May's Promise: The Kingdom Trek Book 1

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This is the first book in a Christian historical fiction romance series.

1865
May and her best friend Maddy's brothers are away at war fighting the southern rebellion. The congregation that her grandfather leads has suffered a lot of loss due to the war. For over three years, the women have banded together to support each other as the women find the need to work in local factories to support themselves and their families while their men are away. The congregation suffers a major setback when many of their soldiers are lost or injured in a battle though the Union had been victorious. May worries. She hasn't heard from her brother in a long time.
When May turns eighteen, many of the local men that didn't join the army start approaching her grandfather for permission to court her. May dreams of falling in love with a righteous man that loves both God and her. She isn't interested in any of the men that speak to her grandfather, so she uses the excuse that she promised her brother not to court until he returns.
In the previous year, the situations of many of the members in the congregation had taken a turn for the worse with the closure of the flour mill, and the rumors of the two factories many worked at having financial problems. The people were now required to work seven days a week, twelve hours a day for the same amount of money. The scarcity of jobs means they don't have a lot of choices. They needed the jobs in order to provide for their families. May heard a lot of talk about the Homestead Act and dreaming about the opportunity to have a farmstead of their own.
At least once a year her grandfather is approached with a proposition for purchasing the church buildings and property. The property has lake frontage that is coveted by many factories. Her grandfather always is polite, but declines the offers. May wasn't surprised when another man arrived with a new proposal, but her grandfather's reaction to the man's visit stunned her.
The company the man represents owns hotels in California and is looking to expand to the Great Lakes area. The company offers to help the people of the congregation take advantage of the Homestead Act to establish a new village in the Nebraska Territory as part of the package they are offering for the purchase of the church property and buildings. The congregation accepts their offer and finds themselves preparing for the move.
Paul, Maddy's brother, is injured in a battle in Virginia and sent to the hospital. While he is convalescing his mother tells him about the plans to move to the Nebraska Territory. He is relieved to learn that May isn't courting anyone. He has been in love with her since her fifteenth birthday. He knows the doctor thinks he should eventually recover from his injuries, but he's not the same man that left for the war three years ago. The war has taken its toll on him.
May is ecstatic when her brother surprises her by joining her grandfather and her on their trek to the new territory. He arrives with Maddy's brother Paul. May is a bit surprised to find herself attracted to her best friends brother. Is he the man she's been dreaming of?



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