Chapter One: Innocence and Friendship
Eliza Margaret Williams clung tightly to her horse, Rainbow, as they galloped down the dusty little path behind her family’s ranch. Her wiry hands held the reins with all their might, and she lifted herself out of the saddle as she raced forward.
“C’mon, Rainbow!” Eliza cried, looking back at her pursuer anxiously.
Her muscles were taut as she braced herself tightly. A bend in the road came up suddenly, but Eliza was an experienced rider. Her daddy always said that she was born in a saddle. She leaned to the opposite side as Rainbow took the turn.
All around her, the sun shone down over the vast open plain. The ranch became ever more distant as she urged Rainbow forward. A heavy feeling weighed on her heart as she thought about the ranch.
At only ten years old, Eliza was small for her age, but she made up for it in spirit. She ran faster than all the boys her age and could work harder than them too. Eliza had an innate need to prove herself to everyone around her.
“Look at me!” She wanted to shout. “Look what I can do!”
The only time she ever felt like she could be herself when she was on top of Rainbow, exploring the great plains beyond the oppressive ranch environment. Her daddy said that she had to be careful out there, but Eliza knew something he didn’t. The plains were endlessly exciting, and the terrain had welcomed her like a friend. She belonged out there. She had to be more careful when she was on the ranch.
The ranch was always teeming with activity, and it was easy for someone like Eliza to get in the way. All she wanted to do was help, but people didn’t see it that way. They were always snapping at her to get out from underfoot and her mother was determined to turn her into a stiff, cultured lady.
Eliza shook her head firmly and focused on the path in front of her. All that mattered was getting away. Those moments on the plains were what she lived for. Her mother would be furious if she found out that Eliza had snuck away to ride.
Up ahead, she spotted her destination. A cluster of narrow leaf cottonwood trees just behind the hill that overlooked the Williams’ and Bennett’s ranches. She looked back breathlessly and spotted her pursuer at least a few feet behind her.
A majestic mountain range rose up behind them, so far in the distance that they appeared to be black and blue with white snow on top. A cold breeze swept through the lonely plains, and Eliza was glad that she was wearing her thick woolen jersey. Her mother always forced her to wear linen dresses and starched white aprons, but when Eliza snuck out to play, she changed into a pair of hand-me-down overalls that she had stolen from her youngest brother’s closet. He never even knew it went missing. She had three older brothers, and they swung between ignoring her existence and teasing her.
Eliza’s chestnut colored hair whipped over her face, and she wanted to let out a triumphant cry. Unfortunately, she should have been paying attention to what was going on in front of her. If she had, she would’ve seen the branch of a tree hanging over the path as if it was reaching something. The branch caught her hair and Eliza was yanked painfully from her saddle. She hit the ground hard, and rolled for a few feet, the gravel on the road digging into her back.
Eliza lay there for a few seconds, staring at the bright blue sky in shock. As soon as she could gather her wits, she jumped to her feet and watched as Samuel Bennett, only a year older, raced past her.
“Aw shucks!” Eliza cried out in disappointment.
Rainbow, who finally realized that she no longer had a rider, was standing a few feet away, munching happily on a scraggly little bush. Eliza ran up to Rainbow and lifted herself onto the horse’s back. It was too late. Samuel was already at the cluster of trees that was their agreed upon finishing line.
“This ain’t half fair,” Eliza muttered to herself as she nudged Rainbow into a trot. Her body ached, but that was nothing compared to the sting of losing the race. It was her race, she had had him dead to rights, but now she was the loser.
When she finally got to the trees, Samuel was waiting for her with a wide grin that she wanted to smack right off his face.
“I want a rematch,” she announced. “Ain’t my fault I got knocked off my horse.”
“Only a sore loser blames everyone around him,” Samuel said sagely, sticking his skinny chest out proudly.
“Ah, shut your big bazoo,” Eliza grumbled, crossing her arms over her chest.
Her hair was hanging in her face, and she pushed it away in irritation. If it was up to her, she would have cut it short like her brothers a long time ago. However, her mama strictly forbade Eliza from cutting her hair at all. Apparently, it wasn’t ladylike. Not that Eliza gave a hoot over what was ladylike and what wasn’t. It wasn’t fair that her brothers got to live life how they wanted but she had to live according to an endless set of nonsensical rules.
