Wednesday, January 10, 2018

FOR LOVE OF BANJO by Sarah J. McNeal #BlogABookScene @starcriter

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 #westernromance #PrairieRosePub @PrairieRosePub
Continuing on January’s theme-- Baby, It’s cold outside, here is a chilly scene from my World War I novel

FOR LOVE OF BANJO by Sarah J. McNeal  

(Historical Western Novel)
Deceit stands between Banjo Wilding’s love for Maggie O’Leary and his search for the father he never knew.
Banjo Wilding wears a borrowed name and bears the scars and reputation of a lurid past.  To earn the right to ask for Margaret O’Leary’s hand, he must find his father and make something of himself.
Margaret O’Leary has loved Banjo since she was ten years old but standing between her and Banjo is pride, Banjo’s mysterious father and the Great War.

The cold burned her cheeks, and made her feet numb. Horses whinnied in the pasture and a dog barked from somewhere behind the barn. The sun blazed in magenta streaks as it set beyond the hills to tint the world in a rosy, heavenly light.
Banjo let go of the reins, reached out, pulled her to his side, and held her there. He spoke in a quiet voice. “Do you remember when the Titanic sank and killed all those people five years ago?”
Maggie nodded her head in affirmation. “It was terrible. We sat out here on the porch that night, just like we’re doing now, except we were bundled up in blankets—and we cried all night.”
Banjo glanced down at her and smiled. “You cried all night, not me. I stole Papa Ben’s pipe and tobacco and thought I’d smoke a peace pipe like the Indians do to bring peace to those souls.”
Maggie rolled her eyes. “I recall it made you sick and you stayed up the rest of the night throwing up.”
He laughed. “That, I did.” He became serious as he turned away from her. Overhead, the stars began to appear as the sky darkened in the dusk. A cow bawled from the barn a short distance from the house. The wind shifted and brought with it a chill and the promise of more snow before night’s end. “I made a promise to myself that night that I would find my father, somehow, because I wanted a family that really belonged to me. I want what those people on the Titanic lost that terrible night.”
He let go of the reins, encircled her waist with both arms and held her. She moved her hands beneath the warm folds of his long, wool coat to warm them against the fabric of his shirt that lay as a thin barrier between her hands and his skin. The sensual warmth of his nearness made her heart quicken its pace. “I want people I can call my loved ones,” he added. His warm breath moved a loose stand of hair near her ear that tickled her neck.
 From where they stood near the front porch of Maggie’s home, Maggie could see the thread of road that led to the Wilding ranch—her next-door neighbors, and Banjo’s self-proclaimed family. The Wilding ranch spread out over five hundred acres of green hills dotted with horses and cattle in the summer. It looked like a typical Wyoming ranch to anyone who saw it, but inside that white washed ranch house lived the closest thing Banjo had ever had to family.

February’s Blog-a-Book-Scene theme: All You Need is Love
Diverse stories filled with heart

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