It is Day 7 of the blog tour for Spinster’s Folly by Western novelist Marsha Ward.
I expect a book to lead me into another world (usually science fiction) and immerse me in its characters.
This year, I made an agreement with myself, that just because I downloaded a book to my Kindle, brought a book home from the library friends’ book sale, or walked out of a retailer with one, I would allow myself the pleasure of not knowing the end if the book was not worthy of my time. Without an easy way to get to the eBook-of-the-night’s cover, the character(s) must vigorously, joyously, walk off the page.
Marie Owen, in author Marsha Ward’s Spinster’s Folly, does just that. Marie feels she is on the verge of becoming a spinster and there are few prospects for a decent suitor let alone a match in Colorado Territory, but sometimes, you can’t see what is plainly in front of you.
Marie is the heroine, yet I recall the first time characters from Spinster’s Folly waltzed off the page. —that they did this in supporting roles made me beg Marsha to be one of her beta-readers. Here is a bit of the excerpt she read that day:
Julia drew her shift over her head again, smoothing it down over her body as she glanced sidelong at Rod. He lay beside her, his eyelids only half open as his breathing slowed.
“You’re a caution, you know that?” she murmured, wanting to snuggle against his bare chest, but resisting the impulse. The night wasn’t as long as it needed to be, and they had best get to sleep.
He took a long lungful of air before replying. “I missed you. I missed my Julie-girl.” He slid his arm under her neck and, turning to her, exhaled softly into her ear.
“There now, don’t you begin again,” she remonstrated, chuckling in a low tone. “We’re gettin’ too old for that business.”
“What do you mean, woman? I can still love you ’til the day breaks.”
She wanted to tell him that was nonsense, but knew he would take it as a challenge and that would be that for a good night’s sleep. Instead, she gave him his nightshirt and asked, “Did you encounter any difficulties in makin’ your arrangements with Ed Morgan?” She waited until he’d put the nightshirt onto his head before she let her fingers explore the red spot at the base of her throat where his enthusiasm had gotten out of hand.
Gems in life are where you find them.
The bulk of what I read is science fiction. I was easily in my 30s the last time I read a Western, although in my 20s, I read a lot of Louis L’Amour. I found his plots quick and his characters believable. L’Amour was a master of allowing the reader to escape into the magic of another time and place.
Marsha Ward is an award-winning poet, writer and editor whose published work includes four novels in The Owen Family Saga: The Man from Shenandoah, Ride to Raton, Trail of Storms, and Spinster’s Folly; and over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She also is a workshop presenter and writing teacher. She has her own blog as well as one for the characters living in her head. You connect with Marsha on Twitter and Facebook.