Tuesday Tales: Writing Purple

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring talented authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today’s word prompt is purple. My snippet is from an unedited vintage romance I’m working on set in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Jerking her apron strings tight and knotting them, Laura gritted her teeth at the audacity of the man. Flirting with a woman whose husband was overseas. Only someone like Wade Killingham would actually think she’d be interested. It turned her stomach. She made her way into the little sitting room that served them for everything but sleeping and couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her daughter. The pajama clad cherub lay tummy down on the fuzzy rug, bare feet dancing in the air while she colored intently.

Laura knelt down beside Emmie, admiring her artwork and drawing in soothing little girl scent. “What beautiful mountains, darling. I love how you colored them.”

“I made the purple kind Daddy likes. You know, in the song about America.”

“Oh, yes…the purple mountains. Good job, honey. And who is that standing in front?”

Giggles filled the air. “Daddy of course.”

“He’ll be tickled at your picture. Do you want to send it to him in our next letter?”

The little brow wrinkled. “Okay, but when will he be home, Mama?”

Only heaven and Uncle Sam knew that. “Soon, baby. I know you miss him. He misses you too.” She touched the wayward curls and stood. “It’s time for bed, Emmie. Put your crayons away and I’ll tuck you in.”

Nita appeared at the door, looking uncertain. “Oh, I uh…when you have a minute.”

Laura stood. “Yes, let’s go into the kitchen. Emmie is getting ready to hop in bed.”

Nita grinned down. “Night, Emmie. Sleep tight.”

More giggles. “And don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Customer conversations filtered into the kitchen, as Laura turned off the burner from  under a pot of chili. “What is it, Nita? I’ll be back out front in a few.”

“It’s Wade. He’s come inside again. I just wanted to let you know.”

Laura’s stomach knotted. “You’d better get back out there before he barges through the swinging doors. And don’t worry. As soon as Emmie is in bed, I’ll handle the mule.”

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

 

Mythic Monday: Lovers Penelope and Odysseus

Odysseus und Penelope (Tischbein)

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Penelope and Odysseus

Penelope gained fame as the faithful wife who thwarted suitors and awaited her husband for the twenty years it took him to fight the Trojan War and return home to their kingdom by the sea. The war lasted ten years, so why did it take Odysseus twenty? The Odyssey relates the story.

“Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy.”

After playing a key role in the Greek defeat of the Trojans, Odysseus was all set to make it back home to Ithaca within a few weeks. Unfortunately, he made the egregious error of offending the powerful god of the sea, Poseidon. These days our society is rampant with political correctness and the need not to offend. So what did such an offense look like around 1150 BCE? After being at the mercy of a gigantic ravenous cyclops, Odysseus freed his remaining men by tricking the cyclops and then taunting him once they were safely out of danger. Not cool. Said cyclops turned out to be Poseidon’s son and prayed to his father for Odysseus to wander the earth for many years. “Done,” agreed father who, as a Trojan supporter, held a grudge against Odysseus anyway.

Odysseus’ return home was fraught with all sorts of interesting, horror laden, and disastrous episodes and took ten years instead of three weeks. Good thing or we wouldn’t have The Odyssey. I should point out that numerous episodes involved seductive women such as Sirens,

“No one ever sailed past us without staying to hear the enchanting sweetness of our song—and he who listens will go on his way not only charmed, but wiser, for we know all the ills that the gods laid upon the Argives and Trojans before Troy, and can tell you everything that is going to happen over the whole world.”

the powerful witch Circe,

“When they reached Circe’s house they found it built of cut stones, on a site that could be seen from far, in the middle of the forest. There were wild mountain wolves and lions prowling all round it—poor bewitched creatures whom she had tamed by her enchantments and drugged into subjection.”

and the hypnotic nymph Calypso.

“As she spoke she drew a table loaded with ambrosia beside him and mixed him some red nectar.”

As a man Odysseus didn’t have to be technically faithful to his wife. For reader sympathy, he just had to be more or less headed back toward her direction. Besides, he honestly was under magical spells most of the time.

Meantime, Penelope thwarted greedy suitors by promising to choose a husband when she finished her tapestry, but each night unraveling the sewing she had performed that day. The suitors grew angrier as the years passed and the desperate subterfuge continued.

