Midweek Tease: More From Same Time Next Year

MWTease15Welcome to the Midweek Tease, made possible by Angelica Dawson.  I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, but I’m back with another tease from my new novel, Same Time Next Year. Normally, I tease in order, but today, I’ve decided to jump ahead a few  weeks in the story.

 

Same Time Next Year“Where’s Lana?” Mary asked, carrying a tray into the room.

Twyla swiped at her tears and smiled, trying to hide her sorrow.

“You know her. She’s always on the go. She brought me a present. Pictures recovered from my old camera and copies of all my old forty-fives that I can play on my computer.”

Mary picked up the photographs. As she flipped through them, her face changed and filled with sadness.

“That’s him, isn’t it? The one in the animal print swimsuit. He’s Billie’s father and that’s got to be his sister. Lana looks like her.”

Twyla choked on the mouthful of coffee she’d taken.

“Where would you ever get an idea like that?” she asked. Could she lie and claim they were relatives?

Her heart pounded frantically in her chest. The doctor claimed the sensation was normal. Apparently rubatosis, the idea that instead of a steady thump, your heart was playing a rock song to remind you that you’d survived, wasn’t uncommon in people who’d gone through what she had.

“Other than the fact she looks like him?” Mary shook her head. “I’ve worked here for fifty years. Mr. William was a good man, treated you and Billie well, but his heart was in that box from the Department of Defense he spent hours with. Twyla, it’s time you set the past aside and did something for yourself. William would want to see you happy. If that’s the man you love as much as whoever it was he mourned, you have to at least try to find him. You’ve been alone too long.” She picked up the tray and left.

Was Mary right? She’d made promises to William, too, but was it time to find the answers she needed?

“July,” Twyla muttered, now committed to the idea. “If I’m going to go back, it has to be then. I promised I would. Maybe it’s time I kept my promise.”

The Blurb:

A novel within a novel.
For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed.
Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago.
The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal?

Same Time Next Year is available through Amazon, and free to read on KU!

Please visit the rest of this week’s teasers.

#MidWeekTease August 15, 2018


 

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Tuesday Tales: From the Word SOUR

New TT imageWelcome back to Tuesday Tales. This week, our word prompt is SOUR. Check out all of the posts to see how our talented writers used the word in their stories.

I’m continuing with The Price of Courage, my historical romance. As is my custom, this post follows last week’s.

“You’ve chosen an odd time to do so,” Lucien commented, his eyes narrowing. “Most of coureurs be bois trap during the winter and sell their goods, including those prime white pelts, come spring.”

“That may be,” Bouchard argued, his chin raised defensively. From our point of view, we’re cornering the market since new furs are rare at this time of year.”

The man introduced as Marion spat on the ground. “To hell with the pelts. They’ll bring what they bring. I’ll not spend another minute in this godforsaken land waiting to die,” he said, his eyes wild and bulging.

Bouchard glared at his companion. He shook his head.

“Forgive Urgel’s ravings. It’s been a rough year. Many of our compatriots have died, and we’ve decided it’s smarter to pack up and leave.”

Yves’s eyebrows drew together into one fierce line. “What did they die from?” he asked.

“We were twelve—eleven to work the land and one manager,” Bouchard answered, his jaw set. “Incessant rains and unseasonal temperatures doomed many of the crops. Men succumbed to fevers. Some, like these two,” he indicated the brothers, “recovered, but most weren’t so lucky. When the estate manager died, we decided to leave and make our way back to Quebec.”

“So you aren’t trappers but field hands. You worked a seigneurie?” Lucien asked, the knots in his sour stomach growing tighter by the second. What Bouchard was saying made little sense. Men working the land wouldn’t have accumulated so many prime furs.

“Yes. La Jeunesse Oublige. It’s three days to the northeast of here—more rock and scrub than arable land. Too far north to farm properly and with bad weather…” He spat in the snow in disgust. “The owner’s in France, but insisted we trap as well as clear the land.”

Yves was about to speak when Lucien cut him off. There was no estate by that name according to the documents they’d been given.

“I see, but the trapping was good?”

“Not really,” the man answered and looked away. This is all we have for a season’s work, and there were twelve of us.”

