Tag Archives: works in progress

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 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 Christmas Window 2

dec2016-possible1Tuesday 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 story hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today’s prompt is the picture of last week, and the snippet is a continuation from then. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

A shudder thudded up her spine at Gavin’s forbidding words. She had to force herself not to turn around toward the shadowy demon in the storefront window. She groaned. “For some reason I want to look–”

Before she could do more than tilt her head, Gavin had his arm around her shoulder, herding her toward a nearby seat. She pointed to another bench down by the fountain. It seemed a safe distance at the opposite end of the sidewalk. “L-let’s take that one.”

A couple of minutes later she half collapsed on the wooden slats.

“It’s an energy twitch.”

She glanced up in surprise. “What is?”

“Feeling compelled to look.” Lines appeared at the edges of his half smile. “Not to worry. No link was formed with the demon. I wouldn’t allow you to be harmed.”

She averted her eyes. “I know. B-but it wanted to? It was seeking someone?”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not. I’ve seen instances where dark energy is more mindless than sentient. Rather like trauma residue than an entity.”

She jerked up straight. “It had a face. I’ve just seen a demon in Mrs. Jenkins’ store, and you’re trying to placate me. Oh my God, Gavin, Mrs. Jenkins has a demon in her store.” She bit her lip at the edge of hysteria in her tone.

A shoulder squeeze steadied her. “I’m not placating you.” He held up his hand as if swearing, and his expression softened a fraction. “I think too much of you not to play straight, Ivy. I’ll have to examine the situation before I come to a definitive conclusion.”Tuesday Tales

“What can I do to help?”

His response came with no hesitation. “Go home.”

“The hell I will.”

QUESTION: There really is a face near the lower righthand corner of the picture. Can you see it? I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on Christmas 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 Christmas Window

dec2016-possibleaaTuesday 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 the word bar and another lovely picture. I hope you’ll forgive my different “take” on it, but after all, I do write paranormal heh heh. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Please please please let her sisters be spying out the window. She sighed in satisfaction. Being seen with Gavin would elevate her cachet quotient a notch or two.

He glanced down at her, a hint of mischief in his expression. “What’s got you in such a good mood?”

“Oh, it’s all the Christmas decorations around town. I love the sparkle.”

His responding grin flooded her heart with more warmth. What could be better? Strolling down the sidewalk beside Gavin, window shopping weeks before the hordes descended. The bright decorations and the charming man beside her spun a lovely, shimmering web.

A flash of worry replaced his smile. Nearly stumbling, she clutched at his arm to steady her footing. Maybe heels weren’t her best option. “Don’t you think it’s beautiful?”

He patted her hand. “Yes, on the surface it most certainly is. You’re a most enthusiastic young woman, Ivy. I don’t know when I’ve met someone with such exuberance for the season.”

She clamped her lips together. That was a sly dig at her age, or their age difference rather, or maybe alligators spun honey.

“Of course, turning a blind eye to reality…”

Oh hell, here it comes.

“—can get you killed faster than anything else. Bar none.”

She halted, letting go of his arm. “What are you talking about? This is my hometown. We’re among a perfectly harmless and peaceful row of shops. Why the Grinch mode?”

“Have you forgotten why I’m here?”

She had actually, caught up in her holiday fantasy. “N-no. But what could be wrong here?”

“Do you really want to know?”

“Of course I do. Not that I believe you for a minute.”

Tugging her arm he led her closer to the nearest window, the loveliest of all. The showpiece was a stunning tree twinkling with lights and trim. Gold and silver ornaments and curios looked vintage and expensive. Adorning the tables were stout red candles she knew smelled of cinnamon buns and marshmallows roasting by the fire. “It’s lush, tasteful, and has a Victorian vibe. Mrs. Jenkins spent all last week on it. I love it.”

“Look closer. Bottom right. Use your soft eyes as I showed you.”

She stared in the window and allowed her vision to relax. Objects and colors blended. A monstrous profile congealed amid the finery, giving off an impression of taut anger and seething ill will. A demon. She gasped and jumped back.

“That’s enough.” Gavin turned her away from the scene. “You don’t want to catch its attention.”Tuesday Tales

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word bar and the picture of a Christmas 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 Band

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is band. The  excerpt is from a paranormal romance featuring a fading rocker. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Nick tossed down a shot, savoring the quick burn.

