Monday, June 26, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "STRAP" - "BREAK MY HEART" #romance #lovestory #shortstory

Howdy! Thanks for stopping by. "Break My Heart" continues this week. 


Rick's phone rang. His cousin.
“Are you inviting me to dinner?”
“No. Drew and I are going out. It’s date night.”
“Oh, damn.”
“Sorry. But I am calling with a great opportunity.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Why do I think this will involve either money from me or something unpleasant?”
“Don’t fuss. Pine Grove is having a carnival day.”
“Carnival Day? How quaint.”
“Don’t be obnoxious. Just listen. It’s for charity. We’re raising money for the volunteer fire department and ambulance service.”
“Don’t you pay your firemen?”
“No money.”
“Great. So if I have a fire, and someone doesn't happen to be eating dinner, my house might get saved.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! Of course they’d come. They are the best. Anyway, it’s a big deal and Jory Walker, the chair this year, asked me to ask you to volunteer for something.”
“Okay, okay. You convinced me. Put me down for something.”
“Don’t you want to know what the committees are?”
“No. Just sign me up for…hmm, two. Okay?”
“Okay. But you’ve got to do whatever I sign you up for, deal?”
“Deal. But you owe me a dinner. No, wait. Dinner and pancake breakfast.”
“Got it. Have a good night.”
She hung up too fast. Rick was suspicious, but what harm could there be in a carnival? None. A strapping man, Rick, figured lugging stuff, setting up a booth. Easy for him. 
He fed Oliver and heated up a frozen meal for himself.
Shirtless, he took his dinner to the table on the deck. Birds were still at the feeder. Who said he was eating alone? Hell, he had a host of company, goldfinches, woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees all consumed their evening meal with him.
When he finished, he poured a glass of wine and sat in the rocker. Ollie curled up in his deck bed and snored. The evening was peaceful until it was interrupted by a phone call. He didn’t recognize the number, so he answered.
“Mr. Winslow?”
“Yes. Who’s this?”
“Hi, I’m Jory Walker. Actually Jory Stephens. Newlywed and I forget that’s my name now.”
“Congratulations,” he said. The conversation was getting tedious fast.
“I’m the chair for the Carnival. I’m just calling to say thank you so much. I never thought you’d agree.”
“Really? I’m glad to help out. No problem.”
“When I asked Mindy what you were best at, she suggested this right away.”
Curious as to what his cousin thought his strength was, he had to ask.
“Yes,” the woman giggled, actually giggled on the other end of the phone. Now his curiosity was hitting an all-time high, and adrenaline pumped.
“Refresh my memory. What did she sign me up for again?”
“How could you forget? The kissing booth!”

He dropped his glass of wine and it shattered on the wood floor. 


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Monday, June 19, 2017


Welcome! This is picture prompt week. We return to "Break My Heart" again this week. Don't forget to scroll down and return to Tuesday Tales with the link below. Thank you for stopping by. 


After gassing up his car, Rick pulled into the parking lot by the post office. It was almost nine. Pine Grove had shut down for the night. 
He stopped to gaze at the magnificent sunset. He’d never noticed the sunset in Manhattan.  
He eased down on the bench to listen to the symphony of the crickets and frogs, as he watched the orange streaking across the sky fade into the horizon. It was safe to be out in the open, in tiny downtown Pine Grove. He didn't have to hide his face or make a run for it.
He sighed and smiled. Country life had it's good points. 
"Is that seat taken?" A feminine voice broke his reverie.
Glancing up, he spied Dr. Dani Henderson. 
"Nope. It's all yours," he said, sliding down to make room.
"Tough day?"
She nodded. 
"Want to talk about it?"
She shook her head.
"Someone die?"
"A puppy. Poisoned by accident in a careless house."
"I'm sorry." He touched her arm. 
"Doc Gregory at school told me I'd get inured after a while. It’s hard to believe."
The dim light from the street lamp reflected off a tear on her cheek. She swiped at it with her hand. 
He slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to him. 
"So what are you doing out here, alone, in the dark?"
"Walking it off."
He held her close and kissed the top of her head. 
"And you?" she asked, not moving from his embrace.
"Seeking the sunset and the quiet."
"Reformed city boy?"
Was he turning country? Ridiculous! Breaker Winslow, debonair, sophisticated, rich would always crave the heartbeat of the city. For this moment, the cool, fresh country air filled his lungs, and a beautiful woman filled his arms. And it was happiness itself.  


