Thursday Snippets – Tracy Krauss – #excerpt

Today, Tracy Krauss is sharing an excerpt of her latest Astraea  Press novel, Wind Over Marshdale.

Wind over Marshdale book CoverBlurb:

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens.  A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.


Thomas  shot  up  in  bed,  panting.  The  T-shirt  he  wore  clung

to   his   body   with   sweat.   It   was   not   the   first   time   the   dream   had

come  to  wake  him.

He  took  a  deep  breath,  disentangled  himself  from  the  sheets,

and  rose  to  get  a  drink  of  water.  No  point  going  back  to  bed  now.

He  wouldn’t  sleep  anyway.  He  padded  down  the  narrow  hallway,

passing   the   half   closed   doorways   that   sheltered   his   sleeping

children.  Ducking   to  avoid   hitting   his  head  as   he  entered   the   tiny

kitchen,   he   paused   for   a   moment   to   look   at   the   expanse   of

landscape   beyond   the   window.  Mostly   flat,   with   a   rise   of   gently

rolling  hills  in  the  distance,  it  was  clothed  with  a  carpet  of  rippling

grass  except  for  the  odd  patch  of  dry  fallow.  Just  like  in  the  dream.

The   early  morning   sunrise   was   just   beginning   to   filter   in,

reaching  to  shed  some  light  in  the  shadowed  corners  of  the  room.

Thomas  had  managed   to   rent   a  house   near   the  outskirts  of   town.

Correction.  It  wasn’t  exactly  a  house.  The  realtor  called  it  a  “double

wide.”  Okay,  it  was  a  trailer,  but  it  was  the  only  property  for  rent  in

Marshdale   at   the  moment.  At   least,   that  was  what   the   realtor  had

said.  It  wasn’t  the  nicest  place—rather  dingy  if  truth  be  told—and  it

was  farther  from  school  than  Thomas  would  have  liked,  but  it  was

still   within   walking   distance.   Better   than   the   overcrowded   and

dilapidated  homes  he’d  been  used  to  as  a  child.

But  that  was  another  time.  Another  life.

He  was  here  now,  for  better  or  for  worse,  and  the  people  of

Marshdale  would  just  have  to  accept  it.  He  was  Thomas  Lone  Wolf,

proud  of  his  Cree  ancestry,  and  determined  to  do  something  about

it.  As  a  community  liaison,  he’d  worked  with  dozens  of  indigenous

groups   all   over   the   western   provinces   trying   to   set   up   business

propositions.  This  time  was  different,  though.  It  was  personal.

With   practiced   fingers   he   undid   his   nighttime   braid   and

shook  out  his  hair,  which  fell  well  past  his  shoulders.  Even  at  forty,

there  was  no  sign  of  graying  or  hair  loss.  It  was  straight,  coarse  and

black,  just  like  his  ancestors’ – he  was  the  perfect  picture  of  a  Cree


Now   that   he   was   awake,   he   allowed   himself   to   replay   the

dream  in  his  mind – at  least  the  parts  that  he  could  remember.  Like

most  dreams,  the  initial  clarity  soon  faded  after  just  a  few  waking

moments.   There   were   buffalo – always   buffalo.  And   they   seemed

bent  on  suicide,  careening  to  their  deaths  before  he  could  stop  them


He  was  going   to   start   writing   it  down.  The   theme  was   too

familiar;  the  mixture  of  fear  and  power  too  real.  Some  people  said

you  dreamt  in  black  and  white.  Thomas  wasn’t  sure  about  that.  He

knew  there  was  blood  in  his  dream – and  lots  of  it.  The  redness  of  it

stood  out  in  stark  contrast  to  the  muted  prairie  landscape.  And  the

stench.  That  unmistakable  metallic  scent  filled  his  nostrils  to  such  a

degree   that   he   could  almost   swear  he   still   smelled   it.  Almost.  But

that  was  ridiculous  and  he  pushed  the  memory  of  the  coagulating

stains  out  of  his  mind.

With   a   sigh   he   turned   back   to   the   cupboards   and   started

readying  the  coffee.  It  would  soon  be  time  to  wake  the  children  and

get   ready   for  work  himself.  Another  grueling  day  of   lobbying   for

something  that  should  be  rightfully  his  to  begin  with.  Reality  didn’t

stop  for  dreams.

Get your copy at:

Astraea Press

Amazon –

Barnes and Noble –


  1. Thanks for the feature Joselyn. Blessings to you. 🙂


  2. Excellent excerpt!


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