Tuesday Tales: Picture Prompt

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Hello everyone. Thanks for joining me for another Tuesday Tales. Each week a group of talented authors share a snippet from their current work with you. Once a month, we limit our offerings to 300 words based on a picture, It’s autumn here now–the temperature as I type is 36 degrees Fahrenheit. BRRR! I miss the summer heat, but I can console myself with my current wip set where it’s still hot and toasty.

This week, we are using picture prompts. I’ve selected this one and pick up Wedding Bell Blues where I left off last week. Here’s the prompt:



“But we can’t.” MJ dropped back onto the bed. “We don’t have residency…” She fought to remember what Paul had told her about French matrimonial laws.

“We can, but it won’t be legally binding, but it’ll seem that way to the audience,” he admitted, shrugging his shoulders and sitting beside her.

Before he could touch her, she jumped up, panic sending her flying into the bathroom, where she lost whatever she’d consumed last night. Feeling more wretched than ever, she rested her head against the toilet seat.

“I can see the thought of marrying me doesn’t thrill you,” he said, his voice filled with sorrow. “If you think about it, it doesn’t change anything. We’ll sign the paper this morning, go through with the farce tonight, and then get on with our original plans.”

“But Mama…”

“That won’t change either,” he continued. “I’ll go through with the Thanksgiving wedding. I know it’s not quite the way we planned, but we can make it work. Look at the bright side. It’ll solve any problems with the diocese. Now, wash your face while I get you something to settle your stomach.” He helped her stand. “If you really want out of this, say the word. I’ll get you to Saint Pierre and wait until you can get a flight home.”

MJ nodded and watched Paul leave the room. She washed her face, brushed her teeth,but instead of her image in the mirror, she saw Paul’s dejected face.

If getting even with Mark meant this much to him, then she should see it through. Her heart told her to stay while her head begged her to make a run for it. The only thing waiting for her when this was over was more heartache.

Please take the time to check out the other selections on  Tuesday Tales

Midweek Tease: The Harvester Saga

MWTease15Good morning. Welcome to Midweek tease, a weekly look at published work from a variety of gifted authors.

Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for keeping this blog going week after week.

This morning, I present an excerpt from my trilogy, The Harvester Saga currently available for 99 cents or less from a number of different ebook vendors. You save more than $10.00 when you buy the series this way.

Harvester sagaAbout the Harvester Saga:

Join Boston’s crack detective team as its members track down the most heinous serial killer to ever strike the city, the Harvester. Clues and cults, dead ends and danger await these expert crime solvers as they team up with the flames they left behind and race against time to save everything they love.

  • The White Carnation: The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s assigned the case. Can they set their troubled past aside and work together, or will the Harvester serial killer and his cult followers reap another prize?
  • The White Lily: With kidnapped babies on the line, FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe puts aside her emotional scars and offers her profiling skills to the Harvester task force. She’s assigned to work with Australian millionaire and law enforcement officer Jacob Andrews, who returned to the United States only to learn his family was a casualty of the commune he eventually escaped. Uneasy partners, the pair must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to overcome his anger and save the woman he loves?
  • The White Iris: Time’s running out for Special Agent Trevor Clark and his task force as the killer’s threats to unleash possible biological warfare could mean death for all of them. His only recourse is to swallow his pride and reach out to his former fiancee, the CDC’s renowned virologist, Dr. Julie Swift. She has to put her faith and her safety, as well as that of countless others, into the hands of a man she doesn’t trust. Can they forget their differences long enough to stop the Harvester and rediscover the love they once lost?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Here is your tease from Book 1:The White Carnation

“Where’s Ms. Lewis?”

“In the living room with Logan. He wanted to take her to the ER—claims she’s in shock. I told him she had to stay put until you arrived. He’s pissed at me. Says I’m interfering with his job. He seems pretty friendly with her. I heard she’s some big shot investigative reporter.” He chuckled. “Some crime reporter—she’s puked a couple of times already.” He continued to laugh. Rob’s face must have reflected the anger moving to the surface because the guard choked it off.

