Wednesday, April 15, 2015
ESCAPE TO TOWN FOR KENDRA MURDOCH
Thank you to those of you who bought my recently released WINTER BRIDE. For the rest of you, I’m posting another excerpt to (hopefully) tempt you into buying your copy. WINTER BRIDE is about Kendra Murdoch and Sheriff Butch Parrish.
When her sister dies, Kendra is left to raise her eight-year-old nephew Caleb and two nieces, ages two and six, Mittie and Abby. Kendra loves the children and wants to give them a loving and secure life. All the men in her life have been bullies and she refuses to put her fate in the hands of a man like that. At the same time, she dreams of the kind of man she could trust. Knowing her brother in law Gus beat her sister so badly that Glenna may die reinforces her desire to gain independence.
Sheriff Butch Parrish has been drifting through life since the death of his beloved wife, Annie. He’s protective of those in his care, and that includes Kendra and her charges. Here’s a scene when he rescues her from the isolated cabin where she lived with her sister and brother in law.
After eating, they decided to leave for town. They loaded their belongings on the mule. Caleb appeared to realize they wouldn’t be returning, and gathered all their toys and clothes. Not that there were many of either.
Kendra packed her clothes and her sister’s. Let Gus get his own if he wasn’t in jail first. She hoped he’d be in prison for a long time, maybe hanged for stealing a horse from the livery.
“I guess there’s no way we can take Mama’s rocker, is there?” She looked sadly at the only remaining furniture from her and Glenna’s family.
He scrubbed a hand along his jaw. “We can’t overload Clemmy. What we can’t pack, I’ll come back for once you’re settled.”
“Why are we taking our stuff?” Mittie asked.
“We’re going to live in town now, angel. Do you remember all the children you saw in town at the Christmas party?”
The little girl’s eyes widened. “Will there be more toys?”
She laughed and shook her head. “Only at Christmas, but there’ll be playmates your age and others Caleb and Abby’s ages. I’m sure you’ll like living in Radford Crossing.”
Her nephew nodded. “And we can see Mama soon as we get there, can’t we?”
The sheriff came into the house. “That’s right. Everyone put on a coat and let Miss Murdoch and me bundle you up in a quilt before we set you on a horse.”
Using the best quilts, they wrapped each of the children for travel. She hated she’d be leaving as much as she was, but wanted to get to her sister as soon as possible. And she’d be relieved to get safely away from the isolation of the cabin and trail to town. The thought of Gus returning while they were here filled her with terror.
The sheriff would be an easy target even with Caleb behind him. Two additional men increased their security. Surely even Gus would hesitate to attack three armed men.
When they were ready to leave, Sheriff Parrish spoke quietly. “Sound travels in cold weather. We need to save all out talking until we get to town. Can you children be quiet that long?”
All three nodded. Each face was swathed in a scarf and knit caps pulled to their eyebrows. They were such good kids. No wonder she loved her nephew and nieces as if they were her own.
Sheriff Parrish set Caleb on his horse. “My deputies are going to ride with us, but they need to be ready to chase anyone who tries to stop us. You kids will ride with your aunt and me.”
Abby rode in front of Kendra. Mittie sat behind her and held on to her waist. Kendra asked the sheriff to tie Mittie to her so the little girl wouldn’t bounce off. Still, they couldn’t go fast or they’d be in danger of one of the children being hurt. Speed would increase the risk to the horses and mule as well.
Snow had a crust of ice on top with tall drifts. Thank heavens she hadn’t had to carry Abby and walk with the other two children. Holding the sleeping child in front of her while riding was tiring enough, especially since every muscle in her body clenched with fear. Would she have succeeded? Maybe, but there was as much chance they’d all have frozen part way there.
Even with two deputies beside them, Sheriff Parrish appeared to be on guard throughout their trek. He’d needed more time to recover but had insisted he could travel. At least there’d be a doctor to treat his wounds when they arrived. That is, if Gus Tucker didn’t bushwhack them on their way.
Their pace was slow but the depth of snow decreased as they descended from the high valley where the cabin was located and drew nearer to the settlement. Relief flooded her when she spotted buildings signaling the outskirts of town by early afternoon. Surely for now they were safe.
Ah, but we know they aren’t safe yet, don’t we? Kendra’s brother in law Gus is determined to have her then kill her. He wants to take his son with him, but cares nothing for his daughters. Gus is a sly and devious villain who won’t stop as long as he’s alive.
Here’s the Amazon link: http://amzn.com/B00VC9C31W It’s also at Apple, Kobo, and Nook.
Thanks for stopping by!