“Do ‘er again?” The bartender’s bored expression said he already knew the answer.

luciensilverdreamstime_xl_14886721croppedNick gave a quick nod. He could see his own reflection in the furrows running down the big man’s face. Good looks fading. One more outcast from yesteryear’s glory days. A high school football hero maybe. Hometown boy made good. Probably played a little college, then got injured or flunked out. Now relegated to serving losers in this third rate hotel. Not unlike himself. The second shot burned less than the first. Who was he kidding? There was only one dud at this bar. Not so long ago he had it all. Money. Fame. Women by the truckload. He breathed in deeply. And the music. Best band to ever poke a toe out of northeast Florida. Now none of the guys would even speak to him. He’d screwed it up royally. He slid the glass over for a refill.

Voices caught his attention, and he turned around to see. A man and woman made their way toward a table and were apparently arguing. The man had a good grip on her arm. Nick frowned. An odd looking couple. The woman, blonde and kind of floaty looking from what he could see. The man half obscured her. He, slick and thin lipped, wearing a suit that must have set him back 3 G. But he didn’t wear it well. Nick couldn’t put his finger on what was off. An expensive suit usually meant impeccable fit. Then he caught sight of the woman’s face full on, and what sense he had left seemed to fly right out of the room. She looked wan and stricken, as if she’d had bad news. She retained enough spirit to shake off the man’s hand though and slip into the chair of her own accord, biting her bottom lip.

Her eyes lifted to Nick’s and widened. If possible, she paled even more. Slick had grabbed her arm again, and Nick rose off the stool. Sheer panic covered her features and she gave the tiniest shake of her head. Nick stopped in his tracks. She was warning him to stay put. What the hell?

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 Cafe

cafeempty10-18-2016Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today we have a picture to spark our imaginations. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Ivy checked the clock. Ten minutes until midnight. She must be nuts staying here alone with a strange ghost—or man, whatever he was now. Rowena would give her crap about it. Her heart pounded in a wild rhythm. Tossing out her stale chips and half-full soft drink, she dug out a couple of bills and coins from her purse. At one of the vending machines, she inserted money for two bottles of water.

When she made her way toward the table, he was standing, watching her come. Hands trembling, she sat down, unscrewed her bottle of water and chucked down a swig.

He took a chair across from her.

She removed the cap from the other water and handed him the bottle, shivering when his warm fingers brushed hers. What kind of ghost had a hot touch?

Unable to stop herself, she glanced behind him, puckering her lips at the myriad of golden curlicues gleaming from the decorative wallpaper. The symbols created a gaudy abstract effect. A gasp escaped her lips as she honed in on a series of bold markings scattered among the astrological and occult symbols. She had never noticed them before, but now they stood out in exquisite relief. Ivy blinked as one actually seemed to vibrate. Its shape was the simplest of all—that of a hearty square with exaggerated corners. She tilted her head to see it better.

She looked back at the warrior. The silver clasp on his cloak displayed the same design.  She pointed at the brooch. “What is that symbol?”

He shrugged. “In old Akkadian it stands for the Gate of Mystery.”

“Oh.” Was she supposed to know what that was?

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

Cheers & Happy Reading!Tuesday Tales
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 Pencil

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring talented authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today we have the word pencil to spark our imaginations. My snippet is from a draft dystopian. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Being yanked and squeezed through an inter-dimensional door the size of a straw knocked the wind out of me. When I could breathe again, I found myself lying face down on the floor beside my chair.

His Holiness hovered over me, along with the other members of the tribunal. “Give her some room.” Irritation turned his voice shrill.

I rolled over, crossed my feet, and came up in one smooth motion, grinning at him.

Like a wave of ants, the robed assembly glided back away from me. I never wanted to say “boo” so bad in my life. His Holiness, or Donkey Butt as I thought of him in my kinder moments, narrowed his colorless eyes. “Karise, your little episode has disrupted important proceedings.”

“Sorry, I have no control of what happens when the Anemoi take over.”

His flabby lips clamped into pencil stubs and then smacked open. “So you have declared before.” His expression said he’d love to toss me in the sub chamber and be done with me.

“Holiness, surely you do not question the ways of the Amenoi?”

He glanced around at the appalled faces of his cohorts and dipped his head in a token bow. “Not at all. Praise be the Anemoi.”

“Praise be the Anemoi,” chanted the group.

“I merely suggest we return to the matter at hand while the day is still upon us.”

I smiled inside, enjoying any small victory I could get against the old tyrant. “As you wish.” I made for the chair and then half turned as the door clanged open.

“Nein.” Martea scurried inside, carrying a small tankard. She stopped just inside the room. “Pardon, Holiness, but such a journey to the beyond requires a repast. Protocol demands it.”

He said nothing for several beats, and I was fearful Martea was headed for the sub chamber instead of me. After all, how did she know what had happened? Unless she had been eavesdropping, which was forbidden. Finally, he waved her forward, his countenance now shrunken in like a prune. “Very well. We shall reconvene tomorrow.” He eyed me directly. “Early tomorrow, Karise.”

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

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