“C’mon, Lady,” Samuel said, holding his dirty palm out for his prize.
Eliza scowled at him. She hated it when he called her that. Their wager was that whoever won the race would get the other’s meager weekly allowance. Eliza only got a few cents a week for completing chores, and she was saving up for the next time they went into town. She reluctantly pulled her allowance, which had been given to her just that morning, and dropped it into his palm.
“Let’s race again,” Eliza pleaded. “All or nothing? I still have some savings left over.”
Samuel hesitated. He looked back at the ranch with a furrowed brow. Unlike Eliza who had three older brothers, Samuel was an only child. His mother was extremely protective of him, and his father needed his help on the ranch.
While the Bennett’s and the Williams helped each other where they could, there was still a lot of work that needed to be done. Like Eliza, Samuel had a lot more expectations to deal with than Eliza’s brothers did. Their friendship stemmed from a mutual understanding of each other’s circumstances.
Since their houses were within a hundred feet of each other, they were always together. In fact, when Eliza opened her window in the morning, she could see all the way to Samuel’s room.
“I don’t know, Lady,” Samuel said, scratching the back of his head. “It don’t feel right takin’ all your money like that. Maybe we should give it a rest for today.”
“As if,” Eliza scoffed. “The only reason you won now was because I fell off Rainbow. You know I’d beat you in a fair race.”
The taunt worked and a dark cloud passed over Samuel’s face. “You don’t know that!”
She knew exactly how to push his buttons. Samuel was her best friend, and she knew him better than anyone. Since he was smaller and skinnier than all the other boys, they tended to treat him the same way they treated Eliza. They both had a burning need to prove to everyone around them that they were capable.
“I do,” Eliza said, holding her reins at the ready. “We both know I’m the fastest rider between us.”
Samuel shook his head at her. His black curly hair hung in front of his hazel eyes, and he pushed it back in annoyance. It would soon be time for him to cut his hair. The only reason his hair ever got that long was because his mother thought his curls were darling and she always hesitated about cutting his hair.
The other boys teased him relentlessly, but he ignored them. That was one of the things that Eliza admired about Samuel. He never let the other boys get to him. If only she could have the same calm. As soon as one of her brothers started teasing her, she immediately tried to beat them up. It led to several spankings since her mother said that girls weren’t supposed to fight.
Never mind the fact that the boys fought each other all the time. Just the other day, her oldest and middle brothers, James, and Mark, had wrestled outside the dairy on account of James saying that he was stronger than Mark. Both boys had ended up with various bruises, but Eliza had gone to bed without dinner for cheering them on.
She had wanted Mark to win. James could be an awful bully when the mood struck him.
“We don’t know anything of the sort,” Samuel snorted. “The Bible says that you shouldn’t lie. You don’t want to go to hell.”
“It ain’t a lie if I can prove it,” Eliza said, raising her eyebrows in challenge.
Samuel smirked, and soon they were off racing down the path again. Once Eliza had beaten Samuel soundly and was once again in possession of her allowance, she dismounted Rainbow and sat on a nearby rock. She chose to watch the mountains with her back to the ranch.
“You okay?” Samuel asked, sitting next to her.
He took a sandwich out of his bag and gave half to her. His mother always made the best sandwiches. Since she didn’t have four children to fuss over, she could always give him the best of everything. Eliza envied his situation.
“Same old,” Eliza said with a shrug as she bit into the roast beef sandwich. A piece of beef came out of the sandwich, and she caught it deftly before popping it into her mouth. “Mama got mad at me again yesterday for talking back.”
“What was the punishment this time?” Samuel asked with a wince.
“Nothing too bad,” Eliza said, “she locked me in the closet by the dairy for about an hour while she churned butter. I don’t know why she’s got this idea that I have to be a lady. It ain’t like there’s anyone out here but us. You already know that I ain’t no lady.”
Samuel didn’t say anything. It was another thing that Eliza liked about him. Her brothers always talked too much. They hooted and hollered every second of the day. On the other hand, her daddy never said much of anything. Samuel never said too much or too little. Talking to him was as easy as breathing to Eliza.
“Should we go fishing tomorrow?” he asked. “It’s been a while since we went down to the stream.”
Eliza shrugged again as she finished her sandwich. “Only if we can leave the fish at your mama’s house. You know what my mama would do if she found me fishing.”
