Sary's Gold by Sharon Shipley is a Book Series Starter pick #westernromance #romance #giveaway
Title: Sary's Gold
Author: Sharon Shipley
A raw young widow changes into a ruthless determined gold miner/outlaw of 1890's California, triumphing over a brutal town, and one obsessed saloon owner who wants her alive—or dead…if he can't have her.
Upon the untimely death, of her young husband, Sary is forced into her brother's charge. Neither is pleased with this arrangement, but it's the 1880s; women have no say. He's an impotent, sadistic dreamer with ideas of striking gold using his sister as his mule. Sary finds herself in a surreal nightmare…living under a tarp, panning for gold, and looked on lustfully by the debauched in the rough gold mining outpost Big …all save a handsome and reckless traveling actor.
A brutal attack by Delacorte's son, her brother's grim death in an abandoned mine shaft, the discovery of a gold vein as big as Texas, and surviving surviving the hard scrabble land as winter comes and goes all come together to make Sary a thing of legend and witchery. She is now hunted as fair game, barely escaping with her life. Ultimately, Sary exacts her revenge in an ultimate showdown with a little help from the man she loves.
Sary—a bedraggled ribbon tied in her hair, as frozen as the log she was seated on, gripped her plate.
"You’d sell me." She spoke in a flat, dead tone dashing the plate to the ground.
Seb, still intent on the dark knoll, nibbled a hangnail. "Wanting you real bad, Sare," he muttered over his shoulder. "Could do worse." He whirled and gave a sharp nod, his fist curled in a knot. "A lot worse."
"You could!" Sary shouted. "You’d be lording it over the poker table and holding up the bar! I can see it now!" She began pacing.
"More’n just a good poke, Sary," Seb whined, backing from her. "He wants you pure-like. Just for him." He hadn’t thought his sister would take on so. "Just for—"
Sary picked up and hurled the tin plate, banging Seb in the back of the head.
Seb threw up his arms to ward off more blows as Sary stormed about, pelting rocks as she went.
"Said you’d be a queen, Sary! Them exact words!"
"And what would that make you?" She demanded. "A court jester?"
The ground whirled beneath her feet—a sick feeling swelled up her neck like a snake coiled in her stomach, so enraged she could scarcely find breath to shriek. "You wouldn’t be—sleeping with him! He’s old, and yellow as lard! He stinks of death! Like something died and they forgot to bury it!"
A ghostly cough floats down from the knoll.
They both jerked intent on the dark above.
"Old and yellow I may be, Sarabande Swinford." The voice was dry, inflectionless, yet hard. "I’m waiting."
Sary searched the night, but then Julian entered the fitful light, all peaks and hollows, his ivory vest and yellow teeth gleaming like dead fish in the dark.
Sary could hear the swish of his silvery coat and the creak of his saddle as he picked his way down. She faltered back uneasily aware of a heavy perfume clogging the moldering leaf-musked night for some time now… so that was it. That crazy old man drenched with cologne. She mustn’t hurt his feelings, that would be dangerous, stuttering, "I’m honored, Mister D-Delacorte. Truly. A—a man of your…stature." Her mind raced. "But Seb didn’t say—I’m under mourning." She ended desperate.
Seb gripped her arm. He dragged her protesting to Julian. Sary looked up at the gaunt man high up on the horse. The face was inscrutable and old as the mountains.
"Mourning here lasts till bedtime." The voice grated in the night and Julian cantered down, leaned arthritically, crookedly as if in pain, and reached for her, grasping her other arm, yanking her from Seb. "Take it up with kin," he barked harsh. "I bought you."
Sary's Gold: the first standalone novel is also in a boxed Set: Love Lust and Peril
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Here is one of the reviews…
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2017
First let me preface this by saying this book requires something from the reader, ergo this book probably isn't for the "50 Shades Of Grey" crowd in that it is not your typical, effortlessly digestible drugstore novel, but I actually think that's a good thing. This story is told in a literary style, which in my opinion, is sadly missing in most modern day novels. No one would think to question the literary style of the classics which required the same kind of investment from their readers, and I think this book deserves that investment as well. The dialogue is written in the vernacular of the day (circa the gold rush era) & it took me about the first eight pages of the book to get into the groove, but once I did, I felt I was well rewarded. I was wholeheartedly transported in time and space to that era and could well imagine the characters and places coming to life as I read. The story is quite the page turner, & is about a young woman suddenly widowed & thrust on the mercy of an unscrupulous & abusive brother. One thing this author really gets right is victim psychology because victims do not rise up against their oppressors so easily. It takes time and continued abuses for the proverbial pressure cooker to steam before exploding, & this writer gets that fact, for which I was most appreciative. Besides, women had so little choice then. It was practically unheard of for a young woman to strike out on her own, not to mention incredibly dangerous. I found myself getting very caught up in the action & rooting for the heroine at every turn. There were great setups & payoffs, and quite a few surprises along the way too. My only criticism is that at times during a couple of the action sequences the writing gets a little choppy making it a little hard to follow, and my suspension of disbelief was strained on one or two occasions, yet events were not outside the realm of possibility either. That said, the pluses far outweigh the minuses in this novel & it's a terrific book comprised of great story telling & I highly recommend it!
Shortlisted: Chanticleer Book Review: Civil War/Prairie/Western Division.
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I pen novels and scripts in a little house overlooking Myrtle Beach, a passion both frightening and thrilling with few tools beyond a blood-spattered laptop, a feverish brain, and a doorstop thesaurus...
The bonus is fascinating research, venturing far from my office chair: Big Bear California, Africa's Great Karroo Desert, Northern Bengali region, India, the setting for Sary and the Maharajah's Emeralds, or sleepy mid-western towns of Wylder, Wyoming, Michigan's frozen Upper Peninsula, and more recently, Transylvania....
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