Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Sample - October 25, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This week's sample is the first page of a new piece I'm writing--a short story called New Blood.
~~~



Wesley Haught opened a barrel of beans, set the wooden top aside, and prepared to sack up ten pounds for Mrs. Slonaker. The bell over the door of the store jangled, and he looked up. The man who came through the door hadn't visited Haught's General Store and Commercial Emporium before. Perhaps he was just passing through town. Wes appraised the dark suit he wore. It was made of expensive fabric nicely cut. The man must have money. Maybe he would spend some today.

“Morning,” Wes said. “I'll be with you shortly.”

“Take your time,” the stranger replied, but with a terseness to his voice that indicated he was not in the habit of waiting his turn.

Wes bagged and weighed the beans, and then tied the sack closed with a bit of twine. He'd just turned to add the beans to Mrs. Slonaker's order piled on the counter when the door's bell jangled again.

“Lonnie,” he called over his shoulder into the back room. Lazy layabout, he thought. At nineteen, Lonnie was three years younger than Wes. In his mind's eye, Wes saw Lonnie sitting at the work table, feet propped on the top. Playing with a pistol. As usual. “Get out here. Folks are lining up.” He hated using a brusque tone of voice in front of customers, but Lonnie wouldn't move unless he thought Wes meant it.

“In a minute,” Lonnie hollered. From the sounds, Wes knew he was fitting a cartridge into the cylinder.

~~~

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the sample.

Click the "My Books" tab at the top of the page for more information about my books and short stories, including the newest story, Happy Halloween. Purchase links are included. The "Special Collections" tab includes information and links to my novella, Faith and the Foreman, and a short story in the Owenverse, Bloodied Leather, which gives a glimpse into the future of the Owen Family. Don't forget to come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.


Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Book 4, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sample Saturday - October 18, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This week's sample is a couple of pieces from a scene I cut from Trail of Storms. When members of the family are in grave danger from a Yankee patrol, Mrs. Bingham comes up with a plan. I changed several names and marital situations in the course of completing the novel. You'll note that Jessie hadn't yet told me by what name she was known.
~~~


“No one leaves this house tonight,” Mrs. Bingham said, her voice firm. We may need to vouch for each other.”

“What?” Jessica asked in a sharp tone.

“We don’t know what may happen, and we need to be here together,” her mother reiterated. “In fact, whose birthday may we celebrate tonight?”

“Mother!” Hepzibah said. “Whatever do you mean?”

Charity Bingham laid her crochet aside, got to her feet and went toward the kitchen. “We need a little wine, a cake, and the remnants of a feast.”

“I’ll eat the feast for you,” Luke said, hunger in his eyes.

“We all must eat,” his mother said, and left the room.

Jessica and Hepzibah looked at each other and at George. “Has grief tumbled her senses?” he asked.

“I can’t say,” Hepzibah said. “She’s never been like this before.”

“I reckon she has a plan,” Jessica said. “To what purpose, I don’t know, but she’s been thinking, I can tell it.”

By the time the clock struck eight, a solemn merrymaking had begun in the dining room, with the delayed meal eaten and wine and plum cake passed. Two empty wine bottles adorned the table. Two extra place settings sat on the table with food scraps upon the plates, the forks and knives in disarray.
~~~


At this point, missing members of the family show up, and further preparations for the "party" are made. Then, the family receives visitors.
~~~


Mrs. Bingham held a wine glass to Hannah’s lips. “Drink this,” she said, and the girl drank some before her mother deliberately spilled the rest down the front of her dress.

“Please drink some wine, Mr. Granville,” Mrs. Bingham insisted, and he did so, as George slid into his seat. “You two must not fight any more this evening. It is a festive occasion.”

The family sat at the table, picking at the plum cake on their dishes, waiting. The hush was so complete that they clearly heard the parlor clock ticking away the minutes.

Even though it was expected, the sharp knocking on the front door caused the women to jump. Mrs. Bingham picked up her wine glass as she arose, and went to the door, followed by Luke.

“Good evening, gentlemum,” she said when she had opened the door, her words slurred. “What can you do for me?”

A Yankee captain pushed his way past her, as she followed, protesting mildly.

“Granville!” the man said. “We’re here to arrest you for murder.”

“Whaddayou mean,” Charity asked. “It’s his birthday. We’ve been havin’ a little party.”

“Yesh,” Robert said, staggering to his feet. “Motha Bingham makes a fine plum cake. You wanna a piece?” He lifted the platter from the table, then stumbled and dropped it near the captain’s toes, and it shattered across the floor. “Oh! I’m sorry,” Robert groaned, and stooped over to retrieve the cake from the splintered china. “This piece don’t look too bad. Here,” he said holding it out to the officer, who stepped back.

“You’re drunk,” the man sputtered.

“Yesh,” Robert grinned. “It’s my birthday.”

“How’d you get that bruise?” asked the captain.

George stood up. “We had a li’l dishagreement. His wife got drunk and lost her meal, an’ I teased her. He dinent like that.” He grinned and sat back down, his legs seeming to give out on him.

Charity took the captain’s arm. “If you don’t mind,” she said, walking him toward the front hall, “we need to finish the party. It musht be seven o’clock already.”

“It’s past nine o’clock, madam,” he said, shaking off her arm. “Good night to you.”

When she had shut the door on the captain and his men, Charity Bingham put her back to it and slid to the floor. Her family, except for Hannah, gathered around her, and after a few moments, she raised her head and said, “We have to leave tonight.”
~~~ 


Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed my Blog Book Tour!

