It's the New Year, I have many goals I wish to hit this year, one of which is finishing War of Hearts.
I am a bit behind, okay I'm a lot behind. But delving into the past can be tedious. It is a delectable mix of truth and fiction. You want to add enough history to teach but not enough to bore. So I throw in snippets here and there. Like weaving a fine tapestry.
So I am offering you a sneek peek. Here is Chapter 1 From War of Hearts. It still in draft mode but I love comments!
Please tell me what part of history you would love to live in.
Bitterness of Winter
Blood spattered upon her face. Sarah ignored it as she moved to put pressure on the gaping wound; she hoped to diminish the flow in the process. As the doctor began to saw through the bone, a grating sound filled the air. It was made more horrible by the shrieks of the man on the table.
Her arms burned, as she used all her strength to subdue him, so the doctor could work. Soon, the limb was free and the man gasped for breath as the pain subsided. The doctor folded the flesh over the gaping hole and Sarah carried the lifeless limb to the open window, and tossed it outside to the growing pile.
Once upon a time, this would have disturbed her greatly. However, being an Army nurse had hardened her heart to many things. War was hell. And she was in the midst of it.
A hand touched her shoulder and she turned to look into kind eyes. “Go rest for a spell. You look exhausted.” Her friend Margaret intoned. She glanced around the room at the others needing treatment. There was no rest for them, as they waited for the blade.
Even though it had been months with no fighting, the bitterness of winter was taking its toll. Due to lack of sufficient shelter and clothing many men have been afflicted with frostbite. The blackened appendages had to be removed to give them a chance at life.
The next soldier was in better shape and Sarah’s thoughts wandered as she massaged his feet. Winter had always been her favorite time of year. And living in New Jersey, they could be fierce. The crops had been harvested, food had been stored, and there was not much to do once the snow came. She recalled bundling up to care for the livestock, and admonishing her mother for making her wear a scarf. The rough wool always itched her neck.
“Seems to be a fair amount of sickness in camp.” The man stated in a gruff voice as he looked around.
“No, more than yesterday.” Sarah replied, wondering if the man was ignorant or just making conversation.
“Would you say about half?” He inquired further.
Sarah’s hands stilled. She looked down at his feet noticing not only were they not that damaged from the frost, but thick and hardy as well. An uneasiness came over her, as her glance took in the man’s gently worn clothing. It had been a while since she had seen a man who wasn’t half naked, much less one that was fully clothed with boots and all.
“No, I wouldn’t say half. Your feet are worse than I first thought; wait here while I fetch the doctor.”
“No need, I feel better already.” The man sat up, reaching for his boots. Not taking time to put them on, he grabbed them and ran for the door as Sarah shouted after him.
A scuffle ensued as an injured man blocked his path, and he was soon wrestled to the ground. Ignoring her own safety, Sarah knelt over him and searched his pockets. Finding nothing of value she grabbed his boots, thrusting a hand deep inside she felt an edge of paper and pulled it out. The man had ceased struggling, and silence filled the room as she unfolded it. Her heart beat quickly in her chest as a crude sketch of Valley Forge appeared.
A spy. The map was plucked from her fingers as the man was dragged off to pay for his sins.
Sarah sat in disbelief as a large hand touched her shoulder. “Well done.”
She looked up at Dr. Radcliff. “What will become of him?”
“He will be questioned, and punished, if found guilty. What gave him away?”
“He wasn’t dressed in rags.” Sarah mumbled looking around at the weary soldiers. She had agonized over her brother Silas’ death for months. However, she was thankful he never had to experience the torment of these men. Silas has been gone a year but right now, it felt like fifty. Sarah had seen so much suffering, and It wore heavily on her heart.
My Give Away is a Free Copy of A Christmas Crossing.
The Prequel to War of Hearts. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105853