.

Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fiction Sampler: Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz



Author of Courting Morrow Little, Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz's ancestors followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late eighteenth century and settled in Madison County, where her family still resides. She has also authored the highly acclaimed The Frontiersman's Daughter and her much anticipated The Colonel's Lady will release in August of this year. 


"The Frontiersman's Daughter marked this exceptional debut author as a name to watch; Courting Morrow Little firmly establishes her as a name synonymous with the best literary fiction in the Christian market today."
Author, Julie Lessman


Caught between the wilderness and civilization, Morrow Little must find her way to true love.

Morrow Little is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men--ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable--vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost loved ones--and garner suspicion from her friends--by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn't love?
This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop you as it takes you from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness of the West.


Prologue
Red River, Kentucke
July 1765


Morrow paused on the river trail to wipe her brow with the hem of her linsey shift. It was a true Kentucke July, and the woods were hot as a hearth, the leaves of the elms and oaks and sycamores curling for lack of water, the dust beneath her bare feet fine as flour. Even the river seemed like bathwater, its surface still and unbroken as green glass. She’d been following her brother Jessamyn to swim, but a treasure trove of wild grapes along the river’s edge slowed her.

“Morrow, quit your dawdlin’, ” Jess yelled over his shoulder.

She stuffed the grapes into her mouth till it wouldn’t close then filled her pockets for him. His quick grin was thanks enough.

“Why, them’s big as marbles—or trade beads,” he exclaimed, filling his own cheeks. “Reckon Ma would want some to make jelly?”

“We can pick her some after we swim,” she said, shucking off her shift and hanging it from a sticker bush.

At the sight of her, Jess began to snicker. “Morrow Mary Little, you’re fat as a grape yourself. And so white you hurt my eyes.”

Truly, she was as plump as she could be. Stout, Pa called her, like most of the Little clan. Though five years old, she’d still not lost her baby fat, and only her face and feet and hands were tan. The rest of her was white as milk.

She grinned, bubbling with glee at his teasing. “You’re so skinny I can see right through you. And you’re brown as bacon.”

Only ten, he worked the fields alongside Pa like a man, tending tobacco and corn while she mostly toted her baby sister around and helped Ma spin. Joining hands now, they jumped off their favorite rock, shattering the river’s calm. Cool at last, they surfaced, smiling, glad to be free of the fields and Euphemia’s fussing.

Morrow twirled in the water. “Ain’t it fine—” she began.

But the smile had slipped off Jess’s face. He held up a hand as Pa sometimes did, forbidding further talk. Bewildered, she looked about. But her brother wasn’t looking, he was listening.

Beyond the noisy jays and flighty cardinals and whisper of wind, past the heat shimmers of midsummer and the wall of woods, came a startling sound. The humid air was threaded with shrieking and screaming.

All at once Jess began to wade to shore. Morrow followed, but he turned, his freckled face suffused with a strange heat.

“You stay put—don’t even twitch—till I come back.”

She watched the woods swallow him up as she sat in the shallow water, unable to stand up any longer on her trembling legs, unable to listen to the shrieking and screaming out there somewhere. With her hands over her ears she waited, and then when the water turned cold she started up the trail to their cabin, forgetting her dress. Naked as a jaybird, she flew into the quiet cabin clearing. The slant of the sun told her it was nearly time for supper. But where was Ma calling her to come in? Or the ring of Pa’s ax as he split wood? Or Jess reminding her to bell the cow before he turned her loose in the meadow? For once she even missed her baby sister’s wailing.

Her bare feet ate up the dry, dun-colored grass leading to the cabin porch. There on the steps, like a discarded doll, lay Euphemia. The dying sun lit her baby sister’s wide blue eyes, only Euphemia didn’t blink or cry. Had she fallen down and hurt herself? Morrow looked around. Where was Ma? Her breathing was a bit ragged now as she surveyed the toppled churn and water bucket by the cabin door. Some unseen hand seemed to tug her ever nearer, but she saw she’d have to step over Euphemia to get there, and she couldn’t do it.

Sweat trickled down her face, yet she started to shiver like it was winter, eyes on the open door. Frantic, she looked around for Ma and Jess and Pa. Digger should have been here too, alerting them with his bark, welcoming them home. As soon as she thought it, she saw his furry body beneath the rosebush to one side of the cabin, an arrow through his middle.

An Indian arrow.

With a cry she jumped over Euphemia and ran into the ransacked cabin. Ma was slumped over her spinning wheel, but Morrow couldn’t get to her past the splintered furniture and broken glass and scattered clothes and quilts. A flurry of feathers from the tick that had been Ma’s pride were dancing in the draft coming through the cabin door. They rained down around Morrow restlessly, soft as a snowfall, almost as white. Standing there, her heart hurt so fiercely she felt it would burst.

“Morrow!”

Behind her, hard hands scooped her up and tore her away from the sickening sight. Pa carried her to the barn, away from the blood and the smell of death and their torn-up things. But he couldn’t remove the gruesome memory. And he couldn’t explain why the Almighty had let it happen in the first place.


READ CHAPTER ONE HERE.


Author's Website
Purchase the Book

For a chance to win a copy of Courting Morrow Little please visit on Friday, May 27th when Laura Frantz shares on our feature, Tools of the Trade.


