Monday, January 14, 2019

TUESDAY TALES - MAGGIE'S STORY CONTINUES - WORD PROMPT "GREASY"



Howdy-do! Welcome! We continue with Maggie's Story today. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. Thank you so much for coming!

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After a climbing three staircases, they entered a tiny two bedroom apartment. Gladys led her to a narrow twin bed in a room with tw"o other beds the same size. There was barely room to move.
“This is your bunk, love. Here’s the paper. Look for a job. If you can’t find anything, Burt might be able to get you some work as a chambermaid at the hotel where he works. Do ya know how to make a bed?”
Maggie nodded. Gladys handed her a set of keys, kissed her on the cheek and headed for the front door. When her cousin was gone, Maggie sank down on her bed and cried.
"Come, come, lass. Ain't that bad. We've got some fish and chips. You must be hungry," Gladys said, handing Maggie a tissue.
After mopping her eyes and blowing her nose, she followed her cousin to the living room. In the small ell, a table was set up. 
"Help yourself," Gladys said with a smile. 
Maggie filled a plate with a piece of fish and French fries. She joined the others in the living room, taking a small chair. The food was a bit greasy, but delicious. She hadn't realized how hungry she was. 
"Do ya like living here?" she asked her cousin.
"New York City? It's bigger 'an you could imagine. But they got everything here."
"I hope they have a job."
"What do you do?" Gladys asked.
"Take care of children."
"Oh, a nanny?"
Maggie nodded.
"Might be kinda hard to find that here, seein' you don't know nobody."
Maggie finished her food, washed up her plate and returned to her room. Lying on the bed, she stared at the ceiling. Maybe something good could come from this huge place? That is, if it didn't swallow her whole, first. 




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

TUESDAY TALES - BRACELET IS THE PROMPT - MORE OF MAGGIE'S STORY


Welcome! This week the prompt is "bracelet". We have more of "Maggie's Story". Thanks for stopping by. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. 

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Resigned to her father’s decision, Maggie packed her bag. She prayed the relatives would be kind and not know about her troubles. Her friends took her out for a few pints as a farewell. Some insisted she’d be back one day, but she knew different. A disgraced daughter isn’t welcome to return in the Chadwick family. So she gathered her possessions into one small bag and threw it in the boot.
Her mother and grandmother drove her to the boat because her dad had to work, or that’s what he said. Now Maggie was headed to New York City, to bunk in with a cousin she’d met once. Embarrassing daughter problem eliminated. Terrified of planes, Maggie had a room on board a ship. It pulled out of the dock and headed East.
Grandma Evans took Maggie aside. She slipped something shiny out of her pocket and fastened it around Maggie's wrist. 
"This is mine, from your grandpa. Give to me on our first anniversary. It's solid gold. Don't lose it, 'cause it's worth money."
"Grandma, you don't have to..."
"Hush. This will keep you safe. And remind you you're an Evans. Keep your head up, dearie. You're mighty fine. My favorite, but don't tell your mother."
"Thank you."
Maggie hugged the small woman and touched the bracelet. It was engraved with their names and a lovely design on the outside.
"Touch it when you need guidance."
"I will."
Every penny her mum and dad had put away for holiday went to pay for her passage. She assuaged her feelings of guilt with the fact that she’d cost them their last worry. The ticket said “one way”. She was not expected to return. People milled about, but loneliness surrounded her like a cloak. With no family to help, she’d have to clean up her own messes from now on.
When they docked in Manhattan, Gladys, a large woman in a loud dress accosted her.
“There you are, dearie! Good to see you, Mags.” The woman slapped her on the back.
“Gladys?”
“Come on, lovey. This way.”
After days of being alone, Maggie was happy to see a friendly face. She took a deep breath, then descended into the hot New York City subway, half scared, half curious. 



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "YEAR" - MAGGIE'S STORY



For reasons too complicated to explain, I'm not posting more of "Santa's Thrift Shop." Instead, we're switching to "Maggie's Story", a novella I began some time ago. This heartfelt and funny tale is on my schedule to complete this year. 
Tuesday Tales will be helpful in jumpstarting this story in my head. I hope you enjoy it. It's a prequel to one of the Mathattan Dinner club books. 
Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. Thank you for stopping by. 


