Monday, November 12, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT - ANOTHER SNIPPET FROM "RENOVATING THE BILLIONAIRE."


Hello and welcome! This is picture prompt week. This is the picture I used to inspire my story. Scroll down to get back to Tuesday Tales.


We have another episode of "Renovating the Billionaire" this week. Scroll down to return to the excellent stories on the Tuesday Tales blog. Thanks for stopping by. 


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Stryker wandered over to the tree where he and Jess had their picnic. How could something that started so great, end up so badly? He shook his head. He’d left shortly after, and only returned today to see plans his architect had drawn up.
Jess had been on his mind from the moment he took her home. Afterward, he’d kicked himself. Then, John and Chris had piled on. They’d been right, of course. Seemed like he was never right anymore. Where was his head? Why couldn’t he figure things out?
Maybe because it wasn’t about dollars and cents, but about feelings and emotions. If there had been a class in that at Yale, he’d have flunked. He feared the only one glad to see him back in town was Laura Dailey.
“Stryker! Welcome back. You’re just in time for the corn festival. Having your usual?” she’d asked, adding half a teaspoon of sugar to his coffee. “Your table is free.”
He’d smiled and taken the seat he’d occupied every morning at the Cozy Cupcake during his stay in town. How could it feel so good to be back? This tiny hamlet, barely a blip on the map, had crept into his blood. Or was it Jess Lennox? As he sipped his brew, she came through the door, her arms loaded with pies. 
When she saw him, she almost dropped the boxes. He’d rushed to help, putting two of the containers on the counter.  
“What are you doing here?” she’d asked, her eyes brightening.
“Good to see you, too.”
“Sorry. It’s not that I’m not glad to see you. I am. Glad, I mean. I am glad. Not, not glad.”
“I get it,” he said.
“I didn’t think you were coming back.”
“Neither did I,” he replied.



Monday, November 5, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "SUDDENLY" - MORE OF "RENOVATING THE BILLIONAIRE"



Welcome! This week we have another episode of "Renovating the Billionaire." Thanks for stopping by. 

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   Once again, Stryker West walked the grounds of his Aunt Minnie's old place. The garden had been decimated by animals and weather. Even the rose bushes looked dull and withered. 
   Rubbing his neck, he tried, once more, to figure out why Jess wanted to save the house. He entered the back door into the kitchen. Blowing dust off the stove, he turned the knob. A flame sprang to life. 
   "Well, well. Still works." 
   He continued ambling down the long hall to the living room. 
   "I suppose you could refinish the floors. Hmm. Paint the walls?New sofa. Guess she has a  point. Maybe it's not ready for the trash heap." 
   Ending up at the window seat, watching birds in the feeder Jess kept filled, he scratched his chin. Then it hit him. Suddenly, he realized what mattered to Jess mattered to him. He cared for her. In shock, he sank down on the window seat. 
   Damn, what had he done? He'd developed feelings for a woman who hated his guts. Jess Lennox loathed him with every breath she took. How did this happen? The physical attraction made sense, but nothing more. Too late. He covered his eyes with his hand and shook his head. 
   "Stupid, stupid, stupid," he muttered, already feeling pain in his heart. 

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Monday, October 29, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "TRAGIC" #smalltown #romance



We have another episode in the "Renovating the Billionaire" story. This will be my book for NANO. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. Thanks for stopping by. 


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“Would it be so fucking tragic if he tore it down?” Will Lennox asked his sister.
She stopped stirring the stew and faced him.
“It would be to me.”
Will put out two plates on the kitchen table, then opened the utensil drawer.
“Really? So what? It’s not like you’re ever gonna have that house.”
“How do you know?” she asked, resting her hands on her hips.
“Get real, Jess. We can barely make the rent. You gonna buy that old broken-down piece of crap? With what money?” he asked, placing forks next to each plate.
“I don’t know. But it could happen. Stranger things have happened.”
“Yeah, right. Dream on.” He folded two paper towels and placed them under the forks.
She grabbed his arm, turning him toward her. “It’s my dream. Don’t take that away from me. It’s all I have.”
“Maybe it’s about time you gave that up. Maybe it’s time you found a guy and got married. So we could live like normal people.”
“Normal people?” she asked, placing a glass of iced tea by his place.
“Yeah. Instead of watching every penny. I work my butt off and you do, too, and yet we don’t even have enough to buy an ice cream cone. Why is that?”
She shrugged and returned to the stove.
“Because we’re cursed here.”
“People hire you. They buy my pies. It’s all we can do now.”
“I get hired to change the screen in a window, to nail a chair back together. Not to do the work dad trained me to do.”
“I can’t help that.”
“We need to move. Forget that house. Let’s pack up and go. Get a fresh start somewhere else.”
He sat down at the table. Jess carried a pot of stew over and ladled out some on her brother’s plate.
“I don’t want to leave.”
“Because of that stupid house?”
“Maybe. Everyone should have a dream.”
Will grabbed her forearm. “Let that asshole tear it down, Jess. Let it go. Move on.”
“No.” She filled her plate and sat down.


