Tag Archives: Korean War

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 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 Track

 

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 track. My snippet 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.

He slid onto a stool at the counter. The lunch crowd had thinned out, leaving quite a few tables needing to be cleared. Meg, the waitress he had met before was busy taking care of it.

Her cheery manner settled him down a little. “Not in a big hurry are you?”

“Nah.”

She lumbered toward the back with an oversized tray of dirty dishes. “Be with you in two shakes.” Pleasant odors drifted through the swinging door as she disappeared into the kitchen.

Too restless to stay put, he rose and headed toward the front of the café. Maybe a tune would shake the cobwebs from his brain. Between the lakeside frogs, and the dark dreams that seemed hell bent on doing him in, he hadn’t slept more than an hour or two. One arm resting on the brightly lit machine, he ran a finger over dozens of titles. A smattering of familiar ones jumped out at him. He knocked a nickel in the juke box and punched E9.

Meg swiped at the already clean counter as he reclaimed his seat. “Now that puzzles me.”

“What does?”

“The song you played. Smoke Along the Track. You’re not getting wanderlust already, are you?”

A low laugh rumbled from his stomach. Amazing how good it felt, like something tight had been jostled loose. “Not at all. I’ve had enough traveling to do me for a while.”

“Glad to hear it. Now what can I get you?”

“Cheeseburger, all the way and extra onions.”

She scribbled on a pad. “Will do. Oh, here’s Hannah. Good timing, boy.” She gave him a sly wink.” Sure you want those onions?”

He turned to greet the newcomer with a nod and half smile. He would have known her anyway once she had come close enough. Her hair always seemed to smell of sugared lemons. This day was definitely looking up.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt track. 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 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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Barn

Barn12-1-15

“I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.” Robert Frost

Tuesday 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 featuring a barn. The snippet is from a vintage paranormal romance set in the 1950s featuring Hannah Ross and Tate Larkin. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

The waitress called out as his thumb pressed the door lever. “We’re closed at night, but we open at five in the morning, soldier. Can’t beat the biscuits and gravy.”

Cracking a grin, Tate glanced back as she tucked the dollar tip into an apron pocket and patted it smooth. “Looking forward to it—and more of that coffee.” He was bid farewell with the same jingling bell that had greeted him. Bill, the postman and his lunch benefactor, had planted himself in the middle of the sidewalk and gabbed with two older men sitting on a rusty bench. One had his knife out and was whittling a figurine out of a chunk of wood. The other worried a wad of tobacco in his cheek. Bill stepped forward. Mild curiosity peppered his tone. “Staying around these parts, son?”

“For a while. I’m weary of the road, and Cloverdell seems a friendly town.”

Bill nodded. “Friendly enough. Got a place to bed down?”

“I thought I’d look around some before sundown and then see about getting a room at the hotel on the corner.” He jerked his thumb in that general direction.

“Hotel’s not open for business yet. Not for several weeks most likely. It’s being renovated.”

He ducked his head. “Shoot. Well, I’ll make do.” A breeze sent the post office flag flapping.

“Tell you what.” Bill pointed. “There’s a row of fishing cabins east of town, about a half mile down a dirt lane called Tuttle. Name’s on a log. If you get to a big red barn, you’re at Wyver’s ranch and you’ve gone too far. See Dave Tuttle and tell him I sent you. He’ll give you a fair price.”

“I’ll do that. Much appreciated, sir, and thanks again for the meal.”

“Least I can do for one of our own back from no man’s land.”Tuesday Tales

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

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

 

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Mistletoe Magic 12-9-2014 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today’s prompt is the picture below. The snippet is from a holiday vintage romance set in the 1950’s after the Korean War. For now it is called Mistletoe Magic. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

 

Brenna closed her eyes and arched her back, groaning at the stiffness of her muscles. Rolling her neck, she cringed at the snaps and pops from her protesting bones. She’d be old before her time if things continued this way. Jeffrey would take one look at her thin frame and hightail it straight to The Corner for a cold one. She worried her bottom lip, remembering how they used to dance on the big wooden floor before Gwennie was born. How he held her close, his warm masculine scent skittering over her skin like a heat wave.

Would he still want her now with red rough hands and a nervous stomach that couldn’t keep her food down?

A thought flew through her mind, something her mother had always said—how a little hard work never hurt anybody.

Straightening her spine, Brenna braced her hands on the fallen tree and shifted to a more comfortable position. She was just bone tired. That was all. Nothing a good six hours sleep couldn’t fix. Thank heaven the restaurant had closed for the night. At the end she’d had to shoo out old Mr. Birdsong with a promise of hot coffee come daylight.

Reaching into her apron pocket, she pulled out Jeffrey’s Christmas card, ironing it with her fingers. The homey picture of a snow covered glen gleamed silver under the light of a full moon. Having lived in Florida all her life, she loved her husband’s memories of white Christmases. Someday he’d take her up there, and Gwennie. They’d meet his old Gram and what was left of his family.

Her lungs expanded with the slight tinge of chill in the air. No snow down here for sure.

She stood up, pressing the card to her breast.

Jeffrey would be home soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales. Badge for TT - small

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

SCP Wounded Warriors Blog Hop by Flossie Benton Rogers

This is the time of year for giving. I pledge one dollar to the Wounded Warriors up to $50 for each comment left on my blog post. Please join me in raising money for the individuals who serve our country with such bravery and selflessness. By leaving a comment, you will also be entered into a drawing to win a free book. Two winners will be randomly chosen. Scroll down for details. Make sure to visit the other participating Secret Cravings authors for more opportunities.

The Korean War is sometimes called the Forgotten War. It lasted three years, from 1950-53, and almost 5 million people died, including 40,000 Americans. Another 100,000 Americans were wounded. The 1970s television show MASH, based on a Richard Hooker novel, popularized the severe conditions of the war by depicting the daily lives of a medical unit led by doctors Hawkeye, Trapper John, and others.

My father served in the Korean War. Like most Daddy&Dogsoldiers so far away, he lived for mail and packages from family. In my mind’s eye I can see him hunkered down reading a letter from home, while inhaling the aroma of lovingly baked ginger cookies. To celebrate the fortitude and bravery of those who serve and protect us–past, present, and future–and with particular commemoration for those who served in the Forgotten War, please enjoy this popular cookie recipe from the era.

GINGER COOKIES

Mix the following ingredients: 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup molasses, 1 egg, 2 cups sifted flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger. Scoop up dough with a teaspoon and roll into 1-inch balls. Dip in sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. If you want to go wild and add a modern touch, dip half the cookie in melted chocolate!

ArmycroppedCORRECTEDIn the 1960’s young men were being sent to Viet Nam left and right. Although he volunteered to go to Viet Nam at the beginning of his enlistment, the Army chose to station my beloved husband in Germany instead. I consider that very fortunate indeed. He drove tanks and attained the rank of Sergeant. We met not long after his enlistment was up.

RolandNavy1aAaMy brother also served, spending many years in the Navy and traveling the ports of the world to keep our country safe.

I’ll be giving away an eBook copy of my newest book Lord of Fire to two lucky commenters chosen at random. Make sure to visit the other Secret Cravings authors. Thank you for visiting and for your help in raising money for such a worthy cause as Wounded Warriors!

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