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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

I heard the bells - Angela K Couch

Virginia, December 1864
Three years ago, Gabriel Morgan left his home in Virginia to fight for the Union army, despite his family and his fiancĂ©e’s loyalties to the South. Now, with battle fresh in his mind, and the war still raging, he chances a quick trip home with one prayer…to make peace this Christmas.

Excerpt: (not sure how much you wanted to cut it how you like.)
The door burst open with a gust of winter air. “I came as soon as I heard about…” Fugitive blonde locks clung to the young woman’s reddened cheeks. She stared at him, mouth agape. “Gabe?”
He fought the urge to sink into the chair. “Clara.”
Still as beautiful as ever—even more so than the image his memory had clutched the past three years.
Her gaze dropped to his uniform, and the moisture pooling over her azure irises was blinked away. Her eyes narrowed. “You need to leave.”
Gabriel forced a laugh. “You aren’t the one who decides that. What are you doing here, anyway?”
Clara twisted and pushed the door closed, cutting off the draft. “I have more right to be here than you.” Her chin jutted upward as she turned back. “Lawrence and I are engaged.”
“You and Larry? But—”
“You left.” She held her palm up to him. “I’m not here to reminisce with you, Gabriel. In fact, I should keep my mouth closed and let our soldiers find you. Better yet, I should tell them you’re here so they can drag you out and give you the whipping you deserve.”
Fire lit the ends of his nerves. So much for any affection she’d had for him. “You know they wouldn’t stop there. After they got done beating me within an inch of my life, they would put a bullet between my eyes. Now, what Confederate soldiers? Why are they coming here?”
Clara’s eyes darted between Gabriel and his mother. “Pa stopped by the farm to check on us… and to let me know that Lawrence has been hurt.”
His stomach formed a large knot as he stole a glance at his mother. Her palm pressed over her mouth. Not Larry, too, Lord. He looked back to Clara. “How bad?”
“I don’t know. But he’s being brought here. I thought they’d come by now.”
The whinny of a horse cut through the solid walls. His mother gripped his arm. “They can’t find you, Gabriel.”
After two steps, he pulled up the curtain in the window just enough to see through the snow to the party of three or four men and a wagon only ten yards up the road. Too late to try slipping out the front. Trapped.
“In the loft, son.” She motioned him toward steep steps beside the bedroom door.
He gave a nod and squeezed her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Mama.” He shouldn’t have come. Shouldn’t have endangered her, too. Scrambling up the stairs, he dove over the small bed that had served him as a youth, and pulled part of the patchwork quilt over his body. He’d grown a mite and he had to bend his knees to hide his feet… His feet. His boots remained near the door. And his haversack.
Below him, the hinges sang.



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