Click the "My Books" tab at the top of the page for more information about my books and short stories, including the newest story, Happy Halloween. Purchase links are included. The "Special Collections" tab includes information and links to my novella, Faith and the Foreman, and a short story in the Owenverse, Bloodied Leather, which gives a glimpse into the future of the Owen Family. Don't forget to come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.


Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Book 4, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sample Saturday - October 11, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This week's sample is from Gone for a Soldier, in which Ben Owen realizes he needs to change his thinking.
~~~ 

Ben — March 20, 1862

When Ben first read his mother’s letter exhorting him to attend church every time he had a chance and to curb in himself the carnal nature of mankind, he felt his ears burn and anger rise in his chest. Ma had no call to give him such advice. He wasn’t a little child sitting at her skirts, owing her his attention and paying heed to her words. He was a man now, a soldier with a man’s responsibilities for killing or being killed. He had precious little opportunity to attend prayer services when his time was spent on the battlefield or building roads over the muck and mud so wagons could bring provisions to the brigade. He was a man. With time on his hands this evening. With temptation in the form of perfumed and painted women calling to him from just beyond the camp.

He was on the point of casting Ma’s letter into the fire and joining the fellows who were brushing the mud off their coats with the prospect of an evening’s pleasure when his eye fell upon a word in Ma’s fine handwriting. Disease.

He scoffed, but with a sense of unease as he recalled her words. Ma was a forthright woman, but she did have a sense of delicacy and had never come right out before and mentioned in such searing detail the dangers of partaking of forbidden fruits.

He reread the portion where her warnings had become particularly pointed. “. . . many cases of syphilis in the Soldier’s Hospital . . . suffering . . . go mad . . . treatment almost worse than the disease.”

Was Ma helping in the hospital, exposed to the results of man’s corruptible nature?

He’d never heard the proper name for French sickness before, but Ma knew it, and had warned him against venturing into a path that might bring such a vile retribution upon him. A thought chased through his mind that curdled the contents of his stomach. Pa had gone to war. Had he—?

“Impossible,” he muttered. Pa would never sin against his wife. He was a man of honor.

Where did that leave him, Ben? Where was his honor if he was contemplating lifting the skirt of a camp follower for a moment of relief?

The feeling of sickness caught him so quickly that he almost lost his supper. He fought the nausea, swallowing over and over. His thoughts swirled in a dizzy array, but one swam to the top of the whirlwind. He’d made up his mind that when he got a chance, he would ask Ella Ruth to be his bride. Did he want to take home an evil sickness to pass to her?

Sweat drenched his brow and ran in rivulets down his cheeks. He took out his handkerchief and mopped at his face. What would Ella Ruth think if he came home to her bearing the burden of worldliness? He could not stomach the thought of tainting her in such a manner. If he sinned in this fashion, he would lose her forever.

The dampness of the handkerchief seemed to freeze his hand. Ma was right. He needed to get his appetites under control. He needed to go to church. He needed to get right with God. Above all, he needed to forestall any barrier between himself and Ella Ruth.

~~~

Thank you for visiting. I hope you are enjoying my Blog Book Tour!

Click the "My Books" tab at the top of the page for more information about my books and short stories, including the newest story, Happy Halloween. Purchase links are included. The "Special Collections" tab includes information and links to my novella, Faith and the Foreman, and a short story in the Owenverse, Bloodied Leather, which gives a glimpse into the future of the Owen Family. Don't forget to come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Book 4, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Book Tour Continues

Yes, it will go all week, ladies and gentlemen. Here's a marvelous graphic that my friend, *Karlene Wells Browning, created, because, well, she has the mad skillz to do so.


Thank you, Karlene!


* Is there any lengths to which my mind will go when it's crazy sleep-deprived? Apparently not. Big apologies to my friend Karlene. I think I got it right now.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Blog Book Tour for Gone for a Soldier begins today!

Wow! Today begins the epic Blog Book Tour for my new novel, Gone for a Soldier!



Becca and Sarah at Loving the Book Launch Party have surpassed themselves with this event. All seven of the days of the tour are tripled booked. Triple booked!

Thanks to all the gracious bloggers who signed up to make this happen by hosting my book on your blogs!

There are going to be awesome posts, including reviews, author interviews, Tens Lists, excerpts, etc.

Oh yes. Did I mention there are PRIZES? Don't miss the Rafflecopter entry opportunities on the posts and shown below.

Here's the schedule for my Book Blog Tour over the next seven days. I'll update links to posts as I can.

