Last Friday I released a new publication, a novella that is the first of three in the series I call Men of Haught Springs. Here are the details:
Title: Blood at Haught Springs
Author: Marsha Ward
Genre: Western Adventure Novella with two Bonus Short Stories
Publisher: WestWard Books
Date of Publication: May 27, 2016
Price: $2.99 (ebook formats)
Wes Haught wants his brother to grow up and take on his share of the chores at the family’s general store. Lonnie Haught dreams of the day he can leave home and use his gun. Both brothers resent the added work their father’s recent accident has laid on them.
When a new family arrives in Haught Springs, Wes falls for the fair-haired daughter, while Lonnie seizes upon the father’s offer of a job as his chance for escape.
But lies unravel and lives hang in the balance as brother fights against brother.
Fiery emotions and vengeful acts erupt in a smoldering new Western adventure novella from the author of the acclaimed Owen Family Saga.
Included with this novella are the short stories Cottonwood Cowboys and No More Strangers.
Wesley Haught opened a barrel of beans, set the wooden top aside, and prepared to sack up ten pounds for his waiting customer, Mrs. Slonaker. The bell over the door of the store jangled, and he looked up. A tall, bearded man came through the door. Wes was sure he hadn’t visited Haught’s General Store and Commercial Emporium before. Perhaps he was just passing through town. Wes appraised the dark suit the man wore, made of expensive fabric and nicely cut. He must have money. Maybe he’ll spend some of it today. He smiled at the thought.
“Morning,” Wes said. “I’ll be with you shortly.”
“Take your time,” the stranger replied, but with a terseness to his voice that indicated he was not in the habit of waiting his turn. He stroked a nicely trimmed yellow beard that had two streaks of gray. His hair— that is, what Wes could see below the man’s bowler hat— was a lighter color of yellow, as though it had faded over the years.
Wes bagged and weighed the beans, then tied the sack closed with a bit of twine. He’d just turned to add the beans to Mrs. Slonaker’s order piled on the counter, when the door’s bell jangled again as it opened. A rustle of skirts told him he had another female customer.
“Lonnie,” he called over his shoulder into the back room. Lazy lay-about, he thought, his mood turning sour. At nineteen, Lonnie was three years younger than Wes, and he was the worst brother in town. In his mind’s eye, he saw Lonnie sitting at the work table, feet propped on the top. Playing with a pistol. As usual. The fact that Dad didn’t seem to see Lonnie’s shiftlessness was like a knife in Wes’s guts.
“Lonnie! Get out here. Folks are lining up.” He hated using a brusque tone of voice in front of customers, but Lonnie wouldn’t move unless he thought Wes meant it.
“In a minute,” Lonnie hollered.
From the sounds coming out of the back room— the clicks of rotation and soft swishes of metal seating into metal— Wes knew his brother was fitting cartridges into the cylinder of his pistol. “Huh,” he snorted, then turned back in time to see the new arrival close the door, sashay toward the man in the suit, and take his arm. He inhaled sharply and blinked at the sight of her.
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Amazon best-selling author Marsha Ward writes authentic historical fiction set in 19th Century America, and contemporary romance. She was born in the sleepy little town of Phoenix, Arizona, in a simpler time. With plenty of room to roam among the chickens and citrus trees, Marsha enjoyed playing with neighborhood chums, but always had her imaginary friend, cowboy Johnny Rigger Prescott, at her side. Now she makes her home in a forest in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to hear from her readers.
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