“She’d skin your hide,” Samuel said, shaking his head at her.
Eliza sighed and leaned back against the rock. She looked up at the sky. Like the plains, it was great and wide with no end. Her daddy said the plains ended eventually, but she wasn’t sure she believed him. Maybe on the other side of the mountain things were different, but she didn’t want to see it. She was perfectly happy being out in the wide plains. It was where she belonged.
As she lay there, a thought popped into her mind and grew into something that she could no longer keep inside.
“Samuel… what will my mama do to me if I don’t ever become a lady?” Eliza asked.
“I don’t know,” he said with a troubled expression. “She loves you, Eliza. I’m sure you two will find a way to be happy with each other eventually. I mean, we have to grow up sometime.”
“I don’t want to,” Eliza said stubbornly. “And if I lived out here on the plains, no one would ever make me be something I don’t want to be.”
“What, like an Indian?” Samuel asked in confusion.
“It wouldn’t be so bad,” Eliza said with a grin.
Samuel shook his head and chuckled at her. All around them, the plains teemed with life. In the distance, they heard the cry of coyote and Eliza shivered despite herself.
“I don’t think you have it in you to be one of ‘em,” Samuel said simply.
“Why not? I’m tough as nails!”
“You’re tougher than anyone I know,” he said soothingly, “it’s just that even though you don’t like it, you’re one of us.”
“That ain’t half fair, I can be anything I want to be,” Eliza decided firmly.
Samuel shook his head and smiled at her, his eyes twinkling.
“I think it might be nice to be one of ‘em,” Eliza said thoughtfully.
“What?” Samuel asked in confusion. “You can’t do that; they don’t go to church.”
“Yeah, but they get to do whatever they want.”
“Aw, shucks, Lady. No one can do whatever they want all the time,” Samuel said. “You know how scared folks around here are of the Indians. They can’t come within half a mile of the place without someone shootin’ at ‘em.”
“That don’t seem right to me,” Eliza said, wrinkling her nose.
“Me neither,” Samuel agreed, “but that’s the way things are. There ain’t nothing we can do about it.”
“Perhaps when we grow up, we’ll make sure that things are different.”
Eliza was grateful that she could talk about these things with Samuel. If anyone else heard her talking like that, they’d say she was crazy. Worse yet, she’d be teased mercilessly. Samuel would never do that; he gave her a chance to talk about the thoughts that swirled in her head.
“We can do that,” Samuel said thoughtfully. “You and I can change things around here.”
They smiled at each other. She wasn’t sure how they’d change things, but she believed Samuel when he said it.
“How are we gonna do that?” Eliza asked when curiosity got the better of her.
“Why, I’m gonna marry you, for starters,” Samuel said with a wide grin.
Eliza scoffed and threw some sand at him.
“What’s the matter?” he asked cheekily. “Ain’t I good enough to marry you? Are you too much of a lady?”
“You take that back right now, Samuel Bennett,” Eliza declared, standing up and putting her fists on her hips. “You know full well that I ain’t no lady.”
“Fine,” Samuel said, raising his hands in surrender. “Then why won’t you marry me?”
“I ain’t never gonna marry anyone, and if I did, I wouldn’t marry my best friend,” Eliza scoffed.
“My daddy says that your wife’s gotta be your best friend. Else you gonna suffer,” Samuel said.
That gave Eliza pause. Samuel’s daddy was a clever man. And the thought of marrying Samuel didn’t seem so bad. They could spend all their time riding their horses on the plains. At least Samuel wouldn’t try to turn her into something she wasn’t.
“Fine,” Eliza said, “you can marry me, but only if we can go riding every day.”
“It’s a deal,” Samuel said with a grin as he jumped up and offered her his hand to shake.
And just like that, the matter of who she would marry one day was settled. It was a relief to know that she wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. Perhaps if she told her mama that she already had a husband lined up then her mama wouldn’t push so hard to make her a lady anymore.
In the distance, the coyote cried again, and Eliza turned to the source of the sound with narrowed eyes. Something about the sound made the hairs at the back of her neck stand up. There was something almost human about the sound. And it was coming closer.
“We better get back,” Samuel said, also looking in the direction of the coyote’s cry. “It will get dark soon.”
“I don’t want to go,” Eliza said stubbornly, twisting her boots in the dirt.
