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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Calling of Ella McFarland by Award-Winning Author Linda Brooks Davis, Read an Excerpt

Ella McFarland’s dream is a teaching position at Worthington School for Girls. But scandal clouds her family name and may limit her to a life of grueling farm labor in the Indian Territory. Her fate lies in the hands of the Worthington board, and there happens to be one strikingly handsome man with a vote. Will they overlook the illegitimate son recently borne by her sister, Viola?

1905 brings hope of Oklahoma statehood and the woman’s suffrage debate is raging, forcing Ella to make decisions about her faith, family, and aspirations. When she comes to the rescue of a young, abused sharecropper’s daughter, her calling begins to take shape in ways she never imagined. Education is Ella’s passion, but a new love is budding in her heart. Can she find God’s will amidst the tumultuous storm that surrounds her?

The Calling of Ella McFarland was the First Place Winner of the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. 
It won the American Christian Fiction Carol Award in August 2016.

A story of family and faith in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood, a time when women's voices were silenced in public and often stifled at home.

Ella reached for the buggy’s folding step.
         “Here, let me.” He released the latch and pressed the step into place. Sunlight glinted in his hair, as dark a brown as black walnut shells. He touched a hand to her elbow.
         “Thank you, sir,” she said and set a button-shoed foot on the step. Her legs wobbled as she settled into the seat.
         “Don’t give up hope, Miss McFarland. I’ll do everything I can.”
         She shook off the disconcerting effect of the man’s cobalt eyes and released the foot brake. “You’re very kind, Mr. Evans. Thank you.”
         She flicked open her pendant fob watch. Ten o’clock. She should make it home in time to help Mama set out the noon meal. Five miles of back roads and a bridge over the Canadian River would take her into Indian Territory. Just past the Washita River, she would catch sight of the home place where her family awaited news.
         Ella was their best hope, but hope was growing scarce.

         Securing her hair with a comb under her hat, she squared her shoulders. Her smart snap of the whip belied her crumbling emotions as it urged her mare Bunny onto the thoroughfare toward home. 


Linda Brooks Davis, Author 
~The Calling of Ella McFarland, 2015
2014 Winner, Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel
2015 Silver Medalist, Frasier Award
2016 Winner, ACFW Carol Award, Debut Novel
~A Christmas to Remember, 2016