Monday, June 12, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - "STONE" - "BREAK MY HEART" - #romance, #lovestory

Welcome! This week the word prompt is "stone". Rick Winslow is back in "Break My Heart". I hope you enjoy this unedited piece. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. Thank you for coming.


“I’m not going to call a nurse. You’ll have to help,” she said, gathering materials from cabinets and drawers.
Rick wiped his face on his sleeve. “I’m here. Tell me what you want me to do.”
As the doctor examined the little fella, Rick stroked his head and spoke softly to him. The deep-voiced sweet words seemed to calm Oliver. Under the doctor’s instructions, Rick held the little beast still while she cleaned Ollie up, and closely examined his wound.
“How long before you brought him here? When did you find him?”
“I saw it happen, shot the bear, called you, then drove over.”
She glanced up at him. “Shot the bear?”
“Long story.”
“Later,” she said, returning her attention to Oliver.
Rick held the dog as she shaved his fur and stitched him up.
“He’ll have to stay here overnight.”
“Then I’m staying, too.”
She administered painkiller and antibiotics. “Now he’ll sleep. He’ll be fine here. Really. Go home. Get some rest.”
She shook her head and rested her hands on her hips. “What do you think you can do?”
 “Just be here for him, with him. Whatever. I’m not going home.”
“Stubborn ass,” she muttered under her breath.
“I heard that.”
“I don’t care. You’re being a stubborn ass.”
She eased the sleeping dog gently into a cage and closed the door.
“It’s a new place. If he wakes up, he’ll be scared. I’m staying. Do you have a blanket I can borrow?”
“Sure. Go ahead. Be a pain in the ass. First you get me out of bed, then this.” She glared at him.
“Ollie got you out of bed.”
“Okay, yes. He did. But you could go quietly. But, no! The great Breaker Winslow has to make a big effing fuss in the middle of the night. Did you see the time? It’s almost three.”
“So what?”
“So what? I have to be up in four hours. I have a lot of animals to care for tomorrow.”
“Shall I relay your message to the bear? Ask him next time to please rip my dog to pieces during office hours?” He shifted his weight. “Rumors to the contrary, I don’t have a heart of stone.”
She put her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. I’m just tired.”
He patted her hand. “I get it.”

When she left the room, Rick slid down, sitting cross-legged in front of the cage. He opened the door and pulled the towel resting on the dog up to cover more of him. It was cool in the room. Dani opened the door and tossed a fleece blanket at him.
“You’re welcome.”
“Is he going to be okay?”
“We’ll know more in the morning.”
“It is morning.”
“Shut up. You know what I mean.”
“Okay, okay.”
“Goodnight,” she said, disappearing back to her place. He spread out the blanket and stretched out, content to close his eyes and listen to the pug snore. Soon they were both asleep. 


Monday, June 5, 2017


Welcome. Today our prompt is "purple". We're back in Pine Grove with "Break My Heart" again this week. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and some fine stories. Thanks for coming. 


After having been up late the night before because he was deeply involved in a suspenseful novel, Rick was beat. The prospect of walking Oliver overwhelmed him. Even the purple sunset didn't inspire energy. He wanted his bed.
“Tonight, you’re on your own, Ollie. Run out there, do your business and come back, buddy,” Rick said, opening the kitchen door.
The pooch stopped at the doorway, looked up at Rick and cocked his head.
“It’s all right. I think you’re old enough now to go out there on your own for a few minutes. Just be careful.”
The pug sauntered out the door and down the deck stairs to the lawn. Rick eased down onto the sofa and fell asleep. He hadn’t been out long before barking roused him. The high pitch told him it was Oliver. Yawning, he pushed to his feet and made his way to the door.
“Ollie! Stop that! Quiet!” he called as he eased through the door and out on the deck. But the barking continued. A deep growl grabbed his attention. Next came a garbage can flying through the air, and still the pug barked. Rick looked up in time to see a large bear rear up.

