Tuesday, June 10, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Lynn Donovan "Rocking Horse Shadows"


It's just an old rocking horse.

At least, that's what Marah keeps telling herself. When renovating the old Smithy’s property with her husband, the antique rocking horse first evoked happiness, and Marah couldn't help but daydream about the possibility of a baby coming into their lives. Starting a family would be the perfect symbol of their recovering marriage.

But then weird things start to happen. Even their dog can sense it. As weird quickly turns into terrifying, everything keeps coming back to the rocking horse—and the evil spirits who haunt it.


About the Author:
Lynn Donovan spends her days chasing after her muses, trying to get them to settle down and behave long enough to dictate their words and actions. Thank goodness her muses love Christ or she’d be in big trouble. The results have produced The Clockwork Dragon, a collection of nine short stories in which she wrote half (4.5 stories), The Wishing Well Curse, and Thorns of Betrayal, Rocking Horse Shadows, and Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds. A speculative fiction called The Abraham Project is hovering out there somewhere. Lynn enjoys reading and writing Christian fiction, paranormal, and speculative fiction. But you never know what her muses will come up with for a story, so you could see a novel under any given genre. All we can tell you is keep your eyes open, cause these muses are not sitting still for long! Oops, there they go again…
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Chapter One

Late 1860s

 ALEKSANDR SANIN collapsed next to the icy stream. His plea escaped with his breath as his knees slammed into the snow-laden ground. Just for this brief moment, he allowed himself to give into the anguish. “Please, God, don’t take Anna from me.”

The stream, the land, the trees, the bushes, even the stones in the creek; this was his sanctuary. He had thanked God for it all, and promised to take care of it, knowing it would take care of him and his wife. But this year, winter came too soon. An early frost ruined the meadow of corn. The potatoes were small, but they rescued all they could harvest from the ice-wounded plants. Now, the storehouse was empty. And this blizzard was destroying any hope for the third planting. Aleksandr had been determined to survive here in Cotopaxi, Colorado. Anything had to be better than mother Russia. For his Jewish relatives, it had become impossible to survive back home.

Cotopaxi seemed like his one chance to make it all better. For his Anna. She was his life. He had married her just before they boarded the ship to come to America. The village Shadkhan, the matchmaker, had made the preparations for the arranged marriage, but he had loved Anna since he was a boy. Colorado beckoned their small clan of sixty-three with colonization benefits and a Homestead Act promising one hundred and sixty acres of land and an already erected house. All they had to do was cross this great land and take up residence.

When they finally arrived in Colorado, there were not as many homes built as promised, but it didn’t stop Aleksandr from setting down roots. The land proportioned to him included a side of a mountain, woods, and a meadow.

It was beautiful.

He could feel God’s presence when he walked his land.

And Anna loved him. He longed for nothing more.

He built their cabin with his own two hands and the timber God provided. None too soon, too, because Anna had told him she was with child. He and Anna loved God with all their hearts, all their minds, and all their souls; just like the Holy Bible said. Anna read to him from the blessed book every evening. He loved her more than the air, the stream, and the mountain.

But today fearful torment weighed down his heart like the merciless wind and wet snow of the overwhelming blizzard.

They were starving.

He had to kill something to eat.

The creek’s life-blood gurgled and raced under the sheets of ice, solidifying across the surface of the rocks. Unrelenting layers of snow quickly piled up around him. With both fists pressed against his quivering lips, he begged God to hear his plea. Brackish tears and salty sweat blended on his face. The cold steel of his Henry rifle burned against his skin. He had three cartridges. He needed one kill.

“Lord, please,” he prayed. “Help me. You are the provider. You provided for Elijah when there was nothing. Please, God, show me a rabbit, a deer, an elk, anything, so I can feed my family. Anna’s got to eat, Lord, or she’ll loose the baby.” He sucked down air and terror.

“I can’t lose her. Dear God, please, please don’t take her from me.” The storm in his heart swept his soul deeper into despair than this harsh blizzard could ever do. He squeezed his eyes closed. Saliva slipped from his grimacing mouth and formed crystals in his unkempt beard. He reached with a bare, dirty hand to a dormant aspen and pulled himself up to stand. He had to keep moving or he’d be swallowed up by the storm and freeze to death.

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