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Nova Scotia Series Book 2
BY SHEILA RAE MUNOZ
Isabelle’s saga continues in the mid-1700s from Book One, Nova Scotia Runner, with Isabelle’s realization that her past Nova Scotia life will wreak havoc for her unless she returns and faces the issues from which she ran.
In Beautiful Broken, the hunter and the hunted are thrown together in an unexpected way, each one relying on the other, not only for survival on an arduous journey from Savannah, Georgia, back to Nova Scotia, bu, underneath the surface, they are also relying on each other to find their own answers to what life has dealt them. The story is intertwined with an unassuming instrument, a small flute, which draws the characters into a dance of life that affects each of them profoundly and, yet, uniquely.
Will Isabelle get back to Joseph and the children? Will she ever be able to forgive those who dealt with her harshly and undeservingly? Will she have the courage to face all with which her past wantonly wants to crush her?
Day slipped into day as the trio inched their way closer to Nova Scotia. They fell into a routine, but Isabelle could tell Sam was pushing them as much as he dared to make up for lost time, wanting to reach Nova Scotia before that first snow. Their days started before sunup and never ended until well after sundown. It was exhausting, to say the least.
Sam seldom had a chance to play his flute in the evening, but when he did, Rachel was still enraptured with what flowed from the tiny tube. It amazed Isabelle how such a tiny piece of wood could turn an evening into something that was pure enchantment. Sometimes, she could almost see little fairies venture out from the forest and emerge out from under the leaves or mushrooms to dance to his music. Other times, the music would bring a sense of darkness and mystery. It seemed to Isabelle that even Sam never knew ahead of time where the music would lead him; he simply followed its bidding.
As the journey continued, Isabelle became more concerned regarding Rachel’s strengthening attachment to Sam. She worried what the end of the trip would mean to the little girl when Sam would have to turn back and head home, leaving Rachel behind. That time was getting closer and closer.
One evening after an exceptionally long, exhausting day traveling over the foothills of the mountains, Sam and Isabelle decided to eat a quick evening meal and get to sleep in preparation for a very early morning rising. Just as Sam unrolled his bedroll and positioned his saddlebag for a lumpy, hard pillow, Rachel approached him.
It was only a word . . . but it was a word—spoken from lips that had only said one word that Isabelle had ever heard them speak. This time, the word was “Sam.”
Sam’s head jolted upward at the word and, rather than looking at Rachel, he stared at Isabelle, wide-eyed. Then he caught himself and returned his attention to the small child standing in front of him. In her hand was his flute. She held it out to him. Almost gingerly, he accepted the flute from her, keeping his eyes fixed on hers. He then sat down, and Rachel instantly plopped down next to him. He moved the flute to his mouth and began to play the sweetest notes Isabelle had ever heard.
Suddenly, Sam stopped playing. He put a hand to his eyes and pinched them together as tears streamed down his face. Isabelle quietly wept, as well, as she looked upon the most unlikely scene she had ever experienced. Swiftly, Sam laid down his flute, grabbed the little girl, and hugged her tightly to him.
“Oh, Rachel. Thank you for saying my name. Thank you.” He looked over the little girl’s head at the sobbing Isabelle as he said the words. Rachel only nodded her head against Sam’s chest.
It became a nightly ritual from that time forward: Rachel would fish Sam’s flute from his saddlebag and bring it to him. She would hold it out to him and simply say, “Sam.” Sam would accept both gifts from her and happily play the flute with more inspiration than he had ever played.
Sheila Rae Muñoz holds a Doctorate Degree in Education and taught in Christian schools for several years. She had a desire that each of her own children learn to write well, so she resigned teaching in a school setting, where there was little emphasis on writing, to homeschool her children. Two of her children are now published authors.
This is Sheila’s first fiction novel and her second book. She has also previously written and revised Christian school curricula, as well as edited several books for other authors, including three by the late Florida Highwayman artist Robert Butler, one of which is his autobiography, Timeless Echoes: The Life and Art of Robert Butler.
Sheila, an avid hunter and fisherman, resides in Lakeland, Florida, with her husband, Raymond, and their dog, Bear.
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