Inside the Grey
The Way Home Saga Book 3
by Bobbi Groover
Genre: Historical Romance
Brayden Wakefield is quickly losing faith that hostilities between the states will end peaceably. He and his neighbors, Fletcher Stedman and Royce Carlyle, seems to be in the minority in their belief that a war would not end in a few months. They know any clash would be long and brutal. But their loyalty to one another supplants their reluctance, and they are drawn into the politics and atrocities of war to save their kidnapped comrade, Caleb Jenkins.
Nothing is as it seems, however. The gentlemen, turned raiders, squirrel behind enemy lines. Brayden uncovers lies and intrigue on both sides but as he and his fellow raiders execute their audacious plan, as they torch the layers of the conspiracy, Brayden finds love hidden among the ashes.
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“Stop struggling. I don’t want to kill you. I just want answers.” Brayden wrestled with the man to hold his head hard without slicing his neck but the man’s hat started to come away and slid across his head. Heavy ropes fell from the cap. Like a shot hitting him, Brayden realized what they were—thick, burgundy braids—and threw the person to the ground in horror. “You’re a woman!”
“Quick-witted aren’t you?”
“I could have killed you,” Brayden shouted as he slapped his forehead in exasperation.
The woman stood and dusted herself off. She scooped up the cap, coiled her braids and shoved the hat on her head. “You didn’t seem so all fired worried about killing me when you thought I was a man.” With arms outstretched, her deep blue eyes glared at him. “Easier to kill me now?” She snorted. “Didn’t think so.” The fiery wench swiveled and stomped off. “I’m leaving.”
“Come back here. I’m not finished with you,” Brayden bellowed. He picked up the pistol and cocked the hammer. “I’ll shoot.”
The brazen female flipped her hand with an apparent wave of dismissal and kept walking.
The Inn at Little Bend
The Way Home Saga Book 2
In antebellum America, life for an abandoned woman was difficult at best. But when young Grayson escapes her sadistic guardian, she finds freedom just as hostile. The lonesome, starving wanderer flees straight into the path of vicious marauders. Only one thing keeps the rustlers from violating the curvaceous, dark-haired beauty but the punishment they intend to mete out for her crimes borders on insanity.
Not far away a lone rover hears the screams, yet continues down the road. He wants nothing more of life than to be left alone. He has his own debts to account for. Once a headstrong irresistible rakehell, the drifter had bolted, shuttered his heart and retreated deep within himself. But now the wafting agony tears at him--his own and the wails of another. Swearing under his breath, he whirls the horse around.
A SIMPLE INN…
Grayson Ridge struggles to survive her fated trials and conceal the secrets that plague her. Her exploits collide with the life of Drake Somerset, a scraggly yet oddly dashing drifter besieged by dark shadows. Neither realizes their chance encounter could free them both. Their wrangling ignites a turbulent journey and sets their worlds on fire.
2012 First Place in the Published Beacon Awards (Historical Category)
Everyone yearned for spring to blossom early that year but Virginians rooted deep in the mountains knew that winter would never succumb without a fight and feared a powerful assault. It came. An onslaught of storms battered the area with blizzards heaving drifts four to six feet high. The deep snow left the roads impassible, and a weary man cursed the force of that assault as the wind clawed at him and his tiny, fragile bundle. The horse under him plodded endlessly while he kept his head lowered and tugged at his collar. Nevertheless the cold wet flakes were persistent.
The night was pitch-black, as black as the dark thoughts which filled the man's heart and mind. The day's last hours unfolded in his head like the rehearsals of a macabre play. Even now it seemed to him a performance, a drama one watched and pitied and then went home.
Swirling winds ripped through the night, stealing the man's hat and carrying it into the darkness. The man muttered a virulent oath when the cold penetrated his graying hair. The gusts came in waves in the same cruel manner the pains, just hours before, had savaged his daughter's unyielding body while she tried to deliver her bastard child. A widower and deprived of the aid of a doctor or midwife, the distraught man had tried his best but it hadn't been enough to save his daughter's life. Even now his daughter's screams rifled his brain.
The product of a brutal rape, the newborn was sorrow and pain incarnate. The man had kept the pregnancy hidden in order to spare his daughter further humiliation but now she was gone forever, and the child he'd pulled from her body was huddled against him. He had expected the baby to be born dead but when it uttered a cry, a strange resentment suffused him and he suddenly hated this intruder who'd stolen his daughter from him, the only remaining part of his beloved wife. In a moment of crazed madness, he'd imagined smothering the tiny creature but instead he had left the babe in the messy bedclothes and gone to saddle his horse. He had no family left, few friends and no hope and he didn't want to remain in that place with its painful reminders. Returning to the small white house, he had splashed lamp oil over everything and rolled a burning log from the fireplace into the center of the room. The fire had spread quickly as he hauled the tiny, bloody burden to his shoulder and ran out the door. The horse shied when the inferno suddenly engulfed the structure but calmed when they turned and slowly walked away. With his shoulders hunched against the howling winds the man had taken up his burden and ridden into the darkness.
