Author Archives: Flossie Benton Rogers

About Flossie Benton Rogers

Paranormal romance author who loves to shake the edges of reality.

When the Cat’s Away: Interview at Fiona Mcvie’s

Scotland is one of my dream destinations, and I’m thrilled to be interviewed by the gracious Fiona Mcvie. What better place for a dark fantasy romance writer to visit than one of mists and magic? Fiona loves books and reading and created her blog to find out more about authors and what makes them tick. Thanks for checking out the interview!

I wonder what Marigold is up to while I’m flitting around the craggy hills?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance



Surprise of the Breakfast Saga

Courtesy British Library Free Flickr

Read this carefully. It is definitely not an accolade for a love story! Nevertheless, it’s interesting. From the Online and Medieval Classical Library comes this ditty sung by a man who is in heated argument with his wife over the meager dish she serves for breakfast. It is part of public domain Old Norse literature in the form of The Story of the Heath-Slayings or The Heitharviga Saga. It is often paired with another folklore-filled Icelandic Saga from the 13th century called The Eyrbyggja Saga. 

The husband sings this after the argument:


The wealth-bearing stem that for wife we are owning,

     The black coif of widowhood never shall bear

     For my death; though I know that the field of the necklace

     All the days of my life neath the mould would be laying:

     She who filleth the ale round would give for my eating

     The apples of hell-orchard. 


I tell you, we are so fortunate to have this type of colorful, historical literature in pubic domain and available for easy reading.

I hope you enjoyed a glance at an old Icelandic saga.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance


Fae Friday: Old Halloween Spirit

The green ghostie laser figures float eerily on the front of my house. Skeletons, witches, and pumpkins stand guard. The air fills with aromas of autumn incense and salted caramel candles. The nights grow longer. The temperature cools, allowing the patio doors to remain open. My feline fur fae Marigold displays her frisky aspect and spooks at shadows. It’s nearing time for the old school friend annual pig roast. Baseball teams are narrowing down toward the World Series. We must be closing in on Halloween!

What do you most enjoy about Halloween? What are you doing to get into the mood?

My autumn newsletter is ready to roll with goodies and freebies galore.


It’s worthwhile grabbing a copy. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so on the right hand column of my website.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance



Tuesday Tales: Writing Truck

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our secret word is truck. My snippet is from a light paranormal set in the 1950s. The heroine works hard to make a living in her restaurant and raise her little daughter while awaiting the return of her husband from the Korean War. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.


The iron pan of biscuits slid squarely into the center of the hot oven. Laura eased the door closed just as Nita came rushing in from the public space of the restaurant. Her round face beet red, she spluttered words in a hissing tone likely meant to pass as a whisper.

Laura straightened and whipped a kitchen towel up over her shoulder.

The hissing again, but this time discernable. “Doris Killingham! She’s right behind—”

The town’s imperious guide for all matters philanthropic and social waltzed into the long narrow room, having extended one beige gloved forefinger to allow passage through the swinging door. Her puce flowered dress and matching hat and handbag overpowered the lowly atmosphere of the well worked kitchen.

“How may I help you, Mrs. Killingham?” From the corner of her eye she saw Nita edge her way out to the customers. Chicken.

“You can tell me what my son was doing here alone with you last night.”

A fiery feeling warmed her throat, causing her words to come out rather stronger than she intended. “Why don’t you ask Wade why he stormed in here?”

“He’s still abed. The poor boy doesn’t sleep well. I’m on my way to prayer meeting and have no time for your nonsense. Why was he raising a ruckus?”

An exasperated sigh escaped her. “He said he wanted to voice his objection to my consulting with Miz Sarey.”

“Consulting with Miz Sarey? You mean about your husband?”

“Of course about my husband. I’m worried sick. Besides, almost everyone in town gets a palm read at one time or another. Haven’t you?”

The woman huffed. “Certainly not. I have no truck with fortune telling and the like.”

She folded the kitchen towel very carefully, ironing it with the side of her hand. “Miz Sarey uses her sight to help those in need.”

“I suppose you made payment for that bit of foolishness?”

“Excuse me, Mrs. Killingham, I know you mean well, but why is this your concern?”