“Rick Logan is one of the best paramedics we have. For the record, McMillan,” Rob read the nameplate on the policeman’s uniform, “the next time he says someone has to go the ER, you’d better damn well listen to him. And as for Ms. Lewis, the victim was a personal friend. It’s different when the victim’s someone you know.” His voice was clipped, his displeasure obvious.

Rob turned and entered the apartment. He’d learned the need to remain objective in order to do the job properly, but as he’d told the young officer, it was different when it was personal. Not only had the victim been an acquaintance, Faye was in there. He swallowed and tried to find the emotional distance he needed.

The place was a mess, just as the officer had said. He looked around quickly, his trained eye taking in everything in an instant—the wallet on the table, money on the floor mixed with the victim’s blood, the take-out bag, Faye’s purse and its scattered contents. Whatever this had been, it hadn’t been a routine robbery. Someone had been looking for something other than the usual snatch and grab items, so what were they after? What could Mrs. Green have that was worth dying for?

He found Faye sitting on the living-room sofa with Logan. Her face was red and blotchy, her blue-green eyes mascara-rimmed from her tears, and her clothing disheveled and covered in blood. She stood and moved forward, stopping before she reached him. Wrapping her arms around herself, she looked young and vulnerable, not a bit like the bitter, angry woman she’d been the last time he’d seen her.

“I’ll take it from here, Logan. Thanks for staying with her.” Rob’s voice was strong and steady, completely the opposite of the way he felt. Seeing her like this shook him to the core.

“No problem. Get her out of here as soon as you can. Don’t be too hard on her tonight. I know you need answers, but …” Logan shrugged and went into the other room.

“Are you okay?” Rob asked.

Faye closed the distance between them quickly, surprising him with the violence of her action as she shoved him back.

“Am I okay?” she shouted. “You can stand there and ask me that with my friend’s mother dead in the other room?” She punctuated her words with a shove. “No, I am not okay. I am most definitely not okay.” Fresh tears ran down her cheeks, and Rob instinctively reached for her to offer what comfort he could. She held herself stiffly for a few seconds before relaxing into his shoulder.

“I didn’t mean it that way,” he said, feeling like a fool. Holding her like this felt awkward and yet familiar. “I’m sorry for your loss.” His hand rubbed small circles on her back as he’d done many times before. “Home invasions don’t always make sense. There’s no sign of forced entry, so she must have let him in.”

Faye pushed away, her anger palpable.

“Seriously? Home invasion, my ass. Look around, Sherlock. Home invasions usually involve some kind of theft. Do you see anything worth stealing? The television is twenty years old, and it’s still here. The silverware is scattered all over, and she’s still wearing her rings. There’s money on the table. She had nothing worth taking. Nothing they wanted. Nothing worth dying for.”

You can pick up a copy from your favorite e-book retailer. Do it easily by visiting my webpage where you can find Amazon and publisher links http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/books.php?book=harvester-saga

or Barnes and Noble


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Tuesday Tales: From the Word CALL

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Hello. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. As fall approaches, I regret losing the warm, sunny, even hot days of summer, but for MJ and Paul, things are heating up nicely.

If you’ve been following my Tuesday Tales, I’m two-thirds through a contemporary romantic novel called Wedding Bell Blues. My heroine MJ has suffered one disaster after another in her quest for the perfect honeymoon, but her problems aren’t over yet.

Tuesday Tales are weekly peaks at the works in progress by myself and a few other bestselling authors. Each week, we post a snippet from our current work, the  selection based on a word or image. This week, the word is CALL.


MJ awoke slowly, the sheets and blankets so tightly wound around her, she was suffocating. The pounding in her head, worse than any stampeding elephant migraine she’d ever suffered, nauseated her.

To puke or not to puke…

So this was the champagne hangover Paul had warned her about.

She opened her eyes, painfully dry and gritty thanks to her not having removed her contact lenses. The room was dark, except for the faint glow edging the curtains, giving the various objects in the room the shape of monsters. The nightlight in the bathroom beckoned, and admitting she needed to go in the worst way, MJ shoved the quilt off her and sat up, waiting none too patiently as the room stopped spinning.

