The Honey Bride
The Honey Bride
"These heartwarming romances will pull you in and leave you with a book hangover long after you’ve read the final words.” Julie Grant
Afraid of her own shadow and now she's in charge. He can't get her to notice him, it's time to ride out of town.
A tragic barn fire takes Katie’s father and leaves her with a debt she can’t pay. To save her family she must save her farm, but how when she can't talk to people?
Pete has pined for Katie a long time, but he can’t even get a smile from her. He’s given up on settling down and is ready to ride out of town. When lightning strikes the Tucker’s barn, he offers to help Katie with the farm and hopes to win her heart.
Can Katie overcome her shyness and learn to trust Pete?
The Honey Bride is a sweet Christian historical novella is set in Trenton, Illinois, in the late 1800s. If you like stepping back to a simpler time then you'll love Diana Lesire Brandmeyer's poignant tale.
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*NOTE: This is an eBook edition that can be read on an electronic device, iPad, Tablet, Nook, Phone, Computer, Kindle, or in the BookFunnel App.
Read the first chapter
Wind-whipped water plopped on, splattered, and then moistened Katie Tucker’s forehead, rousing her. Something wasn’t right. She’d fallen asleep with open windows, hoping for a breeze to relieve the early summer heat. Now the wind was wicked, pulsating against the bedroom panes and blowing in rain. She sat, reached for the window, and closed it with a bang.
The sky lit up once, twice. The hair on her arms stretched for heaven. Crack. The second story sizzled and popped. Lightning. She shivered. Was it a tornado, like the one she’d read about last month? Five people in Wabash County had died.
Papa would be yelling to go into the cellar any minute. Please, God, not down there. Chill bumps raced up her arms.
Henry, her younger brother, banged against her door and called out, jarring her from the nightmare of spider webs stuck in her hair.
Had he said fire? In the house? The barn? Shaking, she fumbled for her wrapper, found it, then rushed her arms through the sleeves. Her shoes were by the back door. Henry waited at the bottom of the stairs.
“The barn’s on fire. Papa’s out there.”
“Get a bucket! I’ll get the stew pan. Where’s Oma?”
“I’ll wake her. Get as many things filled with water as you can.” Henry’s boots pounded sharply against the wood floor in time to her heartbeat. She needed to wake her grandmother.
Oma met her at the doorway.
“What’s the yelling about?”
“Lightning started a fire in the barn. Papa is getting out the animals. I was coming to wake you.”
“I’m up. Go help. I’ll be there as soon as possible.”
Katie hesitated. Should she insist her grandmother stay inside?
“Go, Schatzi. Now.”
Her grandmother’s strong words urged her feet forward, and she hightailed it down the stairs. She trembled on the bench, trying to get her shaking fingers to work her laces into place. The unnatural noises from the animals made her want to run back to bed. No matter how fearful she was, she couldn’t. There was work to be done.
Outside, the smoke lay heavy in the air. They needed help. The farmhand Papa hired hadn’t shown up. If they could get word to the fire department, but they were too far from town. She’d send Henry to the Gibbons’. They were the closest.
Henry worked the pump, water pouring, splashing against the bucket sides.
“Still in there. He got Starlight out first.”
“Good. Get on her, ride to the Gibbons’, and tell them we need help.”
“I can help.”
“We need more than the three of us. Hurry. You’re faster than me.”
Henry ran for the horse. Katie picked up the bucket of water Henry had filled. The handle bit into her hands as she carried it to the barn. “Papa! I have water!”
“I’m here.” He grabbed the bucket and ran inside. Seconds later, he was back. “Fill it again. Hurry.” He coughed. “Where’s Henry?”
“I sent him for help.” Flames licked the inside of the dry barn wood.
“They won’t make it before it’s burned to the ground.” Her father bent over, coughing. When he was able to catch his breath, he handed her his kerchief. “Wet that and bring it with the next bucket. Lady Jane is still in there.”
She shuddered. Lady Jane was difficult on a good day. In a fire, who knew what the horse was capable of doing.
***Unable to sleep,Pete Dentpaced theGibbons’barn,where he slept. The rhythm of the rain didn’t bring its usual soothing. Storms didn’t bother him, but this one did.Too soon, too dangerous,after the one last month.He stood in the open doorandnoticed Roy standing on the porch.He jogged across the yard and up the steps.“Thunder keeping you awake?”
“Scared Frances. Alma’s taking care of her.” Roy said.
Crack. The lightening startled both men.
“That was close. Sounded like it hit something.” Roy ran to the edge of the porch.
Pete looked the other way, toward the Tucker place. Katie on his mind, again. He’d like to get to know her better. It had taken him a few months, but he’d managed to get her to smile at him at church. Shy little thing. He’d been ready to pull up stakes and find another place to work when she’d caught his eye. Katie might be the one person to tip the scale and keep him in Trenton.
“Do you see that?” Roy pointed in the direction Pete had been staring.
“That’s a bright light. Too bright. Think they got hit with that last bolt?” Pete’s heart pounded. “I’m riding out. They might need help if it hit the house or barn.”
“Go. I’ll let Alma know and meet you.”
Pete wasted no time saddling Biscuit and urging him to a gallop. As he grew closer to the Tucker’s, he knew something was burning. Probably the barn with the way the flames were flicking the sky. Someone rode toward him. Katie coming for help? He slowed his horse.
“Hey, our barn’s on fire. Can you help?”
“Henry, is that you?”
“Yeah, Pete. Katie told me to get you. Hurry! Papa’s getting the animals out and—”Henry stopped to catch his breath.
“I heard you. That’s where I’m headed. Roy’s behind me.”
Henry turned Starlight around.
Both horses stretched into a neck-to-neck race for the Tucker barn.
When they arrived, the smoke was thick, but the bright flames licked through, illuminating the night, revealing Katie lugging a bucket. Pete dismounted and tied Biscuit to the porch railing. He ran to Katie and pried her fingers from the handle. “Fill another one and keep filling. I’ll get them to the barn. Roy’s on his way.”
“Papa’s in there! I can’t get to him.”
Cold sweat tickled down his back. If Mr. Tucker was still in that barn, the odds were he wasn’t coming out. Please, God, let her father be alive. He ran inside, keeping low. “Mr. Tucker! Holler your position!” The roaring flames sucked his words into silence. He tossed the water on a bale of hay and ran out, gasping for air.
Katie waited with a pan of water. He took it and rushed back inside. He had to find her father.
All the things!
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