Thursday, October 7, 2010

From The Vault

The Mockingbird’s Call
HS #892

Amelia never planned to become a notorious agent on the Underground Railroad; it just happened. Before she knew it, the whole Confederate army was looking for her - including her fiance, Captain Luke Talbot. Jared Stuart finds himself torn between his convictions and his duty. While he can't support slavery, he chooses to use his talents as a writer to prove the pen is mightier than the sword. When Luke arrests Jared, Amelia must face herself and make difficult decisions. Will she admit to her actions, freeing Jared and destroying her own engagement?

Key verse:

John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Jared leaned out of the doorway and waved until the train turned a bend and he could no longer see his family. He stepped into the narrow space between cars and pulled off his spectacles which had unaccountably become blurry. The problem couldn’t be connected to the burning sensation in his eyes. That would mean he was crying. Grown men didn’t cry. Surreptitiously he wiped the lenses clean and replaced the spectacles, looking around to see if he’d been noticed.

He opened the door in front of him just as the train lurched. Allowing the movement to push him forward, Jared passed several benches and chose one that was unoccupied. That’s when he noticed the lovely young lady sitting on the other side of the aisle from him.

She glanced in his direction before modestly returning her attention to the book in her lap. She was the most beautiful girl in the world. The quick glance she sent his direction showed eyes as blue as a summer sky. He also noticed her delicate complexion and generous, bow-shaped mouth. Although her hair was pulled up and mostly hidden under her bonnet, he could see shimmering strands around her face that reminded him of sun-drenched corn silk. She could be the subject of poetry, perhaps the fabled Helen of Troy.

The train began to pick up speed as they moved farther away from the station, seeming to race as quickly as his mind. Where was the young lady’s maid? Was she traveling alone? Chivalry filled his chest and squared his shoulders. Like a knight of old he could watch over her and make sure she reached Chattanooga safely.

His imagination soared. Over the next couple of hours, Jared would gradually win her confidence, and offer her his protection. If she was traveling beyond Chattanooga on this train, he would speak to the conductor about her and make certain a suitable replacement would help her reach her final destination. If by some miraculous chance she was journeying to Knoxville, he would guard her from all the dangers they might encounter. It was the least he could do. If one of his sisters found herself traveling alone in these dangerous times, he would hope some man might do the same.

He tilted his head to see what she might be reading. Perhaps that would be a good place to start a conversation. It was a fairly thick volume, so not a book of poetry. Jared craned his neck further but could not see the title. He thought he saw her gaze slide in his direction, so Jared sat back and straightened his cravat. He didn’t want to make her nervous.

After a moment, she returned her attention to her book and turned a page. From the corner of his vision he saw a red ribbon she must be using as a bookmark flutter to the floor between their seats. Jared reached down for it at the same time as the young woman, narrowly avoiding a head collision.

He plucked the ribbon from the floor and put it in her hand, noticing her dainty wrist and long fingers. “You dropped your ribbon.” He nearly groaned as he heard the words. He sounded like a simpleton. Why couldn’t he think of something besides the obvious to say?

“Thank you.” Her smile was perfect, friendly but shy. Her fingers closed over the ribbon, and she settled back in her seat.

Say something! His mind screamed the words, but nothing came to him. His gaze lit on her book. She had partially closed it when she reached for the ribbon. He saw the title and inspiration struck “You’re reading A Tale of Two Cities. What do you think of it? Dickens is one of my favorite authors. I was hoping to procure a copy of that novel before leaving Nashville, but with this and that, I never quite found the time to visit the bookseller. I hope to purchase it once I reach Knoxville. If I can find someone to tell me where the bookseller is located, of course.” He cringed as he realized he was babbling.

She opened her mouth to answer him but was stopped by the arrival of a broad-shouldered man who looked a year or two older, and much more debonair than Jared could ever hope to be. A brother?

“Is this man bothering you, Amelia?” The newcomer’s ferocious frown raked Jared from head to foot, and his hope of protecting the pretty traveler withered.

What is one of your favorite movies? Is it a romance or another genre?


  1. I really enjoyed this story. Aaron...I mean a great character. But I really liked how the mockingbird part meshed with the underground railroad. Great story, Diane and Aaron.
    Ginger Vaughan

  2. OK, Ginger, HA HA! Thanks for posting again. As for my favorite movie, I guess I will have to give two. I love "It's a Wonderful Life," showing how one life can change the lives of so many others--so like Christ, and "The Sound of Music," just a great musical, which I do love.

  3. LOL, Ginger. They do bear a remarkable resemblance, don't they...For those of you who don't know...all of the Bards who have read The Mockingbird's Call agree that Jared is Aaron. Aaron doesn't agree, but I have to confess that as I worked on the first draft, I did try to have Jared deal with his issues in the same way as I thought Aaron would. If you have read it and you know Aaron, please let us know if you see any similarities.

    I love scifi, so I was enthralled with The Matrix (first movie only). I loved the Biblical references, the plot and the special effects. Second to that was The Sixth Sense because I didn't see the ending coming.

  4. Umm, I don't usually watch a lot of movies, so I don't have a favorite genre, I love romance, but like some action too.

    This books sounds right up my alley! I love the Civil War era and the undergroud railroad. Will have to remember this title!

  5. I love movies. :) One of my all-time favorites is El Dorado with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan.

    It's a western...with a romance in there somewhere. :)

  6. I also love movies of all kinds...but my absolute favorite is also "The Sound of Music". I grew up singing the songs and wishing I could be Maria Von Trapp--and I got to be my senior year of high school! I was literally on cloud nine for the rest of that school year :)

  7. Make that three for the Sound of Music. Great romance!