“It is your mother’s fault not ours, for she is a very artful woman. This three years past, and close on four, she had been driving us out of our minds, by encouraging each one of us, and sending him messages without meaning one word of what she says. And then there was that other trick she played us. She set up a great tambour frame in her room, and began to work on an enormous piece of fine needlework.”

When Odysseus finally washed up on the shores of Ithaca, he was the only one left of his men. All the rest had perished along the way. After fighting off the 108 suitors clamoring for Penelope and the throne, Odysseus resumed his rightful place as king. In my mind he and Penelope lived out the rest of their lives in blissful marital harmony. They deserved it.

“Happy Odysseus, son of Laertes,” replied the ghost of Agamemnon, “you are indeed blessed in the possession of a wife endowed with such rare excellence of understanding, and so faithful to her wedded lord as Penelope the daughter of Icarius. The fame, therefore, of her virtue shall never die, and the immortals shall compose a song that shall be welcome to all mankind in honour of the constancy of Penelope.”

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Vintage Friday: Bonnie & Clyde – 15 Obscure Facts

Bonnieclyde f

By Photo by one of the Barrow gang [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bonnie & Clyde

The notorious Depression era gangsters Bonnie and Clyde met their end over eighty years ago on May 23, 1934. An even more bizarre time warp (to me) is that the Warren Beatty / Faye Dunaway movie is almost fifty years old. Stories and productions romanticize Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and their story does hold fascination. During the few short years of their crime spree, the lawless duo and their gang performed violent, heinous deeds. Here are some things about Bonnie and Clyde you may not know:

The Barrow Gang is thought to have killed thirteen people, most of them law enforcement officers.

The gang robbed banks, but their favorite targets were small gas stations and grocery stores. The take was usually paltry.

Bonnie often drove the getaway car or stayed home rather than going inside with a gun.

Bonnie and Clyde were from Texas and died in Louisiana.

They each remained close with both their families and visited them often.

Bonnie was a small woman, 90 pounds and just under five feet tall.

She posed with guns to bolster her tough image but never really cottoned to them or mastered their use.

She also posed with a cigar but wasn’t a cigar smoker, although she and Clyde did smoke Camel cigarettes.

Bonnie liked whiskey—remember it was bootleg at this time—and swearing.

Clyde didn’t drink much but was known for having a hot blooded temper.

He was a musician, playing the guitar and saxophone, and before turning to crime Bonnie had sung in school productions and at local events.

She enjoyed reading movie magazines and dreamed of being on the silver screen.

She wrote poetry, songs, and stories.

Bonnie and Clyde were set up by one of their gang members and ambushed by the law amid a storm of deadly bullets. She died at 23, he at 24

One of her poems ends like this:

Some day they’ll go down together; And they’ll bury them side by side; To few it’ll be grief, To the law a relief, But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.

Legendary outlaws Bonnie and Clyde are remembered as part of the bleak, hardscrabble culture of the 1930s. It’s always disturbing to see young people turn to criminal activities that cause harm to others. Society still has so many problems to solve, doesn’t it? What do you think of Bonnie and Clyde or of the 1930s in general?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Save

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring talented authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today we have the word save to spark our imaginations. My snippet is from an adventurous paranormal romance currently being reworked. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Her breath came in painful gasps. Resa sank on one knee to regain her bearing.

A few feet away Rhade crouched low, his muscular form ready for attack. His voice came low and deadly. “Save your hide, Sith. Let us pass.”

The Cat Sith had stilled and now faced him. With eyes narrowed and cunning, she seemed to measure her opponent. How much intelligence remained available to the creature while in animal form? Did her brain revert to a primitive state? She sensed the cat would strike soon. It was the nature of the beast to kill or be killed.
The Sith’s muscles rippled and her stance shifted. Damn it, she was preparing to lunge.

Slipping one hand into her leather pouch, Resa withdrew the small vial given to her by the Swamp Wytch. With trembling fingers she unscrewed the top. Please let her be helping Rhade instead of distracting or harming him. Steeling herself, she flung the vial of acrid liquid at the Sith. Straight to the eyes, right on target.

