I have a special treat for you today! Stephenia McGee is sharing an excerpt from her new novella “The Heart of Home”. This delightful story is currently part of the Timeless Love Collection.
This collection of 7 stories through the ages is available for pre-order for only .99c from March 21st to June 19th when the ebook releases. All proceeds go to the Live Strong Foundation
To learn more about the collection, be sure to see my cover reveal post (click here)
About the Author:
Stephenia H. McGee is a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author, and lover of all things historical. Stephenia currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and sons where she writes stories of faith, redemption and life steeped in the South
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The dog looked up at him and whimpered, and then scampered forward, looking over its shoulder. Tristan gave a nod. He would come. Perhaps his body had been taken down by the river after all. The dog merely guided him home, to the place where he would see them all once more.
He tried to swallow, his throat dry despite all the water he’d swallowed. He placed one foot in front of the other, feeling far too wearisome to be free of the confines of flesh. But then, what would he know of such things? Perhaps this was just the way of it. The house grew larger upon his approach, beckoning him to the quiet rest that would rid him of this troubled world.
He took the steps gingerly, reverently putting his hand on the column. The windows didn’t look like he remembered them, and the river snaking through the rear yard wasn’t true, but he wouldn’t begrudge the changes in the vision. At least he had been granted a glimpse of home before his soul gave up its confinement. It was a far sight better than the churning waters of the Mississippi.
He sank onto the porch, and the dog settled by his side, snout resting on its paws. Tristan laid back, the faint sound of the door opening bringing peace. They would take him now, and he would drift away to where the streets were golden and pain did not rule. He’d lost sight of God during the swarms of battle, but as peace settled on his spirit, he knew God had not forgotten him.
Closing his eyes, Tristan waited for the bright light. Forgive me for forgetting you, and remember me instead as the boy who once trusted you with his heart.
“Who are you?”
The voice was smooth and soft, yet held more bite than an angel’s should have.
“Naught but a weary soldier ready to go home.”
A rustling of fabric and then the voice came closer. “Best you get on about that, then.”
Exhaustion pulled at him, tugging him toward the comforts of oblivion. He nodded, the pulse in his head beating a steady rhythm with his somnolent heart. He was trying to get on with it. Couldn’t the angel see that?
The sweet scent of honey tickled his nose and he sighed. Heaven would be a blessed reprieve from the fetid assault scores of wounded and unwashed men had waged on his senses.
The disgruntled voice softened and neared. “Um, are you all right, sir?”
He fought back a surge of irritation. Of course he wasn’t all right. Was a dying man supposed to be? “Will be, soon as this is done.”
“As soon as what’s done?”
Tristan cracked an eye to examine the angel standing over him. Hair the color of warm coffee piled on top of her head, she stared at him with wide brown eyes from an oval face. He smiled. Just as beautiful as a heavenly creature should be. She leaned near and placed a cool hand on his brow, making a tsking sound as her fingers slid into what must be the matted mess of blood tangled in his hairline.
Pain spiked and he snagged her wrist, startled to find it all too solid in his grasp. His eyes flew wide. The woman should have struggled to get away, but she remained still, looking down at him with guarded eyes.
“Sir, you need tending.”
Tristan swallowed, trying to get his foggy thoughts to focus. Was he dreaming? Or perhaps he was actually drowning in the river and his mind merely conjured a more pleasant place to pass. He released her hand. “Just let me be.”
Scowling, she leaned closer. “You are on my porch.”
Tristan groaned, the throbbing in his head trying to convince him this was not the quiet escape back to Willowby he’d yearned for.
“Sir?” She shook his shoulder, sending another wave of pain through his head.
He released a low groan and closed his eyes. “Just let me be, woman, I beg of you.”
She scoffed. “I cannot. You are a drenched and delirious soldier still clothed in his grays and lying on my porch in a most pitiful state. I simply cannot let you be.”
Anger stirred in his chest, pushing out some of the cold from his veins. The dog at his side moved closer, its warm body suddenly reminding him he was oddly cold.
The woman tugged on his arm. “Come. I will take you in the house.”
Tristan opened his eyes once more, the waning light casting her features in an amber glow. Even still, he could see a mixture of trepidation and worry scattered across her face.
“No, thank you.”
“No?” Those flashing eyes grew wider.
He rolled to his side, and tried to find the numbing fog once more. Blackness crept in on his vision and he closed his eyes, longing to surrender to it. “Please, may I just die on your porch?”
The woman made a startled noise, and then everything faded into the abyss.
Pre-Order your copy today!
Timeless Love Collection: Romantic Stories that Span the Ages
Note: This is a limited time collection, only available for two weeks after the release date(6/19 – 7/3/18). After that all the novella’s will release in paperback from their respective publishers.
Did you miss the excerpts that were shared earlier? Not to worry, you can find them clicking on the titles below!
Spotlight & Exerpt: Teach Me to Love by Kari Trumbo
Spotlight & Excerpt: Bookishly Ever After by Sarah Monzon