Category Archives: Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: Writing Handsome Guy

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors posting excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today we have a picture prompt. My excerpt is from a paranormal fantasy in which a goddess occasionally inhabits the body of an archaeological assistant. Please read the excerpts of the other authors at Tuesday Tales.

Resolve washed over him, and he set off at a fair distance behind. The way she blew him off he was compelled to follow her. What if she was in some kind of trouble? Over her head or something? Prue was practical in most ways but a bit of a crusader when a cause flipped her switch. And she hadn’t been herself lately.

When she stopped and looked around, he ducked into an abandoned storefront, feeling like Archie Goodwin on a tail. He wiped gutter drips from his eyes. Yeah, so much for that analogy. A proper Archie Goodwin would be wearing a fedora. And carrying a Marley. This area was deserted and darker than where they’d started, with a number of burnt out street lights. Prue sprinted over a faded crosswalk, avoiding puddles where the road dipped. When she veered left and kept going, he zigzagged across.

After a few more blocks she stopped under a sputtering yellow street light and glanced at her watch. He backed up against the edge of a building in a camo attempt. When she didn’t take off, he edged behind a spot where the building jutted out. Here he could peer around and still keep most of his body hidden. His nose and eyes prickled with the stale smell of old bricks and mortar.

A couple of minutes passed, and she checked her watch again. Who was she meeting and why here? This was no place for her to be hanging about. Ahead of them fog rolled in like a steam room door barging open. A rustling noise filled the air and stopped. Footsteps sounded. From the fog and making straight for Prue strode a slickster who could have stepped off a GQ cover.

Her words tumbled out. “Finally! What do you mean keeping me waiting?”

The man held up something. “You’re in for a world of hurt.”

Simon dashed forward. “Leave her alone.”

She whirled. “Simon! What are you doing here?”

“I followed you. What’s going on, Prue? Do you know this guy?”

“Oh, for God’s sake, Simon.”

The man’s eyes gleamed in amusement.

Prue’s eyes shot daggers. “Of course I know him. He works for my family.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture prompt. Thanks for stopping by. Return to Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Angry

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors posting excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is angry. My excerpt is from a paranormal fantasy in which a goddess inhabits the body of an archaeological assistant. Please read the excerpts of the other authors at Tuesday Tales.

Simon pushed open the front door and handed her the key. “Usual shots?”

Tight lipped, she marched in, not waiting to see if he followed.

He was right behind her. “What’s got you in a tiff?”

“Nothing.” She shed the gauzy wrap and dropped it and the ridiculously dainty evening purse onto a chair. She wanted to stomp her foot and pummel him. Instead, she made her way to the small kitchen island that served as a bar.

“It’s clear you’re angry. You’re mad as a hornet. What did I do?”

She gritted her teeth and met his baffled look. A lock of hair fell over one eye, and he ruffled it back in that endearing way he had. Her glare softened, and a wavering sigh escaped her lips. He’d never claimed to be more than her friend. She couldn’t blame him for being attracted to the goddess of love. “Nothing at all. Sorry, I guess the theft has me rattled.”

Relief spread over his features, and he took his place at the bar to pour their shots.

She dropped ice in two glasses and splashed in the chaser. “So, you liked that ritzy place tonight?”

“Not particularly. Why’d you pick it?”

She shrugged and clinked shot glasses with him. “Thought it might be interesting. Cheers.”

“Down the hatch.”

They took the second batch to the living room. He pushed the television button, while she fished her bedroom slippers from under the couch. Without having to ask, he selected their favorite channel with all night classic horror films. Dracula leered seductively.

He glanced her way. “The food was good though. What there was of it.”

His pretend grumble made her laugh.

“Also it got you all glammed up.” He touched a finger to the soft peachy pink material. “You look nice.”

Sprite tickled her nose as she took a sip. “Thanks, Simon.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt angry. I’m glad you stopped by. Return to Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Hideous

“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” Omar Khayyam

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors posting excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is hideous. My excerpt is from a paranormal fantasy in which a goddess inhabits the body of an archaeological assistant. Please read the excerpts of the other authors at Tuesday Tales.

A waiter appeared with wine, hot loaves, and assurance he’d return for their order tout suite. He seemed more seasoned than their previous attendant.

Prue’s eyes fluttered, casting winged shapes onto her cheeks. “Ahh, the aroma of fresh bread. May I butter a slice for you, Simon?”

Surprised, he nodded and nudged the serving dish toward her.

She cut off an end and selected the next soft section, slathered it with creamy butter, and offered it to him. Her eyes were half closed, glittering facets of emerald and peridot.