It was obvious she was in the bed. Vaguely, she remembered Paul carrying her along the path, but then, she must’ve fallen asleep.

Be honest. You passed out.

Stifling a groan, she sat up. If she was in the bed, it must mean Paul had opted for the couch. Poor guy. He would have to curl up like a pretzel to fit, but as much as she should trade places with him, she felt like death warmed over. She would get up, undress, since her skirt was threatening to smother her, pee, and then put on the T-shirt she’d left in the bathroom. If she took some analgesics, she just might be able to survive the night.

Standing gingerly, swaying slightly, she accomplished her mission. Once in the bathroom, she gazed bleary-eyed at the mirror, and with great patience, if not accuracy and finesse, removed her daily-wear disposable contact lenses and tossed them in the trash. Peering closely at her reflection, she made a face. Raccoon eyes, but with the headache from hell, and the taste of the bottom of a taxi cab in her mouth, she just didn’t have the time, heart, or desire to remove her eye makeup. After using the toilet, she stripped down to her assless beige silk panties, wishing she’d actually brought a few pairs of the old standards with her instead of letting Carla’s, “if you feel sexy, you’ll act sexy” philosophy dictate what she’d finally packed. Consuming three glasses of water, two acetaminophen tablets, and a huge mouthful of mint-flavored mouthwash, she turned off the bathroom light, and now blind as a bat, made her way back to the bed, plopping down belly-first, burying herself in  the pillow, and praying that wakeup call Paul had ordered was hours away.

Sometime later, still half asleep, MJ opened her eyes. The room was slightly brighter than it had been, but the headache was down to a steady throbbing. Reaching for the quilt, she turned onto her side and snuggled up to what must be the pillows and bolster that had been on the bed earlier. Warm and toasty, the scent of Paul’s aftershave tickling her senses, she drifted back to sleep, feeling safe and contented.

The sound of the phone’s ring, roused her from a deep sleep, but MJ didn’t want to move, cuddling more closely into the warm, hard body beside her, she sighed contently until the bells sounded again and her eyes flew open.

“What the hell?” She pushed away from Paul’s chest, as if it were one of the island’s iguanas, bounced across six-feet of bed, and jumped up.

Paul turned over, picked up the phone, and then hung up.

“What are you doing in my bed?” she demanded.

“I was sleeping,” Paul answered and yawned, not in the least bit contrite. “How are you feeling?”

“That’s beside the point,” she snapped back, both annoyed and embarrassed.

He chuckled. “Not a morning person I see.” His glance raked her up and down. “I see you got undressed during the night. So, if you got up, then you knew I was here, so the question would be, what are you doing in my bed?”

MJ scowled. Just like a man to turn the tables on her. First Mark and now Paul, but he was right. This was his bed.

“Let’s forget about it,” she said grudgingly, rubbing her temples to ease the slight throb still present. “It was obviously big enough and nothing happened—at least nothing she remembered and since she did remember most if not all of the evening… “What time is it?”

“Just after seven. I ordered breakfast for eight. We need to be in the manager’s office by nine. Our tour boat leaves at ten. Why don’t I shower first?”

“Fine, but I … you know…”

“Of course. Be my guest. He sat up and pulled the pillow up against the headboard. “Nice outfit, by the way.” His face shone with approval.

“This?” She frowned questioningly. “I know you like baseball, but…” Looking down at her oversized Yankees shirt, she almost died when she realized it was caught up in the band of her thong on one side, exposing half her ass.

“Damn you,” she shouted running into the bathroom and slamming the door. Paul’s laughter followed her.

After relieving herself, she took two more analgesics, and found her glasses. There was no way on earth she would be able to put contact lenses in them this morning.

Able to see once more, she stepped back into the room. Paul was up, dressed in a pair of shorts, waiting for the coffee machine to brew his coffee. In his hands, he held a sheet of paper. He didn’t look happy.

“What is that?” she asked.

“Tonight’s schedule of events.”

She chuckled. “A honeymoon resort with a ‘to-do’ list? Now that’s funny. I think most people know what to do.”

