Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Sample - March 15, 2014

Welcome back to my Saturday Sample! Today I'm giving you a tidbit from Chapter 2 of Spinster's Folly, my latest published novel from the Owen Family Saga. Bill Henry realizes why he has become reluctant to leave Colorado and return to his ranch in Texas.

He’s gone and done it, Bill Henry thought as he saddled a horse the next morning. Defied his pa and gone off. He’s got more gumption than I thought he did.

Bill swung into the saddle, gathered the reins, and clucked to his mount, a frisky dun mustang, one of the horses Mr. Owen had bought in Texas. The animal frog-jumped and bucked for a few minutes, but Bill stuck tight and waited out the horse’s temper tantrum. The dun would settle down soon and carry him through the morning without further complaint.

Yes, James Owen had sand, he had to give him that. Who else around here was willing to go toe-to-toe and have it out with the fearsome Rod Owen? Nobody else he could name, including himself.

The dun gave a final crow-hop, then stood quiet, waiting for guidance. Bill crossed his wrists, rested them on the saddle horn, and gave himself up to a moment of reverie.

He was no coward, but he had no reason to butt heads with the Old Man, because he didn’t hanker to leave Colorado Territory at this time. He’d given his word that he’d teach the Owen men the cattle business. Even though he was without kin in this place, it suited him fine to light here a while, there being no work for him in Texas.

Besides, if I head back now, I’ll never see Miss Marie again.

There it was, finally, the hitherto unspoken reason for staying. He smoothed his moustache as he contemplated his situation. The Owen boys had caught on to every cattle-handling trick he’d taught them much faster than he’d supposed they would. Nothing kept him here beyond that obligation. Except . . . I don’t want to leave her.

Bill exhaled. Now the big bear had been flushed into the open, so to speak, and he had to face it or turn tail and run. He’d not ever admitted to himself that in the few short weeks since he’d arrived in Colorado Territory, he had grown mighty fond of the pretty, dark-haired daughter of his boss. Now he let himself acknowledge that he had grown serious feelings for the sprightly miss. Truth was, he’d taken to being on hand when she rode out each morning to exercise her horse. That way he had a glimpse of her to carry in his thoughts throughout the long hours he spent dealing with slab-sided cattle.

No point in avoiding reality. Marie Owen was the reason he was willing to stay on in this unnaturally green land beneath the mountain.

He whispered her name and smiled so broadly that his moustache tickled his cheeks. The very sound, Marie, had a sort of music in it.


What makes a man fall in love? Women have pondered that question through all the generations of time. Let's ask the menfolk: What attracted you to your special lady? Was it the way she walked? The slow smile, the air of wistfulness, or the gumption she showed? Let us know which traits did that number on you.

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit from Spinster's Folly. Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments, so if anything in the sample compels you to speak up, rest assured that I eventually read what you write and will reply, if needed. Questions? I'm open to them, too.

Please come back next Saturday for another sample. Thank you!

Marsha Ward is the award-winning author of the acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Her latest book, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association aka ANWA.


  1. I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your excerpt! I love a good western. Well done, Marsha! :)

    1. Thank you, Laura! I appreciate your enthusiasm and you coming over here to make a comment. :-)

  2. It would be a rare man that could pinpoint how he fell in love. I like the subtle things in your excerpt that all add up to the emotion. Nice writing!

    1. Thank you, Renae! I believe you're right.


I welcome your comments.

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