“You never want to go back,” Samuel pointed out patiently.
She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Alright, Lady,” Samuel said, looking vaguely amused. “How about this? We can race back. It’s time for a rematch, isn’t it?”
Eliza forgot all about her reluctance and ran over to Rainbow with a huge smile. She sure was glad that Samuel was her friend.
Chapter Two: The Attack
Eliza was in the dairy when it happened. Her mama had woken her up before dawn and sent her out to the dairy again with strict instructions not to come out until she was done. While Eliza had obeyed her mother, she had taken her shoes off in an act of quiet defiance. Her mother hated it when Eliza ran around barefoot, but Eliza found it was more comfortable since her own shoes pinched her feet.
In all fairness, her mother didn’t usually punish her so harshly, but her disobedience the previous day had earned her a day in the dairy. When she had gotten back from her ride with Samuel, her mother had been waiting for her in the kitchen with a thunderous expression.
No matter what Eliza said for herself, her mother wouldn’t listen. It was extremely frustrating.
Eliza had been channeling all her fury into her work when she heard something ominous outside. It felt as if the ground was shaking, and she heard the unearthly sound of dozens of voices shouting together in unison.
It sounded as if someone had opened the gates to hell. Eliza dropped what she was doing and hurried to the door. When she opened it, she saw that everyone else on the ranch was frozen in terror. In the distance, a cloud of dust flew up into the air and she saw dozens of Indians on horseback. Their faces were painted, and they wore feathers in their head.
“Get your guns!” Her daddy shouted. She jumped in fright. Thank goodness he was working around the yard that day. If he had been out with the cattle, there’d be no one to stop the horde.
“Defend the ranch!”
She had never seen him look so scared before. He spotted her, and her lip trembled.
“Get somewhere safe, Eliza,” he said solemnly, taking a step toward her. She could almost smell the tobacco on his clothes. “And don’t look. No matter what happens. Do not look.”
Eliza nodded mutely and turned to leave. She contemplated heading to the house. Her mama would be there with the rest of the women. However, the Indians were coming quickly. There were a whole bunch of cowboys in the way too. It seemed easier to head to the stables instead. If she got onto Rainbow, she could get somewhere safe quicker. Eliza knew where to hide on the plains.
In a moment, Eliza’s mind was made up.
Within moments, her daddy and all the men had run inside for their guns. They formed a loose line, but it was clear to see that they were outnumbered ten to one. Eliza felt that it was stupid. The Indians were coming straight for the house. All they could do now was run away. She slipped away from the dairy and headed to the barn. The horses were all neighing in terror, but Eliza ignored them and ran straight to Rainbow. She had to get away before anything bad happened.
Eliza didn’t know where her family was. Her mind was blank with terror. She was doing what came naturally to her. Getting to Rainbow was the only thing on her mind. Her hands were slick with sweat and her entire body felt hot to the touch. As she let Rainbow out of her stall, her hands were shaking so badly that she kept dropping the latch.
Rainbow whinnied in fear and backed into her stall.
“C’mon girl,” Eliza pleaded as the first gunshot went off outside.
There was urgent shouting coming from outside. Eliza gasped and froze. She had heard that sound a million times before, but this felt infinitely worse.
Eliza backed further into the stall. The gunshots became more frequent while the shouting became louder. It was hard to believe that only a few hours before it had promised to be an ordinary, sunny day.
“We need to go,” Eliza said, slipping Rainbow’s bridle on and leading the horse outside.
As soon as they got out of the barn, Eliza saw in horror that the men were already fighting. At some point, the men from Samuel’s ranch had also come over. It looked like they were trying to combine their forces. After all, if the Indians defeated the men at the Williams’ ranch, they would certainly move on to the Bennett’s ranch. Her mind went blank as she saw Samuel’s father aiming a gun at an Indian on a horse. Her daddy had told her not to look, but she didn’t know how to look away. Samuel’s father was a good, kind man. He was also the biggest man she knew. He was astride his own horse, Tallulah. The Indian got to Samuel’s father first and thrust his spear forward.
Eliza watched as Samuel’s father, the biggest man she knew, clutched at his chest and fell off his horse. The dust swirled around him. He didn’t move. There was blood spilling down his shirt. All Eliza could think was that Samuel would be devastated.
