Saturday, August 02, 2014

Sample Saturday - August 2, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. In this piece from Gone for a Soldier, the Owen Family Saga novel that will be released on September 18, 2014, Rulon Owen and his brother, Ben, discuss the coming war and the girls they love.

“The haughty Miss Allen can’t be pleased that you prefer the mud-slogging infantry,” Rulon said. “You’d rather come home to her with brogans full of muck than clean boots?”

“It doesn’t seem likely that I’ll be comin’ home to her at all, except in a brotherly fashion.” Ben’s face lost all humor. “Miss Allen’s pa has forbidden her to consider a match with me.”

Rulon raised an eyebrow. “An Owen boy ain’t good enough for him?”

“This Owen boy don’t have any property. That’s all that matters to him. Property and possessions.”

“That’s hard luck, Ben. What does the lady have to say?”

Ben rubbed his nose with a knuckle. “I’ve a notion the lady is wavering a mite. I’m plannin’ to see her tomorrow night. With a little luck, maybe I can talk her into elopin’.”

“You’d go that far?”

“I ain’t content without her.”

“I reckon I know that itch.” Rulon tipped his chair back, balancing on the rear legs.

“Are you makin’ any headway in scratchin’ it?”

Rulon sat silent for a time. He pinched a crease in the leg of his trousers and adjusted the fabric. “A mite,” he said finally.

“You randy dog,” Ben said, and whistled.

Rulon smacked him on the side of the head, growling in his throat, “It’s not what you think, brother.”

“Ow! Spare the brainpan. It’s had enough abuse today.” Ben slapped away Rulon’s hand. “You’re always a-sniffin’ around the girl. What else can I think?”

“Good luck in your quest with Miss Allen, brother.” Rulon leaned farther back in his chair. “We’re heading for war. Soon enough we’ll have other battles to win. Through the cavalry, of course.”

Ben started to sweep his boot toward the legs of Rulon’s up tilted chair, but Rulon forestalled him by settling it back to the floor, then grinned at his brother in triumph. “I’m fixin’ to write a letter to Captain Yancey to offer my sword to the Harrisonburg Cavalry.”

Ben’s guffaw exploded onto the soft evening air. “Your sword? Where do you reckon to get a sword to offer?”

“It’s a metaphorical sword, you dolt. What will you offer? A bedroll?”

“I’m goin’ to offer my own self, and see no impediment to being accepted. The Mount Jackson Rifles are taking enlistments soon.”

“You’d best work fast on the girl’s pa, then.”

“Don’t I know it!” Ben’s voice took on a note of despair. He rubbed his hands up and down his thighs. “If she won’t go away and marry me, you and me will have to beat back those Yanks quick so I can come home and change the man’s mind.”


Thank you for visiting! Please stay tuned for information about the online launch party for GONE FOR A SOLDIER. 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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