I haven’t shared a teaser for at least a few weeks now. But, I worked on compiling notes from my second beta reader on Chapter 7 of Stained by Ashes this morning, so I decided to share a bit from that chapter.
Adam slowed the horse to a lope as they neared the north pasture. Then, to a trot until they were passing the pasture. Even if it meant Patrick became upset with him.
He pushed the horse forward, trying to leave his reservations behind. When he saw what remained of the house, he forgot everything else. What was done to them wasn’t right. Or the fact everyone seemed content to sweep it away and forget it.
He dismounted from the saddle , leaving the horse behind to graze while he moved forward, being careful where he stepped . He didn’t want to erase any sign of who had been here before. That would keep him from learning anything. The horse behind him snorted, uneasy being here. The smell of smoke and death still clung to the air.
Adam edged around the ashes of the burned buildings, but stopped next to the spot of ground still stained by blood. A heavy weight laid on his shoulders at the memory of the woman who had died there.
Adam shook his head, blowing out a breath. This wasn’t finding the answers he needed. He straightened and turned back toward the house. He hadn’t looked too closely when he and James first discovered the bodies. Even when he’d returned with the sheriff, he’d been more concerned with the bodies than the house. Patrick had kept him busy with the ranch for the past days. He hadn’t been able to make it back out, but it hadn’t rained. Any sign that had been here shouldn’t have faded from the earth.
He knelt next to the logs that remained and ran a finger through the ash. He didn’t know what it should tell him. How long ago the fire had been set maybe? It couldn’t have been more than a day before they’d found the bodies. The fire had gone out, but the smoke remained heavy in the air.
I’m still hoping to get this out this summer, but it may be closer to fall. Either way, it will be out before the end of the year.