The theme for September's Blog A Book Scene is: Critters and Creatures
The novella, "Angel of Salvation Valley" both the 'dog' and 'cat' play a small but important role in the story. The hero, 'Drew' Carson has made a deal to kill the woman who owns Salvation Valley to secure his release from prison. Of course things are not always are they seem. Thanks to Gabe the cat and the dog Rafe, things start to become more clear. But how to keep from going back to prison?
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Excerpt from "Angel of Salvation Valley":
Drew started to move from the top of the ridge when he noticed movement in the western area of the valley. Intrigued, he stopped. Coming toward him was a lithe, dark–haired woman. Her movements were easy, as were those of the huge brown and black dog cavorting beside her. Sweet laughter filled the air as she bent to speak to the dog.
"Looks quite the storm over toward the north, Rafe," her voice carrying clearly across the valley to where he was hiding. "Good thing we have a snug place to stay. Still, it would be easier if I didn't have to do everything myself."
The dog looked at her, shook his head and sneezed.
"What's that you say, you help me?" The words drifted up, followed by another peal of golden laughter.
Drew found his heart responding, it'd been so long since anyone around him had expressed such joy. It was bittersweet, for it reminded him of his mother. Shaking his head to clear those thoughts away, he returned his gaze to the woman and dog. He had no business finding anything nice about this woman, if in fact she was the one. Logic told him she was; he instinctively wanted it otherwise. He was here to kill her and gain his freedom, nothing was more important to him than that. Still, a piece of his heart was softening.
"Who's coming?" the woman asked, her hand cradling the dog's head.
Drew looked to see if there was anyone else. Nothing. Then out of the corner of his eye a big black streak was racing toward the woman. Drew couldn't believe his eyes, the biggest black cat he'd ever seen rushed out of the end of the valley. He knew of no black mountain lions in Colorado, but here one was, and it was huge. He pulled his pistol out, but knew it wouldn't be effective at this range. Still he couldn't let it kill the woman. Or could he? It would make his job easier, he could go back and say she was dead and get on with his life. But that would be lying, and he didn't lie, and wasn't about to start now.
While he was debating with himself, the cat moved in much faster than he'd believed possible. He started to shout, but the cat stopped, the woman calling to it.
"So that's who Rafe meant," the woman cooed to the cat. "Good to see you Gabe." Right before his eyes the cat yawned, rolled over, the woman scratching its stomach and back. The whole scene was becoming stranger and stranger. The more he watched, the more he realized he had not been told the whole story about this woman. Still, that shouldn't stop him from keeping his bargain. But things were not adding up. He needed to find out for sure if she was the one, but how?
"Yes, I know you are an angel Gabe, and you too Rafe," she giggled. "Do I trust you, but of course," she continued.
The woman turned toward the rise. "Since you haven't tried to kill me, you must have questions," the woman called. "If you want, come on down and ask, I'll answer whatever questions you may have."
Drew looked around to see who she was talking to. Seeing no one, he wondered if she had lost her mind and was imagining things? He knew he was well hidden, so who was she speaking to?
"You may think you're hidden well, but Gabe saw you earlier."
Until next time, Happy Reading and enjoy the day!
Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Colorado and Women's History
Member of National League of American Pen Women,
Women Writing the West,
Pikes Peak Posse of the Westerners
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here
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