Today is the release day of Scarlet Woods by Brooke Passmore!
Author: Brooke Passmore
Publisher: Self Published
Past, future, and love all exist in the door through time. Modern and independent seventeen year old Morgan Westbrook thought she had seen all there was to her home town of Scarlet, Georgia, but one day while walking in the woods behind her house she discovers a mysterious door masked behind the trees. After admiring the door’s timeless beauty she walks through its entrance to venture into more woods, but what she doesn’t know is that the door is a gateway through time that takes her back to the year 1863 during the days of the Civil War in Scarlet.
Without knowing that she had traveled back in time, she stumbles upon Danny Carson, an attractive young man who is appalled to see that Morgan is wearing skimpy modern clothes instead of a nineteenth century dress. Although they find each other completely different than anyone they’ve ever known, they cannot help but feel drawn to one another. After spending time in another century, she discovers that she's time traveled back to the year 1863 and that the door took her there. For months she and Danny journey back and forth through the door to experience the joys of traveling to both of their centuries. When dilemmas of unwanted marriage, slavery, and war are thrown at them, they must face the perils that time travel has delivered them in both the future and the past.
March 14, 1863,
Danny Carson was riding his black horse underneath the budding trees of the woods. He heard the crackle of rushing water hit against the pebbles and sharp rocks in the creek as the orange sun descended from the face of Scarlet, Georgia. Winter had disappeared and Danny was thrilled. He hated winter; it was always a cold and lifeless season. Dull brown trails and naked branches weren’t a welcoming atmosphere, but now since spring had finally arrived, color had returned to the trees. Spring brought out so much greenery and life in the woods with its ivy spiraling up trunks, weeds and wild flowers blooming at tree roots, and the sun tanning the leaves while birds zipped through the branches.
People in Scarlet didn’t dare enter the woods late in the evening. They feared the idea of foul killers or fictional monsters haunting the trees at night. But when it came to the woods Danny was fearless. He’d visit at any time of day to get away from things just for a little while. He found the depths of the trees, the forever running creek, and the prowling Spanish moss to be an escape from his regular routine. Plus, he being practically the only visitor at any time of day gave him the full run of the place. The woods were his. As soon as the sun winked at the ground and was about to depart from the sky, the storm had begun. The dark night clouds began to mix with purring thunder. Noticing how gloomy the day had become, Danny tensed up in his saddle.
“Oh no…” He grumbled. His horse Nashville was a handful when it came to storms and was terrified of loud thunder. Then the lightning started ripping through the sky. Danny tightened his grip on the reins as the first set of thunder stung his ears. Nashville came to a halt on the dirt trail and let out a few worried neighs at the feel of raindrops plopping against his coat. Danny rolled his eyes.
“Whiny baby,” He stroked Nashville’s neck to help calm him down. As more lightning nicked the gray sky, rain showered onto the forest floor. In a matter of seconds Danny and Nashville were drenched. Rapid rain pounded onto the creek and the thunder produced a drummed even beat that taunted the black horse. Skittish and now ill tempered from the storm, Nashville scooted his burly legs back in reverse and shuffled his hooves on the dirt path. Danny had a firm hold on the reins trying to control him.
“Calm down Nash! It’s only a bit of loud noise. Toughen up!” The thunder became more prominent in the endless dark sky. Nashville gave out a loud neigh and began to buck in the air, unbalancing Danny’s weight on the saddle.
“Steady! Stop it Nashville!” He said to his horse as he began to feel his feet start to slip out of the stirrups. One large wave of lightning slashed through the clouds with a bright bolt. Thunder roared out like a hungry lion about to attack its prey, nearly shattering Danny’s eardrums. Nashville couldn’t take it any longer. His front legs kicked off the ground, arching his back into the air. Danny lost his balance and accidentally let go of his reins while being thrown off his saddle.
“No Nash!” He yelled as he fell into the wet mud below. The second he was out of the saddle Nashville took off running into the rain. Danny tasted chunky bits of mud as he sat up in a small pool of brown slush. He snarled seeing his horse run off into the distance.
“Nashville! Come back you dumb horse!” Nashville didn’t show any signs of slowing down. Danny stood up cursing under his breath as he chased his horse down the trail he had taken.
“Stop Nashville!” Danny yelled through the feverish raindrops. He darted through bushes and stepped on thorns with his wet boots. Every other step of his chase he spat out dirt that had crept in between his teeth.
“Stupid horse, stupid horse!” He kept muttering to himself. With one last echoing neigh, Nashville took a sharp turn behind a hill and was out of sight. Danny ran a bit faster, hoping that he wouldn’t lose his horse’s tracks. After he took the same turn behind the hill, he came upon three possible paths that Nashville could have taken. He looked for hoof tracks in the mud but this area of the forest was rockier than the rest of the woods and left no footprints to be seen. There was no telling which way Nashville went.
