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Friday FreebitsWhere has the week gone? Welcome back to Fridays and Freebits! This week’s excerpt is again from my historical romance, Winter Fire. The following occurs midway through chapter eight.

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5 Stars “Author Kathy Fischer-Brown has created lifelike characters that live and breathe during the pioneer days of the late 1700’s…. I recommend this book!” — Jacqueline M Piepenhagen

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It was not the murder that had him at odds with himself. She denied having had a hand in it, and perhaps she told the truth. That was not what troubled him. Even if she had killed Rufus, she was not the cold-blooded savage the others would have her be. But as Sparks had said, she provided them with the perfect scapegoat. Under other conditions, perhaps, it might have been different. Had she been one of their own, they might have been willing to admit that there were mitigating circumstances, that she had acted in self-defense. No one could claim that Rufus was a saint.

He had no qualms about taking her away to wait out the storm, even if he became an accessory to her so-called crime. His conscience could abide by that. After all, he acted in the name of justice, to ensure that justice would be served, for he knew that she would never be treated fairly. He wondered if he could make her understand what she was up against.

She was not completely unaware of her situation. She had a tenuous grasp…as far as she could see it, given her upbringing.

That was what lay at the heart of the matter.

She was not of his world. As hard as he tried to overlook this, the obvious kept flying in his face. White as she appeared on the outside, she was as red as they came on the inside. And more, she was stubborn to boot, and not at all the innocent she appeared. Her kiss had proved that. She responded to him like a woman of experience, and that disturbed him three-fold. How in God’s name could he allow himself to become involved with her? With one of them?

But it was too late for second thoughts. Not only had he involved himself deeply, she attracted him now, more strongly than before. Her kiss had left him hungry for more. He needed to exercise discretion lest his desire overpower his reason.

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To find out more about Winter Fire, please click on the cover.

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Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Welcome to Friday FreebitsFreebits Friday! This week’s six paragraph excerpt is from my historical romance, Winter Fire. Once again I’ve drawn on Seneca legend in a short flashback, as Zara hides from men from the settlement who have come looking for her at Ethan’s cabin in connection with her uncle’s murder.

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…I can’t say enough how great this story is.It is well plotted and flows so easily that before you know it… You can’t put it down…I “HIGHLY” recommend this book!!” — Amazon.com review

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She could not run for the safety of her mother’s lodge, for the man blocked her way. So she ran away. She ran blindly, swiftly. And he followed. He chased her far, far from the village, into the fields of tall, waving corn and beans and squash by the edge of the forest. There she fell to the ground and could run no more.

Pressed close to the earth, screened all around by the sheltering corn, she heard the man draw close, and then his steps faded away. Too frightened to move, she kept herself still and close to the ground. She had tried not to breathe, not to think for fear that the sounds of her thoughts would give her away. And when she heard the voices of her brothers and men from the village, she saw that the sun had completed its journey across the sky. The day had passed without her being aware.

Okteondon, her oldest brother, laughed as he carried her home on his shoulders. “You were made small by the Jongies,” he said. “Our Jiiwi has a powerful orenda. The Jongies have protected her from harm!”

As relief over the men’s departure coursed through her body, Zara smiled sadly at the thoughts flooding her mind. How she missed her brothers! All but one, Hahjanoh, the youngest, were dead, killed in the terrible war that had already taken many brave young men and destroyed many of their villages. She missed her sisters and her old mother…and Nichus.

But when she thought of Nichus, her-husband-no-longer-her-husband, she felt neither a pang of longing for his closeness nor a great desire to be with him. When she saw his face in her mind, it was not the face of the man she had slept with for the many seasons of their union, nor the man who had provided all the meat and skins her family ever required. It was not the face of a man who prompted a warmth of feeling to envelop her heart and excite her blood and inflame her senses. It had never been that way with him. She missed him as a cherished friend, a brother. Suddenly she realized that there had never been an abundance of passion between them. Not in the way another man’s touch had inspired her to imagine.

Ethancaine… The men from the settlement had called him by name. Ethancaine. Twice he had placed himself between her and danger. Twice now she owed him her life and her gratitude. Ethancaine was the reason she had not run.

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To find out more about Winter Fire, please click on the cover.

Friday FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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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.”

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

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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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Winter Firefdde2-55327_girl-writing_lg
“Get back!” he shouted. “The ice won’t hold you!”

She whirled around in alarm.

And in that split second, he saw her eyes. Those startled doe’s eyes. Zara Grey!

In the next instant, a crack—like a musket shot—echoed through the ravine. She reeled as the ice heaved up beneath her amid an angry surge of black water. And then, her face frozen in a look of surprise, her mouth open in a semblance of a silent scream, she disappeared through the widening breach.

His gaze fixed on the roiling chasm, Ethan hurled himself down the slope. She surfaced—flailing arms and legs, and gasping desperately for air—churning up the black water into an icy froth. She grasped at the splinters of ice.
“Keep your head up!”

Racing along the bank, he ripped off his deerskin jacket and hurled it, along with his rifle and belt into the snow. If she went under again, she’d be trapped. Already the current had taken her, sweeping her like a bobbing cork toward the opposite bank where the ice was thicker.winterfire200x300

“Keep your head up!”

But the frenzied movement of her arms had slowed. She gasped at the water along with the air. She could barely keep herself afloat. As if she had made a conscious choice to surrender herself to a stronger power, he saw the spirit drain out of her. An eerie calm settled over her eyes as her gaze met his, then she slipped under again without a struggle.

Without stopping to think, Ethan tore off his shirt and moccasins, and dove through the opening.

Buy from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Fire-ebook/dp/B004BA5GMM
Visit Kathy’s website: http://www.kfischer-brown.com

Stop back next week for A Few Lines from… Angel de’ Amor

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fdde2-55327_girl-writing_lgBride of the Baja

After a long ride Alitha was untied, pulled down from the horse and carried to a hut, where she was pushed inside and left alone in the darkness. She lay huddled on the ground for a moment listening to the sounds around her-the pounding of the surf, the drunken shouts of the men, the neighing of horses, the barking of dogs.

Coming Soon! Find this title and Jane’s other books at: http://bookswelove.net/janetoombs.php

Please stop back next week for a few lines from Kathy Fischer-Brown.

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