Home of a mother, wife, writer

Posts tagged ‘western’

Teaser Tuesday: “He’s Dead”

I have another teaser from Stained Blood for you today. I will probably have one more before this goes off to beta readers. Then, I’m hoping I’ll also have Flames of Renewal back from my critique partner by then, so I can start sharing from that. Or In the Moonlight if I get started editing that. We’ll have to see how things go.

Anyway, for today here’s a bit from Chapter 8 and a glimpse of Deryn’s back story.

Once Barrett left, Aileen turned toward Deryn, raising one eyebrow. “What was that about?”
“Nothing.” Deryn dropped her gaze to the floor. “Where do you want me to put this?” she asked, reaching for the satchel Barrett set beside the door.
Aileen waved her hand. “Leave it for now. I made some tea. I’d love for you to join me for some.”
Deryn stared at her for a moment. “Don’t you want me to do anything?”
“Yes. Join me for tea.”
Deryn laughed softly, even though her stomach swam. “This job will be easy if that is what is expected of me.” Much better than what her husband and his brother had expected her to do. That thought made her sick, so she pushed it away.
“For today anyway. If you ask my husband, he may tell you I am not always so easy to get along with.”
“Will I be meeting him?”
“He’ll be here for dinner tonight. You’ll be taking your meals here, so of course you’ll meet him.” Deryn followed her into the parlor where a pot and two steaming cups sat. “I do not know how you take your tea.”
Deryn sat on the couch and dropped a cube of sugar in her cup and lifted it to her lips. They sipped tea in silence for a few minutes before Aileen asked, “What of you? I noticed Barrett called you Mrs. Glas. So, there’s a Mr. Glas.”
She bobbled the cup of tea but managed to set it back on the saucer and onto the table without spilling any on herself. “No,” she said, a little breathless. “My husband, he’s dead.”
“I’m so sorry, dear.” Aileen’s face softened. “How did it happen? Was he ill?”
Deryn shook her head. “He…fell.” After she’d swung the cast iron lantern at his head. “He injured his head,” she added when Aileen kept looking at her. “I had to leave. I didn’t have anyone to turn to.”

Teaser Tuesday: “Protect Her”

I’m back with another Teaser Tuesday post for Stained Blood. I should be finishing up the rewrites for it this week. Then, I have to comb through for all the crutch words I tend to use, and other weaknesses. And then I can send it on to beta readers. I have one lined up(as she’s read the first two books in the series), and I may send it back to my CP as well since I’ve made quite a few changes. So, I’m hoping for a summer release.

He didn’t even know where to find the man. But if he was staying in town, he knew one person who would know. The livery stable was the only place to board his horse. So, unless he kept him hitched to a rail along the street, he’d be there. And Jacob would likely know where to find him.
He hadn’t spoken to Jacob since the day he’d found him in the stable with Matthew. Barrett was still sure he hadn’t seen what his mind told him he had. There had to be another explanation. But, he couldn’t get it from Jacob if the other man never spoke to him again.
When he stepped into the stable, he only saw Al standing there. “Is Jacob around?” he asked the older man.
The hostler shook his head. “He ain’t been home for a couple days. You know how he is. He’ll show up sooner or later.”
Except Jacob had said he was going to stick around town now. So he’d have a better image for the election. That didn’t seem to have lasted long, though. Was it because Barrett had seen him here with Matthew? Was there more going on there? He shook off that thought and turned away.
“Was there something I could help you with, Barrett?” Al asked.
He hesitated. Al might have the information he was looking for. “You seen that new man in town?” he asked. “Hector Monihan. He’s posing as a deputy sheriff.”
“Seen him,” Al said, spitting on the ground between them.
“You know where he’s staying?”
Al shook his head. “And I’d suggest you stay far away from him. He’s made his feelings on you and you protecting that woman well known. Be careful.”
“That woman’s my wife now, Al. And I’ll do what I need to protect her. If you hear anything, let me know.”
But, he was pretty sure it would be best if he got Deryn out of town for a couple days at least.

Teaser Tuesday: Surprise

I’m back with another Teaser Tuesday from Stained Blood. This comes from another new scene I’ve added into the story. Barrett’s about to learn something new about his friend, though he’s not quite ready to process it yet.

