Sheep Therapy

Okay, so here’s my solution:

Let me back up to let you know what the problem is.

We suddenly have a ton of cute and cuddly animals I don’t want to eat. My husband has been diagnosed with a weird form of arthritis that only seems to respond well to a strict vegan diet. Our sheep are meat sheep.

But the sheep are more than their supposed foodie purpose. They are distinct personalities who in many cases adore human friendship.

BB7BEC4E-1215-4147-B1FE-E2C7C77E7EEB

So here’s my idea: sheep therapy or basically sheep chill time. I’m not a therapist and don’t want to be one (I already have the high maintenance little girl to contend with).

But I’m wondering if people would enjoy coming by the farm just to hang out with the friendly sheep, goat and horse.

57677698878__53A6A3D2-5F11-4D9B-8AC4-8DB7C09EBD8C

I’m envisioning a very quiet version of a petting zoo … maybe?

There are some concerns though. I do want to get back to writing some day. Lately I’ve had to begin training myself to be a horse trainer. I’ve had to help a few ewes give birth and our daughter has ratcheted up her boundary breaking (a common after effect of adoption) so I’m not sure how many days I could even devote to this new plan.

 

Any ideas??? I’d love some input from you all. Do any of you have daydreams about opening shops or selling tea online? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave any advice you might have!

Look! My books are in the library!

7603D866-FC8C-4386-B664-ABB32B6E2744

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

 

5 Great Books About Military Wives in 19th Century America

Since you all know I love history and historical fiction, I thought I’d share some lists of my favorite books by topic that I used when writing THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES. I hope research geeks will use these posts as a good place to start on the subjects I will feature and that readers of my fiction who have had their appetites whetted for the time period will enjoy the lists as well.Yes, I will put my own books on the lists — 😉

Happy reading and make sure to add your favorites on the subject in the comments below!

BOOTS AND SADDLES

THE COLONEL’S LADY ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER

VANISHED ARIZONA

LIFE AND MANNERS IN THE FRONTIER ARMY

THE HOUSE ON TENAFLY ROAD

 

$.99 Sale All Week!

The Dew Series

READ THE SERIES TODAY!

The Gilded Age saga of the tumultuous Crenshaw and Weldon families continues!

Unwed and pregnant, Thankful Crenshaw comes home and makes a tragic and life-changing decision. She misses the close relationship she once had with her newly religious brother, Buck, who spends his days in the Arizona desert converting drunks and Indians. One drunk, William Weldon, is Buck’s special case and Thankful’s true love.

Little does Thankful know that Buck’s religious fervor is fading. A violent encounter in the sandy wilderness brings her brother and William back to Englewood, New Jersey to mourn their lost innocence and lack of personal integrity in the third book of The Tenafly Road Series.

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

$.99 Sale Today!

Weary of running series

Captivating saga of betrayal, revenge and redemption in Gilded Age America!

Cadet Buck Crenshaw’s integrity is tested when West Point Military Academy opens its doors to black cadets. Will Buck keep his place in the yearling pecking order or throw it away taking a stand for Cadet Milford Streeter?

Escaping west to Fort Grant, Arizona, Buck confronts his demons while witnessing the downward spiral of his sister Thankful’s romance with a dashing army lieutenant.

Weary of Running, the second book in The Tenafly Road Series, highlights the dangers of moral ambivalence and the redeeming power of love and friendship in an imperfect world of mixed emotions and foolish decisions.

Fall in love with the members of the Crenshaw and Weldon families and buy The Tenafly Road Series today!

Books in the historical family saga:

The House on Tenafly Road

Weary of Running

The Dew That Goes Early Away

Forget Me Not

The One My Heart Loves

The Grand Union

 

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

What Do You Do When You Finish a Series?

We’ve all been there as readers, writers and viewers. We spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over worlds created by other humans and then suddenly the series is over.

It’s over and you’ve lost your best friends. A wave of sadness envelops you as you walk the dog. You realize it’s because you’ve finished that damned series.

Talk of possibly more books or a revival on Netflix give you only momentary relief because you just know the new stuff just won’t be the same …

I seriously hate endings no matter how happy. It’s especially true when it’s YOUR own characters you have to say farewell to.

