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Cover Design by Tracy Arendt

Painting used for front Cover: Spring Ablaze by Jim Gray

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Author Note: This is a work of fiction. Although there are numerous elements of historical and geographic accuracy in this and other novels in the Smoky Mountain series, specific environs, place names, and incidents are entirely the product of the author’s imagination. In addition, all characters are fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


This book is dedicated to my mother, Joy Grigsby Mathews, who is 98 years young. A gifted story teller, she introduced me to the love of words and stories at an early age, transporting me back in time to her days on the family farm with her eleven brothers and sisters. She read to me with animation and helped me memorize the beautiful words and rhythms in countless poems and songs. At her knee, my love and appreciation for the written word began.

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