Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sample Saturday: Trail of Storms, Excerpt 3 from Chapter 1

Today's Sample for the Sweet Saturday Samples blog hop follows the scene in last week's sample from Trail of Storms. The setting is Mount Jackson in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley just after the American Civil War, the genre is historical Western fiction, and the rating is an intense G.

Jessie shoved open the door of the bank with such force that it banged against the wall. Several customers turned to gaze at her in surprise. The clerks and tellers looked up from their work.

Jessie located Hannah’s husband, Robert Fletcher, in the teller’s cage at the end of the row. She ran across the tile floor and pushed aside the woman standing opposite him.

“You must come, now!” Jessie said to the man, gasping as she struggled to draw air into her burning lungs.

“Miss Jessica—” He turned to his customer. “I’m sorry, Miz Addison. I’m sure she didn’t mean—” He broke off and faced Jessie again, frown lines deeply creasing his face and sweat breaking out on his forehead. “What happened to you? You’re quite … untidy.” Robert took out a handkerchief and dabbed at the brow on both sides of his pronounced widow’s peak.

“Mr. Fletcher—Robert—Hannah’s been taken!” Jessie put out a shaking hand and grasped the counter to support herself. “We’ve got to get help.”

Robert took in a sharp breath. He stuffed the handkerchief in his pocket as he turned and leaped over the gate separating the teller’s cages from the customer area.

Before Jessie could blink, he grasped her by the elbow and shook her arm. “What do you mean, ‘Hannah’s been taken’?”

Jessie’s trembling almost overcame her. She forced herself to find her voice, still breathing with difficulty as Robert’s grip tightened. “You know those Yankee riders? One of them grabbed her and took her off. Oh, Mr. Fletcher, Heppie’s in such a state I had—”

An oath escaped Robert Fletcher’s lips as he dropped her arm. “Take me there,” he grunted, barging through the door to the street. She caught up to him and led off at a run, lifting her skirts out of the way of her feet.

They cut across the street, darting between vehicles and horses, bumping without apology into passersby, their silent haste fed by adrenaline and fear.

When they arrived at the street where Hannah had been abducted, Heppie bolted out of Mrs. Wiggins’s door, crying into her handkerchief. “Oh, Mr. Fletcher, I’m so glad to see you.”

Robert nodded briefly to Heppie, then turned and asked Jessie, “Which way did he go?”

Jessie pointed south on the Valley Pike. “It’s the redheaded one.”

Robert thrust Jessie into Heppie’s arms, saying, “Go to your ma’s. I’ll bring her there,” and ran down the street.

“Jessie, did you see his face?” Heppie wailed.

Jessie shook in her sister’s embrace as new fear enveloped her. “Yes. I’m afraid he’ll kill that Yankee.”

Trail of Storms is available at Amazon US as a print book:
As a Kindle Edition in the US:
At Amazon UK as a print book:
As a Kindle Edition in the UK:
At in many ebook formats:
Now find another sample to read:


  1. I am thorougly enjoying these snippets and want to know what happens next.

  2. Great last line! Good story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks, Sherry and Jennifer. I'm glad you enjoy the story. There is a part I'll have to skip soon, due to violence that takes it out of the G or even PG rating.

    Marsha Ward
    Writer in the Pines

  4. Anonymous11:49 AM

    I am so getting drawn into this story

  5. Lindsay, I'm glad you're hooked. While the genre may be Westerns to satisfy the need of the book sellers for categories, my novels are really stories about people overcoming great trials. Don't we all write about that? Live that ourselves? Like to read about harder lives so ours don't seem so bad?

    Marsha Ward
    Writer in the Pines

  6. I too am loving this story. The Civil War and post-Civil War periods have always been favorites. And your characters truly come to life. Can't wait to read more. Great sample. (I hope he kills the Yankee too.)

  7. I'm intrigued.
    Margaret Turley

  8. Thanks, Jenna! I appreciate your kind words.

    Thanks, Margaret! I hope you stay intrigued. :-)


  9. Wonderful, multi-layered writing.

  10. Thanks, Jessica! Your assessment takes my breath away!


I welcome your comments.

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