Tuesday Sampler: The Last Daughter by Jessica Ferguson


In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Monday’s Sampler is an excerpt from The Last Daughter, romantic suspense from Jessica Ferguson.

As one reviewer said: From the moment you climb into the car with Rayna in the dark of night, you’ll want to be with her every dangerous step she takes to find the heartbreaking truth about her growing-up years in the old family home now owned by a stranger, the handsome and sympathetic young Trent. Will she let herself fall in love with him as she must face painful revelations of her past?

The Story

Given away as a child, Rayna Guilbeau grew up with questions–questions about her real family and questions about how she ended up in Louisiana with a disfiguring heart branded on her chest. When she sees a sale ad for a house in Oklahoma City called Wounded Heart, she feels an instant connection. Somehow, the house holds the key to her mysterious past.

Trent Jones, an easy-going picker who’s always looking to make a few bucks, is the new owner of Wounded Heart, a three-story house filled with antiques and mystery. When an intriguing young woman shows up on his property at midnight, claiming she was born there, he knows his life is about to change.

On an emotional journey into danger, Trent and Rayna seek answers. But can Rayna put the past behind her and accept Trent’s unwavering love?

The Sampler

new picture of me“Rayna, I need to talk with you. Rayna?”

Rayna entered from the living area just as Trent reached the bottom of the stairs. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Are you okay?”

He rubbed his forehead. “I need to talk to you about that doll.”

Rayna glanced toward a chair where she’d propped her old toy. “What about her?”

He motioned. “I did some research. She’s pretty old. Actually, she’s probably quite valuable.”

“I’m not selling her if that’s what you’re getting at. Honestly, Trent.” She turned from him and entered the room where the doll sat.

“No, let me finish.” He followed. “From what I can tell she’s been sold numerous times, landed in and out of pawn shops and doll stores. There’s been some very questionable happenings surrounding her.”

“What do you mean? How do you know?”

“Things happen. According to several collectors on the Internet…it’s almost like she causes things to happen to people that don’t like her. Or maybe don’t like you–or whoever owns her at the time.”

“That’s absurd. She’s a doll.”

He rubbed his head again. “Maybe a cursed doll.”

“She’s not cursed. Nothing has ever happened to me.”

He dropped his eyes to her chest.

She clasped her hand across her blouse and stared at him. “She didn’t cause that. How could she?”

“How do you know she didn’t? You have no idea how it happened or why.”

“I just know,” she yelled. “She was–” She stopped and squinted at him. “Trent, Trent, what’s wrong?”

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