Expecting him to laugh, she was surprised when he didn’t, handing her the sheet of paper instead.

“Before you murder me, just remember I had nothing to do with this.”

Frowning, she reached for the document, realizing it must contain information about their responsibilities as the reigning couple.

“I know,” she admitted grudgingly, “and since Monsieur St. Louis says he didn’t do it, it has to be one of the staff. I doubt Lucette’s grandmother snuck in here and added it on the advice of her Quimbois gods. Last night wasn’t so bad.” She felt her cheeks heat. “I mean I had fun, and I think you did, too. If the whole point of this is to drive Mark crazy, this latest development, especially the loss of that bungalow, should do the job. He’ll be livid.” She chuckled at the thought of him his face as purple as the grapes in the basket on the counter in front of them. She wrinkled her nose.  We’ll have to figure out how to explain that we’ll almost be the stars of the show to mama before it airs tomorrow.

“Tonight,” he said, his body tense, his chin indicating the page she held. “The main event gets underway with a noce civil at six, aired in a special episode of Louis James Live.”

“Damn,” she grumbled. “And the camera always adds ten pounds. The way I ate yesterday, I’ll look like a little tub of lard.”

“You’ll look great. In fact, I recommend the eyes. They give you that zombie look.”

She laughed and winced at the pain in her head. “Very funny. The makeup will come off when I shower. By the way, what’s a noce civil? I know what civil means, but noce?

He chewed his lip and ran his hand through his bed-messed hair.

“It’s a wedding, Marilyn, a civil ceremony like when people get married at city hall. In France and its colonies, it’s the second part of the marriage contract.”

“What?” she asked, feeling the room tilt and backing toward the bed.

“We’re getting married at six.”

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Angelica Dawson!

Blue Moon House #VAMPIRE Book 6 ~ Available Now! #erotica #LGBTQ #BDSM @angelicadawson

Available now!


Find out how each of the characters in the original novella, “Blue Moon House,” became a member. Read the trials and tribulations they had to endure, the kinky sexual acts, and wickedly wonderful ways required for entry. Discover what the big secret is all about.

Don’t miss each new book by Angelica Dawson as she takes you back to where it all began…

A vampire on the run, Nicholas has the opportunity to make a home at Blue Moon House if he is able to curb his killing tendency and learn a new way of living.

Is there anything he won’t do to stay? What will he do when he inevitably fails?


Angelica Dawson, bestselling author of the Blue Moon House series, has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards — mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires. She is active on Twitter (@angelicadawson) and Facebook (facebook.com/authorangelicadawson)

What is your dream vacation?

I went to England a Wales a couple of years ago and it was fantastic. I was a dream! Japan is one of my bucket list locations to visit. I also want to take the train across Canada. I haven’t seen nearly enough of my own country.

What did you do this summer?

It’s been a busy couple of months. As an Environmental Consultant, I spend a lot of time working with native plants and that means going on site during the growing season. I try to get some writing in while travelling, but was less successful this year than last. I attend When Words Collide (http://whenwordscollide.org) every August including this one. It is a fantastic venue for connecting with authors, editors and publishers, chock full of panels and discussions to help you improve everything from the craft of writing to queries to marketing. It’s also inexpensive. I highly recommend it. The last thing this summer is on a sadder note. My grandfather passed away and we made a long trip to my hometown to say goodbye.

Are you looking forward to school starting?

Oh, yeah. I have a 9 year-old that can drive me bonkers. It’ll be great to have her back in school during the day. I might get a little more done… or not. LOL

Do you ever think of going back to school?

Sometimes. I only have my Bachelor’s degree and going back for my Master’s is an idea I toy with from time to time. So far, I haven’t acted on it. I also peruse the communication and writing courses offered by the Universities and Colleges in the area, but haven’t signed up for any yet.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m promoting Vampire and two boxed sets that are due to come out in the next few weeks. I have the latest edit in my inbox for a transgender paranormal novella that I need to open. I’m also working on the last Blue Moon House issue, Sophia’s story.

Where can readers find you?

