Authors: Suzanne Ferrell
Tags: #Historical Romance, #Romantic Suspense, #Romantic Action/Adventure
Table of Contents
Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Ferrell
Cover Art by
Libris in CAPS
Release date: March 2015
Ferrell, Suzanne (2015), Turner's Vision,
A Historical Romance Novel.
All rights reserved to the Author
This book and parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise - without prior written permission of the author and publisher, except as provided by the United States of America copyright law. The only execption is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.
A Historical Romance Novel
To my aunts, Glenna and Frankie Lewis.
Thank you for loaning me so many books as a teenager. You kept my summers filled with wonderful stories and helped me fall in love over and over again.
May you enjoy this version of Micah and Claudia’s story as much as I did all the stories you gave me.
The Ferrell team always deserves a big thank you!
I’d like to think my cover artist, Lyndsey Lewellen of LLewellen Designs. Your covers are making the fictional town of Westen come alive!
My formatters at Libris in CAPS. Mitch and Alison have done such a great job!
And my editor, Tanya Saari. Thanks for helping make my stories the best they can be!
To my friend, Julie Benson, who years ago taught me to hate the question “Why?”, but made me think long and hard about the motivation to characters. This was the exclamation mark book!
To my critique partner, Sandy Blair. Thanks for reading and pointing me to any big errors. It’s always fun to hear your thoughts on my characters and stories, but it’s heart-warming to know how much you hear my voice in each story. Couldn’t do this without you!
Thank you so much for trying my Indie published book. I understand that there are many options for you to spend your money on and am honored that you chose one of my books. For that reason my team and I strive to put out the best product we can from the awesome cover design through the entire editing and formatting process. For my part, I hope to deliver an entertaining story that keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next.
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The soft Southern voice whispered to him out of the grey mist.
Micah, I need you.”
I’m here. I hurt so badly.”
Tell me where you are and I’ll come get you,” he said, trying to walk towards her voice, but the ground beneath him kept shifting and swaying.
I can’t tell you. I don’t know.” Her voice broke and he suddenly saw her face. Bruised. Battered. Tears rolling down through soot, her silver eyes full of pain. “They hurt me, Micah.”
Who? Who did this to you?”
You know…” his sister said, fading back into the mist.
Washington, D.C. 1882
Hidden by the early-evening shadows, Micah Turner leaned against the light post across the cobblestoned street from the small library.
As he waited for the last patron to leave, he tugged at the starched white collar of his new shirt. He’d give a twenty-dollar gold piece to be wearing his deerskin tunic, Levi dungarees and calf-high moccasins. The confines of his fancy suit, and the humidity of late May in the Chesapeake Basin, had him feeling restless. Too many buildings, too many people.
Right now, he longed for the cool Colorado mountain air. Yet his visions—his own personal hell—gave him no rest. He must find his sister, Patrice.
When he left the mountains six months before, he’d only had a sense of uneasiness about her. Then a vision of her crying and begging for him flashed into his mind on the long train ride from Colorado to their old home in Georgia. There, he discovered she’d disappeared while visiting an old school friend in the nation’s capital.
A movement from across the street caught his attention.
Sliding to the side of the post, he lifted the newspaper in his hand, and slumped even more.
A tall, thin man—one Micah had hoped long dead, exited the library.
Physically, Jonathan Gibson had changed little since the war. Donning his stove-top hat, the man stroked the mustache that drooped to the sides of his thin lips, then hailed the carriage parked down the block.
Once the carriage disappeared around the corner, Micah folded the paper and tucked it under his arm.
The name over the library’s door read,
He slipped his hand into his pocket, withdrew a sealed white note and read the name on the front.
Claudia Davis, Goldberg’s Library.
When he left Colorado, he’d agreed to deliver this letter to the friend of his partner’s wife. Nathan and Laura Cantrell had expressed concern that Miss Davis was mixed up in something dangerous. The letter warned her and those helping her of that danger.
Micah didn’t believe in coincidences. Gibson’s presence here didn’t bode well for either Miss Davis or his sister.
Crossing the street, he slipped the envelope back into his pocket. A weathered, closed cabriolet pulled to a stop in front of the library. Micah slowed his step to watch a small, dark-haired boy hop down and run to the door.
A few minutes later, the young boy exited more sedately. He helped a stern-looking woman dressed in black to the waiting vehicle. At first, Micah thought the woman elderly, considering the deference the boy gave her, but a sudden gust of wind blew her hat, forcing one of her small hands up to hold onto it. When she turned her head, he saw a younger woman, whose features had been distorted to an angular sharpness by her severe hairstyle.
Once the carriage moved up the street, Micah walked to the library door. A waft of sweet flowers permeated the doorway. Another premonition filled his mind—a redheaded woman in a green corset. Then it vanished.
He looked back in time to see the woman’s carriage turn in the same direction as the previous one. For a few minutes he stared after it.
The visions came and went without warning. He had no control over them. However, when they did occur, the visions always signaled some significant event in his life. Was the stern-looking woman somehow connected to the beauty in green? And what did it have to do with his sister’s disappearance, or the danger Laura’s friend was in?
He shook off the eerie feeling and opened the library door. The musty smell of old books filled his nose. Dust floated through the last shafts of light before dusk descended. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the library’s dim lighting.
“We are closing for the evening, young man.” A leathery voice drifted out from behind several shelves of books ahead of Micah. An elderly gentleman, with white hair and a beard, emerged from one aisle. He gave Micah a quizzical look. “Perhaps you could come back tomorrow?”
Micah approached the older man, offering his right hand. “I am looking for someone, Mr. …?”
“Goldberg.” He grasped Micah’s hand in his own gnarled arthritic one. “May I ask whom you seek?”
“I hoped to speak with a Miss Claudia Davis, sir.”
“Ah, you just missed her.”
“That was Miss Davis, the woman who left a few minutes ago?” Micah glanced at the door once more, then back at the little man.
The older man nodded. “Yes, it was, Mr. …?”
“Turner. Micah Turner, sir.”
“Well, Mr. Turner. Perhaps I could be of service?”
Micah smiled reassuringly at him. “I am afraid my business is of a personal nature, sir. Perhaps you could direct me to Miss Davis’ place of residence?”
“I see.” Mr. Goldberg pulled on the end of his beard. Micah watched as the man sized him up and down, deciding what he should do. “Perhaps if you told me more about this personal business, Mr. Turner?”
“I simply wish to deliver a letter from an old friend.”
“Then you could leave it with me. I would be happy to see she gets it.”
Again Micah smiled, this time shaking his head. “I’m afraid I gave my word to the sender that I would deliver it in person. I can do nothing less than see the task through to its end.”
He waited while Mr. Goldberg considered all that he said. The older man finally reached into the desk and withdrew two pieces of paper. He took a writing pen, dipped it into ink, scratched out directions and an address on the paper. This he set aside. He wrote Micah’s name at the top of the other paper, holding the pen poised above it. “You are staying where, Mr. Turner?”
His caution impressed Micah. If anything happened to Miss Davis, he knew this man would go to the authorities immediately. Good. He could accept that plan. He represented no harm to the lady, but he couldn’t reassure the librarian any more than he already had. So he gave Mr. Goldberg his address, accepting the other note in return.
After a final handshake Micah walked back to the entrance. He stopped briefly at the front reading desk by the large, plate-glass window overlooking the street. He flipped through several books lying on the table. His eyes surreptitiously focused on the floorboards beneath the desk. If he didn’t know better, he wouldn’t have known foul play had taken place in this very spot a year earlier.