Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.
Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?
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Read an Excerpt
Ten years later April 12, 1861
"Cassandra Kendrick! What have you done?"
Cassie cringed at the slurred, booming voice hovering just beyond the barn door. She crouched, pressing her back against the prickly wood wall, and breathed through her mouth lest the sweet motes of hay floating around her cause a sneeze. She could not let Father know her whereabouts. Not until his temper cooled or his alcohol-sodden brain plunged him once again into a sleeping stupor. For him to find her in his current condition would not bode well.
In her eighteen years, history had taught her that much in abundance.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are."
The ominous timbre slithered down her spine. She squeezed her eyes shut.
Thud, thud, thud.
Her pulse pounded dully in her ears, the rhythm far too rapid. Could he hear?
His sluggish footsteps faded, as did his familiar curses. She allowed her back to relax a fraction and dropped her head against the barn wall, wincing when strands of her hair stuck and pulled against the splinters of wood.
Breathe in; breathe out.
She waited for several long moments. He had deceived her before. She had crept from her hiding spot only to have his meaty fingers clamp around her throat.
The barn door squeaked open on rusty hinges. Her breath snagged, but it was Mother's careworn face that appeared.
Sunlight streamed around her silhouette.
Uttering a sigh of relief, Cassie pushed away from the wall and brushed poking shafts of straw from her skirt. "He found out, then?"
Mother nodded. "Came from town and went straight to the crock."
Cassie grimaced, imagining his reaction when his calloused fingers scraped the inside of the empty container. "He didn't accuse you, did he?"
Mother waved her hand in dismissal, though the tight lines around her eyes remained. "It doesn't matter. He laid not a hand on me. In truth, it's unlikely he'll remember come tomorrow."
Cassie stepped over tackle and crates, squinting against the bright sunlight. She straightened. "I'm not sorry. You know I'm not."
"I know." With a sad smile, Mother turned to leave, murmuring instructions over her shoulder. "Time to hang the wash."
That was all? No reprimand? Cassie said not a word. Avoid ing Father was the part she had fretted over most, but fearing her actions had disappointed Mother ...
Perhaps Mother wasn't sorry either. The thought gave her pause.
Cassie trudged through the grasss-plotched yard as chickens squawked and flapped around her skirts. The worn garment tangled around her ankles.
At least she'd bought them time. Yes, she'd taken the only money to be had from the crock, but the tax man's demands were sated. If Mother had agreed with her actions, why did she not say so? Why could she never stand up to Father?
Before they had rounded the corner of the cabin, a wagon careened down the dirt road in front of the house, churning up splatters of mud and jostling with enough clatter to wake the dead. Cassie frowned. The driver was recognizable enough.
Peter, her sister Eloise's husband, jumped from the bouncing wagon a hairsbreadth after he'd set the brake. His blond hair was windblown as if tossed by a dervish. His eyes were bright, sparkling with an excitement she'd rarely, if ever, witnessed from the sulky man.
Mother's face filled with sudden angst. "What's wrong? Is it Eloise?"
"Of course not." His Irish brogue lilted high as his chest puffed out with a billow. He hooked his thumbs around his suspenders. "You've not heard the news, then?"
Cassie stepped next to Mother's side. A cold stone sank in her stomach. "What news?"
His lips curved into a smile, revealing crooked yellow teeth. "Why, war, sister. War has been declared."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Where Dandelions Bloom"
Copyright © 2019 Tara Johnson.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Bringing facets of Civil War history to life, Where Dandelions Bloom is an engaging journey of hidden identity and of discovering what’s most important in life—and in love.