Sara Barnard is a wonderful editor and is currently working with me on my soon to be published novella, A Painted Room. However, she is also a best-selling author in her own right. Her newest historical novel, A Heart Forever Wild has just been released.
Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Historical
Release Date: April 3, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120298 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-029-9
Print ISBN-10: 1631120301 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-030-5
A Heart Forever Wild
Outlaws. Lies. Executions. Indians.
When all of their dreams come true, will Sanderson and Charlotte still have what started it all – their everlasting love?
In this final installment of the Everlasting Heart series, Sanderson and Charlotte must make a home for themselves in the Army town of Fort Bidwell, California. When the job as an Indian agent begs him to round up the peaceful area Indians for execution, Sanderson again runs afoul of the government. In answer to the broken promises of the Army, Sanderson and Jerry turn to a well-paying job with the railroad. However, they are warned to turn a blind eye to the treatment of their Chinese workers … or else. But can money buy this formerly-happy Arkansas family the happiness they are so desperately searching for?
Meanwhile as Charlotte stands up for Cotton against the town bullies, she accidentally falls into favor with Johnny Tan, the handsome young outlaw who slowly transforms into both Sanderson’s nemesis and his saving grace. In a world where women are expected to be silent, can Charlotte be a parent Cotton, a wife to Sanderson who seems to have fallen more in love with money than with her, and friend to Minerva, who seems to be drifting farther and farther away?
About Sara Barnard
Sara Barnard, who was most likely born into the wrong century, is mother to four awesome children. In addition to Rebekah’s Quilt, she has authored the historical romance Everlasting Heart series, consisting of bestselling A Heart on Hold, which was also a 2012 RONE award finalist, A Heart Broken, A Heart at Home, and A Heart Forever Wild – all from 5 Prince Publishing. She also writes for the younger among us. Chunky Sugars is a picture book from 5 Prince Kids and her independently published children’s nonfiction titles, The ABC’s of Oklahoma Plants and The Big Bad Wolf Really Isn’t so Big and Bad, have hit bestseller lists several times. She and her family make their home in the far reaches of the west Texas desert with the Javalina, mesquite trees, and of course, lots and lots of oil.
Where to find Sara:
Excerpt of A Heart Forever Wild:
The thundering hooves from both the stampede and the onslaught of soldiers vibrated the ground.
“Sanderson!” Charlotte had to shout to be heard over the growing din. The scene before her unfolded in slow motion as Jerry lifted Minerva, Jay Jay, and Cotton into the wagon with expert precision, one after the other.
Cotton’s normally musical voice tore from his throat in a hysterical shriek. “Mr. Sanderson!
Don’t forget Button and George!” Tears left wet trails down his bronze face while more still shimmered in his clear blue eyes. His arms trembled as they reached for his wolf pup.
George whimpered, scared and helpless, until Jerry plopped Button into the wagon beside him. At once, the gray pup ceased his cries and began to snarl and snap at his brother and friend, both of their fluffy tails wagging, oblivious to the mortal danger that careened toward them from seemingly all directions. Cotton folded his little body over the puppies as Minerva draped her arm over Cotton. Her emerald eyes, wide and staring, darted to and fro.
hands snapped Charlotte from her trance. “Come on!” Her grip tightened around tiny Charlie. “We gotta clear out!”
Nicolai flung his huge head as the herd of wild horses drew nearer and the shouts of the soldiers grew louder. He stomped his hooves as though he may take off with the mustangs at any moment. Achilles, hooked to pull the wagon alongside the younger stallion, glanced over his gray shoulder and whuffed.
Cocoa and Peanut zipped through Jerry’s legs as he pitched a few bags out of the birthing tipi that Charlotte had called her home — the warm, snug, safe place where precious Charlie had come into the world and she herself had almost exited it. Both buckskin and cloth bags landed at her feet in the thin layer of mud. Careful not to trip over them, Charlotte quick-stepped to Sanderson and shoved Charlie into his waiting arms.
Once Charlotte was safe in the wagon bed with her family, Jerry tossed in the rest of the bags as she reached for Charlie.
Sanderson’s eyes were as wild as she’d ever seen. As she accepted their child from him, he was looking everywhere but at her. “Hunker down, going to be a rough ride,” he called, disappearing around the side of the wagon. Nicolai stomped and reared, making the wagon lurch as snippets of conversation made its way back to the bed where Charlotte tried to remain brave. Sanderson’s voice was the clearest. “You drive and I’ll ride!”