He couldn’t believe the sensations bombarding his gut. To keep from blurting out anything about her eyes or other features, he crammed half the slice in his mouth.

Her lips pursed into a half smile. “A ravenous man is a turn on.”

Lord, where was his usual bag of quips when he needed it? “I had to forgo lunch today. You’re not having any bread?”

Buttering another slice, she bit into it and obviously savored the taste.

He had a wild urge to lick the butter off her bottom lip.

She let her tongue do the job. “Why did you skip lunch?”

“Berger was on overload after the break in.”

She coughed delicately. “Wh–what did he say about it?”

“Mainly that some hideous pendant had been stolen.”

She jerked up in her seat. “Why, how dare he?”

Half choking at her change in demeanor, he chewed and swallowed. “What do you mean?”

“The old buzzard wouldn’t know a sacred work of art from a worthless bauble, now would he?”

“You’re probably right about that.” Prue had never cared for Berger, but she was really worked up.

Her nails clicked on the table. “Did he show you the inventory for the piece?”

“No, why?”

“No reason. I just wondered.” She cleared her throat. “You know the old mudfish ticks me off.” She glared around at her surroundings. “Overpriced mausoleum.”

“What’s got into you? A minute ago you were drooling over this place.”

She shrugged. “Drooling over the bread maybe. I have to admit it is to die for.” She finished off her slice. “Yummo.”

He managed an awkward laugh. “For a while there I thought you’d been transformed into a changeling.”

She stopped chewing and stared at him. “And?”

“And what?”

“Which me do you prefer, usual me or changeling me?”

His skin bristled. It was clear she’d been putting him on. He bit out the words. “It’s hard to say.”

She cast her gaze down toward the table. “I see.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt hideous. Thanks for stopping by. Return to Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Greasy

 

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors posting excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry bunch that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is greasy. My excerpt is from a paranormal fantasy in which a goddess inhabits the body of an archaeological assistant. Please read the excerpts of the other authors at Tuesday Tales.

What was with all the swiveled heads Prue was getting? Moving closer as they walked, he cupped her elbow with the gallant intention of escorting her up the steps of Chez Gaspard. At the touch of her warm soft flesh, a pleasurable jolt of electricity shot through him. He blinked a few times. What the hell was going on? Was his Mercury retrograde, as Prue was always saying? He gave her a quick glance, but his off kilter mode didn’t seem to affect her. In fact she appeared to be confident and glowing.

Once identification was confirmed, they were shown to a table by a fawning man boy whose attitude gave the impression Prue was all that and Simon was merely a walking talking table ornament not to be acknowledged. Simon put his foot down. Enough of this crap. With his size elevens, he adroitly maneuvered man boy aside and held the lady’s chair. With a request for a drink menu, he sent the junior toady on his way.

Now seated across from Prue, he attempted to regain his normal composure. This was good ole Prue for God’s sake, not some mystery date.

She unrolled the linen napkin and patted it onto her lap. Her eyes swept up to meet his in a slow motion gesture he’d never noticed on her before.

He cleared his throat. “I was surprised you chose this place.”

“Don’t you like it here, Simon?” Her voice was low and purring, as though she’d already sipped a measure of wine.

He surveyed the white and gold elegance. “Oh, sure, what’s not to like? Though you have to admit it’s a one eighty from our usual greasy spoon.”

That elicited a semblance of a smile. “To think anyone actually prefers fast food to French cuisine.”

Courtesy free Pixabay

“This from a woman who has been known to double back for additional honey mustard sauce.”

She shuddered delicately. “Tastes can change, darling.”

She’d called him darling. “You are full of surprises tonight.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt greasy. Thanks for stopping by. Return to Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Red Dining

Courtesy free Pixabay

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. From our choices of interesting pictures, I selected the one above, which I call “red dining.” The excerpt is from a dark fantasy romance, #7 in the Wytchfae series. Make sure to check out the other Tuesday Tales excerpts.

 

If Rhade hadn’t been seated next to her at the formal dining table, she swore she would have found some way to skedaddle. As it was, her fingers were practically woven together from twisting.

The whole set up here was an odd mixture of royal protocol and sensuous gratification. Sumptuous fruits and breads dripping with butter loaded the table. Resa had never seen so many half naked servers, all going about their business without a word. The Goddess of the Underworld had yet to make an appearance, but numerous guests had already arrived. Some were seated, and other cavorted in enclaves. Armed to the teeth guards lined the serpentine corridors visibly extending beyond the dining area.

