Tag Archives: 1950’s

Tuesday Tales: Writing Hotel Window

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today the picture prompts we selected from were types of windows. Mine reminded me of a hotel window. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Hannah breathed in the salty air. She hadn’t realized how much she had missed that uplifting scent. A purr of contentment vibrated across her lips.

From next to her on the car seat, Meg patted her arm. “Yep, I smell it, too. Nothing like beach air to shake out the cobwebs. You smell the salt, Bryan?”

The driver lifted a tanned hand from the wheel for emphasis. “I smell it five days a week, honey. Doesn’t do much for me anymore.”

Meg looked at Hannah and shook her head. “You ever hear such nonsense? Man gets to live on the beach five days out of seven and already takes it for granted.”

“Work on the beach, honey. Work. Through the week you won’t find me lying around on a big towel sipping drinks from paper cups like you two girls have planned.”

Photo by Alicia, copyright 2014

 

The slice of turquoise bobbing between buildings made Hannah’s heart beat faster. Soon Bryan turned between two hotels, driving out onto the bumpy white sand. An endless swatch of turquoise met a half globe of clearest blue, and the sight poured its majesty right down into her gut. 

The two women lugged out their numerous bags and began nesting in the sand as he drove off. Spreading out a towel, Hannah glanced up at the multi-story luxury hotel. Most of the drapes were still drawn, but one gave a wide open view of its occupant. A young woman clad in silk pajamas faced the window and stretched out her arms in exuberance. Despite puffy eyes that told of over indulgence last night, she obviously didn’t have a care in the wide world. Enjoying life. Vacationing here on her trust fund or her father’s money. A dull pain thudded between Hannah’s eyes. She pinched her brow. There before her loomed a mirror to her past. A phantom of her former life welcomed the morning rays. 

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture prompt of a hotel window. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Tree

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is tree. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Hannah tossed down her pencil and pinched the bridge of her nose. Bookwork had never been her favorite pastime. A contemptuous chuckle escaped her lips. No one was around to hear her thoughts. Who did she think she was kidding? She’d never kept financial records in her life before she came here. Her gaze settled on the newly polished wooden floor. Shadows cast by the lone chandelier obscured the sheen. The long knives of dusk. She hated it and always made sure to be outside when it came. She wanted to absorb every last glimmer of sunlight. Let night fall like a curtain rather than fade like a song. Now the twilight always seemed to creep up on her before she could get to the open air.

She pushed the chair away from the desk. That air suddenly seemed a necessity. The screen door squeaked on her way to the outside landing, further unsettling her nerves. Why couldn’t Buster take care of things without her having to remind him? Her father would never have stood for it. Her father. His death already seemed a lifetime ago, the world she’d known a distant dream. Faded like the day. She sucked in a shaky breath. The faint scent of jasmine still lingered. If only she could figure that one out. The coming night cascaded around her. Stars popped out on the horizon, impatient. She had the strangest urge to push them back through their pinholes. The strident ring of the telephone drew her back inside.

“Hannah, this is Meg.”

“Oh, hi, Meg.”

“I’m on the calling tree for the PTA, and I wanted to give you the first chance before I start. We’re working on the Halloween fundraiser, and I remember you mentioned civic involvement. Do you want to be listed as a sponsor?”

“How much?”

“Five smackers for an individual but fifteen if you want the hotel listed.”

“Put me down for fifteen.”

“Great! Thanks so much, Hannah. That’ll put the curdle in Audrey Wyver’s tea.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt tree. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Stairs

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today we have a picture prompt of an empty room with winding stairs. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

The winding stairs led Hannah to the attic. Music tinkled, tinny sounding but louder. The jasmine fragrance was more palpable up here. A tingle ran down her spine. She swiveled around. No one behind her. The breath she’d been holding escaped in a whiny trickle. Squeezing her hands stilled their trembling. Now if she could hold off the urge to scamper back downstairs like a frightened mouse. 

Stepping carefully through a maze of boxes, she made her way toward a small wooden shutter. A breath of fresh air would calm her nerves. She didn’t remember seeing such a tiny window anytime she’d viewed the hotel from outside, but she was a little disoriented at the moment. Maybe it was obscured from outside somehow. Why would you have a hidden window though?

