Tag Archives: Ghost

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 Lemon

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 lemon. 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.

 

At the sound of a commotion, Nate bounded up the stairs toward the attic landing. Hannah sped toward him, no hint of recognition on her features. He gripped her shoulders. When she tried to jerk away, he held on to keep her from tumbling down the stairs.

“Let me go!”

Her frenzied state alarmed him. “Calm down, Miss Ross. It’s Nate Larkin.”

She stared at him, unseeing.

“Hannah, it’s me. I’ve got you. You look like you’ve seen a ghost. What has happened?”

“Nate?” She collapsed against him.

He wrapped his arms around her, peering around with trained attention. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but he’d clear the space once he got her settled. No one would hurt her on his watch. Her nearness and soft warmth caught him off guard. His eyelids fluttered. The sugary lemon of her hair tantalized his senses. He breathed in the scent as if it were oxygen he’d been missing. Her body trembled. Protectiveness washed over him, merging with his heightened state.

After a few moments she pulled away. A rosy tint stained her cheeks. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Mr. Larkin. Please forgive me.”

“Nate.” He wouldn’t let her dismiss him. “You’re still distraught, Miss Ross. Come downstairs and sit down.” He maneuvered her down the steps. “Careful now.”

“I’m fine.”

He led her to the settee and lowered himself beside her, not wanting to loom over.

She focused on a spot on the wall and took several deep breaths. She seemed to gather in her distress, steeling her features into normalcy and calm. Only then did she turn her face to his. “I’m fine now. Truly. Thank you for your help. I’d better get busy. I have things to do.”

He raised a brow. “Not until you tell me what scared the daylights out of you.”

 

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt lemon. 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 Air

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 air. 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.

Roscoe trudged toward Nate with the obvious goal of getting in his face. “I don’t need any smart ass comments, boy. I asked you a question. What are you doing out here at the old cemetery?”

“Just looking around. Most of these graves are in pretty good condition to be so old.”

Roscoe gave him a sideways glance. “Cemetery Association takes care of that.”

“For a buck here and there from the family?”

The older man shrugged in apparent agreement.

“What about when there is no kin?” Nate nodded at a tilted marker half sunk into the ground. “Like that one. Cemetery Association just lets it go to hell?”

Roscoe’s eyes took on a mean squint. “What’s it to you? You’re a stranger in town poking his nose where it don’t belong. You and that snobby ass tart Hannah Ross. Nothing but trouble. Both you need to high tail it back where you came from.”

Nate clenched his fists and swallowed over the burning in his throat. Smashing the pompous air out of the man’s gut wouldn’t help matters. Will power couldn’t stop the words that poured through his lips. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? She leaves without meeting the deadline, and all the cash plus the hotel reverts to you?”

Roscoe took a final drag and stomped out his cigarette. A satisfied grin spread out on his ruddy face. “So that’s what this is. She’s got your britches in such a wad you can’t see straight. Telling you tales about some robbery or another.” He waved an arm. “Well, go ahead. It’s your party. Look around all you want. Spend your fine Sunday afternoon with the corpses. Just remember one thing. I got my eye on you, Larkin. And on her.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt air. 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 Love

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you get to share it with someone special.

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 love. 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.

Kneeling in the sparse grass, he ran his fingers over the smooth marble. It was a graceful monument, a work of art. He took in the flowing lines of the base, the scroll edged binding of the holy book resting on top. And above it all the sculpture that stirred the inner places he had closed off long ago. The curve of her bare arm. The unquenched sorrow of her mournful posture. The weeping angel sheltered the earthborn memory of the woman now gone. Although he had no idea of the countenance or figure of Iris de Pres, he could sense her reflected in the reverence of the tribute. A strong connection surged between her and the one who sought to immortalize her.

He shook off the strange feelings. Practical thoughts flicked to the cost of such a commission. She had been mightily important to someone. Was Spur more involved than he let on? What did he have to do with Iris de Pres and why was he so confounded close mouthed about the subject? He cursed beneath his breath. Why wouldn’t the old cuss just ride out here with him?

Pivoting on his heels, he maneuvered to the front of the gravestone. The inscription was in raised lettering on the base. Names and dates. Clear and simple. Hannah had been right. She died young. Only 26. And something else was written beneath that in tiny letters. He peered closer. The quiet dust made his eyes water, and he swiped a handkerchief over his face before looking again. He squeezed and then widened his eyes to clear his vision. My love, forsaken. A frown curled his brow. What the hell did that mean?

A motor sounded in the distance. He rose, moving away from the center of his interest. It was better to play it close to the chest than broadcast his business. Removing his watch, he made a show of rewinding it, keeping a sideways eye on the road.

A brand new 1954 Buick growled up and clenched into park. A red faced Roscoe Wyver barreled out, leaving the car door open. His voice boomed. “What the hell you doin’ out here, Larkin?”

He slid the watch back on his wrist. A grin sliced across his face. “Roscoe, that’s no way to treat the gears in that fine machine of yours. Grinds up the transmission real fast.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt love. 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 Ghost

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 Halloween appropriate word is ghost. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Damn, he could devour a feast of oxen with no help at all. A smile creased his face at the thought of his father’s elaborate banquets, plentiful cattle and fowl covering the long table, juices dripping from their succulent flesh. His mouth watered. Banging his fists together, he rejoiced in the desire for food after all the dim eons in an aimless world—unseen by the humans he observed, ignored by other ghosts, confronted by the occasional demon.

