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Rachel's Journey
Mary S. McGuire
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"Rachel Williams, you are too independent and headstrong for any man to love or marry. Ever!" These demeaning words of a rejected suitor were to propel her into a new life. She was determined to have love, marriage, and a medical practice even if it meant crossing a continent in a covered wagon!

Without prospect of marriage and a declining medical practice, the beautiful and talented Dr. Rachel Williams joins the California Marriage Pool. With two other women, they go to St. Joe to join a wagon train led by the handsome and much-in-charge Jeb Morgan, to whom she is immediately attracted.

Rachel Williams, you’re much too headstrong and independent for any man to marry. Ever! Alfonse Meyer’s demeaning words reverberated in Rachel’s mind as she knew they would for the coming months, and even years. Not that she loved this arrogant man, but rather she feared what he said might be all too true.

It was a warm April day in the small town of Four Corners, just east of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Rachel stood on her front porch enjoying the afternoon sun when she saw a visitor hurrying up her lane.

“Rachel, Rachel, the letter’s come. It’s here. Finally here,” Iris called as she waved an envelope wildly over her head.

She greeted her blonde haired, blue eyed cousin with a warning. “Slow down, Iris, or you’ll fall. You know your leg can’t stand much.”

“Oh, I’m so excited.” Iris panted with exertion. “Hurry. Read it out loud.”

Despite Rachel’s own emotions, she read the message slowly and clearly.

January 15, 1854

Dear cousins and all,

I am doing well here in this new, sunny land. I hope my letter also finds you in good health and high spirits. My thoughts are with you often.

I am sending this by packet. The ship takes about three months so I pray that it will reach you before summer.

Four other men and I have a special request. We have formed what we call a marriage pool to bring brides to us here. It is an ideal based on the sound principles of civilizing the new frontier. As you know, many of us came with the yen for gold. We are wiser now and desire only a stable and happy family life. All of us are in a position to provide well for a wife and children. I can vouch for the character of all of these men involved in the pool.

Since you are acquainted with most of the women in and around Four Corners, I beg you help us in our selection. I would like you to be one of the candidates. I also thought of our Cousin Iris who, though crippled, is lovely and has an abiding Christian faith. Hopefully, you can locate three other maiden ladies in the area who would be suitable for our new and exciting life.

I am enclosing a draft on the Bank of Boston for five hundred dollars to pay your traveling expenses. It is important you decide soon since the trip across country must begin as quickly as possible lest you be caught in the snows of the Sierras.

I am sending a message to Mr. Jeb Morgan alerting him to the fact that you may be joining his wagon train that leaves from St. Joseph, Missouri, on May 10. We have the utmost confidence in him. Mr. Morgan is also bringing freight to Len Smith, one of the men in the pool and owner of General Merchandise here in Garden Grove.

I know you have been giving this matter your greatest consideration, but now I need to know what you have decided. Please notify me of this decision as soon as possible by whatever means available. We will be counting the days until you answer. It is a leap of faith for all concerned. We pray for your safe journey.


Martin Williams

Your obedient servant and cousin.

P.S. Rachel, we are in great need of medical services. Please consider our offer in light of these needs also.

Rachel stood quietly holding the message in her hands for several minutes. Martin had written to her in just this same vein several times in the last two years, but this was the first time he had sent money or suggested a plan. She was surprised and apprehensive to make such a decision so quickly. She shook her head in disbelief. Yet, was it the hand of fate that had delivered this message at one of the most disappointing times of her life? Was this the second chance at the kind of life she truly wanted?

“Rachel, what shall we do? It’s all so exciting. I’m sure it is a great opportunity.” Iris trembled. “Can we go? Do you think someone would really want to marry me? Cousin Martin said I was pretty enough someone would want to marry me even with this gimpy leg.”

Mary was born on a farm near Leona, Kansas, but moved to Texas in her teen years. She graduated from Southwest Texas State and later earned a master’s degree in English from Sam Houston State and a master’s in psychology from the University of Houston/Victoria. Currently, she’s retired after having taught twenty-four years in the public schools. She and her husband, Gene, raised three children and have eight grandchildren, all of which are the light of their lives. She remains intensely interested in women’s issues both in the past and in the present.

What they are saying about A TIME TO TRUST: “Lovely, that’s the word for this writer’s latest novel! Don’t miss any of her works!” Viviane Crystal, The Write Lifestyle.

“Mary S. McGuire’s A TIME OF FORGIVENESS should be required reading for all married couples... Truly a satisfying read!”—Cheryl Norman. Wings’ author FULL MOON HONEYMOON.

RACHEL’S JOURNEY…“Mary S. McGuire’s seamless story addresses every facet of the working family woman that will remain in the reader’s attention long after the last page is turned. That she has done so in such a realistic, engaging manner is a tribute to her writing skill and evidence of how historical periods have shaped the evolution of family and work against insurmountable odds and toward a notable American spirit.” Viviane Crystal, The Write Lifestyle.

“A powerfully told tale beautifully rendered, RACHEL’S JOURNEY comes highly recommended.”--Cindy Penn. Wordweaving/Midwest Review


“Richly drawn characters struggling through difficult decisions will tug at your heart and keep you turning pages…a great read!”--Cheryl Norman, author, FULL MOON HONEYMOON)

“Vivid description of lush Hawaii serves as the backdrop to Laney’s heart-felt struggle to trust again.”--Roberta Olsen Major, BOUND)

“Lovely, that’s the word for this writer’s latest novel! Don’t miss any of her works!”--Vivane Crystal, The Write Lifestyle)

A TIME OF FORGIVENESS “Mary S. McGuire’s novel should be required reading for all married couples. In exploring a divorcee’s romance with a younger man, the author weaves an interesting and entertaining story about the lessons all couples must learn to succeed in marriage, regardless of the obstacles life throws their way. Readers will fall in love with Ryan and cheer for Meg, snarl at their detractors and high-five their allies. Truly a satisfy read!” Cheryl Norman,, FULL MOON HONEYMOON

To Trust Again “Childhood sweethearts endure tragedy, scandal and criminals before they can have a second chance at love. An emotional story, this one keeps the reader engaged, cheering for Laney and Danny to the satisfying conclusion.” -Cheryl Norman, Wings author of bestselling, FULL MOON HONEYMOON, STORMS OF THE HEART, and LAST RESORT.

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: Historical Books

ISBN: 1590889835
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590889831
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 334
Paper Weight (lb): 14.0

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