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Authors: Marylu Tyndall

Tags: #Fiction, #Christian, #Romance

Elusive Hope

BOOK: Elusive Hope
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ESCAPE TO PARADISE BOOK 1
F
ORSAKEN
D
REAMS

© 2013 by MaryLu Tyndall

Print ISBN 978-1-61626-597-7

eBook Editions:

Adobe Digital Edition (.epub) 978-1-62836-265-7

Kindle and MobiPocket Edition (.prc) 978-1-62836-266-4

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes, except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without written permission of the publisher.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version
®
. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

Cover design: Faceout Studio,
www.faceoutstudio.com

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683,
www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses
.

Printed in the United States of America.

Table of Contents

Cast of Characters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Epilogue

About the Author

“For man looks at the outward appearance,
but the L
ORD
looks at the heart.”
1 S
AMUEL
16:7
NKJV

Dedicated to all those who feel they never measure up.

A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I thank God for giving me the opportunity and ideas to continue writing novels for Him. I am nothing without Him. He is the Father I never had, a more loving father than I could have ever hoped for. I also owe my deepest thanks to everyone at Barbour Publishing for believing in me and continuing to publish my books! For all the extra effort every one of you puts into each novel, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I could not write without the support and love of my dear author friends: Laurie Alice Eakes, Louise M. Gouge, Debbie Lynne Costello, Ramona Cecil, Patty Hall, Julie Lessman, Laura Frantz, Ronie Kendig, Dineen Miller, Camy Tang, and Rita Gerlach. There are so many more I don’t have room to list here, but thank you all so much for your encouragement, prayers, and love!

Special thanks to Michelle Griep, who read this manuscript when it was raw and unpolished and loved it anyway!

And to my Motley Crew, the best crew who ever sailed the high seas! Your Captain loves you!

Last but not least, thank you, Traci DePree, for your continued expert editing and for making this book shine in places I didn’t know it could.

C
AST OF
C
HARACTERS

Magnolia Scott—Spoiled plantation owner’s daughter who hates her new life in Brazil and longs to return to Georgia to marry her fiancé. Constantly belittled by an unloving, domineering father, she believes her only value is in her appearance.

Hayden Gale—Con man who is searching for his father whom he believes is responsible for the death of his mother. Bent on revenge, he’ll do anything to punish the man who ruined his life, even becoming as much of a liar and cheat as his father was himself.

Colonel Blake Wallace—leader and organizer of the expedition to Brazil. A decorated war hero, Blake suffers from an old wound that causes him to limp. Blake is serious, commanding, and disciplined and feels the weight of responsibility for the colony’s success. He recently married Eliza Crawford.

Eliza Crawford Wallace—Blake’s wife and Confederate Army nurse who runs the colony’s clinic. Once married to a Yankee general, she was disowned by her Southern family. Eliza is impulsive, stubborn, courageous, and kind.

James Callaway—Confederate Army surgeon turned Baptist preacher who signed on as the Colony’s only doctor, but who suffers from a fear of blood. Feeling as much a failure at preaching as he does at doctoring, James nevertheless still pursues a higher purpose for the colony.

Angeline Moore—signed on as the colony’s seamstress, Angeline is a broken woman with a sordid past that she prefers to remain hidden. Unfortunately there are a few colonists who seem to recognize her from her prior life.

Mr. and Mrs. Scott—once wealthy plantation owners who claim to have lost everything in the war, they hope to regain their position and wealth in Brazil by marrying off their comely daughter to a Brazilian with money and title.

Wiley Dodd—ex-lawmen from Richmond who is fond of the ladies and in possession of a treasure map that points to Brazil as the location of a vast amount of gold.

Harmen Graves—Senator’s son and ex-politician from Maryland whose hopes to someday run for President were crushed when the South seceded from the Union. Hungry to rule over others, Graves slowly goes mad when he encounters a supernatural entity beneath an ancient temple that promises him riches and power.

Sarah Jordan—war widow who gave birth to her daughter Lydia on the ship that took them to Brazil, and who signed on to teach the colony’s children.

Thiago—personal interpreter and Brazilian liaison assigned to New Hope to assist the colonists settle in their new land.

Moses and Delia—a freed slave and his sister, along with her two children, who want to start over in a new land away from the memory of slavery.

Mable—slave to the Scotts.