“Oliver! Come!” Rick shouted, but the dog paid him no mind. The pooch was intent on protecting his master and his home. “Oliver! Now!” Rick hollered, backing away from the end of the back deck as the bear advanced.
It leaned down and took one swipe with long, sharp claws at the dog. The creature scooped up the little pug and flung him against the house. The dog squealed, a sound that made Rick’s blood run cold.
His mind suddenly alert, he ran inside to get the gun Drew had given him. When he returned, seconds later, the bear loomed over Ollie. Fumbling with the ammo box, Rick attempted to load the weapon. With unsteady fingers, he managed to cram three bullets in, cock it and aim. The sound and motion distracted the bear from the injured pup. She turned toward Rick, who raised the gun. His hands were shaking too much to aim well. Regardless, he fired, and missed. Taking a deep breath, he took aim more carefully and pulled the trigger. That shot hit the bear, who backed away. Rick discharged the gun one more time, and the bear turned and loped back into the woods.


Rick ran down the steps to Oliver. Lying still, the pug’s breath came in shallow pants. Gingerly, Rick lifted his beloved pet up and carried him inside. He yanked his phone out of his back pocket and dialed the vet’s office. There was a recording.
“Fucking A!” 
He put down the phone, plucked a clean dish towel from the cabinet, and wrapped it around the bleeding dog.  Fear gripped his heart. He couldn’t lose this dog. Nabbing the car keys from the front hall table, he gripped the pug gently, but firmly and headed for his vehicle. He knew Dr. Henderson lived behind the clinic. It was common knowledge. The vet always lived close to the office to save time and be available for emergencies. Hell, this was certainly an emergency.
“Come on, buddy. We’re gonna get you fixed up. But you gotta hang in there. Don’t die, Ollie. Please, don’t die.”
Rick slammed the SUV into gear and floored it. He had Oliver, wrapped in a towel, in the front seat, held by the seatbelt. He roared out of his driveway and down the street. It was ten, dark and the town was quiet, so his racing through streets, and screeching around corners didn’t endanger anyone but Rick and poor, little Ollie.
When he arrived. He threw the car into park, turned the key, and jumped out. He retrieved the injured pug, cradling him in his arms. Not bothering with the front door, which he figured would take her forever to hear, he went around back.
There was a faint light glowing on one side. That must be her bedroom. She’s still up!
Hope grew in his heart. He banged on the door. Counted to three, then banged again.
“Coming, coming!”
He paced, hugging the pug to his chest. She opened the door, tying a sash around her waist.
“This had better be important,” she said, covering a yawn with her hand.
Words stuck in his throat. He simply thrust his arms toward her. “Fix him. Please.”
When she saw the whimpering pug, her eyes widened. “What happened?”
“Fix him.”
“I have to know…”
“A bear got him. A bear.” Tears forced their way through his defenses. “He was protecting me, the house. And a bear…” but he was crying too hard to talk. 

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Monday, May 29, 2017


Welcome! Thanks for coming. "Break My Heart" continues this week with the word prompt "hug". Scroll down to go back to Tuesday Tales. Thanks for stopping by.


There was a fine line between restful peace and quiet and it being so still you could lose your mind. Rick bemoaned no parties to anticipate or dress for. He’d cut a dashing figure in the latest fashions he had received free from the companies he’d modeled for. All his clothes had been lost in the fire.
The phone rang, relieving his loneliness. Of course, it was Mindy. Who else would be calling him? None of the three hundred names he’d had in his phone. One-by-one they had disappeared from his life. He’d erased them all after he’d left the hospital, anger and bitterness released with every push of the delete button. 
“Mindy, darling. Why don’t you come over for a drink?”
“I’m calling to invite you to dinner tonight. Be here at six.”
“You assume I have no plans?” he asked.
“Who would you have plans with? You don’t know anyone in town except Jess.”
“And now Doctor Dani, too.”
“Oh? Come for dinner and tell me all about it. I’ve gotta go.”
The phone when dead. He frowned then smiled. Now he had a reason to shower and dress up. He’d take Oliver with him.