“In that case, I agree. By the way, where did you wait out the storm?” he asked. These men were lying. He needed to tread carefully.

“We made camp on the other side of the village. If you’re smart, you’ll stay away from there.”

Do you agree with Lucien? Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word RESTLESS

New TT imageWelcome back to Tuesday Tales, the weekly blog hop that lets you see work in progress from its members. Each scene posted is limited in size and based on a specific word or picture prompt. This week, our word is RESTLESS. I’m continuing with my historical fiction, The Price of  Courage. Enjoy.

Stopping, Lucien removed his pack, dropping it at his feet. He pulled out his arquebus as well as his deer bladder filled with water, pretending to drink. Yves followed suit. Okwaho grabbed the sled of supplies and hunkered down behind it against the large bushes on the left side of the trail.

As the shadows grew larger, Lucien’s gut tightened. From here, he couldn’t tell if those approaching were friend or foe. Had they unwittingly trespassed onto someone’s territory? While most trappers were satisfied with an apology, others could be ruthless. The men who’d kidnapped Marianne and her children, killing her brother in the process, were proof of that.

“I don’t like this,” Yves said. “From here, they’re dressed like coureurs de bois, but they move awkwardly, as if it’s their first time on snowshoes.”

Lucien nodded. “Okwaho, move farther into the brush. If anything happens, you’ll have a better chance to protect us if they don’t see you.”

“And, mon ami,” Yves added. “Don’t miss. I promised Catiche that I would come back from this trip with enough money to buy a farm. I don’t want to disappoint her.”

“Michaud has no reason to fear. Okwaho never misses.”

Restless, his eyes focused on the men approaching, Lucien chuckled. If any other man made such a claim, he would be lying, but the Mohawk sharpshooter was right.

As the men neared, Lucien counted five of them and noted the sleigh full of cured pelts they dragged behind them. He raised his hand in salute, his primed weapon—he always kept it ready—leaning against his leg within easy reach.

The man leading the party raised his hand in response. If they were ready to fight, Lucien saw no sign of it, but didn’t relax.

“Bonjour,” Lucien said, his guard firmly in place. “If we’ve wondered into your trapping territory, we meant no harm. We’re on our way to spend the winter with Atika and his tribe. I’m Lucien Rioux and this is Yves Michaud. We’re on business for the governor-general, a simple survey.”

The man shook his head, his crude wooden sunshades covering a significant portion of his face. “Méderic Bouchard, Antoine Lanoie, Urgel Marion, Seraphim Ayotte, and Laurian, his brother. We’re on our way to Quebec to sell these furs and wait out the winter.”

Lucien’s forehead creased. The names slipped off the man’s tongue smoothly, too smoothly.

So who are those guys? You’ll have to wait for next week to find out! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

The Insecure Writers Support Group Monthly Blog

Welcome to this month’s IWSG blog post. If you’re looking for my Midweek Tease, it’s just under this one.

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeThis month’s question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

The biggest pitfall I’ve dealt with are unscrupulous publishers. I’ve been scammed twice, but my biggest disappointment came from one of the big five who bought out my smaller romance publisher, waited a year, and then closed the imprint, basically, feeding all of us authors to the dogs.  Now, I’ve embarked on indie publication and I face another pitfall–that of getting my name recognized and my books out there. Since I don’t have the money to hire a publicist, I’m stuck with branding myself as best as I can at the lowest cost possible. Either that, or toss in the towel and give up my dream, something I just can’t do no matter how many times I’ve been tempted to do just that.

Do I have any answers? No. I will just say, when you look for a  publisher or an agent, research, research, research. Don’t let your desire to see your book out there overwhelm your commonsense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But, don’t give up on your dream either. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.

Check out the other posts.

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Midweek Tease: More from Same Time Next Year

MWTease15Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease.  Thanks to Angelica Dawson who makes this blog hop possible each week.

Today’s my birthday, and to celebrate, I chose to release a book that is near and dear to me, one that allowed me to relive some of the bittersweet memories of my youth. This is a work of fiction. It isn’t my story, but it could be the story of any young girl who dealt with adversity during a time when women and girls, as well as many others had no rights, a time some claim was better than today. It’s also the story of falling in love and the heartbreak that goes with it.

