Tuesday, December 08, 2009

meet Margaret Brownley

Patterings


Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret  happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

And that’s what Margaret did  She now has more than 20 novels to her credit.  In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book.  Still, it took a long time before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. 

"I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.

You can Margaret online at her website. She's also on the team at the Petticoats and Pistols blog.

A Lady Like Sarah

She’s an outlaw: he’s a preacher. Both are in need of a miracle.

Preacher Justin Wells leaves Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying U.S. Marshal at her side, his journey takes a dramatic turn. When he promises the injured lawman to take his prisoner to Texas, Justin has no idea the trouble that lies ahead. The slightly-built prisoner turns out to be SARAH PRESCOTT—sister of the notorious Prescott brothers—and she’s determined to miss the hanging party waiting for her in Texas.

But escaping proves to be tougher than she thought. Justin doesn’t own a gun and hasn’t the foggiest idea how to survive the wilderness. How can she leave him alone with the injured marshal?

Nothing is more sacred to Justin than a promise made to a dying man, but how can he turn the blue-eyed beauty over to the hangmen? She’s tough as leather, but there’s something about her that is pure and good.

Justin can’t bear to lose her, but how can a simple preacher fight an entire town? And how can either one of them know that miracles come in many guises—including love?



Here's an excerpt of A Lady Like Sarah:

A Lady Like Sarah

1879
Missouri

Vultures signaled trouble ahead.

“Whoa, boy.” Reverend Justin Wells tugged on the reins of his horse, bringing his brown gelding to a standstill.

Adjusting the brim of his dusty felt hat, he narrowed his eyes against the bright afternoon sun and peered across the wide, arid plains. Trees grew directly ahead of him, the first he’d seen since leaving St. Louis five days prior. The graceful, tall sycamores suggested the welcome presence of water, perhaps a stream.

He mopped his damp brow with a kerchief, then lifted his eyes upward. They were vultures, all right. No question about it. The scavengers circled overhead on broad, outstretched wings, scanning the ground in waiting silence.

Something or someone was dying. An animal no doubt. He’d passed his share of buffalo skulls and cattle carcasses in recent days, and each had made him ruminate on dying and the meaning of life.

Born and raised in Boston, he never planned to travel across country, never really had a hankering for adventure. Not like most men he knew. Certainly he never expected to leave his hometown in disgrace.

He reached for his canteen, every muscle in his body protesting. He wasn’t just saddle sore; his back ached from the restless nights spent on the hard, unyielding ground. Sleep, if it came at all, had been fleeting at best and offered little respite from his troubled thoughts.

He pulled off the cork top of his tin canteen and lifted it to his parched lips. Never one to question God’s will in the past, it disturbed him that he questioned it now.

Texas!

What possible reason could God have for sending him to a rough, untamed town in Texas?

He thought of all the work left undone in Boston. To be separated from the congregation he loved seemed a fate worse than death. Though what choice did he have but to accept God’s will?

Behind him, Moses, his pack mule, made a strange whinnying sound that ended in a loud hee-haw. The short, thick head moved from side to side; the long ears twitched.

Having learned to trust the animal’s instincts, Justin felt a sense of unease. With increased alertness, he rose in his saddle and scanned the area ahead. A movement in the trees caught his attention. A previously unnoticed horse stood in the shade. At first he thought it was a wild mustang that had strayed away from its herd. Upon closer observation, he realized his mistake. This horse was saddled.

He glanced at the still-circling buzzards and a sense of urgency shot through him. “Let’s go, boy.” Digging his heels gently into his gelding’s ribs, he galloped along the trail, kicking up dust behind him.

Moses followed close behind, the pots and pans tied to the mule’s pack clanking like old rusty chains.

Moments later, Justin dismounted, stabbed the ground with a metal picket, and staked his horse. He approached the bay cautiously, his gaze scanning the nearby terrain for its owner.

Tethered to a sapling, the horse pawed the ground and neighed, its long black tail swishing back and forth. Something—a red neckerchief—fluttered from a nearby bush.
Leaving horses and mule behind, he followed a narrow path toward the stream, stopping to pick up the kerchief en route.

Two bodies lay side by side in the grass, and he hurried toward them, searching for signs of life. One man wore a badge on his black vest, identifying him as a U.S. Marshal. The other man, judging by the handcuffs, was his prisoner.

