Welcome to the Courage Chronicles – a Scavenger Hunt/Blog Hop where you might win 5 marvelous books and one mediocre painting! (Haha!)

Here’s the skinny – Follow 5 authors as we collaborate on a painting (from LetsMakeArt) and talk about what courage means in our lives. Visit all 5 blogs and find the answers to the questions on the entry form. From the completed forms, one winner will be chosen to win 5 books (one from each author), as well as the painting that they collaborated on.

How fun is that? So, let’s get started.

Read this courageous portion of The Lieutenant’s Bargain, then watch the video for clues:

Hattie was just about to return to the coach when she heard a loud cracking noise. What were they doing now? Trying to rush her? She arranged the hood of her coat down snuggly over her chestnut hair and planted her foot on a high shelf of red clay. Another loud pop—a couple, in fact. The top of the stagecoach came into view as she climbed up. The driver crouched in his seat.

“Stay down,” he yelled, waving her away.

“What?” She caught the edge of her hood to keep the wind from snatching it.

The leather window covering flapped open, and a pistol emerged. Smoke puffed out of it, then a second later, a sharp crack split the air. Agent Gibson was shooting at someone, and Mr. Sloane was right behind him. The door opened, and the agent used it to shield himself as he continued to return fire.

Hattie felt the blood drain from her face. It couldn’t be. The hard dirt scraped her cheek as she hugged the ledge. The driver had turned and taken up the reins. With his arms flapping, he egged the horses forward.

“Wait…” All her paints and canvases were on that stage. They couldn’t leave her behind.

But then she saw the horseman racing toward them. The driver of the coach was hunched over the reins, urging the team forward, when he stiffened, then slumped to the side. The stage’s horses jerked into motion even as he fell out of his seat.  

Hattie ducked out of sight. No. Why? Suddenly the boorish men she’d been traveling with didn’t seem so bad, and they needed help. But what could she do?

Another shot made her rise up just in time to see Agent Gibson topple out of the door as the stage careened away. She could only see the back of the outlaw, but she could feel his deadly intent as he walked his horse slowly toward the crumpled figure.

If Agent Gibson wasn’t dead already, he would be in the time it took to twitch a trigger finger. She rested her chin against the ledge. Why was she considering such a reckless act? She didn’t owe the agent anything.

Before she could think better of it, Hattie stood to her full height and waved her mittened hand over her head.

“Over here!” How small her voice sounded on the prairie. How frail. But it was enough. The killer led with his pistol as he turned his horse toward her. His nose twitched like a dog on the scent, and his mouth hung open like he was tasting the air. 

Of all the dumb decisions Hattie had made in her life, this was the worst. She might have bought Agent Gibson a few minutes to make his peace, but at what price?

With a quick prayer for the men scattered above her on the plain, Hattie dropped to the dry creek bed and ran down the narrow corridor of the gully, following its twists and curves, looking for a way to save her life.

Now the Video:

And finally, the contest entry: The Courage Chronicles Entry Form

The event is open from 5/6 to 5/10, with the final giveaway closing 5/17. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. The posts are located at:

Regina’s Post – You’re here!

Sarah’s Post – Available Tuesday

Amanda’s Post – Available Wednesday

Karen’s Post – Available Thursday

Joanne’s Post – Available Friday

Thank you for participating, and God bless!



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