Books for Everyone!

The Silent Heart

Journey to the lush and fantastical world of Montrose, Colorado in 1895. There, a horseman named Riego Riley follows his silent heart to a woman who, initially, is forbidden him by her marriage to his curr half-brother.

Felicia Riley must free herself to love Riego. She thereby learns the eternal lesson that freedom holds the key to true love.

Cast of Characters:

Riego Riley, horse breeder and trainer, age 35

Felicia Sutton Riley, wife of Isaac, age 25

Isaac Riley, accountant, age 25

Lily, the Girl, age 16

Hugh Severs, the Leather Crafter, age 40

Ezekiel Childers, the Banker, age 60

Mrs. Sadie Bond, the minister’s wife, age 55

The Silent Heart - Reading from Chapter 7

There was to his face a certain poetic sensuality, a depth of emotion that no one could touch, that no woman had touched, until Felicia looked upon that face and realized, with her own poetic sensuality, that Riego was a man who had hidden from his sensations, had not trusted his own emotions.

His was a silent heart, a land that no woman had been able to attain. That this woman, a stranger to the West, was able to tiptoe toward that heart was a miracle which Riego felt far more than she did. His life had been waiting for her. Upon that day, that sun-filled and wind-tossed afternoon when this young woman first stared at him, the silent heart of Riego Riley began to sing.

It was a whisper of melody, haunting and heroic, and this man savoured the sound of it for twas the music of love, a rare rhapsody of tenderness he’d never heard. He would never forget the feeling of that rapture. He never could; he felt it each time that he saw the face of Felicia.

The Silent Heart - Reading from Chapter 11

Felicia dismounted and stood in silence on this rocky ridge whose elevation was almost 6,000 feet. She gazed into the distance at the outcroppings of gray and beige granite, set in relief against an azure sky. The sun was brightly blazing overhead, with whitish-yellow rays that soon warmed her face.

This panorama was unlike any she’d seen. In the distance, she saw sage, growing lush, without the assistance of any gardener save the divine landscaper whom she believed watched over all, big and small. She observed with blissful astonishment the fuzzy whitish hue on the pale verdigris leaves. The silvery cast to the sage was the result of the tomentum, a coat of soft hairs that reflected sunlight and trapped moisture. This vision at this time of the day was ethereal and ephemeral, and Felicia began to weep.

She stared through hot tears at the jagged lines of the canyon; and she realized that tears and fury and righteous indignation could be hers, for a while, but the time would come when she had to rid herself of those feelings. They would keep her from taking even one step forward, to her future.

She pulled a canteen from its holder on the ornately carved saddle, and drank some water. The mountain air was dry, as was her throat. She pulled a dark blue bandanna from around her neck, and wetted it with the canteen water till the cloth was sopping wet. Slowly, and gently, she placed the cloth to the muzzle of Andueza.

The horse licked the water, then exhaled a relaxed snort to clear some dust from his nostrils. Felicia tied the wet bandanna onto the wide belt at her waist. She put the canteen back on its holder of the saddle, and then noticed, growing among the taupe-coloured rocks, some weeds that looked like small cauliflowers. These plants were mountain misery, bittersweet to the taste and pungent in odor. This woman didn’t know the name of this flora, or of any in this region, but she realized that there, in this vast and bountiful and forbidding place, her heart had begun to find a home.

Felicia Sutton Riley had left Lebanon, Ohio, under the falsest of pretenses, believing them to be real. The reality of that ruse had come crashing down upon her precariously perched dreams of a new life in the West. She knew that she needed time, how much she knew not, but time to reclaim whatever dignity she’d lost during her brief, but unholy, alliance with Isaac Riley. Time could be on her side, if she made admirable use of it.