The Blog-a-Book-Scene theme for March is Beware the Ides of March. The excerpt below is from my western romance novel, The Gunfighter’s Woman. The heroine, Brenna, has been warned to watch out for a hardcase named Archer. He shows up…
Dogs barking brought Brenna to her kitchen door. Four men, strangers, rode into the compound and stopped in the yard. Her father greeted them and continued on with the end of his evening stroll that would take him in front of her house on the way to his. Her granddad Pete talked at length to the man riding a strikingly colored sorrel pain gelding while pointing toward the summer table, then he accompanied the group to the barn to help them put up their horses and give them hay and grain, as was their habit when travelers stopped in. After a few minutes, Pete went to his house for supper.
The pain t horse seemed familiar, but she couldn’t remember why. She was sure she’d never seen the rider or the horse before. The rider of the paint horse left the barn ahead of his companions and walked toward the summer table with much more interest in looking the place over and in petting the dogs than Brenna thought necessary. Something in his manner and bearing made her uncomfortable. Then, it came to her.
Her breath caught, and her gaze went straight to his holster. Two guns with the grips positioned backward, just like Matt explained. Her heart leaped into her throat. She’d neglected to warn her family ab out Archer, and she regretted that oversight. With a deep breath to bolster her nerve, she took up her shotgun and walked out to greet Archer.
“Good evening. If you’re staying the night, you’re welcomed to stay in the bunkhouse with our hired men. You’ll find plenty of spare beds. I can offer you coffee, cold meat, fresh bread, and pie.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Archer said with a nod and touch to the brim of his hat. “Supper and a place to sleep is appreciated. We’ll be on our way come daylight.”
She forced a calm, confident front. “I’ll be right out with coffee. Then I’ll need a few minutes to prepare supper.” When she turned, Archer’s voice stopped her.
“You haven’t asked my name. Makes me wonder if you don’t already know who I am. Maybe you were expecting me. Maybe someone warned you.”
Brenna set her shoulders and faced him. Shotgun cradled in the crook of her arm, it was a natural move to tilt the double barrels up so they pointed in the general area of his holster buckle. She thought he almost smiled, and she was sure she saw a flicker of respect cross his eyes.
“Who you are is none of my business. This is a land in which a man can take any name he chooses, and there is no one to doubt him.” Brenna looked straight at him. “Conversely, you haven’t asked my name. It makes me wonder if you don’t already know who I am. Perhaps you’ve been planning to stop in.”
Now, he smiled.
Blog-a-Book-Scene is a monthly themed blogging endeavor from a group of authors who love to share excerpts from their stories. Find us on Twitter with the hashtag #blogabookscene and #PrairieRosePubs.
The Gunfighter’s Woman is available on Amazon.com.
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April’s Blog-a-Book-Scene theme: April Showers
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