Clamping her teeth, she reached for the knob and tugged. Nothing happened. Frowning, she tried with both hands this time. The bottom of the shutter gaped open a hair, but the top refused to budge. Warped, blast it. What she needed was a case knife or, better yet, a screw driver. She glanced around at the boxes. Maybe there was something in one of them she could use to open the shutter. After a moment she shook her head at the way her overloaded brain ran around in circles. She’d deal with the stuck window later. It’s not like she was suffocating or anything. She had traipsed up here because her imagination had played a trick on her. This was her building and consequently her attic full of junk, regardless how it got here. Maybe there were even treasures among the motley piles. She may as well investigate.

She dragged a chair up to one of the largest boxes, determination settling in. All was quiet now. No more eerie music or jasmine. She inhaled a deep breath and let it out in one fell swoop. Ugh, dusty nostrils. Luckily she carried a handkerchief in her apron pocket. She dabbed at her nose, careful to keep it dainty. You never knew when someone was watching you, her mother had advised. No, that etiquette tip didn’t help a bit right now. She reached for a box lid.

The scent of jasmine flooded the room, swirling in on the sudden musical notes. In an instant the temperature plummeted. Icy tendrils snaked around her heart and squeezed. Jerking up, she knocked over the chair and ran headlong toward the door. On the landing, sunlight blinded her just as a dark figure loomed up in front. She screamed. Hands reached out to grab her shoulders.

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

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Metal

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 book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is metal. My excerpt is from Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

With a groan, she snapped the metal cap onto the pen and shoved it aside. The ink smear on the paper singed her temper. Blasted bookwork. Didn’t two plus two equal four anymore? She dug her fingers into her temples, pressing against the throbbing pain. Trying to keep the figures reconciled had proven to be one of the worst aspects of the renovation project. Maybe she’d take Mr. Berry up on his offer of accounting help, if he’d wait and bill her after the opening. No, that wasn’t fair to him. She couldn’t do it. Sighing, she selected a yellow pencil from the top desk drawer and set back to work.

Footsteps sounded on the outside stairs. The gait was too lively to be Buster. The bulb in the desk lamp flickered, and she tapped at the heavy green shade. Please not again. The electrician had sworn he’d gotten all the wiring straightened out. Her limited budget would only stretch so far. She looked up to see Nate Larkin walking toward her.

He removed his hat. “Afternoon, Miss Ross.”

His deep voice brushed over the walls and settled like soft whispers against her skin. The old fashioned sitting room seemed suddenly too small. “Yes, Mr. Larkin?”

“Nate, please. Don’t get up, ma’am. I’m here about the carpentry work you mentioned down at the café.”

She stood up anyway, gripping the pencil. Should she take him on? He was a soldier, used to action. Spur was already a major problem. Could she trust Nate Larkin to be steady?

He raised a dark brow. “You seem a shade reluctant. I assure you I’ve done this type of work before.” He smiled encouragingly. “Do you have questions you want to ask me?”

She cleared her throat. “Not to offend you—I know you’ve been overseas—I can’t even imagine–but you give the impression of just passing through.” She must sound like a lunatic. “What I mean is you came in on the train, out of nowhere. How do I know you won’t skip town at the sound of the next lonesome whistle?”

His expression didn’t change. “You have something against strangers?”

“Not at all.”

“Soldiers then.”

She bridled. “No, of course not.”

“Right. Then let me put it like this. Those tracks can keep on going where they’re going. Doesn’t bother me in the least. I’ll hang around here until the job is done. You have my word.”

After a moment she nodded. “I could use another hand. One of my workers is out sick, and there’s too much for one person to handle, although Buster does his best.”

“Is he here? Maybe he could show me what needs to be done.”

“He’ll be back before long. He went home for dinner.” She indicated the flowered brocade settee. “You can have a seat if you like.”

He opened a palm toward her chair. “After you.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt metal. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Hook

Tuesday TalesTuesday 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 book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is hook. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

“My mother taught me, and I’ll teach you.”