Cries from the Indians drowned out Jerry’s reply.
The wagon jerked to life as a few words from Charlotte’s beloved met her ears again. “Turn in with the herd … kick for that river!”
Fear churned in Charlotte’s stomach as she grasped Charlie tighter. Her gaze, searching the faces of her loved ones who shared the wagon bed with her, met the wide one belonging to Minerva.
The words rolled off her tongue in choppy Romani-tinged syllables. “There is a river near?” Jay Jay screeched, prompting Charlie to join in, as the popping of gunshots peppered the air above the deafening roar of hoofbeats.
Careful to keep from looking out the front of the wagon, Charlotte hunkered down and tugged at the neck of her buckskin dress. Once her swollen breast was freed, she offered it to Charlie who quieted his whimpers and began to nurse.
Minerva busied herself with watching Jay Jay, following Charlotte’s lead not to look out the front of the wagon – or the back. “We’re with herd? Of wild horses?”
Cotton peeked up from his furry fort of wolf pups. “We’re riding with those stampedin’ horses?” His inky eyebrows arched skyward. “To get away from the soldiers?” He pushed himself up into a semi-sitting position. Had he ears like Button and George, they’d have no doubt been perked up, sitting at attention.
Charlotte laid her hand on his shoulder and nodded. “Please, stay low. Those shots are close.” No sooner had the words passed her lips than a crack sounded and a shot of hot lead tore through their canvas cover. Jerry roared from the driver’s box.
“No!” Minerva’s face contorted into a mishmash of planes as she tried to scramble toward the front of the wagon and conceal Jay Jay at the same time. “Jerry!”
Charlotte shoved Cotton back into the nest of puppies and slid down until she and Charlie were flat, as far from Army bullets as possible. “Minerva, get down!”
Tears leaked from Minerva’s flashing eyes as her mouth gaped, sobs roiling up from the depths of her being. “No, he’s dead! They’ve killed him!”
The wagon turned sharply to the right, sending Minerva and Jay Jay crashing over Cotton and into Charlotte’s legs. Hoofbeats thundered against the frozen earth in deafening thunks. Someone screamed, though Charlotte wasn’t sure if it was her or Minerva. Surely, her world was coming to an end.
Jerry’s voice rose above the din like a phoenix from the ashes. “I’m alright! You gals stay low — we’re running with the herd now!”
Thank you God. Charlotte reached with her free arm and patted Minerva’s ebony head. Shots from the Cavalry rifles sounded farther away as the wagon roared wildly toward the north, in the company of a thousand wild horses.
Cotton’s head poked up again. “We’re in the herd? With wild horses?” With the grace and stealth of a cat, Cotton rose and crept toward the driver’s box, somehow managing to keep his footing amid the mess of goods, people, dogs, and the rolling of the wagon.
Charlotte reached to snag the youngster, but missed. “Cotton, no!” Before she could adjust her seat and grab for one of his moccasined feet, Cotton slipped through the canvas arch and situated himself next to Jerry without a single misstep. Holding onto the roughhewn wooden bench, Cotton swiveled his head back toward Charlotte, a grin lighting his entire face. “Miss Charlotte! I ain’t never seen so many horses!”
As she held the youngster’s stare, Charlotte’s lips spread back farther and farther until her eyes crinkled at the sides and her cheeks ached, her body rocking in rhythm with the wagon. The sudden surge of happiness was so unexpected, it threatened to consume her right then and there. “Watch ‘em for all of us, alright?”
Nodding his ebony-tressed head, Cotton hollered back. “Alright!” Before the word was fully formed and free of his lips, he had already turned back to face the horses.
George and Button took turns nipping at Charlotte’s toes before being knocked off their paws by the jostling wagon, only to begin again as soon as they regained their footing. Silly puppies. She froze. Puppies. Her head snapped back and forth, searching the wagon for the animals she knew weren’t there. Finally, she found her voice. “Minerva!” Charlotte’s voice broke as though speaking the words brought a whole new level of pain with them. “We left Peanut and Cocoa!” Right on cue, baby Charlie began to shriek.
WHAT A GREAT SERIES, AND A WONDERFUL ENDING.
GOOD LUCK SARA BARNARD