An excerpt from Spirits' Desire:
The sleeping arrangement made for an awkward night, but both awoke, eager to continue their journey. A brilliant tangerine blaze greeted them. The cool clean air invigorated the animals, and they made up a great deal of lost time, stopping for only two short breaks and a quick lunch before dusk when they made camp under a grove of spruces on soft, tender, young grass shoots near a trickling mountain brook.
Too tired to do anything but have a bit of supper, Rennin and Rebekah slept soundly under a crescent moon and twinkling stars. The crickets' song was their lullaby, and the lark's tune, their alarm.
Several weeks of warming days and pleasant nights came to an abrupt halt when Rennin and Rebekah came to the ford in the river, swollen by previous weeks' rain and melting snow in higher elevations. The current was strong and swift. Rennin rode up and down the bank looking for a safe crossing.
"Rebekah, it will take a lot of effort to cross, so we had better get started."
She suggested, "Rennin, let's ride upstream to where the river becomes more narrow. It might add a few days to our journey, but at least we'll be safe."
Irritably, Rennin snapped, "I'm frustrated with all these delays! Buster can swim this. Let's go."
Calmly, Rebekah dismounted the black stallion. She turned to Rennin. "Buster might have the strength to ford the river here, but Jewel and Jack do not. Please get off my horse. If you want to take Buster across, Jewel, Jack, the baby, and I will meet you on the other side in about a week."
Flabbergasted, Rennin was speechless. For a moment, his mouth opened and closed without sound. "Rebekah, have you lost your mind? You aren't riding upriver alone."
"No, Rennin. I'm being sensible. You're acting childish and irrational. I'll be safer going upriver alone than I will be crossing here, even if I ride Buster. Jewel doesn't have the strength for this current. She cannot take either of us across safely. If Jack tries to swim here, he will either drown or at least lose our supplies. Be reasonable. If we are to find gold in California, it will be there when we get there. If not, then I'll be content to be the wife of a dirt farmer, so long as that farmer is you."
"Damn, woman! Why do you have to be so practical?"
Rebekah smiled mischievously. "Does that mean we're riding upstream?"
In a mocking voice, Rennin said, "Yes, that means we're riding upstream."
She remounted Buster, laughing blithely. She spurred the horse to a quick trot and flung over her shoulder, as Rennin sullenly nudged Jewel to move, "That means I won our argument, and I get to choose how we spend our evening!"
Rebekah urged Buster into a light gallop. Rennin picked up Rebekah's insinuation and called, "Rebekah! Slow down! Wait for me!"
She tossed back, "Catch me, if you dare!" Then she gave Buster his head and let him fly.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
An excerpt from Spirits' Desire. This contains my favorite sentence that I've ever written in any of my books. Can you guess which one it is? In box me.
After three months of water, even the adults grew irritable. With the smallpox past, there had been few real challenges. They became lackadaisical in their vigilance of a fickle sea. From breakfast until lunch one bright morning, the temperature dropped twenty degrees, the skies turned pitch black and loosened a deluge of water, and the wind changed from helpful gusts to turbulent, uncontrollable swirls that roared.
Morgan and Nancy took the children below deck. Sternly, Morgan held both Donovan and Cameron by the arm. "Under no circumstances are any of you to come up top. Do not walk around. I don't want a repeat performance of our trip to London. Do you understand me?"
Both boys nodded and said sheepishly, "Yes, ma'am."
Morgan hugged and kissed both boys. "I'm not trying to be mean or cruel. I love you two so much. It would kill me to lose you. Donovan, you're the eldest child here. You're in charge while we're on deck. Treat the other children the way you think I would treat you. The rest of you listen to Donovan, even you, Emily Claire. I see your mouth opening to object. I trust Donovan to do what's wise and right. He has had more experience at sea than you. You help keep the little ones busy with something."
Morgan and Nancy sped to assist their husbands. On deck, Geoffrey had lashed himself to the helm. While Rennin worked frantically to secure the sails. The ladies made sure any loose items were fastened down. Rennin then ordered them below with the children.
As hard as Rennin and Geoffrey tried to keep The Rover afloat, the wind and waves tried harder to capsize her. When darkness fell, the tempest still raged. Even Rennin's flawless sense of direction could not tell him which way the ship was headed, so many times had the wind spun her that day. The men were satisfied they were not at the bottom of the sea. Then, near midnight, Rennin's heart leapt into his throat as he heard the crunch of wood against rock. The Rover moved no more.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Kindle version is live & paperback is available through Createspace & soon on Amazon