“Two reasons, Laura Scott. One, as a business owner you have a responsibility to set an example and not go traipsing out on a devil’s errand. Two, just because your husband is off at war gives you no right to go spreading your scarlet nails into my boy.”

Those nails pressed into Laura’s two palms as she sought to contain her temper. “Wade and my Jeffrey are old school friends. He’s worried about his friend and trying to do right by him, granted in a heavy handed manner. It’s none of his business what I do. I told him that, and by damn, I’m telling you, too.”

“Well, try and provide a little proper guidance for some people!”


I hope you enjoyed my take on truck. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.


Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance




Fae Friday the 13th


What do you think of Friday the 13th? Is it a good omen or a bad one? Would you buy a house, schedule surgery, go about your normal business, or are you more likely to call in sick and hide under your bed?

Friday the 13th has only been an ultra bad luck day for a century or so. However, Friday has long been considered ill-fated, due in part to Christ dying on a Friday. As well, the number 13 has a long dismal history of foreboding and evil fortune. For example, there were 13 people at the Last Supper. The number 13 shakes things up, as opposed to 12, whose essence is considered perfect and complete. 

The number 12 strikes a chord of dignity and balance. There are 12 Disciples, 12 Olympians, 12 lines in a cube, 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 hours of day and of night, 12 eggs in a dozen, 12 ribs in a human, and so on. Adding one more to make 13 creates an element of mystery, of the unknown, and throws things out of balance. We can’t control the tone of chaos created by 13.

Still, in ancient cultures 13 was often a holy number and much revered.
How about it? Let’s give 13 a little respect.

Our modern solar calendar year has 12 months, but at a time long past a year was measured by moon cycles and had 13 months of 28 days each. Within the modern solar year there are 13 full moons, and 13 dark of the moon. Thus, we have blue moons (two full moons in a month) to account for the natural moon cycle.Moonovergraveyard7-1-2015

A woman generally has 13 moon cycles per year.

Some important United States’ symbols honor the number 13. There are 13 horizontal stripes on the flag, and the Great Seal is depicted with items in clusters of 13, including 13 stars. The dollar bill has a ton of symbolic references to 13, including 13 steps on the pyramid and 13 letters in each Latin phrase.dollar

There were 13 colonies and of course 13 stars on the first U.S. flag.

13 was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. After death, a soul had to climb the ladder of eternity with its 13 rungs.

In Norse mythology Loki was the unlucky 13th guest, bringing turmoil and destruction. Do you like the modern Loki portrayed by Tom Hiddleston?

Esoteric studies often contain increments of 13, such as the 13 attributes of mercy, and the 13 circles in the archangel Metatron’s cube. In this, 13 represents the bonding of the many into oneness.

In numerology, 13 is a powerful karmic number. It forces upheaval so that outdated, ill-serving structures can crumble and be rebuilt.

The 13th Tarot card is Death, meaning drastic change, renewal, and rebirth.

The silent highwayman

By Punch Magazine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


In mathematics 13 is a fascinating Fibonacci number, a sequence wherein certain numbers are the sum of the two preceding numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…) 

The 13th Runic letter is Eihwaz, associated with horses, movement, and the journey in the spheres of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.

M is the 13th letter of the alphabet and begins such marvelous words as mellifluous, marshmallow, and medieval. What “m” words do you like?

PearSchnapps2Prohibition was over after 13 years. So if Friday the 13th inspires you to have a cocktail or a nip, go for it!

I hope you got a kick out of the reasons to respect 13. (Oh, there were 13 reasons, by the way!)

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Book Release: The Sea Witch and the Mage

I’m excited to welcome special guest Katherine Eddinger Smits, a fellow member of Sunshine State Romance Authors. Her newly released novelette is The Sea Witch and the Mage. starring a shapeshifting mermaid and a mesmerizing mage. I loved her first book Water Dreams and can’t wait to delve into this new story! Can you believe the gorgeous cover? 

The author was kind enough to answer a few writing questions before providing a blurb and “special just for you” excerpt from The Sea Witch and the Mage.

What inspired you to write in your genre?

