Monday, March 27, 2017


Howdy! The word prompt this week is "dice". I'm switching to a new story I've just started, one that has been percolating for a long time. It's tentatively named "Break My Heart". Scroll down for the link to return to Tuesday Tales and to my website. The picture here isn't a final cover, just a rendering I did to get inspiration, although I think the picture will be on the final cover. Thanks for stopping by.

Rick Winslow approached the beat-up farmhouse with caution. Seedy came to mind. Along with dilapidated and creepy. He shivered. This is what he could get that came with thirty acres and no neighbors – the price he paid for privacy.
Returning to Pine Grove hadn’t been a choice, in the truest sense of the word. It had been the only place he could afford such privacy. Back to his roots, maybe. At least here he’d be away from the stares of strangers. He’d live in peace, get a few animals, maybe even branch out from dogs and cats to chickens so he could have fresh eggs.  
His cousin Mindy had found it and called him. He had driven out from New York City that same day and made an offer the next. Much of the land was open field. He’d let that go to seed, return to native forest, something he could hide behind.
Breaker Winslow had died in a fire and Rick Winslow had been reborn. When he closed his eyes, he could still feel the heat and smell the smoke. Fear spike through him. First thing he’d do in this old wreck was brick up the fireplace.
He pulled a cap out of his back pocket and thrust it low on his head. Had to keep the sun off his face. That’s what the doctor who did the reconstructive surgery said.
“Stay out of the sun. That graft is gonna be sensitive for a while. Maybe forever. Wear sunblock every day and a hat. Stay away from the beach and you’ll be fine. The scars will fade and you’ll look okay soon.”
Look okay? By whose standards? He’d never look okay again, never be Breaker Winslow, actor, model, heartthrob on a million book covers. When Breaker Winslow rushed up the stairs to the second floor of his townhouse looking for Ralph  his golden retriever mix, he had no clue how advanced the fire had become or where it had started.
He’d managed to save Ralph, only to be struck by a burning beam. He’d dropped the dog, who had been buried under a pile of flaming debris. Unconscious, he’d been saved by the fire department. Breaker’s face had been permanently damaged, scarred beyond much more than a skin graft patch job could fix. And Ralph had died anyway. Breaker had rolled the dice, and lost, big time.
Now he was simply Richard B. Winslow. Yeah, “B” for Breaker. Rick to his childhood friends and family. Not fit to model, Rick had no other profession. Once it hit the news who owned the townhouse that had burned to the ground, the paparazzi had hounded him. Every effort to hide had failed and it wasn’t long before the picture of his hideous face had hit the papers.   

Monday, March 20, 2017


Welcome! This week we have to write to a picture and use only 300 words. I picked this one. And I'm continuing the story, Reunited. Scroll down to go back to Tuesday Tales and the other stories, and to my website. Thanks for stopping by. 


Cassie awoke, and stretched. She smiled. Today, she’d be supervising the set up of the farm for shooting the program. She had a week to get everything done before Mike and the crew showed up. Slipping out of bed, she grabbed her robe, and padded into the kitchen.
The smell of brewing coffee tantalized her taste buds. Rummaging through the fridge, she located a loaf of “health” bread and made a face. Still, she grabbed the loaf and her sugar-free jam. She hated the taste of that cardboard, masquerading as toast. Slathering on strawberry jam with some artificial sweetener which made it sickeningly sweet, she grimaced as she faced her breakfast. She’d have to eat real food when shooting began, or subsist on this crap off camera.
She sipped her coffee as the phone dialed Ned.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Hi. When is the set-up crew scheduled to arrive? Today’s first day. I’m heading out as soon as I get dressed. What time should I expect them?”
“Didn’t you arrange for a crew?”
“There’s no budget for a crew, Cassie. You’ll have to do it yourself.”
“Well that sucks.”
“I’m sorry, baby, but we’ve cut the budget to the bone just to get this thing in the can.”
She stuck out her lower lip and plopped down on a chair.
“I know, I know. It’s not what you wanted. After we close the deal, they’ll be money for a set-up crew and you’ll be treated like a queen.”
Mollified, a small grin crept across her face. “Okay, then.”
She grabbed a shower, then jumped in her car and hit the Palisades Parkway. She tooled along the pretty highway speeding toward Pine Grove. First, she stopped at the grocery store. She bumped into a cart maneuvered by an older woman.
“Cassie Newsome? Is that  you?”
Laura Dailey trained keen eyes on the young woman.
“Yes, it’s me.”
“Well, look at you? You’re even prettier. Moved back to town?”

“Not exactly,” Cassie hedged. 


