Saturday, October 04, 2014

Sample Saturday - October 4, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. First, a shoutout to my late father, O. G. Williams, who was the best storyteller ever! Today is his birthday. This week's sample shows the interaction of several women in a stressful situation. It's from my award-winning novel, Spinster's Folly.

Julia stopped stirring the pot hanging over the fire and returned to her seat. Gripping one hand with the other, she set her mouth and waited, her head inclined so she could see an area on the floor about fifteen inches in front of her shoes.

“It won’t do to fret, Julia,” Elizabeth said. “If Mr. Morgan catches up to them today, we’ll know by nightfall.”

“Leave her be, Lizzie.” Muriel Bates stood from her chair and went to Julia’s side, gave her a pat on the shoulder, then turned to remonstrate with Elizabeth, whose face had turned ashen. “Yes, you know I call you 'Lizzie' whenever I’ve a mind to. This is one of those times when a body ought to be allowed to fret all she wants, and I’ll stand here and tell you so to your face.”

“Well! I never heard the like in all my days! I’ve a mind to get in my wagon and go home, if this is the treatment I can expect hereabouts.”

“You know you’re blowing hot air, dearie. You’ve never hitched up a team in your life. Mind your manners and leave Julia to have as many dark thoughts as she’s willing to bear.”

“You really are being dreadful to her, Muriel,” Julia said, not moving a muscle beyond those necessary to talk. “I grieve in the open. Elizabeth hides her feelings behind charitable acts.”

“Charitable acts? Pshaw!” Muriel strode to the fireplace and stirred the pot. Then she rounded on Elizabeth again. “I don’t blame the girl for running off when her expectations were wrapped up in living her life under your thumb.”

“Stop it, Muriel!” Julia arose and felt her cheeks burning. “I don’t reckon quarreling will help me or you or Elizabeth abide the waitin’ with any hope of decorum or calm. It’s not your dog in this fight, much as I value your friendship and good sense.” Seeing Muriel’s crestfallen countenance, she took two steps and folded her in a tight embrace. “Oh, you know I mean you no ill will. I do need all the peace I can muster.” As the gravity of the night’s events overcame her again, she dropped her arms from around her friend and moaned, her voice breaking, “My girl. My girl! Will I ever see you again?” Her shoulders slumped and her head hung forward. “Please, pray with me.”

A voice came from the doorway. “I will join you. It is but the least thing I can do for you, Julia.”

Julia turned and saw Amanda Hilbrands coming toward her, and she swiped at her eyes. “Yes. Thank you. Ladies, please pray for my girl, and for my wounded boy, for that matter. And for Lizzie’s boy. His feelin’s must be mighty raw, Marie treatin’ him thataway.”

Thank you for visiting. Stay tuned for information about the Blog Book Tour that I'm having from October 6 through 12.

Click the "My Books" tab at the top of the page for more information about my books and short stories, including the newest story, Happy Halloween. Purchase links are included. The "Special Collections" tab includes information and links to my novella, Faith and the Foreman, and a short story in the Owenverse, Bloodied Leather, which gives a glimpse into the future of the Owen Family. Don't forget to come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Book 4, 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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