Tuesday Tales: From the Word BOX

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Good morning and welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. If this is your first visit here, Tuesday tales is a closed weekly blog where a select group of talented authors, in whose company I feel humbled,  share their work in progress with you. Each post is based on a specific word of picture supplied by the talented Jean Joachim.  Many books have been born on this blog. In my case, Hello Again and Forever and Always were created here. Soon, I hope Wedding Bell Blues will be published as well.

Birthday flowers 2017August first! Where has the year gone? I’m feeling rather nostalgic today. It’s hard to understand how quickly time passesfor me these days. Today is my birthday. Sixty-seven years! In 1967, when Canada celebrated its centennial, I was seventeen. I could never imagine the life I’ve had. A loving husband, three wonderful children, and seven grandchildren, not to mention a satisfying teaching career and now I’m an author! Life is full of wonderful surprises.

My new book, Same Time Next Year was inspired by this nostalgia. Here is the second instalment of the story, based today on the word: BOX.

Almost there!

Twyla released a nervous sigh and tried to relax against the seat, aware of her heart pounding frantically in her veins. She’d mentioned the unsettling sensation to the doctor, but he hadn’t considered it a cause for concern. 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 that uncommon in people who’d gone through what she had. No doubt her vivid author’s imagination had something to do with that, too.

The drive had taken several hours, and as they drew closer and closer to the lodge, the sense of finally coming home grew. The need to go back to The Colonel’s Inn this year had been so intense, that from the moment it had gripped her, she’d been unable to think of anything else. With mortality knocking at her door, reminding her she was on the downside of life, she couldn’t ignore that urge. Lord knew she’d fought against it years ago, but now, fifty years later, she’d finally given in to the craving.

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, feeling the sorrow and regret of the last few years wash away, she smiled as Lana expertly maneuvered the red coupe along the country highway. While Twyla might bemoan the way things had worked out on some levels, she would never lament her life. It might not have been the one she’d hoped for fifty years ago, but it had been a good one, and Lana was the icing on the cake. As her own mother had said, “grandchildren were your reward for not killing your own.” Billie had been a difficult child, but Lana was the gift that kept on giving.

Glancing out the window, Twyla noted the changes brought on by time. The highway, which had once been narrow and rough, had been widened, the limestone blasted away to make room for more traffic and faster vehicles, but much of the landscape along its shoulders was as it had been. The developers hadn’t gotten this far yet.

She looked over at her beautiful granddaughter. There was no denying the fact the bright, happy-go-lucky redhead resembled her at that age. Last weekend, the two of them had been in the attic going through boxes for items to give to the church rummage sale when they’d come across the old picture albums and her box of souvenirs she’d thought long gone. Looking through the photograph albums, Lana had turned to the last page and had seen the resemblance first. Thank God for black and white pictures.

 

“And who is this yummy fellow?” Lana asked, her blue eyes shining with mischief. “He’s too tall to be Grandpa. I’ve seen your wedding picture, and you were the same height.”

Twyla blinked her eyelids, forcing away the sudden tears. “Just an old friend. I doubt he would know me if he saw me today.”

“Don’t be silly, Grams. You haven’t changed that much.” She scrunched up her face. “Where was this picture taken?”

“At The Colonel’s Inn, along the Rideau Canal. That’s the last time I was there. I was seventeen, a week away from my eighteenth birthday. I’ve been thinking of going there this year. I feel the need to spend time by myself. My muse has been on hiatus ever since the heart attack. She needs to be jumpstarted, but every time I try to talk to your mother about it, she has a fit.”

 

No doubt the last place her seventeen-year-old granddaughter really wanted to be was on her way to what she probably considered some moldy, old resort in the middle of nowhere, but the child had always been filled with empathy, knowing exactly what had to be done to restore an ailing person’s sense of self and calm the waters around her. Without Lana by her side, Billie would’ve worried herself half to death. While the girl wouldn’t turn eighteen until December, she’d aced high school and would start at Harvard in the fall and was as level-headed as they came—far more level-headed than she herself had been at that age.

Reaching for the metal tin on the console beside her, Twyla opened it and popped a peppermint into her mouth. Finding it in the box had been a welcome surprise. She’d been so certain her mother had tossed it out, just as she’d thought the photographs and other silly souvenirs from that summer gone forever.

