Wind Over Marshdale

October 15th, 2012. Filed under: WILD Cards.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:


Tracy Krauss


and the book:


Wind Over Marshdale
Astraea Press (June 11, 2012)

***Special thanks to Tracy Krauss for sending me a review copy.***



Tracy Krauss is a prolific author with several romantic suspense novels and stage plays in print. She is also an artist, director and teacher. She holds a B.Ed degree from the University of Saskatchewan and, after raising four children, now resides in British Columbia, Canada.
Visit the author’s website.


Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.



Product Details:

List Price: $2.99

File Size: 556 KB

Publisher: Astraea Press (June 11, 2012)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Language: English



Rachel escaped her past rotten relationship by moving to Marshfield and swearing off men.

But did she really? She’s met two men who stir her emotions, but still seems confused by their actions.

They’re both Christians. Rachel is not. Plus, she’s hot to trot right now and can’t figure out why these men aren’t jumping on that opportunity.

Then when one does jump she turns into an ice queen. Talk about sending mixed signals. The town of Marshdale might be small, but it does have it’s share of interesting characters.

As the secrets started coming out, I wondered if there would be any survivors. You’ll have to read this book to find out.

By the way, you’re going to need a few of those tissues before you finish this book.


“Alas, sinful nation; people weighed down with iniquity. Offspring

of evil doers; sons who act corruptly. They have abandoned the

Lord…they have despised the Holy One…

Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your

sins be like scarlet, they will be as white as snow.”

Isaiah 1: 4 & 18 (NASB)

Chapter One

A whispered breath skimmed across the long prairie grass like a

giant invisible hand stroking the fur of a silken feline. The screech of an

eagle echoed through the valley as it dipped and glided above the river. The

rounded slopes of the bank rose above the swiftly flowing water while

small clumps of trees clustered nearby but for the most part the land

stretched uninterrupted toward the horizon.
In the distance, a faint rumbling could be heard. It began to shake

the earth as it drew nearer. A cloud of dust accompanied the approaching

mass. Hooves pounded. Nostrils dilated. Eyes reddened with fear. The

musky stench of sweat mixed with the heat and dust.
The huge beasts moved en masse toward the precipice. Thousands

of shaggy heads bobbed in unison as the herd of bison stampeded forward.

As if in slow motion, they continued on, up and over the sharp bank of the

river into the ravine below. One by one, they hurtled forward, oblivious to

the fate that awaited them, as they toppled headlong to their deaths.

Thomas shot up in bed, panting. The T-shirt he wore clung

to his body with sweat. It was not the first time the dream had

come to wake him.
He took a deep breath, disentangled himself from the sheets,

and rose to get a drink of water. No point going back to bed now.

He wouldn’t sleep anyway. He padded down the narrow hallway,

passing the half closed doorways that sheltered his sleeping

children. Ducking to avoid hitting his head as he entered the tiny

kitchen, he paused for a moment to look at the expanse of

landscape beyond the window. Mostly flat, with a rise of gently

rolling hills in the distance, it was clothed with a carpet of rippling

grass except for the odd patch of dry fallow. Just like in the dream.
The early morning sunrise was just beginning to filter in,

reaching to shed some light in the shadowed corners of the room.

Thomas had managed to rent a house near the outskirts of town.

Correction. It wasn’t exactly a house. The realtor called it a “double

wide.” Okay, it was a trailer, but it was the only property for rent in

Marshdale at the moment. At least, that was what the realtor had

said. It wasn’t the nicest place—rather dingy if truth be told—and it

was farther from school than Thomas would have liked, but it was

still within walking distance. Better than the overcrowded and

dilapidated homes he’d been used to as a child.
But that was another time. Another life.
He was here now, for better or for worse, and the people of

Marshdale would just have to accept it. He was Thomas Lone Wolf,

proud of his Cree ancestry, and determined to do something about

it. As a community liaison, he’d worked with dozens of indigenous

groups all over the western provinces trying to set up business

propositions. This time was different, though. It was personal.
With practiced fingers he undid his nighttime braid and

shook out his hair, which fell well past his shoulders. Even at forty,

there was no sign of graying or hair loss. It was straight, coarse and

black, just like his ancestors’ – he was the perfect picture of a Cree

Now that he was awake, he allowed himself to replay the

dream in his mind – at least the parts that he could remember. Like

most dreams, the initial clarity soon faded after just a few waking

moments. There were buffalo – always buffalo. And they seemed

bent on suicide, careening to their deaths before he could stop them

He was going to start writing it down. The theme was too

familiar; the mixture of fear and power too real. Some people said

you dreamt in black and white. Thomas wasn’t sure about that. He

knew there was blood in his dream – and lots of it. The redness of it

stood out in stark contrast to the muted prairie landscape. And the

stench. That unmistakable metallic scent filled his nostrils to such a

degree that he could almost swear he still smelled it. Almost. But

that was ridiculous and he pushed the memory of the coagulating

stains out of his mind.
With a sigh he turned back to the cupboards and started

readying the coffee. It would soon be time to wake the children and

get ready for work himself. Another grueling day of lobbying for

something that should be rightfully his to begin with. Reality didn’t

stop for dreams.


