Someone to Share the Sunsets
On her way to Texas at the close of the Civil War, Allison Nordstrom stops at a farm to return to his only surviving brother, the personal effects of a prisoner she once nursed. But instead of a warm welcome, she is met by a drunken, embittered man with a loaded gun.
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Someone to Share the Sunsets is a beautifully written rosette. The emotions are so raw and ever changing and you feel each character's mood with the flow of the story. Kathy did a great job of bringing subtle humor in a dark time and not letting the darkness override the story." -Reviewed by Rosalyn Zamot, Historical Romance Club, Rated 4 Stars
"...this was a completely satisfying read... It is easily one of the strongest short stories I've read in a long time. Someone to Share the Sunsets is a little gem, and close to the perfect short story. Definitely a keeper" Reviewed by Singapore Sling @ Cocktail Reviews Rated 1 Champagne Bottle--Cocktail Reviews
"The action is very surprising, and unpredictable. This American historical offers us wonderful characters and a delightful window into the past" Reviewed by Snapdragon @ LASR Rated 3 Books--Long and Short Reviews
"Romantic and touching I was moved by the pain of Jackson wanting to know how his brother died. Allie showed she was strong and resilient heading all the way out there to meet a man she knew nothing about. I will be looking for more from Kathy Otten" Reviewed by Krystal @ FAR Rated 4 Angels--Fallen Angel Reviews
Bang! Allison Nordstrom shrieked as a chunk of dirt splattered into a cloud of red dust a few inches to the left of her right foot. She dove for the cover of the nearest bush, dropping her small satchel at the edge of the drive. Cautiously, she lifted her head and peered through the scraggly branches toward the porch of the farm house from which the shot originated.
She could see him, sitting on the top step, Colt revolver in hand, a half-empty bottle of whiskey beside his left hip. Dark brown hair hung nearly to his shoulders. He hadn’t shaved in days and wore the tattered gray pants of a confederate cavalry uniform.
The white railing which had once charmed the front porch was gone. Only a few jagged spindles remained to jut from the weathered floorboards like stalagmites in a cave.
When she’d asked directions in Mayville, people warned her not to come. Jackson Cameron was out of his head, mad as a hatter, gone off the deep end. Funny, Allie thought, he hadn’t seemed so in his letters.
Bravely, she called out. “Mr. Cameron? You’re making a mistake. My name is Mrs. Robert Nord....”
Bang! A bullet grazed the side of an oak tree, raining bits of bark down on Allie’s little bush. She dropped to her knees. For goodness sake, she hadn’t hidden behind the shrubbery like this since she was six years old.
“No mistake!” His voice was deep, his words slightly slurred. Allie shivered. It would have been nice if someone had told her he was a drunkard as well.
“No carpetbaggers allowed! Now get the hell outta here!” For emphasis he fired again.
“But Mr. Cameron, I am not a carpetbagger!”
“You’re a Yankee!”
Allie wondered what she had been thinking when she decided to make this quick trip. She drew a deep breath and shouted. “I never would have come if your brother had told me how disagreeable you were!”
“My brother is dead!” Bitterness laced each word.
“I know.” Allie yelled back, relieved he had stopped shooting. “I’m sorry for your loss, but Beau was my friend.”
There was a long pause. Jackson Cameron grew so still Allie cautiously inched higher. The barrel of his revolver pointed down. He stared at her through the branches of her hiding place.
“You knew Beau?” His drawl had lost its harsh edge. A wistful quality now resonated in the deep Southern tones.
She rose and stepped from behind the bush. She took a moment to tuck a few wisps of blonde hair back under her bonnet and to shake out the front of her dark green skirt. It was a good thing she decided not to wear a crinoline while traveling. Hoops and whalebone would not have worked well for diving into the brush.
“I was a nurse at Chesapeake Hospital near Fort Monroe. I took care of Beau before he died.”
For several long, unnerving seconds he stared at her. “You’re the one who sent me the letter.”
“Yes. I’m Allison Nordstrom.”
He stood and slid his pistol into its leather holster. With a wave of his right arm, he gestured her forward. “Well, come-on up. I don’t bite.”