Monday, October 9, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE P[ROMPT - SKIP'S STORY CONTINUES...





Welcome! This week is picture prompt week. We continue with Skip's story. Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales. Thanks for coming.

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“Don’t increase the weight on that, Quincy!” Vic barked. “For Crissake, all we need is an injury to your arm! This is the playoffs. We can’t afford to lose you.”
Vic Steele, the trainer, watched the men carefully, making sure to keep them fit and healthy.
While he worked out, Skip’s mind wandered back to high school. His adoptive father had invested in a set of weights. Skip had struggled with them at first.
“Nah. Forget it. You’re not cut out to be an athlete.” He had walked away, making a dismissive gesture.
That was all the motivation Skip had needed. He had readjusted the barbell and worked out, secretly, every day until he could do the maximum with no sweat.
At the stadium, as he lifted, he remembered the day he had wanted to show his dad what he’d achieved. The older man had brushed him off. Skip had grabbed his upper arm in a vise-like grip. His father had yelped in pain, then raised his gaze to his son. Skip had let go, surprised at his own strength.
“Sure, you can lift that now. How long did it take you? Months. But you’ll never do the next level.”
He’d kept working out, but had never showed off for his father again.
“Good job, Skip. Keep it up,” Vic said.

As he lifted more than he had back then, he smiled. Vic Steele and the manager, Cal Crawley, had replaced his dad when it came to Skip’s baseball career. Was it possible two men paid to run the team cared more about him than his own father? It’s a question the shortstop hesitated to ask himself, as he dreaded the answer.   

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Monday, October 2, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PROMPT "CHAIN" - SKIP'S STORY RETURNS.


Welcome! The word prompt this week is "chain". We are returning to Skip Quincy's story. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and read all the stories there. Thanks for stopping by! 

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Skip sat facing the door. His mind drifted back to his senior prom. Overhwhelmed with baseball and studies, he didn’t have much time for girls. He got laid after that prom --lost his virginity at the same time as his date. He chuckled remembering how ignorant he had been. She had been no help, either. The blind leading the blind. They’d been two kids fumbling around in the backseat of a car on a warm night in June. 
Glancing up, he spied Mimi, hesitating at the front of the restaurant. She wore a low-cut black dress. His gaze zeroed in on her chest. He marveled that such a petite woman could have such large breasts. He wondered if they looked bigger because she was so tiny. When he finally looked up at her face, he frowned. She looked lost. Skip raised his hand, catching her eye.



She smiled and headed for his table. He rose and pulled out her chair. She spread her skirt and sat down.
“No one’s done that for me in a long time.”
“Rowley didn’t pull out your chair?”
She shook her head.
“You were his wife.”
“So? Didn’t seem to make much difference.”
“Don’t mean to speak ill of the dead, but he must have been kinda stupid.”
“Thanks.” She shot him a warm smile.
The conversation was going exactly where he wanted. He needed to come off as a thousand times better than her dead husband, if he wanted to warm her bed. Soft, brown curly hair caressed her shoulders. He wanted to touch it, but suspected she was skittish and would freak out if he reached across the table to comb his fingers through her locks.
Rowley had smacked her around a couple of times and been suspended for it –and for steroid usage. In the end, steroids had killed him, the coroner had said.
“You must miss Rowley,” Skip said, signaling for the waiter. “What do you want to drink?”
“Just ginger ale.”
Skip raised his eyebrows. “I have a game, but you have no reason to avoid a drink.”
“I stopped drinking two years ago.”
“Why?”
“Alcohol made Rowley worse, more violent. I needed to be sober, keep my wits about me when he was drinking. It just became a habit.”
Switching to her choice, Skip ordered two ginger ales. He couldn’t imagine what it was like to be chained to a guy like Banner.
“Makes sense. Are you hungry? All the food here is good. Trust me. I’ve eaten everything on the menu.”
“All at once?” She asked, a twinkle in her eye.
He laughed. 
 “What are you going to have?” She asked.
“This close to a playoff game, I usually have steak. The biggest, juiciest one I can find.”
“Steak? I’m more of a seafood person.”
“Lobster? Order whatever you want.”
She smiled up at him.
His adoptive father had drilled into him to be careful with his money. As a consequence, Skip had plenty of money put away. One thing, though, he never skimped on food.
 “The lobster’s too much. Just a few scallops. And, maybe, a salad?”
The waiter arrived with their beverages and took their orders.
“Why is it women always eat like birds?” Skip asked, taking a sip.
“Always watching our weight.”

