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Charleston antiques dealer Audrey Parrish attends an auction preview at Wren Song plantation, hoping to find relics from her past. Instead, she snags her hand on a bedpost splintered by a musket ball and finds herself at the plantation at the exact moment the shot is fired.
Confederate officer Matthew Orrick is staying in the vacant overseer's cabin while recovering from a battle wound. Audrey is captivated by him, but falling in love is not an option. Altering Matt's destiny would impact the fate of generations yet to be born.
After Matt discovers Audrey's true identity, he demands she abandon her attempts to return to her own time. But Audrey's feelings for him conflict with her concern for the lives that will be erased if she stays.
When an eleventh hour opportunity arises, Audrey has only seconds to weigh her decision – stay with the man she loves, or return to set her own world right?
Page Count: 370
Word Count: 91825
“You are changed. It began the evening of your fainting spell. The evening before, you were as I’ve always known you. Now, the way you speak, your manner, you are an entirely different person. At first it was entertaining, but now it has grown troubling. Has this to do with your trip to the old root woman? Is that the reason she creeps around here in the deep of night tucking her spell bags into the nooks and crannies of the house?”
She had forgotten that Tess had assured her Matt would find out about their trip to Miss Jetta’s, but she’d paid it little notice. “Miss Jetta comes here at night?” Audrey said, stunned.
“Do you expect me to believe you don’t know she comes when all the Negroes know? They think she is the reason you have suddenly regained your health. I should believe so, too, but there’s something deeper going on. Tess knows what it is and she’s protective of it. Tell me,” he demanded, “are you a piece of Miss Jetta’s work?”
She was suddenly afraid—afraid to tell him and afraid not to. “No! I only went to Miss Jetta for help.”
“So, you admit it.”
“No. Well, yes. But…”
They turned at the clatter of a tray being set heavily on the table. Tess stood stone-faced looking at her.
Audrey shook her head. “No.”
“Tell him,” Tess said, her voice emotionless.
She looked at Tess with rising panic. “He won’t believe me.”
“He’ll believe me,” Tess said. “Tell him all of it.” She turned and left.
Audrey stared at the tray for a long moment, her thoughts going through all that had happened to her. She felt him at her side and looked up into his troubled eyes. How she wished she did not have to tell him. He would be changed toward her after tonight, but it had gone too far to stop now.
“You’re going to find what I’m about to tell you difficult to believe. I still find it hard to believe myself.” She didn’t want to tell him here in the moonlight. She wanted to see his face clearly and gauge his reaction. “Why don’t we go into the parlor and get comfortable.”
He followed her inside. The doors and windows on both ends of the long room were open drawing a night breeze. Tapers glowed at either end of the couch. She sat down. Matt pulled up a chair across from her, sitting nearly at her knees. She took a steadying breath and began her tale with the date of her own time.
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