A Woman Called Sage

A Woman Called Sage

by DiAnn Mills

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Overview

They took away everything she loved … now, she’s out for revenge.Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way. Until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever. Now Sage is a bounty hunter bent on retribution. Accompanied only by her majestic hawk, she travels throughout the Rocky Mountains in search of injustice, determined to stamp it out wherever it’s found. The stakes are raised when two young boys are kidnapped and Sage is forced to work with Marshall Parker Timmons to rescue them. But Sage may ultimately get more than she bargained for.In this exciting historical romance set in the late 1800s, murder, intrigue, kidnapping, and questions of faith will keep you in suspense until the final pages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310293293
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 02/01/2010
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 308,096
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Di Ann Mills is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 95 novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol awards. She and her husband live in Houston, Texas.

Read an Excerpt

A Woman Called Sage

A Novel
By DiAnn Mills

Zondervan

Copyright © 2010 DiAnn Mills
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-29329-3


Chapter One

Southeastern Colorado Summer, 1875

Life didn't get any better than having the love of a good man and his baby kicking against her ribs. Add a summer breeze to cool the heat of a southern Colorado sun and a bed of soft green grass tickling her feet, and Sage felt a slice of heaven had come to earth.

"Remember the first time I asked if I could come courtin'?" Charles propped himself on one arm and placed his hand on her mountainous stomach.

"Every minute of it. I was ordering sugar and coffee from the general store while Mama looked at yard goods, and you were asking about a rifle." She laughed. "You nearly rubbed the finish off that Winchester."

"But I bought it. You were wearing a blue bonnet and trying to look like you weren't watching me."

Just how did he know she had fought to keep from staring at him? Her childhood friend had grown into a handsome man. "Now, Charles, that's not true. You were pretending not to look at me."

He shook his head as though she were a naughty child. "You're right about me not being able to keep my eyes off you, but-Oh, I feel her kick. She's a strong one."

"You should feel him kick after midnight."

Charles kissed her stomach. "I couldn't remember when you'd gotten so pretty, and I vowed I wouldn't leave the store until you let me call on you." He shooed away a honeybee buzzing over them. "I turned that rifle over and over in my hands until you and your mama were finished with the storekeep. Sage became the most beautiful name I'd ever heard."

"No one can say my name like you or make me as happy."

He sat up and stared out at the cottonwoods in the distance; one had seen too many seasons, and its gnarled branches twisted to the sky like a crooked old man. Sage's pet wolf chased a rabbit, and the animal scampered away. Birds serenaded them as though they were the only two people in the world-well, three.

"We'll give our baby a fine life, Sage. You'll be the perfect mama because you're the perfect wife." He turned, and his brow etched into deep lines. "Every day I wake up next to you is a gift from God."

She started to sit up, and he helped her. "I will always remember the things you say to me because my heart says them back to you." She touched his face. "Here I am the size of a buffalo, and you're making me feel pretty. Oh-" Placing a hand on her stomach, she grinned. "He's kicking like he knows we're anxious for him to get here."

"It's a she."

She reached up to run her fingers through his thick, nut-colored hair, and envisioned a son with his papa's green eyes, sparkling like the stars. "He'll be here in about six weeks."

"Boy or a girl, it will be a fine baby. Elizabeth Sage."

"Timothy Charles." She smiled, admiring his broad shoulders. Oh, what a lucky woman she was.

There was a long pause before he spoke again. "I have something to tell you."

Her pulse raced faster than a hummingbird's wings. "Is the news good?" she said, hoping he wasn't leaving again. Those times were so hard to bear.

He caressed her face, gently, as he always did, so she wouldn't feel his calluses. "You can tell your father that after two weeks, we won't need him to help with chores anymore."

Sage held her breath. "You won't be traveling?"

"Nope. I head out three days from now, and I'll be back in less than ten days' time. Then I'm home for you and our baby and all of our babies to come, every day, for the rest of my life. I've sold the ranch up north, and I'm heading there to close the deal. We'll have enough money to buy more land here and maybe some cattle too."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him long and hard. He smelled like the outdoors, and she loved it. Loved him. At times her feelings frightened her, as though she didn't deserve Charles and his affections. Tears slipped down her face.

"I think you're pleased," he whispered.

"Very pleased."

"It's about time I ran this ranch myself and became a respectable husband and papa. Your father's right. I leave you alone much too often and depend on him to oversee the place." He laughed. "Who knows? Now he might learn to like me."