I suppose all creators feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of things — but with such a mix of sadness too!

I’m happy to release the final book of THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES so readers get to see how Buck, William, Thankful and Lucy finally work things out, but forgive me the tiny bit of depression I feel at leaving them all behind.

Empty nest syndrome for writers is kind of awful (yet a weird privilege).

So … how do you deal with getting to the end of a series? Let me know in the comments!

And remember to check out THE GRAND UNION today!

Here’s a sample.

(Buck has foolishly taken his new wife to Saratoga Springs, New York for a honeymoon/business trip):

“We keep having to worry about everyone’s opinions, but why, Buck? We have each other.”

“Everything is so simple for you. But I have to make sure everyone’s boats stay afloat.”

“Boats float on water, not on you,” Lucy said with a little laugh.

He didn’t laugh, though her smile was so damned cute. “The water boy Corny or whatever his name is—he looks to be about your age—about my brother Nathan’s age. Thankful said you should have married Nathan. Did you like him better? I’d understand. He can be amusing at times.”

“Can he? I never noticed,” she said. “I don’t know why I ever thought you were mature, Buck, because you’re worse than the boys when I was ten.”

“How many were there?”

“Buck!”

He could never sit still for long, his nervous energy prompting him to stand and sit and then feel uncomfortable sitting on the steps. “All day today Preston let his eyes wander,” he said, waiting for her reaction. “I don’t believe in wandering eyes, Lucy … at least I mean that once I’m set on someone—I mean you—well, this isn’t the same thing as Alma, whom I never liked—or loved. You do understand that she was more of an insurance, just in case.”

Lucy stared in astonishment at the way Buck’s mind worked.

“I’m no romantic, but I liked to picture Preston and Lottie and you and me successfully working and recreating together,” Buck said with his usual stiffness.

Lucy laughed. “You don’t know how to recreate!”

He laughed a little too.

“So where is Preston, tonight?”

He stood again, running his hand along the banister. “With a poet girl—an awful feathery, flighty socialite who forces everyone to endure her poems about acorns,” he said. “The Trasks seem sincere about everything. I don’t trust that. They’re far too fond of beauty for beauty’s sake and symbolism and—emotional in their affections for everyone. It makes my skin crawl a little, but I guess all of that flattery and the lovey-dovey manner they have with each other—I guess it’s nice in a way. It’s better than how I’ve been treating you.”

Lucy looked into his guarded eyes. “What do you want me to say?”

He looked away. His little confession of admiration for things lovey-dovey embarrassed him.

Lucy played with the torn lace on her skirt. “But I’ll say this for myself. I don’t believe in divorce.”

Buck turned back to face her with the eagerness of his younger brother Nathan. “Never, under any circumstances?”

“Except if you ever keep a girl for insurance again, or even make eyes with a girl. If you aren’t interested in just me, then we can quietly divorce, and I’ll move to New London.”

Buck regretted giving her so much time to think of moving to New London and was surprised at her strength. “I’m interested in you. Very much so. And you really mean to stay even through the worst mishaps?”

“Buck, if I ever find that you speak to this Alma or befriend another girl or lady … I won’t have it.”

Buck sat close now and took Lucy’s hand in his. “Lucy, I’ve been such a fool. I’ve spoiled our time. I promise not even once did Alma hold a flame compared to you.”

“I should like it if we never mention her name again.”

“Yes, yes, I understand, and from now on I won’t even talk to another lady unless it’s my mother or one of my sisters.”

“This must include Lottie—who you’ve apparently told all of your secrets to.”

Buck looked off again, much like a young colt bristling a little after a long bit of training. “Yes, I did do that. She made me feel like one of them, and I’m not much of a drinker—I don’t know—she easily got things out of me.”

Lucy smiled, shaking her head. “You may be embarrassed of me being so young and all, but Buck, I want to be the one who takes care to know every detail about you. I never want to find out things through another.”

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

 

BUY THE SERIES TODAY!

The One My Heart Loves

A SNEAK PEEK: Second Thoughts …

Buck coughed. “Father, I don’t think—well—I believe Lucy wants no part of me any longer, and really … it’s so soon after Meg to be parading a girl on my arm.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s for the best. Everyone says so. Lucy wouldn’t fit in.” Buck cast his eyes down.

