Drum roll . . . for your reading pleasure . . . an excerpt from Novel #3
Stormy, the second book in the Arrowstar series, features Star Lance, owner operator of Arrowstar Antiques, Mineral City, Arizona and part-time writer of historical fiction.
Companion books by Star Lance in the Arrowstar series coming soon:
A Train Robber's Tale by Star Lance, a companion book to Arrowstar
The Storm Women by Star Lance, a companion book to Stormy
Background: Star Lance takes a leap of faith after her husband dies and moves from Indiana to Mineral City, a small town in southeastern Arizona. She unwittingly buys the entire contents of an estate belonging to a former old West train robber as inventory for her newly opened antique shop, Arrowstar. Read Arrowstar by Cheryl Thomas and catch up to Star's encounter with that train robber's legacy. Star still struggles to keep her little store afloat in such a small town and supplements her income with proceeds from her writing. A Train Robber's Tale and help from her friend, Kat saved Arrowstar once. Now, while writing her second novel, The Storm Women, Star's struggle to make ends meet continues as she uncovers history that some in Mineral City would rather stayed buried.
Hope you enjoy this little peek into the novel, Stormy by Cheryl Thomas:
The back screen door slaps against the house with a loud crack, causing Star to jump up from the desk and run to hook it closed. Rain doesn’t seem likely in spite of the bluster outside, so Star returns to the office where she polishes off the last paragraph of the first chapter of her second historical novel. Leaning back in her chair, she stares up at the tin ceiling, musing over the possibilities for stories about the pioneer souls buried up the hill in the cemetery behind Minceral City's church.
Some of the graves have been here since Cochise roamed this land, and no doubt his band of renegades put some of them there. The saddest ones have inscriptions on the headstones that break your heart, "Our Little Angel" or "He lingered with us, but the blink of an eye - Guard this precious little soul." Very specific ages accompany many of the inscriptions, "four years, two months, and twenty-seven days," usually followed by a plea, "Lord receive our little lamb."
Star thinks about the little lambs carved in stone and the marble angels, doves and puppies gracing these small memorials. Several crumbling monuments at the very back of the cemetery especially spur her imagination. On a narrow pillar, an inscription reads, “Stormy” Almanza Storm, 1861 - 1890, and tucked very closely beside it, a second small marker adorned with a lamb says, Clare R. - Dear Little Cherub, born December 25, 1890, Received by Our Lord, January 30, 1891.
On the other side of the pillar a larger, more recent monument shows the name Ladoska (Dusky) R., 1888 - 1974. The statue of a horse stands watch over this grave, one knee bent, head down, and the remains of leather reins coiled on the ground. Three much simpler, flat markers inside an iron fence mark the graves of women buried there in what seems to be the Storm family plot. The grave marker where Star secretly observed someone placing violets in the middle of the night is one of those and the engraving reads, "Opal G. - 1935 - 1965."
"Rest in peace, Storm women," Star whisperes to herself. "Will you give up your secrets and tell me where you've buried your men?"