Shannon here: Anne Greene shares an excerpt from Keara’s Escape included in A Spinster/Orphan Train Novella Collection. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of her Scottish Historical, Marriage by Arrangement. Deadline: August 19th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Anne:
Excerpt: Keara’s Escape by Anne Greene:
The train jerked up an incline. She peered out the dirty window. Below were trestles. They were rattling across a bridge. She’d been in New York all of one year, and now she was leaving. Unlike the other placer agents, she would not take the return train back. “Goodbye,” she whispered.
“Sorry, I missed what you said.” A deep masculine voice spoke from right beside her.
She jerked around. The man seated in the row seat beside her sported a gun on both hips. Her breath caught in her throat. How had they found her?
“Are you all right, Ma’am? I didn’t mean to startle you. This is the only available seat on the train, so I hope you don’t mind my sitting next to you.” He smiled and thrust out his hand. “Name’s Griff Garrett.”
Keara unclenched her fingers and pulled in a deep breath. She gave the strong, warm hand a small shake. “Um. No.”
He looked powerful and menacing. She shivered. “No, it’s perfectly fine with me if you occupy the seat beside me.”
“Thank you, Ma’am. This promises to be a long ride.”
“Yes.” The smile she pasted on wavered. “Forgive my manners. My name is Keara Keegan.” What was wrong with her? She’d given him her real name. How could she hide from the law if she told him her real name?
“Please to meet you, Miss Keegan. It is Miss?”
Should she lie and tell him she was a Mrs.? He would be looking for a spinster. “Um, um, yes, Miss.” Silly of her not to lie, but as a Christian, lying came hard, and she was not good at telling fibs, let alone big lies. She pulled her bonnet down further to hide her face.
“I see you’re not comfortable with me sitting here.” He rose to his great height. “I’ll just amble on back and bunk with my horse.”
“Oh, no, Mr. … un …” She shook her head. “I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name. Please sit down. I’m just unsettled with all the excitement.”
He lowered himself back to the wood seat, making it creak. Then scooted to the far side. “Thanks. The cargo car is jammed. And I need to be handy in the passenger cars to keep an eye on things. Name’s Griff Garrett.”
He did have a nice smile. And his brown eyes looked kind. Like a man she could trust. If there were such a man. “But, Mr. Garrett, I will have to get up quite often to look after the children. All the children in this compartment are my special charges. You see, each railroad car full of children has a placer agent aboard to keep watch over the children. To make sure they eat well and sleep and are not frightened.” Why was she babbling? She closed her lips.
“That’s quite a responsibility. Have you done this job long?”
He hunkered down with his long legs folded, but his knees bumped into the hard seat ahead. He’d taken off his white Stetson and held the big hat between his spread legs. Big man like him couldn’t be comfortable in this confined space.
“No. Actually this is my first experience as a placing agent.” She stifled a shiver. She’d told him way too much about herself. “But that’s enough about me. Why are you aboard? I didn’t expect any men to ride with us. What are you doing on this train?”
Keara held her breath.
“I’m a Pinkerton Detective.
Surely Griff Garrett would soon discover she was wanted by the law. Or was he on board because of her?
About Anne: My home is in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, just a few miles north of Dallas. My dear husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. My little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares my writing space, curled at my feet. I have four beautiful, talented children, and eight grandchildren who keep me running.
I’ve traveled in every location of each book I’ve written, and each book is a book of my heart. Besides my first love, writing, I enjoy travel, art, sports, reading, sailing, snorkeling, movies, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.” Whether writing contemporary or historical, my books celebrate the abundant life Jesus gives.
I’ve written several other novellas. The novella, AVOIDING THE MISTLETOE, is included in the Mistletoe, Jingle Bells, and Second Chances Collection. My novella KEARA’S ESCAPE is included in the Orphan Train/Spinster Collection. DAREDEVILS is included in the North Carolina, 50 States Collection. SPUR OF THE MOMENT BRIDE is included in the Wyoming, 50 States Collection. A CHRISTMAS BELLE, is included in the Christmas Mail Order Angels anthology. THE MARRIAGE BROKER AND THE MORTICIAN is included in The California Gold Rush Romance Collection. My novellas, A FOOL FOR LOVE, A GROOM FOR CHRISTMAS, and A TEXAS CHRISTMAS MYSTERY are stand-alone novellas.
Moody Press published my first book, TRAIL OF TEARS. I love writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines. My Women of Courage series spotlights heroic women of World War II. You might want to begin with the first book ANGEL WITH STEEL WINGS. Read my private investigating series, Handcuffed In Texas. The first book is RED IS FOR ROOKIE. Enjoy my award-winning Scottish historical romances, MASQUERADE MARRIAGE and MARRIAGE BY ARRANGEMENT. I hope my stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Learn more and connect:
About the book:
A spinster on the run from a trumped-up robbery charge finds a position as a Placer Agent on the Orphan Train leaving New York for Cincinnati.
The Pinkerton Agent assigned to protect the train falls in love with her, discovers her disguise, and must bring her to justice.
Will her skeptical, hurting heart accept his love? Will she truly escape her past? Will the orphans under her care find loving homes at the end of the line?
Question for Readers: My grandfather was a baby on the Orphan Train. Do you know anyone who was orphaned and adopted or not adopted? Would you consider adopting an orphan?
Come back August 15th for a final excerpt from Anne!