Justin kneeled by the lawman’s side and felt for a pulse. The man’s eyes flickered open and his parched lips quivered. He had been shot. Blood had seeped through his clothes and trickled to the ground.

“Don’t talk,” Justin said. “Save your strength. I’ll get you some water.”

The marshal reached for Justin’s arm. “Promise me—” He coughed. “My prisoner . . . promise—” He spoke in a murmur that was almost drowned out by a sudden gust of wind rippling through the tall prairie grass. “Take . . . to . . . Texas—”

Justin sat back on his heels in surprise. “Texas? You want me to take the prisoner to Texas?”

The lawman nodded slightly and closed his eyes, his breathing labored.

Intent upon getting the marshal water, Justin straightened. A moaning sound, soft as a kitten’s first mew, made him take a closer look at the prisoner. That’s when he saw the man’s foot move.

Dropping down on his knees by the prisoner’s side, Justin leaned over him. “Take it easy, lad.” The prisoner’s face was covered in dust, but he appeared to be a young man, clean-shaven, probably still in his teens. The boy’s youth would probably account for his ill-chosen bright red boots, which looked all the more garish in full sunlight.

“Just stay put.” Justin squeezed the man’s slight shoulder. “I’ll get you something to drink.” There was nothing to be done about the boots.

Returning to his horse, Justin retrieved the canteen tied to his saddle, then hurried to the fast-running stream. Removing the stopper, he dipped the canteen into the cool, clear waters and rushed back to the injured men, chasing away one of the vultures that had landed nearby.

“Here.” Lowering himself onto his knee again, he slid one arm beneath the marshal’s head and lifted the canteen to the man’s swollen lips. The lawman took a sip and then slumped back as if it took all his energy to swallow. His eyes open, he looked worried or distressed, maybe both.

“Tell my . . . f-family—”

Justin tried to reassure him. “You’ll be all right,” he said. He didn’t know anything about bullet wounds. It wasn’t the kind of thing taught at Boston Theological Seminary. Still, he couldn’t just let the man die. There had to be something he could do.

But first things first. He turned to the prisoner. Slipping his hand beneath the young man’s shoulders, he lifted the youth’s head. The man’s wide-brimmed slouch hat was crushed behind him, the leather strap still beneath his smooth chin. Justin pulled the felt hat off—and much to his surprise, long red curls tumbled out of the crown.

Justin froze. Not sure if he could believe his eyes, he blinked and took a closer look. There was no mistake; the prisoner was a woman!


You can purchase A Lady Like Sarah from CBD and Amazon:


Margaret is giving away a copy of A Lady Like Sarah. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Sunday, December 13th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is void where prohibited; open only to U.S. addresses, odds of winning depend on number of entrants. No purchase necessary. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar and purchasing I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

17 comments:

  1. Interesting plot. Storyline sounds intriguing enough for me to want to read more, especially with a character like "the once-respected clergyman" who "hasn't the foggiest idea how to survive the wilderness."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:35 AM

    This book sounds like a good one. How the author got her start in fiction gave me a giggle.
    Sunny

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've heard such good things about this book from the reviews. Please enter me. Thanks.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks like a good book. The video was hilarious. Please include me in the giveaway. Thank you.
    gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the advice of Margaret's pastor! This is a new author that I look forward to reading. Thanks for the chance to win a copy, Patty.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a great story. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd love to read about a lady outlaw! The cover for this book is great too! I;m so excited to read it! Please enter me!

    xoxo~ Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous12:12 PM

    would LOVE to read this book...thanks for the opportunity.

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)Com

    ReplyDelete
  9. A lady outlaw and a preacher...that's a different twist! I would love a chance to win this book, so please enter me.

    Thank you!
    ~ Lori

    sugarandgrits{at}hotmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would like to be entered for this giveaway. Sounds like a good book.

    Thanks!

    Roanna

    ohiobuckeye91[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd love a chance to win A Lady Like Sarah, it sounds like quite a ride!
    Thanks.

    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would love to win this book, please enter me into the contest.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    mamat2730(at)charter(dot)

    ReplyDelete
  13. OOO!! Please enter me:) Thanks!!
    esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like a great book. Please enter me. Thanks, JoAnn

    joann4us(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Enter me please Patty!

    Shirley

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a really good book. Please enter me in the drawing! ~Abby

    abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just watched the video and it was hilarious!! I was laughing the whole way through it!

    ReplyDelete

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