Friday, May 11, 2012

Sarah's Heart by Ginger Simpson

I’m Sarah Collins, and I’m here to tell you that my… well Sarah's Heart is my story, but actually Ginger Simpson’s book, and is free today on Amazon.  When I shared the idea with Ginger, I couldn’t really decide which genre best suited my experience, so I guess I’ll let you read and decide if historical, women’s fiction, romance, western, or perhaps some other category strikes your fancy.  If nothing else, the cover by Michelle Lee has to leave you breathless.  But then, a little about the story:
After my folks died, and I found myself alone and pursued by an ugly and unscrupulous banker, I decided to sell what I could, buy a wagon and team and head for California.  I truly would've re-considered my actions had I known the wagon train I traveled with would be attacked by a war-party and I’d be the sole-survivor.  God knows I tried to save my friend, Maggie, but to no avail.  After what I’d been through, I hardly expected a snakebite to take me down…and it might have had it not been for Wolf.  Not the animal, of course, Grey Wolf, a half-breed who really had reason to leave me right where he found me, but he didn’t know that at the time.
If you think prejudice runs rampant today, it’s not anything new, trust me.  Try traveling with someone of mixed blood, especially when people hold the Indians in such low regard.  Here’s a little excerpt to show you what I mean:
Set Up – Wolf and Sarah are traveling to Independence but stop for rest at a mission along the Oregon Trail.  The army arrests Wolf on suspicion of stealing from the post, although he’s never been there.  Sarah is left alone with the priests and nuns, wondering if Wolf will ever return or if staying to help teach the children is her fate.  She’s just taken three little girls on a flower-picking outing and they’re returning when…
As they trudged along the grassy path back to the mission, the unmistakable spots of a painted mare caught Sarah's eye. She hurried the children inside, handing them off to a passing nun, and then ran around to the front. Her heartbeat echoed in her ears.
It had to be Scout tethered to the hitching rail alongside a black horse with a patch of white just below its forelock. Both wore no saddle, and the dappled mare greeted her with a friendly nicker. Sarah approached, brushed her hand down the animal’s muzzle and turned toward the church entrance.
Wolf stood in the doorway, his dark hair hazed gray with dust and his left eye swollen. Blue, purple and yellow hues tinged his cheek, but the bruising did little to detract from his handsome face.
Sarah ran to him, flung herself into his arms, and hugged his neck. “Oh, am I ever glad to see you. I was worried sick you wouldn’t come back.”
Sensing him stiffen, she realized her forwardness and quickly backed away, fixing a crooked grin on a face that burned with embarrassment.  “Forgive me. I’m just so excited you‘re here.” She nervously picked at her fingers.
He smiled then winced, dropping the puffy lid of his injured eye. “I would have been back sooner, but the army took its time in proving I wasn’t who they thought I was.”
“Thank God, they finally believed you.”  Sarah blinked back happy tears.
“Oh, it wasn‘t my word they trusted.  The quartermaster was on leave and the only person who could identify the man who stole the rifles and ammunition. Luckily, my description didn’t fit the details he’d provided for the wanted poster. I’m missing a scar running the length of my face, and my eyes are the wrong color. I never thought I’d be so grateful to have hazel ones.”
“Or me so thankful to see them again.” 
Still reveling in their moment of closeness, but pained by his obvious discomfort at her show of affection, she took a composing breath.  “You must be so tired. Come in and wash up.”
“How are you?”   His gaze drifted over her.
  “The people here have been wonderful to me. I couldn‘t have been in better hands. From the looks of your eye and cheek, you didn‘t fare nearly as well.”
“Just further proof that half-breeds aren’t any more appreciated than full-bloods.”  He opened his mouth, working his jaw back and forth. “The beating is a reminder from the guards in the stockade that I don’t measure up to their standards.”
Sarah reached to touch his bruised face, but he grasped her wrist, holding it in mid-air. “It’s all right, I’ve gotten used to it over the years. It’ll heal.” He gave a half smile and released her. “I sure would like something to eat.”

I hope you'll pick up a copy and enjoy the read.  I appreciate "likes" on Amazon if you truly enjoy Sarah's Heart.  I loved writing for you.

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