Welcome to the blog tour for romantic historical fiction novel, The Colour of Rain: A Kansas Courtship in Letters by author John W. Feist. Read on for details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!
The Color of Rain
Publication Date: September 1st, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance/ Based on True Events
Publisher: Winter Wheat Press
Separated by a great distance in the 1890s, can a widower and a schoolteacher overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their love and commitment? John Feist unfolds a true-love story, old-fashioned letter style, in his historical romance novel, The Color of Rain.
Handsome, well-respected local banker, now eligible bachelor, Frank Wilson is nothing less than a hot-ticket item with “the path to [his] home? a pilgrimage for unmarried women bearing casseroles.” He’s not interested in remarriage right away-except for Irene, a schoolteacher living two train connections away. A long-distance courtship commences. The lovers keep to weekly letter-writing since they barely have the chance to see each other, especially when trials and tribulations convolute their individual lives.
“Feist’s rich writing style stitches historical details, providing a seamless flow from letters-writing to narrative sections that capture everyday life’s realities amid unsettling times. A true-love historical romance that will have readers riveted to the page. Highly recommended!” -Chanticleer Reviews, five stars
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Frank could not converse in the carriage Ethan Alton drove behind the green wagon to the railway station for his train home. Frank had brought Allie to the St. Joseph hospital twelve days before she died. Their family doctor had run out of anything meaningful to do or say about whatever it was that put her in bed a week before that. Between visits to her bedside, Frank had talked with the Altons about sickness and mortality until he, too, had run out of meaningful things to say. Today, the Altons did converse but accepted his silence. He looked from one side of the street to the other. A normal day. But the sun-splashed houses, buildings and people he saw were water-colored contrivances not from his world.
The Altons sat with him in the St. Joseph terminal until his train yanked him toward home, toward two sons, their thirty-seven-year-old father now widowed. Their mother would be buried beside two infant siblings in a graveyard which he was later to design as a more formal cemetery. It was now an unshaded patch of hill in the northeastern Kansas town of Horton, founded just ten years before.
The train crossed the railroad bridge over the Missouri River to the Kansas side and started to speed up its run toward Horton, putting soot into the cloudless sky. The tracks of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway would not pass such a waterway again in their transit of the vast Kansas wheat fields and prairie grasses. But, for the next three hours, Frank’s journey would be only fifty miles across wrinkled hillocks of sorghum, oat and corn fields, and over streams lined with willows and cottonwood trees. Soon farmsteads came into view that he knew by name. He had financed those farmsteads. He was banker to these farmers. Today he saw that his fields of collateral needed rain badly.
Seeing familiar crossroads and steeples brought back thoughts of the girl he fell in love with. The smile he fell in love with. Allie lived the love commandment. She held a constitutional belief in the goodness of others. She delighted in her encounters with everyone without reservation or exception. Whoever felt her smile felt improved. Frank did so daily. It was not some occasional, wordless expression to signal mood or assent. It was the emblem of her soul. Her smile was her distinctive song, regular as dawn, constant as breath.
Frank had seen life leave Allie. He had watched the swarm of nurses drift away while he stood stationed at the foot of her bed. A doctor he had never met before declared, unnecessarily, that she had expired. It hurt to hear it. It hurt to smell the still, sultry air. What exactly she died of had not been evident or ever explained. I’ll forever wonder why, he thought. No, please . . . not on the train. He stiffened. His mouth bent downward. He stifled himself. The whistle shrieked.
Available on Amazon
About the Author
John W. Feist is the American author of a series of political thrillers, “Night Rain, Tokyo” (2018), “Blind Trust” (2019), and “Doubt and Debt” (2021), plus a literary novel, “Diamond Mornings” (eLectio Publishing, 2016). He is semiretired from a career in business law in California and government relations advocacy in Washington, D.C. His work experiences planted the seeds for his thrillers with their lawyer-protagonist, observations of Japanese culture, and high-stakes international business deals.
Having inherited from his mother, an Equity actor, a love of drama and literature, Feist has appeared on Washington, D.C.-area stages, and provided live audio descriptions of theatre and opera performances for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Kansas and a JD from Stanford Law School. Feist lives in Falls Church, Virginia. He has two sons and two grandchildren who live in California.
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