His brow furrowed, and he wondered at his increased vitality. Was the curse fading? The possibility of becoming a man again caused his heart to thunder in his chest.

The demon serpent-lion he had fought and killed must have rekindled his warrior’s appetite. He smeared the red liquid across his chest. The first blood he had spilled in over a thousand years. He sucked blessed air into his lungs. The beast deserved a thousand deaths. It had dared bare its teeth at the woman.

In his mind’s eye, he saw her as she danced beneath the moonlight. Small of stature, but strong looking, she resembled a queen or goddess. Dark silken hair haloed an enraptured face as she lifted her arms to the sky. It seemed to him she was calling down the moon, in the same kind of secretive ritual he had learned of from his mother, concubine to the king. Women in such a stance took on the power of fabled times, and the one called Ivy was no exception.

Still, at the same time, she had looked all woman. Ritual over, she had appeared startled by his presence, for a moment only. Then she had stood firm and taken his measure. His loins twitched at the memory of her eyes on him.

His stomach rumbled. First things first. He must fill his belly. Then he would search out the woman.

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 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

Mythic Monday: 13 Rare Halloween Spooks by Flossie Benton Rogers

Photo by Alicia

Photo by Alicia

It’s almost that splendidly spooky time of year, Halloween, and a chance to scare ourselves with a few creepy creatures! Don’t go out of your way to find these haints, though. In fact, it’s best to give them a wide berth.

Pontianak – a female vengeance demon who was once a woman that died while pregnant or in childbirth. A pontianak feeds on the internal organs of males. She has a foul smell and emits a soft but eerie sound when she comes close to you.

Doppelganger – a double or apparition that looks exactly like you but is not you. Who can forget the episode of Twilight Zone, Mirror Image, where an evil Vera Miles doppelganger appears in a bus station with such a sinister smile? Most often a doppelganger is a harbinger of doom.

Revenant – an etheric spirit that lives on the energy of a living person, sucking out the life force a little at a time over what is often a long period of time.

Will o’ the Wisp – flame like ghost lights that appear in the night forest, often of a greenish hue. Following a beckoning Will o’ the Wisp is usually not a smart course of action.

Wendigo – a Native American demon who possesses humans and turns them into cannibals. An early episode of Supernatural featured a wendigo who almost made lunch of Sam and Dean Winchester.

Baital– a demon spirit that lives in graveyards and inhabits corpses of the dead in order to have a physical body. Like a vampire, a baital or vetala has wings and enjoys drinking blood. ZeusScarycropped

Reptilian – a cold blooded, humanoid entity from another dimension or universe that lacks emotion and seeks to control a human being. A reptilian has the chilling ferocity of a crocodile and, like the revenant, feeds on human energy.

Shadow People – a human shaped being that appears as a shadow, usually of someone we know. Some consider shadow people to be sinister duplicates of ourselves from another dimension.

Black Eyes – a creepy demon that looks like a regular person except for very pale skin and soulless black eyes that show no whites or irises. They most often come in the form of children but can also appear as adults. They sometimes show up on your threshold demanding to be let in. Their intention is to force themselves into a person’s life and take control.

Anti Ghost – a human who pierces time and dimensions to appear as a wraith like being in the past. You could be an anti ghost right now and not know it.

Preta – the spirit of a greedy, selfish person who is doomed to roam graveyards, steal valuables from the dead, and eat rotting corpses. A preta is a type of hungry ghost.

Skunk Ape – a mysterious, bigfoot like creature who lives among the palmetto bushes in the swamps of Florida.

Lady Midday – a female demon who asks questions and beheads you with a scythe if you give the wrong answer. Unlike most spooks, this personification of heatstroke visits only in the hottest part of the day. I met her last weekend at one of my Snickerdoodle’s football games after getting overheated, dehydrated, and having no breakfast.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our foray into the world of scary spooks, and I hope your costume is all ready for October 31st!

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

Hump Day Hook: Bravo, Michael York

A faery witch with an attitude. A vengeful Viking ghost.

Welcome to the 12th Hump Day Hook of 2013. In this blog hop, each author posts one paragraph from a book or WIP. Find a list of splendid HDH authors here. Everyone would love a comment and for their post to be liked and HumpDayHooklogotweeted. Join the HDH Facebook page.

In celebration of the birthday of my favorite actor Michael York, whose Viking

Guthrum the Dane in the movie Alfred the Great forever inspired me, the following is a description of the Viking ghost Ingvar the first time faery witch Kelly lays eyes on him. The timing is a bit inopportune, since Kelly is frantically trying to transition a ghost to the afterlife:Her mouth fell open as a man’s shape emerged from the shadows.

Another ghost.

Tall and muscular, his fair hair streamed from a bronze helmet. A large brooch with a runic symbol joined the corners of a cloak made of skins, revealing a long under-tunic marred with rust-colored stains. Leather straps encircled his long, trouser clad legs from knees to boots, and a belt secured knives and other weapons. A sword and shield hung from shoulder straps.

Kelly stared. She had only seen such clothes in movies. Such men either. He was one gorgeous hunk of male.