Blog: http://angelicadawson.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/angelicadawson

FB: http://facebook.com/authorangelicadawson

Newsletter: http://angelicadawson.blogspot.ca/2016/02/mailing-list.html


Cover Reveal! Eye of the Pharaoh

Good morning. Computer problems kept me from participating in yesterday’s cover reveal. Apologies to Nancy for being a day late.


Eye of the Pharaoh, by Nancy Fraser is an Egyptian-themed, time travel novel with paranormal elements.


Will an unexpected trip to 1920s Egypt be their downfall or, will an ancient guardian keep them safe?

Publicist Teri Hunter has her hands full promoting Professor Joshua Cain and his new non-fiction book, The Pharaoh’s Mummy. She’s not convinced it’s even possible to turn this absent-minded, modern-day, Indiana Jones into a best-selling author.

Dr. Cain’s PhDs in archaeology and art history have prepared him for almost anything on the lecture circuit and among ancient ruins. He’s just not sure about a book tour…or the sexy publicist sent to monitor his every professional move.

When an odd request falls in their laps while in New Orleans, Josh and Teri find themselves transported to 1920’s Egypt where they must resolve an ancient curse in order to be sent home. Will the dangers facing them hinder their success and threaten their very lives? Or will help from an ancient guardian keep them on-track and safe?

Here’s an excerpt to tweak your interest!

Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.

Teri Hunter mouthed the motivational phrase she’d chosen for her personal mantra as she stepped across the threshold into the dark and musty storeroom.

A dim light shone from a glass-enclosed workroom in the far corner. Taking a tentative step forward, she faltered when the floorboards creaked beneath her feet. Something fast and furry brushed against her ankle. A shiver ran down her back, yet she fought the urge to retreat.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

This was obviously today’s obstacle. Were it not for her professional commitments and intricately organized schedule, she’d have no doubt bolted for the door and returned to the safety and illumination of the main building.

 ‘Sorry, but the storage area doesn’t have overhead lighting. Preservation of the antiquities. You understand.’ The dean’s words echoed in her head. To make matters worse, what little outside light there was had become nearly non-existent due to an impending thunderstorm.

Drawing a deep breath, she took a second step and then a third, winding her way past a half-dozen crates, some open, some not. To her left she heard a rustling of paper; to her right the distinct sound of footsteps.

Her apprehension grew, the hair on her forearms stood at attention. She’d barely made it halfway across the room before bumping into something large and solid. Reaching out, she laid her hand against the oversized object. Slowly, she raised her head and came face to face with the painted mask of an Egyptian noble. The chipped finish gave the death mask a deranged look.

“You come here often, big boy?”


Fun Fact:  The idea for Eye of the Pharaoh came about following a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago. For the longest time afterward, I couldn’t get the images of ancient Egypt out of my head. Then, out of the blue, I received a gift from a relative who had passed…a gorgeous necklace fashioned like an Egyptian collar. The late relative had no way of knowing about my recent fascination with Egypt so I took it as a sign. There was obviously a story inside me begging to come out.

About the author:

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in early 2017. She is currently working on her next Rock and Roll novella and two other equally exciting projects.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

You can stay in touch with Nancy and learn more about her  from:

Website: www.nancyfraser.ca

Blog: http://nancyfraser.ca/wordpress/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor

Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7206382.Nancy_Fraser

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004AOL61Y

Stay tuned for more news about Eye of the Pharaoh!


Midweek Tease: Hello Again

MWTease15Good morning. I’ve been away a while, due to the last of my summer vacation and writing obligations, but I’m back this morning with a great offer for everyone. As always, I especially want to thank the rest of the midweek teasers, especially Angelica Dawson who stepped up to the plate last January. Many thanks, ladies, for letting me play along.

This week’s tease comes from my latest paranormal, romance suspense which in in a Kindle Countdown Deal this week only for .99 cents USD or £0.99 in the UK. 