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London, England, Thirty years ago
 “Just don’t get preggers again. Okay?” Her mother whispered.
“It’s not like I’m going to take up with some random stranger, Mum,” Maggie said, twisting a handkerchief in her hand.
“Just be a good girl. Do what they tell you.” Her mother patted her hand.
“I’m not a girl. I’m twenty-two,” the young woman mumbled.
Maggie glared at her mother. A loud whistle startled the women.
“Time for me to go.” With a quick wave, Maggie’s mother exited down the gangway as the ship prepared to depart.
Maggie Chadwick spotted the woman making her way to the underground to return home. Glad to have this bad seed off her hands, I bet. Sure, she’d gotten knocked up –every mother’s nightmare. Maggie never expected Nigel to bug off to Wales.
Broken-hearted and penny-less, Maggie had given up her small flat in London and moved back home with her family. Though she didn’t want it, her mum maneuvered her into having an abortion, explaining to her daughter it was the only way to get a fresh start. Maggie didn’t want a fresh start –she wanted Nigel and, especially, her baby. But it was 1979, she claimed to be a modern woman. It shouldn’t bother her much, but it did.
“You’ll have more, dearie, when you’re ready. The legit way. Married and all. You’ll forget this soon enough,” her mother had said.
Maggie didn’t agree, but kept silent.
With no money and her dad threatening to toss her out, she had no choice but to go along. After the procedure, she stayed in her room, crying, for three weeks. That’s when her dad took steps. He called the relatives in New York City.
“At least I’ll have some peace in me own home,” he’d muttered after he’d made arrangements.  
“Bootin’ me off to the relatives. Washing yer hands of me, eh? Nice, dad. Real nice.”
“What do you expect me to do? Cryin’ all day long, not lookin’ for a job. I can’t afford to keep you, lass. Go to New York. Maybe they can talk some sense into you. And stay away from men!”
It was useless to argue. He was a hard-working man who pinched every penny. She knew he’d resent her for the money it cost to get rid of her.
"It's just for a year, Maggie," her mother said. But Maggie knew the truth. 

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Monday, December 24, 2018

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT - CHRISTMAS




Welcome! Merry Christmas! The word prompt this week is "Christmas"! This week's episode of "Santa's Thrift Shop" continues from Giselle's pov. Don't worry. We will get to Cal's side of things. 
I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Thank you so much for stopping by. Scroll down to get back to Tuesday Tales. 


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Julia Davenport entered her niece’s house carrying a shopping bag.
“You’re just in time for tea. I have water boiling,” Giselle said, giving her aunt a hug.
“You’re so self-sufficient. It’s amazing.”
“I’ve had a few years to adjust.”
“Can’t I be impressed?”
“Life goes on, Julia. No matter what.”
“True.”
“Camomile or Vanilla Chai?” Giselle asked, on her way to the kitchen.
“Vanilla, please. I brought you some Christmas decorations.”
“I’m not going to have a tree. No point.”
“Can we put these up in the window, instead?” Julia asked.
“Sure. I don’t want people to think I’m a Scrooge.”
Giselle took down mugs and recognized the box of vanilla tea by the cream color.
“Do you need help?” Julie asked, joining her niece.
“Just say ‘when’, will you?”
“Sure.”
“I brought some of Laura Dailey’s scones,” she said, rummaging through the shopping bag.
Julia swallowed her food, then spoke. 
“Are you going to do Santa’s Thrift Shop?”
“Me? No. That was mom’s thing. Not mine,” Giselle responded, putting a piece of the confection in her mouth.
“But you always helped out.”
“When I had perfect vision. But now? No.”
“I’ll help. I’m sure we can find others.”
“There’s probably a ton of dust and mold growing in that old shop. Ugh.”
Julia patted Giselle’s arm. “The children look forward to it. And when I told people you were moving back, everyone asked me if you were going to do it.”
“And what did you say?”
“Said I had to talk to you first.”
“If everything was normal, well, maybe. But the way things are…”
“People will pitch in.”
“I don’t want that. I don’t want help. I don’t want pity. I just want to be left alone,” Giselle said, pushing to her feet and stomping to the bay window.
Through the fuzziness, she made out a snowball fight happening across the street. Her heart squeezed. Of course, it would be Cal. She recalled the many times he’d rifled a snowball at her bottom with amazing accuracy.
She sighed and turned away. No sense torturing herself. Cal had a new life, a child, and probably a girlfriend. Julia came up behind her, laying a hand on her shoulder.
“It’s time for you to get a life, too.”  

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Monday, December 17, 2018

PICTURE PROMPT WEEK - SANTA'S THRIFT SHOP


This is picture prompt week. Our stories must be no more than 300 words. I am starting a new story, too. The tentative title is "Santa's Thrift Shop." Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. Thanks for stopping by. 




