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Minden Springs Series Book One
Fleeing hazardous circumstances in New Orleans, Lilly Quinn arrives in hardscrabble Minden Springs, a thrown-together town on the dry prairie of 1870’s Kansas. She plans to continue her journey onward to San Francisco, but her chance sighting of Barnett Swan, the only lawman for miles around, gives her pause. She chooses to remain, at least for the time being.
As Lilly says, “It was only the shortest of encounters, perhaps a minute, but on that much alone, I made the rash decision to retrieve my carpetbag from the stage and extend my stay in this dismal place. That marshal seemed worth investigating.”
Little does she know that the choice will determine the entire future course of her life.
In 1939, Sarah Fischer writes the story of her life. Well into her eighties, widowed, and living with her older daughter, she recalls childhood, as the youngest of eight siblings born to Scotch-Irish immigrant parents. She tells of life in the grand city of Philadelphia, the family dwelling in a tiny rowhouse. The years there bring simple joys and unspeakable tragedies, but Sarah learns from her mother and older sisters the means of clasping to faith and remaining strong.
As a grandmother might gently chat on a summer’s evening, Sarah holds forth with her readers. In her steady, assured voice, she ponders the many transformations that she has witnessed through eight decades of living, and offers her well-considered opinions about the way things are in her present day, the way things were in the past and, had she conducted herself differently, what might have been.
"The farther I walked, the more Audelia was like a ghost town. I sensed a certain fear at every bump in the sidewalk and that fear seemed to snake everywhere, inside and out, as though it was a living creature. I decided Mama's admonition about the face mask might be wise counsel after all and kept it on."
In the fall of 1918, twelve-year-old Stella McFeeters lives in the Texas town of Audelia. The Great War in Europe is winding down, but soon the lives of Stella, her family, and her friends will be shattered by the worst influenza outbreak in history. Stella must shoulder duties far beyond her years and come to grips with the devastation influenza leaves behind.
"Dad carried on with his exposition, gripped the steering wheel with one hand and gestured with the other. 'Materials for the concrete are ready and everything's on track for the foundation. That's the most important part of the house. If you don't build a proper plumb foundation, you might as well not bother, and Jackie, sit down! Walter, grab your brother!' "
The summer of 1924, George Sparks builds his dream house in Pepperville, Texas. Thus begins the saga of this special house and its many inhabitants. The story spans nine decades, as the house survives through acts of nature, family feuds, illnesses, deaths, and a succession of owners who all leave their distinctive marks.
"Lord knows how we stayed friends. We were about as alike as a porcupine and a hummingbird. Frances had a pleasant enough face, but the rest of her was plain ragamuffin. . . I was quiet. Frances was loud. I was easy to please. Frances was particular. I was the leisurely pony ride. Frances was the barreling freight train."
Short stories covering the twentieth century from the 1920's to the 1970's and presenting such diverse characters as young flappers, old spinsters, a lonely boy, an overly busy housewife, college students, and a ringleader of neighborhood kids whose mind is too creative for her own good.
Minden Springs Series, Book Two
New Orleans, spring, 1905. A year after Lilly Quinn's demise, Abigail Thibodeaux continues to mourn the loss of her good friend. She works at the candy shop ner the Vieux Carre, reads dime novels, and expects always to live in her house on Prytania Street.
But a special package arrives for Abigail and shakes the young woman to her core. In short order, she leaves New Orleans and embarks on the boldest risk of her life, the long trek on the train to Minden Springs, Kansas.
You Can Call Me Glory is an action-filled novel about the turn of the last century, as the Old West fades and the modern era begins. Join Abigail in a journey of self-discovery that will bring her changes to last a lifetime.
Minden Springs Series, Book Three
For over twenty years, Jessie Reed and her husband Amos have enjoyed a good life running a successful farm. Then, in an instant, their days together are swept away. Jessie must build a new existence, although she has no idea what that might be.
Longtime friend Strat encourages her to take leave of the farm for a while and she travels back to Minden Springs.
What will she find there that will truly transform, not only her current perspective, but perhaps her entire life? Jessie is soon to find out. . .