Tag Archives: writing prompts

Tuesday Tales: Writing Hotel Window

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today the picture prompts we selected from were types of windows. Mine reminded me of a hotel window. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Hannah breathed in the salty air. She hadn’t realized how much she had missed that uplifting scent. A purr of contentment vibrated across her lips.

From next to her on the car seat, Meg patted her arm. “Yep, I smell it, too. Nothing like beach air to shake out the cobwebs. You smell the salt, Bryan?”

The driver lifted a tanned hand from the wheel for emphasis. “I smell it five days a week, honey. Doesn’t do much for me anymore.”

Meg looked at Hannah and shook her head. “You ever hear such nonsense? Man gets to live on the beach five days out of seven and already takes it for granted.”

“Work on the beach, honey. Work. Through the week you won’t find me lying around on a big towel sipping drinks from paper cups like you two girls have planned.”

Photo by Alicia, copyright 2014

 

The slice of turquoise bobbing between buildings made Hannah’s heart beat faster. Soon Bryan turned between two hotels, driving out onto the bumpy white sand. An endless swatch of turquoise met a half globe of clearest blue, and the sight poured its majesty right down into her gut. 

The two women lugged out their numerous bags and began nesting in the sand as he drove off. Spreading out a towel, Hannah glanced up at the multi-story luxury hotel. Most of the drapes were still drawn, but one gave a wide open view of its occupant. A young woman clad in silk pajamas faced the window and stretched out her arms in exuberance. Despite puffy eyes that told of over indulgence last night, she obviously didn’t have a care in the wide world. Enjoying life. Vacationing here on her trust fund or her father’s money. A dull pain thudded between Hannah’s eyes. She pinched her brow. There before her loomed a mirror to her past. A phantom of her former life welcomed the morning rays. 

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture prompt of a hotel window. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Lemon

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is lemon. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

 

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

“Let me go!”

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

She stared at him, unseeing.

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

“Nate?” She collapsed against him.

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

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

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

“I’m fine.”

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

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

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

 

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

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Tree

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is tree. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Hannah tossed down her pencil and pinched the bridge of her nose. Bookwork had never been her favorite pastime. A contemptuous chuckle escaped her lips. No one was around to hear her thoughts. Who did she think she was kidding? She’d never kept financial records in her life before she came here. Her gaze settled on the newly polished wooden floor. Shadows cast by the lone chandelier obscured the sheen. The long knives of dusk. She hated it and always made sure to be outside when it came. She wanted to absorb every last glimmer of sunlight. Let night fall like a curtain rather than fade like a song. Now the twilight always seemed to creep up on her before she could get to the open air.

She pushed the chair away from the desk. That air suddenly seemed a necessity. The screen door squeaked on her way to the outside landing, further unsettling her nerves. Why couldn’t Buster take care of things without her having to remind him? Her father would never have stood for it. Her father. His death already seemed a lifetime ago, the world she’d known a distant dream. Faded like the day. She sucked in a shaky breath. The faint scent of jasmine still lingered. If only she could figure that one out. The coming night cascaded around her. Stars popped out on the horizon, impatient. She had the strangest urge to push them back through their pinholes. The strident ring of the telephone drew her back inside.

“Hannah, this is Meg.”

“Oh, hi, Meg.”

“I’m on the calling tree for the PTA, and I wanted to give you the first chance before I start. We’re working on the Halloween fundraiser, and I remember you mentioned civic involvement. Do you want to be listed as a sponsor?”

“How much?”

“Five smackers for an individual but fifteen if you want the hotel listed.”

“Put me down for fifteen.”

“Great! Thanks so much, Hannah. That’ll put the curdle in Audrey Wyver’s tea.”

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

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing Air

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is air. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

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

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

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

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

The older man shrugged in apparent agreement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Tales: Writing 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 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 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