C
HAPTER
1

September 20, 1866

Colony of New Hope, the jungles of Brazil

M
agnolia tumbled backward and fell, bottom first, into a mud puddle. Uttering an unladylike curse, she scowled at the black sludge splattered over her skirts. Footsteps pounded. Boots appeared in her vision. She knew whom they belonged to before she looked up. “Now, look what you’ve done!” Warm moisture soaked into her petticoats and undergarments. Chuckling sounded in the distance. A blistered, scraped hand extended toward her. “I’ve come to rescue you, fair maiden.” The voice strained to withhold laughter.

She glared up at the buffoon, Hayden Gale, a stowaway on their ship to this desolate place. Her gaze took in the sweat shining on his brow, the mischief twinkling in his green eyes, the dark stubble on his chin, then lowered to his bare chest visible through his open shirt—which was what had gotten her into trouble in the first place. His lips quirked into a grin.

“I believe you’ve assisted me quite enough.” Sinking her hands into the puddle, she struggled to rise, but her ridiculous crinoline prevented her from doing so in a ladylike fashion. She would have to accept his help. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t have a little fun in the process. Gathering a handful of the black ooze Brazil was so famous for, she reached up and gripped his hand, smashing the mud against his palm until it trickled out between their fingers. Not a flinch, not a tick, altered his grin. Not a flicker of surprise or anger crossed his eyes. Only a single eyebrow arched toward the sky. He pulled her to her feet then released her hand and shook off the offending slime. “I fail to see how your clumsiness is my fault.”

Plucking a handkerchief from her sleeve, Magnolia wiped the muck from her hands and arms as best as she could. In all her twenty-three years, she’d never been as dirty as she had been the past three months in Brazil. No matter how often she washed, there was always a smudge here, a stain there, a bit of perspiration where it ought not to appear on a lady. And forget trying to maintain a decent coiffeur. Lifting her chin, she started walking down the path. “You called my name, distracted me. And I tripped over a root.”

“You were staring at me for so long, I thought you might be in some sort of trouble.” He slid beside her, his knee-high boots sloshing in the mud.

“Staring at you? I was doing no such thing.” Magnolia halted, met his gaze, but then thought better of it, and instead scanned the large field where Hayden had been only moments before. Men picked and dug and hoed the earth in preparation for planting coffee and sugar. To the left of the field stood the thatched huts that formed the city of New Hope, their new colony in Brazil.

Hayden raked a hand through his dark brown hair, slicking it back. “I’m not blind, Princess. You were staring at me for several minutes. More like ogling, if you ask me. See something you like?” He grinned.

“Ogling! I was not—” Magnolia bit down her fury before she gave the insolent plebeian more reason to taunt her. “You, sir, are a cad. And my name is not Princess.” Uncomfortable at his closeness, she took a step back and nearly fell again. He reached for her, but she jerked to the side, trying with all her strength not to stare at his brick-firm chest peeking at her from within his shirt. A shirt he must have hastily donned when he’d seen her topple into the puddle.

It was that brick-firm chest, billowing with corded muscle and gleaming in the sun, that had stopped her in her tracks on her way back to camp. She’d become further mesmerized by his rounded biceps and the way his dark hair hung around his face while he dug furrows in the field. Mercy me, what was wrong with her? She’d never stared so boldly at a man before. Not even at Samuel, her fiancé. Yet, she’d never seen him with his shirt off. Yes, that must have been it. Surely that was it.

Hayden leaned toward her again and sniffed.

Magnolia flinched. “Whatever are you doing?”

“Just investigating the cause of your sudden clumsiness.”

Heat raged through her veins. He referred to her occasional need for spirits, of course. She glanced around to make sure no one was within earshot. “How dare you mention that in public. Besides, it’s not yet noon.”

“Ah.” His tone was sarcastic. “Then I shall be on the lookout after dinner in case you topple to the ground again.”

“I don’t drink every day, you fool. Oh, never mind. Why am I talking to you?”

“I don’t know. Why are you?” He cocked his head and studied her. He smelled of sweat and man.

“Because you will not leave.” Her gaze lowered to his lips and the remembrance of the kiss they’d shared on the ship that brought them to Brazil sent her belly spinning. Why couldn’t she forget about the silly incident? It had been nothing, really. Surely a rake like Hayden hadn’t given it a second thought.

“If you’ll excuse, me, sir. I must get back to camp.” She skirted around him, but he fell in beside her. “I’ll escort you.”

“No need. I’m in no danger.”
Except from you, perhaps
.

BOOK: Elusive Hope
6.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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