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Billie A. Williams
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There was a ruckus in the marsh ahead. It sounded to him like a big black bear crashing through the woods. Charging straight at him. Josh quickly hunkered down in a mass of scrub oak. The beast charged right at his hiding place, crashing out of the woods storming at him like his tail was a fire. Snorting and puffing, the biggest buck he ever saw, leaped over a fallen tree spattering mud and snow straight over Josh’s head. An arrow bounced from his left shoulder. It caught on some brush and dropped to the ground. Josh heard footsteps, someone was tracking the deer, and panic held his stomach in its icy grip. He scurried deeper into the brush as he saw the tall Ute Indian.
“They’d as soon scalp a white man as look at him,” his friend’s words echoed in his head.
A tall Indian, dressed in buckskin, slipped through the trees as silent as a breeze. He stopped where the arrow lay in the snow, the tip glistening in the sun. A shiver walked icy fingers up Josh’s spine. He tried not to move or breathe. The tall, shadowy figure moved back in his direction looking for signs which way the deer had gone--or did he know Josh hid in the brush? Josh shivered at the thought. He closed his eyes and held his breath, peering out through a tiny slit. If the Indian came his way he was prepared to run for his life. Instead, the Indian slipped the arrow into his quiver. Then he sped off, barely making a sound in the packed leaves and snow covering the forest floor.
For a long time Josh lay in the brush hardly daring to breathe. He listened for any sound. Did the Indian leave or did he smell Josh? They had incredible powers Pa had told him. His friends at school talked about them finding game, where white men had already hunted, by the smell of fear. Josh sure felt fear; did he smell like it, too? That made him feel worse ‘cause he was more afraid than he ever was. Did that Indian smell him? Was he lurking, waiting for Josh to run? He shivered; he was cold, hungry and scared out of his wits. There was no one to help him. Darkness fell like someone dropped a pail over the sun. It was a long moment before the moon washed the darkness with a milky glow. He uncurled from his tight huddle, stretching his stiff legs carefully so as not to disturb the brush too much. Then he flopped over on his belly and listened. Inch by inch he snaked out of his hiding place. Watching carefully with each forward motion, he scanned the deep brush for signs of the Indian. An owl hooted. It startled Josh so. He jumped without another thought about being seen; he shuddered and took off running. Night was no time to be alone in the deep woods. Wild ferocious animals are everywhere, he thought as he charged through the brush. He didn’t want to think what might be lurking in the shadows, looking for an easy meal. Or where the Indian might be waiting to grab him.
Shielding his face from the brambles and oak brush with his arm, he ran. The brush now filled with shapes that looked like wild animals that clawed at his half-frozen face. He stumbled over rocks and fallen trees. He sped along, running, hoping by some chance he would run out of the woods and into the clearing by his home. He raced mindlessly until his chest hurt. There was a full moon up high now. It should have helped him find his way if he had been thinking proper; instead it cast an eerie glow. Nothing looked familiar. Josh didn’t know which direction home was or how far away it was. He wondered if the Indian tales he had heard were true.
The guys at school had said the souls of the dead lived in the wind of the trees. Was that what he heard whispering and squeaking? Was it spirits of the dead? Were they coming to get him? He had no idea what ghosts did with people they caught, but it couldn’t be good. Maybe it was a coyote or some other wild animal hot on his trail. Could be a coyote, or a mountain lion, a grizzly. He had seen animals skirting the clearing, just outside the woods at home. They were chasing rabbits or deer across the field. The woods must be full of them.
Josh didn’t have time to think, all he knew was he needed to keep going. His lungs hurt. "Can’t stop now. Got to get home," he said. "Yeow!" he squealed as his foot snagged on a tree root and he stumbled. The stumble cost him his balance and Josh lost his footing on some wet leaves and skated, trying to keep upright. He toppled over like a dead tree felled by the wind. Down, down, down the hill he tumbled. Branches grabbed at him, scratching and slapping his face and arms. He felt a sharp pain as his head skipped from a tree trunk to a boulder. Ghostly, gnarled trees reached out for him as he rolled by them. Finally, he stopped rolling. Big bear shapes stood silent, watching him.
Award winning Mystery/Suspense author Billie A Williams is a fiction, non-fiction and poetry author and has won numerous contests for her short/flash fiction stories, essays, and poetry. She is published in various magazines such as the literary magazine Thema; Guide, a Magazine for Children, Novel Advice.com, Writing Etc. WritingNow.com, and Women In The Arts newsletter as well as Sister’s in Crime, to list but a few.
