Tuesday Sampler: Cinders’ Bride by Kathleen Ball
March 22, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Tuesday’s Sampler features an excerpt from Cinders’ Bride, a love story in the American West by Kathleen Ball.
As one reviewer said: Sweet, charming story with well-drawn, love able characters. A pleasant and entertaining read.
Shannon McMurphy travels to Asherville, Texas as a mail order bride expecting to marry a rancher. Instead, her intended is a saloonkeeper. Her refusal to marry enrages John Hardy and he slices her cheek with a knife so no other man would want her. She runs into the street and no one helps her until Cinders comes along.
Sexy, Rancher Cinders saves Shannon and offers her a job. To protect her reputation he marries her. They both agree it’s a marriage of convenience. He admires her spunk and willingness to learn everything about surviving the Texas frontier. He waits for her to ask to go home but she never does.
They learn a lot about each other through stolen horses, Indian troubles, a cattle drive and the busybodies of the town. Their attraction for each other grows, but can they learn to trust enough to love?
The world seemed eerily quiet as she pushed herself up from the hard packed dirt, only to fall back down. Her ankle hurt. Tears filled her eyes, as she glanced around. There stood the women from the mercantile, staring, and their eyes full of terror. She’d get no assistance from them.
John Hardy strutted into the street and laughed while he gestured for two of his men to pick her up. “Come on, honey, it’s time for our honeymoon.”
She heard the clomping of hooves and the turn of wagon wheels behind her but the wagon didn’t stop to help her either. By this time, a crowd had gathered and now there were men standing with the group of women. She tried to plead for help with her eyes but they glanced away.
Two men grabbed at her to haul her back into the saloon when a loud cocking of a gun erupted from behind.
“Put her down.” A man’s voice threatened.
John stepped forward, thrusting out his chest. “Listen, Cinders, this is none of your business. It’d be in your best interest to leave things be.”
The world began to dim and spin, the smell of blood was the last straw. She fainted.