Saturday, October 10, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Low Water Crossing (Sulfur Gap Series #2) by Dana Glossbrenner

LOW WATER CROSSING
Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series
by
DANA GLOSSBRENNER

Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga 
Independently published
Date of Publication: July 19, 2020
Number of Pages: 476

  Scroll down for the giveaway!
Low Water Crossing is a tribute to those who endure heartache and nevertheless celebrate, to those who wait—and live full lives while waiting.

A backhoe unearths a human skeleton buried on Wayne Cheadham’s West Texas ranch. The investigation points a grisly finger at Wayne’s first wife. And so begins the wild ride through twenty-five years of love and heartbreak. 

Wayne’s a highly eligible bachelor who runs into trouble, first because he’s naïve, and next because, well, life is unpredictable. He’s a loveable guy with a peaceful outlook. Just about anyone wants the best for him, dang it. To cope with sadness, he arranges for an old steel-girded bridge to be placed in the dry pasture in front of his house. Says it helps him adjust his perspective. Others say it’s the world’s largest yard ornament. He takes in stray emus and abandoned horses and becomes a mentor to a loveable little boy without much family. He sits and ponders his plight at a low-water crossing over the creek.

A cast of characters from the fictional small West Texas town of Sulfur Gap
the staff of a high school burger shop hangout on the Interstate, coffee groups at the Navaho Café, hair stylists from the Wild Hare, a local sheriff and his deputies, and the band at the local honky-tonkknits together the community surrounding Wayne, and all bring their own quirks. People you’d find anywhere, some with thicker Texas twangs than others. 

The town, the ranch, and familiar Texas cities such as San Angelo, Abilene, and Austin provide a backdrop for universal themes of love, grief, and loyalty.

Cynthia’s Ex Ruins First Date with Wayne

Wayne steps off the porch. Inside, I turn the dead bolt to lock myself in, but the door shoves open, bruising my knuckles. Wayne’s voice is low and urgent.

“Cynthia! Come back out here!”

“What on earth?” Is this a prank?

He pushes in and grabs my arm, pulls me onto the porch. What is this? I almost fall, pulling my arm from of his grasp.

As I muster up a good scream, he says, “Wait, Cynthia! There’s someone in your house!”

“What? No! The girls are with Leo.”

“I mean someone broke in through the kitchen window.” He grabs my waist and we stagger down the front steps to the driveway. The outside screen leans against the bushes, a curtain flaps. Wayne dials 911. “We’re not certain there’s still anyone in there. We’ll wait outside.”

He walks me to his truck. “Hop in. We’ll wait for the cops.”

A few moments later, two cruisers pull to the front of the house, lights flashing. Oh, God, the neighbors will wake up, look out their windows. The nice lady across the street will rue the day she welcomed me to the neighborhood. 

One policeman runs down the driveway and the other enters at the front. Both have guns drawn. 

Lights brighten the living room window. In a moment, a man with his hands cuffed behind him steps onto the porch, escorted by the two officers.

It’s Leo. Why would he crawl through my window? Then it occurs to me. He broke in to get the ring. One of our big rows was about that ring he’d put on my finger and promised to be true. It had been passed down in his family. He told me he wanted it back. I said he could keep his wedding ring, and I would keep mine. He said it’s an heirloom, and I said I’d be sure to pass it on to Eliza or Abby. He said his mother wanted the ring back, and I told him she didn’t have a dog in the fight. 

Leo, stumbling and disheveled, protests. “I’m looking for something that belongs to me!”

He’s drunk. That’s how he convinced himself to do such a stupid thing.

I get out of the truck, and Wayne stays put. 

“Ma’am,” says the tallest policeman, “this guy says he’s your ex-husband. That right?”

“Yes, this is Leo Hastings. Leo, where are the girls?” 

“They’re with Brandy. Ever’body’s asleep.” He slurs and bobs his head like a cockatiel. 

“Oh, how reassuring!” I verge on a scream, but check myself. I look around to see if neighbors’ shocked faces are silhouetted in their windows. 

“Did you drive over here?” the short policeman asks Leo.

Leo thinks. “Yesh. I’m parked down the shtreet.” 

The police escort him to one of the patrol cars. I go in to see if anything is missing. At my bedroom door, I stop. A knot of anger coils in my chest. Every drawer has been ripped out, the contents dumped. The nightstand drawer, though, has a false bottom, where I’ve stored the ring along with other valuables. A more alert thief would have noticed the false bottom and pulled it up to find my treasures, but Leo was too drunk, stumbling around with a weak flashlight.

In the kitchen, the curtain rod sags. There’s dirt in the sink, where Leo stepped. I’m always surprised at the agility of a drunk. Leo can do things drunk that he’d never be able to do sober, like standing on the drainpipe, chinning up, and getting a foot in the sink. I imagine he fell from there. I look for skid marks or some sign of a sliding Leo, but there’s nothing. Rats.

In the front yard, Wayne talks to the police. They lead me to the cruiser. Leo sits in back, his chin on his chest. 

“Nothing’s missing, as far as I can tell.”

Leo’s head wobbles upright. “I’m sorry, Cynthia. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“You were looking for my wedding ring.”

“Well, yeah, but you know I’m not the kind to do this.”

“It’s a new trick for you.”

“I’m really sorry.”

A policeman asks if I want to press charges. 

“Please, Cynthia. Please don’t press charges. It’ll ruin my career.”

“You should have thought of that.”

“I wasn’t thinking. I was drunk. Can we make an arrangement? I’ll try to make it up to you.”

“I can think of an ‘arrangement.’ Give up the damn ring. It’s my wedding ring. Agreed?”

“Okay.” Leo is relieved. He looks up at a policeman. “Uncuff me now?”

“One more thing,” the officer says. “You’re not fit to drive. If you’ll agree to be driven home, we’ll let you off of a drunk and disorderly charge.”

“All right,” Leo says. “How ’bout it Cynthia? Ride home?”

“Wayne might be kind enough.” This will stick the knife a little deeper, but Leo started his own hari-kari. 

The police radios scratch to life, calling them to other duties.

Uncuffed, Leo straightens his corduroy jacket and climbs into the back seat of the crew cab. I’ve locked my house and closed and locked the kitchen window. We’re adults, Wayne and I, driving home a kid that’s gotten in trouble at a party. 

Leo clears his throat. “I met you a couple of weeks ago. But I forget your name.”

“Wayne Cheadham.”

“I’m Leo Hastings.”

“I know.”

Wayne’s voice is even, but his terse replies and a little tinge of warning tell Leo they’re not going to be best friends.
Dana Glossbrenner has lived in West Texas all her life. She is the author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers (non-fiction) and The Lark: Book 1 of the Sulfur Gap Series.

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GIVEAWAY:
Grand Prize: Signed copies of both books in the Sulfur Gap Series by Dana Glossbrenner
Second Winner: Signed copy of Low Water Crossing by Dana Glossbrenner
October 6-16, 2020
(U.S. only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/6/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/7/20

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

10/7/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/8/20

Playlist

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/9/20

Review

Bibliotica

10/10/20

Deleted Scene

All the Ups and Downs

10/11/20

Author Interview

The Page Unbound

10/12/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/13/20

Scrapbook Page

Max Knight

10/14/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/15/20

Review

The Clueless Gent


   
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the visibility of that deleted scene. I hated to see it go, but had to agree it was too much of a good thing! ~Dana Glossbrenner

    ReplyDelete