Emmie blinked up at her, eyes wide. “What do I do?”

Laura tied the soft yarn into a slip knot. “First, let me make you a chain.” She quickly ran up a starter chain. “Okay, honey, I made it big so you can see where the hook goes. I put it through these two loops, like that. Then I bring it underneath and hook the yarn. See? It’s called yarn over.”

A tiny frown notched her brow. “Cause the yarn goes over the hook?”

“Yes, and after I hook the yarn, I pull it back through the hole I made in the loops. See that?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then I yarn over again and pull it through the other two loops on the hook.” She finished off the stitch. “It’s called a single crochet stitch. There are different kinds, but this one comes first. See, I’ll do it again. Watch.” In slow motion she maneuvered the hook. “Through the two loops, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, and on through the loops on the hook. Want to try?”

“Okay. It looks hard though.”

bagpurplemultiloretta-splotch-trim“You liked the little blanket I made you. If you learn how to crochet, you can make Daddy a present for when he gets home.”

Emmie brightened and reached for the yarn her mother held out. “Where do I put my fingers?”

“Right hand holds the hook, like a pencil. I know, it’s a little big, but you’ll get used to it. Down close to the hook and keep it steady so you don’t lose the stitch.” She placed the little fingers just so. With their heads close together, she breathed in her daughter’s scent. Emmie smelled like warm sunlight. “Left hand holding the other end. Now push the hook through the holes.”

With her help Emmie made her first crochet stitch, and then several more. Giggles filled the air. “Pretty soon you’ll be a crochet princess.”

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

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Gray

gray-tabby-cat-with-green-eyes-close-up-600x600Tuesday 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 gray. My snippet is from a vintage paranormal romance set in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

With a deep belly sigh, the old woman squeezed Laura’s hand before releasing it. “That’s all. Spirit done for now.”

“B-but—“

“Your man’s alive. Be thankful for that.”

“I am, of course.” She flexed her fingers to alleviate the tingling sensation left over from the spirit contact or whatever it was flowing through the seer.

“Shake it.”

Laura jumped at the abrupt command. “What?”

“Like this.” Miss Sarah’s hand flapped wildly in the air. “Gets the spookies off.”

Laura half-heartedly followed suit. She bit her bottom lip. “So, there was no other information about Jeffrey? How badly he’s hurt? When he’s coming home?”

A gray tabby leapt onto the table, staring with alert pale eyes. “Scat!” Miss Sarah brushed it off. “Not directly.”

“What do you mean?”

“That all spirit showed me, but I get the feeling you will learn something more in the next few days. Try to keep peaceable about it. Spirit has a hand in the goings on and will let you know if you need to come back out here for another go round. Meantime, you’ll see something on your own. Pay attention.”

Clueless at that pronouncement, Laura pushed back her chair and rose. She didn’t have a smidgen of what her granny called the sight. “Thank you.”

The old woman nodded, heaving herself up with a mighty groan. “These old bones ain’t what they used to be.”

When Laura reached the front porch, the pungent scent of pond lilies permeated the air. Old Ben reappeared to escort her back to the car. “Careful on the road out. Deer are prancing about this time of night. Swamp’s not safe for the living or dead.”

For the living or dead. On the winding road words flashed in her mind, like a pulsing neon sign. Not dead. Not dead. Not dead. She gripped the wheel to keep from veering off into the bog. A leaden ball still lay in her stomach. Was she losing her hold on reality? She didn’t feel the elation she expected. “Oh Jeffrey, are you really alive?”Tuesday Tales

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

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

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

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

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Window

Window2-8-2016Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today we write from a photograph of a window. The snippet is from a paranormal vintage romance set in the 1950s featuring Hannah Ross as a young woman set on renovating a 1920s hotel. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

The scent of jasmine tickled her nostrils like a delicate half-forgotten memory. She glanced around, expecting to see Miss Mabel or another of the ladies fluttering a lace-trimmed handkerchief. Then came the music. A few tinkling notes from somewhere above, as if to entice. She grabbed a handful of curls and pulled, forcing the blood back to her scalp. An irritated hiss escaped her lips. For Pete’s sake. It wasn’t as if there was anything to be afraid of. If some hobo was camping in her attic, she was quite sure he wouldn’t be slathering on expensive feminine perfume. Brandishing her dust cloth like the sword of Ivanhoe, she hurried past the small sitting room and around the half wall separating it from the alcove.