The distraught man wanted the child gone from him but wondered if he possessed the cruelty to carry out the deed. Mile after mile he journeyed, fraught with indecision. The babe lay silently in his giant grasp as if somehow knowing its fate hung in the balance.
A faint speck of light appeared in the distance and the man turned his horse to veer away from the light; he had no need of the others now, he had to finish what he started—or did he? He pulled the horse to a halt. Opening his bundle he somehow hoped the child had died for want of mothering. A flailing arm nudged his palm, and he realized the determined creature still lived. His conscience nagged at him. Despite his hatred he conceded that the child had not asked to be conceived and forced into the This world. The man wheeled his horse around and headed toward the light. He spurred the animal, driving it onward through the whipping wind before he changed his mind. When he reached the house, he placed the wrapped child on the doorstep and galloped away, never once looking back.
Deprived of the man's warmth, the babe uttered a piteous wail and, in time, awoke the matrons of the house.
"Lord, have mercy; Hazel wake up and see what's making that racket."
Hazel belted her wrap and shuffled to the door. “It’s a baby!” she uttered as she squatted next to the bundle. She unfolded the blanket. "Flora, she's a newborn; the whole cord's still attached."
"Best put her by the fire because she's probably cold as ice."
"Who is she?" asked Hazel. She removed the bloody swaddling blanket and wrapped the baby in a towel she grabbed from the table. "Where did she come from?” She clipped the cord and bound it. “What'll we call her?"
Flora grunted while she blew at the cup of milk she’d poured from a pot near the fire. "Will you stop your jabbering? It's obvious she's a nobody; that's why she was left here. It doesn't much matter what we call her. Call her Grayson."
Hazel put her hands on her hips. "You can't put that name on a child."
"Why not? She probably won't last more than a few days at best." Flora sipped her milk.
"Then she'll need a decent name to put on her headstone."
Flora threw up her hands. "What for? If she came from decent folks she wouldn't have ended up on our doorstep. Mark my words, she's the doing of sinners.” She opened wide one of the baby’s eyes with her thumb and forefinger. “Look at her eyes—they're black like sin."
The baby wailed at the intrusion, and Hazel snatched the child away. "Flora, you keep your superstitious ways to yourself. This is an innocent child and whether she lives or dies is up to the Almighty, not you or me. Now get her something to eat while I clean her."
Flora dragged her feet into the next room, muttering to herself.
Hazel picked up the wailing child. "Have to admit, child, with those eyes the name Grayson does seem to fit you." She sighed as she hurried with her chore.
Sometime later—loosely wrapped and poorly fed—the baby girl fell asleep. An entry of her arrival was scrawled as no more than a footnote in the December page of their record book; a smudged scrap of newspaper noting “Old Kinderhook’s” lost fight marked the page. Ignored as a scrap of life and left in a crate by the side of the hearth Grayson Ridge strove to live, named after the orphanage on whose doorstep she was found.
Season of the Shadow
The Way Home Saga Book 1
It was a time of chivalry and grace but also a time of turmoil in antebellum America. Fletcher Stedman is the crown prince of Virginia's famous Seabrook Plantation. The handsome rakehell is a man of dreams with headstrong passions and an ingenious mind. Suddenly his dreams are shattered and his life ripped from him by a jealous cousin, and Fletcher is put to the test fighting for his life and his sanity.Kyndee Brock always dreams of marrying her handsome Fletcher--her kindred spirit and dearest love. One day, however, Fletcher mysteriously disappears. Kyndee must spend the next decade defying fate, following her heart to reunite them and recapture the love that they had been denied.
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I’m a wife, a mother, a writer and an equestrienne. I’ve been composing stories as long as I can remember and have been putting stories to paper ever since I could hold a pencil. I have a vivid memory from age five where I sat alone in the stall of my father’s horse and traced the hood prints in the dirt. An entire story swirled about in my head…who, what, where, when? My family often grew weary of my constant ramblings about my characters. As a result, my drawers were stuffed with stories, finished and unfinished. It wasn’t until my two wonderful boys were born that I finally had the nerve to submit my first book. Fun In The Yellow Pages, a juvenile coming of age novel, was my first publication. It was well received and actually utilized in several school districts. I even had the compliment of being ‘visiting author’ which was very enjoyable. The students constantly asked me to write a sequel.
I actually switched to romance writing on a dare from my husband. I completed Season Of The Shadow. The characters were so popular that they wormed their way into my second romance, The Inn At Little Bend, and played key roles in my latest romance, Inside The Grey. Each romance can stand alone, but my readers will recognize several characters.
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