The air lay heavy with swirls of incense and the decadent aroma of huge vats of red wine. Each section of table had its own special candles and incense. Theirs was a blend with top notes of myrrh. Along the walls, amber resin smoked in footed obsidian bowls. As much as she loved incense, and wine, you’d think she’d be more relaxed by now.

“Stop with the teeth gnashing.” Rhade’s voice was a low growl.

“I’m not.” But she realized she was, and sighed. She grabbed her goblet and took another swallow of wine.

“You weren’t kicked to the earth curb for that long. Most of your life was spent down here in the Underworld.”

“As a sheltered step sis of the most antisocial triplets known to man. Clotho never even let me date, much less attend one of Helle’s bacchanals.”

“This is a dinner.”

She waved a hand. “You know what I mean.”

“You’re intimidated.”

She hated to admit it and busied herself rearranging the red linen napkin in the water crystal.

“Don’t let Helle’s pomp parade get to you.” He ran a finger across her wrist. “Besides, you’ve seen me at my dregs and didn’t run away screeching.”

Another arrival caught her attention. “Who’s the smarmy dude with the foot-long?”

His eyes shot to the Adonis lookalike refilling her wine glass, and his dimple creased. “Come again?”

Heat suffused her cheeks. She jerked her thumb toward the door, hoping to deflect his amusement. “The guy with the dark cloak and long braided beard. Wait…is he wearing a freaking mask?”

Rhade’s frown was anything but subtle. “So Helle is up to her old tricks.”

“What do you mean?” 

“This is Lammas, not a Hallows Feast. There are only two reasons I can think of for inviting an incognito to dine along with the other guests.”

“Such as?”

“Either she wants to make us writhe, casting her guests one against the another, or…”

She didn’t like the way he broke off. “Or what, for God’s sake?”

“Or someone is about to get scythed.”

 

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture about “red dining.” Return to Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Twig

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. This week our word prompt is twig. The excerpt is from a dark fantasy romance, #7 in the Wytchfae series. Make sure to check out the other Tuesday Tales excerpts.

She peered beneath Rhade’s arm just as a gray hued creature swiveled its head their way. It looked like a man from whom all liquid had been siphoned out. Tattered clothes hung off his shrunken body, and his eyes were empty sockets of coal dust. A rusty sword hung at his waist, a sad testament to some past glory. He held a limp woman by the arms but now tossed her to the ground and listed toward the open door.

In an alchemic moment, Rhade’s voice assumed the cold dark tone of a commander. “Stay inside.” His formidable frame made it look as though he could snap the hideous creature in pieces like a twig.

She knew better. The creatures had surprising powers.

Rhade stepped out, closing the door behind him.

Resa sped to the kitchen. Screams pierced the outside, and in her mind she envisioned beach goers scattering like ants. Good, they needed to get the hell away. A human would be no match for a revenant Grim. She gathered a small bundle of knives, thrusting a bulky handle into Georgio’s hand and clutching one in each of hers.

“What are you doing?” Georgio gazed down at the blade as if wondering what it was for. He grabbed her forearm. “Let the big man handle the zombie, little one. Neither of us is trained to fight.”

She huffed. “That’s a revenant out there, straight from the confines of the Underworld. We don’t know what magic brought it here. Rhade is strong, but his Ka has disappeared . We have to help him.”

Georgio gasped in horror. “He is living without etheric energy? I don’t understand. Who is this man Rhade?”

She rushed toward the door, hopping over a stool that had fallen. “You’re with me. I’ll explain later.”

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

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Blue

Courtesy Free Pixabay

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 blue. 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 other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Still no word from Jeffrey. Sour butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Tightening her lips, she banged shut the tiny postal box. Only good thing about no mail was no past due bills. Yet anyway. She hurried to the post office service window. “Excuse me, Mr. Henry?”

“Afternoon, Mrs. Reynolds. What can I do for you?”

“H—has all the mail been posted?”

An apologetic expression settled over his features. “Yes, Ma’am. I’m afraid it has. None for you today. I know you are anxious to hear from the mister. A few weeks now it’s been?”

“Oh, Mr. Henry. It’s been a month. Jeff has always been good about writing. He’s never missed this long. And in his last letter he spoke of a change in orders.”

“Don’t let a blue funk take over, Mrs. Reynolds. Your little girl needs you to be strong.”

“I wouldn’t frighten Gwennie for the world. But it’s…”

“It’s hard. I know.”

“Of course. Your younger brother is overseas.”

“Stationed back in the States now. An adjunct to some big shot. I can contact him to make inquiries about your husband, if you wish, Ma’am.”

