Memories by the Stream
ISBN: (13): 9781490384641 / (10): 1490384642
Published: 2013 Innovative Writing Works
Category: Fiction/Romance/Western/Family Life
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Ruth Randolph was convinced nothing could mar her newfound happiness. She had reconciled with her
daughter, Rachel. Her niece, Jane, was engaged to Reverend Henry Kohl. And a love she thought she'd
lost long ago had been rekindled, with Richard Kinsley's return to town. But when a letter arrives from
her estranged father, Caleb Vance, an injustice left unresolved for more than twenty years forces Ruth
to relive the darkest hour of her youth.
Once caught between an arranged marriage and a passionate romance, Ruth made her choice at
gunpoint and nearly died for defying her father's will. Since that day, nothing but animosity existed
Now, Caleb hoped his return to Copper Creek would change all that. But his crazed desire to have
revenge upon the man, who caused their rift, unwittingly sparks a disastrous domino effect, leaving
Ruth's life hanging in the balance and the town in danger of financial ruin. The only hope Ruth has to
stop the cruel events of her past from repeating themselves rests with a most unlikely hero; the
infamous gunfighter, Ethan Slade.
Amazon Kindle ebook $2.99
"I just love the characters
in Copper Creek. It all
seems so real."
"Can't wait for the next
book in the series. This
story is really engrossing."
"Great! I plan to share this
book with my friends."
"So good! Liked the
hometown feel and rurual
setting. Compelling ensemble
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CreateSpace Paperback: $10.95
Explore the Series...
Ripples in the Stream
Copper Creek Series - Book 2
death that summer
sent shock waves
Ruth finished ringing up the final sale of the day, just as Rachel returned from the post office.
"Would you lock up, dear?" Ruth asked, as Rachel breezed through the door.
Rachel wordlessly complied and then floated over to the counter.
"I take it you got a letter," Ruth replied.
"You didn't happen to check if there was any mail for the rest of us?"
"Huh?" Rachel said. "Oh, here." She opened her purse.
"Just one," she added, setting the envelope down in front of her mother.
"Not at all, mother." Rachel smiled and then leaned across the counter to give her mother a peck on
the cheek. "Now if you'll excuse me…I have some reading to do."
She wandered off towards the staircase and as she progressed upward, Ruth eyed her daughter warily.
She found it hard to believe she had ever acted so silly when she was a young girl in love. But then,
that had been long ago. Since those days, disappointment and grief had given Ruth a new perspective
on romance, though she was relieved to admit it wasn't a cynical one. That was due entirely to
Richard Kinsley. His return after so many years of estranged affection had given them a second chance
at love and it was a chance Ruth had come to prize more each day.
Richard strolled out from the store office with a ledger full of messy figures. He was prepared to give
Ruth a serious lecture about the necessity for organization in her financial matters when he was
struck by the loveliness of her appearance. She was clearly lost in her thoughts and quite unaware of
his presence, which allowed him the freedom to admire her.
A few tendrils had fallen from her coiffure during the harried business of the day. They drew his eye
to the nape of her neck, which sloped gracefully toward her poised, but delicate, shoulders. He found
himself smiling in spite of his earlier concerns and tucked the pencil he was holding behind his ear.
Then he silently crept up behind her and kissed the spot on her neck that had tantalized him.
"Richard!" she exclaimed, as she turned to face him.
He drew his arms around her waist. "I couldn't resist. You looked so adorable."
Ruth rested her hands on his chest. "It's not possible for a woman my age to be adorable anymore, my
"Then you defy your age, my sweet. You always look adorable to me."
"Clearly, you need glasses."
"No. All I need is you." He leaned in to kiss her again, but Ruth held him back.
"What would the girls think?" Ruth warned, as she looked around.
"That we're in love."
Ruth met his gaze and melted under the warmth of his eyes.
"Aren't we?" he pursued.
"Deeply," she replied. She tilted her face up and kissed him softly.
"What's worrying you then?" Richard asked, when they parted.
"Rachel. What else."
"But she is so happy."
"For now, yes. But what happens when Ben Kohl gets out of jail and decides he doesn't want to settle
"Why do you assume he'll change his mind?"
"Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. I never have been able to adjust to the idea of them
marrying. Still, I've heard more than one account of a jailbird with itchy feet. He might decide to have
his fun with Rachel and then move on to greener pastures before the burdens of responsibility close
in around him."
"Never. He loves her too much to hurt her like that."
"Whether he loves her or not, he's a wanderer by nature and it's hard for any man to deny his true
nature. Just look at his father."
"You can't judge Ben based on Michael's mistakes."
"Maybe not. That still doesn't mean I can bear to think of Rachel ending up like Olivia Kohl."
"I can see I'm not going to be able to keep you from worrying," Richard replied. "But that doesn't
mean I won't keep trying."
Ruth offered half a smile. "And how do you plan to do that?"
"At first, by distracting your mind with the abominable state of this ledger." Richard held up the book
and then moved to set it down on the counter beside her. As he opened it to the right page, he
added, "You have to start keeping these figures in line or else we'll never be able to make heads or
tails of profits and losses."
Ruth didn't speak. She just leaned against the counter, resting her cheek against her hand and stared
admiringly at Richard as he spoke.
"But Jane and I can only do so much, if you don't record the individual transactions properly. Do you
understand?" he finished. "Ruth?"
"You know," she replied. "Your tactic to distract me is working quite well."
"I'm glad to hear you plan to take more of an interest in the bookkeeping."
Ruth shook her head. "No. It's just your so dashing when you talk about finance." They exchanged a
mischievous look and then Richard reached out to grab her, but Ruth swerved out of his reach and
stood on the opposite side of the counter.
"I think you'd better go back to your books," Ruth teased. "Before you corrupt me completely."
"You can't resist me forever," he returned, with a smile. "But for now I will grant you a reprieve from
my overwhelming charms." He collected the ledger and started to walk away from the counter when
he realized he was standing on a letter. He bent down to pick it up.
"Yours, it looks like," he said, tossing it on the counter.
"Yes," she replied, looking at the address. "Rachel just brought it for me. It must have fallen down
in…all the excitement."
"My dear, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were blushing."
"It's just the heat of the stove," Ruth replied. "Now go on and leave me in peace to read my letter."
Richard winked at her and then started whistling as he returned to the office. Ruth watched him a
moment before shifting her attention to the letter. She frowned a bit when she noticed a Logan
postmark. She couldn't recall anyone of her acquaintance living there and she wondered briefly if this
letter had been misdirected. But her name was clearly inscribed as the addressee so she tore open the
seal and began to read. Confusion soon turned to shock as she absorbed the contents on the page. At
the end of the last line, she lifted her eyes to stare out the window in a trance, as the paper slipped
from her hands to the cold floor.
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Before the summer
of 1880, Jane
never have guessed
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were hidden in