The Time for Healing by Ramona K. Cecil releases August 7, 2020
Congrats for Ramona K. Cecil, another longtime ACFW friend. I am so happy to introduce this well-known writer who has a new book coming out this week. Ramona is happy to give away an e-book to one reader who leaves a comment with an interesting question about the book on this blog after you read the excerpt. We will send the book one week after the release, so I’ll announce the winner on August 14, 2020
A soft, moist touch against his lips jerked Jeremiah awake. At the sight of the white Indian girl kneeling over him, myriad emotions darted around his chest like a bevy of barn swallows. Surely she had not…
Red Fawn dipped her finger into a little wooden bowl then touched it to his lips, moistening them with an oily salve. “I am sorry to wake you, but the sun is rising in the sky, and your friend asked me to bring you medicines.”
Jeremiah pushed up to a sitting position on his woolen-blanket cot. Heat suffused his neck and face at his initial mistaken impression of her actions. He poked out the tip of his tongue to taste the oil she’d spread over his cracked lips. The sweet, light taste told him it must be either plant or mineral based.
“It is sweet birch oil,” she said, answering his silent question. “It will heal your lips and make the skin soft again.” Her smile transformed her features from comely to breathtakingly beautiful.
“You speak English well.” He found it surprising that she hadn’t lost the language of her childhood during her years with the Shawnee.
She set the bowl aside. “My father wanted me to keep the white man’s language and to teach it to him and my mother. He said it would be good for our family and our tribe when dealing with the whites, so we spoke it often in our home.”
“Where is Zeb?” Jeremiah cleared his burning throat and glanced around the longhouse. He needed to direct his thoughts away from this girl who made his heart hammer like a woodpecker’s beak on a dead log.
“He has gone to Chief Great Hawk’s lodge to tell him what is written in the book you brought,” she said, her voice turning harder. She walked to the fire, bent over a steaming iron pot, and stirred its contents with a shaved stick.
She spoke as if the Bible was new to her, but Zeb said the Shawnee had taken her at the age of six. Jeremiah recalled his own sixth year vividly. That year, his family had traveled from Kentucky to Indiana, and his mother gave birth to his brother Joel in the Conestoga along the way. He and his seven-year-old sister, Dorcas, had kept three-year-old Lydia occupied by fishing for crawdads on a creek bank during Mother’s travails. It seemed inconceivable that this girl, who remembered her given name as Ginny McLain, had no memory of her parents or Zeb and his wife, Ruth, setting her on their laps and telling her stories from the Scriptures.
“Surely, you remember the Bible. I remember the Bible stories my ma and pa told me and my sisters when I was six.”
She stopped stirring the sweet-smelling contents of the pot and became still. At her silence, hope leapt in Jeremiah that perhaps he’d jogged a long-buried memory in her.
Without answering him, she grasped the pot handle with a scrap of wool material to protect her hand, lifted the pot from the fire, and set it on a flat rock. She dipped an earthen bowl into the pot and then carried the vessel to him. She set the bowl on the ground in front of him. “When it is cool enough, drink it. It will heal your sore throat.”
As she walked out of the longhouse, an ache not associated with his illness throbbed in Jeremiah’s chest. Regret filled him. God had given him an opportunity to share Christ with Red Fawn, and he had squandered it.
Hi! I’m Ramona K. Cecil and I live in southern Indiana. I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and author of historical romance novels for the Christian market. My husband and I have been married for forty-seven years and are now empty-nesters. We have two grown daughters and three young-adult grandchildren. We make our home in Seymour, Indiana, the “small town” made famous in rocker John Mellencamp’s song of the same name. I’ve always loved history, especially the history of my Hoosier state. Like The Time for Healing, many of my stories are set in Indiana’s past. When not writing, my hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.
My latest novel, The Time for Healing, releases August 7th with Pelican Book Group. This award-winning story is inspired by a real life event—The Pigeon Roost Massacre—that happened in 1812 about thirty miles south of where I live.