I read across all genres, but my favorite is paranormal romance. When I started my first novel, I knew it had to be a love story. I wanted it to be something different, but set in the contemporary world and located in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The Nerei, who appear human on land and shift to have tails in water (as well as a few other adaptations) suited all those requirements.  The Sea Witch and the Mage is the second book set in the world of the Nerei and the humans who fall in love with them.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Writing is a hard process. Although it’s the most fun and rewarding thing I’ve ever done, it’s demanding. Probably the hardest part is balancing writing time with everything else in my life. I don’t like to take time away from friends and family to write, but if I don’t do that sometimes, nothing gets finished.

Who is your favorite supporting character in your book and why?

My favorite supporting character in this book is the evil sea wizard, Merlindrake. Although he tortures and kills young Nerei females, he believes what he’s doing is for the good of his people. At least that’s what he tells himself. The fact that he enjoys it way too much gives away his true motive. He’s evil, but tough and smart and has more tricks up his sleeve than Athenia and Thorne realize.


In order to avenge her twin’s death and escape the same brutal fate, Athenia must defeat the wizard who killed her sister, but there is only one way—enslave Thorne, a human mage with powers Athenia needs to overcome her enemy. However, she doesn’t count on finding him mesmerizing or desiring him so much. What happens when a shapeshifting mermaid teams up with a man who controls the elements? Can Athenia save herself without destroying her magical lover? 


With a whirl, he grabbed her, turning her and shoving her arm up behind her. “What do you want?” Fiercer than he intended, his words came out in a snarl, deep and menacing.

She struggled. “Let go of me.”

Gods, she’s strong.

When she stomped on his foot, pain shot through his leg all the way to his knee. Unable to maintain his grip, he let her go, but called upon air to surround her.

The woman hammered on the invisible fortification, consternation reflected on her face. “What did you do? Let me out of here.”

“Not until you tell me why you followed me.”

She unclenched her fists and smoothed her hair, her expression changing from a snarl to a simper he figured was supposed to appear friendly. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to alarm you. I—” She hesitated.

“What?” When his still gruff voice echoed in the small space, he winced. For a moment, she frightened him, surprised him. Flip-flops might not have been the best footwear tonight. In dealing with a she-devil, steel-toed boots would have been a safer choice.

“I wanted to meet you, Thorne Sanderson.” As she inhaled, her low-cut, gauzy blouse dipped, revealing more ivory skin. She must have noticed where he located his attention, because she exhaled and took another breath, treating him to the sight again.

“Why don’t you ditch this enclosure so we can talk?” She smiled, more genuinely this time, as if amused. “I promise I won’t hurt you.” As though testing the strength of the unseen barrier, she mashed her hands against it.

He frowned. “You already broke my foot.”

The seductive simper converted to a sexy pout. “Because you manhandled me. An instinctive defense.” She plastered herself against the wall of air and squirmed, her silky skirt and top molding to her body.

His mouth went dry. Damn, she’s beautiful. “Huh, I restrained you because you’ve been following me.”

“Because I wanted to talk to you.” She pushed again, which nudged her blouse lower.

Any further and she’s going to fall all the way out. The idea excited him, and he advanced toward her. “Why not introduce yourself?” Much more of this exhibition and he would need to dismiss the wind fence so he could think.

She chewed her lip. “I wanted to ask you something, but I’m not sure how to do it. I thought if I found out more about you, I would come up with a way to approach you, but I ruined everything.” Tears welled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks.

Instantly sorry, he dissolved the barricade. “Hey, don’t do that.”

She hid her face in her hands, which muffled her speech. “It’s hopeless, I understand that now.”

Must stop her crying. I can’t stand it. He patted her arm. “Tell me.”

She sobbed again. Sniffled.

Impatient now, he blew out a breath that rounded his cheeks. “What is it?”

She dried her eyes. “I want you to take me on as your pupil.”

Surprised again, he recoiled. “What? Why?”

“As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m Nerei.”

He nodded.

She cleared her throat. “My name is Athenia. I don’t belong to a clan like most of my kind. After a disagreement with our relatives, my sister and I left. For many years, we lived on our own, studying arcane arts and helping the Elders as much as possible. By earning their respect, we attained the title of Sea Witches.”

“Okay, so you know a lot. Why do you want to apprentice with me?”