Matthew reclined back against a mound of hay, his hair was mussed, his cheeks flushed a bright red. And his lips looked swollen. A couple buttons were undone on his shirt, the material gaping where others were in the wrong holes. Barrett knew that look. Barrett had sported that look often enough himself.
Then, he turned his head and stared at Jacob. His dark hair was mussed as well, sticking up at angles as if it had been pulled that way. Where Matthew’s face was flushed, his was pale. Only one button of his shirt was buttoned, the rest gaping open, and that certainly looked like a bite right below his collarbone.
Barrett shook his head as his mind tried to put the pieces together. He took a step back, his head still shaking from one side to the other. No. He hadn’t seen what his eyes told him he had. Only one thing made one look like that. And there was no woman in sight.
“Barrett, where are you going?” Jacob asked. Even his lips looked like the color had drained from them.
“Out. I need to get out of here.” He couldn’t even think about this right now. Not at all.
“You aren’t…you’re not going to tell anyone. Are you?” His voice quivered as if he feared the answer to that.
“What would I tell them, Jacob?” he asked. “I don’t know a damn thing.”

Just what was going on before Barrett arrived? What will Barrett do with this information? How will Jacob act around him now? All things I’m trying to work into the following scenes(since this wasn’t in the first version…Jacob didn’t really start talking to me until I’d finished it).

Teaser Tuesday: Change Coming

I’m back with another teaser from Stained Blood. This one comes right after last week’s.

Carl was scowling now as Jacob continued to talk. His gaze shifted to his son then back to the man challenging him. “You can’t really mean to do this,” he finally said.
“I do,” Jacob insisted. “You’ve had your chance with this town. Now, I think it’s time for something different.”
“You’ll never convince this town you have its best interests in mind. You’re nothing but a shiftless rambler. Everyone knows it. You have to stick around town to be able to protect it.”
Barrett watched every muscle in Jacob’s neck and face tighten. “There’s a lot you don’t know about me, sheriff, if that’s what you really believe. And there’s a lot more to keeping the people in this town safe than just pinning a badge on your chest and kicking your feet up on the desk in there.”
Carl’s face went red at that, and Barrett jumped in. “That’s great, Jacob. I’m glad you took my advice and decided to run in this race.” He turned to look at the sheriff. “After all, what kind of race would it be if you were running all by yourself?”
Carl turned his scowl on Barrett, but it seemed to disarm him at the same time. The red faded from his face and his breathing settled, his fists finally unclenching. “I can’t stop you,” he spit into the dirt at Jacob’s feet. “But don’t think it will be so easy to best me.”

So, is change going to come to this town? Or will everything end up staying the same?

Teaser Tuesday: Secrets

Back with another teaser from Stained Blood. I’ve been making progress on adding words to the next draft. A little more than 3000 words this month. I’m hoping to have this done by the end of March then off to beta readers. For today, I have some words I just wrote this morning.

He stepped down into the street and headed toward the stable. Maybe he just needed to get out of town for a little while. It wouldn’t solve any of his problems, but maybe he could think if he didn’t feel like everyone was watching him so carefully. Like they were just waiting for him to turn into his father or older brother.
How long would it take for them to believe he wasn’t like them? How long would it take for him to believe it?
He shook away that thought. He knew he wasn’t them. But, that fear lingered. He couldn’t drown it even with bottles and bottles of whiskey. He’d certainly tried over the last several months.
No more. He had to find a better way of dealing with the rioting storm inside him. Even if that meant galloping his horse across the hills until they were both worn down. He’d saddle up now and not return until the sun was setting if that was what it took.
Barrett stepped into the stable and saw Jacob first. Only a moment later he noticed the other figure standing there. And another moment before he recognized Matthew Johnson, the sheriff’s oldest son and only one from his first marriage. A woman he’d lost around the same time Barrett’s father had moved them to the territory.
Matthew hadn’t been around town for a while. There were stories of where he might be, as there usually were. Barrett wasn’t going to try to guess which ones were true. He always figured it would be easier to just ask. “Matthew,” he greeted. “I wasn’t aware you were in town.”
“Just arrived on this morning’s stage,” he said, not quite meeting his eyes. Neither did Jacob. Which was quite odd indeed. “I should be going, Jacob. See if my father is up to a visit with me.”
There was some strain there, but Barrett was unaware of what had caused it. And it wasn’t his issue to worry about. Jacob nodded and patted the other’s man’s arm as he stepped away. “Where has he been?” Barrett asked when it was only the two of them again.
“He was writing for a paper over in Lincoln. He’s been in Caspar the last few weeks, though. I don’t know how long he plans to stay in town. It may depend on how his father receives him.”
There was something in Jacob’s voice that Barrett just couldn’t place. And he wasn’t going to strain to figure it out. Not his business, he reminded himself. Jacob was a friend, but if he didn’t want to confide in Barrett there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
“I was going to take my horse out,” he told the other man.
“I’ll get him for you.”
“I can take care of it.” He knew it might be part of Jacob’s job, but he was perfectly capable of doing this himself.
“I know you can. But, I wished to speak to you anyway.”