Rainbow whinnied and reared backwards. Eliza’s hands were too slick to keep a firm grip on the reins, and before Eliza could react, Rainbow’s reins slipped from her hands and the horse galloped away, whinnying in fear.
“No!” Eliza shouted after the horse in anguish.
The Indians had gotten through the loose lines of armed cowboys. There was nothing holding them back now and they swarmed over the ranch like a plague of locusts. She spotted a familiar figure running toward her with a terror-stricken expression.
“We need to go!” Samuel shouted at her.
His skinny frame was shaking in fright and his eyes were huge. She nodded silently and grabbed his arm. Nothing else mattered except running away. There was no time to think about the awful, guttural sounds coming from behind her.
Samuel tugged her forward and they began running as fast as they could. She realized that she would have to tell him what had happened. His father was gone. It wouldn’t occur to her until later that her father was probably long gone too. While the ranchers had guns, so did many of the Indians. Besides, the Indians had sheer overwhelming numbers on their side. There had been no time for the ranchers to do anything.
Eliza’s feet thudded on the ground, and she held up her skirt as she ran. Distantly, she realized that her griping about always having to wear a dress was well-founded. It was terribly difficult to run in a long skirt.
The plains stretched ahead of them, almost beckoning them to keep going. They would be safe out in the wilderness, nothing bad ever happened to Eliza on the plains. Behind them, the fighting raged on, and she thought she heard James shouting something. The ranchers would have to win. They just had to. And yet, Eliza didn’t know if she would ever be able to go back.
Fear and adrenaline coursed through her veins. Would two children be able to outrun the warriors? She couldn’t stop to think about it.
“Keep running!” Samuel shouted over his shoulder. “Don’t stop!”
Eliza nodded mutely. The smell of smoke reached her and she stopped short, looking back at the farmhouse. It was up in flames. Her mama. Her family. At that moment, the Indians engulfed the farmhouse and Eliza could hear the women screaming. She turned away from the house and looked around desperately. The screaming was cut short, and she shuddered to think what that meant.
“Eliza!” Samuel shouted, tugging on her arm.
He sounded faraway as her ears started ringing. She stood there, frozen in terror with one hand holding her skirt up. They were far enough from the farmhouse that she didn’t feel the heat of the fire, but her skin burned, nonetheless. She had been born in that house.
The acrid smoke stung her eyes painfully.
Samuel tugged at her arm, but she felt as though she was paralyzed. Her body didn’t want to listen to her. It was impossible to comprehend what was happening. Only an hour ago she had been bemoaning her lot in life and now everything was burning around her.
She watched as the farmhands formed a line with their backs toward the barn, their guns aimed at the advancing Indians. Her brothers, James, and John, were facing the horde with determined expressions. There were only a few of them left. Her brothers stood with their backs against each other, aiming at the oncoming Indians. They looked so young. She wanted to cry out at them to run, to get away from the fighting.
“Look at me,” Samuel ordered, standing in front of her and shielding her from the attack.
His skinny frame was trembling but there was a look of determination in his eyes. He took hold of both of her shoulders.
“Don’t look anymore, ya hear?”
She looked up at him and felt something drop onto the front of her dress. When she reached up to touch her face, she found that it was wet. She was crying.
“We have to go now, Eliza,” Samuel said, still looking deep into her eyes.
He steered her away from the ranch and pulled at her arm. She found that her feet moved automatically, but the ringing in her ears didn’t dissipate. Eliza was a fast runner; it was one of the things she was proudest of. As soon as her legs started working, she ran faster than she ever had before.
Soon, she couldn’t smell the smoke anymore. The screams had stopped, and there was an eerie silence that fell over the plain.
“Where are we going?” Eliza asked Samuel in a soft voice.
“We gotta make it back to town,” Samuel said urgently. “It’s our only hope. We have to tell people what happened.”
Eliza nodded. Town was a few miles away. Maybe if they got there quick enough, they would be able to send help back to the ranches. Perhaps there was still someone they could save.
Unfortunately, as they ran, they heard the dreadful sound of hooves beating behind them. Eliza looked back and screamed when she saw a lone Indian on a horse, galloping up toward them. He was strong, perhaps bigger than Samuel’s father had been. Part of his face was obscured by what appeared to be a red handprint on his face. His hair was tied behind his head and a large array of feathers adorned his head.