She clutched his hand. “I lost Delphie.” Her eyes brimmed again. “I don’t want to talk about it, but now I have nothing left except my work. In order to help my people even more, I want to rule air, earth, water, and fire as you do.”

Thorne pulled his hand away. “Impossible, we don’t bestow those skills on outsiders. Anyway, we can’t teach them to you, unless the potential is already within you.”

“You see? Now you know why I wavered about whether to talk to you. I expected you to refuse.” Drooping, she turned away.”

Not wanting to let her go, but unsure why, he acted on intuition and clasped her arm. “Wait.”

She wheeled toward him, her eyes sparkling with eagerness. “Yes?”

“It’s forbidden to teach you to command the elements, but we can help each other. Some of my herbal remedies might be useful to you.

Her smile illuminated the area. “I’ll demonstrate what I learned, and we can create new potions together.”

He nodded. “Possibly we’ll discover something to help your people and mine. Heaven knows, plenty of difficulties bombard us all the time.”

She peeped up at him, teardrops wetting her lashes and pooling under eyes the hue of Florida mangrove leaves. He ran his thumb gently under each one, erasing the drops.

She angled toward him and pecked his cheek with her lips. “Thank you. This means more to me than you can imagine.”


The Sea Witch and the Mage —  Trigger warning: Explicit sex and violence and brief mention of rape. Free with KU or $.99 on Kindle.



Katherine Eddinger Smits has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of South Florida and a Masters in Social Work from Florida State University. After over two decades of helping veterans, families and community agencies as a clinical social worker, she retired to pursue her dream—writing. She has published two paranormal romances and has several more in the works.

She grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Although not from a Greek background, she fell in love with the Greek culture of the town and its close-knit families. She moved away years ago, but she still visits Tarpon Springs frequently to see old friends and classmates, walk the beaches or shop and eat at the Sponge Docks.

She started writing stories in grade school and always intended to write novels someday. However, she put off writing fiction while she raised her family and worked as a clinical social worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country. Although she was devastated to learn that her first career choice—mermaid, was not realistic, Katherine found helping veterans and their families fulfilling, and managed to squeeze writing into her life. Whether it was writing clinical assessments, creating brochures for social programs, or putting together newsletters for clubs and organizations, she always had some kind of writing project in the works.

Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Chesapeake, Virginia.


Connect with Katherine:

Website         |           Facebook       |       Twitter       



Grab your copy of The Sea Witch and the Mage, free on KU or a steal at $.99 on Kindle.




More about Water Dreams, Katherine’s debut novel — a paranormal romance set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series. What happens when a young woman with a water phobia falls in love with a merman who can pass as human on land? How will they save each other when they fall in love against the laws of his people? Water Dreams is available from Foundations, LLC , Amazon  , and other major online retailers.


Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Orange Decor


Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our prompt is the picture above featuring elements of orange decor. My snippet is from a dark fantasy romance about a heroine and hero who fight against nefarious traffickers. After reading it please make sure to visit the other talented authors at Tuesday Tales.


If she hadn’t realized it before, she did now. Rhade was one hot red blooded male.

A male with the scent of deep woods lingering about him. She breathed him in and filled her eyes with the sight of him. At over six feet and solid framed, he took up a large portion of the sitting room. The jeans and blue checked shirt made him look more accessible and even more appealing, if that were possible. Muscular forearms rippled from beneath rolled up sleeves, and her breath warbled as she noted his bare feet. Hadn’t she put socks in the bathroom?

Her nerves on edge, she clutched one of the orange chevron pillows that served as an attempt at autumn décor. “We may as well make ourselves comfortable while we wait on Roy. Like a beer?”

His lips twitched into a grin. “Wouldn’t say no to a cold one.”

In the kitchen she filled a tray with not only beer but also crackers, cheese, and some crunchy trail mix with M & Ms tucked in. She had an idea that rare steak would be more his style, but this would have to do for now.

“Here we go. I thought a snack might tide us over. Help yourself.”

After a long swallow from the tall necked bottle, he dug into the cheese and trail mix with obvious interest. “Do you think Roy has the information we need?”

“He mentioned Stella and the other familiars on the phone, so he knows something all right. It’s a matter of dragging it out of him.”

A dangerous gleam appeared in his eyes. “Not to worry. I can make him talk.”