Having Charles and Papa enjoy each other's company would be next to perfect. Her tears flowed like a rushing stream-a steady occurrence of late, with the baby growing inside her. "You are more than I could ever ask for. We'll work this land together and raise a fine family."

His gaze grew intense, as though he had something more he wanted to say but couldn't bring himself to speak.

Had he and Papa argued again? "What is it?"

He shook his head. "A man has no right to be this happy."

"Or a woman." She heard his stomach growl. "I think we need to head back home so I can finish supper. Can't have my husband starving."

He kissed her nose, each cheek, and her lips. "There, I just had dessert first."

Charles whistled for Wolf to join them, then pulled her to her feet. The gray and white female bounded toward them. Sage patted the animal's head, and Charles laughed. Her pet wolf was the talk of neighboring ranches, but Sage had tamed her. Just like Charles had tamed some of Sage's wildness but not her spirit.

Hand in hand they walked the mile back to their ranch. While Charles fed the livestock, Sage checked on a fork-tender beef roast that had been simmering most of the afternoon, along with potatoes, onions, and green beans. She rolled out biscuits and added another log to the fire before baking them. For a moment, she stole a whimsical glance at the cradle Papa had built and the tiny quilt Mama had stitched. Baby clothes draped over the side. Soon. Very soon.

Grasping the vegetable basket, she hurried outside for fresh tomatoes. From the shade of a juniper, she squinted into the sun and saw men riding near the west pasture and the creek that wound through the ranch.

"We got company," she said to Charles, who was pumping water into the cattle trough.

He caught a glimpse of the men and snatched up his rifle from where it leaned against the trough. "Sage, get inside the house. Now! Fetch your rifle and be ready to use it."

As clumsy as she felt with the weight of the baby, Sage raced to the porch, up the three steps, and inside the house. The tone of his voice had shaken her. He'd never used it before.

He knows who they are.

The loaded Winchester rested in the corner nearest the door. The moment she wrapped her fingers around the metal barrel, the gravity of Charles's warning sent an icy chill up her spine. Who were those men? Or was Charles simply being cautious?

She glanced out the open door toward the riders. Charles had moved into the shadow of the barn, his rifle resting against his shoulder. She closed the door just enough to see outside and shoot.

The four men were a dirty lot, but that wasn't anything unusual.

"Stop right there," Charles said. Wolf growled, and Charles didn't hush her.

"Not until we get what we came for," one of the men said. "We know it's here."

"There's nothing on this ranch that belongs to you. Consider yourself warned. There's more than one rifle fixed on you."

"Liar. Ain't no one here but you and your Injun woman. We came to get what's owed to us, and we ain't leavin' until we have it. We can tear this place apart with or without your say-so."

"This is your last chance," Charles said. "Get off my land."

"When we have our money and you're dead."

"Kill me and you'll have more trouble than you ever thought."

Sage held her breath, straining to listen to every word. She wanted to shout at Charles to give them whatever they wanted. And why did they want him dead? All she and Charles had of value was livestock. The men could have driven them off and been gone.

Before she could further contemplate the situation, a shot rang out, and Charles fell backward. Sage gasped and rushed onto the porch. Another shot, and Wolf sprawled out beside Charles. Something seized her-a mixture of fury and panic. She stumbled down the steps, tripping in her awkwardness.

"Charles!" He didn't move, no matter how loudly she screamed his name. Blood poured from his chest and spilled onto the ground. The men laughed, and she stared up at them, memorizing each grimy face.

The one who had shot Charles pointed his rifle at her. "Tell us where the money is or you can join him."

"We don't have any money. Take the cattle and horses."

"I won't ask again."

She stared into his face, memorizing the dark, curly hair and hollow, wide-set eyes. With Charles's body at her feet, revenge rose in her spirit. She raised the rifle, but too late. He fired.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A Woman Called Sage by DiAnn Mills Copyright © 2010 by DiAnn Mills. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Once again, Mills delivers. A Woman Called Sage is a well-blended story of love, trust, and faith that you will remember long after you’ve read the final page.” — Judith Miller

“Put a female bounty hunter with a huge chip on her shoulder in late-1800s Colorado, add the skilled writing of Di Ann Mills, and you have a winner for sure. High-paced action, tension that twangs on every page, an impossible romance, and Sage, a character who will move into your heart and stay there. Di Ann Mills keeps getting better and better.” — Lauraine Snelling