Rachel Bosworth pulled her car over to the side of the road;

gravel crunching under her tires, and came to a rolling stop. She

put the car in park, pulled the emergency brake into place with a

jerk, and stepped out of the confined, yellow compact. She inhaled

a deep lungful of the late summer air, surveying the picture of

pastoral serenity below.
Marshdale. This was to be her new home. Surrounded by a

patchwork of gold and brown earth, it was an oasis of clustered

houses and well established trees cocooned in a desert of wide

open prairie landscape. Stretched out to the horizon, the summer

sky met with rounded hills.
“Not very big,” Rachel’s friend Sherri noted, joining her on

the outside of the vehicle. “You sure you’re going to manage way

out here all by yourself?”
“I think it’s perfect,” Rachel said with a satisfied smile. “Just

the change I needed.”
“Just the escape, you mean,” Sherri teased.
“Maybe.” Rachel turned to her friend. “Come on, Sherri. I’m

feeling scared enough as it is. This is a big move for me. Besides,

you’re the one who convinced me to move out west in the first

“Yeah, I know. But I meant for you to move to Regina with

Dan and me, not out to some backwoods hole in the wall. They

probably don’t even have cell service, for Pete’s sake!”
“It can’t be as bad as that. The hiring committee said

Marshdale was a totally modern town with all the basic amenities.”
“Yeah? Let’s hope so,” Sherri quipped, shading her eyes

with her hand as she surveyed the town below them.
“Come on, Sherri. You’re my best friend. I need you to be

excited for me. Tell me I made a good decision and that I won’t

regret it,” Rachel begged.
“You’re right, kiddo.” Sherri put on her most encouraging

smile. “It will be nice to see you more often, even if it is a two-hour

Rachel nodded. “What’s a two-hour drive compared to

thousands of miles all the way back to Toronto?”
“Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet some cute farmer and end

up getting married or something.” Sherri shrugged.

“Not interested in men right now, remember? I am here to

become the best kindergarten teacher Marshdale has ever seen.”
“Sorry. That was insensitive of me. I know you’re still

hurting over Rotten Ronny.”
“Who?” Rachel asked, raising a brow.
“That’s the spirit!” Sherri laughed. “Who needs men,

“Better not let Dan hear you talking like that,” Rachel

warned with a chuckle of her own. “Come on. Let’s get going. I can

hardly wait to get my stuff unpacked.”
“I can’t believe you brought so little stuff with you,” Sherri

observed, climbing into the passenger seat.
“I wanted to start fresh.” Rachel put the small standard

vehicle in gear and rolled forward. “Besides, moving a whole lot of

furniture and stuff seemed pointless. I’ve rented this really nice

little basement suite. It’s fully furnished. And that’s what you’re

here for, remember? I need your expert advice on what stuff I need

to buy in the city before school starts next week.”
“Now, shopping is one thing I’m very good at.”
“I know.” Rachel nodded with a grin. “It’s why I brought

you along.”
“Thanks. I thought it was for the company.”
“Of course. That too.” Rachel laughed. She sobered quickly

and glanced over at her friend. “Thanks, Sherri. For everything.”
“What are you talking about?” Sherri waved a dismissive

hand. “I’d be some friend if I didn’t come to your rescue when

“I mean about Ronald. I don’t know how I would have

coped without you there.”
“I know, kid.” Sherri gave Rachel’s hand a squeeze. “That’s

what friends are for. Besides, I’ll expect pay back someday, you

They were nearing the outskirts of the village. A large

carved sign by the side of the road read, “Welcome to Marshdale.”
“I bet people live more freely here,” Rachel stated. “It’s what

I’m hoping for. The simple life.”
“People have problems wherever they go,” Sherri noted. “It

may look all peaceful right now, but I bet they have their share of

troubles, just like everybody else.”
“Yeah, like what? No cell service?” Rachel asked, the corner

of her mouth turning up.
“Now that would be tragic.”
“I know my life isn’t suddenly going to become a bed of

roses,” Rachel admitted. “But it just seems to me that country

living – the slower pace – has to do something to calm people.

Make them less artificial and – you know – less selfish.”
“We can only hope,” Sherri shrugged. “Now come on,

girlfriend. Let’s find that basement suite of yours. If we’re going to

unpack, make a list, and get back to the city before dark, we better

get a move on.”
“Roger that.” Rachel nodded, glancing at the hand-­– sketched

map that was on the dash. She made a left hand turn at the first



The interior of the church was cool, quiet and dim. Just the

way Pastor Todd Bryant liked it. He sat on one of the upholstered

chairs in the sanctuary, allowing the viscosity of stillness to envelop

him like a silky smooth liquid.
Sometimes he wished he could stay in here forever, without

having to go out there. The recently refurbished sanctuary was a

peaceful place compared to the world just outside its double oak

doors. When he had come here just a year ago, he knew the

Marshdale Community Church would be a place of refuge; a place

to rest and strengthen his own weary spirit. A place to hide.
Modern and well kept, the Community Church had the

appearance of comfortable affluence – a testament to God’s favor.

The folks who attended were proud of their commitment to the

Lord’s work in Marshdale and God had blessed them with material

prosperity. They required little actual input from the pastor. Just

keep the ship running smoothly, as instructed by the board, and

everything should be just fine.
Perfect. His less than amiable departure from his last church

had left him feeling just a bit shell-shocked. He needed a place to

hide out for a while. As long as he followed the program…


Another soul sat alone, waiting. The room was dark, the

slatted shades drawn over the open window. The only light came

from three candles burning in their resting places on the pentagram

table top. The air was rich with the heady scent of incense

smoldering in the small, intricately designed brass burner. The

woman breathed deeply. Empty the mind. Allow the inner self to

A sudden breeze whipped into the room, announcing its

entrance with a slap of the wooden slats on the window frame. It

caressed the chimes hanging nearby before darting to tease the

three flames into a flickering dance.
She smiled. Yes. There was so much to share, to enrich the

lives in this town. There were many paths to enlightenment, but

ultimately they all ended one way. It was up to her to release this

narrow-minded and stiff-necked people to accept that.

2 Responses to Wind Over Marshdale

  1. Tracy Krauss

    thanks for taking the time to join the ‘tour’ – I appreciate the review. Blessings to you!

  2. Nancy

    I appreciate having the opportunity to read your book and look forward to the next one.

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