You will likely not be able to read between the lines here.

This is an excerpt from the manuscript of my latest novel
entitled RACHEL—so entitled for the time being, that is.
Knowing me as I know me, this will likely change.
I simply wanted to whet your appetite for
more from the Payne family of Sarepta, Mississippi.
Rachel will take a seriously unpredictable turn.
I know you will love it.
I invite you to read a
little portion from the manuscript.

From Chapter 2
Looking Back

Rachel had spent a thousand dark and dismal days thinking about those poor people over in Georgia who had taken the hardest blow from the burning, although no one knew better than Joab that Oxford, too, had been trampled and leveled—burned to the ground. And it was not until sometime later that Rachel learned about the New Albany burning. Just two counties north of Calhoun. Sherman was getting his courage from those men who randomly, or maybe methodically, burned towns and villages across the South. At any rate, the newspapers had called his behavior insane. And more letters to his wife, Ellen, confirmed what journalists were seeing and saying about him. About his incessant talking, pacing, smoking one cigar off the other. At night, he was too nervous to sleep. He brooded but at the same time, he was highly energized, leading the writers to depict him as suffering from a combination of depression and the actions of a lunatic.
He wrote to Ellen, “I find myself riding a whirlwind unable to guide the storm …” Fear of failure and humiliation “nearly makes me crazy … indeed I may be so now.”
Rachel closed the box of time-wrinkled papers, pushed them into the window seat, and stepped to the back door.
“Samuel! Samuel!” she called.
Rachel heard the front door slam and Samuel, out of breath, yelling, “Yes ma’am, Mama. What is it?”
“I didn’t mean to startle you, son, but I need you to harness the mules and hitch them to the buckboard. I’ve just decided we’re going to take a ride to Sarepta. Are you hungry, or can you wait until we get back to eat?”
“I’m fine,” he said, bolting out the back door, excited to be going somewhere. Anywhere.
“Wait, son!”
“Yes ma’am?”
“When you get that done, pull the buckboard up to the front and you come back in and wash up and change your clothes. Wear the trousers and shirt Joab brought you from Oxford. They’re freshly washed, starched and ironed. We’re going to call on the Jamisons. Oh, and Samuel, did I tell you—you’re going to Sarepta School after New Year’s?”
“Oh, Mama! I knew it! I just knew it!”
“Well, why didn’t you say so?”
“I was waiting for you to say so.”
“Your patience is becoming, son. I’m not sure I could have waited. What do you say to that?”
“Mama, I could yell so loud, but I will refrain.” He threw his head back and laughed instead.
They climbed onto the buckboard seat, Rachel clutching her old worn handbag with the letter to her mother. She would post it in town. Samuel took the reins and drove the old mules toward the main road and yelled, “He ah!” Partly to urge the old mules. Mainly, because he was overjoyed.

Stay with me, dear friends, and in the meantime if you have not read the first three novels in The Faithful Sons series, they are available at every online bookstore, all over the world. Yes, I have readers in many countries. Thanks for being among those!


Best to all of you,
Jane Bennett Gaddy
Trinity, FLA