“If it comes to that, yes, and I’ll hold you to it. But first we need to see if he’s naturally on our side.” At his doubtful expression, she hurried on. “It is possible, you know.”

“Possible, but not likely.”

“I know. I’d like to avoid another confrontation if we can.” She got caught up in the sight of a dimple that appeared now and then as he talked and munched on trail mix. She had never seen him in a relaxed setting, and to say he disturbed her was an understatement.

He pushed water darkened hair off his forehead and met her bemused stare head on. “If you keep on looking at me like that, I’ll be forced to take up where we left off last night.”

The huskiness of his voice caused a ripple of pure pleasure. Then she realized what he’d said, and stopped breathing.

He reached out and sifted through a lock of her hair. “It’s like rubied gold.” He came closer, and his mouth brushed against hers.

Loud knocking sounded at the door. 


I hope you enjoyed my snippet based on the picture prompt of a room with orange elements of decor. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

October Poem

Poetry dances through life with me as mesmerizing background music. It has always been an uplift during troubled times and contented times. My passion for poetry goes right along with a soaring love of mythology and fairy tales. It’s a fundamental need. One long ago year I rose at dawn every morning and wrote a poem a day. Most years it has been much more sporadic. My mother had copies of my hundreds of poems, as did one of my oldest childhood friends. Otherwise, I haven’t shared them much.

Poetry is really hard to share. Poetry is image condensed down into roux, and most people view it as scribblings from Neptune. Sharing your poetry is opening yourself up for close internal inspection. It’s like blood dripping, one red drop after another. Think of the tarot card The Fool, who stands with a foot trembling off the edge of the cliff.

Still, this is the autumn season, and energy zings this time of year. So, it’s a leap of faith, and the sharing is the thing. 

This is one from over 40 years ago.


Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic

Book Release: Ronnie Allen – Scorpio

I’m jazzed to present a special guest, fellow member of Sunshine State Romance Authors, the talented Ronnie Allen and her upcoming crime thriller, Scorpio. Her first two books, Gemini and Aries, kept readers on the edge of their seats — including me, and I’m sure this one will do the same. How cool is the astrological theme, by the way!

I asked Ronnie to answer a few writing questions, as well as share a blurb and excerpt from Scorpio. Take it away, Ronnie!


I’m so excited to be on SSRA sister’s Flossie Benton Rogers’ blog as my first guest blog appearance for my upcoming release on Oct. 28th from Black Opal Books, Scorpio: The Sign Behind The Crime, Book 3. Wow! I’m only published since June 2015, and the third book is coming out in less than four weeks. I’ll tell you. I’m definitely grateful to the powers-that-be.

What inspired you to write in your genre?

I love the crime genre, so even way back in my screenwriting days in the late ‘70s – mid-90s, that’s what I wrote. For those of you who believe in it, I truly feel I was an FBI agent or detective in a past life.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Actually, it isn’t the writing. It’s the marketing and what we have to do after we’re published that’s the most stressful.

Who is your favorite supporting character in your book and why?

I absolutely love Vicki Trenton, formerly Victoria Elizabeth Marin. She’s grown from a love interest in Gemini, to the wife of the main character, to now a mommy. She has a fairly large role in Scorpio. In Gemini, she ended the murder case. In Scorpio, she helps the detectives to solve it. And if you love to cook, she has fabulous recipes and cooking tips in both books.



With a mind as strong as twisted steel, Scorpio obsessed Henry Slater, suave, sophisticated, sexy, intelligent, and wealthy is the perfect man—except to women who tell him what he doesn’t want to hear.

Dr. John Trenton is called back to NYC for a case close to his heart, while NYPD Detective Samantha “Sam” Wright and Dr. Frank Khaos, conflicted about their on-again-off-again relationship, take on another case—a serial killer who’s orchestrated sixteen murders across the United States over a nine-year period. The seventeenth victim is Sam’s best friend, Carrie Baines. When forensic science connects Frank to Slater, Frank is pushed to delve into his past, something he swore never to do. Meanwhile, due to the interstate nature of the crimes the FBI gets involved, convincing Sam to go undercover. But Slater is clever, and Sam is no match for him. Will her psychic skills and police training be enough to survive this close encounter with a killer,  or will she end up as his eighteenth victim? And even if she lives, is her relationship with Frank really over?



