Tag Archives: small town romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Firecracker

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 firecracker. 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 aroma of grilling hot dogs and sound of children having fun filled the air. Charcoal smoke spirals perched on make-do stands to keep away the mosquitoes. With dusk imminent, the blood suckers would soon follow. Hannah settled into the folding chair between Meg and Nate. “I didn’t expect there to be so many people here. You rounded down, didn’t you, Meg?”

“Don’t scold. Would you have come out if I mentioned this was the in place for 4th of July fireworks? They’re really spectacular here by the lake.”

Aware of Nate’s attention and his knee hovering a mere inch from hers, she merely offered a noncommittal murmur. She didn’t dare give a truthful response to Meg’s query. She would have come, if only to spend time with him away from their usual work environment.

Laura from the café’ emerged from the crowd, carrying two folding chairs, with little Gwennie in tow.

Meg piped up, cheery. “Made it, huh?” 

Nate and Roy stood, and greetings were exchanged. Roy scooped the chairs from Laura. “Let’s find you a good spot, boss lady.”

Laura looked a bit harried. “Thanks, Roy.”

Gwennie jumped up and down, pointing. “I want to sit by Judy and Sandy, Mommy.”

“All right, Darling. Over by the Smith twins would be great, Roy.”

Gwennie tugged on her mother’s blouse as they set off in a line. “Mommy, can I light a firecracker?”

“Good heavens no. You can have a sparkler.”

Roy soon returned, plunked into his chair, and popped the cooler lid. He passed beers to Meg and Nate. “Brewsky, Hannah?”

“No thanks. By chance any wine in there?”

“Nope, sorry. Hey, here are some cokes though. You sneak these in my cooler, Meg?”

“Of course I did, you big lummox. You know perfectly well Hannah hates beer.”

She leaned forward. “What kind do you have?”

Roy shifted bottles around. “Uh, looks like cherry, grape, and banana.”

“Banana, please.”

Roy popped off the cap and handed her the bumpy glass bottle. Banana scented fizz tickled her nose.

Meg pulled a sad face. “Sorry I didn’t think of wine, Hannah. You’re stuck with the soft stuff.”

Nate raised a brown. “Not necessarily. Go ahead and take a swallow, Hannah.”

Wondering what he was up to, she took a sip of her banana drink, while Nate retrieved a small flask from his back pocket.

Roy whistled. “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

Curiosity had her leaning his way. “What is it, Nate?”

“Gin. I don’t like the stuff, but you do. You game?”

Unable to resist the cockeyed grin that deepened his dimple, she passed him her drink bottle.

Holding his hand around the neck, he carefully poured a jot from the flask, shook the bottle, and used his thumb to keep it from spewing out. Once the concoction had settled, he returned it to Hannah.

She took a tentative sip. “Hmm, not bad. Definitely a kick.” She relaxed into the chair, pleasure tickling her insides. “Thanks, soldier.”

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

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Happy 4th of July!
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 Sunrays

Sky perhaps cemetery 1-24-2017
Do places as well as people give off emotional energy? I believe so. What happens when a cemetery is old and half-forgotten?

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 picture prompt depicts sunrays. The excerpt is from the WIP Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Nate swung the car off the edge of the dirt track and onto the brown, heat-crusted grass. The graveyard was clean enough and seemed to be in order. There was no sign of upturned headstones or other overt vandalism. Still, a hot breath of sadness prevailed. Not just because of the nature of the place as a home for the dead. No, it was a few things. A frown clenched his brow. The dried vegetation. The bare azalea bushes with stout, old growth limbs. A sort of gray monotone buzzed just below the surface. He cast his gaze around the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of graves. A lack of color struck him. A few flower arrangements adorned the dearly beloved, but they were faded and washed out. Was this an abandoned cemetery, or full up and no longer used? Spur hadn’t mentioned it, but maybe he wouldn’t.

Sucking in a deep, unsettled breath, he searched for her name, Iris du Pres. Spur had said to look in the older section. Dates in the area he searched were within the last twenty years, but none recent it seemed. Still, there must be graves from earlier in the century. A bare tree across the way caught his attention. He straightened up. The stones near it looked different, older. He made his way toward the spot, shading his eyes with one hand. Yes, he was right. These folks had long passed. The headstones were more unusual and ornate. Several were shaped like tree trunks, and here was a weeping angel. Her exquisite beauty struck at his heart. He peered down at the name engraved in the scroll topped stone. Iris du Pres. Sunrays gleamed on the smooth granite surface. Bright and piercing, like a mirror. He knelt down. With trembling fingers, he touched her final resting place.

Tuesday TalesI hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture prompt depicting sunrays. 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: When You Dislike the Word

 

“Year that trembled and reel’d beneath me.”       Walt Whitman

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our word prompt is nasty, an unappetizing word if you ask me. My six year old Snickerdoodle used it recently in describing something, and I said, “Can you think of another word for that?” He substituted disgusting. Now I’d like to do the same, but unfortunately nasty is our word prompt this week. Woe is me. Anyway, today’s snippet is from a paranormal vintage romance set in the 1950s. Last week you met the heroine, Hannah Ross. Today you get introduced to the hero, Tate Larkin. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Blasting its farewell whistle, the train chugged down the tracks, around the curve marking the edge of town, and out of sight. Brushing rock dust from his nose, Tate tossed the duffel bag over his shoulder and headed across the brick roadway. The sign on the window of the Main Street Café boasted Real Home Cooking. A meal would hit the spot, and he needed black coffee in the worst way.

A man in a short sleeve shirt stepped out of the post office, off the sidewalk, and headed toward a pole where a mail sack hung on a hook. His friendly eyes flicked up and down and then met Tate’s. “Welcome home, son.”

Startled for a moment at the wording, Tate realized the man spoke in general terms. There was no way he could know Tate’s identity or that he had lived in this town as a kid. He nodded. “Thank you, sir.” He glanced down the row of old buildings. Everything looked about the same as he remembered– post office, dry goods store, and down on the end, the drugstore and two story hotel.

The front door jingled as he opened it. The café sported square tables and a low counter with squat stools covered with bright red seats. Tantalizing aromas met him at the front door and hugged around him like old memories. The place was over half full, with more diners coming in as the lunch hour approached. The door jingled again twice before he made it to a stool. Plunking his duffel on the floor, Tate gave the hand chalked wall menu a run down. It bragged that today’s special was the best chicken and rice perleau ever tasted.

He warmed to the smile of the well-seasoned waitress. “Welcome, soldier. Can I get you some coffee?”

“Thanks. You sure can.” He turned over the sturdy white cup, placing it upright on the saucer.

Her name tag said Meg. She poured the dark, aromatic liquid. “I saw you get off the train. Back from overseas?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Nasty business over there. You look like you could use something good from the kitchen.”

“I’ll take the perleau. It’s been a long stretch since my last home cooked meal.” Tuesday Tales

I hope you enjoyed reading how Tate Larkin rolled into town. Thanks so much 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