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

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Summer Ramblings “Softball Season Is Over!”

20170705_204508Good morning. When I was a kid, I used to view the end of July with more than a little dismay. To me, it marked the halfway point of summer and the fact that we were now on a down turn back to school. For the record, I actually liked school, but I enjoyed those days when I could amuse myself and read whatever the library had to offer.

I hope this summer is living up to your expectations. I realize many of you are facing impossibly hot temperatures and wildfires, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost even the slightest thing because of it. In Eastern Ontario, this is definitely the greenest year in history with record rainfall. Water levels in local rivers and canals are at an all-time high, and with this week’s rain, the authorities were forced to close sections of the historic Rideau Canal system. Boaters found themselves stranded between locks, unable to go up or down the system. It still isn’t open, and for some, I’m sure they expected to be home by now. I can’t imagine the emotional toil th8is could be taking. We were there only last week and everything was running smoothly. How quickly things change!. If you follow my Tuesday Tales, you’ll know my current wip is set along that famous waterway.

https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/tuesday-tales-from-the-word-silver/

As always, Higley Flow, the NY State Park we visit for our annual camping trip, lived up to expectations. We set up our compound, as John calls it, over a two-day period since the grandkids didn’t arrive until the weekend, and we started our vacation on Wednesday with a couple of nights with old friends–the real Rob and Faye who inspired the couple in  The White Carnation. Our friendship is one of those rare ones. We’ve known one another most of our lives and while we can go months, at times years without seeing one another, when we do get together it’s as if the last time we did were yesterday. I can’t say enough about the benefits of tarping the tent. We had a couple of bad storms, but stayed dry. Not everyone was as lucky as we were.

We took some alone time while our daughter used the site and visited Chaffe’s Locks on the Rideau, Ste Anne de Bellevue on the St. Lawrence, and of course, Lake Placid, NY, on our return to the campground. After everyone else packed up, John and I enjoyed another two glorious days and nights before returning to work.

That weekend was marked by another annual event, the closing softball tournament for the grandkids. Mother Nature couldn’t have given them a more perfect day. While the team coached by our daughter and her significant other, on which play Eleni, Georgia, Tonio, and Jordy did poorly, our oldest grandson Nico’s team won the Peewee-Bantam championship. He even got to pitch an inning. That’s a pretty big deal for an eleven-year-old playing with much older kids. He hit well as did Tonio, his pitching was superb, as was Eleni’s, but in the end, his team brought home the hardware, not theirs. One more soccer Monday and, for the first time since mid-May, we have our week nights back–not that I don’t enjoy seeing them play, but a woman can only eat so many hot dogs and French fries for dinner!

This summer has been an interesting and exciting one for me as an author as well. I’m not sure if it’s a sign of old age creeping up or just that I’ve become more demanding of myself, but I’ve only published two books: Sworn to Protect, which was released in June under my Indie label, and No Good Deed, which comes out Monday from Crimson Romance and Simon and Schuster. Both books have gotten outstanding reviews from the Reading Cafe’s Georgianna Simpson. Have a look.

http://www.thereadingcafe.com/sworn-to-protect-no-good-deed-by-susanne-matthews-reviews/

Georgianna’s words humble me and leave me speechless. Praying the books do well. In the meantime, I’m on e final edits for Wedding Bell Blues, and plan to send it off to an editor in the near future.

What’s next? We have Ribfest tonight, an overnight visit at my sister’s riverside home tomorrow, the Glengarry Highland Games next Friday, Rocking the Bay in Alexandria Bay in late August and an anniversary dinner at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kingston followed by a two-night stay at the Opinicon in September. That will round off my summer nicely.–Oh, there’s a birthday or five tossed in that mix, but what’s age other than a state of mind?

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Today’s Guest, Marie Lavender and Directions of the Heart.

Marie LavenderIt’s my pleasure to welcome Marie once more to Living the Dream. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Links:

​http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

​​http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/video

Recognition:

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Have a look at her new book!

Directions of the Heart - eBook cover.jpg

Directions of the Heart – blurb

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion…

​In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

DoH-promo3Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

DoHpromo5Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories

DoHpromo10Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

DoHpromo11Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Want to see more?

