Blue Honor tracks four tightly twining families during the American Civil War. Each member is asked to sacrifice more than their share to see friends and loved ones through the terrible times. The only certainty they have is that nothing will be the same.
Emily Conrad is the bookish daughter of a wealthy dairy family from Vermont. Her indulgent father has educated her and bred ideas that aren’t acceptable to her more urbane mother, who thinks Emily needs to settle down with her longtime friend and town philanderer Evan Howell. The outbreak of war frees Emily from these expectations for a time, but a stranger soon arrives after the guns begin to blaze, threatening her plans more than societal conventions ever could.
Devoted to the young woman who healed her wounds, Henrietta has become part of the Conrad family, hoping that she may one day see her husband and son again. As a runaway slave, she’s been lucky enough to find this slice of peace in Vermont, but the return of Evan Howell and the man he brings with him portends great change that might see her locked back in irons, if not executed for what she’s done. Evan isn’t as bad as his reputation has made him out to be. He knows his chum Emily will make the best doctor Vermont has ever seen, and he knows he’s not the man to marry her. With a little manipulation, he convinces his commanding officer, Lieutenant Joseph Maynard, to take leave with him and see the beauty of the north. He just doesn’t let on it’s not hillsides and streams he’s setting the man up for.
Joseph has both power and privilege as the son of a Baltimore lawyer, but neither can guarantee him the things he wants in life. His commission in the army is likely to lead to death, a sacrifice he was willing to make to end slavery in the States—that was until he saw Emily Conrad. Torn between duty and desire, Joseph struggles to stay standing for that which he once held strong convictions. War weary, they all march on to duty…
Embers fell around them like red flurries that changed to black ash as it settled in the snow. Emily imagined what it must have been like for him inside the inferno. Had the structure fallen apart around him? Did his head swim with panic? Hers would have. Kneeling there with his eyes closed, she saw he just wanted to breathe.
A beam collapsed inside the barn, cutting the relative peace. The man peered over his shoulder as the light sparkled brightly in his eyes; Emily’s attention was pinned to him. They were too close to the soon-to-collapse barn, but she was riveted by another happening.
Their hero drew up, ordering the women back, but they were frozen where they stood, startled by his stature and bellowing orders. The barn groaned as the structure gave way. Mrs. Conrad stumbled back in surprise. His green eyes swept over Emily. He hesitated as she stared back, stricken. The man lunged, eliciting a shriek from Emily that was swallowed by the collapse of the barn. In one fast movement he was able to put his arm around Emily, hoist her up, and take her mother’s hand to guide them to safety. Her leg wrapped about him to steady her body. When they came to a halt, he let her slide down the length of him, taking too close a study of her.
Then, the roof collapsed with a resounding crash, taking with it the majority of the structure below, which was now just an enormous bonfire. The flames shot up with renewed energy. The foundation rocks popped. The stranger cursed under his breath, watching sparks rise to heaven. Charred boards
lined the spot where they had stood.
Emily stared at the snow at her feet. She’d never seen the like of such a man in all her years, not even among the cadets. Thinking of how he put his hands upon her with so little hesitation, made her feel strange all over. The sensation of his strong form still pressed into her skin. She had danced with many young men, but never with a touch like his. Emily blushed. Lowering her eyes, she inwardly chided herself for such awful wantonness. What if he saw her staring at him like that?
About the Author
Born in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she continues to reside, K.Williams embarked on a now twenty year career in writing. After a childhood, which consisted of voracious reading and hours of film watching, it was a natural progression to study and work in the arts.
K attended the State University of New York at Morrisville, majoring in the Biological Sciences, and then continued with English and Historical studies at the University at Albany (home of the New York State Writer’s Institute) gaining her Bachelor’s Degree. While attending UA, K interned with the 13th Moon Feminist Literary Magazine, bridging her interests in social movements and art.
Currently, K has completed the MALS program for Film Studies and Screenwriting at Empire State College (SUNY), and is the 2013-2014 recipient of the Foner Fellowship in Arts and Social Justice. K continues to write and is working on the novels of the Trailokya Trilogy, a work that deals with topics in Domestic Violence and crosses the controversial waters of organized religion and secularism. A sequel to OP-DEC is in the research phase, while the adaptation is being shopped to interested film companies. Excerpts of these and more writings can be found at: www.bluehonor.com.