Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sample Saturday - 2015/02/14 - Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day, and I thought this little tidbit would be appropriate to the occasion. It's from the opening scene of New Blood, a short story I've been writing. Storekeeper Wes Haught has just heard the jangle of the door's bell and has called to his brother, Lonnie, to come help out in the store, but Lonnie has delayed making an appearance.

“Humph.” Wes turned back in time to see the new arrival close the door, sashay toward the man in the suit and take his arm.

“Father,” she said. “Annie and the driver are at the hotel.” She spared a look at Wes, then turned slightly toward the man and continued in a lower voice. “I’ve arranged for rooms and someone to tend to Annie for a while.”

Wes realized his mouth hung open, and shut it hastily, his mood much improved. The glorious young woman wore her golden hair piled atop her head in a complex arrangement. It could have been a crown. He judged that she had only barely reached the age for grown-up hair fashions, seventeen, maybe eighteen years old, but for one so young, she carried herself as though she were clothed in confidence.

“Good,” the man said, and patted her arm. “This business should not take long.” He turned to survey the room. “You might have a look at the dress goods,” he suggested, “as I haven't been attended to yet.” He glanced toward Wes, his face a mask of annoyance.

Beside the man, the girl's smile lit the room.

Wes swallowed hard. Her soft gray traveling outfit covered her trim figure like a glove. Not tight, just snug enough to show that she had a woman's attributes. Perhaps she was older than he had first thought.

Wes swallowed again, fervently hoping the family wasn't merely passing through Haught Springs. There hadn't been new blood here for several years. This comely girl was welcome to stay forever.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the sample. I appreciate your support of my work.

Author Marsha Ward's recent novel, Gone for a Soldier, is a 2014 Whitney Award Finalist in Historical Fiction. She wrote the novella, Faith and the Foreman, in the best-selling Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection, and 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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