Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sample Saturday - May 17, 2014

Welcome back to Saturday Sample, er, that is, Sample Saturday! In this scene from Gone for a Soldier, the Owen Family Saga novel that will be released later this summer, Julia Owen faces a homefront obstacle: the draft.

Julia opened the front door to an insistent thumping, her heart in her throat. To her immense relief, a Confederate officer and several infantrymen stood outside.


"Am I addressing Mrs. Owen?" the officer asked.

Julia raised her chin a fraction. His manner had been too brusque for her taste. "You are. What is wanted?"

The lieutenant consulted a paper in his hand, then looked up. "You have a son, James, living here?"

Julia nodded, slowly.

"I have papers for his conscription."

"He's the man of the house now."

He nodded once. "That may be, ma'am, but his country needs him in the army."

"I've sent four sons and a husband, and one gave his life. Isn't that enough?"

The man's eyes softened, but he straightened his shoulders. "No, ma'am. The Yankees are in the Valley again. We need your son."

Julia felt a chill. "How long until you need him?"

"Today, ma'am. I'm to bring him in with me."

She sucked in her breath. "Y'all can wait here. I'll gather his necessaries." She half turned away, then stopped. "You won't be needing my twelve-year-old, will you?" She turned back to hear the man's answer.

"No ma'am. Not today." His gaze fixed on hers, and a bit of dizziness swept through her. How long will this warring last? Will it come down to sending Clay and Albert to the front? She closed the door and called to Albert, who was hoeing weeds in the kitchen garden.

"Run fetch James. Give him a tight hug, while you're at it."


"He's been drafted."

Albert gave her a horrified look, dropped his hoe, and sprinted off into the fields.

Julia held back her tears and went up the stairs to put together a bundle for James.

I hope you enjoyed this scene from Gone for a Soldier, my forthcoming novel set during the American Civil War.
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 read what you write and will reply. Questions? I'm open to them, too.

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

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. 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.


  1. You can feel in this scene what the mothers must have felt during the war, the army showing up at their doors to whisk away yet another of their sons, in some cases their only son. Very well written, Marsha.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I enjoyed researching for and writing this little moment.


I welcome your comments.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...