“Di Ann's phenomenal and has a focused heart for God. Her love of story and desire to share biblical application for daily living through her books is a tremendous blessing.” — Tracie Peterson

“From the first draw of the pistol to the last turn of the page, the tale of A Woman Called Sage left me breathless.” — Kathleen Y'Barbo

'Di Ann Mills has created an unforgettable heroine in A Woman Called Sage. An engaging tale that will keep any reader turning pages until the unexpected ending. Don't pass on this one.' — Lyn Cote

“A Woman Called Sage expertly combines the essential elements of storytelling: compelling characters, an intricate plot, and stakes as high as the Rockies themselves.” — Nancy Moser

'Sage is such a well-balanced character of woman and bounty hunter, and the intrigue keeps the pages turning. Still, God's hand is clearly at work through all the conflict. A good read on every level.' — Linda Windsor

'Loss and revenge, love and forgiveness. A Woman Called Sage brings it all to light in Colorado's rugged and majestic Rocky Mountains. Another riveting story by Di Ann Mills that has me waiting for the next Timmons family tale.' — Mona Hodgson

'Di Ann Mills once more delivers a winner. In A Woman Called Sage, she has woven a historical saga destined to capture readers' hearts.' — Irene Brand

Customer Reviews

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Woman Called Sage 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book by DiAnn Mills that I have read and I truly loved it. Sage is a strong woman who was mad at God, but eventually let God work through her with awesome results. This is a must read book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the late 1800s Sage has everything_a husband, a child on the way, and a beautiful ranch in Colorado. Then she has nothing_a band of lawbreakers shoot and kill her husband and wound her, causing her baby to be stillborn. Half Ute Indian, Sage becomes a bounty hunter in the Rocky Mountains, especially looking for the men who killed her husband. They find her first, kidnap two children and force her and Marshall Timmons to come after them. Her hardened exterior guards the heart of a woman, a heart she feels warming as she gets to know Marshall Timmons. Mills gives us a story of murder mystery, kidnapping, romance and strengthened faith. The first few pages will grab you and not let you go till you read the last page. Great characterization of a strong woman with a heart capable of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Nookbook. It was captivating from the very beginning. I loved the way the author brought in Christian beliefs to the story. As far as I am concerned, this is a much read for any christian fiction enthusiast.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice story line of a courageous woman finding her husbands killer. It was filled with suspense, love, and faith. Would recommend if you like historical fiction with a little Christian mixed in.
SheilaDeeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some books have covers that are perfect for their tale. A Woman called Sage is one such book. An Indian woman in Western garb stands thoughtfully staring into the distance while a hawk flies overhead. She encompasses my image of Sage so perfectly that I found myself staring at the book cover, longing to read more, while I worked around the house.Sage is half-Ute and sought help from her tribe after her husband was murdered. She¿s sworn vengeance on his killers and uses her Indian training to become an excellent tracker and bounty hunter. While the thought of a woman bounty hunter might initially seem implausible, the author makes the character and her job entirely believable. And while Marshall Parker Timmons might not immediately be ready to accept a woman¿s help, he soon finds himself believing all the tales about her too.The truth about the outlaws is a little harder to learn, and soon both Sage and Parker are wondering how much to trust of what they hear. Was Sage¿s husband the honest man she believed, or is there some dark secret lurking in his past that caused his death? Soon, she¿s not even sure if she really knew his name.Both Sage and Parker keep secrets from each other, each trying not to cause the other pain. Meanwhile the town is rapidly turning against them. Rumors fly¿ah how rumors do that¿and the local pastor denounces sins that may never even be committed. Rule of law, rule of religion, rule of pride¿ all come before a fall. But the rule of hope survives them all, and maybe faith is worth more than religion after all. And love worth more than doubt wins out.The author keeps the mystery and the tension flowing till the end. I really enjoyed the story and characters. And like I said, I even enjoyed the look of the book.
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story about Sage Morrow, a woman bounty hunter, who has been searching for her husband’s killer for several years. The action, suspense, mystery, and romance keep drawing the reader onward. The other main character is the town marshal of Rocky Falls, Colorado. He is a good decent man who wants to keep everyone safe. A broad spectrum of other characters fill the pages from the loud-mouthed super-judgmental preacher to the loving widow lady who works in the hotel trying to reach the soiled doves who work in the saloon. The story has some very unexpected twists. I recommend the book to anyone who loves good clean westerns with a moral.
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