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Monday, October 22, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT





Welcome! We have another episode of Renovating the Billionaire this week. The prompt is a picture prompt. We have to keep our posts to 300 words, with a few more or less. 
Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and some exceptional authors. Thanks for stopping by. 


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After leaving Laura Dailey’s cafĂ©, Jess wandered over to the thrift shop. The bell tinkled as she opened the door.
Giselle Davenport called out, “Who’s there?”
Jess forgot her friend who ran the place was legally blind. “It’s me, Jess.”
“You picked the perfect day to stop by. We got new donations. Great dresses. In your size, too. Come on.”
Last thing Jess had money for was a new dress, even if it was second-hand.
“I’m just looking,” Jess said, shuffling through the colorful garments. An ice-blue sleeveless number caught her eye.
“Try it on.”
Jess shook her head. She never tried on anything she couldn’t buy. Saved a lot of time that way. Unable to resist, she checked the price tag. Fifteen dollars. She figured the dress must have sold for two hundred bucks brand new. She knew she only had three dollars. Jess sighed.
“Could we trade?” Giselle asked.
“Trade?”
“Yeah. Could you take me grocery shopping?”
“Sure. I’m picking up groceries for Ralph Manning tomorrow. Can you go then?”
Giselle placed her hand on Jess’s arm. “Only if you let me give you something in exchange.”
“Don’t be silly. I’m going anyway.”
“Not doing it unless you take something.”
“What did you have in mind?”
“That blue dress.”
Jess’s pulse jumped.
“Go. Try it on.
The garment fit like it was made for her.
“Okay. It’s a deal,” Jess said. “Thank you.” She hugged her friend. “I’ll be by at ten. Does that work for you?”

“Perfect. I’ll be ready,” Giselle said, wrapping the dress in tissue and placing it in a bag. Jess picked up the bag. If only she was dating someone, anyone. With a sigh she pushed through the door, making the bell tinkle. At least she had the dress, just in case. 



Monday, October 15, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - HAZY



Howdy! Thank you for coming. This week the word prompt is "hazy." We have another snippet from "Renovating the Billionaire."
I hope you enjoy it. Scroll down to go back to Tuesday Tales and the excellent authors there. 

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“Here’s the key,” Robbie, his right-hand man said.
“Do I really have to do this?”
“I think so. But you’re the boss.”
“Be back in an hour.”
“Right.”
With a groan of disgust, Stryker Alexander West exited the limo and headed for the steps of the old house. He shoved the key in the rusty lock and turned. Reluctantly, the tumblers clicked into place. His memory of the inside was hazy.

He recalled warm, delicious smells coming from the kitchen. His aunt, Minnie, had been an excellent cook. Not a gourmet, but she could make a stew that would bring a grown man to tears. His mouth watered as the long-forgotten scents awakened his taste buds.

Opening the front door, he was hit with the stench of cat urine. The smell was overpowering, pushing him back a few steps. His eyes stung. Ducking under a cob web, he forced himself to walk through the living room. Stryker forced a long, once-elegant window open. 

Gulping fresh air, he turned to examine the room. He wondered what Minnie had done with the thousands of dollars he’d sent her each month to keep up the house. Surely, she had not used one single cent to maintain it.

The furniture was covered with dusty sheets. The braided rug that had once brought color and warmth to the room had faded and grown shabby. Paint on the walls cracked and peeled, the wood floor, once polished and gleaming, was scuffed and scratched. The chandelier was missing. Old wires sprung from the ceiling like weeds in Minnie’s once-tended garden.

His heart squeezed. Did he dare explore the other rooms? Curiosity overcame fear, compelling him to forge ahead. One room was worse than the next. Corralling his emotions, his resolve to raze the structure hardened. There was nothing left of the place he had called home. Best to take this monstrosity down and hope to erase the memory of the shambles it had become.



