A Guardian of Slaves by Naomi Finley – Book Spotlight, Excerpt, Preview

Posted February 26, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Spotlight, Giveaways /

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A Guardian of Slaves by Naomi Finley - Book Spotlight, Excerpt, Preview

A Guardian of Slaves by Naomi Finley – Book Spotlight, Excerpt, Preview

A Guardian of Slaves

by Naomi Finley

Publication Date February 5, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction
Written for: Adults
Pages: 348

Synopsis:

Willow Hendricks is now the Lady of Livingston. She manages this plantation with her father and best friend Whitney Barry. The two women continue her parents' secret abolitionist mission. They use the family's ships and estates to transport escaped slaves along the channels to freedom. Willow's love for Bowden Armstrong is as strong as ever, but she is not ready to marry and have a family because of her attention to these noble pursuits. Torn by her love for him, can their bond survive his reluctance to support her efforts with the Underground Railroad?

Meanwhile, whispers among the quarters sing praises of a mysterious man in the swamps helping slaves escape. He is called the Guardian. They believe he will save them from brutal slave catchers and deliver them to the promised land. Masked bandits roam the countryside, but the Guardian and the criminals evade capture. A series of accidents and mysterious disappearances raise alarm throughout the region. Who can Willow and Whitney trust? One false move or slip could endanger the lives of everyone they love and bring ruin to the Livingston Plantation.

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** Be aware that this book contains some crude language. There are also references to the slaves by the overseers using derogatory names.

Excerpt

Shivers racked my body. My shoulders ached with the tension from my white-knuckled grip on the reins that bit through my brown leather gloves. Bile scorched the back of my throat. Beside me, my friend Whitney clung to the side of the wagon, jaw tense with worry and yes, fear.

We must make it! We must! Squinting through the relentless rain blinding my vision, I scanned the horizon for the edge of town. He can’t die. Please let him make it alive. I winced with each jaw-rattling jolt of the wagon, worrying for the gravely wounded slave hidden behind the false plank under the wagon seat.

We pushed through the rain-filled ruts suctioning at the wheels with each rotation. Droplets of cold muck splattered our clothing and faces.

Last evening, the slave had shown up at Livingston, pounding on the front door as blood pooled on the veranda from the gaping wound in his midsection. Leaning on the frame, he gasped for air, his eyes wild with fear. He cried out repeatedly, “I come seekin’ de Guardian.”

The risk of keeping him at Livingston past morning had been too high. He’d killed the overseer over at the Thames Plantation. Art Thames would be out for Negro blood, and that of anyone harboring him. Despite his condition, we had to try to get him out on the afternoon ship leaving for Baltimore. The dark, early morning skies had held the promise of a downpour, but we’d hoped to reach town before they unleashed their torrent.

The edge of town stretched out before us, but as we rounded the bend, my breath caught at the sight of four riders galloping toward us. Rain glistened on the coats of the charging beasts. The horses’ hooves kicked up the wet ground and surrounded them and their riders in a cloud of black liquid.

Whitney’s hand moved to the rifle leaning on the seat between us.

Deafened by the thrashing of my heart as they drew near, I focused my line of vision straight ahead.

The horsemen pulled their mounts to a stop in the middle of the road. One held up his hand. “Halt!”

I eased the wagon to a stop.

The speaker moved his horse to my side, and I gulped back the lump forming in my throat as I locked eyes with Art Thames. Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed another man taking up a position alongside Whitney. He was none other than Richard Carter, the father of the town gossip, Lucille. The other two men circling the wagon were strangers.

“Is there something we can help you with?” I cocked my head in Art’s direction.

About the Author

Naomi lives in Northern Alberta. Her love for travel means her suitcase is always on standby while she awaits her next plane ticket and adventure. Her love for history and the Deep South is driven by the several years she spent as a child living in a Tennessee plantation house. She comes from a family of six sisters. She married her high school sweetheart and has two teenage children and two dogs named Ginger and Snaps.

Creativity and passion are the focus of her life. Apart from writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, throwing lavish dinner parties, movies, health, and fitness.

For more information, please visit Naomi Finley’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.