Tuesday Tales: Writing Restaurant

Restaurant 7-25-2016Tuesday 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 we have a picture to spark our imaginations. My snippet is from a vintage paranormal romance set in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Laura dimmed the lights and shut off the engine. The car would need a good wash tomorrow. What a long, winding road Miss Sarah lived on, two miles of rock dust and another of Florida sugar sand. She peered toward the front porch. A dark figure floated from the shadows and moved toward her. She held her breath for a moment before realizing it was Old Man Ben, an uncle, grandfather, or some such.

Moonovergraveyard7-1-2015He thumbed open the car door. “Sarey be in the kitchen. She say go on in.”

Steps creaked under her low heels. A kerosene lamp spurted on the scrubbed oak table by Miss Sarah, augmenting flickers from the wood stove. A ghost of a smile played over the elderly woman’s features. Deep, dark eyes were already a bit glazed. People called it the sight. Whatever it was, hopefully it could ease her mind tonight. Her stomach clenched and twisted like a wet washcloth being squeezed dry.

She slipped into a chair, digging into her handbag and coming out with the handful of change she had emptied from the restaurant’s juke box. She piled it on the table and pushed it over. Her voice trembled. “I still haven’t heard from him.”

Miss Sarah’s palm hovered over the silver, moving back and forth in slow motion as if feeling without touching. Then her hand stilled, and deft fingers flicked up a quarter. Barely glancing at it, her eyes burned into Laura’s. “There’s a hole in this 1923 one.”

Laura’s throat burned. How had it become mixed in with the other coins? It never left her the little gold bag. She reached out. “1923? Give that back. That’s my lucky quarter.”

Miss Sarah remained motionless. “You want to know, or don’t you?”Tuesday Tales

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

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

Mythic Monday: Realm of the Sea King

 

Sea tsar by Sergey Malyutin

By MALIUTIN, SERGEI [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sergei Maliutin (1859-1937) painted this fabulous figure as part of the stage design and costume of the Morskoy Tsar, a character from the Rimsky-Korsakov opera Sadko. The first production of Sadko took place in 1897, and in 1906 it went to the Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow.

Do you enjoy the music of Rimsky-Korsakov? I love his Night on Bald Mountain.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland Publicity Photo for Gone with the Wind 1939

By MGM (eBay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Iconic actress Olivia de Havilland turned 100 this month. Amazing. She was born the same year as my mother and starred in one of my mother’s all-time favorite movies, Gone with the Wind. In that classic film she played Melanie Hamilton, a gracious, compassionate southern woman beloved of Ashley Wilkes and also gifted with eliciting gentleness from Rhett Butler.

Out of forty-nine films she made, here are some of my other favorites:
The Adventures of Robin Hood – Maid Marian to Errol Flynn’s Robin of Locksley
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hermia
Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte – Miriam
They Died With Their Boots On – Libby Custer, wife of George Armstrong Custer. This was the 8th and last movie she made with Errol Flynn. They were a great team in all their collaborative projects.

Actors owe de Havilland quite a debt. In the heyday of classic Hollywood, the film studios held great power over actors in the motion picture industry. While under contract, an actor could be suspended for refusing to appear in a film assigned to her/him, and Warner Brothers punished de Havilland several times in this manner. When her seven-year contract with Warner Brothers finally expired and the studio slapped an additional six months onto the contract because of the times she had been suspended, de Havilland fought back by suing them. She won in court and also won the appeal. This was a huge deal at the time, serving to bring the power of the studios more in line with accepted labor code.

De Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine were the only sister duo to both win leading lady Oscars. It’s sad that sibling rivalry and perceived slights caused them to be estranged for long periods of time in their lives. However, these things happenh in families. At least they had times when they made up and got along. Fontaine also lived a long life, passing away in 2013.

I hope you enjoyed this Vintage Friday. Olivia de Havilland is a treasure and perhaps our last remaining star from old time, classic Hollywood. What is your favorite movie of hers?

