Author Archives: Flossie Benton Rogers

About Flossie Benton Rogers

Paranormal romance author who loves to shake the edges of reality.

Contest Winner

Newsletters are such fun to plan and put together! I so much appreciate people taking the time to check out my latest whims and fancies, and readers tell me they enjoy them. My goal is to be more regular with the newsletters and make them chock full of fun, freebies, and opportunities for prizes.

Here is a picture of the Guardian of the Deep themed key chain offered in my recent newsletter contest. Since the hero Samael is a dark undersea lord, a type of merman, the key chain relates to ocean life.

Congratulations to winner Joy Atchley! She won the key chain and a print copy of Dark Warriors, containing two novellas:

Time Singer about the origins of the Wytchfae line in ancient Ireland, starring Aedar and Seraphina; and Lord of Fire starring Garnet and Gabriel, about stopping the enslavement of innocent fae familiars. She was excited and so thankful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy came down to my stomping grounds to get her prizes. I can’t tell you how jazzed I was and how much I appreciate her doing that. She even brought a special gift for me, too (more on that later). We met for lunch at Cattle Dog, one of my favorites hangouts. This time of year I especially love their seasonal flavor blends in a hot latte. Yum! 

 

Enjoy your prizes, Joy!

Cheers & Happy Reading, Everyone!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Book Video Splash

Courtesy Free Pixabay

Wrap up some delicious dark fantasy romances for special friends on your gift list.

Gift a copy of Mind Your Goddess!

 

Gift a copy of Guardian of the Deep!

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Frost

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 dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word is frost. My snippet is from a light paranormal set in the 1950s. The heroine works hard to make a living in her restaurant and raise her little daughter while awaiting the return of her husband from the Korean War. Please visit the talented authors at Tuesday Tales.

Despite being bone tired, she hadn’t slept a wink. Tossing and turning had her even more exhausted. She might as well give up and get a jump on the day ahead. Tossing back the covers, she shivered in the chilled air and quickly slipped on a chenille bathrobe and bedroom shoes. After brushing her teeth and splashing icy water onto her face, she padded back through her room and on into Gwennie’s. The little one slept soundly on her stomach with one foot sticking out from a cloud of blankets. Smiling, Laura tucked in the wayward tootsie.

Loathe to make coffee with night still a reality, she settled for a cup of hot tea, sipping it periodically while straightening chairs and wiping down tables. Thank goodness Nita had swept the previous night. It was just too cold to kick up a herd of dust. She worked as quietly as possible to keep from waking Gwennie. With school being closed for Christmas this week, she could sleep in, or as long as talkative early customers allowed. Napkin holders needed filling, as did salt and pepper shakers. After that, busy hands straightened the chips, crackers, and other items clipped to sale racks behind the counter. Refilling the cold drink case could wait. Clinking bottles would certainly spoil her daughter’s slumber.

She brushed down the storefront window seat and then on a whim plugged in the Christmas tree. The town was still far from beginning to stir, and no one should see it and tap on the door thinking she was open. Gwennie had picked out a tree and lights in her current favorite color, sky blue, on their trip to Leesburg last week. Only about four feet tall, it fit perfectly in the window, while still allowing for strands of garlands and icicles. She stood for a moment admiring the color. The bulbs cast a blue glow over her skin. The frost veins on the window even looked blue, matching the ones on her work marred hands.

Maybe she should wake Gwennie after all. She’d be excited that Jack Frost had visited. A whiz of a bicycle sounded outside and a soft thump. On the outskirts of town, a rooster crowed.  Laura sensed a shift in the air. The world was on the verge of daybreak. Time to retrieve the paper from the sidewalk and make a fresh pot of coffee. 

I hope you enjoyed my take on frost. Thanks for stopping by. Return to Tuesday Tales.

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Thank

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. Appropriate for this week, our word prompt is thank. The excerpt is from a dark fantasy romance. Read the other Tuesday Tales excerpts.

 

She touched his forearm, feeling the tension rippling through his muscles. “I have a stake in this. I want to go with you.”

“I fear for your well-being.”

I can handle it. I’m strong, remember?”

“Your powers are impressive, no doubt.”

“Well, then.”

“Are you sure, Resa?”

Her name on his lips brought a lump to her throat. “Yes.” She turned to find the forest crone watching them, her expression guarded.