Just what secrets are being kept around here? And what’s up with Matthew? I’ll let you know…when I find out. 😉 He just showed up during this draft. I know some of what’s going on but as usual my characters like to keep some things from me until they’re good and ready to let me know. 🙂

Teaser Tuesday: ‘Fighting Dirty’

I have one more teaser from Stained by Ashes. I’m just going through the final polish of this, so I probably won’t be sharing any more from this. The good news: it will be available to read fully soon. This week’s teaser picks up right after last week’s. Here it is:

Louis didn’t have any hesitations in fighting dirty. Even as Adam pinned his legs to the ground, Louis was digging his thumb into Adam’s wound. Everything around him went a bright white, and a scream wrenched out of him. Somehow he kept his grip on Louis through it.

As his vision cleared again, Louis’ hand reached up toward him. Blood covered his fingers. Wet, sticky blood. Adam’s blood. More of it would cover the ground soon if he didn’t stop this.

He ignored the hand reaching for him and shot his fist into Louis’ jaw. The other man’s head knocked back, but he only had a moment before Louis was heaving him off. Trying to, at least. Adam held on. Until Louis reached for his face, his thumb trying to gouge out Adam’s eye.

Adam jerked back, and Louis’ nail scraped the corner of his eye. It still brought a stinging pain, and blood painted Adam’s cheek from Louis’ other fingers. He shuddered a little, then plowed his fist into Louis’ stomach before leaping to his feet. He got ready for Louis to come at him again, but, a scream came from the cabin.

Leah.

He turned back, worried what Louis would do while his back was turned. The other man was already scrambling into his saddle. Lucas sat slumped in his own saddle, glancing between the two of them and the cabin.

“Your daughter is in danger, and you do nothing but sit there,” Adam said, contempt dripping from his voice. “You disgust me.”

Louis was already racing off, and for a moment, Adam thought about chasing him down. Leah needed him more right now. He started to run toward the cabin, pulling out his own gun, but pain sliced through him with every step. Blood ran down his side, and he clamped his free hand over it, wishing that was enough to get it to stop. He wouldn’t let himself bleed to death before Leah was safe. It couldn’t happen.

Is Adam going to be okay? Will he get to Leah in time? Or will she save herself? You’ll have to read the whole story to find out. 😉

Teaser Tuesday: “Not a Killer”

I got the rest of the chapters of Stained by Ashes back from my second beta reader last week. I’m still working through them, but I’m almost done, then I’ll have to do a final clean-up round of editing. I’ll have it out before the official end of summer, though. Getting really close now.

And for today, here’s a little teaser(from some added material):

“Louis, no,” his father said. “You’re not a killer.”

A smirk twisted Louis’ face. “Taking care of trash like this doesn’t count as killing, Father.”

But, Lucas had distracted Louis enough for Adam to close the distance between them. By the time Louis turned back to him, Adam was close enough to bring his boot up and knock the gun from his hand with a swift kick.

“What’d you do to her?” Adam asked, grabbing onto the front of Louis’ shirt.

“The better question is what did you? Wasn’t it bad enough to ruin her reputation?”

“I love her,” Adam said between gritted teeth. “I-“

Louis jabbed at Adam’s side, connecting with the skin that had just been torn by a bullet. White hot pain stabbed through him, and his knee gave out. He felt a boot connect with his other side, then his hands smacked against the ground.

He only took time to drag in a painful breath then lunged back to his feet. Louis was already raising a fist to swing at him, but Adam went in close, so he couldn’t land the blow. Adam brought his own knee up into Louis’ stomach, then with his arms around the other man, threw them both to the ground.

The landing had bright colors flashing through his head as pain surged through him. Louis tried to scramble away from him, but Adam had spent his early years wrestling with boys who thought they were better, stronger, smarter than him. He knew how to fight like this. When he wasn’t being held at gunpoint or having his arms held behind him.

 

Tag Cloud