Saturday, June 07, 2014

Sample Saturday - June 7, 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 summer, Rulon is learning the realities of warfare during winter.

Rulon found the winter sleet, snow, and rain almost intolerable. Coming off a three-day picket duty assignment, he wiped down the sorrel as best he could under a makeshift shelter. After feeding his horse, he ran to his own shelter.

Ren was in the tent. Rulon entered to find him moving a chamber pot to catch a drip coming from the ridge.

"If we had tar, we could stop that leak," Rulon said.

"If we had tar, it would still be raining and the stuff wouldn't stick," Ren answered.

Rulon had no response.  He felt the shirt he had laid out on his cot to dry. It remained damp down the front. He wiped his nose and made a derisive sound. What did he expect? With the air so saturated, the moisture in the material had little chance to evaporate.

"Any word on Leoyd?" he asked Ren, who had sat down to shuffle through paperwork.

"He's fortunate. The doc pulled him through the worst of the fever. That typhoid is nasty stuff. Doc is sending the captain home."

Rulon stood up straight, shocked. "You don't mean it."

"I'm afraid so. Herring is in charge until he returns." He shook his head, and added in a softer voice, "If he does."

Rulon absorbed the somber news. He felt bad asking, but with the change of leadership, he felt he had to broach the subject uppermost in his mind. "Do you reckon I can get a furlough?"

Ren shook his head. "Herring won't let you go with so many men laid up."

"Mary is nearing her time. I've got to go home and be with her."

"I'm sorry, Owen. We need every able-bodied man out there with their eyes open."

"And rain running down their collars. It's brutal detail. The Yankees aren't even leaving their cozy tents."

"Spring will draw them out."

"Spring," Rulon said, and snorted. "I'm not sure I believe in it anymore."


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.

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