Sky Tinted Water
A 'Sweet' Historical Romance
Note: This is a ‘sweet’ historical romance.
Familial bonds, malevolent schemes and passion collide in this sweet historical novel. Set in Minnesota during the Civil War and the Sioux uprising, this is the story of Rory Hudson, the exquisite Irish lass with an unbreakable spirit and the enigmatic Dawson Finch, a man bound by honor, duty and loyalty.
When Dawson enlists in the army to bring peace to nation divided, Rory’s world plummets into a tailspin. War, distance and time separate them, but nothing can dispel the haunting memories of their love. Not even death can destroy their fierce passion or a love so strong it beats the odds of the impossible.
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/WqzPSx
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/WKj5lK
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/UjeU4W
Watch for the sequel SKY DANCE coming to a kindle and nook near you in March 2013
EXCERPT from Sky Tinted Water:
(Rory and her sister Isabelle attempt to help Jane deliver her firstborn)
A log cabin, illuminated by a lonely lantern in the front window, welcomed them to the Miles' homestead. Inside, Hiram ushered Isabelle and Rory into a small bed chamber. Awash with strains of amber from two night table oil lamps, Rory almost missed the frail woman in the massive four–poster bed. On the plank walls, eerie shadows chased the dim light.
Hiram knelt beside the bed and took her hand. "Jane, I brought help."
Amid a sweat–drenched face, soft brown eyes fluttered open and then closed as if the
acknowledgment had sapped her strength. Jane reminded Rory of a wounded wren, wing–clipped and left to fend for herself against a cruel world.
Isabelle advanced toward the bed and placed a palm to the woman's forehead. Her voice a whisper she didn't bother to turn around. "Jon, take Hiram into the kitchen. I'll need a large tub of hot water and strong, black coffee."
Rory sensed her sister's dismay. The coffee wasn't for Jane, or them. Isabelle wanted Hiram out of the room while she worked.
"Lass, dig through my satchel for the white willow and burdock and then search for clean linens.
Rory retrieved the medicine bag Isabelle placed on a chair upon entering the room and rifled through the contents. "Found the willow and burdock, now what?"
"There's a pitcher of water on the bureau. Pour a glass of water and add three pinches of
Rory brought the concoction to Isabelle when she completed the task. "What will this do for her?"
"Cut the fever and the pain. Help me lift her shoulders high enough to get it down her throat."
Spasms of chortled coughs followed the liquid down. Easing her down to the pillow again, Rory looked up. "I'm off to search for the linens if you can spare me."
"Go on, lass, and hurry. We don't have much time."
With an arm load of cotton sheets, Rory returned to the room to Isabelle's soft voice near the woman's ear. "Jane, can you hear me?"
Garbled words spilled forth, not one sensible.
Rory gasped. "Isabelle, blood, it's everywhere. Look at the sheets!"
Isabelle swiveled her neck toward the bed. "Dear, God."
The crimson's stains fanned out on the white sheets like ripples in the water. Rory's stomach somersaulted. "Do something . . . anything."
"I think we're too late. Her pelvis is narrow and the babe is lodged in the birth canal, probably for hours by now."
Rory hugged her elbows. "Is she going to die?"
"I have to get the baby out. If I don't act now, we'll lose them both."
Isabelle crawled onto the bed between Jane's legs and her arms disappeared beneath the linen. Mournful wails split the air in the silent room. Bile rose in Rory's throat. Until now, never in her life had she wanted to evaporate like mist. Her heart ached for Isabelle, and the woman, unable to control her gut–wrenching screams.
Jon's voice came to Rory through a tunnel. "Don't open that door, lad. They're doing everything they can to help her."
Isabelle drew in a gulp of air, pushed it from her lungs and drove in deeper. "I feel the baby's head now. I need a shoulder, an arm. Dear, God, help me."
"Is the child alive?" Rory asked over the pitiful groans from Jane's lips.
"I don't know."
The child emerged, reminding Rory of a slippery eel. "It's a boy! Is he breathing?"
"Praise the Lord, he's breathing."
Feeling faint, Rory clutched the nearest poster of the bed. Blood seeped between Jane's thighs like a scarlet river. She'd never seen so much blood. The taste of rusty metal spiraled up her nose.
"Take the baby, Rory, wrap him in something warm."
"Her face is the color of gun metal." Rory took the child with an anguished sob.
Still on her knees, Isabelle leaned over Jane's lifeless body and placed two red–stained fingers against her throat. "We lost her, lass. She's gone." Folding her hands, she said a quiet prayer, climbed from the bed and collapsed into a chair. "What will I say to Hiram?"
"You did everything you could."
"Except spare her a wretched death."
Rory took a last look at Jane. She looked serene, peaceful. If one hadn't borne witness to
what passed moments before, they might think she'd drifted off into blissful slumber. Except for the blood. "You can't bring Hiram into this room until you remove the bed linen."
Isabelle rose from the chair, her face scalded with sorrow. She removed the blood–soaked linen and replaced it with the clean sheets Rory brought into the room. "Open the door. Let him hold his son and say goodbye to his wife."
Read a chapter here: http://www.freado.com/book/14426/sky-tinted-water
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