A heart curdling wail filled the contours of the cavern. The Sith shrieked as she dug at her eyes with curved talons. Her features contorted in agony. Finally, with an unsettling moan she collapsed to the ground, curling her body into a ball and covering her face with those huge, veiny wings. The air shimmered around her, and the next moment a woman sprawled there. Bloody tears streamed down her face. Her bloodshot gaze spewed hatred, but she remained motionless.

Rhade loomed over the cat woman, legs apart, his dagger pointed at the fallen creature.

A great gust of wind swept into the space, forming into a narrow twirling cone. It seemed to suck the oxygen out of the air, and Resa found it hard to breathe again. With popping and crackling noises, the spinning slowed. An angry voice boomed. “Who dares to harm my Sith?”

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the snippet. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day – Othila

OthilaOTHILA

Divination is a way to focus on what matters. It allows us to gain insight into the ripe possibilities of the moment and is best used as a type of meditative effort. With their symbolism and kinship with long ago Germanic cultures, runes are a fascinating method.

From the bag of runes, we close our eyes and draw a single stone as we ask a question: What do I need to know about [such and such situation]? If drawing on behalf of another, visualize that person. We must listen with open mind and heart.

Today we examine Othila, a rune resembling a diamond or kite with two tails. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the auspices of the warrior god Tyr.

The fact that it looks like a diamond with tails is appropriate. Othila depicts an enclosed space denoting home and property. Its meaning relates to prosperity, real estate, and inheritance. The riches come down to us through family, and we are called upon to honor that which has come before, while also remaining attuned to new possibilities. Clans and families banding together for the common good spring to mind. As well as tangible wealth and belongings, Othila stands for our spiritual legacy. It is up to us to nurture and protect our inner spirit, however we may see it. This is a not a time to become an inert stick in the mud. We must be alert to creative opportunities and willing to take calculated risks in order to move forward.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Othila, the Rune of the Day. How does the mad mixture of legacy and entrepreneurial spirit play out in the dynamics of your life?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Vintage Friday: Gaelic Song

 

Moonovergraveyard7-1-2015Do You Remember?

What is it about this music? Gaelic folk songs tend to touch our hearts and make our spirits soar. Even when the meaning of the words is unknown, the singer and the song resonate deep inside the misty corridors of our cells. Close your eyes and listen. What images do you see? What do you feel when you hear it?

https://youtu.be/dDdi6bn06bo 

Cheers & Happy Listening  and Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: Felicia and the Pot of Pinks

Dolls in chairFAIRY TALES

I’m excited to add a new, regular feature to Mythic Monday, the sharing of fairy tales from the set of ten books I had as a little girl: Young Folks Library by Charles E. Knapp. My grandmother read these stories to me, and I later read them to my dolls. These fairy tales engendered the passion that made me want to become a writer. Later on, mythology would amplify the passion. The tale highlighted today is from the volume, The Story Teller.

FELICIA AND THE POT OF PINKS

Alternate Title – Fortunee’ (The Fortunate One)
Author – Madame d’Aulnoy (1651-1705), included  by Andrew Lang in The Blue Fairy Book, 1889, and by Charles E. Knapp in The Story Teller, part of the Young Folks Library, 1st copyright 1938.Story Teller
First Published – 1697.
Genre – French literary fairy tale.
Setting – a humble cottage near a woodland.
Heroine – Felicia, raised as a poor farmer’s daughter, later revealed to be a princess in her own right.Felici
Hero – a prince who wears a cloak of green velvet with a clasp of emeralds.
Antagonist – Felicia’s selfish brother Bruno.
Star of the Book – The pot of pinks because—well, so as not to spoil the story for you, let’s just say these flowers are more than they seem.
Favorite Secondary Character – the Queen of the Wood, who helps Felicia after her brother takes all from her.
Fun Tidbit – Madame d’Aulnoy is credited with inventing the term fairy tale for her genre.
Favorite Line – And with a wave of her hand she turned the poor little cottage into a splendid palace, full of treasures.