A gnarled finger pointed at Rhade. “I shall have your answer, warrior. Will you seek the answers from eons ago? Yay or nay?”

He nodded. “I will, Lady Vespa.”

Resa released the breath she’d been holding.

“So be it.” From an intricately carved wooden chest, the crone removed a small drawstring bag laced with shining gossamer threads, offering it to Resa. “A magical reticule. Larger within than without.” From kitchen cupboards she gathered vials of tincture and tiny jars with pungent herbs, each labeled as to their purpose. “Put these inside.”

After doing so, Resa secured the reticule inside an interior pocket of her crossbody satchel.

To Rhade, Vespa presented a jar of salve. “For the soles of your feet. Sop it on an hour before the journey.”

The jar went into one of the warrior’s pouches.

Finally, Vespa gave Resa two strips of vellum decorated with ornate symbols. “The time tickets with my seal. Keep them safe.” Her voice intensified, reverberating with power. “The time portal is ancient, older than anyone knows. Nowadays they cloak it with computers and machines, but the only real power is the ancient magic. The Wytchfae in charge of the portal—the real portal, not the fancy outer wrappings—is an old friend of mine. She will do her best for you.” She produced a pair of scissors. “Token me with a lock of hair, each of you.”

Dropping the hair into the crone’s palm, Resa opened her lips for words of gratitude.

“No need to thank these old bones. Begone, and safe journey.”

 

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt thank. Enjoy your week! Return now to Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

 

Book Review: A Cold Tomorrow

 

5 STARS for A COLD TOMORROW

Riveting, thrilling suspense featuring mysterious events and an iconic urban legend. Remarkable page turner. From the first paragraph, the story radiates a feeling of sinister unease that doesn’t subside until the unique and clever conclusion. The characters are like the people next door, and the reader roots for them to achieve their goals and dreams.

Title – A Cold Tomorrow

Author – Mae Clair

First Published – December 20, 2016

Genre – Mystery Suspense

Series – Book 2 of 3 in the Point Pleasant Series, can stand alone very well.

Setting – Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Heroine – Katie Lynch, a fiercely protective mother of a young son. After a tumultuous childhood in a small town filled with tragedy and secrets, she is just now opening herself to friendship and perhaps something more.

Hero – Ryan Flynn, Police Sergeant who is interested in Katie and skeptical of the wild theories of the Mothman and UFOs that are offered as reason for the town’s unexplained disappearances, animal mutilations, and other eerie events.

Opposing Forces – Three mysterious visitors, each with their own secrets to keep.

Descriptors – Mothman, urban legends, cryptograms, danger, mystery, suspense, sinister, thrilling, small town life.

Favorite Supporting Character – Other than the three mysterious visitors, by whom I am mesmerized, I especially appreciate Doreen Sue, Katie’s mother. She had a hard life, much of it self-created, and learned from her mistakes to become a caring mother and grandmother.

Fun Tidbit – The author made two research trips to Point Pleasant in preparation for this outstanding novel.

Memorable Line – Something loomed over him. Invisible suction-cup fingers clutched his face and wrenched his head up, pinning him in place.

Grab Your Copy of A Cold Tomorrow

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Turkey

 

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 dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today my passage is based on a picture of a glorious roasted turkey. The snippet is from a light paranormal set in the 1950s. The heroine works hard to make a living in her restaurant and raise her little daughter while awaiting the return of her husband from the Korean War. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

 

Laura paused with a spoon in mid air. Would Gwennie eat cranberry sauce? She doubted it, but it wouldn’t hurt to put a smidgen on her plate. Along with golden turkey topped by giblet gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, English peas, and white rolls, it was dinner fit for a princess. If her little girl disliked eating out front in the restaurant rather than in a dining room like most of her friends, she never remarked on it. She was good natured and took most things in stride. Living in a restaurant with a skylight in her bedroom seemed adventurous at her age. Maybe someday after Jeff returned from overseas and the business built up, the three of them could afford a little house of their own.

Laura prepared a plate for herself as well, to join her daughter for the Thanksgiving meal. Since it was only eleven fifteen, there was not much of a crowd yet. They’d pile in by noon. “Crook a finger if you need me, Nita.”

An earnest grin shot back at her. “Will do. Now get on out there and relax a few. You and Bertha have been slaving over the stove since daylight.”

