Friday, November 14, 2008

Garda, come on down!

(Sorry, the Price is Right is the only game show I ever really watched.)

Garda, who posted a comment on November 12th for Loretta’s blog, is who won the e-book of Shotgun Bride, The Quinter Brides Book One. Garda please email me at Lauri @ izoom . net so I can email you your book.

Thanks to all who entered the contest! Every time someone posted, I wrote your name on a slip of paper and put them in a jar. This morning, I had my DH draw one out.

Shotgun Bride is being released in e-book today, and will be released in print in February 2009. This was such a fun book to write, and I’m having a great time finding perfect mates for each of Kid’s younger four brothers. I grew up in Western Kansas where these books are set, and it’s been entertaining to dig deeper into all of the landmarks I’ve visited over the years. “Boot Hill” is one of my favorites, but the Dalton Gang Hideout, and the pyramids along with the Kansas Badlands, and Hell’s Half Acre are sights to see as well.

I’ll leave you with another excerpt from the book:

Shoulders back, chest forward, and clutching the hateful bag, Jessie walked down the front steps as Hog and Snake loaded her trunk in the back of the wagon. Sammy, sensing something was wrong, ran around her ankles, almost tripping her. Each step was more painful than the last, but she gritted her teeth and kept moving.

A shiver ran up her spine as she heard Kid's voice. "Bug!" he shouted from his stance near the wagon. "Grab Sammy and tie him to the porch."

Bug looked nervous as he crouched down and tried to coax Sammy to come to his side. The dog wouldn't have anything to do with the brother.

Fighting the breaking of her heart, Jessie patted her thigh then walked over to Bug. She knelt down, and wrapping her arms around Sammy, hugged him close as Bug tied the rope around his neck. Burying her face in the dark, silky hair, she kissed the tops of his wide ears before she stood, and forced her legs to move to the wagon.

Kid stepped forward, meeting her near a back wheel. As he took the bag from her, she placed a hand on the edge of the wagon, balancing her wobbly stance. Sammy, no longer able to reach her, started barking and tugging at the rope. The noise made a new slice in her chest.

Kid took her elbow and led her near the wagon seat where he wrapped her in a hug. After a few moments, his hands framed her face. "Don't be mad at me, Jessie," he said.

The sob in the back of her throat came forward. Pressing her hands over her eyes, she shook her head. She could never be mad at him, she loved him too much.

His lips settled on her forehead, lingering there until she was ready to cry aloud. Then he lifted her into the wagon, his fingers slipping away as his normally rough voice, softly whispered, "Good-bye, Jessie."

Sammy's barks increased. She pressed her fingers against her eyelids, forcing the tears to stay put. Hog took a hold of the reins and the bench seat sagged as Snake crawled up on her other side. The wagon jolted forward and the wheels began to turn. Unimaginable pain formed tight knots in her body.

"Bye, Jessie!" Bug's voice rang out above the barking.

She gasped for air and turned around, blinking and trying to focus. Bug waved a hand high in the air. Kid stood beside him, hands behind his back. Sammy, stretching the rope as far as he could, yipped and howled at the departing wagon. He pawed at the air, then backed up and leaped forward. The rope went tight, slamming him back onto the ground with a loud yelp. Tears and sobs burst from their holds at the same time.

Snake reached out, one arm meant to wrap around her in comfort. She pushed it away. Nothing could ease the pain ripping across her chest.

Kid witnessed her refusal to be calmed as the wagon roll away, pain searing his heart like a hot branding iron. The rattle of the wheels could barely be heard over Sammy's barking and howling. The dog jumped, twisted, and bit at the rope, doing his damnedest to follow his mistress. Kid knew just how he felt. Sending Jessie away was by far the hardest thing he'd ever done. It just might break him. Sweat popped out on his forehead.


Tanya Hanson said...

Oh, I'm getting weepy. I love dogs so much. We had to say good-bye to my baby-girl black Lab (she was ten but ever a puppy) recently after a sudden cancer diagnosis and I still cry!

I definitely have this on my TBR list.

Kansas has a terrific Western history!

Lauri said...

Thanks, Tanya.

Our lab was 14 when he died, so I know how hard that is. My kitty was 24 when he died. Still miss them both.