Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Page Length: 217 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Where do you go when home is no longer an option?
The guns of the Civil War have ceased firing, and the shots are but an echo... yet the war rages on, deep inside Will Crump's soul. His "soldier's heart" is searching for peace, and in that quest Will joins the westward movement, setting his path on a collision course with adventure, loss, and love.
The Westward Expansion floods the sacred, untouched lands with immigrants, bringing conflict to the Shoshone, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Amidst the chaos Will finds safety in the shadow of the US Army, but the army brings battle-hardened troops into Red Cloud's War, pulling Will into a tornado of conflict. Broken treaties and promises leave both sides searching for answers. Will's search leads him to a battle for survival, and there he finds a love that could change him forever.
Dove, a young Shoshone woman, is a survivor of the Bear Creek Massacre. After being kidnapped and escaping from the Cheyenne, she joins Will's search, seeking where she belongs. Dove longs for more than the restricted role placed on women in her tribe. If she can learn to trust a white man, he just might help her find home... and hope.
Together, Will and Dove must search for understanding, and reach Across the Great Divide.
Voices in Will’s head accused him of murder, cowardice, and betrayal. Peace eluded him. Memories of the war and prison crowded in, mocking him. When he stopped at night, sleep was absent. Except for God, he was alone—and even God felt distant.
After leaving his sister’s farm in Madison, he made camp in a clearing outside the village of Washington, Indiana. Lightning, dark clouds and wind threatened from the southwest. A grove of hemlock and black ash made a natural circle, promising protection. There were no beautiful orange and pink tones—the sky looked black, clouds hugging the hills and roiling in circles, mirroring the storm in his soul. The wind was bending the trees and blowing the scent of rain.
Will set up camp and got a small fire going. Best to cook supper before it became impossible. He brought water from a nearby creek and soon had a pot of beans boiling, mixing with the smell of coffee. He added garlic and onions to the beans. Albinia had insisted he take the seasonings with him. Within half an hour, the dark clouds produced drops of rain sizzling into the fire. Will wolfed his supper and rinsed the tin plate. He checked Dusty’s tether and hobble one more time, in case he spooked. The horse snorted, his eyes dilated at the escalating sound of thunder.
Will retreated to his bedroll and tent, sitting and looking out at the rain. Maybe he was foolish—here he was in the middle of a plains thunderstorm when he could be in the snug cabin at Albinia’s, with family around. But that was the problem—family. He needed to be alone. For the safety of his family, he couldn’t stay with them. Just before he left, his little sister Lydia had awakened him, and he’d almost shot her before he knew what he was doing, thinking himself back in the war.
His nerves were stretched taut. Being in Indiana brought back the war and Morgan’s raid. He’d made peace with his father, but . . . Will hated to admit that being around him triggered his memories. His mind saw his black horse leaping the barricade in Madison, a blue-clad soldier swinging a rifle, knocking him out of the saddle. He’d rolled, aiming a pistol—to find it pointed at his father. The experience had shaken him. He relived it in his mind, over and over. The former slave, Luther, the battle at Ashland—there were just too many memories that trailed behind him, like the ball and chain he’d worn at Camp Douglas for a time.
He loved his family too much to risk hurting them and losing them forever. If he could figure out what was wrong with him—if he could bury the ghosts that came to haunt him, maybe then there could be peace, home, and family.
Best-selling author Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories. He's a retired software engineer turned author, with three children and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of forty years. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas. He sees many parallels between the time of the Civil War and our divided nation of today. Sanctuary cities, immigration, arguments around the holiday table, threats of secession - all are nothing new. Sometimes, to understand the present, you have to look at the past - and reach Across the Great Divide.
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