Her heart swelled at his kindness. “Oh, would you, Mr. Henry? I’d be so appreciative. It would mean the world to find out if there’s some reason…I mean…I just want Jeffrey to be safe. We’d love him home for the New Year, for Gwennie’s sake in particular, but he’s not due for discharge until February. I’m starting to feel frightened at not hearing.”

“Let me get in touch with my brother. It may take some time for him to look into it. I’ll keep you apprised.”

“That would be splendid. Thank you.”

Back at the restaurant she pitched herself into work, focusing on making customers happy, which included an extra spate of pie baking. She always felt better with dough in her hands. Soon the sheer activity and tantalizing aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon lightened her spirits. Mr. Henry’s brother would find out that Jeffrey was safe. Safe and coming home soon.

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

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Tiny

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 tiny. 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 other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

“It’s Friday, Mama, and nothing’s come on the train all week. We should get a letter from Daddy today, shouldn’t we?”

Laura’s throat tightened before she answered. “Very possibly, sweetie. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Tiny white gold eyebrows scrunched together in mighty protest. “Our fingers crossed?”

“Like this.” Laura demonstrated. “For good luck.”

“Oh.” Gwennie followed suit. “I will, but I can’t cross them during penmanship. Miss Harris might not like it.”

“Not in class, sweetie, just here at home, and maybe at recess if you think about it.”

“Oh, yes, I can cross them during recess, even while jumping rope!” With exuberance, she hopped up and down, demonstrating the feat.

Laura smiled and patted her daughter’s head. “Very good. By the time you come home, we may have a letter.”

“May I walk down and check the mail after school?”

Laura hesitated.  “I’ll do it this time, honey.”

Gwennie took it in stride. “’Kay. Bye, Mama.”

She leaned down for a hug and peppermint scented kiss. “Be a good girl today. Drink all your lunch milk. Oh, there’s Patty at the door. See you at three o’clock, honey.”

After Gwennie set off with her friend walking the few blocks to school, Laura soon got busy with customers. Still she managed to keep an eye on the clock. Gwennie didn’t realize they actually hadn’t heard from Jeffrey in over four weeks now. Until recently, he had always managed to write every other week, at least a few lines, and a feeling of unease had begun to settle in. Each day this week when the southbound had blown its whistle, she had barely given the postmaster sorting time before hurrying down the sidewalk to the post office.

Twelve thirty. Wouldn’t you know the train was running late? When it finally came, she squeezed nails into her palms, waiting on it to slow down and the mail bag to be hooked. As soon as Mr. Henry retrieved the bag, she had a violent urge to run after him, but forced herself to wait fifteen minutes.

When the allotted time had crept by, she trotted down the sidewalk. Impatient fingers twirled the combination and flung open the box. Nothing there. She patted inside. No letter.

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

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Blue Winter

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’s inspiration is the blue winter scene above. 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 other talented authors at Tuesday Tales.

The train sped up the coastline, slowing down for whistle stops and pausing altogether in larger towns to take on or exchange passengers. Laura stayed in her compartment most of the time, thankful Meg had encouraged her to pay the extra instead of settling for coach. Otherwise she wouldn’t have thought of it.

 “Riding a thousand miles on a train is no picnic, especially with what’s waiting for you on the other end. Your friends that chipped in money for your trip want you to rest on the way up. You need that in your state of mind.”

Thinking about how kind people had been brought tears. She had never been one to ask for help, and certainly Jeff was even more independent minded than she. Lord knows she had done enough “asking” in her unsuccessful attempts to renew the bank loan. When the folks of Lake Belle contributed the cash to see her to Wilmington, at Meg’s intervention she was sure, it didn’t set right. Then she thought of Jeff, and how she prayed to find him among the wounded at the VA Hospital, and her hesitation disappeared.

At the brisk knock, she quickly dabbed away the remaining moisture from her eyes. “Yes?”

The porter stood there, his posture as erect as his well starched uniform. “Ma’am, in the event you didn’t hear my announcement–I know you have some troubles on your mind–supper is being served. Won’t you come along to the dining car for some nourishment?”

She most definitely must be wearing her heart on her sleeve. Everyone was being so thoughtful. “Certainly, and thank you so much.” 

The train slowed a bit passing through a small hamlet. As she stood and straightened her skirt, securing her handbag under her arm, a window display caught her eye. It depicted a snowy scene with lights that shone a beautiful true blue, just like Gwennie’s tree in the restaurant. It felt like a sign. Her heart fluttered with hope to find Jeff and bring him home in time to enjoy it. 

I hope you liked my offering for the lovely blue winter scene above. Thanks a bunch for stopping by. Return to Tuesday Tales.

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