“And if you put on a few pounds, just more to love.”

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Monday, September 25, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - SKIP QUINCY'S STORY CONTINUES - "COAT"

Welcome! The word prompt this week is "coat." Don't forget to scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and read everyone's story. Thanks for stopping  by.

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“Hey, engaged men first. We’ve got women waiting,” Matt Jackson, the catcher, said, giving Skip a playful shove.“Hey! You’ve already got someone. Doesn’t matter if you stink to high Hell. I’ve got a date.” Skip elbowed his way ahead toward the shower.

Jake and Bobby blocked his path.“Who’s the hot chick?” Jake asked.

“None of your business,” Skip replied.

“Oh ho! Wait a minute. If you won’t tell, then I must know her, right? Who is it?” Jake backed Skip to the wall.

“I said, none of your business.”

“It’s my business,” said Nat Owen, first baseman.

“Fuck off. All of you.”

“Come on. Tell us. We won’t give you a hard time,” Matt said, trying not to laugh.

“Yeah, right. I’ll never hear the end of it.” Skip tried to dodge his teammates.“We’re keeping you here until you tell us,” Jake said.

“Aw, leave him alone,” Bobby piped up.All heads turned to the second baseman.

“Wait a minute. We don’t need Skip to tell us. I bet Bobby knows,” Nat said.Bobby Hernandez backed away, his palms up. 

“No, no, I don’t. Honest. I don’t have a clue.”

“Yes, you do. Dickwad over here tells you everything,” Matt said, narrowing his eyes.

“Mimi Banner! Okay! Jesus Christ! Can’t a guy keep anything to himself?” Skip threw a towel in the dirty towel bin.

The men turned their gazes on him, but none said a word.“What are you looking at?”

“You’re dating Banner’s widow?” Matt asked.

“So?”

Matt shook his head. “Banner’ll come right up out of Hell and cut your balls off.”

Skip laughed, along with his teammates.

“Aren’t you, like, intimidated? Even a little bit?” Nat asked.

“He’s dead. Maybe he was a stud, maybe not. But he’s gone and she’s probably missing it. I can fix that.”

Bobby shook his head. “Playing with fire.”

“Why do you say that?”

Jake Lawrence, the third baseman, shrugged. “Don’t know. I heard he beat her up a couple of times. She might not be real interested in getting involved with another athlete.”

“I’d never do that. Besides, he took steroids. Maybe that had something to do with it,” Skip replied.

“I dunno.” Jake shrugged. “Seems there are plenty of other fish in the sea without messing with that hornet’s nest.”

"Don't sugarcoat it, Jake. Tell me how you really feel." 






Monday, September 18, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - "CRUSH"


Howdy! Welcome. This week the word prompt is "crush." I am posting another, unedited excerpt from Skip Quincy, Shortstop -- a new book in the Bottom of the Ninth series. 
A little background...
In this excerpt, the New York Nighthawks are getting ready to meet the Washington Wolverines in the best of five playoff series. They've just finished their workout and are chowing down before the game. This scene takes place in the dining room. 


*************

Sweat soaked Skip’s T-shirt. He stopped to down a bottle of water, then got on the bike for some cardio. Feeling his body perform, work, stretch, grow stronger stoked his fires. Each session readied him more and more for the contest with the Washington, D.C., Wolverines. Play-offs were next week. He’d be ready, as always.


