Wednesday Sampler: My Name Is Grace by Carol Braswell

my name is grace cover

In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Wednesday’s Sampler features an excerpt My Name is Grace by Carol Braswell, the story of one woman’s search for her past and her identity.

From Carol Braswell

I love to write. I love to put characters in situations that seems impossible to get out of. Almost. Then, out of the blue, along comes that sexy, breathtakingly, handsome hero who can and will save the day. Sometimes, (I like this part), it’s the heroine who steps up and saves the day.

Carol Braswell
Carol Braswell

I love to write. Did I mention that? Anyway, I love mystery, suspense and the forever kind of love. When someone asks me, “what do you write?” I can’t say romance. It’s not that simple. I want action, adventure, suspense with caring, loving, sexy, characters that seem to find trouble wherever they go.

I am married to my real life sexy hero who finds my imagination intriguing, but refuses to read my books.

Thank God. Our, live-at-home children greet us at the door with tongues hanging and tails wagging. They travel with us when we vacation and get depressed when we have to leave them. We have four grown children who live close enough for us to see often.

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook and on my blog.

The Story

It’s dark, rainy, and cold. A hard rail pushes into her cheek, leaving an indentation. A loud whistle penetrates the night, startling her awake. Shifting rocks puncture her elbow and knees when she tries to sit up.

A light flashes in the distance as the whistle sounds again and the light moves closer. Her eyes widen. She’s laying on a railroad track and there is a train barreling toward her. She must move.

The young woman rolled away from the tracks just in time and set out to learn her identity. She has no knowledge of how she got on the tracks, who beat her up, or her own name until she finds the necklace hanging around her neck.

Grace follows the tracks to the small town of Weber, Texas where she encounters the small town sheriff, Chris Wallace. The sheriff sets out to learn not only her identity but who had abused her. What he learned not only surprises him but it devastates Grace.

The truth is so hard to bare she has to see for herself and find the missing pieces of her life. A move she should have let Sheriff Wallace assist her with instead of confronting her attackers herself.

The Sampler

Her fingers ran along the cold steel her cheek was stuck to. Her head pounded. A slow tremble penetrated through her skin and vibrated down to her toes. A sharp object pressed into her hip. When she tried to move, the object moved, and was replaced with another. She struggled to open her eyes that seemed to be glued shut.

A loud whistle pierced her ears. She pressed an elbow into the loose rock and tried to get up. Sharp stones punctured her skin. She winced. A long iron rail stretched as far as she could see. The sky seeped a slow drizzle as the loud whistle sounded again. A bright light appeared in the distance. A fast moving train was about to run her over. She had to move.

The train grew closer. She made an effort to get up, but every muscle in her body resisted. She rolled over the unyielding iron and tumbled down a steep hill. Her body splashed into water running through a ditch just as the train flew by. Her clothes soaked up the water, sending chills through her.

The woman rolled to one side and sat up. The dim light of dawn revealed torn jeans with dark stains surrounding the frayed areas. Her exposed skin had scratches, and tiny specks of blood had dried on the numerous wounds.

Where was she and how did she get here? She shivered, struggled to her feet, and wrapped her arms around her middle. Her boots were filled with water. The steep hill was a challenge. Red lights on the tail-end of the train disappeared around a curve into the dense forest. There were no houses, no roads, and no sign of life other than the red light of the fleeting train. She ran a hand across her face and wiped the rain out of her eyes. She needed to find help. Her stomach churned at the thought of interacting with people. Why? Her soggy clothes weighed her down. She collapsed onto the rail, took off her boots, and dumped the water out.

She pressed her fingers to her temples and tried to sooth her aching head. Her hands hung in her tangled hair and she cringed when her fingers came in contact with a large bump. Blood covered her fingers. What happened? Nothing made sense. How did she get here in the first place? Where had she come from? How did she get the bruises and cuts?

She pulled her legs up and laid her head on her knees. Something bumped against her leg. She curled cold fingers around a delicate chain hanging around her neck. The word “Grace” hung at the bottom. It didn’t sound familiar. Could that be her name? She covered her face. Why couldn’t she remember?

She pressed her palms to her thighs to get up and felt a bulge in the right pocket of her jeans. Reaching inside, she pulled out a roll of bills secured with a bank band. There wasn’t anything else that might help her figure out this situation. Where did the money come from? Something she had saved, maybe. So, her name might be Grace and she had money. It didn’t help calm the fear surging through her. A sudden movement in the dense brush startled her. She ran down the tracks, after the train. There must be a town along this track and she had to find it.

Her breath came in pants. She had to stop. Her lungs screamed for air as her heart pounded against her chest. The clouds opened up and the rain stung exposed skin. It plastered her hair to her head. She had to find shelter from this storm. She ducked her head, shivered, hugged her middle, and continued to follow the tracks.

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