“Fit in?” Graham asked, incredulously. “With whom? Lucy fits in with me just fine.”

“Do you think so?” Buck asked, eager for approval. “I thought so too. I thought it might be nice to have someone to take care of and fuss over.”

Graham laughed. “Lucy’s not a doll, son.”

“Of course, Father. Why is it that everyone believes I’ve no sense about girls?”

Graham smiled but said nothing. The doctor sifted through gone-off oranges left in a bowl by the new housekeeper but grabbed a few Christmas cookies instead and sat at the cook’s tall stool.

Buck leaned with elbows on the counter. “Here’s what concerns me: What if Lucy doesn’t like my friends? I’m a good banker, but there’s a social element and …”

Graham stopped mid-cookie. “Are you saying you want to see other young ladies?”

“My friends have been trying to force a certain girl upon me.”

Graham shook his head.

“Father, I haven’t done a thing. I would never hurt Lucy that way, but this girl is much sought after and her father has friends in banking and government, and for some reason she has taken to me—though I haven’t given her any reason to assume I might care for her in any way other than as a friend.”

Graham shook his head with more emphasis now, dropping the cookie to his plate. “No. You’re going off on the wrong road—again. It’s impossible to have female friends. And I strongly advise you not to marry for banking. Don’t sell your soul for appearances.”

Buck adjusted his prosthetic as he spoke. “The thing is, I don’t really care for this girl in the city.”

“I don’t understand you, son.”

Buck rolled an orange under his hand on the counter. “I wondered if it might be easier.”

“For whom?”

“For me, of course,” Buck said. “I don’t have a good track record—at anything. If things go sour for Lucy and me … the idea of it seems very hard.”

Graham laughed again. “Dear boy, you give me hope yet that one of my sons has a heart. That’s exactly the feeling you should have about Lucy. What would be the point if you didn’t fear losing her?”

PRE-ORDER:

THE ONE MY HEART LOVES & THE GRAND UNION

About The Tenafly Road Series:

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her books down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”

 

Fiction: Seeing With New Eyes

“This is my home. I’m happy here,” William said, but he needed a drink to wash down his words. He tried to glare at Buck, but felt unsteady and it hurt his head. William spotted his drawings in Buck’s hand. “I-I’m gonna send some drawings east when they’re finished—start working harder at that—so me and Ginny can live nicer …”

Buck looked at the papers. “Not these, I hope. They’re crap.”

William grabbed them and sifted through them. He scratched his head. “I’m out of practice.” William wiped his nose. “I’d give anything for a smoke.”

“I don’t smoke any longer,” Buck said.

“Yes, I’d forgotten—you’re God’s little friend now.”

“I’d like it if we could be friends.”

“Don’t do me any favors,” William said.

Buck turned to go. He shoved his hands in his pockets and felt a dollar coin he hadn’t realized he had. Maybe he could offer someone at the stable the dollar as a deposit for a ride back to the fort. His father would pay the balance. Buck took a step, then turned to William. “Listen, Willy, I have a dollar. Will you draw me my portrait?” he blundered. “I have no gift for Thankful’s wedding—it’s only a few days away.”

William laughed. “Why would she want a picture of you?”

“I don’t know, but it’s my only idea … will you?”

William rummaged around for a piece of paper and Buck wondered if he should just give him the dollar instead of putting William through any trouble, but Fred was making the most of it with Ginny on the other side of the quilt. Buck detected a small excitement from William though he did his best to hide it.

Without looking up once, William produced a quick, but accurate likeness of Buck—the old Buck—handsome, clean-edged and hard-eyed. He handed it to Buck. “Shit, William. How’d you do that?” The slight smirk, the confident eyes, everything was correct—and full of sneering superiority. “God forgive me. I’m just as bad as you make me out to be, William. I’m even worse. What a piece of shit I am and you’ve every right to hate me for all I’ve done to you. You never deserved any of it! You trusted me and you were kind,” Buck said. “It hurts me to see you here.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, Buck. You’re not responsible for me.”

Buck gave William back the drawing. “I want you to draw me again. Not from memory. I need you to draw me as I am now—ugly and wretched.”