Watch the trailer:

https://youtu.be/4gkk4wmrtHQ 

 

Directions of the Heart is available from https://www.amazon.com/Directions-Heart-Romantic-Drama-Collection-ebook/dp/B071WVZZPV

 

Midweek Tease: Time for a Taste of No Good Deed

New midweek tease imageHello all and welcome back to the Midweek Tease. Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for making this weekly romp possible. Well, after hearing about it for many weeks now, today I bring you the first five pages of my new book, a psychological romantic thriller called No Good Deed. In honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, I set the novel primarily in Quebec.

Here’s the blurb–apologies to those looking for spice. I don’t rock that way. Maybe in the next one.

Final cover, No Good DeedPsychological chills and thrills are woven around a heartwarming love story in this action-packed romantic suspense novel.

Escaping from her abusive fiancé, Alexa O’Brien pulls into a gas station only to walk in on an execution. She’s in protective custody until she can identify Nicoli Zabat, Montreal’s mob boss, at his trial. But her safe house has been compromised, setting in motion a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Lieutenant Mike Delorme on the Sûreté Du Québec has spent the last eighteen months undercover in narcotics to take down Zabat, the man he blames for the death of his wife and unborn child. He doesn’t have the interest or patience to babysit a woman whose memory isn’t clear—but he’ll carry out his assignment to show the brass he’s a team player.

As Mike and Alexa dodge danger, it appears she’s in deeper than merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the mafia hit she witnessed is revealed to be just the tip of an international terrorist’s plot, they must rely on each other to survive—but only if they can learn to trust their instincts and let love map out their next move.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Here’s your teaser:

Alexa O’Brien white-knuckled the steering wheel, her foot barely touching the accelerator as she followed the taillights of the pickup truck ahead of her. She didn’t dare stay any farther back. If she did, she wouldn’t see the guiding lights at all and would end up in the ditch. Of course, if the truck went off the road, she would be up Shit Creek without a paddle.

She snorted, fluttering her lips. “Damn you, Mother Nature. You’re supposed to be on my side.”

The tires on the old wreck she’d bought were almost as bald as her stepfather had been. What a lecture he would give her if he could see her now. Another man who’d claimed he knew what was best for her. In this case, he was probably right, but he’d been wrong too many times to count. It was her life—her mistakes to make—and while some of them had been doozies, she’d taken control once more.

Pray God she didn’t have to brake suddenly.

She’d planned her escape so carefully, timed it to coincide with Richard’s trip to Africa, and now this. Where the hell had a foot of snow come from? It was the middle of April. Even in Canada, that meant spring.

The distance between her car and the vehicle ahead shortened. Alexa eased up on the accelerator. What was she doing? Twenty miles per hour? Maybe twenty-five?

The lights ahead turned a deeper red. She was coming up on the truck too fast.

“Holy shit!”

She moved her foot from the gas pedal to the brake, pumping the pedal twice, but it didn’t help. She screeched. Like Bambi on ice, the car swerved, spun around twice, and then skidded to the right. Time stood still—the car didn’t.

Think, Alexa, think. What did you learn in that damn defensive driving course?

Heart pounding, stomach roiling, she took her foot off the brake and slowly turned the steering wheel until the tires of the car pointed into the skid, praying the damn things would grip.

Donuts in a parking lot were one thing, but they weren’t quite so much fun at night, on an unfamiliar road, during a frigging snowstorm.

She trembled, holding the steering wheel so tightly she was sure her fingerprints were embedded in the plastic. All she could see were the trees coming at her, but ever so slightly, the car slowed, straightened to face the direction she wanted it to, and stopped less than three feet from the pickup’s tailgate.

Her heart thundered in her ears, and she exhaled heavily. While she wasn’t directly behind the small truck, she was back on the road, no worse for the wear, even if she did feel like a cat who’d just lost another life. Shaking so badly that she had trouble shifting the car into park, she rested her forehead against the steering wheel, waiting for her heart to slow.

Someone tapped on her window, and she jumped.

Who the hell would be walking on the road in this weather?

A second tap, harder and more urgent than before, gave her no choice. Scraping away the frost on the inside of the window, she was blinded by the sudden brief flash of light in her face. Bile rose in her throat, and her heart resumed its frantic pace. Hand trembling, she rolled down the window.

Excusez-moi, mais le 30 est fermé. Tu dois rester sur the 20.

“I … I don’t speak French,” Alexa stammered to the police officer.

“There has been an accident,” the woman said, her th sounding like d. “This highway, it’s closed. Turn right at my car, and follow the 20 through Dorion. There’s a motel along that road. Not a good night to drive.”

“Thank you. I’m ready to call it a night.” Alexa rolled up the window once more, taking two deep breaths to calm herself before putting the car in gear and slowly inching along behind the truck.

Why had she thought it would be Richard? She’d made a clean getaway this time. It would be days yet before he realized she’d flown the coop.

After what felt like hours, her right shoulder stiffer than usual, her muscles cramped, and her head pounding, Alexa spotted the neon sign for Les trois érables and turned into the motel’s crowded parking lot. What would she do if the place was booked? Staying in the car wasn’t an option. People died that way, and while she wanted to escape from Richard and the hell that was her life, dying to do so wasn’t part of the plan.

Grabbing her backpack off the seat, Alexa trudged through the snow to the office. She should’ve picked up a pair of boots when she’d bought the winter jacket. Her feet were soaked. God alone knew how long it would take to dry her shoes.

She shuddered. Les trois érables was the kind of place they could’ve used to film Psycho. If there was an Anthony Perkins or Vince Vaughn lookalike in there manning the welcome desk, she would have to rethink her options, but only a fool would try to find an alternate route in a province where all the road signs were in a language she didn’t understand and the visibility was zero. She might be a lot of things, but she was no fool.

The bell at the top of the door chimed when Alexa stepped inside the small smoke-filled room. The woman sitting in front of the television set heaved her bulk out of the chair and lumbered up to the desk.

Alexa exhaled and pasted a smile on her face. It looked like she would be spending the night here after all.

Tu veux une chambre?” the woman asked, her voice raspy from too many cigarettes.

Alexa coughed. “I don’t speak French. Do you have an empty room?”

“Eighty dollars, up front.”

“Eighty bucks?” Alexa repeated, her voice going up at least one octave.

The woman nodded. “Take it or leave it.”

Beggars couldn’t be choosers. Alexa reached for her wallet and laid the four twenties on the counter. The woman picked them up, shoved them in her bra, reached for a key hanging on a pegboard, and handed it to her.

“Number eleven, on the left. When you’re ready to leave, drop your key in that box.” She indicated a plastic bin labeled clefs. Flipping the old-style registration book around on the desk, she handed Alexa a pen. “Checkout is noon. Name, address, and license number.”

There was no way she could leave here at noon. That meant driving during the day. Besides, the way it was coming down out there, she probably wouldn’t be able to leave even if she wanted to. Reluctantly, she handed the woman another eighty dollars from her meager stash of cash. It vanished the same way as the first, and the woman hung a red plastic two on the pegboard where the key had been.

Alexa filled in the line, giving her mother’s maiden name as she had when she’d purchased and registered the vehicle, using her driver’s license and insurance. Sometimes, it paid to look older than you were.

After thanking the woman who’d grunted and returned to her chair, Alexa went out to find her room. Number eleven was the second-to-last room at the end of the building’s left wing. Unlocking the door, she flipped on the light and gagged. The room reeked, a combination of wet dog, mildew, ammonia, and years of tobacco smoke.

“God. This is … disgusting.” She raised her hand to cover her mouth.

The dirty, worn couch was threadbare, the sagging bed probably hosted all kinds of critters, and the tables sported water rings and butt burns.

She dropped her backpack near the door and turned to lock it, putting on the night chain. Since the brass links didn’t appear particularly strong, she pulled a filthy, stuffed chair in front of the door, removed her wet shoes, and headed for the bathroom.

In spite of her desperate need, Alexa took the time to toilet-paper the seat before using it.

“What a dump.”

Two years ago, she would’ve grabbed her bag and run as fast as her legs could carry her, but tonight, as dirty and unattractive as it was, it would do.

Rolling her eyes, she looked up at the ceiling. “Good thing you aren’t here, Mom. You wouldn’t last five minutes in this place.”

All of the bathroom fixtures were several decades old, and God alone knew the last time they’d been cleaned. Were those hairs in the bathtub? A closer examination suggested they might just be cracks in the porcelain. How did this place survive a health inspection?

“Eighty bucks for a night here? It should come with a tetanus shot.”

After changing her socks and propping her shoes up to dry, she used the entire purse-sized can of disinfecting spray on the bed before lying down, fully clothed. It was almost midnight, and the emotional toil of tonight’s drive through hell had exhausted her.

Instead of the sleep she craved, she tossed and turned, counting every lump in the flea-bitten mattress until she couldn’t stand it a moment longer. It was just after five when she gave up and rose. She rubbed the bridge of her nose. It was much easier to plan an escape than to execute one. Too many things could go wrong once you took that first step. This was her third shot at freedom. Either she would be three times lucky—which was what she hoped for—or she would strike out again. But she would never quit trying. She leaned back in the wooden chair, searching for an English channel on the television. It was going to be a long day.

No Good Deed releases on July 31st. It’s available for pre-order from:

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/No-Good-Deed-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B071F7N8M4

Amazon.ca https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B071F7N8M4

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071NZS7HY

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-good-deed-susanne-matthews/1126398214

i-Tunes https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/no-good-deed/id1236917968

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susanne_Matthews_No_Good_Deed

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/no-good-deed-29

Simon and Schuster: http://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/No-Good-Deed/Susanne-Matthews/9781507205631

Now, please visit the rest of this week’s teasers.

#MidWeekTease July 26, 2017

This is a Blog Hop!


Tuesday Tales: From the Word Silver

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. I’ve been away on vacation and this is the first post since my return. It’s also the first post from my new novel, a paranormal romance entitled Same Time Next Year.

Where did I get the idea for this one? Back in 1980, probably before some of you were even born, I watched a movie that has stayed with me all these years. It starred Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve and was called Somewhere in Time. Here’s the link to one of its trailers. http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3649306905

The story is about two people deeply in love who are separated by time. I decided I wanted to do something similar.  So, here is my attempt at star-crossed lovers separated by time and reunited.

Here’s this week’s post:

Twyla Wilson sat at the butcher block table, sipping her cup of Earl Grey tea, waiting for her daughter to settle down. As expected, Billie wasn’t taking her decision well. She paced the kitchen, wringing her hands hard enough to peel off a layer of that sinfully expensive hand cream she preferred.

“You can’t be serious,” she all but shouted, glaring at her. “I know you claim to need ‘alone-time’ as you put it, but really? Why in Heaven’s name do you want to drive 400 miles to a resort in the middle of nowhere? It’s only been two months since your surgery. If you insist on a holiday away from us, why not that Panama cruise Edythe suggested?”

Closing her eyes and counting to ten, Twyla took a deep breath. Arguing with her only child was never pleasant. Looking into her worried blue eyes didn’t make this small show of defiance any easier, but it did increase her determination to follow through with her plans.

“Honey, your father, bless his soul, and I went on every cruise imaginable, but this year I want to do something different, something just for me. Ever since I got out of the hospital, you’ve been watching me so closely that I’m beginning to think I should be getting measured for a shroud rather than a dress for Edythe’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Your cousin means well, and I’m sure the cruise would be relaxing, but I’ve got my heart set on going back to The Colonel’s Inn. I’ll only be gone a month.”

“A month! Seriously, Mom, that place is over a hundred years old. Wouldn’t you prefer something more modern? I mean will you even be able to write there?”

“It has been renovated since it was built, you know,” she answered, rolling her eyes. Had Billie always been so melodramatic? “They have electricity and everything, but if I have to, I can use a notebook and a pencil. Caprice thinks it’s a great idea. She’s even offered to come up and check on me.”

“Caprice is your agent,” Billie answered through clenched teeth. She closed her eyes and huffed out a frustrated breath. “Of course she thinks it’s a great idea. You haven’t written anything in over six months. Your books buy those Malone Souliers she’s hooked on.”

