Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If this is Springer, it must be Tuesday

This is from the western, which I've dug out of the trunk. I've spent the last couple of days, pasting all the chapters into one document and have started sweeping out the excess adverbs, stray commas and purple prose. It's been an interesting exercise because I wrote this three years ago and I'd like to think my 'style' has progressed since then. I've been applying what I've learned and re-learned from being on AW to this book.

In this bit, Tessie, Kristian and Salim have arrived in Springer, New Mexico.


The heavy rain held off long enough for the travelers to grab a hasty supper in the saloon. It was a crowded, smoky place where one or two card games were already in progress. Tessie tried not to stare at the loose women who watched the games with avid interest, as they plied the players with whiskey and displayed large, pale expanses of bosom. One or two of the whores took more than a passing interest in her companions. A red-haired piece leaned provocatively across Kristian to pour his whiskey. Tessie heard her murmur something in his ear but he smiled, patted Tessie’s hand and said, “No thanks, M’am, my wife here will do just fine.”

The women regarded Tessie. “Are you sure?” she purred. “There don’t seem much there to grab onto.”

Tessie surveyed her calmly, taking in the raddled cheeks and the hard, hollow eyes, “Quite sure.” She replied, sweetly.

Kristian chuckled. “M’am, you really don’t want to make my wife mad. She has a terrible, short temper.”

The woman appraised Tessie coldly. “And not much else, I warrant.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised.” He said. “Mrs. Laidlaw is much more than just a pretty face and a quick shot.” His hand strayed to Tessie’s shoulder as he played the role of protective husband to the hilt. “Now I’ll thank you to leave us in peace.”

With a shrug of rounded, over-powdered shoulders, the red-head flounced away. Tessie watched her go, surprised at her own fierce reaction to the flirtation.

“Nice work, Tess.” Her ‘Husband’ remarked as Tessie returned to her stew. “You really are an endless source of amazement. Did you really lead such a sheltered life?”


  1. lol, love the last line! Love the interaction between the MC's and the red-head. You've hit the right atmosphere and humor here.

    can't wait to

  2. The description of the 'whore' is good, but I think it is a little too -in your face-, IMO. I did like the reaction of the 'wife', though, I would think she would have been a little more agressive in her reactions. It might not be in her nature though...

  3. I liked Kristian, and am intrigued now that I know they're really not married. Do I smell a possible romance between the two? Great description.

  4. I like it, though I think our lovely lady of the night came on a bit strong in the face of a "married" couple. And if this is historical western, would his name spelled Christian instead? (did they even use that as a name, back then?)

  5. Those redheaded hussies. You have to watch out for them. I still like Salim better. Kristian is just too slick or something. Too comfortable with himself.

  6. As always, your narrative style just draws me in. I really like the dynamic between the characters. I'd be interested to read more!

  7. LOL, part of Kristian's attractiveness is that cocky attitude.

    This actually feels like a more traditional romance to me, Sue, than most of your work. Bet you'd have sucess marketing this one. I have a friend who's just gotten a several book deal for a historical western romance.

  8. Thanks for your comments and suggestions, Purgies. I'll go back and tone down the red-head's advances. As they're not really married and, this is the first time Tessie has been in a situation like this, I'll keep her reaction muted. She's still finding her feet in this whole bizarre arrangement.
    Bryn, I loves Kristian and he's not a bad lad, really. I'll try and post a piece next week that shows his more 'caring' side. ;)

    So glad I've untrunked this. I've fallen in love with it again and looking forward to finishing it.