Hi Everyone! For those of you who have read Anna’s Song (here), you will be pleased to know I’ve been working on two more books in the series. One from Jacob’s point of view, one from Sofia’s.

Let me share an excerpt, but in doing so, I need some input. I’m writing Christian fiction, so keeping my language clean is important. I’m struggling with whether to keep Thomas’ expression as is, or wonder if my readers would find it offensive. It just seems to portray the emotions better than anything else I could think of. Thanks for your input!

April 1865 

Sofia hesitated at the entrance to the tent. The stench of blood and decay permeated the air. Groans and cries of grown men came from the shadows inside. Clutching her bag closer to her chest, Sofia nodded to her companion. 

 “I will make it from here, Thomas.”

 “You don’t have to do this.”

  “He’s my husband.” 

Thomas scowled at the ground where the toe of his boot was digging into the dirt. “Damn him.” He muttered. 

 Her lips curled in a crooked smile, but no glimmer reached the depths of her eyes. It was unlike Thomas to use coarse language.

 “I have to do this.”

  “I understand, but don’t like it. If he lays a hand on you—”

  “He won’t. There are too many people in there.” 

  “Just call. If you need anything. I’ll be right there.”

 “I know.” She reached for his hand and squeezed. She couldn’t let him see how terrified she really was. “That means a lot.”

She squared her shoulders and strode into the tent, her limp barely noticeable. 

 Despite the flaps being propped open on all four sides, the smell was unbearable. Sofia covered her mouth and nose with her handkerchief. It didn’t matter how many wounded she tended, the stench was something she could never get used to. 

Looking about for a doctor or medic, she stepped carefully down the narrow aisle between rows of cots. Flies buzzed around open pans containing patient excrement or vomit. Piles of filthy rags and bloody garments were thrown into a wooden wheelbarrow. Right beside it was a large bucket of water with a ladle tied to the side, flies lighting on its surface. Sofia felt the blood rise in her cheeks, bile in her throat. These men made it through the war and were now destined to die of infection or disease because of rampant uncleanliness. Because of ignorance.

“Doctor?” She called out.

A young man leaning over a groaning form looked up. His eyes were bloodshot, and his drooping shoulders told of long hours with little relief. With a sigh, he wiped his hands on his blood-stained apron, straightened himself and came toward her.

 “I’m a medic, Ma’am.”

  “Where is the physician?” Sofia waved her hands about the room.

“At the mess tent, Ma’am.” He hesitated, wiping his hand on his apron once more. He glanced over his shoulder, then back at her. “I’m sorry, but are you lost?”

She wanted to say yes. She had made a mistake.

“No, sir. Looking for my husband. Captain–Captain Powers.”

The man blinked. She could feel him taking in her appearance, from her dark black hair and olive skin to the cane she carried in case she needed assistance. “Captain Powers? Roger Powers? Your husband?”

“Yes.”

The medic avoided her eyes. “He’s behind you, third cot from the end. He’s not doing well, Ma’am.”

“I know. Sir, I need you to head to the mess tent and bring back the physician and at least two or three able-bodied soldiers.”

“Ma’am?” A hint of irritation flushed across his pale face.

“Don’t look at me like I didn’t speak English. Go. Now.”

 “The Doc, he don’t like his lunch interrupted.”

Sofia took in the disheveled medic, his pale skin and parched lips. Like many of the soldiers he was much too gaunt, making it difficult to tell if he was twenty-four or forty. It didn’t matter. Dysentery, cholera, you name it. It was here, and if they didn’t get things cleaned up fast, they might as well bury them tent and all.

“Interrupt him while you can. If they don’t get here immediately, you and most of these men may be dead by morning.”

Something in the tone of her voice convinced the man. With only a slight pause, he turned and hurried out the door. Sofia allowed herself to scan the cots. Third from the end. 

God, do I have to? Leaden feet dragged her down the row. Third cot from the end. She came to a stop at the foot of his bed.

Roger. His once muscled body, wasting. His thick blond hair, always perfectly groomed, was now greasy and matted, his chin unshaven. Raspy breaths gurgled, and blackened fingernails picked with agitated spasms at the coarse wool blanket. His eyes, sunk deep, were closed. 

This was the man she had once loved. The man that had promised her the world, had fathered her children, had taken everything from her. She hardly recognized him.

*********

That’s it for now! (What? You thought I was going to tell you what happens?) Please comment below, and keep on smiling!

Brenda

Check out Book 1–Anna’s Song: Cries From the Earth (A Time Travel Saga) here

3 thoughts

  1. I’m hooked! I don’t usually care for any course language in what I read, but if that’s the only instance, it wouldn’t stop me from reading it. But, if there’s a way to get across that he curses without actually putting in the word, that’s what I would do. The book sounds great! I look forward to reading it!

    Like

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