The men took a break. There was a buffet spread for lunch in their dining room. Bobby got behind Skip in line.
“What happened to that Banner chick? You didn’t bring her last night.”
“Right. I’m taking her out tonight.”
“Big night?” Bobby nudged him in the ribs and wiggled his eyebrows.
“None of your beeswax, jerkoff.”
“Just thinkin’ it might be nice if you got a little, for a change.”
“I’m gettin’ plenty.”
“Yeah? From who?” Bobby picked up a plate.
“None of your damn business.”
“Not from Francie?” Bobby’s voice rose.
“No way. She’s like my little sister.” Skip speared a piece of ham and put it on his dish.
“Good. Leave her alone.”
“Says you?”
“Yeah. She’s too nice for you.”
“Fuck off. I’ll go out with whoever I want.”
“She’s get enough problems, without you messing up her head with your dick.”
“That’s weird, buddy. Very weird.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Okay, okay. But if she wants me, who am I to say ‘no’?”
“Don’t flatter yourself, asshole.”
“She was comin’ on pretty strong last night.”
“School girl crush.”
“She may be goin’ to school, but she’s no schoolgirl.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah. Hell, she’s twenty-six.”
“So?”
“Back off, Bobby. She’s a big girl. She can take care of herself.”
“As long as you stay away from her brother, I’m good.”
“It’s none of your business.”
The two men had filled their plates to overflowing with ham, roast beef, baked potatoes, brussel sprouts and salad. They took their places at the table.
“If you think I’m such a bad guy, why don’t you sit somewhere else?” Skip scowled at his friend.
“I don’t think you’re a bad guy. But Francie is Elena’s best friend.”
“Hey, I’m not about to hurt her. She’s fun. We have a good time, kidding around and stuff.”
“She flirts with you.”

“So do a lot of women. Doesn’t mean anything,” Skip said, slicing his meat. 


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Monday, September 11, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT - SKIP QUINCY, SHORTSTOP

      

It's picture prompt week! I'm only allowed 300 words. Here's the pic I selected. We're back with Skip Quincy, Shortstop for the NY Nighthawks', again this week. 



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Walking down Fifth Avenue, Skip stopped in front of a fancy-schmancy ice cream parlor. Looking in, he saw pink walls and wrought iron chairs. They looked uncomfortable. In the window was a giant banana split. He licked his lips. Memories of trying to eat one on his birthday popped into his head. The sundae had been bigger than he had been.

    His father had pledged to help him finish and the two dug into the sweet confection with enthusiasm. Of course, Skip, only nine, crapped out first. His father polished off the rest, then groaned and rubbed his stomach all the way home.

   Sadness at their passing fluttered through his heart. They had been the  most wonderful parents. Of course, he realized that the nostalgia of looking back at them probably colored his memory some. Still, compared to the couple who adopted him, his birth parents were royalty.

   He stared at the ice cream, longing springing up in him. He turned and continued his stroll, denying himself the huge treat. Hell, he had playoff games in a couple of weeks. He couldn’t be loading his trim body down with all those wasted calories. Still it called to him.

   He promised himself he’d come back off season and down one of those – in his father’s honor. After checking his watch, he turned around to head for home. This had simply been another way to exercise. With all the interesting shop windows, he didn’t even notice how far he’d walked.

   On the way back, he stopped in the ice cream shop and had one scoop in a sugar cone, in honor of his dad. Mint chip had been his father’s favorite and Skip’s, too. He slurped on the cone all the way to the subway, finishing it just before the train arrived.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "BONE" - SKIP QUINCY, SHORT STOP

This week, we start a new story. I'll be sharing some of my next baseball romance book, "Skip Quincy, Short Stop". Here's the beginning of the first chapter. 
Thanks for coming. Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales and some great stories!


