Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample: Excerpt from The Man from Shenandoah

This week's snippet for Sweet Saturday Samples (clean fiction excerpts from authors) is an excerpt from The Man from Shenandoah, the first novel in "The Owen Family Saga." I hope you enjoy it.

The gaunt-featured young man with the lanky build choked down the last of his moldy bread, then got to his feet and climbed atop the stone wall against which he’d been sitting. Carl Owen looked as far as he could see down the Valley Pike, about 200 yards, but no one was in sight. Turning to look at the burned-out field the wall enclosed, he surveyed the gray-toned devastation made muddy by today’s intermittent rain.

Rage ris
ing in him, thundering in his ears as his heartbeat quickened in frustration and hate, he shook his fist at the sky.

“Phil Sheridan, may God spit in your eye for the ruin you brought to this valley. Rot in hell, Sheridan!”

“Get him!” h
e heard, just before he was tackled from behind, tumbling him off the wall and into the mud. Carl came up sputtering muck. As he wiped gluey sludge from his eyes, someone kicked him. He was hauled to his feet—arms brutally twisted behind his back—and dragged over the wall to where a huge, red-faced sergeant in a faded blue uniform stood waiting for him.

“Yankees,” Carl groaned, berating himself for letting his guard down enough to miss their approach. Panic coursed through his belly. He tried to tear free, but two soldiers gripped his arms, and he finally quit struggling.

The sergeant stood with his legs spread apart, looking Carl up and down. “Johnny Reb, you’re on the loose. We have a stout prisoner of war camp for you up in Washington City.” He bent forward, laughing in Carl’s face, who involuntarily wrinkled his nose and squinted shut his eyes at the overpowering odor of liquor fumes. The man frowned, drew a knife from a sheath on his belt, and tested it on his thumb.

“You look at me, Johnny Reb,” he snarled. “Look at me when I speak to you!”

Carl opened his eyes and stared into the Yankee’s mean eyes. “I have parole papers,” he said, raising his muddy, stubbled chin in defiance.

“You’re violating your parole, wearing the uniform of the Confederate Army,” the Yankee said, and put his blade against Carl’s throat. The young man sucked in a breath, then held it, careful not to move.

Just then, a burly soldier came up behind the sergeant. “Sarge, you told us we were going to find some Southern belles to entertain us,” he complained. “Let’s dump him in the woods.”

“Keep your nose out of official business. I’ll open him up a bit and teach him how to act around his betters.”

Here are excerpts from other authors who are participating this week in Sweet Saturday Samples:

1. J. Gunnar Grey, mystery-adventure
2. Kay Springsteen, contemporary
3. Jennifer Lowery~Romantic Suspense
4. Sandy & Sandra, women’s fiction & romance
5. Joyce DiPastena – medieval romance (PG)
6. Jessica Knauss, magical realism
7. Joselyn Vaughn ~ contemporary romance
8. Patricia Kiyono, historical romance
9. J.F. Jenkins, YA fantasy
10. Marsha Ward~Westerns with Heart & Grit
11. Beth Trissel-Historical/paranormal romance
12. Morgan Kearns, romance
13. Chynna Laird – YA
14. Dianne Hartsock-paranormal suspense
15. Lindsay Downs-Mystery
16. Emily Dahill and Dakota, YA
17. Rachel Rossano, science fiction
18. Jean Joachim, contemporary romance
19. Bri Clark, contemporary and paranormal romance
20. Sherry Gloag, romance
21. Lia Davis, paranormal romance
22. The Way of Impressions, historical romance
23. Liz Botts, YA romance 


  1. Tense sample. Held my attention.

  2. Dump him in the woods! Love it!

  3. Anonymous9:58 AM

    He'd better be very careful they don't hang him. Scary and realistic excerpt. Nicely done.

    Here's mine:

  4. Carl came up sputtering muck. As he wiped gluey sludge from his eyes, someone kicked him ~ fun action.

  5. Damn Yankee blue-bellies. Hope that Sarge gets what's coming to him. Great scene

  6. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Is he violating parole? Or is the sergeant being more of a jerk than necessary?

  7. I'm mad already! Great scene.

  8. Gunnar, Carl's embossed buttons made his coat a uniform, but he didn't know that. However, the sergeant WAS being more of a jerk than was necessary.

    I see that Blogger ate some of my words again. I've edited to restore them.

  9. Not participating but loved it:) sorry I missed it

  10. Great scene that left me wondering what's gonna happen to Carl next.

  11. Well done! You grabbed my attention. Wow, we still hate Sheridan here in the Shenandoah Valley which he burned.

  12. You sure left me wanting more! This was one of the worst times in American history. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Wow, amazing psychological portrayals!


I welcome your comments.

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