Here’s the blurb:

Same Time Next YearA novel within a novel.
For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed.
Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago.
The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal?

This picks up where I left off last week.

With a trembling hand, Twyla unfastened the button flap and opened the bag, revealing all the treasures she’d been certain had ended up in the trash.

Thank you, William.

He was the only one who could’ve rescued this when he’d helped pack up her brother’s things. Had he looked through it? Why hadn’t he given it to her?

Twyla removed the items she’d hidden in it on that last morning, including her Brownie camera with its roll of undeveloped film, no doubt ruined by now. Here were the funny cards he’d given her, each signed with a silly pseudonym. Next came the rocks she’d collected on the beach the day they’d gone fishing. Beside it, she placed the dried daisies pressed between tissues she’d zipped into the compartment in the lining, along with the slip of paper with his address and phone number. Next came the small tin that had held mints and finally, the photograph. She placed each item on the lid of the box beside her except the picture. She swallowed and forced back the tears stinging her eyes.

Examining it, she realized why William had chosen to keep the bag hidden. He was every bit as handsome as she remembered. His sister had taken this picture the second Sunday she’d been there, and he’d given it to her the last time she’d seen him. As she stared at the photo, her heart began beating rapidly. How could she have missed this?

Lana stepped around to get a better look at the photograph.

“Oh, Grams! Even in black and white pictures, you’re gorgeous. I wish my hair were as curly as yours. Who is he?” Her blue eyes shone with curiosity. “He’s too young and way too tall to be Grandpa. I’ve seen pictures of the two of you together, and you were the same height. It doesn’t look like Uncle Ethan, either.”

Twyla blinked her eyelids, forcing away the sudden tears. How long would she be at the mercy of her emotions like this?

“No, just an old friend,” she answered, her voice hoarse as memories clogged her throat. “I doubt he would know me if he saw me today.”

“Don’t be silly. You haven’t changed a bit.” She scrunched up her face. “Where was this picture taken?”

“At the Colonel’s Inn, a resort along the Rideau Canal. My mother grew up in Ottawa and loved going back there whenever she could. She had a group of friends she met there each year. This was taken the last time we were there.”

“What’s he wearing?” Lana asked, her nose scrunched up as she studied the photo. “He looks like an armed bellhop.”

“An 1867 military uniform. That year, Canada celebrated its centennial, and since he worked on the locks, he had to dress up on the weekends. The tourists loved it.”

“Well, he looks kind of hot. Men in uniforms … yum, yum, yum.” Lana frowned and pulled the picture closer to her eyes, scrutinizing it.

Twyla licked her lips, suddenly nervous. Would she see it? It was hard not to. The eyes and the chin were dead giveaways.

“There’s something about this guy … he looks familiar. Has he ever visited?”

Twyla swallowed. “No. The uniform makes him look like one of your father’s Civil War reenactor friends,” she lied. “A lot of people look like others, especially when they dress the same.” She tried to hide her discomfort behind humor. “Aren’t we all supposed to have a twin or two out there somewhere?”

“Twin or not, you look as if you were head over heels in love with him.”

Twyla chuckled softly, hiding her sudden pain. Her heart or heartache?

“I thought so at the time,” she lied, “but when it came right down to it, it was only puppy love. I married your grandfather seven weeks later.”

“That was fast. Was it love at first sight?”

“Love at first sight?” Despite her efforts to stop it, the words were bitter on Twyla’s tongue. Those were the four words she’d associated with the man in the photograph, not William. “More like love on the rebound.” Although there had been no love involved, but a promise was a promise. “I was still smarting from the sting of rejection when William asked for my hand. Everything was a mess, and he offered me a port in the worse storm of my life. With both my brother and my father dead, our finances in ruin, and my mother hospitalized, I was scared and alone. He offered me a name and a home, safety and security when I needed them most. We had twenty-five good years together.”

“You married him out of gratitude? That’s so sad,” Lana said, leaning her head against hers.

“Sweetheart, don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a good life, and while I may wish some things had been different, I certainly don’t regret it. Without your grandfather’s support, I would never have become an author. William and I may not have had a grand passion for one another, but we were content, and your mother brought us both great joy.”