A few minutes later she and Gwennie dug into the feast. “This dressing is yummy, Mama.” She hid a smile as her daughter moved aside a tidbit of liver from the gravy. Then her brow scrunched at a taste of the cranberry sauce. “But this purple stuff.” She warbled it around in her mouth. “It’s pretty and looks like jelly but tastes sour.”

“Cranberry sauce should be tart. Have a sip of sweet tea after you swallow it, Gwennie. Then later you’ll have a slice of pumpkin pie, which will sweeten you up even more.”

That brought a peal of laughter. “You always say I’m sweet.”

“I should hope so! It’s a requirement of a young Miss, remember?”

“Oh, yes, and hold my pinky out. Only I haven’t a cup, just a glass.”

“A glass will do fine for a pinky extension.” She illustrated and Gwennie followed suit.    Her daughter nodded earnestly. “If we visit the Queen, we’ll be proper.”

“Plus a fine Miss doesn’t gobble everything down but always leaves one bite on her plate.”

“What for, Mama?”

“For the fairies.”

Blue eyes widened. “Fairies?”

Laura was getting into the spirit of whimsy, as her Granny used to do. “They’re invisible, and you can never catch them eating, but they’ll sneak a taste when you aren’t looking. And the old story goes you’ll be granted a wish for your generosity, especially close to Christmas time.”

“But Christmas is a whole month away!”

“Not long at all in fairy time. Another thing, too.” Laura held up a delicate v- shaped bone. “I saved the wishbone for you. We’ll let it dry for a day or two, and then you hold one end and I the other. We pull, and the winner is the one who ends up with the longest piece. It’s possible you could receive two special wishes, Gwennie.”

“Even if I win the longest piece, you can have that wish, Mama. I’m going to leave the fairies a bite, and I know what my wish is already. Do I have to keep it a secret?”

Laura glanced up at Jeff’s military portrait on the wall and touched her daughter’s cheek. “It’s best kept a secret, darling, until it comes true. That gives it extra special power.”

 

I hope you enjoyed my take on the picture prompt showing a beautifully baked turkey. Thanks for stopping by. Remember to return to Tuesday Tales and read all the fine offerings.

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

 

 

Our Veterans

THANK YOU, VETERANS!

OUR VETERANS: The sacrifices our veterans make are immense and unfathomable for civilians. I offer heartfelt gratitude to all those who have served throughout the years to protect loved ones and strangers alike, to preserve hearth and home, and to support the ideals of freedom and liberty. Many made the ultimate sacrifice and did not return home. Gratitude is extended as well to their families.

“While from some distant part of the field the wind wafts to my ears a shout of applause, (some special success;)
and ever the sound of the cannon, far or near, (rousing, even in dreams,
a devilish exultation, and all the old mad joy, in the depths of my soul).”

from The Artilleryman’s Vision, Walt Whitman

My beloved husband enlisted and served in the U.S. Army during the Viet Nam era. We met shortly after he got out of the service. He never forgot his service number and could rattle it off faster than a Whitey Ford fast ball.

My brother also served in the military, the US. Navy. He and my husband went on to become good buddies, despite their Army / Navy rivalry and their even more colorful Yankees / Red Sox competition

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My father served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, sometimes referred to as the Daddy&DogForgotten War. His father served in World War I, and my mother’s forebears were also in the military. It’s an honor to thank them all for their bravery and valor, without which we would not be here today.

 

 

THANK A VETERAN TODAY!

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Book Release: Ani’s Lover

I have the pleasure of introducing fellow Sunshine State Romance Author Judith Kammeraad and her delicious new book, Ani’s Lover. I remember the author talking about this book in its early manuscript days, and I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations to Judith on its release!

 

Blurb:

CAN PARADISE SURVIVE?

John has trained Ani for the lead position in Ijland’s governing line. Dangerous times are ahead, with factions challenging the constitution and pristine ecology of the island nation, founded three centuries ago as a utopian island state with a constitution that championed free choice. Thomas Jefferson couldn’t have done better.

Ani’s body guard and mentor, John has taught her everything she needs to know, far beyond a liberal education and leadership, including how to be a playful and independent child, a trusted adult, and—one day–the mother of their homeland.

Personally, John has lost everything, including his family and his dreams, but little Ani has meant more to him than a child of his own. However, when she grows up, he faces losing her. Even worse, his love for her undergoes an alarming transformation, and he is compelled to do battle against their mature attraction. Now that she faces her coming of age rituals, Ani is a ripe, juicy fruit, and she wants more than just her calling. She wants John—with her heart, mind, and all the quivering, longing places in the middle.

