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Archive for September, 2013

fdde2-55327_girl-writing_lgThe Bookstore Lady

“When the hunched over, balding pharmacist next door called out, “Good morning, Katie,” her hand flinched and her heart raced. It took her nearly a full minute to remember she’d been Katie Mullins for two months and she’d better answer before he got offended.

“Hi.” She nodded.

The drugstore opened at eight every morning and it was now quarter to ten. Must have been a slow morning if he had time to stand in the doorway with a large cup of coffee rather than hanging out behind the back counter. “You’d best convince Ray to get some air-conditioning for that store before your new books curl up and warp. It’s beyond me how he’s never lost half his books every summer.”

“Dust absorbs the humidity.” She smiled wryly. “I don’t think we can afford air-conditioning this year.”

“I know a guy who’ll give you a quote. He’s not bad looking once you get past the bug eyes and scars. I can call him, if you’d like.”

“Maybe some other time.” Like when hell froze over.

He waved and went back into the drugstore.

Katie drew in a deep breath. The air was fresh from last night’s rain and the hint of a breeze mussed her hair. In two months, the only thing to find her was the sunshine and a case of withdrawals that made renovations hell. Nate, bless his heart, had had more compassion while she fought “the flu” than any man she’d ever met.

She blew a strand of stray copper hair out of her mouth and jiggled the door lock. Another thing that needed to be fixed before winter. She should have done it during renovations, but it hadn’t seemed as important as books and workmen. Luckily, Nate worked cheap and she hadn’t had to dig into the money from Dunnsforth. The money was tucked up in a box in the backroom, fastened with half a roll of duct tape. She’d ask him to fix the lock when he delivered her order later.

The door opened with a groan. “It’s about time.”

Available at:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bookstore-Lady-ebook/dp/B00DWKNGPQ/

Diane Bator

Website: http://penspaintsandpaper.com
Blog: http://dbator.blogspot.ca/

Tricia McGill follows with A Few Lines next week.

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a09c7-55327_girl-writing_lgCOLD GOLD

“Well, look ‘ee here!” The first rider grinned at her, revealing a mouthful of stained and crooked teeth that reminded her of broken tombstones. “New blood in town.”

“Hello, fancy lady,” the second rider said. “You goin’ to share a drink wi’ me before we share somethin’ else?”

The other riders dismounted and gathered around her, jostling Serena until her back flattened against the wall of the saloon. Her mouth quickly dried up. Her heart pounded. She smelled their sour breath and sweat-stained clothes, felt their anticipation and wished she had paid more attention to Sheriff Johnson’s warning.

“Oy, you lot!” Every head turned at the strident tone of a woman’s distinctly English voice. “Jasper, you idiot, you don’t know a real lady when you see one. Cal, you wouldn’t know what to do with one anyway. Tom, Walt, Clarence, stand back and give the lady some room. Clear off, the lot a’ ya.”

Grumbling, the men turned away and walked into the saloon. Serena closed her eyes and sighed with relief.

“Are you stupid, or what?”

Serena pushed off the wall and faced her rescuer. The force of the expression in the woman’s blue eyes almost caused her to take a step back again.

“I…I wasn’t thinking,” she stuttered.

“That was perfectly obvious,” the other woman retorted. “Come on, we need to get you off the street. This way.”

The woman took Serena’s arm in a strong grip and hurried her along the boardwalk in the opposite direction to the Eldorado.

“In here.” The woman opened a door and pushed her into a store redolent with the warm and wonderful aromas of coffee and fresh baking. “Go on, straight through that door facing you. I’m right behind you.”

Her rescuer’s hand, firm on her back, gave Serena no choice but to go where directed. The moment she passed through the second door, she spun on her heel.

“Just who are you?” she demanded. “And what gives you the right to push me around?”

“Well, pardon me for breathing.” Anger spiked the woman’s voice and blazed in her blue eyes. “You’d rather be pushed around by a bunch of randy miners, would you?”

“No, of course not. And I do thank you for coming to my aid, but who are you?”

“Someone you shouldn’t be seen with, that’s for sure.”

“Why shouldn’t I be seen with you?” Serena looked her rescuer up and down and might have been looking in a mirror, so similar were they. The woman was her height, dressed in clothes as fashionable as her own. Tendrils of hair, blonde rather than dark brown, framed the woman’s face and, just like Serena’s own skin, the woman had a fresh, clear complexion.

“Because I’m Lorelei Sutton and I own a brothel just outside of town.”

Chatham-ColdGold200x300
Visit Victoria Chatham at
Join us next week for A Few Lines from Diane Bator

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The Abduction of Mary Rose
The teenage girl hurried along the darkening street, head down in a vain attempt to divert attention from herself as she headed for her bus stop, still over a block away. The car behind her was a soft growl in the still, warm air.  The day was fast fading, the sky a light mauve, only a sprinkling of stars yet. Soon it would be dark… Ignore them, she told herself. But it was impossible to do with the car following soAbductionCover200x300 close that the heat from the motor brushed her bare legs, like a monster’s breath.

Victoria Chatham follows me next week

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fdde2-55327_girl-writing_lgBrede
Rodeo Romance, Book 2

Brede swallowed, trying to ignore the thick, tight feeling wedged in his throat. He didn’t welcome the onslaught of emotion that filled his chest and caused him to stroke her jaw with an unsteady finger tip.Vines-Brede200x300

He reminded himself that he didn’t need to be involved in her problems; he had enough of his own.  As soon as the roads were passable, he’d get her to a doctor and the police could take care of the rest.

Still, no matter how hard he tried to remove himself from the situation, he kept remembering how fragile she’d seemed in his arms.  He felt as if he’d carried a sparrow, all feathers and tiny bones, out of the gully.

 

 

Please stop back next week for a few lines from Joan Hall Hovey.

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