Here’s the blurb:

helloagain-ebook-smallFor Charley Winters love means loss and pain. She’s spent the last five years struggling with her grief. Existing, not living. Drawn to Saskatchewan, she travels west take the job she’s always wanted. But life gets complicated when she’s rescued from a vicious tornado by her dead husband’s double, a man who makes her feel things she hasn’t in years. Add to that a native myth, a shaman, a green-eyed wolf, and her husband’s ghost … Can she lift a millennia old curse and find joy and love again?

And this week’s tease:

“What the hell?”

Once they’d adjusted to the darkness, Bill’s eyes bulged in surprise. Shirley had converted part of the living space into a makeshift stable. Two cows, one calf, and a handful of chickens were behind a wire and snow fencing wall in what must’ve been her dining room. While it didn’t smell as badly as he’d expect it to, it couldn’t be a healthy arrangement.

“Shirley, you can’t keep animals inside like this,” he began, cut off by the sight of the creature on the sofa.

“That’s a wolf! You can’t keep a wild animal like that in the house,” he cried, although at the moment he couldn’t think why the wolf would be a bigger problem than cows and chickens.

The old woman laughed, and he noticed how labored her breathing was. “My ancestors did, and it didn’t hurt them none, but it’s only for the storm. The twisters will take the barn, but the pigs will be fine as will the animals grazing. The storms won’t go that way. I couldn’t afford to lose my milk cows and chickens. As far as Wolf goes, he won’t hurt you.”

Bill stared at the large animal, easily one of the biggest ones he’d seen in the area. Mottled in color, his coat ranging from black through brown, although there was far more than the average amount of rust red in it, along with the gray and patches of pure white, the animal had to weigh at least a hundred pounds. His face was a framed mask of light gray, dissolving into rust once more, before fading to black on its forehead and the top and side of its regal nose. White filled its ears, and highlighted the area below the eyes and across the cheeks and throat, which, like the ears, was edged in black. But what was most unsettling about the large, silent creature, were its eyes—they were green, as green as his own, and they looked human.

Shirley’s words penetrated his confusion. He couldn’t dwell on the strange beast right now.

“Twisters, as in more than one?”

“Yes, and they’ll be here shortly. I may be old, but the spirits are never wrong.”

“Why didn’t your spirits warn you about the motorcycle gang?” he asked. If ghosts were going to tell her about the weather, the least they could do was warn her about killers on the loose.

She shook her head. “The wanáği never send me visions unless I can help someone else.”

He understood a few words in the Assiniboine language, but that wasn’t one of them.


She moved over to the far side of the room. “The spirits of my ancestors who come to me. They told me to send for the RCMP. I didn’t understand why, but now I do. If I’d met you before, I’d have asked for you by name.”

“What do you mean?” The old woman wasn’t making any sense.

“You’ll know soon enough,” she answered cryptically.

The staccato of rain and hail on the roof sounded like a dozen Flamenco dancers. The noise stopped, only to be replaced by the buzz of a million bees.

“In here,” Shirley said, pointing to the door beside her.

Knowing the wind could blow out the panes of glass at any second, he was pleased to see she’d closed the inside shutters, but depending on the power of the storm, they might not be enough to protect the windows. He hurried into what he thought was a storage closet. Instead, he gaped at the modern, windowless bathroom. In the sink sat a flickering candle. Shirley had brought in a chair, and the wolf followed them inside and jumped into the antique-style claw-footed tub, stretching out as if it were the most natural thing for him to do.

“Sit,” she said, reaching out and petting the wolf on the head as if he were a dog. “These won’t last long.”

Closing the door, she sat on the stool beside the bathtub, wrapped her arms around herself and began to rock and chant in her native language. As if he understood his mistress was praying, the wolf lowered its head to its paws, a low barely audible keen coming from him. Bill considered joining them when the room plunged into darkness as the power failed and the buzz grew stronger until it sounded like a hundred motorcycles. Without the candle, it would’ve been as black as the grave in the tiny room. Bill glanced at the woman and her strange companion. If they were praying, he hoped to hell someone was listening. The scream of nails ripped from wood pierced his ears, followed by a silence, so profound, it was deafening.

