Tag Archives: Tuesday Tales

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 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 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 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: Writing Train

To what lengths would you go to save a loved one? Would you leave your body behind? Our heroine must gain courage for such a course of action in the snippet below.

Badge for TT aaaTuesday 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 prompt is train. The story of Ivy continues with the new man in town, demon hunter Gavin. Her sisters are always central as well. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Her train of thought led to the only conclusion possible. Her physical body could not go with her. There was no other viable strategy. It was time to separate from her material self and travel back to ancient Sumer. In a firm tone that belied her inner trembling, she broke the news to Shale.

Her sister turned ashen. “You’ve lost your mind.”

“We’ve gone over the possibilities a dozen times. You know as well as I do there’s nothing else to be done.”

“No! Absolutely not. Rowena would never allow it.”

She grabbed Shale’s shoulders. “It’s Rowena I’m doing this for. You know she’d take the same chance for you or me.”

“Then I’m going too.”

“Only if you want me to fail.” Shale’s hurt expression cut her to the core. “I don’t mean it that way. I need you here to watch over my body. Seriously. If there’s not a safe haven, a tether, my body could be harmed or my spirit could…” She broke off, not wanting to say the words.

Shale’s hand clapped over her heart. “Float away forever. My god, Ivy, I could lose you both.”

“But you won’t. Gavin showed me how to do this.”

“If only he were here now.”

“I wish that too, but we can’t afford to wait. Are you with me?”

Shale squeezed her eyes shut, and then seemed to gather her courage. “Yes. Tell me what to do.”

“The main thing is to stay with my body, keep it warm and as comfortable as possible. You may have to keep it from getting up and wandering off. And don’t let anyone in here, unless Gavin happens to show up.”

Shale nodded.

“Now let’s sit here on the divan and I’ll prepare for the spirit journey. Breathe easy, and be watchful. And don’t talk.”

ISHTAR-EPOS p067 ISHTAR'S MIDNIGHT COURTSHIP

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

She took several deep centering breaths and allowed the anxiety to drain away. Calling upon her guides for assistance, she sensed them gather around her. Time passed, and she entered the sacred no-time between moments. The magic was ripe now. Touching her left hand to her navel, she extended her right palm and with infinite care raised it toward the heavens. “Sacred spirit form, shining ka, rise as I command. We have work before us. Sacred body, precious ba, remain here with my sister, protected and safe.”

A rapid fluttering came within the second chakra at her belly region. A pulling sensation took hold from below the soles of her feet to high above her head, as if molten glass were being elongated and stretched.

Her ka spirit form rose through the chakras in preparation for the split from her ba and the astral journey to come. She exited from the crown chakra atop her head with a graceful dexterity. There now. The separation of her spirit and body was complete. Although a faint part of her possessed awareness of her physical self, her primary consciousness swirled inside the shimmering luminosity of her ka form. Her physical ba remained as a shell, awaiting the return of spirit.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt train. 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 Coffee

Tuesday TalesToday’s “blog share” features one of my favorite beverages. Or rather, now that I think of it, two of my favorite beverages. Read on!

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 prompt is coffee. We continue the story of Ivy and the new man in town, demon hunter Gavin. Her sisters are always central as well. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

drink series: cup of coffee with coffee grain

via Dreamstime free images

Trying to appear unobtrusive, Gavin studied the woman sipping coffee across from him. He couldn’t ignore her attractiveness. Nor the effect she had on him. Ivy was lovely and desirable. Her dark blue eyes that reminded him of mysterious, deep waters, the long dark hair tumbling across her shoulders, and a body that made him want to know more of it.

And especially the luscious mouth that formed into a natural pout. A drop of cream clung to her bottom lip, and he fought the urge to lean over and remove it with his thumb. Or his tongue. His groin tightened. Whoa. Dial it back a lightyear or two.

The woman was at least nine years younger than him. He was practically middle aged compared to her. Plus she had other things on her mind, like protecting her sisters and saving her town. She wasn’t interested in some over the hill professor turned demon hunter.

He gritted his teeth. Determined to put lascivious thoughts from his mind, he raised a hand at the waitress walking by. Soon he had a tumbler of whiskey to distract him. Its rich aroma soothed, and its fire went straight to his belly, reminding him he was better off alone and uninvolved. Ivy had her gaze on him.

He held up the half full glass. “Irish?”img_7552

For answer, she nodded and raised her coffee cup, her eyes glittering. He motioned to the waitress again.

Ivy splashed a shot straight into her coffee. After sampling it, she ran the tip of her tongue over her lips.

The sensual sight made him want to capture them with his own. He knew the flavor would be hot and sweet.

