Children of the Light Series Book 1
by Donna Hechler Porter
Genre: Historical Romance
A woman with a past, a man determined to uncover the truth, and a secret that could tear them apart forever.
A Grieving Husband: Amon Cayle needs a seamstress. He has spent the last year rebuilding his life after the tragic death of his wife in a kitchen fire, the same fire that nearly took the life of his eldest son as well. The business of grieving their loss, as well as the work of his tobacco plantation, has caused him to neglect the simplest of tasks. His family now needs clothes and despite his dislike for Mary McKechnie, and their shared past, he offers her the job.
A Desperate Mother: Mary McKechnie needs a job. Her brother has threatened to take her daughters and place them into indentured service if she can’t provide for them. He hasn’t made it any easier by insisting she work only for fellow Friends. When Amon Cayle offers her a job, she has little choice but to accept.
A Devastating Secret: The last time Amon spoke with Mary, after she walked away from him into the arms of another man over twenty years ago, she assured him she was not keeping secrets. He didn’t believe her then, and he doesn’t believe her now. While she is working for him, he is determined to find answers. She is just as determined to not give them.
Will Mary be able to save Amon from the past? Or will his love threaten to destroy them both?
Keeping Secrets is the first book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and 1750s colonial Virginia, on the cusp of the French and Indian War, provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Fans of series books will enjoy this series of faith, love, and redemption.
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“I do not do business with outsiders.” He let go of her arm as if he had been stung. “I am not an outsider.” “I cannot do business with wayward Friends either.” “Oh.” He drew the word out. “How strange. I do not feel lost.” She reddened. “Sister Mary, do you know what it cost me, personally, to come and ask thee to do them?” Her throat tightened. What it cost him? Did he ever think of the humiliation it had cost her to listen to him request her to be a seamstress for his family? Every time I see thee, it costs a part of me. “’Tis just a job. You can find someone else.” The deep furrow next to the man’s mouth twitched. He yanked the hat from his head. His fingers bent the straw to his will. The crunch grated into her ears. “I will start cutting tobacco next week. I have to start work on the kitchen soon. I do not have time to find another seamstress. Surely we can work out something.” “I do not think so.” “I am seeking restitution. It will be handled at the next monthly meeting.” “Is your daughter?” “No, she is not.” His chiseled chin jutted forward. “If you will not work for her, will you at least do the work for the rest of us?” “No. I think it would be best if you found someone else.” “I have not the time.” “Abigail has been gone for almost a year. You are the one who has not hired a seamstress.” “I have been busy.” “’Twas not busy. ‘Twas neglectful.” “You can talk to me about neglect when your wife dies.” Mary’s eyes widened. “I mean husband,” he quipped. It took him a minute to realize his mistake. Then, his face reddened. He shot her a shy smile. Their eyes locked. Her heart slammed against her throat. “Please, Mary. I need a seamstress, and I know you need the work.” He had dropped the formal address of Sister. That, combined with the smile, was shattering. She lowered her gaze. The dark curly chest hair waved at her from between the folds of the loosened cravat. That was no better. She took in a deep breath to still her nerves. “I would very much like to, but I just cannot.” She spun around before he could launch another protest. She would have done almost anything at that moment to see that smile on a regular basis. But, she could not lose her girls. And it should have been of little consequence other than the loss of the money. It was just a job she could not do. Amon Cayle was simply an employer she could not work for. So why did she feel as if a piece of her heart had been cut out?
Children of the Light Series Book 2
A woman dedicated to peace, and man destined for war, and a journey that will change them forever.
A Haunted Young Woman
Annie McKechnie is desperate to go to the backcountry to her twin sister, Katie McKechnie Sawyer. She is convinced doing so is the only way to end the dreams that haunt her nights and follow her days. The one man who can help her find peace is David Cayle, and she hates him for it.
A Devoted Son
David Cayle, back from a tour of duty with the Virginia militia, is determined to mend the breach he created his with father. Taking the man into the backcountry to rescue his wayward sister, however, was not what he had in mind. Annie’s insistence on going makes matters worse, until it becomes obvious that leaving her behind is more dangerous than taking her along. Or is it?
A Harrowing Journey
A young nation fights for its destiny, and the backcountry is no place for the faint of heart. Only the stoutest souls and strongest minds endure.
But can David keep his promises? And what secrets is Annie still keeping?
Breaking Promises is the second book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and 1750s colonial Virginia, on the cusp of the French and Indian War, provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Fans of series books will enjoy this series of faith, love, and redemption.