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

Mythic Monday: Come With Me to Fairyland

John Anster Fitzgerald, Spirit of the Night

John Anster Fitzgerald [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame!” William Butler Yeats, from his play The Land of Heart’s Desire

Yeats Boughton

By Alice Boughton (Whyte’s) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

William Butler Yeats (June 13,1865 – January 28, 1939)

The Land of Heart’s Desire was the first of Yeats’ plays to be professionally performed. In 1894 it had a six-week run at a theater in London. Yeats would go on to work with a core group of passionate literary lovers to establish the Irish National Theatre Society and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. His poetry is legendery, and he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1923. 

 

But this incredible music by twin brothers Derek & Brandon Fiechter:

iTunes

Bandcamp 

Amazon mp3 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Friday: Summertime 1936

The Brown Derby 1926

By First National Pictures (eBay card) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A few highlights from the year 1936:
The Brown Derby’s Robert Cobb unveiled the Cobb Salad
The Volkswagen appeared on the scene (Interesting side note: last night I dreamed I was driving one)
The Phantom comic strip began in newspapers
In the USA people suffered through a major heatwave, and many did not make it
Millions of Chinese died in a devastating famine
Gone with the Wind was published
Joseph Stalin started the Great Purge
Muppet creator Jim Henson was born, as well as Alan Alda and Bobby Darin
Porky Pig lit up the screen
The 5th Avenue candy bar came to market

A popular cocktail from 1936 (and not too different from the juice based drinks of today):
MIAMI SPECIAL
1 ounce gin
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce French vermouth
3 teaspoons of orange marmalade
2 dashes of bitters
Place ingredients in a shaker of ice and shake at least 25 times. Strain and serve.

A popular and unforgettable song from 1936:

I hope you enjoyed our summertime trip back eighty years ago to 1936. Which of the highlights would you like to have seen?

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

Mythic Monday: Rainbow Goddess Iris

RainbowAfter three weeks of being in vacation mode, it is terribly difficult to return to the everyday world. Forgive me, but I really loved being at Daytona Beach with the rejuvenating wind and waves, reveling in beach nightlife with music and fire twirlers, at the crazy car races where Tony Stewart and other drivers go 200 mph, on a picnic at a beautiful tucked away springs in the forest, at the old fort and wax museum in St. Augustine, relaxing in the pool at night with a peach margarita, just spending time with family. It was all wonderful. My son, Snickerdoodle senior, took a gorgeous picture of a rainbow while we were at Daytona Beach last week, and I wanted to share it with you. Of course to me it has a heartfelt mythological energy.

In Greek mythology the goddess Iris is the painter of all our breathtaking rainbows. Her name possesses a double meaning, rainbow and messenger, and Iris performs as the personal messenger of the great goddess Hera. In one of my paranormal fantasy romances in progress, Iris descends to earth to bring a message to the heroine. She appears in a colorful fae drawn cart arching down from the sky to the edge of the sea where the heroine, outcast from the parallel Wytchfae world, runs a tiki bar. Oh, and yes, our Daytona hotel had a tiki bar. Are my books drawn from life or are my life symbols born in books? It’s hard to say.

Iris and Jupiter

Iris and Jupiter by Michel Corneille the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Iris was born of the cloud nymph Elektra, called “amber majesty” and a powerful sea guardian named Thaumas. Spanning the world of the sky and the sea, Iris energizes the clouds, encourages rain showers, and paints glorious rainbows. Our chakras have the same colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Iris also runs errands for Hera and other deities, and the rainbow is a remarkable symbol for communication from the ethereal dimension to the human world. She has no lover or children, and I see her as young, beautiful, and eternal. She obviously cares for humankind to create such lovely rainbows for us.

There’s still several weeks of summer remaining. Let’s enjoy every moment. Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Myths About Anne Boleyn

Flossie Anne Bolelyn 1

Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s 3rd wife Jane Seymour, and Henry at Potter’s Wax Museum

The Snickerdoodle family’s recent visit to Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine made me think about Anne Boleyn, a fascinating woman and tragic queen with a ton of myths swirling around her. Her daughter Elizabeth went on to become England’s greatest queen. Inside the ruby ring Queen Elizabeth wore was a very special and secret picture– one of her mother Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth always remembered her mother’s bright life and untimely death.

Daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, and Lady Elizabeth Howard, Anne Boleyn lived 1501 – May 1536. She became the second wife of Henry VIII after a tumultuous period of political machinations resulting in the separation of the Church of England from Rome. Crowned Queen of England on June 1, 1533, Anne gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I later that same year. With no son as issue, Henry’s attentions flitted to the woman who would become his third wife, Jane Seymour. On May 2, 1536 Henry had Anne arrested and incarcerated in the Tower of London. A jury found her guilty of witchcraft, incest, and adultery. She was beheaded on May 19th.

Anne Boleyn’s first cousin was famous Renaissance poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, a forerunner of English poets writing in sonnet form along with Sir Thomas Wyatt. He also originated the use of blank verse. Henry Howard proved to be yet another of Henry VIII’s victims and was executed for treason in January 1547. My favorite poem of his has always been The Soote Season, which begins: “The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale.” Soote means sweet.

Myths and misconceptions sprang up surrounding Anne Boleyn for numerous reasons. She had replaced the popular Queen Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, and for that suffered ostracism from public sentiment.

Her nature displayed a self-confidence and style that many interpreted as arrogance and coldness. Do you know any modern women like that?

She was educated in France and the Netherlands and had a working knowledge of the world.

Her actions illustrated ambition and a willingness to “put herself out there.”

She disdained others’ opinions of her.

Henry’s propaganda machine made sure she was reviled.

MYTH- She had a sixth finger on one hand.

Anne boleyn

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

FACT- Based on unbiased accounts, on the side of one fingernail was an innocuous bit of nail, almost unnoticeable and easily concealed. 

MYTH- She had a third nipple.

FACT- This was likely a mere mole.

MYTH- She had warts and hideous moles all over her body.

FACT- She had a few small moles, nothing extraordinary. 

MYTH- Her hair was dark and ugly.

FACT- She probably had dark auburn hair and an olive complexion. Her coloring appeared unattractive by the standards of that time, which favored blonde women with pale, translucent skin. 

MYTH- She was a witch.

FACT- Red headed women were considered susceptible to manipulation by the devil. Although her hair was not red, its dark auburn color would do the trick. In addition, any exception to the standards of the time—including behavioral—made her a target. Anne was known for the bewitching gazes of her dark eyes. She did bewitch Henry—for a lamentably short time.

I hope you enjoyed the peek at the myths surrounding Anne Boleyn.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Cocktail Saturday: Get Yourself Some Beach Ions

Aliciabeach2It’s 4th of July beach time, and the Snickerdoodle family is on the run again! There never can be too much seashore, as long as you wear your sunblock and your favorite hat. Join me over at Daytona, Ormond, New Smyrna—or the sunlit destination of your choice—for a walk on the white sand and one of these refreshing cocktails! Bask in those beach ions.

SEX ON THE BEACH

Ingredients:
1 ½ ounces vodka
¾ ounce peach schnapps
½ ounce crème de cassis
1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
1 ½ ounces orange juice
1 ½ ounces cranberry juice
Orange slice for garnish

Sex on the Beach

Sex on the Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Directions:
In an ice filled cocktail shaker, pour all the ingredients except for garnish. Shake well. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with slice of orange if desired. What a treat!

Cheers & Happy Reading and Enjoy Those Beach Ions!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Mythic Monday: Solstice Moon

When a North Carolina friend glam camped with her sister in St. Augustine last week, the Snickerdoodle family went up too. Among other old favorite haunts, we visited the fort (oldest in America), the historical jail (we were thrown in the dark, dank pokey by Deputy Otis), and Potter’s Wax Museum (where I couldn’t resist posing with royals such as Richard the Lionhearted, King John, and Anne of a thousand days Boleyn). Not to mention the Mummy and Creature from the Black Lagoon. The first time I went to Potter’s was in grade school, and I never tire of it. Riding the trolley around town was awesome and saved having to park over and over. We relaxed in each other’s company, enjoyed visiting with our NC friend, and ate the heck out of several scrumptious Village Inn breakfasts. The highlight, of course, was the beach and particularly watching the simultaneous sunset and moonrise along the beach on Solstice Full Moon. It was incredibly elemental and moving.

Gorgeous sunset.

Sunset 1

Glorious moonrise.

Moonrise 1

And here’s a panoramic view of both.

 

Panoramic view 1 resized

Best wishes for you to have some relaxation and family fun!

Cheers & Happy Reading and Reveling!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance