Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. Each week, a select group of authors share their works in progress with you, with scenes based on a specific word or picture prompt. Last week’s picture pulled me farther along in the story, so this week I need to backtrack.
My current manuscript is a contemporary romance with a little humor in it. Because some of you have asked, here’s the blurb I’m working from:
Wedding Bell Blues Blurb:
Desperate times call for drastic measures.
After finding her fiancé with a co-worker, MJ Summers broke off her engagement, much to her mother’s dismay. Determined to take control of her life, she finds a job in a new city, only to discover the man who unknowingly stomped on her heart fifteen years ago purchased the house she wanted. Refusing to give up anything else, she’s determined not to let her ex-fiancé have the honeymoon she paid for.
Paul Davis survived his last tour of duty, but not without damage to his soul. All he wants is some fun in the sun before he tries to recapture the good times of his past. Finding the perfect house is the first step. What he doesn’t expect is to steal it from his best friend’s sister, but MJ isn’t a kid anymore, and the way he feels about her is anything but brotherly.
When MJ ends up stranded at a honeymoon resort because her ex-fiancé, Paul’s old nemesis, has played one more dirty trick, Paul feels compelled to help her out and get even with the high school bully. But keeping his hands off MJ, his pretend fiancée, is going to be a lot harder than he imagines. The local Quimbois priestess claims he’ll find his heart’s desire on Paradise Island—Will that be revenge, the pirate’s treasure, or MJ’s heart?
Here is this week’s tale:
“Let’s just say things haven’t turned out the way I expected,” Paul said and grinned.
The image of MJ, her nipples visible through the white blouse, forced its way into his mind again. How many sketches had he made of her since that day? He’d even drawn the last one on sheet music, after hitting a dead end on that blues tune. Some of those sketches would get him into hot water with Ron and Mama, that was for sure.
He chuckled. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t plan on coming here at all—didn’t even know the place existed. A friend booked it, but couldn’t use it, so I took it off his hands. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
She shook her head. “But not now? C’est domage.” Lucette poured some of the opaque ale into a frosted glass and set the glass and the bottle on the bar in front of him. “Whether you believe it or not, you are where you were meant to be. Make no mistake. Me, I know. My grandmère is quimboiseuse. I mentioned you to her last night.”
Paul swallowed the mouthful of beer he’d taken. “You mean you’re descended from a pirate and a voodoo witch? Should I be nervous?”
“You make a joke, Paul,” she said, pronouncing his name in French and giggling softly. “Grandmère is not a witch. She predicts the future and prepares charms and potions. I asked her to toss the bones for you, to see if there was something she could do to make you happy, perhaps a charm, but it isn’t necessary. She saw good things. Your coming here was foretold in the stars. Paradise Island will bring you what your heart desires. Maybe you’ll be the one to find Lacorneille’s treasure. You’ll see. She’s never wrong.”
“I don’t want to rain on your grandma’s parade, but I really don’t believe in that stuff. I’ve already got what I want, and more money isn’t even on the list. I survived my stint in Afghanistan, I’ve got the perfect house, this great big dog to keep me company, and I return to a job I love in August.”
“But what about a lover? The fates know what you need even if you do not.”
Considering he’d yet to see a single unaccompanied woman, he doubted love was in the cards—or rather the bones—for him. But, she’d piqued his interest in the treasure. Searching for it would give him something to do if he got tired of sitting around doing nothing.
“Alors, you are a soldier?” Lucette asked. “I admire brave men.”
The barmaid was obviously flirting with him, and this talk about mumbo-jumbo, Quimbois, and the future was her way of breaking the ice. She’d fill the void for female companionship quite nicely.
“I was. I retired a few weeks ago.”
The bar phone rang, and Lucette excused herself to answer it. Paul took a mouthful of beer. So what if Lucette’s grandmother was a voodoo priestess? He’d heard about the native religions practiced on Martinique and the other islands—everyone had seen a movie or read a book with zombies in it. Live and Let Die was still his favorite Bond film, and not only because of the lovely Solitaire. MJ looked a lot like her, especially with that long hair…
While he didn’t believe in voodoo and magic, he’d seen and heard enough not to insult those who did. People were entitled to their own beliefs. If she wanted to worship a tree, a stone or a snake, so be it.
He glanced at his watch—after twelve. The ferry would’ve made the guest exchange by now. Maybe he’d get lucky, and Grandma’s hocus-pocus had conjured up a single woman for him. He chuckled softly.
Like that’s going to happen.
Please drop by and visit all of this week’s Tuesday Tales.