Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sample Saturday - June 14, 2014

Welcome back to Sample Saturday. In this piece from Gone for a Soldier, the Owen Family Saga novel that will be released later this year, Mary Owen shares with Rulon the events of her day.

15th May, 1863
Mount Jackson Via.
Deer Husband,

My, how my arms do ache! We made soft soap today from the winter's ashs. Mama sent India to the store in my place so I could pitch into the labor. I hope Papa did not take offence at having a jun'r worker instead of his right-hand Mary.

The fire roared, the kett'l bubbled and splash'd, and Roddy lern'd how to hold up his dress to toddle toward the center of the excitment. I could not let harm come to yor son, so I fashnd a pen of chairs and blankets in the hedge of the garden. He is a smart creatur for merely 15-months-old, and found a way to dig out between the bushes. I was forevr putting him back in place and piling dirt up to kep him contain'd. Mama became so alarmed that she sent Ida to the store and India returned to tend the boy.

This made more work for Sylvia and me, but at the end of the day, we had poured out a cuantity of soap for bars. I enclose one, wich I hope did not leek on the paper, as I rapped it in the last oilcloth I could find.

I must hide my pleasur to see Papa treating with his grandson. With only girls in his projeny, havin a boy about the place is a novelty. I hastn to add it is a joy to him. He looks for trinkets in the store to bring hom to Roddy. I am ever cautining Papa about small items, for the boy still puts everything to a taste-test before he plays with it. I do not want him to choke, as a child did in New Market the past week. The mothr is inconsoalable. She blames the Yankees, passin down the Valley again, for scaring the baby into swallowing his sugartit. I keep Roddy out of theer way when they come thru town.

Yor Ma had a seege of sixckness amongst your kin during the winter. All have recover'd and pray for an end to this conflict. Rulon, my prayers are constant on your behalf. Keep safe, der Life, and return to me whole and strong.

I take Roddy's hand in my own to make his mark
All our love,


Thank you for visiting! Please come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foremen, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Her last published book, 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.


  1. I love this. Thanks for giving us a taste! hugs~

    1. You're welcome, Kari. Hope you like the novel as well as this.

  2. I have no idea how you are able to have your characters speak like people spoke back in those days. I don't know how the regency writer's do it, either. What a fine talent and a fun read!

    1. Thanks, Polly. I think it's because of the immersion I do in the time period. There is a lot of reading of journals, periodicals, and primary source books that goes into that effort.

  3. Love the sample this week, Marsha! I love the colloquialisms! Adds such a nice touch to the feel to the piece. Well done!


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