I am excited to announce My Soul Awaits – Connie’s Story has gone to the BETA readers. This is the second step in the editing process, and hopefully, the third book in my series will be ready by Christmas!
If you’ve read my books, Memories of War begins with Markus and Meggie Petersen beginning a new pastorate in Kentucky.
Two years before the Civil War, new graduate from New York’s Auburn Theological Seminary, Markus Petersen and his new bride, Meggie travel south to settle in Maysville, Kentucky where Markus will become assistant pastor at the local church. Once there, they get caught in a tumult of war between the Union and the South.
Markus’s faith in God’s commandment to love your neighbor as yourself and his strong Christian morality lead him to side with the Abolitionist movement. Assisting his friend, John Lane, Jr., they spirit slaves away to the north via the Underground Railroad.
In doing so, he risks everything, his new wife’s safety, and his own life. MEMORIES OF WAR is one family’s tale of hope and courage during a tragic time in America’s history.
In the second book, And Freedom to the Prisoners, Joe and Berutha Petersen are escaped slaves. Both in their early twenties, they plan their escape with the help of their pastor and his friend and travel along the Underground Railroad to the north only to find there is little safety there because they are being followed by their owner, Henry Copeland and a brigand gang of other unseemly characters looking for rewards. Henry is an evil, uncouth man who abuses both Joe and Berutha. At the same time, he has taught Joe to be a blacksmith. This skill allows Joe to bring in an income almost everywhere the couple goes.
The Petersen’s find no family members in Chicago and no safety there, so they begin their trek west to the Arizona Territory. Their hope is for a place to make their new home and to find Joe’s brother, Billy. Fear of capture by patty rollers, Indian attacks, and deprivation drives them on across the country. During their travel along the Santa Fe Trail, the couple make new friends. Disease strikes the wagon train they’ve joined and loss and death is a constant companion. The journey taxes their faith and spirit, but the situation seems to improve when they finally make it to Arizona; however, they find their troubles have followed them.
Diverse hazards abound in the deserts of Arizona. The weather isn’t always their friend, people in their new town harass them, and then Joe and Berutha find out desperados have joined up with Henry Copeland and he is searching for them. Desperation almost causes Berutha to take matters into her own hands, but a hero steps up to save the day.
My Soul Awaits concludes the series as Connie Laney, abandoned by her cruel husband, Clinton, struggles to figure out how to survive in San Francisco after the ’49ers Gold Rush, and during the midst of the Civil War.
Connie begins to take in laundry for the diverse population of San Francisco, makes difficult decisions about her marriage, and endeavors to make a secure life for herself, by herself. Finally, she realizes she is not alone as she strives to nurse Clinton back to health, and balances her own happiness and the safety of her friends with what God’s will for her life seems to be.
These three stories have been a labor of love for me. When I began writing Memories of War, I didn’t even see or realize two other stories would blossom from it. I only wanted to show God’s love during a very difficult time in history, and suddenly, (it seems sudden) I have three books.
I hope, if you have a love of history, and the Civil War in particular, you will love these stories the way I do. Thanks for reading them.