Fiction Fest: Last-chance freebie sneak peek at Carla Kelly’s ‘Softly Falling’

Softly-Falling_9781462113958Did you know that the original title of Carla Kelly’s latest novel, “Softly Falling,” was “Softly Falling Snow”? After coming up with a long list of alternate titles, the Cedar Fort Publishing & Media team had a brainstorm. Why not just call it “Softly Falling” to allude to the falling snow that plays a central role in the story and the falling in love of the main characters?

And so it became.

This historical fiction tale is the latest in a long line of bestsellers from Kelly, who is a two-time Rita Award recipient. “Softly Falling” is available in bookstores and from online retailers.

EXCERPT:

From the author: Lily’s father has left for Wisner, because he has a meeting in Cheyenne related to the Land and Cattle Company. Jack and his hands are on the range. Lily is teaching in her Temple of Education, the little school named by the students.

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Lily had her children clear their slates and turned to the blackboard again. “Spelling words,” she said as she printed. “Copy each word three times and…”

That was odd. Sudden movement caught her eye as the winter count buffalo robe began to flap. The morning had been growing steadily colder, and she had gotten used to the slight motion of the winter count robe. She glanced at the robe and watched it move faster, standing out from the poorly chinked wall. Wind, wind go away, she thought, come again another day. But now the wind was moaning almost like a living thing. She felt the hairs on her arms rise.

The students were copying her words, unmindful of the wind, until the room began to darken. Chantal looked up, startled, then Amelie and Luella. Nick was on his feet, uneasiness written all over his face. Only great force of will kept Lily from crying out when the building began to shake with the fury of a storm, and not just any storm.

She hurried to the only window, a south-facing one, and watched in wide-eyed horror as their little world vanished behind a curtain of snow. They could have been in the middle of Mongolia, colored pink on their world map, which was fluttering too.

Lily thought of her father, grateful he was probably in Wisner by now. She thought of Jack Sinclair and the other men and hoped they had taken shelter. Her thoughts returned to Jack. “You were right,” she whispered, knowing she would never be heard above the wind.