Welcome to the book tour for A.E. Wasserman’s latest addition The Langsford Mysteries, The Day they Turned Off the Water. Read on for more!
1887 The Day they Turned Off the Water
Publication Day: October 10, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Novella
Length: 170 Pages
Spring 1887. Melting snowpack from the high Sierras will soon turn California’s Central Valley into lush fields, but an armed man with a Sharps rifle shut off a headwater gate to a water-ditch and stood guard. After an unexpected confrontation with Double B Ranch owner, Jake Sanders, along with ranch-hand Kacha, this gunman now lies dead and Jake along with wounded Kacha, are both jailed for murder.
The unscrupulous lobbyist who ‘steals to get the office and who gets the office to steal,” Billy “Boss” Carr, claims to know nothing about the man or the situation, in spite of owning the land where the headwater gate is. Water is profitable for Carr, however, and he is aligned with both the prosecutor and judge. It is up to Jake’s wife, Sally, to find a way to prove Jake and Kacha’s innocence; the truth of the matter. But with these powerful men stacking the odds against her, can she? Or will she watch both men hanged?
Life as she knew it halted. Abruptly
How had this happened?
Endings, like death, can do that; sneak up until its shadow obscures the sunlight of hopes and dreams. No one sees it until too late. Until then, everyone goes along as though life will always be normal. Good even. Until . . .
This, however, felt far worse than death.
Sally walked to her small desk, sat down with a quill and a blank page of paper to divert herself from thinking further. A letter to Lord Langsford to break her dismal mood. Indeed, writing her English friend would a pleasant task. She straightened her small frame, tucked a light brown strand of hair behind her ear, and began to write, blinking back tears from her dark brown eyes.
June 2, 1887
My dear friend Lord Langsford,
I have been remiss, not writing sooner since the arrival of the dog you shipped us. How very kind you are and always have been ever since we met in San Francisco. Jake and I appreciate your friendship no end.
Sally sat back, uncertain what to write next, pausing to remember how she’d felt toward the Englishman when last they saw each other. Those final moments at the train depot. How difficult it had been, leaving Langsford. She, in love with the Englishman, and he, holding her at bay. He, the wise, sensible one. He’d sent her back to the ranch and to Jake, who wanted to marry her. The ranch and her life could never have been Langsford’s; his life could never have been hers. He had returned to his English estate and she went home to marry Jake, whom she now loved more than life itself.
Jake, her tall, lanky, smiling man, with twinkling brown eyes and tawny hair always in need of a comb.
But now? She shook away her fear and continued writing.
Our crops are doing well. All our sheep and cattle need herding, thus, the arrival of the Border Collie pup you shipped to us was perfectly timed.
Sally dropped the quill on the desk and crumpled the paper into a tight ball, smudging wet ink on her fingers. She could not make her world sound carefree and rosy. It was far from that.
She got up from the desk and wandered out onto the veranda, the roof shading her from the hot June sun. She turned to look up at the mountains to the east, her hands smoothing the light blue calico dress she wore, as though her worries were the wrinkles in the fabric to be ironed away.
Those high Sierras held the winter snow pack for months; snow a dozen-plus feet deep that melted slowly when spring began to warm the peaks. Icy waters streamed down into the rivers that fed the Central Valley. Rivers filled the ditches that watered the fields and livestock. Rivers replenished the water table so wells, both hand-dug and artesian, could be drawn upon for ranches and households. Water had turned the Central Valley into a paradise filled with crops and pastureland. Life-giving water which ranchers and settlers relied upon during the long, hot, dry summer months. Water.
As she stood there, looking up at those high snow-capped Sierras, she only wanted to think of the tri-colored Border Collie from England.
Not Jake. Not water.
About the Author
The daughter of a newspaperman, A.E. Wasserman grew up in a household filled with books and stories. At age 14, she wrote her first novella and never stopped writing.
A.E. Wasserman’s current mystery/thrillers series, featuring Englishman Langsford and his friends, has garnered international attention, not only in the U.S., but Europe and the U.K. as well. Her work is critically acclaimed as richly atmospheric; her style bold and well-crafted.
After graduating from The Ohio State University, she lived in London, then San Francisco. Currently she resides in Southern California with her family and her muse, a Border Collie named Topper.
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