Lana smiled, but her eyes were shadowed with sadness. “If you say so, but it still sounds sad and lonely.”

She couldn’t deny that.

Lana frowned. “What happened to him?”

“He died twenty-five years ago. He was only fifty-two, but cancer isn’t selective. I thought you knew that.”

“Not Grandpa, that guy,” she indicated the picture. “What was his name?”

“Michael Morrison, and I don’t know. I never saw him again after we left the inn,” Twyla admitted. “We were supposed to stay in touch, but it didn’t happen. I had to leave sooner than I told him I did, and we never got to say goodbye. Not that it really mattered in the end. He’d gone to military college and had to spend five years in the army…” She couldn’t hide the wistfulness in her voice.

“Wouldn’t you like to know what became of him?” Lana challenged. “We could search for him on the Internet.”

Twyla frowned. Did she want to know? Yes … no… He’d broken her heart and had probably gone on to live a happy life without giving a single thought to her.

Get your copy today! https://www.amazon.com/Same-Time-Next-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B07FPWDH1T

Now, check out the rest of this week’s teasers.

This is a Blog Hop!


Tuesday Tales: From the Word Puzzle

New TT imageWelcome to the last day of July and this week’s edition of Tuesday tales, the weekly blog where a small group of authors share their works in progress with you. Books are born here and you get to experience the growing pains. These posts are all unedited, first drafts of the work to come.

This week, the word prompt is PUZZLE and to use it, i had o create a conundrum in the story. So, I begin by expanding on the last paragraph from last week’s post. Enjoy!

“You must bring a gift for his wife,” Izzy said, rising from the table and retrieving a fine porcelain bowl from the cupboard on the wall. “This belonged to my mother. I painted the rosebuds onto it myself at C … France.” She licked her lips, her gaze finding that of her husband across from her. “All women love beautiful things,” she faltered. “I’m sure she will, too.”

Lucien frowned. The silence around the table was deafening, every member of the household suddenly fixated on the food on their plates. Why had the near slip of the tongue on a word beginning with the letter c or k upset them so much? It was baffling. As he dredged up the scene in his mind, he realized Sophie and the seigneur’s wife weren’t the only ones distressed by it. Strange, but this puzzle wasn’t his to solve. While the idea of never seeing Sophie again saddened him, it was a reality he had to accept. Shelving the memory once more, he finished his breakfast and helped Okwaho and Yves pack up their camp.

The Montagnais village was barely three hours away at a regular pace, but this morning, the trek would be longer, especially with the sled of supplies they lugged behind them. At least two feet of fresh snow covered the landscape, bowing birches and cedars with its weight. Thanks to the snowshoes they wore, they skimmed its surface, their strange footprints the only blemish on the pristine world around them.

They’d been traveling no more than an hour when a dark spot on the snow ahead claimed Lucien’s attention. He stopped and raised his hand to shade his eyes. The sun shining on the snow was enough to blind a man, but thanks to the hand-carved, bone sunshades with narrow slits to see through, a gift from the Montagnais chief years ago, the brightness was almost inconsequential.

“It looks like they’ve sent out a welcoming party,” Yves said, indicating the dark spot that was growing in size and assuming the shape of half a dozen men.

Lucien frowned. “I’m not so sure of that. A welcoming party infers they knew we were coming, or that we were here. I saw no sign of that when we made camp nor while I kept guard during the storm, and I sent no message ahead. Something’s wrong.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Throwback Thursday!

Hello! I’m posting a blast from the past–the recent past. We went out to beautiful British Columbia for a family wedding and took in a few sights while we were there. If you get a chance to visit Canada’s westernmost province, make sure you see the highlights which include Stanley Park, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain–all in Vancouver, and the Sea to Sky Gondola at Squamish, as well as the beach at White Rock.

My special treat, worthy of the day, was meeting Chad Kroeger from Nickelback.  My very own up and personal with a rock star! What an incredible guy!Me and Chad.

Have you got a special memory to share? Let me know for a chance to win a free digital copy of my latest novel, Same Time Next Year.