There are serpents here in Utopia. A murderous typhoon, enforced separations, vendettas against innocence, shipwrecks, assault, betrayal from those closest to them. Even their own guiltless actions.  As Ani and John overcome their challenges one by one, it appears Ani must make a damning choice. Her calling or her heart’s desire.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Half of Two

“A portrait? This is how you spend your time—ogling a picture of this awful man?” Eyes hard, Johanna loomed in for the kill. “For Heaven’s sake, get a hold of yourself!” She retrieved the photo and shredded it.Aniston! Stop your hysterics. You’re not a child.” Johanna, her mother, ripped the letter out of Ani’s hand and flapped it in her face along with breath of a thousand antacids. Her voice crackled, cold and brittle. “You’re fifteen years old, for God’s sake.” A photograph fluttered to the pavers. Ani’s head bobbled as her mother shook her.

Ani’s heart writhed with despair. Didn’t Ijland’s constitution guarantee freedom of choice? To everyone but her, she guessed. She balled her fists in defiance though her lower lip trembled.

“You’ve hated John all my life, Mother. You stood in his way when he was my Watcher. When he became my friend, you went berserk.” She pointed at Johanna’s chest. “You masterminded the scheme to send him away.”

Life had dragged on devoid of sparkle without her dearest friend—the man who had raised her, really. Half of two did not equal one whole person, she’d learned. Without John, she just didn’t feel whole.

Ani’s grandmother Jansje hurried out to the terrace, interrupting Johanna’s pacing. Her voice took charge, as a chief of state’s should. “Leave her alone, Hanni. Don’t you remember what a broken heart feels like?”

Johanna dismissed Jansje’s advice with a swipe of her hand. Her eyes flickered with malice. Her voice was crisper than burned toast, as she hissed out her next dry words.

“You may as well know the truth now. We’re not bringing that man back. Not until he’s forgotten you, little girl.”

Birdsong stopped short while Ani’s heart plummeted. Her gaze darted from Johanna to Jansje, searching their faces.

Johanna lifted Ani’s chin. “Count the months, young lady. Less than a year, and you’ll be legal.” Her voice took on a wheedling intensity, and she rubbed her hands together. “Sixteen and beautiful. Courtship rituals for all the suitors on Ijland and—whoosh!—a wedding.”

Ani shook her head and forced herself to turn cold. “All my life I’ve worked hard to earn my place in the line of succession. I’ve slaved to keep our island green and free.”

She narrowed her eyes and pushed closer, though every trembling sinew urged her back. “Isn’t it enough? Now I have a single demand. I…want…my friend…back in my life. Your weird fantasies can’t keep him away.”

Johanna’s eyes turned to ice. She slapped her daughter across the face. Ani’s hand flew to her cheek. She whimpered like the child she was too old to be.

Jansje’s rebuke was swift. “Hanni! No! We never use violence.”

Ani bolted from the mansion’s terrace and sped to the garage, where she rummaged for her bike. “Gotta get away.” Where was her helmet?

Her voice turned to quivering liquid. “Screw it!” What if she did fall on her head? Wiped out her misery for good?

Through the estate’s gate she pedaled, past the cemetery and church to the center of Van Ijland Village, where fellow descendants of the founder waved to her from their porches. Three hundred years it had been, since The Twelve—enlightened Europeans all of them—had planned their utopian civilization. A lot of good it had done in Ani’s hour of need.

A wizened woman at the fountain raised her palm in greeting. “Go on, young Ani! If you really want to get somewhere, pedal harder.” A vise of desperation tightened in Ani’s belly.

John’s face materialized in her imagination.

“Is there something wrong with me, John? I’m so lost without you. Mother thinks I’m crazy.” John tipped his head.

“You’ve always been part of me, John. Not just my Watcher.” The down-stroke of Ani’s pedals emphasized her words. My Watcher. My friend. My Watcher. My friend.

She arrived atop the highest elevation on the eastern coast of her homeland, which furnished a vista of the verdant southeastern district. For three hundred years her family had served as ruling governors of Ijland because of their dedication to the land and its young. Yet now some wanted to rip open the mountains and farmlands to expose the wealth beneath the surface. Someday, protecting all this would be up to her.

