Thursday, May 29, 2014

More Precious Than Gold by Lynn Dean

The bullet that killed Eliza Gentry's fiance shattered her dreams as well. Clinging to her battered faith, she heads west to escape her grief and runs headlong into the man who caused it. 

Tall and headstrong, Eliza expected to remain an "unclaimed treasure." Devastated in the wake of the war, she sets out for New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo mountains in search of peace and new purpose but finds that the western frontier is a wild place where former enemies--Yankees and Rebels, Freedmen and Indians--square off in the quest for land and gold. 

Eliza must confront her prejudices and fears, and Jacob Craig embodies that conflict. The mountain man wins her trust with his gentle strength, but he harbors a secret. As a Union sharp-shooter, he met her fiance on the field of battle and cost him his life. Eliza must learn that she will not find purpose or peace anywhere until she finds in God a faith more precious than gold. 

A real ghost town comes to life in this award-winning story of love, forgiveness, and the sovereignty of God.


Waco, Texas—1867

Torches bobbed above the crowd that gathered around the jailhouse. The eerie light cast unnatural shadows beneath the oaks on the courthouse lawn, the flickering flares animating the underside of the arching boughs. Like hellish fingers they seemed to hold the mob in their grip.
Eliza Gentry slipped her hand into the crook of her father’s arm, her breath forming clouds as they hurried through the starless night. At six foot six, Papa’s long legs covered a lot of ground, but she managed to keep up—one of the rare advantages, she supposed, of inheriting her height from him.
With the passing of each city block, the sounds of the uproar grew louder and more distinct, punctuated now and again by angry shouts.
“You got no call to hold these men. Turn ‘em loose, you carpetbagger, afore we fetch ‘em out ourselves!”
“Go on home, Yanks, while you can still leave standing!”
Judging from the ensuing swells of approval, the threats expressed the general sentiment of those gathered, though only a few souls were brave enough to voice them. Most folks in Waco were good church-going people who disapproved of the use of liquor, but this group was drunk on hate.
Torchlight contorted the features of many familiar faces. The grocer and the proprietors of several shops she frequented. The school’s headmaster and a handful of older students. Women who attended the fine ladies’ teas and Bible studies at Papa’s church. Respectable citizens clamoring alongside the commoner residents—barmen and drunks, drifters and prostitutes—people who pretended not to notice one another by daylight. Tonight rage lent them a grotesque similarity that transcended social status.
Papa quickened his pace, and Eliza tightened her grip on his sleeve. She could see the federal soldiers now, standing at rigid attention, rifles at the ready across their chests. As her foot left the hard-packed street, a shadowed figure broke from the mob and lunged for one of the infantrymen who guarded the barred door.
The soldier’s eyes widened in surprise. As if by instinct, he took a step backward before determination hardened his jaw.
A shot rang out as he fired into the air, the report echoing in the cold night air.
Eliza flinched.
For the space of a collective gasp, a shocked silence fell over the scene. The only sound was the startled squawk of thousands of blackbirds rudely awakened from their roosting places in the courthouse trees, then the rush of wings as they flew in search of safer havens.
The crowd seemed to erupt just as the birds had. With cries of protest they surged forward.
Papa dropped Eliza’s hand and broke into a run. Diving into the crowd, the swelling human tide carried him forward even before he began to stroke, swimming through a sea of people, pushing aside anyone who stood in his way.

Eliza hitched up her skirts and ran after him, reaching the fringe of the mob just as Papa reached the jailhouse door. Peering over the heads of the men in front of her, she hugged her arms about her chest and shoved her hands beneath them to stop their shaking. She fixed Papa in her gaze as if she could somehow protect him by doing so. He was all she had left...

About The Author

Lynn Dean is a native Texan who blends her love for God, history, and the American Southwest as naturally as the ingredients for a great chili to serve up a story that's hearty and satisfying. She took it as high praise when one reader described her writing style as being "like Louis L'Amour or Zane Grey, but for women." 

Lynn is a graduate of Texas A&M University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design. While serving as an interpretive guide at a historic home museum, she fell in love with 19th century history, which inspired her to write Discover Texas, an interactive history curriculum for private Christian schools. Some of the real-life stories she uncovered while researching now form the basis of her historical fiction. More Precious Than Gold, her first novel, placed in the Touched by Love Award in the historical romance category and also finaled as Adventure/Western/Historic Fiction in the 2012 Grace Awards for Faith Based Fiction. 

Purchase More Precious Than Gold at:

Lynn Dean is giving away a copy of More Precious Than Gold. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Anonymous said...

This sounds really good! Ahhh to sit under the shade tree, sipping on a cool beverage and reading....

would love to win!

Charity Lyman said...

I would love to be entered!! This sounds like a really interesting book. Thanks for the feature.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the intro to the book.
I am always looking for good new authors to feed my starving reading appetite. Thank you for an opportunity to win a free book.
Joyce Guard

Anonymous said...

Howdy Texan. :) Nice to find another Texas author. I love Texas. And, just keep meeting new authors who live here. Your book sounds really good. I love books written in this era. I would love to be your winner. GOD bless you as you continue to write. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

cjajsmommy said...

Part 2 of this interview made me come back here to Part 1 to enter to win "More Precious Than Gold" after I thought it would not be a book I would enjoy. Now I am interested in reading this story. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

Donna Reimel Robinson said...

What an exciting opening to your story, Lynn! Good writing too.

Donna Robinson

Jackie McNutt said...

I love this books storyline!
Thank you for the great interview It was so nice to learn to meet the author through your post,

Anonymous said...

This sounds so interesting..would love to win!

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