Monday, October 8, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "GREEN" - MORE RENOVATING THE BILLIONAIRE


Welcome! The word prompt this week is "green." We have another excerpt from "Renovating the Billionaire." Scroll down to return to the excellent writers on Tuesday Tales. 
Thanks for stopping by.


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Jess pulled into the driveway of the broken-down mansion. Her workday over, she stopped to take a look at the old place for the millionth time. After getting out of her car, she stretched her arms high. Exhaustion crept along her spine. Though only five o’clock, Jess had been up and working for twelve hours. Pie baking started early.
She moseyed over to the back and eased down on the grass. June air hung heavy with the promise of flowers and vegetables sprouting in the sun. Leaning back on her elbows, she eyed the building. Picking a tall, green blade of grass, she stuck it in her teeth, then spoke out loud.
“If the wood’s not rotten, I’d repair the back porch. Hang a feeder there. Maybe get a rocking chair.”
A short male laugh startled her. She sat up straight like a bolt of lightening hit her.
“Chip? Chip Matthews? What are you doing here?”
“Might ask you the same question.” He leaned up against a tree, his eyes slowly traveling her length.
Jess scrambled to her feet, brushing the twigs and leaves from her butt.  
“Nothin.”
“Talkin’ to yourself? That’s not a good sign, Jess.”
“None of your business. I gotta git home.”
As she brushed past him, he grabbed her arm. “Wait.”
“What for?”
“We got some unfinished business.”
“Not that I see. Let me go.”
He dropped his hold, but his gaze connected with hers. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry about what?” she asked, tossing her long locks.
“’Bout everything. You. Me. Lucky.”
“Yeah, sure,” she said, but didn’t move. “You got Kathy now. Don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself.”
“Got a horse fixin’ to foal soon. Thought you might like to have it.”
Her eyes widened, her throat ran dry. Chip cupped her cheek. Tears stung the backs of her eyes, but she refused to give in. She brushed his hand aside and stepped back.
“Pa was right. We didn’t have money to feed a horse. Still don’t. So keep it. Thanks anyway.” Before he could answer, she trotted off to her vehicle and started the motor. She roared out of the driveway before Chip could catch up. Turning down the first dead end street, she stopped abruptly, rested her head on the steering wheel and let the tears flow.



Monday, October 1, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "DEBUT" More "Renovating the Billionaire." #romance #billionaire



Welcome! This week is another episode of "Renovating the Billionaire." We get a peek into Stryker Alexander West's background. Thanks for stopping by. Scroll down to return to Tueaday Tales and the excellent stories there. 

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Stryker Alexander West made his debut in the local police department when he was thirteen. Hauled in for underage drinking, and disorderly conduct, Sergeant Maguire sat him down hard on a seat in the interrogation room.
“I understand Minnie West isn’t your mother.”
“Nope.” His stomach flip-flopped.
“She’s your dad’s older sister?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yessir.”
“I hear you been actin’ up. Giving her a hard time.”
“Old biddie,” Stryker muttered.
The sergeant’s eyes widened, his nostrils flared. “I can pick up this phone, dial children’s services and have you yanked outta the ‘old biddie’s’house in a goddamn heartbeat. I can slam your ass in a foster home where they don’t give a crap about you. Where they’re only in it for the check they get every month. Would that be better? Would you like that? ‘Cause I can do it. With one phone call,” the policeman said, picking up the receiver.
Even at thirty-eight, his stomach clenched and sweat broke out on his forehead at the memory.
“No, sir. No. Please don’t do that.”  
“You ma and pa died in a car, didn’t they?”
“Yessir.”
“How do you think they’d feel if they knew what a dick their son is?” he asked, grabbing Stryker by the collar of his shirt. “Huh? I asked you a question. How’d they feel?”
“They wouldn’t like it.”
“Damn right they wouldn’t. They might even say, pick up that phone, Sergeant Maguire. Put him in a foster home. Let him see how good he’s got it with Minnie.”
He’d trembled as fear coursed through him. By the time the sergeant got through, Stryker had been shaking, he’d thrown up, and tears poured down his cheeks.
The policeman laughed as he turned the boy over to his aunt.
“Here you go, Ms. West. If he acts up again, give me a call. Here’s my card.”
“Thank you, officer, but I’m sure Stryker learned his lesson.”
“Did you, son?” the policeman asked.
Recollecting the conversation, Stryker grinned. 



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