Excerpt of “Plantation Restored”

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by BJ Robinson

The third and last novel in the Azalea Plantation Series will be released soon. Here is a sneak preview of Plantation Restored. If you enjoy historical romance novels with the same characters, don’t miss Siege of Azalea Plantation, Azalea Plantation, and Plantation Restored.

Lexie stood at the balcony railing with Mary in her arms watching a trail of smoke curl into the cloudless blue sky. Her heart thudded. She wanted to scream, but the sound didn’t come.

The explosion shook the ground so hard that it rattled windows in the southern mansion. She hoped and prayed it hadn’t been Reese’s paddle wheeler as she watched a flurry of people from the plantation run toward the dock with the white sharecroppers. Julius came out from below and stood staring at the river before he turned his head and noticed her. Lexie turned, entered her bedroom, exited it, took the hall to the stairs, and descended as if she was going to her own execution.

Her heart hammered. She had to know, yet she didn’t want to discover her fears were right. In a few minutes, she stood beside Julius. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’ve sent men up the river to see if it was his boat.” His voice shook. “I can’t believe he’s come through years of war for something like this to happen.”

Tears trickled down Lexie’s face. “I pray it wasn’t his boat.”

Julius sighed. “Me too, but I didn’t see any others pass this morning.

“Maybe it was one headed this way.”

“Let’s hope.”

“Let’s pray.” She clutched his hand as Molly, Essie, and Sam came running and joined them. Julius bowed his head and prayed that it if it was Reese’s boat, he had somehow survived and asked God to help the victims and their families.

The small group made their way to the dock and stood watching the river and the gray-black smoke funnel through the air, darkening the clear, blue sky.

After what seemed like hours of holding her breath, Lexie spied the small boat Julius had sent with some of his men. It pulled into the dock, and Jess Cunnings, the white overseer, jumped out

onto the wooden deck. He strode to Julius and patted his shoulder. “It was his boat. People are trying to help by fishing survivors from the water. I came back to let you know, and I’m headed back.”

Julius said, “I’m coming with you.”

Lexie’s world swirled around her, and she felt Molly take Mary from her arms as her knees began to tremble. Essie held her and whispered, “Take it easy. He may be in the water. They’ll find him.”

“Wait! I want to go with you.” Lexie shrugged from Essie’s arms and wobbled to the boat on shaky legs. “I have to be there.”

Julius helped her climb into the small vessel. “Are you sure you’re up to this?”

“I have to see for myself.” She sank onto a seat and whispered, “I have to be there for him.” Lexie sat motionless and stared at the muddy Mississippi as the boat headed back to the wreckage.

Once there, her eyes grew wide in shock. Bodies and body parts floated in the river. She gasped and hung her head as she croaked, “Dear God, help us. Please don’t let Reese be dead. Let us find him alive.”

She raised her head and sighed. The wreckage was horrible. The beautiful paddle wheeler from minutes ago was a mangled piece of junk. A huge black man heaved a white man into a rescue boat. She touched Julius’ shoulder and pointed. He headed his boat in that direction.

Moments later, Lexie’s heart leapt. “Sweet Jesus, it’s Reese. Dear God, please let him be alive.”

Julius pulled up to the boat. “Is he . . .”

B. J. RobinsonBio: B. J. Robinson loves reading and writing, family, and pets. She’s authored over twenty books, available for the Amazon Kindle. BJ writes inspirational and romantic suspense and loves writing in various genres to provide choice for her readers. You will also find inspirational, contemporary, short stories, and novellas available as well as Christmas titles. Check out her Amazon Author page for a larger selection. http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1449417151&sr=1-2-ent

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