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It was too cold, on a particular September night, to be running around naked on a baseball diamond. With a towel tucked around his waist, Skip Quincy, ace shortstop for the New York Nighthawks, padded barefoot out to the field. Since there was no game, the stadium was dark. Mimi Banner, photographer, had bright lights set up on the grass.
Skip gripped the towel with both hands, keeping it in place. Too cold to worry about popping a boner in front of this lady.   
“How many women have you slept with, Skip?” Mimi asked, as she examined her camera.
“I don’t know. Enough.”
“Then being naked in front of me shouldn’t be a problem.”
“I’ve never posed for pictures. You’re not gonna take a picture of my dick, are you?”
“Nope. Art becomes porn if I’m not careful.”
“What are you going to do with these?”
“Exhibit them. In a gallery.”
“Why me?”
“I told you. Your body has just the shape I’m looking for.”
“What about the rest of the team?”
“I took their photos for Nelson Hingus. He’s paying me a mint. Those portraits are going to hang in the stadium.”
“I mean what about some of them, uh, naked?”
“Nope. You’re the only one who’s got what I’m looking for.”
Ordinarily, those words would be music to his ears, and he’d move right in on her. But not this time. He shook his head. “Let’s get this over with. It’s damn cold out here.”
“Don’t worry. I told you I’m not shooting your, uh, private parts. Let’s get started.”
He stepped in front of the lights and dropped his towel. “Did Rowley know you did this? Take shots of naked men?”
 “I didn’t do it when he was alive. He’d have killed me.”
“Can’t blame him. Where should I stand?”
Mimi instructed him, then adjusted the lights, looked through her lens, readjusted the lights and took a couple of shots. He diverted himself by memorizing her body. His gaze scanned her curves again, and again, settling in the most inappropriate places when she wasn’t looking. Finally, the chill wind got to him.
“Got enough? I’m freezing.”
“I know. It’s showing.”
“Hey, nothing I can do about that. Besides you said my dick was off limits.”
“Not that, your skin, your arms, belly. Goosebumps are visible.”
“That means we quit?”
She nodded. “I guess so. Can we do this again?”
“Nope,” he said, heading back to the locker room.
“Okay, okay. You’ve been pretty good about it.”
“Damn right. Now how about I take you to dinner Saturday?”
“Okay.” Her lips formed a half-smile.
“Well, don’t fall all over yourself with enthusiasm.”
She laid her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. I haven’t been dating since Rowley passed.”
He shrugged his shirt over his impressive shoulders and hugged her. “I’m sorry. Of course. If it’s too soon…”
“It isn’t. Everybody’s been telling me I need to get back up on the horse,” she said, then stopped, blushing. “I mean start dating again.”

“And I’m just the horse for you.” He shot her a grin. 


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Monday, August 28, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - BEAN - "BREAK MY HEART"



Welcome! This week the word prompt is "bean". Since the book will be published in a few weeks, we have the last installment of "Break My Heart." Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and read all the amazing stories there. Thank you for stopping by. 


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Dani leaned down to kiss him through the open window of the limousine. Her brow furrowed and a frown drew the corners of her mouth down.
“Don’t worry. Everything’s good.”
“We’ll see,” she said, stepping back. “Safe trip.”
“I’ll be back in a couple of days.”
She nodded as the driver put the car in gear and eased out of the driveway. Rick settled back. His mind raced. He had so many things to do in a few days. Federico had created a three-thousand dollar, Italian suit after Rick swore his measurements hadn’t changed.
As the car drew closer to the city, his anxiety intensified. Sure, he looked better, a whole lot better –normal, in fact. Except for that little cheek scar. But did he still have the drop dead gorgeous looks from his past? He doubted it. Not that he’d even considered modeling again, but how would he look on television during the interviews? Makeup was a wonderful thing. He rubbed his cheek, baby-butt smooth from his careful shave. Would he ever have again that sexy scruff women wanted?
With a slight shake of his head, he remembered that he had the best woman in the world and was not in need of another. There couldn’t be another woman like Dr. Dani Henderson. A smile brightened his face. He’d won her, and looking bad, too. So it wasn’t just his looks, although she tended to go on a bit about his body. His grin turned to a snicker. She was one hot chick.

As he neared the city, his stomach flipped. His confidence of days past had flown. Maybe Breaker Winslow was truly dead, leaving only the insecure Rick in his wake. He tried to muster the swagger of his alterego. Breaker assumed every woman wanted to sleep with him and every man wanted to be him, which wasn’t far from the truth. He’d played the part of a celebrity, Mr. Cool, with ease. It fit him like one of Federico’s custom suits. But what about now? Was it just like riding a bike? Would it come back to him after two years away? 
He chuckled. Like a magic bean, the selfish, vain model still lived inside Rick and could be called upon at any moment. An interview on national television was the perfect setting for the resurrection of Breaker Winslow, sexiest man alive. 
If he played it well, smooth and sophisticated, perhaps something might come from this performance? Did he want to return to his old world? No one was asking him to, so why decide now? But he didn't, did he?   


Watch here and on Fb for news of the publication of "Break My Heart." Thank you for coming and following Rick's story. 
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