“Mmm, it’s been a long day. This hits the spot.” She smiled, dimples crinkling at the corners of her mouth. She sipped again.

His insides tumbled. Irish whiskey had never had it so good.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt coffee. 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 Point

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 prompt is point. We continue the story of Ivy and the new man in town, demon hunter Gavin. Of course her sisters are always central as well. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

She struggled to move. “Get off me, you filthy beast! Your breath smells like a sewer.” She raked her spiked finger claw down his meaty cheek. Instead of red, the scratch bled the putrid tar color of ichor.

The demon bellowed, clamping a hand over the flesh she had sliced.

While he was distracted, she heaved her arms and jerked her coat pocket free. Son of a toad headed mother. Where was the freaking gun? Using her elbows as leverage, she scrabbled backward. Frantic, she rummaged around in the dirt as far as she could reach. She had to keep the demon corporeal until she found the weapon. To that end she let loose a string of colorful insults, calling him every vile name she could think of.

Before she could locate the revolver, Bellorg grabbed her by the shoulders and sprang up, yanking her with him.

His sinewy claws squeezed muscle and bone, lifting her off the ground, and she clenched her teeth against the pain. He would pop her arms from their sockets at this rate. She fought to breathe.

“Hey, Bellorg. Pick on someone your own size.” Gavin’s voice had never sounded so serious. And cold. It was as deadly as the Glock poised between his palms.

The squeezing lessened, and her feet touched earth.

“Let her go.”

With a deft twist, the demon whirled her around and tightened the crook of his arm against her neck. “Never, hu–”

Gavin fired point blank into Bellorg’s kneecap.

The demon roared and flung Ivy aside like a piece of flotsam. She rolled and got to her knees. More bad news came around the copse of dead oaks. “Watch out, Gavin!” 

Bellorg’s girlfriend marched toward them with reinforcements. Her mottled gray lips parted in what passed as a smile. Yep, this demon bitch was all about payback.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt point. 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 Snow

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 prompt is snow. We continue the story of Ivy and the new man in town, demon hunter Gavin. Of course her sisters are always central as well. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

When they paused outside Uncommon Scents, he cleared his throat. “Thank you for showing me around town. I’ll phone you tonight if I may.”

Her hand on the doorknob, she half-turned to him, surprised. “Won’t you come in and say hello to my sisters?”

Churning hazel eyes met hers, bringing a delicious shortness of breath. “Forgive me. I must get back to my hotel and prepare some things.”

Her lips softened. “Later then.”

“Please give them my regards.”

“I will.”

“But you’ll keep what we learned to yourself for now?”

“You mean not tell my sisters that Mrs. Jenkins has a haunted store window?”

“Exactly. Until I can further research the matter and we know for certain what we’re dealing with.”

“All right.” She made a zipping motion over her mouth and then blushed at the juvenile act.

He seemed not to notice. “Ivy, no slipping down to Mrs. Jenkins’ store without me, is that clear?”

“Loud and clear. I have no desire to pick at that demon.”

With a satisfied nod, he left her, stepping off the sidewalk and crossing the road toward where he had parked the car. A cloud obscured the afternoon sun, making the day seem farther along than it was.

Sighing audibly, she went inside. Rowena was nowhere to be seen, but Shale had a good rhythm going as she worked a pestle over fragrant leaves. “Hi, sis. Long tall sexy had enough small town vibes for today?”

Ivy plunked her crossover bag on top of the glass covered gemstone display and let her eyes scour the ceiling in response.

Shale frowned. “Well, are you seeing him tonight or what?”

She shrugged. “He said he’d call.”

“Then he will. He strikes me as sincere.”

“It’s not like that. He’s here on business. Apart from that he doesn’t know I exist.”

Shale rested the pestle on the green onyx mortar and her eyes rounded to incredulous. “Doesn’t know you exist? Don’t be a dim bulb. The man looks at you as if you just emerged from a John Waterhouse wading pool.”

She laughed despite herself. “You can’t snow me. He thinks I’m a child.”

Shale’s curls bounced as she shook her head. “No. He doesn’t. Maybe he’s concerned he’s a few years older than you, but believe me, he sees you as a woman fully grown. Or maybe a witchy nymph.” With a grin she tossed a pinch of fragrant oregano in her direction. “Begone ye sorceress who hath bespelled the great Sir Gavin, the honorable knight come lately to our castle abode.”

Ivy’s humor returned, as she gave into the sisterly play. “Waste our herbal store on knights and faux creatures, will you? I’ll see you in the moat for that, Lady.” She eased a bottle of water from her bag.

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

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