Disillusioned and feeling there is more to life than can be found on her family's Indiana farm, atypical Amish girl Katie Knepp bucks tradition and leaves everything behind, bound for a supposed Mennonite settlement rumored to be somewhere around Old Amarillo, Texas. But the trail to Texas is a hard one, laced with disease, would-be-could-be bandits, and a drought so severe that turning back isn't an option. During her epic overland struggle, Katie discovers friendship, even in the ever-present outlaw element, a strength in herself she'd never dreamed she possessed, and those in her past who refuse to become unwilling memories. Katie's story isn't Amish, nor is it western . . . it is uniquely Texan.
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Sara Barnard and her family of six make their home deep in the recesses of Native America with a trio of rescue dogs, a trifecta of rescue cats, a flock of Easter Egger chickens, and a "tiny" herd of Dwarf Nigerian pygmy goats.
Some of Sara's works include The Calling (Prairie Rose Publications), The Saga of Indian Em'ly series (Painted Pony Books), Shootout in Old Amarillo (Prairie Rose Publications), The Everlasting Heart series, Rebekah's Quilt, and Desperado (all from 5 Prince Publishing). Sara is a certified elementary teacher and a bona fide coffee aficionado. Follow Sara at www.sarabarnardbooks.com or @TheSaraBarnard on Twitter.
How it all came to be . . .
A memory from Rumspringa had pushed its way gently to the forefront of her mind, blocking out the sudden wave of guilt that threatened to consume her. The duster-clad man’s face was as clear in her mind now as it had been that day on Rumspringa. He had looked first at her covering and then her plain purple dress when she’d accidently run into him on the boardwalk in New York City.
Excusing herself, the stranger had simply touched the tip of his tall hat and offered her a warm grin. His accent, strange and wonderful, boasted a bit of a drawl that pulled on his letters in a way she’d never before heard. “Why, hello there, little lady,” he said. “I wonder now, what’s a young girl such as yourself doing up in these here parts?”
Not knowing how to respond and unable to wrap her mind completely around the accent that was so unbelievably out of place, Katie simply stared back at the larger-than-life stranger.
With a short laugh, he continued, “I do declare. You could be Joseph Goetz’s daughter. He did some work on my barn for me last summer. Did a right fine job of it, too. I would hire any Mennonite feller over a tinker any day of the week.” His blue eyes sparkled with some seemingly untold secret. “Tell me darlin’, you don’t happen to be from that little bee-keepin’ settlement outside of Amarillo, do you?”
“Um, Am... Amarillo?” Katie twisted her tongue around the foreign word that didn’t sound entirely English.
“Well, us Texans call it Amarillo. It’s the Mexican’s that named it though – Am-uh-ree-yo is how you say it proper. Means yellow.” He smiled again. “Either for those beautiful golden sunrises or all the blowing dirt, haven’t figured out which one yet.”
Unable to help herself, Katie smiled back. “Amarillo. What a lovely sounding place. But I’m not from there. My family is from Gasthof Village, back in Indiana.”
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