   Giselle stood at her living room window. Holding up binoculars, she could make out the Christmas tree in the window across the street. Her poor vision prevented her from distinguishing the people moving around. She guessed it was Cal and his son, Bobby. Pain pierced her heart. That should have been her son with him. She sighed.
   “You’d think after dealing with this crap for four years, I’d be used to it by now,” she said out loud to herself. Early onset macular degeneration had disrupted her life, robbed her of her profession and forced her to sell her family home.  
   She made her way to the kitchen and plugged in the electric kettle. The beauty of it was that it stopped boiling and kept the water hot with no open fire. With help from her aunt, she’d laid out the kitchen and memorized it. Find the tea? Easy peasy, she went right to the correct cabinet. Sugar? Milk? Giselle pulled things together for a hot cuppa to chase the winter chill away.
   Aunt Julia had picked out this house, a two-bedroom ranch. Giselle couldn’t handle stairs. She’d instructed her Aunt to tell no one about her condition, especially not Cal Morrison. She could take his hostility, but never his pity.
   Julia said he’d never forgiven Giselle for taking the job in Europe. She’d thought she told him it was only for a year, but he didn’t listen. Within nine months, he’d knocked up a woman and gotten married. Cal’s wife, Jane, had drowned in the Delaware two years ago.  
   Did Julia not know this house was across the street from Cal’s? Giselle didn’t think so. There would be no reunion with him. Between his anger and her disability, the gap was as wide at the Atlantic Ocean.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

NEW HOLIDAY STORIES HERE! FOOTBALL & HOCKEY, ROMANCE & COMEDY!



I have two new Christmas stories this season. The Final Slapshot is a hockey romance, written originally for the Hockey Holiday anthology. Santa's Surprise is my first romantic comedy short story. Find out more about there here.  




Harry “Deke” Edmonds is a Hartford Husky defenseman known to be tricky, fast, and unbreakable. An amazing defensive lunge in a playoff game ends in a life-threatening injury. But Harry’d bounce back. He always did, didn’t he?
Kitty, his wife, runs a successful art gallery in Washington, D.C. Over the last three years, the couple agreed to live in different cities and be together whenever they can. Harry swears they make it work.
Unwilling to face the truth about the damage he suffered, Harry hides his secret. Hoping for a Christmas miracle, but confronted with the inevitable, he makes a decision that breaks his heart. Is this the end of the road for him with the Huskies and Kitty, too?
Previously published in the Hockey Holiday Anthology.

Buy the ebook for ONLY $0.99 here:

UNIVERSAL LINK




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If you follow the "First & Ten" series, here are two new players and a new spin on their Christmas party for at-risk kids. 


When Connecticut Kings star football player, Keith Wilson, asks his actress sister, Molly, to sub for him at the annual Christmas party for kids, she refuses. Although he manipulates her into agreeing, she turns the tables by extracting a reluctant promise from him.  

Will she be able to carry off posing as a man? And what happens when Santa turns out to be someone she didn’t expect?
A sweet, sexy short holiday romantic comedy.  

Find the ebook here: 

UNIVERSAL LINK


Monday, December 3, 2018

TUESAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "CRAZY" FROM "SANTA'S HELPER"




Welcome to Tuesday Tales. This week is a little different. We have a snippet from a short, short holiday story, called, tentatively, Santa's Helper. I hope you enjoy it. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. 

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House on Eve Lane,
“Are you crazy?” Molly asked her twin brother, Keith.
“Aw come on,” Keith whined.
“No. Nyet. Nunca, Non, how many languages do I have to use to get this across to you?”
“You’re my twin. Twins stick together.”
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I told you already. No.”
“Please? I’m on bended knee.”
She turned away from him.
“Valerie, I could use a little help here,” he said, staring at his wife.
“I know how she feels. This is risky. She could get caught.”
“Get caught? It’s not like she’s stealing the crown jewels, Val.”
“I know. She won’t get arrested, but the humiliation.”
“Look, Mom and Dad have already said they’d take the kids. I have a suite reserved at the Ritz tonight. It’s our anniversary, for Chrissakes.”
“That’s your problem.”
“I didn’t sign up to play Santa’s helper  at the team’s kiddie Christmas party. We drew straws. I lost.”
“Must I repeat myself? It’s not my problem.”
Keith Wilson, star running back for the Connecticut Kings, plucked another beer from the fridge.
“You’re right. I never should have asked you,” he said.
Molly faced him. “Do you mean that?”
“Yeah. Well, the only reason I’m asking is because you’re such an accomplished actress, I figured you could pull it off. You know, play any part. Isn’t that what the actresses who win Academy Awards say? Aren’t they always looking for that difficult part to sink their teeth into?”
Molly’s eyes widened. “You think I’m an accomplished actress? Since when?”
“Since…always. But if this is beyond your ability. Hell, well, then I understand, I guess.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Well can you or can’t you?”
She straightened up, squared her shoulders and made eye contact with him. “Of course I could. If I wanted to, that is. Which I don’t.”


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