26 comments:

  1. What a chilling intro to such an amazing book! I loved it, and am SO looking forward to "The Colonel's Lady!" Winchester, KY, here I come!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful! I've read Courting Morrow Little, and found it exactly as Julie Lessman said--character-driven literary fiction that you will not be able to put down. The details of living in colonial times, and the characters' relationships--good and bad-- really resonated. I was hooked with that first terrible scene of the Indian attack; but I was even more hooked by the child's humanity and very personal action of stuffing those grapes in her mouth :) Beautiful Red Shirt, sad, bitter Jemima--all drawn with a loving and precise "quill". Thank you, Laura!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I so enjoyed CML and love having it on my Kindle! Thanks for reminding me about this great story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, so blessed by your gracious words, ladies!! I was thinking how dark an opening/prologue it is - would you believe I actually lightened it before handing it to my editor? But there's really no sanitizing this history. I commend those of you who kept on reading and am thankful for lighter moments in the following pages. I'm not sure if I'll ever do a prologue again but wrote an epilogue for the first time in The Colonel's Lady and oh my, was that JOYful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've read The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little, and without doubt, they are two of THE BEST books I've ever read. This sample scene speaks to the exceptional quality of Laura's writing. God has blessed Laura with the ability to pen stories that captivate, and in turn, God has certainly given each one of us a gift.

    Anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Colonel's Lady in August!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Laura! A JOYful epilogue! I can hardly stand the wait. ;-)

    Have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with Julie's assessment entirely. Laura's ability to engage and enthrall the reader is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Laura Frantz is an amazing writer! So glad we could post this excerpt here. I agree with one of the FB posters that it is not enough - one HAS to read Courting Morrow Little, it is an excellent book and the whole thing has to be read! Thanks for allowing this to be shared.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, powerful stuff. I haven't read either of Laura's books, but she's on my radar now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, I've read The Frontiersman's Daughter, and now I HAVE to read this one too. Beautiful writing, Laura! You really put the reader into the scene.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Michelle, You've been on my mind today and it blesses me abundantly that you've popped up here!! Your gracious words are so needed and tucked away in my sunshine folder, as one author calls it, to take out on less than sunny days:) All of you mean so much. Thanking Him for each of you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Carla and Carrie, So glad the Lord brought us together. As I say, we authors have to hang together (or we'll all hang separately, as the colonial saying goes:).

    Pegg, So happy you want to read my books! Please stop back by on Friday as one is given away. Glad to meet you here!

    Joan, I feel the very same about your writing. That's why your books are on my keeper shelf:) Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What!! I thought we were getting a chapter of The Colonel's Lady!! Hmph, Guess I will wait til August 1st!! LOL

    Just as well, Courting Morrow was what introduced me to Laura. I am so thankful for it. I love her writing and her heart for her readers.

    You are the best Laura. So glad you are a contributor to this wonderful site!!

    Stacie

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad to see you all here enjoying this excerpt from this fabulous book. Make sure you read Chapter One if you haven't yet. And you could win a copy of Courting Morrow Little - come back Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I heard from Jennifer that her comment would not post, so I am here to see what happens on Chrome.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Signing on from IE. We have Laura again on Friday, too! This time she has an article with tips for historical writers. We have a giveaway this week for Laura, too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Apologies to those who haven't been able to leave comments via Blogger. Bless you for your patience! I've tried to respond to dear Stacie and others but have been blocked. Here's praying this goes through. Thanks so much for being a part of CQ!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Reading this prologue makes me want to read CML all over again. I gave my copy away to a friend on bed rest during pregnancy. So... I ordered a new copy today. I'm looking forward to it as much as the first time.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with everyone else on here; Courting Morrow Little was one of my all-time favorite books and is a definite must read! They say you can't judge a book by its cover and normally that's true, but everything from the beautiful cover to the words inside were phenomenal! This book was full of excitement and realistic characters...and, ooh, that Red Shirt! LOL

    This book ministered to me during the aftermath of my mom's passing, and I was so grateful to have it...to bury my nose within its rich pages and forget my sorrow for awhile. I never wanted it to end, but couldn't wait to see how it did end, if that makes any sense.

    Laura is as delightful and wonderful as her books, a true friend and a gracious lady!

    ReplyDelete
  21. CML is also one of my all time favorite books. It ministered to me during my Dad's passing as well. My Mom and I sat in his hospital room, she will The Frontiersman's Daughter, and I will Courting Morrow Little with the blessing of being carried away into another time and place...a sweet respit.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, wonderful to wake up and see some of you battled Blogger and won:)

    Lori, Thanks so much for buying another copy of CML - and for loaning it to a friend. That means a great deal! I hope the second reading is even better than the first:)

    Diana and Carla, I'll always link you two with Carrie in my mind as you 3 were reading CML at a very difficult, emotional time. It touches me as an author that the Lord uses fiction to comfort people's hearts at such times. He's certainly done that with me. So thankful you're my readers! I treasure your words...

    ReplyDelete
  23. After reading this post, it makes me want to read CML again, but I loaned it to my to read so I am going to have to wait. Looking forward to The Colonel's lady. I am going to try to make it to the book signing Laura is having in Kentucky, if I can get off from work.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Carissa,
    So happy to see you here! And I'd so love to meet you offline in future:) That thought sure blesses me. I really miss the characters in CML and wish I could read the book fresh from a reader's perspective. So honored to have this prologue posted - but more honored by your precious comments!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. And the winner is - Joan Hochstetler. Joan, the book and your quill should go out later this week. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!