She peered up. The stairs leading to the attic were steep and cramped, as if to keep out a Nosy Nelly like herself. Could she be deemed that, with such a high stake in the place? Surely not. She had all the right in the world to explore every square inch. She crept upward, testing each step before exerting her weight. Reaching the landing, she gasped in disbelief at the array of furniture and boxes. What in the world was all this stuff and why had Roscoe Wyver left it here?

Music tinkled, muffled but louder than before. The jasmine fragrance was stronger, too. Stepping carefully through a maze of boxes and clutter, she made her way toward a set of small wooden shutters. A breath of fresh air was just what she needed right now. She didn’t remember seeing a gothic shaped window anywhere on the hotel, but her directions were disoriented at the moment. Maybe it was obscured from outside or a faux window, though why would you have one in an attic? Tuesday Tales

I hope you enjoyed this scene using a photo of this interesting window. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Stolen

Tuesday TalesWelcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog where diverse authors post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our word prompt is stolen. The snippet is from a paranormal vintage romance set in the 1950s with heroine Hannah Ross and hero Nate Larkin. Please visit my talented colleagues at Tuesday Tales.

Might as well take a stool and leave the few remaining tables for lovebirds. Or old married couples, she amended, spying the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Henry. She put a hand to her rumbling stomach. Had she eaten her customary toast this morning? She honestly couldn’t recall.

At the counter Meg’s cheery grin elicited a responding smile. “Hannah, it’s about time you thought about eating. I wish I could forget food as easily as you do. What can I get you?”

She glanced at the chalked menu board highlighting fried chicken. “Grilled cheese, fries, and iced tea. And I don’t forget about food. I’ve been busy.”

Her friend gave her a skeptical look and then scrawled the order. “Right.” In a flash the order sheet was torn off the pad and slapped onto a skewer in the pass-through window. Meg scooped ice into a glass. “You seem a little down. Something else happen with the renovation?”

She sighed and adjusted the collar of her blouse, running her thumb over the irritating wrinkle she’d made while ironing it. “It’s been one snag after another. The latest is some kind of electrical issue. The lamps blink off and on at the oddest times.”

“Shoot. Sorry about that.” Meg lowered her voice. “Any word from Roscoe on extending your deadline?”

She lowered her voice in response. “Nope. He’ll refuse. How else is he to keep my down payment and the hotel too?”

“The shifty old buzzard. Well, it’s over a month until Halloween. You’ve still got time.”

“He’s a businessman. Chances are I made a bad deal. Maybe I’m a nitwit. What made me think I could do this by myself anyway?”

“Hush. You’re not a nitwit. You’ll get it done. I’ll be there this weekend to help as usual. With the scrubbing anyway. I don’t know beans about electricity and neither does Sam. I was hoping you’d get to meet–ooh, this is your lucky day, Hannah. Here’s the dish I mentioned. Is he a dreamboat or what?”

For a moment she thought Meg referred to her grilled cheese plate, but the purr in her friend’s voice caused her to glance over her shoulder. So this was the stranger everyone was talking about. He gave Meg a friendly wave and headed toward the counter. She got a quick impression of red-blooded man.

Meg’s countenance had brightened even more. “Glad you made it for lunch, Nate. Set yourself down. How’d you manage to get out from under all the work Dave’s got you doing down at the fish camp?”

“I skedaddled when his back was turned.”

Meg lifted a jaunty eyebrow at her before favoring him with a reply. “My man Sam says stolen moments are the best.”

He settled onto a stool. “So I’m told.” His deep timbered voice brushed like rough velvet against her skin.

“Hannah Ross, meet Nate Larkin. Hannah’s the one I told you about who’s renovating the old hotel.”

Warm hazel eyes met hers. “Nice to meet you, Hannah.”

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

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