Monday, March 13, 2017


Cassie finished up and hit the road. With no difficulty, she found the rental office that held the lease for Quincy farm. There was a sign outside a small farmhouse that pointed to a door on the side. She knocked.
“Come on in. I’m in the kitchen,” called a female voice.
Cassie entered a charming home painted bright colors. The smell of bread baking beckoned her to the kitchen. She stuck her head in.
“Mrs. Rogers?”
“That’s me. You are?”
“Cassie Newsome. I called about leasing the Quincy Farm?”
“Oh, sure, sure. Come on in. I’ve just put up a pot of tea.” The woman gestured to a round oak table in the center of a generous kitchen. “You like bread?”
Cassie nodded, her mouth already watering at the tempting aroma.
“I got some here, fresh baked. One loaf is cooled enough.” The woman sliced off two slabs and put them on plates. A half stick of butter rested in an old fashioned dish. Cassie spread and watched it melt.
“Lemon or milk?” The woman asked.
“Milk, please, Mrs. Rogers.”
“Everyone calls me Ellie. Nice to meet ya,” she said, sitting down across from Cassie. “So tell me, what do you need a farm for?”
“It’s only for four months.”
“We only do six month rentals.” Ellie’s brows knitted.
“Oh, that’s okay. We’ll pay for six months. No problem.”  
“How come you’re renting out the farm, instead of living there? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Have you tried to make a living off a farm?”
Cassie shook her head.
“Yeah, well, we didn’t do too good. It’s Joe’s mom’s place. She passed five years ago. We gave it a go for as long as we could. Then moved back here. Joe’s got a job at the garden supply store. I sell bread to the coffee shop in town. We make out okay.”
“Many people want to rent a farm?” Cassie’s curiosity overcame her shyness.
“You’d be surprised. If you only need it for four months, we’d like to have it back for Christmas. We have a family that always comes up here for the holidays. City folk. They bring their kids. They say they’re looking for an old fashioned experience.”
Cassie smiled, then cast her gaze to the floor. She remembered one great Christmas. It was before her dad deserted them, when he still loved her mother. She must have been four or five. The little house had been filled with tantalizing smells of gingerbread and cinnamon, of apples cooking and meat roasting.
By the summertime, her father had had a huge fight with her mother, knocked her around a bit and taken off. No matter how hard her mother tried, Christmas was never the same. When she left, Cassie stopped even acknowledging the holiday.
I see you’re not married, right? So what do you want with a big ole farmhouse?”
“Actually, it’s for a television program.”
“You gonna film a show there?”
Cassie nodded.
“Wow! We’re gonna be famous? That’s unbelievable.”
“If the network picks up the show, we might be back again.”
“Want to see the place?”
Cassie nodded. 
“Can we go now?”
“Of course. Finish up. I’ll get the key.”
Ellie left the room. Cassie finished her bread. She’d never eaten anything so delicious in her life. She drained her cup and wiped her lips. Ellie chattered about the farm all the way down the street.
When Cassie stepped out of the car, she sighed. The word “perfect” came to mind.

Thank you so much for coming. Click here to return to Tuesday Tales and this to go to my website. 



Monday, March 6, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - REUNITED - TREE #romance #tuesdaytales

Welcome! This week's word prompt is "tree". I am continuing with my story, "Reunited." Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales or hit my website. Thank you for coming. 


Cassie returned to her apartment, poured a glass of wine, stripped off her clothes and slipped on a shift before she called Ned. Stretched out on the sofa, she dialed.
“How’d it go?”
“Well hello to you, too.”
“Come on, give.”
“It went fine. He’s in.”
“Good girl!”
“So, what’s next?”
“I’ll send him the contract. You start scouting sites.”
“Late dinner tonight?” She asked, sucking in her lower lip.
“Tonight? Too much to do. Maybe tomorrow. Send me his address. Love you. Gotta go.”
The phone went dead.
Cassie scrounged up a frozen dinner from the freezer. She poured another glass of wine and while she ate, searched the Internet for the right location for the shoot. What would be a likely place for her to hang with Mike? She closed her eyes and images flashed through her mind. She saw a barn and a pond. No, it was a lake. And trees, lots of trees. The rope swing Mike’s dad hung in a tree on their property jogged her memory.
“Okay, rural,” she said, typing into the Google search bar.

After discarding several places as too basic –she refused to use an outhouse –she found the perfect spot -- a log cabin on fifty acres for rent. With two bedrooms, a giant fireplace in the great room, a good kitchen and two bathrooms, this was ideal. The price wasn’t cheap, but hey, it wasn’t coming out of her pocket.

The show had to be right and the setting, romantic or why waste their time? She clicked on the slideshow and perused the pictures of Quincy Farm. There were fields, a large garden not far from the house. Rocking chairs on the porch and a tree swing added rustic charm.
She shot off an email to Ned:

                 Going to see Quincy Farm for the show. I’ll be on
                 the road for the next few days. Talk to you as soon
                 as I know anything.

She snuggled into bed, hugging her extra pillow. Excitement at taking her dream to the next level filled her veins and she found it hard to sleep. Various scenarios with Mike on Quincy Farm floated through her imagination.

After so many years in the City, getting back to the country, to her roots, brought happy anticipation. Although the place wasn’t far from Pine Grove, where she and Mike grew up, she was light years ahead of the insecure, little girl who’d left town when she was eighteen and had never returned. Did she yearn to go back? No way! She was right where she needed to be, taking control of her life and reaching for the moon.