“Run, Samuel,” Eliza shouted, pumping her little fists harder in an attempt to get away.
They both ran with all their might, but it didn’t do any good. The Indian rode up in front of them, a bloody ax swinging from his hand.
They both froze in terror, and Eliza stared up at the man. He had severe features, and his muscles rippled under his shirt. Her eyes were drawn to the ax. Drops of blood formed at the bottom and dripped to the ground. The dark red contrasted with the brown sand. Eliza felt bile rise up in her throat. However, there was something about his eyes that caused some of her terror to dissipate.
He was looking at her intently, studying her face. His hand was half-raised, as if he was going to finish them off. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from his grim expression. Finally, he lowered the ax.
Samuel held up his hands in surrender, and he elbowed Eliza to do the same. She ignored him and took a step forward.
“Please,” she said, her voice trembling slightly, “don’t hurt us. We ain’t done nothing wrong, mister.”
She saw a flicker of emotion pass over the man’s face. He almost seemed surprised by her words.
“You can’t reason with him, Eliza,” Samuel said, his face twisted with fear and hatred. “He’s one of them. Savage.”
As he said the word savage, he spat on the ground. The Indian frowned at Samuel and Eliza saw his hand tighten around the ax.
“No!” Eliza stepped in front of Samuel, shaking her head firmly. She didn’t know where the courage came from. Her knees shook. All she knew was that Samuel was all she had left. “Don’t you hurt him.”
The man continued looking down at her with an interminable expression. She could only imagine what she must have looked like to him. Her hair was hanging loose around her shoulders, tangled and full of dirt. She knew her face was covered with dust and tears, and her bare feet poked out from under her dress. And yet, her looks didn’t matter. She stared up at him with a defiant expression, and the corner of his mouth twisted upward, almost as if he wanted to smile.
Then the man did something surprising. He reached down and grabbed Eliza’s upper arm. Before either of them could react, he hoisted Eliza onto his horse as if she weighed nothing at all.
There wasn’t a saddle, and Eliza could feel the warmth of the horse beneath her. It was comforting. It occurred to her that she should fight and try to get away. Instead, she felt her body shutting down. The terror of the day had robbed her of her strength.
“Let her go!” Samuel rushed forward and began beating the Indian’s leg with his fists.
The Indian paid him no mind, then turned the horse with Eliza sitting in front of him. His strong arms circled her, making sure that she didn’t move. Eliza wanted to fight him, but she was keenly aware of the ax hanging from his belt. Besides, her body wouldn’t listen to her anymore. It was almost as if she was watching the events unfold from somewhere other than her body.
The last thing she saw when she looked back at her old life was Samuel watching her go with a heartbroken expression while their homes burned in the background. She lifted her hand and gave him a sad wave.
“The Healing Power of Time” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Eliza Margaret Williams experienced a life-altering event at the tender age of ten. The devastating attack on her family ranch by a Native Indian tribe shattered her world, leaving only her and her childhood best friend, Samuel Bennett, as survivors. Taken in by Indian Chief White Bear, Eliza assimilated into the tribe’s culture, becoming an integral part of their community. However, despite her deep connection to the tribe, she constantly feels a sense of longing and a persistent yearning to return to her true roots.
Will the brave journey back to her family’s ranch uncover her past and help her reclaim her identity?
Samuel Bennett, once Eliza’s loyal companion, has transformed into a hardened and distant figure. The massacre at the ranch left an indelible mark on his soul, fueling his hatred toward the Indians and enveloping him in a shroud of bitterness. In an attempt to shield himself from further pain, he built a fortress around the ranch and his heart, making it nearly impossible for anyone to breach his defenses. When Eliza returns, Samuel finds himself torn between the love he once felt for her and the fear that she might be a pawn in a vengeful plot against the tribe.
Will his inner turmoil leave him guarded and resistant to trusting again forever?
As Eliza and Samuel’s paths converge once more, they rediscover the deep bond forged in their childhood. Yet, their reunion is overshadowed by their conflicting loyalties and when the ranch is faced with another attack, they fear history will repeat itself. With ties to both sides, Eliza finds herself trapped in a conflict she never wanted and Samuel must face his old hatred. Will they be able to build bridges across the divide or will their connection fail to withstand the tests of time, allegiance, and adversity?
“The Healing Power of Time” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 60,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.