Annie curled her fingers around the bills only because she did not want them fluttering to the ground. What could she do to convince him to take her along? She was desperate to get to Katie. Almost as desperate as she was to stop the . . . No. Not here. Not now. She shoved the money into the slit at the side of her skirt and forced the bills into the pocket at her waist. Where was the fear coming from? David tapped his index finger against her temple. “You are a few tobacco leaves short of a full hogshead.” She swiped at his hand again, this time catching it and flinging it aside. He laughed. Where was the David Cayle she grew up with? This one had cheeks chiseling into a man’s face, and his eyes, today beneath the nappy straw hat, swished between the color of summer blueberries one minute and boysenberry black the next. He has left home a boy and has come back from the militia a man. They were Gran’s words, and they had wracked Annie’s nerves. Was it the man in him that had become so hard and unbending? If so, she much preferred the boy. The heavy fog was coming, pressing her into the ground. She gasped for air. Why could she not control it? Why could she not will it away? “Annie?” His face shifted from irritated to concerned. She could not stand that either. “Are you sick? Is the heat getting to you?” She reached for her temple. “I am just tired. My sleep has not been good.” Not good? She had hardly had any at all in the past two months. “Do you want me to help you to the house?” “No.” The last thing she needed was for David Cayle to know anything was wrong other than her desire to get to Katie. No matter how painful their past, he would never let her carry the burden alone, and too many troubles came along when they shared things. She twirled around and picked up her pace, determined to outrun the fear. As usual, it followed her like a demon after a lost soul.
Children of Light Series Book 3
A woman without hope, a man determined to save his family, and a past that could forever change their future.
An Estranged Husband
David Cayle wants nothing to do with his wife. He may have broken promises, but she kept secrets. Important ones. His only hope to mend his shattered self is to start over in the backcountry far away from her and Cayle Farms. But walking away from her is not as easy as he thought, for she is not done with her secrets, and this one will change his life forever.
A Frightened Mother
Annie Cayle faces an unknown future. Despite her last days at Cayle Farms and the danger she left behind, she is desperate to return home. When David Cayle arrives unexpectedly in Richmond, she asks him to change his plans for the sake of her unborn child. But home is not safe, and neither is David Cayle.
A Child that Binds
With their friendship torn apart, and their marriage shattered beyond repair, David and Annie must forge a new destiny for the sake of their child. But when old enemies exact revenge they are forced to confront past secrets and broken promises.
But can David face his deepest fears to save his wife? Or, in the end, will the past destroy them both?
Binding Fire is the third book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and 1750s colonial Virginia, on the cusp of the French and Indian War, provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Fans of series books will enjoy this series of faith, love, and redemption.
Before her, the sign for Campbell’s Millinery swayed. And below it, at the bottom of the staircase leading to her room, sat David Cayle. An angry redness rimmed his cobalt eyes. His mouth pinched tighter than a corset. He stood. His gaze fell to her belly and froze. Annie pulled her worn navy cloak closer to hide the bulge. “I will take you home,” he said. Her breath caught. His was thick with rum. Was he drunk? And when had the man taken to imbibing spirits? She was desperate to see her mother. She was frightened as to how this birthing would go for her. But perhaps asking David to take her had not been a good idea. He twisted his mouth in frustration. “You said you wished to leave here.” “I do.” “Then why do you now hesitate?” A tight band circled her head. She could refuse to leave, but this was his child. She knew he would never turn from it. “You can go upstairs and start packing my things,” she said. “I will go to the Campbells and quit, and I will then join you.” She headed into the dark chill of the alley. He pulled up beside her. She stopped. “What are you doing?” “Going with you.” Her spine snagged tight. His fury would know no bounds if he found out how she had gotten the job. The child somersaulted, then kicked her ribs. She sucked in a tight breath. “Annie Cayle, what are you not telling me?” She stepped back from the black fury of his eyes. Her back hit the wooden piers supporting the stairs. She should never have left her pew that morning to follow him. All she had wanted was to go home and to her mother. She had assumed, because of their childhood friendship and the babe they now shared, David would take her willingly. But she now realized she had remembered the good in David Cayle and she had forgotten the bad. And his bad was about to get a whole lot worse. Annie braced herself against the rage that was to come. He stepped closer. She had nowhere to go. She grabbed the wooden pier at her back. “What, Annie, are you not telling me?”
Donna Hechler Porter graduated from Texas A & M University with a B.S. in Education. After many years of teaching, she now homeschools her twin sons and is active in her local homeschool group. Her first foray into fiction, her "Children of the Light Trilogy," has already won numerous awards. She is a member of Romance Writer's of America, as well as the subchapters Hearts Through History and Northwest Houston's Lonestar Chapter. In addition to fiction, she has published five genealogy books and a short biography on her struggles with hypothyroidism titled "Will Someone Please Shoot the Cuckoo?" She is currently working on her fourth novel. You can visit her at her website/blog at donnahechlerporterbooks.wordpress.com.
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