“No.” William said. Old images were easy, well-practiced in his mind, but the present remained unfocused through his bleary eyes.

“You must! And I promise never to bother you again.”

William scratched his jaw and grabbed the paper back. “So you want to see things for real.”  He turned the paper over and picked up his pencil.

This time William had to look at Buck—could not rely on anything from before to capture the rough skin and the wrinkled mass above Buck’s eye. Buck insisted that he remove his bandages. His misshapen cheekbone torn by the bullet William deserved and the botched cut at his throat remained scarlet and unhealed. William considered another drink, but met Buck’s gaze and it unnerved him. He dropped his pencil and picked it up again. His hand shook.

The drawing was not very good and it made William angry. He found that he had to study Buck longer than he wanted and that no matter how he tried he could not make Buck monstrous enough. “That’s it. It’s the best I can do. Now give me my money.”

Buck flipped over the coin, but William missed and had to crawl on the floor to find it. Buck studied the portrait. “Land sakes, Willy,” Buck said. “Is this how you really see me?”

“I’m afraid so,” William said scratching his head.

“I mean, God, I’m one hell of a mess, but there’s something … I’m no artist …” The drawing comforted Buck. He didn’t know why. The cuts, the wounds, the disfigurement were there, but so was something else. Something new or maybe just discovered. “William, you see it don’t you? No one else has, but maybe Father …”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” William replied.

“You see what God’s done for me,” Buck whispered.

His scars were ugly and William had to drink not to let his heart go out to Buck.

“Thank you for this, Willy.”

“It’s nothing,” William mumbled, but felt sorry suddenly at how things had turned out between them. If only Buck hadn’t been such a sneaky bastard.

PREVIOUS EPISODE: WEARY OF RUNNING

THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES

“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her book down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”

Fiction: Gaming

“I want to make money and visit with real whores. As the teamster said, life’s short.” Fred gulped his last drink and down the road they went.

Quiet, almost sweet, music played somewhere within the gaming hall.

“I’ll wait out here, Fred.”

“Oh, no you won’t! Don’t be such a prig. Play one hand,” Fred urged him.

Buck had just a small amount of money saved from pawning his things and planned on buying Thankful a household trinket for her wedding, but if she was moving home there would be no point, he reasoned. Buck didn’t mind cards but hesitated.

“Say, Buck, you might win some money for the poor. Look, whatever you win tonight, I’ll match it and we’ll do a good deed with it,” Fred suggested. He pushed Buck along and sauntered in with a big smile.

“Oh, damn, the apostle is here with a friend,” someone said through the smoky haze.

“He won’t be doing any talking, men. I can assure you of that. Now let us in on a hand and I’ll show you how it’s done.”

The men laughed at Fred’s bravado and made room when he flashed his money. Buck, more tentatively, placed his small savings on the table.

Fred whispered, “Here’s to the poor.” After a few lucky hands, Fred proceeded to lose everything they had, all but four dollars. “Oh, well. It’s only money,” he announced, throwing his cards on the table. “I have more at home anyhow!”

Buck stalked out. Fred soon followed. “Sakes alive, what a night! Those men are damned good card players. I’ll have to bone up this last year at school or I’ll be laughed out of the army!”

“Now what’ll we do, Fred? I’m tired.”

“A fellow in there says there’s a place down the road we could spend the night cheap,” Fred said.

“With four dollars?”

“Yep. Follow me, Apostle.” Fred whistled.

Buck cursed under his breath but followed with hands shoved deep into his empty pockets.

They came upon a ruin of an adobe building with a sooty candle-lit window at the side and a falling-down, rotted door at the front. “What’s this place?” Buck’s stomach churned.

“It’s cozy in a way,” Fred said flashing a charming smile before knocking.

The door opened a crack with a loud creak and the sound of a smoker’s cough behind it. “What you want?”

“Mr. Beadle sent me this way. You open?” Fred asked.

“You got money?”

“‘Course.”

“It’s a dollar a poke—extra for anything else,” the woman said.

Buck pulled Fred back. “You can’t be serious, Fred. A dollar’s cheap even for here—this is disgusting. We can’t do this!”