Have you read this fairy tale? If not, enjoy the version Andrew Lang included in his The Blue Fairy Book.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Author on Board: Carmen Stefanescu

Carmen Till Life Do us part-001WELCOME, CARMEN STEFANESCU

I’m excited to welcome my talented, generous friend Carmen Stefanescu to fill us in on her latest release that will be coming out in June. Carmen is an amazing writer and wonderful person. Her new book cover is stunning. Also, check out her links below. Carmen’s website is a treasure for authors and her Pinterest a visual delight.

Flossie, thank you so much for having me as your guest today.  You know my interest in anything odd –  paranormal, myths,  legends  – all that is out of the normal boundaries.  Reincarnation and chat with ghosts can be included, too.

I’m thrilled to be here, and excited to share the cover for my incoming release

                            Till Life Do Us Part

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Magic, Reincarnation, Mystery, Suspense

Release date: 9th June 2016

Blurb:

Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

Author Bio:

carmenCarmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

 Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

You can stalk the author here:

Website

Twitter

Pinterest

Facebook

Goodreads

Google+

Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Cookies

Cookies 5-3-2016Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring talented authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated bunch that enjoys books and reading as much as you do. Today we have a tasty looking picture to spark our imaginations. My snippet is from a vintage romance set in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Late afternoon shadows angled against the walls like man-eating plants. Why, oh why had she paid good money to see that picture show last Saturday?

She shook off the eerie feeling. “Run and check your clothes hamper, Emmie. I want to get the rest of the washing and ironing done before the supper crowd comes in. Nita can only stay until six o’clock, and I’ll be without help after that.”

Giggling, her daughter skipped out of the room, returning a minute later with a miniature rose-colored dress. Fat dimples appeared in her cheeks. “The hamper is empty, but Mistress Marigold’s ball gown is wrinkled.”

Laura smiled and reached for the doll dress, sniffing in the scent of lavender sachet. “We can’t have that. What do you want for supper, darling? More of the succotash you had earlier?”

Soft golden curls shook vehemently. “I’m still full, Mama. I think my tummy will only hold chocolate cake.”

“Sorry, sweetie. The lunch crowd finished off the cake. We’ll wait another hour or so. Then I’ll fix you and Mistress Marigold a nice light supper fit for ladies-in-waiting. How does a grilled cheese sound? Afterward, you may check the cookie jar. There may be one or two snickerdoodles in it.”

Emmie’s expression wavered for a moment, as if she couldn’t decide whether to pout or go along with the plan. Her good nature won out. She dimpled and picked up her doll, chattering excitedly about an upcoming ball.

A sprig of sadness wafted around Laura’s insides, pricking her in places she tried to keep protected and hidden. Her little girl was acting so grown up lately. She was growing up, and fast. Jeffrey was missing out on that. He needed to come home. She swiped at the moisture in her eyes. She needed him to come home.

Tuesday TalesThanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: Maia

075MAIA

Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
John Keats

With winter harshness behind us and intolerable summer heat not yet a reality, we greet the loveliest month of spring. Maia was a Greek goddess who, naturally, also appeared in the Roman pantheon. She was the daughter of the Titan Atlas, renowned for carrying the earth on his shoulders, and Pleione, who protected sailors. Maia’s name origin relates to mother, grandmother, or perhaps wise one. She was the eldest of seven sisters, represented by the Pleiades in the splendor of the night sky. Seeking solitude from the attentions of the king of the gods, Maia took herself to a remote cavern. Zeus, however, followed her to her dim starlit abode, with the end result being a newborn son, the fleet footed messenger god Hermes, Mercury to the Romans.

Maia, daughter of Atlas, shared the sacred bed of Zeus
and gave birth to Hermes, renowned herald of the gods.
Hesiod, Theogony702

The Romans connected Maia to a goddess of spring and the green growth of nature, and also to fire, including the heat of sexuality and regeneration. For centuries folklore celebrations centered on the maypole, which is a vibrant way of honoring spring. On the Wheel of the Year, the corresponding holiday is Beltane, a cross corner day falling halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice where participants gather around a celebratory fire.PURPLE Azaleas 2a

In whatever ways you honor spring, Maia, and the rebirth of light and energy, I wish you greenery and colorful blossoms to sparkle up your days.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

More: Patricia Monaghan, The Book of Goddesses and Heroines

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2014/04/beltane-traditions/
http://www.pleiade.org/pleiades_02.html