Ani bit down on her bottom lip. “Oh, Mother, I need you so. But I need John more.”

From here the road plummeted closer to sea level. She glanced at the still daunting steepness. She was not afraid of it, for time and again John had nurtured her courage. This incline was nothing compared to saying good-bye to her soul mate.

She was only afraid he might never return. Did Johanna have such power to wield against her child? Ani gulped great sobs of frustration, her chin hunched on her chest, her gaze fixed on the road ahead.

She was off! A young heart with a steady rhythm in tune with deep breathing. Her legs pumped harder and harder. “If…you really…want something… If you really want something…Pump harder! Pump harder! Pump harder!”

Again, John’s face appeared in her mind, his eyebrows lifted and his eyes wide. “You can do it, sweet girl. Come. I’ll catch you.”

Johanna loomed over him, claws out. “Stay away from my child. Stay away!”

Ani wobbled against a stone but corrected her balance and forced her energy into the bike. Bawling her frustration, she clenched her handlebars.

John’s smile encouraged her. “You’re strong, Ani. Pump harder! Pump harder, Ani girl.”

Tears clouded her concentration as her legs matched her heartbeats. “Pump-Swish! Pump-Swish! Please, John. Come home.”

An eight-point buck darted onto the road. She squeezed her screeching hand brakes, but the bicycle propelled her downward. It skidded. She lost her grip.

“Help! Catch me, John!”

Someone screamed. People shouted and sobbed.

“Not our little miss.”

“It’s Ani!”

Many pairs of wooden sabots clopped toward her on the pavement. The sun rocketed closer, bringing a moment of clarity and silence. Hands slipped under her head and lifted her body.

“This time John will come,” someone said.

“Yes, like he did before his last assignment in the mountain district.”

Those who bore her passed from Ani’s awareness when she slipped into a memory of that day when John had stopped to see her. Ani ran all the way to the pond, where she paced up and down under one of the fast-growing Camphor trees John had planted for shade. Her nerves were raw with waiting. When she saw him striding over the grassy lea from his house, she hurried to him and threw her arms around his neck.

“Ani-girl!” He held her around the waist and rocked her side to side, then stepped back, his twinkling blue eyes taking her in. His face split from ear to ear, and they laughed like a couple of stuttering monkeys. “Look at you, Ani! I leave you on your own and you’re bigger than before. How did it happen?”

“I guess I didn’t have anything else to get excited about. Now today I’m not planning to grow at all.”

“Great! Heh-heh.” There was that shy chuckle she’d missed so much.

“Yeah! You must be nearly full-grown already. And it’s not just in height. It’s in your face, and…everything.”

His admiring eyes tickled her insides. “What do you mean, everything?”

He shuffled his feet. “You know. Everything. The whole package.”

She shrugged. “These things happen when you turn fifteen.”

“I know I missed your birthday. I’m sorry. It’s the main reason I requested a stop here.” He looked at his shoes. I…I thought you might like these.”

Photographs. Dozens of them. John had made selfies in every district. There he was, holding a gigantic diamond at the mining museum in the western harbor town. He groomed an alpaca with a miniature sheep and a herding dog looking on. He crouched in an alpine meadow, squirting milk from a goat into his mouth. His goofy expressions in several of the photos made her laugh, but in the last one he gazed directly into the camera. It wrenched her with pleasure inside.

“This is wonderful, John! This is just what I needed.” She kissed him on the cheek.

He blushed and shrugged. “Just a little something to remember me by.”

Remember me. Remember me.


Bio:


Judith Kammeraad grew up a good girl under the triple onus of preacher-teacher-author’s kid. A fecund imagination counted as a survival tool, and making up stories proved almost involuntary. Books were her best friends, and Dad showed her that words were the best fun ever. Mom voted for ladylike behavior and cookies.

Fate led her to marry her high school sweetheart, who brought out her naughty side at last. The Kammeraads settled down in Michigan and raised two daughters as creative as their mom, who encouraged them to embrace their inner quirkiness. Judith devoted herself to a teaching career and created her stories and poems on the side.

These days the Kammeraads and their talented sheltie live in Florida near their six grandchildren, who inspire Judith to write stories about children. In a secret life she writes sweaty novels that break hearts and warm the spirit. And keep her laughing and crying all day.

 

Grab your copy of Ani’s Lover.

 

Connect with Judith:

Website |   Facebook  

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance