Gold Digger - The Bear Part 2
Welcome to #SnippetSunday! Thank you so much for stopping by. Make sure to visit the other amazing authors of the Snippet Sunday Facebook group.
I'm continuing on where we left off last week. This is from my WIP, Gold Digger, an 1880s California historical. This scene takes place in the Sierra mountains. Winnie is my protagonist who has run away from a marriage of convenience to learn how to dig for gold - a fantasy she'd had since she was a child. She's been in the mountains for almost three months by this point. Tibbs, the other character in the scene, is her uncle. Hope you enjoy!
“Winnie, Winnie, wake up.”
The voice came from far away. Her head hurt, an ache that ricocheted around her skull. Her arm throbbed. This must be what it’s like to be hit by a stagecoach.
“There ya are. Wake up now.”
Winnie worked her eyes open and saw Tibbs bent down over her. Worry was etched deep in his old face.
“What in the hell have you been up to?! I leave you alone for a minute and you done gone shot a bear.”
Out of Time - Part 5
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Out of Time follows a young woman searching for a lost family history. In the haunted town of Benton, she discovers that past and present memories overlap, and that ghosts aren't always what they seem. Last week, Kayla was thinking about Adeline, her great-great-great-great Aunt, wondering if she had made it to the town of Benton so many years before. I love this next part of the story and I hope you like it, too.
Her head hurt, a deep, dull pain. Her eyes opened but squinted to keep out the light. Blurry. She was off the bed, her feet shuffling across the floor. When had she put on socks? She stood in front of a dresser, her hands steadying her sway as a stab of pain shot through her temples. She hadn’t had a hangover like this since her college days. I don’t remember drinking last night.
Her eyes opened more, now better used to the daylight coming into the room. She leaned on the dresser, her hands resting on dark, solid wood. She must have been really tired the night before because she didn’t remember it being such a dark wood.
Out of Time - Part 4
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Out of Time continues from where I left off last week. I cheated and posted a wee bit more than ten sentences - but it's the end of this part. Next week's snippet shifts into a new scene. Hope you enjoy!
Apropos of nothing, how the heck did this week go by so quickly??? And tonight we're even losing more time because of Daylight Saving Time. It never made sense to me that it was called DST - in the spring and summer we have plenty of sunshine. Shouldn't DST be in the fall and winter when the sun's appearance over the horizon is shorter? We should be saving as much daylight as we can. See? Get my thinking? :-)
She sighed and looked out the window at contemporary Benton -- she didn’t know what she could possibly find. There was nothing here anymore. Nothing here but ghosts.
Kayla changed into her pink long johns and crawled under the covers. Opening her tablet, she pulled up the picture of the letter she’d found in Virginia City. Was the mentioned ‘Addy’, her Aunt Adeline? It was a common name in those days, but when Kayla had first found the reference, she knew this was her Addy. However, now that she’d had time to think about it, she wasn’t as sure. Kayla zoomed in until ‘Addy’ filled the screen. She traced the letters with her finger. “Aunt Adeline. What happened to you?”
She reread the letter a few more times, trying to find other clues she might have missed. Eventually her eyes began to close. Giving up, Kayla turned off the light and settled down for the night.
Out of Time - Part 2
Welcome back! It's #SnippetSunday time again and I'm continuing with the short story I posted last week. Please make sure to visit the Snippet Sunday Facebook group and read the other snippets posted by authors. They're all amazing and include a variety of genres.
Out of Time follows a young woman searching for a lost family history. In the haunted town of Benton, she discovers that past and present memories overlap, and that ghosts aren't always what they seem.
A jackrabbit bounced across the road, skittering off into a ditch.
Benton used to be a thriving gold and silver mining community. Now the only residents were the owners of the town who maintained rough camping facilities for adventurous travelers, and the seasonal help who ran the inn for those tourists who preferred a bed and four walls. The main draw to Benton were the eight hot springs maintained for camping and inn guests.
She shut off the car, taking a deep breath when she opened the door. It was so quiet that the cooling car, with its pops and sighs, was louder than the insects and the birds. No cars passed, no people spoke, no music played. She ignored the sliver of…something…that traced down her spine. She’d never been here before, but the dry, chill air smelled like a memory; a memory she couldn’t quite picture. It stood there at the edge of her vision, teasing her. And then it was gone.
On Wednesday, July 26th, after an afternoon at the Marjorie Russell Textile Research Center in Carson City, Nevada, I headed up to Virginia City. I’d never been there before--I knew there’d be a few old buildings, maybe a museum or two. I figured I could do some research on gold mining, and submerse myself into the atmosphere of the old west.
I checked into the Gold Hill Hotel (supposedly the oldest hotel in Nevada) on the outskirts of town. I’d booked a room in the older, original part of the hotel, thinking it would be more interesting to stay there than in the more expensive, recently built addition.
