Back Cover Blurb:
At a time when thousands are fleeing tyranny to find a home in the New World, seventeen-year-old Kate Elyot witnesses a tragic accident that orphans a little girl named Emily. Suddenly the sole guardian of a child she's never met, Kate's only guide to the girl's surviving family is a signet ring and a letter sewn into Emily's dress addressed "To Kate." Unsure of whether she has walked into a fateful calling or a fatal coincidence, Kate is determine to get Emily home but is unprepared for the journey awaiting her.
Captain Anthony Scot will not rest until his enemy Simon Cephas is punished for a crime long forgotten. The signet ring that Emily carries is the evidence Scot needs to convict his rival. He is willing to obtain the ring at any cost in order to destroy Cephas.
Can Kate fight to free Emily from those who would use her to destroy her Puritan family? Will her courage sustain her as she is brought face to face with her worst fears, deepest regrets, and a God she cannot bring herself to trust?
I’d always imagined myself having peace at this moment, when I knew there was nothing more I could do, when I knew I would die. The terrified panic that consumed me was not what I had planned, but then, nothing in my life ever had been.
“Kate!” James said my name over and over from the cliff far above me, barking orders that made no sense to my frantic mind. What had I been thinking? When I jumped from the cliff down to the crumbling ledge several feet below, I had been sure it would hold. Now the only thing keeping me from plunging hundreds of feet to the deadly rocks below was the weakening grip of my burning fingers. Even if my grip could endure to the end of time, the ledge would not, and my life was not the only one in danger.
I heard a crash as the unstable portions of the ledge broke loose and plummeted downward. We didn’t have much longer. I gathered the strength for one last effort, pulling myself up far enough to thrust one hand forward and claw my fingers into the dirt. I steadied my grip, then plunged the other hand forward as well. If I moved quickly enough I could walk my hands forward and pull myself up inch by inch before the ledge or my strength gave way. I started the slow process, and by the time I had pulled myself far enough to see over the ledge, I could go no further.
The earthen shelf around us was crumbling. James was above us on the cliff’s edge, still screaming commands that didn’t matter anymore.
I looked at the little girl on the ledge in front of me. She looked back. Swallowing the taste of dirt and blood in my mouth, I searched for some shred of hope, some word of consolation. “I’m sorry,” I gasped, hating myself for having attempted to be a hero. In the end, I was simply dragging her down with me that much faster, just as I’d done to everyone I loved my whole life.
She crept forward on the ever shrinking ledge, and set her tiny hand on mine. The tranquility on her face astounded me. That was what I wanted, what I had envisioned myself looking like at this moment. I saw in her dark eyes the knowledge that we were both about to die, yet she seemed unafraid.
Her quiet strength awakened something inside of me. I couldn’t give up. Not now, not when she needed me.
My arms quivered with fatigue. My fingers were numb and about to give way. I began to kick my feet back and forth. The movement jarred the ledge, and it disintegrated faster. My left foot found a hold, and I pushed myself upward. I felt a thrill when my knee slid onto the ledge. I tried to stand up without causing another shift, but was unsuccessful. As I got my footing, a cracking noise sounded. I reached down to snatch up the little girl, but before I could, the ground beneath her came loose and collapsed. She screamed and I frantically grasped the air, catching the back of her dress. I heard the fabric ripping as I tightened my hold. With a deep breath, I drew her slowly upward and into my shaking arms and watched as half of the ledge crashed downward and exploded into a cloud of dust on the rocks below.
Hannah Duggan is an author, worship leader, dance instructor, and Bible teacher. Her
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