Placing the tips of his fingers to his mouth, Danny let out a high pitched whistle that screamed through the trees. Usually when he would whistle Nashville would instantly come to his side, but this time he didn’t show. Danny whistled three more times, but all that was around him were the trees and the rain. With his head hung low, he began to walk back the way he came, realizing that his horse wasn’t coming back to him. He was covered in mud and was expecting a plum colored bruise on his rear from being bucked off his saddle. Now that he lost Nashville in the woods, he had to walk back home soaked in the rain.
Danny hoped that Nashville would be smart and find his way back home whenever the storm settled. He didn’t want his horse to go too far from home, but little did he know how far away his horse would run off to.
Running as fast as his hooves could take him, neighs burst from Nashville’s lips at each strike of thunder. He dodged past the wooded trees with remarkable speed as the rain penetrated his sight. Feeling frightened, he wanted coverage from the rain and desired to escape the storm. He slowed down to a steady trot, but his legs were still fidgety. He needed to find shelter.
Coming upon a hill he didn’t recognize, Nashville staggered up the hill in hopes of evading the thunder that seemed to loom over him. He came to find more green oaks and weeping willows with saggy limbs that suspended just inches off the ground at the top of the hill. His hooves left tracks in the mud as he jogged around to view his new surroundings. His hooves stomped on wild flowers that sprouted all over the ground.
The rain seemed tamer up on higher ground. Even with the gloomy sky hanging overhead, this part of the woods felt like a more positive environment. The gallant trees that encircled him gave Nashville a strange comfort and made him feel safe for some reason.
Nashville quickly stopped in his tracks to admire a massive object standing before him. It was a door, but not just an ordinary door. It was a rich chocolate brown that had two doors in one just like an entrance of a grand church. It didn’t belong to any building structure, wall, or fence and stood alone. One of its doors was partially open. Nashville inched up to it and nudged the opened door back further to create a bigger opening.
What he saw inside the entrance was the exact same forest, or was it? The ground he stood on was wet and miserable with rain attacking the earth. On Nashville’s side of the door the sky was a lifeless color with drained out clouds, but looking through the door was the setting sun shining its warm rays on the dry ground. The grass wasn’t wet and the trees didn’t drip rain off their leaves. Everything through the door was light and calm. It was as if the other side of the forest was a completely different place and was free from the vicious storm. How was that possible?
This other side of the door was definitely odd with its drastic weather differences, but since Nashville was a horse he didn’t think too much of it. He entered the peaceful atmosphere through the door’s opening. A warm wind blew a light breeze against his wet coat after his first step through to the other side. There was no harsh rain and no loud thunder ringing in his ears. He was positive that this was the better side of the woods.
Nashville turned his soaked body back to face the door he came out of. It was ajar and he could see the unbearable rain continue to pour onto the grass on the side he just exited from. One final thunder erupted but it was contained inside the door sounding distant and far away, even though he stood only a few feet away from the entrance of the storm. Nashville shook his head from side to side, slapping his long mane against his neck trying to get every raindrop off of him. He neighed out a happy tune and trotted through the dryer parts of Scarlet Woods.
I live in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and am a 22 year old young woman who probably will never fully grow up. As a kid I played with Polly Pockets, swam in my swimming pool practically every day during the summer, and went on vacations to Disney World with my family (favorite days of my life). I loved telling stories as a kid by playing with my Polly’s and dressing up like princesses with my friends. Eventually everything that went on in my busy imagination I wrote down on paper in the late hours of the night.
When I was in sixth grade I moved into a new house with woods directly behind my backyard. I’d walk about the woods and loved trampling through the creek or getting lost in the trees. These trips through the woods gave me my inspiration for my book trilogy Scarlet Woods. My main character in my book is Morgan who lives in a house where the woods are right behind her backyard. My love for trees and anything woodsy definitely shows in my book and I hope I painted a pretty picture in readers’ heads about what Scarlet Woods looks like. My favorite candies are Skittles and M&M’s. I put ketchup on practically anything with meat (even with chicken quesadillas). I’m a great fan of Florence and the Machine, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Birdie, and recently The Civil Wars. My favorite books are The Hunger Games, Shiver, and Wither. My favorite movies are Titanic and Gone with the Wind. The Vampire Diaries is the wonderful TV show I’m obsessed with (I’m a Delena lover!!). I hate ads on youtube that I repeatedly have to skip every single time I want to listen to the newest song from Glee. I love to smile, laugh, and purposefully sing loud and off key whenever my brother is around just to pester him. I have a cat named Phoebe who we named after Phoebe from Friends, a yorkie named Coco who we named because he likes to eat Cocoa Puffs, and a shih tzu maltese we named Indy after Indiana Jones. My favorite princess is Cinderella but I think my personality is a tie between Ariel and Belle so they’re all my ultimate faves. If I could choose a century to time travel to I’d probably choose the Victorian age, the roaring 20’s, the 1950’s, or the 1940’s. I think the Victorian age and the 1940’s were probably the most romantic eras in history and the 20’s and 50’s would probably the most fun!