl curtsied and swung the door open wider, gesturing with her left arm in a sweeping motion toward the main room of the inn. “Do come in, Captain Ingersoll. My name is Clara Marie Preston. My father is the proprietor. Welcome to the Higganum River Inn.”
Jonathan stepped aside and allowed the first wave of his crew to precede him inside. He glanced over their heads into the main room. They weren’t the only ones to whom this inn had beckoned in this dreary weather. His men would have to eat in shifts, and most would likely have to sleep in the hammocks below deck.
“I invite you to choose your tables from those available,” Miss Preston said once they were all inside, “and I will notify my father of your arrival.”
Jonathan touched the cuff of the maiden’s sleeve, and she paused mid-turn.
“Did you need something more, Captain?”
“Is that perhaps onion pie that I smell?”
“Yes.” Miss Preston smiled. “I baked it myself this afternoon.”
As the maiden walked away, a partial grin came to Jonathan’s lips. Based upon how the skirts of the simple dress fell around Miss Preston’s feminine curves, he’d been fairly close to the mark in his conjecture on her age. And she could bake a pie he considered his mother’s best dish. This meal just might be the next best thing to eating at the Red Griffin.
Taking a seat at the nearest table, he allowed his gaze to roam the main room. So much of the décor reminded him of the Red Griffin. Well-scrubbed floors were dotted with bright rugs. The furnishings showed obvious signs of wear, but they appeared to be good quality and well cared for. Flickering flames from the chandeliers hung from the beams above cast an ethereal glow about the room. The teasing aroma of that baking ham hung in the air. A scent like that would entice every weary traveler within ten miles to seek lodging at this establishment. If they had to be forced ashore earlier than planned, at least the resulting destination was one possessing a great deal of appeal…in more ways than one.
Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning best-selling author & speaker who has partnered with Nerium International in the whole-body anti-aging industry. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, a retriever mix named Roxie and a cattle dog named Timber. She has sold 20 books so far and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for Barbour’s Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site: www.amberstockton.com.