“Cheap is good—it’s why I came out here tonight. I’m getting some western refreshment like it or not. You jinxed us at cards—at least give me this thrill.” Fred shoved Buck out of the way. “Let us in then, ma’am!”

The door opened, almost falling on them. The woman pushed it back in place. “My name’s Miss Ginny, sir. Come in.” Her doe eyes went to Buck lingering in the shadows. “Are you comin’ or ain’t you?”

PREVIOUS EPISODE of WEARY OF RUNNING

 

THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES

“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her book down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”

Fiction: Blood Brothers

“The night is running along and I want a good time—for your sake—to educate you. I can’t stand you leading such a morbid, saintly life,” Fred groaned.

Buck was disappointed at the stables. With most of the army out looking for Geronimo, the stable owner feared for his safety and ordered that no one be let in after dark so Buck had to stay out with Fred.

“I’ve dreamed of this night, Buck. In the dream I come into town on a white mount and with an officer’s jacket after slaughtering a pile of Indians.”

Buck laughed at Fred’s childish notions. Fred, happy to make his brother smile, threw his arm over Buck’s shoulder. “Point us in the right direction, my boy.”

“There is no right direction here, but there’s the Buckskin.”

“Bully!” Fred ran ahead. “Come on!”

Buck followed, dreading their entrance. Fred dragged him into the noisy saloon. “Don’t be yellow.”

“I’m not!”

Fred met each hard stare with an arrogant smirk and pushed to the bar. “Give everyone a drink on me,” Fred ordered and turned to the small crowd of roughs, soldiers, and miners. “Gentlemen, I’m here for my sister’s wedding and would like you all to share in my happiness. You soldiers probably know my brother, Buck.”

The group of soldiers turned away.

“Well, anyway, Buck may look bad, but he’s all right. Let the next two rounds prove it.”

The men brightened at the promise, but Buck whispered, “Fred, how much money have you?”

“Plenty. Now take a drink. Even Jesus drank wine—God, I can’t believe I’m saying that. Go on, drink up.”

Buck threw back the whiskey and swallowed hard. Before long Fred played the best of friends with two surprisingly well-educated miners and a few well-spoken soldiers. Fred had no tolerance for stupidity and froze out any less than adequate conversationalists with his haughty manners and large vocabulary. Buck fell into his old role as quiet observer, waiting for something to happen.

A miner kept glancing at Buck. Finally he asked, “What happened to your sidekick? Looks like he’s been through a meat grinder. Isn’t there any way you can cover yourself?”

“You dare talk about my brother that way? You lousy piece of shit! My brother here was shot by an Apache so you thieves can scrape riches from Indian land!” Fred replied.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize …”

“What? That you’re an ignorant son of a bitch?”

“Hey, you better calm down, mister. I’ve got a gun and I’ll use it,” the miner said.

Fred flashed his own weapon, resting it up against the man’s shining temple. “Try me, you little shit.”

“Fred, calm down,” Buck whispered.

“I am calm. No one’s going to get away with hurting you on my watch.”

“I’m not hurt. I’m fine.”

The man with the gun to his head fainted.

Fred shook his head. “What a jackass.” He kicked the man out of the way and ordered another drink for the soldiers, but they declined and soon excused themselves, dragging with them the humiliated miner.

“Bully,” Fred said. “This is just bully. See, Buck, see how it’s done? I’m teaching you valuable lessons.”

Buck sighed. “We should go.”

PREVIOUS EPISODE

THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES

“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her book down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”

Fiction: Provoking Talk

“Be on alert now, boys,” cautioned the teamster. “This is where the bandits cut my friend down not two weeks ago.”

“Be on alert,” Buck remembered. “Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.”  He took a deep breath. He must try to have faith. The huge, dark sky terrified him. If there was no God then what did he have? He couldn’t go back to his old life. Maybe everything was just luck and happenstance or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe everything came down to behavior, or it didn’t.

