(#2) A woman dedicated to peace, and man destined for war, and a journey that will change them forever.
(#3) A woman without hope, a man determined to save his family, and a past that could forever change their future.
Keeping Secrets (#1)
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.
“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.”
“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?
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Breaking Promises (#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.
jaw tickled her forehead while his arm, draped across her legs dangling off the left side of the horse, set up a weakness in her spine that was, oddly, quite pleasurable.
When he had sat behind her on the horse, she had felt weak and confused. She had attributed it to her exhaustion and her fear. The ferry accident and the bones had wracked her more than she cared to admit. She had tried to put on a brave front, but David had seen her terror. ‘Twas why he had offered his hand each night. She had reasoned it was what a good brother would do.
But brothers did not kiss their sisters like that. She might be naïve in the ways of men and women, but she knew that much. To make matters worse, it had been warm and sweet and fiery all at the same time. She had not wanted it to end.
Mrs. Lynch had been right.
And how could his touch set her skin on fire at the same time his arms, wrapped around her like a husk around corn, take all her cares away? ‘Twas the first time she had felt truly safe since leaving Cayle Farms.
That kiss was anything but safe. It set something afire deep inside her. She was curious and terrified all at the same time.
Was that what had happened to her mother? Had she been unable to hold herself back from Amon as a young girl? Her mother had said there was more to it, that their families were opposed to a marriage, and she and Amon were feeling desperate.
And then she always ended the conversation with a warning that once you start kissing things can go so fast you end up somewhere you do and do not want to be. The few times Annie had asked for clarification, her mother quit talking.
What was somewhere like? And why, for the briefest of moments, had she been willing to go there with David Cayle?
The thought caused a quiver to her limbs.
David tightened his hold.
She wanted to jump from the horse, but she was too tired and her mind too spent. She gripped his shirt harder, the fabric bunching between her fingers.
Mercy, but that kiss was sure to be her unraveling.
Binding Fire (#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.”
“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?”
About the author:
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.