I don't usually sprout about my religion on my blog - I believe actions speak louder than words - but I decided to sign up for this blog tour because I have great admiration for the early pioneers who sacrificed so much to lay the foundations of my religion. If it had not been for them, then it's unlikely that those clean-cut missionaries boys - or rather, in my case, girls - would ever have made it to my shores. My life, my values, my goals and my beliefs have all been shaped by that chance meeting. I am who I am today thanks to what I believe.
So, with that little sermon behind us. on to the tour . . .
This is the second book in a series about a family of converts to the LDS church. Richard and Leah Kenyon, along with family and friends, leave their beloved homeland of Wales in 1849 to immigrate to Zion. For the uninitiated, Zion is another name for Salt Lake City - the mothership of the LDS faith. With great sacrifice and faith they prepare for their journey, but are unsuspecting of the exacting toll asked of the Atlantic Ocean and the mighty Mississippi.
As part of the tour, I'm posting two excerpts from Vicki Hall's Book:
Excerpt 1 from Journey of Promise:
Her heart thudded in her chest as she turned and walked up the gangway. Richard paused and looked back to say something to the Saints, but she didn’t stop to listen, making her way onto the ship. She stood on the deck of the steamer as the autumn breezes blew cool and damp off Cardiff Bay. Her heart knotted as she looked out over the pier, hoping against hope that her mother might come to say good-bye. I don’t want to leave . . . I can’t . . . this is home . . .
She pressed her lips together and choked back tears as her eyes scanned the fringes of her native village. Her gaze rose to the hills, still green, to the sky awash in clouds, then down to the surging bay. The smell of briny water filled her nostrils and the call of seabirds cried overhead. Leah closed her eyes, attempting to etch the pictures in her mind, and called upon her memory to remember Wales and never forget.
Richard slid his arm around Leah’s shoulders. “ ’Tis hard, I know,” he said as if he could read her mind.
His touch gave her a sense of reassurance. She could feel his strength lending itself to her, lifting and carrying her beyond doubt. Richard kissed her temple and held her as the ropes were loosed from the moorings. She turned to him, her eyes burning into his. “Let me look at you, Richard.Let me look to you and our future. I cannot bear to watch us leave . . .”
She buried her face against his chest. Richard encircled his wife and held her as the steamer pulled away.
Excerpt 2 from Journey of Promise:
Leah peered inside the box of supplies and saw a chunk of beef infested with maggots. “Who would do this? And why?”
“We need that ham,” Claire said. “We have mouths to feed. What are we goin’ to do?”
Leah reached inside the box and snagged the meat in her bare hand. “I’m getting’ our ham back.”
“What are you—” Claire watched as her sister turned and stormed up the companionway.
Leah fumed all the way to the forecastle, to the captain’s quarters. She wasn’t about to let this assault on her family go without a fight. She raised her hand to knock on the captain’s door but was stopped by Franklin. “You can’t go in there,” he barked, barring the way.
“Mr. Franklin,” she said, her voice tinged with anger, “I need to see the captain.”
Franklin glowered as Leah. “The captain’s a busy man. What do you want?”
Leah shoved the spoiled maggot-filled meat toward his face. “Someone aboard ship stole our ham and left thisin its place! I want the captain to do somethin’ about it!”
Franklin lowered her arm with his hand, repulsed by the rancid beef. “The captain can do nothin’ about it,” he said. His eyes narrowed. “And for all I know, you might be lookin’ to trade this spoiled meat for someone’s ham you’d claim as your own.”
“How dare you accuse me of such a thing,” she said, stamping her foot. “I’ve come to have things made right and you treat me as if I’m the thief!”
Franklin smirked and clasped his hands behind his back. “See it however you want,” he said. “The captain won’t be disturbed over it. Maybe you should be thankful for what you have and eat it.”
This matter was beyond that of just stealing. It was a threat to her family’s condition—a deprivation of the food that cost them so dearly, the very nourishment they needed to survive the coming weeks. Leah’s anger exploded as she pushed the rotted meat into Franklin’s smug face. “You eat it!” She spun and charged off.
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