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The Six Daughters of
Joaquin Miguel Salvador

The Six Daughters of Joaquin Miguel Salvador


Prologue, 1980
Santa Cruz County, California

His eyes riveted on the thick ridge of trees descending steeply east to west, Martin Lukas Kohler leaned lightly against the cabin porch rail aware it might give way at any time. Though morning clouds shielded his view to the west completely blocking any sight of the Pacific Ocean, Luke felt comforted knowing the vast body of water was out there. As a youngster, whenever he had felt nothing was certain, he knew the ocean was one of the few things he could count on. His fifty-seven years of life had been like the familiar ocean tides—always moving—driven by ever-changing forces he never could control.

His gaze followed the top of the tree-line to the east, the highest point of the ridge where he was certain the property line lay. He was struck by the varying colors and textures of the magnificent display of trees Mother Nature had spread down the hillside before him. Luke was glad his companion didn't ask what he was thinking—at this moment there were too many emotions. The ridge was just part of a large stand of trees on a piece of land—yet spread before him, it tugged at his soul.

Glancing at the pretty, dark-haired young woman standing farther down the porch looking at the same ridge, he knew that if it had not been for a shared connection with this parcel of land, they might never have met. For Luke, their being here together signified a completion of the family circle. He wondered if she felt it as well.

With the clouds hovering above them, Luke's thoughts drifted back in time to another Santa Cruz so far away in another ocean—the north Atlantic. It was on the island of Flores in the Azores where his grandfather Joaquin Miguel Salvador had called up the courage to act on his life dream—the dream that today brought Luke and the young woman to this special parcel of land in Bonny Doon.

© Lynn Coulibaly