Her articles, columns and features have appeared regularly in newspapers. Short stories, Flash fiction, poetry and book reviews have appeared in Mystery Time, True Love Magazine and various anthologies and on line e-zines and web sites. She writes a bi-monthly column titled “Whodunit?” for Mystery Fiction’s Voices in the Dark and is a contributing editor for Writingnow.com a Blueberry Press Newsletter. She also hosts her own writer’s group, Word Mage. She is an active blogger; http://printedwords.blogspot.com and http://onewomansgarden.blogspot.com , as well as owning and operating a Book Club for serialized chapters of her Novel The Capricorn Goat~~January Flannel available for free to those who sign up for her mailing list http://www.billiewilliams.com/BOOKCLUB.html and a Free Writer’s course at Pens In Motion http://www.pensinmotion.com , a five week series of writing lessons pulled from her three published books on writing how to write and two currently being developed.
Williams is currently a member of The Wisconsin Regional Writers Association (WRWA) National Association of Women Writers (NAWW) Sister’s in Crime, Women in the Arts Program, Electronically Published Internet Connection (EPIC). Her website www.billiewilliams.com
She lives with her husband in Amberg, a small Northern Wisconsin community where the winters are cold and long, but the people are warm and friendly.
Billie A. Williams has breathed life into a believable set of characters you'll love or love to hate. The story is packed with enthralling plot twists that keep the reader glued to the page as the dark dynamics of relationships and crime unfold. Death by Candlelight holds rare delights in store for the murder mystery lover., --Susan J. Letham, http://www.Inspired2Write.com
What is innocence? What is guilt? And who is really to blame for the death of Randolph Ord III?
A domineering mother, a spoiled son, and a woman who dreams of a husband, a child, and a home. The characters in Death by Candlelight are familiar, and that's what lends them their appeal. You may sympathize with them. You may despise them. But Ms. Williams brings them to life so vividly they won't leave you cold.
The gripping murder investigation in Death by Candlelight takes the 'whodunnit and how?' a step further and explores the shades of gray that make up the 'why?' Billie Williams has studied her craft and knows how to keep a reader turning pages. The plot is substantial and full of clever surprises.
The smoothly-paced story unfolds to reveal, little by little, a dramatic tale of twisted family relationships, crime, love, envy and death: the perfect mix for a murder mystery. -- Susan J. Letham, http://www.Inspired2Write.com
Death by Candlelight portrays the unbending force upon humans to repeat generational cycles of abusers and victims. Cycles that love, faith or hope can rarely supersede. Yet, with the unraveling of a murder, we are still left with a glimmer of hope. , -- Shelly Moloney, Author Star Slurry
DEATH BY CANDLELIGHT is a fast-paced read filled with a diverse cast of characters who each have their own motives for murder. Just when you think you've hit the calm after the storm, Williams' story takes the reader in a new and more intriguing direction. -- Shirley Kawa-Jump, THE VIRGIN’S PROPOSAL, Silhouette Romance, January 2003, Writing classes: email@example.com
Death By Candlelight,, The story? TERRIFIC. I could hardly wait to finish it.. reminds me of Sydney Sheldon.... --Judy Bozicevich, Administrative Assistant, Edward Jones Company
Every time I thought I had Death by Candlelight figured out, Williams threw in a new twist that left me thinking, I DIDN'T see that coming! Death By Candlelight isn't so much a "Who-Done-It" as it is a character driven story filled with more twists than a Colorado mountain road. It's a quick read without any lulls in the action. Death by Candlelight is a fabulous first novel by Wisconsin writer, Billie Williams. Be sure to watch her career--I'm sure we'll hear from her again--at least I hope we do! -- Beth Erickson, http://filbertpublishing.com
Fire At Thunder Ridge: “Bloody footprints in the snow--the most puzzling fire I’ve ever heard about--once wasn’t enough for this book. I had to go back & read it a second time to admire Billie Williams’ inventiveness & vivid imagery all over again.” -- Fran Keighley, Golden Wings Award winning author.”
…I think the best word to describe Fire at Thunder Ridge is "thrilling." With action, suspense, and intrigue, Fire at Thunder Ridge is a mystery-suspense to keep the reader hooked until they finish the last page… Fire at Thunder Ridge is exciting and very suspenseful. I highly recommend it!, -- Beverley Bateman, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.beverleybateman.com, It's only a step from caring to killing
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 152
Paper Weight (lb): 9.5
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