He pulled into Mindy and Drew’s driveway and parked the car. He and Oliver stopped at the door. Mindy yelled “it’s open!”
Man and dog entered. The sound of a loud hiss halted them. A Maine Coon cat greeted them. She stood on the stairs, back arched, fur sticking straight out, making her look twice as big. Oliver whimpered and plopped down on the floor.
“It’s okay, boy. I’m sure she won’t hurt you,” Rick said, picking up his dog.
“Don’t worry about Minerva. She’s all hiss and no bite,” Mindy said, kissing Rick on the cheek and shooting a dirty look at the cat.   
Once he was unleashed, Oliver took off, nose to the ground, exploring the new territory. Mindy handed her cousin a vodka and tonic.
“No, it’s not made with fancy vodka. We watch our pennies here,” she said, leading him out to the backyard.
Drew manned the barbecue, turning chicken as the other approached. At the smell of fire and the sight of the grill, Rick stiffened. Mindy hugged him.
“I’m sorry. I forgot. Do you want to go inside?”
“That’s okay,” he said, moving a chair far away from the flames. “Just don’t know why you need an open fire to cook meat when electric stoves are cheap.”
Drew raised his palm in greeting, then bent down.
“See this baby? We’re prepared for any catastrophe,” he said, patting the large fire extinguisher standing next to the barbecue.
Rick downed his drink quickly. 



Monday, May 22, 2017


Welcome! We're back to regular Tuesday Tales this week. My story, "Break My Heart" continues. Scroll down to return to the excellent writers of Tuesday Tales. Thanks for stopping by.


Rick thought about his life. He leaned on his knees and petted his companion as he wondered what his next steps would be. First things first, as his mother would say. He needed to turn that ramshackle farm house into a habitable place. Repairs, painting, furniture, he shuddered to think about the size of the job.
But then, again, did he have anything else to do with his time? Nope. Perhaps fixing up the house was a godsend, allowing him to avoid facing empty years ahead. Snapping the leash off the harness, he let Ollie loose. The pooch stayed by his side as the two ventured forth, deeper into the brush.
Rick snapped a few photos of graceful trees and beautiful nature designs, then checked his watch. It was one thirty. They had enough time to get home, eat lunch and be ready for the appointment with Jess.   
As they cleared the forest and hit the field, a car pulled up to the side of the road. It was Doctor Dani.
“How’s he doing?” She asked.
Rick picked up his dog and held him to the window.
She sniffed. “He’s had a bath. Much improved.”
“And he’s eating more. I think he’s getting over missing his family.”
She nodded. “That’s good.”
“What are you doing over here?”
“Back from the post office. I like to take different roads. Get to know Pine Grove a bit.”
“You’re not from here?” He asked.
“Nope. Rye in Westchester county.”
He nodded. “Nice place. Why’d you’ come here?”
“For the job. Cool barn. Is it yours?”
“Everything you can see from here, just about, is mine.”
“You might fix that barn up. Ever have a horse?”
He laughed. “No. Is that a staple of country life?”
“If you put up a fence, you could keep a horse.”
“Wouldn’t that be pretty expensive?” He asked.
“Not for a rich ex-model like you,” she shot back with a grin.
Stunned she knew his identity, he had no rejoinder.
“Got to be going. Nice chatting. Good job with the dog.” She put the car in gear.
“By the way,” he said, finding his tongue, “his name’s Oliver now.”
“Oliver?” she said, raising her eyebrows, directing her glance at the pug. “Suits him. Good choice.”
On cue, Ollie barked, almost slipping from Rick’s grasp. Dani hit the gas pedal and the car lurched forward, speeding down the lonesome road, kicking up dust in its wake. Rick smiled. 



Friday, May 19, 2017


Welcome to the first Tuesday Tales Bookstore! This is our first bookstore event. All the Tuesday Tales authors will be putting books for sale today. I will showcase my free book, Griff Montgomery, Quarterback, and one that was partially written on Tuesday Tales. Do you remember Unpredictable Love

The book stars Jory Walker, a young woman who's been shouldering adult responsibility for herself and her sister since she was seventeen. Fortunately, an aunt took the girls in. 

The women were close, but Amber exasperated her big sister with her flighty behavior. Even though her sister dwarfed her in the looks department, Jory loved Amber. She kept a protective eye on her. Who knew that the woman in the family in danger of getting her heart broken was Jory? 


Here are a few excerpts:

Jory Walker plucked three letters from the mailbox in front of the house. Two bills and one envelope addressed to her that looked like it had been through a war. It had, according to what was scratched in the upper corner.

