From the Inside Flap
Rebecca Hawes lay awake in her tent, convinced that the howling wind was about to lift her entire camp into the air and hurl it to the far side of the desert. The desolate wasteland of the Sinai Peninsula lay beyond her tent door, thousands of miles and a world away from her home in Chicago. Rebecca gazed around in the darkness, her eyes open wide. She saw nothing. The sandstorm obliterated every ray of starlight and moonlight, making the darkness seem biblical, like one of the plagues God used to punish Egypt. She had thought, at age forty-five, that she would live at least another twenty years or so, but this storm just might be the end of her. Pity. There was so much more she hoped to accomplish.
An odd pounding noise caught Rebecca's attention, a staccato beat that joined the shrieking wind and drumming canvas. She struggled to sit up on the sagging camp cot to listen. The sound, when she identified it, was a reassuring one--the Bedouin caravan drivers were securing the tent stakes shaken loose by the gale. Perhaps she wouldn't blow away after all.
"Becky? Are you awake?" her younger sister, Flora, whispered. She lay on a camp cot not two feet away, yet invisible in the gloom.
"Yes, I'm here." Rebecca groped toward the sound of Flora's voice and found her arm, giving it a reassuring pat.
"Well, this is certainly turning out to be an adventure, isn't it?" Flora asked.
Rebecca heard the suppressed laughter in Flora's voice and grinned. "Yes, I believe this is the very definition of an adventure!" She started to laugh out loud, then buried her face in her blanket to muffle the sound.
"If our society friends could see us now . . ."|Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner and an inaugural inductee into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. She is also a popular speaker at retreats, conventions, women's groups, and book clubs. She lives with her husband in Michigan.
From the Back Cover
In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules and expectations for Victorian women are strict, their roles in life limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents have taken them out of society ballrooms and delivered them to the Sinai Desert--and into the teeth of a sandstorm.
Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a plucky street urchin learning to be their lady's maid, the two women are on a quest across the desert, chasing rumors of an important biblical manuscript.
As the expedition becomes ever more dangerous and uncertain, all four travelers sift through memories and adventures of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the journeys and providence that brought them to this very time and place.
"Lynn Austin has a remarkable talent for immersing readers in her novels, no matter the setting, theme or genre. She achieves this again with her latest story of two Victorian sisters who have spent the last thirty years snubbing societal expectations. . . . Austin deftly lays out the pieces of each character's puzzle in the present day and completes the picture by adding layers from the past. "--RT Book Reviews