His reaction took her totally by surprise. How could he do this to her?

“Any more good news?” The sarcasm rolled off his tongue. “That’s not what I’m concerned with.”

“Then what?”

“The way he looked at you.”

“Don’t worry about it. We’re adults here.”


“Frank, please. Can’t you deal with this?”

He did a double take. “Know what, Sam? No. I can’t. And I didn’t realize you’re so emotionally disconnected.” He checked the clock and blew out a deep breath. “As soon as it hits daylight, I think it’s best that you go back to your place.” He rolled over onto his left side, his back facing her.

“What are you saying, Frank?”

He barely turned his head. “Use your psychic intuition to figure out what I’m saying.”

“You’re breaking up with me?”

“I think we need to distance ourselves. It’s been too hot and heavy these past eight weeks, anyway. You’re not the woman I thought I knew.”

“How in hell are we supposed to distance ourselves? We work cases together. Every day, if I have to remind you.”

“Keep it formal. I’m now Dr. Khaos from you, and you’re Detective Wright from me.”


“No buts. I’m done. We’re done.” His stomach twisted as he uttered those last two words.


Where readers can find Ronnie:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram 

Read Ronnie’s blog and subscribe to her newsletter.

Catch up on Gemini and Aries, Books 1 & 2 of the series. 



Ronnie Allen is a NYC native transplanted to central Florida nine years ago. A teacher for 33 years, and a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, she includes her experience and skills in education, the paranormal and psychic development into her novels. Her characters have the skills she taught to her clients. Ronnie is an advocate for children and their health and well being. That’s included in the themes throughout her books.


Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance





Tuesday Tales: Writing Chain

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our key word is chain. My snippet is from a light paranormal set in the 1950s.

The heroine works hard to make a living in her restaurant and raise her little daughter, while awaiting the return of her husband from the Korean War. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.


Gripping the handle with both hands, she managed to lift the metal bucket only a couple of inches off the floor. It took a combination of sliding and lifting to maneuver it out the back door. She plunged the stringy mop into the water and then rung it out, propping it upside down against the wall. She kicked the bucket over onto the sand and jumped aside as some of the dirty suds streamed back toward her. Once it was empty, the outside spigot allowed for a thorough rinse, and she turned the bucket over to dry.

She rolled her shoulders. They ached pretty bad tonight. Maybe liniment would help, if she could reach the right spot with it and didn’t mind smelling like turpentine. Jeff was an angel at back massages. She missed his warm healing touch. She sank onto the bench and leaned back. The fan should dry the floor before long, and she could finally collapse into bed. Meantime, she’d close her eyes a minute.

A gravelly voice penetrated her respite. “Evening, Missus.”

Her eyes flew open. “Spur! My goodness, what are you doing back here in the dark?”

He indicated the narrow dirt road running behind the row of businesses. “Just on my evenin’ constitutional. Sorry if I startled you.”

Her lips curved in a smile. She had a soft spot for the old codger. “It’s all right. I’m waiting for the floor to dry.”

“What’s this?” He bent to pick up a trifold paper and handed it to her. “Letter from the mister?”

She took it with a sigh. “Fell out of my apron pocket I guess. No, it’s one of those idiotic chain letters. Seems to be the rage these days. This one’s from a third cousin I haven’t seen in years.”

A scowl crunched his eyebrows together. “Never heard of a chain letter. What’s it for?”

“Just stuff and nonsense. It says I have to pass on this rhyme to five people or bad luck will come. I meant to throw it away.”

“We don’t need bad luck at all, none of us, do we, Missus?”

Silence stretched over several beats. “No.”

“I’ll be on my way, Missus.” He tipped a nonexistent hat or gave a half salute, she couldn’t be sure, and ambled off.

Preoccupied, she muttered a farewell. Unfolding the paper, she reread the verse.

This comes with hope from me to you.
Five friends to seek for wishes true.
Good luck and fortune if you send you do.
Otherwise ill, and tidings blue.

Five friends. Spur was right. She didn’t need any bad luck.


I hope you enjoyed my take on chain. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance