Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Sample - April 19, 2014

Welcome back to my Saturday Sample. In this scene from Gone for a Soldier, my novel that will be released later this summer, Ella Ruth Allen is excited to go on a shopping expedition to the nearest big city, Harrisonburg.

The day began too early for Ella Ruth's taste, but Poppa insisted on an early start to avoid the likelihood of meeting with enemy troops on the move. The Yankees were said to be tucked in safely down the Valley in Martinsburg, unlikely to come up to battle against the steadfast Virginians holding the line, but Poppa seemed cautious lately.

She climbed into the buggy with his assistance, regretting her sporadic fits of crying over the last two days. All the thinking and the tears had given her a tremendous headache. Even so, excitement bubbled in her stomach. In an effort to cheer her up, Poppa was taking her with him to Harrisonburg. She planned to shop to her heart's content.

"It is mighty kind of you to include me in your trip," she exclaimed with a smile as she settled into the seat and adjusted her hat and veil. She turned to look at the servant getting on a horse behind the buggy. "Will Thomas be able to keep up with your prize team?"

Poppa raised an eyebrow. "He rides well enough." He lifted the lines and clicked his tongue at the horses. Once they were on their way, he said, "I will not be able to accompany you for shopping, but Thomas will be with you to carry all your baubles."

"Poppa! I would be just fine all alone. I do not plan to buy more than five or six 'baubles,' as you put it. I must have a new hat, however. This old veil is too thin for the sun."

"You won't go unaccompanied, daughter. I cannot allow you that liberty."

"Pish and tush." She looked again at the old black-skinned man following them. "Well, he does seem to know how to ride. If you insist on him coming along, I suppose I shall endure it."

"Thomas is reliable, Ella. You will treat him well."

"Of course I will, Poppa! To hear you speak, one would think I was heartless."

He glanced over at her, but said nothing.

"I'm not heartless. I treat everybody well."

"Then what of your tears the past day?"

Ella Ruth sniffed. He knew she had been crying over her lost love affair. "You should have permitted me to marry Benjamin, Poppa."


What kind of personality do you think Ella Ruth has? Do you think you and she would have been friends? Why or why not? What kind of attitude does she have about the war?

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit from Gone for a Soldier. Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments, so if anything in the sample compels you to speak up, rest assured that I eventually read what you write and will reply, if needed. Questions? I'm open to them, too.

Please come back next Saturday for another sample. Thank you!

Marsha Ward is the award-winning author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Her latest book, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association aka ANWA.

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