Irene’s Gift

In the blink of an eye, the world can change. A fact the Lockwood sisters know all too well. Reunited by their father's death, the girls have learned to trust one another first and family outsiders second. So when Kate hires her old friend, Dusty Jackson, to manage the Rocking L ranch, she's not surprised to discover Dusty's brother, local banker Rafe Jackson, is going to be trouble. But one of the Lockwoods are expecting betrayal on their own land.  Of all the daughters, Jenny's memories are the worst. Do her fears come from old wounds, or does she see a real threat no one else recognizes? To protect herself and the family land, Jenny draws on an unexpected source of strength -- a mother's love. Even from the grave, Irene Lockwood knows what her daughters need. With the help of an old friend, Irene delivers her final gift to her girls, at just the time they need it most.

Irene's Gift is the 5th book in the Lockwood Legacy series and I've loved each and every one. I'm always taken with books that combine a compelling story and engaging characters while showcasing a landscape and cultural environment different from my own. . . . I particularly love when a story I become truly immersed in doesn't end with one book. Lives move on, characters develop, secrets reveal themselves. It all fosters a depth of interest, understanding and empathy plus a yearning for more and more. Thank goodness, there are still more to come in this series. I highly recommend all five that are available so far. – Carla, Amazon Reviewer

I have now read 5 of these books. I would recommend them to all women that have been abused or not. They are very good examples of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. Though in my on life, I have a strong faith in God to help me “pull”. Sometimes the language is a little strong but REAL life can be strong too. Thank you to the author for being REAL. – Wanda Keylon, Amazon Reviewer

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Read an Excerpt

September in Texas. Maybe it wasn't as sweltering as August, but it was still damned hot and she had gotten spoiled to the milder Napa Valley climate.

Dusty closed her eyes and felt the weight of the air on her skin. It was cooler under the spreading branches of the old pecan tree. An occasional breeze touched the fine sweat on her face. The best course of action was to just sit still. But she couldn't do that for much longer because she had an appointment to keep.

At the moment, what she really wished she could do was walk across the street and into the lobby of the bank. She wanted to hear the loose threshold on the front door clank as the cool blanket of air in the lobby wrapped around her.

She wanted to walk past the teller's windows with their brass cages and exchange pleasantries with her daddy's secretary on the way to his office.

She wanted to see her father grin when he looked up from his papers, half-glasses perched on the end of his nose. She wanted to smell his aftershave when he stood to embrace her.

She wanted to lean back on the edge of the desk and tell him about her day.

But to do any of that, Dusty would need to turn the clock back fifteen years and more. An old line from Gone with the Wind crossed her mind. “Asking ain’t getting.”

The man who sat behind her father’s desk now would throw Dusty right back out on the street. In fact, she doubted she'd ever be able to walk through those front doors with their antique gold lettering again.

Thank God there were two banks in town or she’d be hard pressed to even open a checking account. As annoying as that might be, however, what really hurt was being shut out of the one place where she could still feel her father's soul.

He lived in every polished inch of oak and every cool marble surface in the building. The fact that she was denied those physical remembrances hurt Dusty someplace deep in her spirit, in a place far beyond tears. She would carry that denial long beyond any healing passage of time.

With a merciless act of will, Dusty drove those thoughts back down. No one in this town, at least not anyone on Main Street at noon on a workday was going to see Dusty Jackson sitting on the courthouse fence crying.

"Can I hep you, ma'am?"

She smiled and opened her eyes. It had been a long time since someone had offered to "hep" her.


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