You can get this week’s deal at:




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Tuesday Tales: From the Word PAPER

Badge for TT - very small (1)Good morning. After the last vacation of the summer of 2016, I’m back with a new Tuesday Tale. This week, I’ve returned to Wedding Bell Blues and the adventures of MJ and Paul on Paradise Island.

Enjoy! Take time to listen to the song that inspired this selection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2bigf337aU

Taking a swig of his beer, Paul watched as MJ laughed at something Ricky had said. If it were at all possible, she looked even more desirable than she had earlier in the evening. He’d probably consumed more alcohol than he should’ve have—hell they all had—but he refused to believe it was the booze talking. While the song might say “all the girls got prettier at closing time,” she was the only one in the room worth a second glance.

Dinner had been superb, though she hadn’t eaten all that much, but no one had noticed. He had, only because he’d seen her devour the lobster this afternoon. After the meal had ended, the head table had been cleared away, replaced by a round table, and at MJ’s request, Lindsay and Noel had joined them. The band had stayed partially hidden behind the diaphanous gold curtains, while the singer, dressed in a red sequined gown, stood in front of them, her sultry voice perfect for the jazz tunes she sang. He and MJ had danced several times, including to the first song as would the bride and groom at a wedding. He’d enjoyed having her in his arms, and while the ache in his leg was noticeable, he wasn’t about to forego the pleasure of one more dance.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the singer said. “This will be our last song for tonight. I hope you’ve enjoyed this set and our tribute to the late, great George Gershwin. Here’s one of my personal favorites made popular by Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song.”

“Dance with me,” he said, standing and pulling her up, making it impossible for her to refuse. The first words of Summertime filled the room. MJ swayed, and he held her closer to him. “Don’t worry, I’ve got you.”

“I know,” she answered and giggled softly. “You’re my knight in shining armor. Good thing, too, because I think the island is moving.”

He chuckled. “Any time, my lady.”

Stepping onto the dance floor, filled with the last twenty or so couples who were still enjoying the festivities, he pulled her close to him, closer than he had previously, remembering how she’d felt in his arms when he’d held her earlier in the day.

“Having fun?” he asked, his lips pressed against her hair.

“Yes, too much fun. I keep waiting for the clock to strike midnight and turn everything back into what it was.”

“You’re forgetting the Quimbois magic here. Just remember, we’ve got another whole day and night before we even have to think about anything else but enjoying ourselves.”

She sighed and nestled into him. “I know. Cindy’s right. There’s something about this place that makes you believe all your dreams can come true. No matter what happens, I want you to know this has been the best evening of my life.”

The music ended. “Shall we go back and have that swim?” he asked, unwilling to ask her what her dreams were, knowing they didn’t include a loveless, childless marriage to him.

“That sounds lovely. Let’s say goodnight and go.

Paul turned toward the table, but it was empty.

“Looks like they’ve all left. Must’ve gone while we were dancing.”

MJ shrugged, tried to stifle a yawn, and picked up her bag. “Then we’d better get going, too. We do have to meet Monsieur St. Louis at nine and it’s after midnight.”

He led her out of the dining room and crossed to the side door leading to the lagoon and their bungalow. As soon as the door closed behind him, he lifted MJ into his arms.

“You don’t have to carry me again. I can take off my shoes and walk.”

“On the crush stone? I don’t think so. Besides, you might step in lizard doo-doo.”

“Yuck,” she said, putting her arm around his neck.

Paul walked slowly wanting to savor the moment. She was quiet, and it did indeed feel magical here with the twinkle lights and the torches lighting the way. He was only a few feet from the door, when her hold on his arm relaxed. Looking down on her, he realized she was asleep.

Reaching for the keycard in his jacket pocket, he opened the door, carried her over to the bed, and pulled down the covers. Laying her down, he removed her shoes and covered her up. He wouldn’t wake her. She was exhausted and so was he.

He ignored the sheet of paper on the table, no doubt it was simply the itinerary for tomorrow. There’d been one each of the last few nights. Stepping around to the other side of the bed, he undressed down to his shorts. The bed was wide enough for his platoon. Surely they could share it for one night. Beat, he lay down and closed his eyes. With any luck, he could sleep a few hours without the nightmares.

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