October 6: melaniemasonauthor.blogspot.com
October 6: jaletaclegg.blogspot.com/
October 6: rebeccairvine.blogspot.com

October 7: sbkbooksandmore.wix.com/s-and-n-books- (multiple posts on Facebook)

Cover & Excerpt | Author Bio and Links | Character Casting (ooo, shivers!) | Cover & Purchase Links | Giveaway/Rafflecopter       
October 7: julkbearreads.wordpress.com
October 7: wishfulendings.com/

October 8: debraerfert.blogspot.com
October 8: mybookfairy.blogspot.com/
October 8: readingrenee.com

October 9: saslack.com
October 9: facebook.com/ShirleysBookshelf
October 9: bookgeekreviews.com/

October 10: donnakweaver.com
October 10: pennybrojacquie.wordpress.com/
October 10: semishort.blogspot.com/

October 11: facebook.com/PageByPageInsideOutReviewsandPromotion
October 11: thepleasureofreadingtoday.blogspot.com/ (requires your permission to enter adult-themed blog)
October 11: stephaniesaysso.blogspot.com AND/OR stephaniereadthat.blogspot.com

October 12: authorcandyodonnell.blogspot.com/
October 12: moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/
October 12: janmmartin.blogspot.com

I hope you will join me and these awesome bloggers on the Blog Book Tour for Gone for a Soldier.

Rafflecopter for Book Tour:
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Saturday, October 04, 2014

Sample Saturday - October 4, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. First, a shoutout to my late father, O. G. Williams, who was the best storyteller ever! Today is his birthday. This week's sample shows the interaction of several women in a stressful situation. It's from my award-winning novel, Spinster's Folly.
~~~ 

Julia stopped stirring the pot hanging over the fire and returned to her seat. Gripping one hand with the other, she set her mouth and waited, her head inclined so she could see an area on the floor about fifteen inches in front of her shoes.

“It won’t do to fret, Julia,” Elizabeth said. “If Mr. Morgan catches up to them today, we’ll know by nightfall.”

“Leave her be, Lizzie.” Muriel Bates stood from her chair and went to Julia’s side, gave her a pat on the shoulder, then turned to remonstrate with Elizabeth, whose face had turned ashen. “Yes, you know I call you 'Lizzie' whenever I’ve a mind to. This is one of those times when a body ought to be allowed to fret all she wants, and I’ll stand here and tell you so to your face.”

“Well! I never heard the like in all my days! I’ve a mind to get in my wagon and go home, if this is the treatment I can expect hereabouts.”

“You know you’re blowing hot air, dearie. You’ve never hitched up a team in your life. Mind your manners and leave Julia to have as many dark thoughts as she’s willing to bear.”

“You really are being dreadful to her, Muriel,” Julia said, not moving a muscle beyond those necessary to talk. “I grieve in the open. Elizabeth hides her feelings behind charitable acts.”

“Charitable acts? Pshaw!” Muriel strode to the fireplace and stirred the pot. Then she rounded on Elizabeth again. “I don’t blame the girl for running off when her expectations were wrapped up in living her life under your thumb.”

“Stop it, Muriel!” Julia arose and felt her cheeks burning. “I don’t reckon quarreling will help me or you or Elizabeth abide the waitin’ with any hope of decorum or calm. It’s not your dog in this fight, much as I value your friendship and good sense.” Seeing Muriel’s crestfallen countenance, she took two steps and folded her in a tight embrace. “Oh, you know I mean you no ill will. I do need all the peace I can muster.” As the gravity of the night’s events overcame her again, she dropped her arms from around her friend and moaned, her voice breaking, “My girl. My girl! Will I ever see you again?” Her shoulders slumped and her head hung forward. “Please, pray with me.”

A voice came from the doorway. “I will join you. It is but the least thing I can do for you, Julia.”

Julia turned and saw Amanda Hilbrands coming toward her, and she swiped at her eyes. “Yes. Thank you. Ladies, please pray for my girl, and for my wounded boy, for that matter. And for Lizzie’s boy. His feelin’s must be mighty raw, Marie treatin’ him thataway.”
~~~


Thank you for visiting. Stay tuned for information about the Blog Book Tour that I'm having from October 6 through 12.

Click the "My Books" tab at the top of the page for more information about my books and short stories, including the newest story, Happy Halloween. Purchase links are included. The "Special Collections" tab includes information and links to my novella, Faith and the Foreman, and a short story in the Owenverse, Bloodied Leather, which gives a glimpse into the future of the Owen Family. Don't forget to come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Book 4, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

A Twice-Yearly Spiritual Delight

Two times a year I sit in my comfy reclining chair at home, or go to an LDS meetinghouse, to see live broadcasts of LDS General Conference. This is a Must-See event in my life.

President Thomas S. Monson

It's a chance to gain knowledge and spiritual renewal at the feet of living prophets and other leaders of my church.



I get to hear glorious music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other choirs made up of members of the church from the urban Utah areas.


For me, it's a time for reflection, a time to ground myself once again, a time to weep, to rejoice, to feel the Spirit of God, and to resolve to become a better person.


How about you? Will you join me this weekend, October 4th and 5th, for an uplifting series of meetings that will bring joy into your life?
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