Now, before I go on, I have to confess that I’m a ghost and haunted-locations fanatic. I frequently try to book haunted rooms in haunted hotels when I’m traveling. My family laughs at me (lovingly, I’m sure) whenever I whip out my cell phone to try to record an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP). I watch the shows. I even thought of joining a local ghost-hunters group.
So yes, I was excited that I’d be staying in ‘Rosie’s Room’ at the Gold Hill Hotel. It was a haunted room, with videos on YouTube to attest to the haunting.
The hotel was quiet when I arrived. My car was the only one in the parking lot. The place was quaint and my room was, well it was small and pink. There were a few small bug carcasses showing through the thin canopy above the bed. As a good friend later pointed out, the canopy was doing its job.
The floors in the room were slanted—I wish I’d had a marble as I would have videotaped that sucker moving from one side of the room to the other. Proof of ghosts.
The room was old, it had character, and I was excited to stay there for the night.
“My shift is over in a few minutes. You’re the only one staying here.” I looked at the blonde hotel manager, a woman about my age. She held the room key towards me. “If you need anything, well, you probably won’t need anything. The owners live across the way. If there’s an emergency, just go out onto the balcony and yell. Hell, if there’s an emergency, dial 911.”
“Uh, okay.” I couldn’t decide if I should make a joke or cancel my reservation. I went out onto the balcony that overlooked the 2-lane highway leading to the heart of Virginia City. A ferociously loud motorcycle drove past.
I heard Blondie behind me come out onto the balcony. “It really is safe. I’ve been here five years and nothing’s ever happened.”
Ah, shit. Well that’s tempting fate, isn’t it?
I took the key from her hand. “Are there any places open for dinner in Virginia City?” I’d come this far so I might as well stay. Plus, if anything did happen, I argued with myself, I’d have a great story to tell. Assuming I survived.
By 8 PM I was back at the hotel, having eaten enough at a place in Virginia City to last me until the next day. I went downstairs to the lobby to write and camped out on an old wooden table. There truly were no other people, which was good. I had the whole hotel to myself.
With no one there, no TV, no radio, I thought I’d crank out thousands of words, sitting at that wooden table. But my ears were more active than my fingers and every cricket outside and every drip-drip-drip of the faucet in the bar held my attention. I walked around and peaked out the windows into the darkening light. The huge orb spider in its web stopped me from cracking open that window. Drip-drip-drip. I felt like Jack Torrance. All I needed to complete the scenario was a wife, a child, and a drinking problem.
After forcing out less than a paragraph, I made my way back up to Rosie’s Room. It was time to face the haunting.
Sitting there alone, I decided there was no way in hell I was about to do an EVP session. Or invite anything, anyone, to come visit with me. The only thing I could do was lock my door (there were three locks because, yeah, it’s safe), tuck myself into bed, and hope for the best.
I left the light on in the bathroom.
Eventually I fell asleep, waking up an hour later to some noise, imagined or not. Eyes wide open, I listened for the noise again but didn’t hear a thing. I fell asleep again. Then woke again, repeating the pattern until morning.
Did I ever see anything? No. Feel anything? No. Sense anything? No. However, I sure as shit did not get a good night’s sleep.
I was going to spend the day tooling around Virginia City, playing tourist, and I knew I’d be too tired to drive home that night. So guess what I did? Booked another night. Because, why not? I was in a different room, an even smaller room, but it wasn’t (supposedly) haunted. There were also other guests staying at the hotel and I heard them moving around, making alive noises.
I slept deep and well that second night.
If I go back to Virginia City, which I'm sure I will, I'll stay again at the Gold Hill Hotel. It was an experience and I'm sure there are more to be had at that there hotel.
A first look ~ Winnie's Story
Welcome to Snippet Sunday! It's been awhile since I've posted so thank you so much for stopping by.
I am beyond excited about a new book I'm writing! It's part of a series that was inspired by a road trip I took this past summer down the Eastern side of the Sierras. The heroines in the series are all single women out to find their fortune and pave their own way in life. Since it's the late 1800s in California, this is easier said than done. It was a wild, exciting time in the western state with both frontier and cultured elegance living side-by-side.
The first book is Winifred and Dempsey's story. I'm so in love with these characters I get emotional just thinking of them. Just wait until you hear about their lives! I haven't written a synopsis yet, there's no title, but I just can't wait any longer to share the opening part with you. The first lines will give you an idea of what's to come. In the next few weeks I'll put up a book description. Hope you enjoy!
Winnie sat in the second parlor, her heart beating wildly. Her mother had left a few moments before, after announcing that her betrothed had arrived.
Her betrothed. Was she really to be married in less than an hour?
Winnie smoothed the ivory colored satin of her skirts, pushing down the layers until she felt her thighs underneath. She’d barely been able to sit with the voluminous swaths of fabric covering her tiny body. She was lost in the material, a wisp of herself. Mother had insisted on the spectacular dress. They had to maintain their status, after all.
Maybe it wasn’t too late to run.