SSGT. T. Stevens

Anger bubbled up inside her. She made a beeline for the house, only to collide with her sister.
“Amber! What the hell?” She waved the envelope in the young woman’s face.
“I just sent him one letter.”
“This is the fourth you’ve gotten from him. When are you going to write back?”
“It was a mistake…”
“You can say that again. Especially the part where you signed my name!”
“Laura was so convincing. I thought she meant one time. Only one letter.”
“She asked people to sign up to write to guys in the military. Not to write only one letter and include a lewd photo.”
“It wasn’t lewd, whatever that means. Just me in a bikini. I’m not good at writing. Much better at pictures.” Her beautiful, blonde sister, with a Miss America figure, grinned.
“And the reason you signed my name?”
“I always liked yours better. Besides, if he wanted another letter, I knew you’d write it for me. So, it might as well have your name on it.”
“Don’t give me that bullshit smile. I’m on to you. And the answer is ‘no.’” Jory shoved the envelope from T. Stevens into Amber’s hand.
“Please? Pleeeaassseee, Jory. You’re the writer. Not me.”
“That’s right. You’re the pretty sister, and I’m the smart one.”
Amber nodded. “I don’t mean it like that. You’re so much better than me.”
“Than I.”


Jory hadn’t set out to craft boring correspondence to SSGT Stevens, but as she wrote, she realized how uninteresting and predictable her life was. She sighed when Nan entered the house Saturday morning with the mail.
“Another one for you, Jory. This young man likes to write.”
“I thought he’d be discouraged by how insipid and stupid my letters are. Guess not.”
“Guess not.” Nan smiled as she hiked up the stairs.
Jory put the envelope in her pocket, saving it for bedtime.
She’d taken to retiring early so she could savor Trent’s words in solitude. She liked to read through fast to get the facts then reread them two or three times. When she went back over them, she’d dig out the hidden loneliness lurking between the lines. Although he never mentioned fear, upon second and third readings her observant eyes picked up the hints of anxiety in his many references to home.


With patience, she’d fitted them together to form the image of a man she could almost touch.
Sometimes, she’d reread three or four before turning out the light. She’d tacked his picture on the wall next to her bed. He was the last thing she saw before falling asleep and the first thing in the morning. Jory had planned to wind down the correspondence, but every day she eagerly awaited mail delivery, and a new peek into the mystery man who had inched his way into her heart.

Admitting she had feelings for SSGT Trent Stevens wouldn’t happen. Jory wasn’t some foolish schoolgirl with a crush on a handsome Marine. She was a grown woman, who had been shouldering the responsibilities of an adult since she was seventeen. Her head wouldn’t be turned by a few letters and some fancy words. She was above that. Or so she thought.

Here's the blurb:

Uh oh. Amber signed her sister’s name on a pen pal letter to a Marine. As usual, Jory Walker was stuck fixing her sister’s little white lie.  

When letters poured in from SSGT Trent Stevens in Afghanistan, Jory had no choice but to correspond. Sure he’d be drooling over Amber’s bikini photo, thinking it was Jory. Since they’d never meet, what harm could it do if she sent him a few letters?

Would her charade boomerang replacing happiness with pain? What started off as an innocent ruse, morphed into a monstrous web of deceit. Maybe unpredictable love was destined to break her heart. 


You can get Unpredictable Love in ebook and paperback here:


FREE BOOK! Griff Montgomery, Quarterback 

He wants to find a wife. She doesn’t want to marry again –ever. Not exactly a match made in heaven. Or are they? Ten years ago, Griff Montgomery, star quarterback of the Kings and womanizer, became a stand-in father for his widowed sister’s kids. His happy family life collapsed when she and her new husband moved to California. Griff wants his own family. But where does a “player” go to find his ideal mate?

Having sworn off marriage forever, Lauren Farraday barely kept her life together after her divorce. With her career shaky and depression closing in, the last thing she needed was a courtroom battle with a sexy athlete.

Forced, by a judge, into an uneasy truce, the pair denied their growing chemistry. Wary of Griff’s reputation with women, and hiding a secret, Lauren keeps him at arm’s length. Determined, Griff marches toward his goal. Can the quarterback handle the truth or will he walk away, like he always has in the past?

Get the book FREE in ebook, or buy it in audio or paperback here: 



     AUDIBLE (Audio book)