Buck’s life felt different since accepting Jesus—but how could he be sure it wasn’t just wishful thinking? Maybe the stories were fake. Maybe there were no real men named Paul, John, or Peter … but Paul—how could he write so passionately, so compellingly about a fake savior? And all of those centuries after, filled with lives changed and artwork created and, yes, the very hope and peace that came to Buck, a nobody, traveling in the gloomy Arizona desert. Without God, he’d fall into despair. All else seemed shallow and worthless compared to the promises he was just now reading about and beginning to understand. Forgetting himself, he whispered, “I am so thankful, God, that you made them all write it down.”

“What are you saying, Buck?” Fred asked.

“Do you believe in God at all?”

“What? Well, sure, I guess. Whatever you say,” Fred said, the whites of his eyes narrowing as if to prevent an annoying light from entering.

“The things we did together in the past … we’re forgiven.”

“Great. Now what’s the name of the infamous watering hole in town?”

“The Buckskin. We should go back and spend time with the family,” Buck suggested.

“Are you joking? I rode all the way out here with them fools. I need a damned break and a good lay.”

“Oh, Fred, come on. You said I’d be home early.”

“My God, it’s like you’re an old lady. Listen, I do want to hear about your God thing. I admit I don’t understand it. I don’t mean to be aggressive with you, but it’s been a long journey and the last few months of school were very hard on me, having to get everyone sorted out so you could have a chance at success in life. One night out will make all the difference. I need to make some changes too, and maybe, just maybe you’re the one to help.” Fred took a sip of whiskey. “It just occurred to me that this whole conversion thing … well it could be that God is working through you to get to me!”

“I don’t think so.” Buck grit his teeth. What if the one and only purpose for Buck’s conversion was to influence Fred? God was his sanctuary. Buck worried that Fred, if converted, would be a better Christian than he was.

“Buck, are you all right?”

“I’m just thinking.”

“Oh, hell, you do too much of that. Let life play out a little on its own. You’d be surprised at how much fun it can be.”

The teamster laughed. “Yer brother’s right there. Life only gets worse as you get old like me. I got three marriages to awful jezebels behind me—very unaccepting women, schemers in their thinkin’—so I came west and I had me some very nice times.”

“See, Buck, listen to the old saw.”

The man snapped his reins. “Yep. Well, I can’t get it up no more.”

Buck glanced at Fred with a smug smile.

george elbert burr“Yep, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was dead tomorra. I piss blood. Have done for a while now. Old age ain’t no picnic, so live it up while you can.”

“How old are you?” Buck asked.

“Thirty-eight.”

Buck took a deep breath. “Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?”

Fred punched Buck’s arm hard.

The man chuckled. “‘Course. Many times, but it ain’t done nothin’ fer me. I’m fine on my own.”

Buck cleared his throat. “Well, you need to make peace if you’re going to die.”

“Look, kid, I don’t know if I’m dyin.’ I was just makin’ talk. I ain’t wantin’ any preachin’.”

“It’s just that God will forgive your adulterous ways if you believe!” Buck said.

Fred punched him again.

Buck shoved him back, explaining, “But in Ezekiel it says if I don’t speak out to the wicked they’ll die for their sin, and I’ll be held accountable for their blood.”

“I don’t have to take this no more. Get out of my wagon! The both of you!” the teamster cursed them.

“But, sir!” Fred begged.

“No, get out with your ugly friend,” the teamster ranted. “You promised me no trouble!”

“Jesus isn’t trouble at all,” Buck said, but Fred dragged him from the wagon.

The teamster dashed off toward town, leaving the two in the dark.

“God damn it, Buck. You’re plumb loco! Now we’re in the goddamned middle of nowhere!”

“You shouldn’t keep using God’s name in vain …” Buck said.

“What? You’re crazy!” Fred went to slap Buck’s face, but Buck blocked him and took hold of his arm.

“I will never allow you to touch me again,” Buck said.

“Oh, what will you do about it?” Fred asked pulling his arm from Buck with a confident sneer.

“I’ll stop being your brother. I don’t need you anymore. I don’t need you!” Buck followed the moonlit trail to town. It was too late to turn back. A friend at the stables might let Buck sleep there.

Fred trotted beside him. “Come on, don’t be so hard. Of course we’ll always be brothers. And I guess you did us a favor. The teamster didn’t take his fare so there’s more money for us.”

Buck marched on.

PREVIOUS EPISODE

THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES

“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her book down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”