Saturday, July 05, 2014

Sample Saturday - July 5, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. In this piece from Gone for a Soldier, the Owen Family Saga novel that will be released later this year, Rulon Owen tries to make a huge change in his life.

Mr. Hilbrands had such a dark look in his eye that Rulon thought he was about to twirl the broom above his head and bring it down on some miscreant’s shoulder. However, the time was now, or it would never happen, so he pressed forward through the throng and got within speaking distance of the man.

Rulon hoped he spoke loudly enough for Mr. Hilbrands to hear him above the hubbub in the room. “Mr. Hilbrands, sir, may I have a word?”

“Not now,” the man answered.

“I only need a moment,” Rulon said, feeling his confidence ebbing away.

“I’ll speak to you when I’ve dealt with this turmoil,” the man said, his dark brows drawn together.

“That suits me, sir. Do you need assistance?”

“Not this minute.” Mr. Hilbrands raised the broom above his head, in a startling imitation of Rulon’s imaginings, and thundered at his neighbors, “This is a place of business. I have work to do, customers to tend to. If you can’t moderate your voices, take your discussions to the street.”

Rulon had never heard such a speech from his prospective father-in-law. He wondered about the timing of his petition. How would it be received when the man was so worked up by the interruption of his commercial enterprise?

However, when the subdued men about the room had lowered their conversations to a reasonable level, Mr. Hilbrands was evidently satisfied by his efforts, and turned to Rulon, bearing a smile on his face.

“What can I do for you, young man?”

Rulon gulped, trying to think what to say right off. Every thought, every carefully planned sentence had fled from his brain.

Mr. Hilbrands arched an eyebrow, and Rulon hastened to find words to start his own speech.

“Nice . . . nice day, sir.”

The eyebrow inched higher.

“You must be aware that your daughter Mary and me have been keepin’ company for some time,” he began, feeling like a veritable dolt. Of course the man knew that. He’d sat in the parlor his fair share of time to accompany them.

Mr. Hilbrands nodded. “Yes, indeed. Go on.”

Rulon swallowed. “Sir, Miss Mary has agreed that we should, um, wed before I go to serve my country in this comin’ squabble.”

Both eyebrows rose toward the tin ceiling. The black, forbidding look had returned to Mr. Hilbrands’ features.

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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