Pre Readers Needed!

I’m hoping to publish my next book by the end of the month and I would like for a few of my friends to read over it and make suggestions. Grammar, spelling, clarity, story flow, etc.

Here’s an excerpt:

The small group made its way closer to our little barn and seemed intent upon exploring. I slid behind the manger and shrank against the back wall of the barn. Steven joined me and I could hear him softly praying.

Footsteps tramped through the tall grass near the door and into the packed dirt of the barn. From my vantage point, I could see several pairs of boots as the men entered. They still talked and laughed, just men enjoying a sunny morning during a brutal war.

“Ol’ Rooney would have never been promoted to major if his daddy wasn’t the commander,” a high-pitched, nasal voice was saying as they walked in, “He is just riding daddy’s coattails.”

“That’s probably true,” answered another soldier, “but at least he knows his right hand from his left!”

The group laughed, obviously at the high-pitch voiced soldier’s expense. He joined in, his laugh distinguished from the others by that same high-pitched, nasal tone.

Sweat rolled into my left eye, stinging. I resisted the intense urge to wipe my forehead, knowing that any movement could cause our precarious shelter to shift and betray our position.

My senses were on high alert. It seemed that time slowed, and every experience was thoroughly felt. The stinging of my eye, the dry scent of old dust being stirred, the sharp pain of an ant biting my lower leg near my ankle, all were felt intensely.

Fear constricted my throat, making it difficult to swallow. When I did swallow, it sounded much too loud to my sensitive ears.

The Rebel soldiers milled around in the barn, examining the old planks, and commenting on the disrepair. One of the soldiers had evidently lived in this area and delighted in telling his mates about visiting this old barn a few years ago.

“It was in bad shape then, too,” he was saying, “But, I think it is worse now. That stack of planks at the back was not there then. It seems strange that they would have fallen like that, though.”

I watched in horror as two pairs of boots began to walk toward our hiding place. Steven’s eyes were closed tightly, and his whispered prayer had gone silent.

“Look over here,” interjected a triumphant voice I had not heard previously, “it’s a nest of baby rabbits!”

The two pairs of boots halted and turned. Excited conversation ensued as the men discussed the idea of taking them and taming the rabbits. They talked about eating rabbit stew once the rabbits grew a bit.

The two men closest to us joined the conversation from their place, several paces from the other group. Once the initial excitement had died down, they again turned, and the awful thud of their footsteps seemed to thunder toward us.

Suddenly, the clear sound of a bugle called through the late morning air.

Map of Civil War Richmond

This story takes place in Civit, with trips back in time to Elisha Browne’s experience in the American Civil War. It involves a daring escape from Belle Isle Prison Camp.

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