“Don’t be crass, Billie. I saw the price tag on those Jimmy Choo’s you ordered last week.” Twyla shook her head. “I did discuss the idea with Doctor Rainier. The resort is just over an hour from Ottawa and one of the best heart institutes in the world. The weather in Ontario in the summertime can be erratic, but for the most part, they have moderate temperatures and tons of sunshine. My pacemaker is working well, blood is flowing through my stents, and the bypass was a success. In short, I’m as good as new, and if I want to stay this way, I have to take a stand. I can’t roll over and play dead. You’ve been mollycoddling me long enough. I appreciate your concern and I love you for it, but you have to let me breathe. I’m only sixty-seven years old. There’s plenty of life in this old girl yet, but if I just sit around waiting to die that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Billie ran her hand through her short, spiked, brown hair. “That’s not what I meant. I know you aren’t dying although you did give us all a hell of a scare, but why there? If you want to rent a rustic cottage, why not look for something in the Poconos or upstate New York? You haven’t been to Canada in what—fifty years? That place could be closed for all you know.”

“Sweetheart, despite what you may think, I’m not stupid. I did my research. While it’s true the resort closed a few years ago, it’s just reopened under new management and from what I’ve read in the papers, the new owner has renovated and restored the place to the glory of its heyday, while adding a few modern touches including Wi-Fi. Not only will I be able to write, I can blog and message as much as I want.” She reached out and touched her daughter’s arm, holding her in place. “I always intended to return, but things never worked out for me. If it makes you feel better, I can ask Judy to come with me. We can share the driving.”

“Mother of God! Are you trying to drive me crazy?” Billie’s eyes were the size of silver dollars in her pale face. “She’s ten years older than you are and blind as a bat.”

Twyla smothered her laughter. This was the reaction she’d expected. On cue, her granddaughter entered the kitchen and opened the fridge door. After grabbing a can of cola, she closed it.

“What’s going on?” She popped the tab on the can. “I could hear you two arguing from my room. Gramma’s not supposed to get upset, Mom. It can mess with her blood pressure.” She thrust out her chin.

“We aren’t arguing, sweetie,” Twyla said, trying to keep her excitement hidden. “I want to take a writing vacation up north, and your mother doesn’t like the idea.”

“A vacation, I have no problem with,” Billie mumbled, her arms crossed over her chest with her infamous ‘don’t go there, Mom’ look firmly in place. “What your grandmother wants to do is revisit some old resort where she went as a kid. She thinks it’ll inspire her, but …”

Lana rolled her eyes and pulled her Smartphone out of the back pocket of her cut-off jean shorts.

“What’s the place called, Gramma?” she asked, ignoring her mother.

“It used to be called The Colonel’s Inn,” Billie answered for her.

Fingers flying, Lana input the name and searched the Internet. “It looks good to me.” She held up the screen for her mother to see. “It’s called Colonel By’s Resort now. Looks pretty cool.”

rideau-map-colourTwyla could see the picture of the two-story, red-trimmed, white clapboard lodge with its verandas and red wooden rocking chairs. In her mind’s eye, she added the cherry red Adirondack chairs dotting the property and the front of each of the fifteen individual cabins there, the pool, the garden, and of course, in the background, the sun silvering the surface of Sand Lake.

Boats of every size and shape would line up waiting their turn in Davis Lock, one of the forty-seven locks in the Rideau Canal System.

She sighed.

That was where she’d first seen Michael. He’d been one of the summer students hired as a lockmaster. His usual job was to crank open and operate the lock enabling boats to pass between Sand Lake and Lake Opinicon. That day, he’d been dressed in the red serge jacket, white pants, and Pill Box hat with the white pompom on top, worn by the Rideau Canal Guards after its opening in 1832. He’d smiled at her and she’d melted into those blue eyes of his.

“I don’t have to be at Harvard until the middle of August,” Lana said, bringing Twyla back to the present. “If Gramma wants to take a trip down Memory Lane, I’ll go with her. I’ve got tons of studying to do for my entrance exams. Maybe a little peace and quiet would be good for me, too.”

“Sweetie, that’s kind of you,” Twyla said, tamping down her enthusiasm. “But wouldn’t you be bored with only an old lady for company?”

“I’m never bored when I’m with you,” she said, encircling Twyla’s shoulders. “If you haven’t been there in fifty years, then you must’ve been my age. It’ll be fun.”

Billie raised her hands in the air and shook her head. “I’ve been had, haven’t I? This was your plan all along.”

Twyla looked at Lana, smiled, and turned to her daughter. “Maybe.”

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

 

Saturday Spotlight: Souls Asunder.

Souls Asunder
By
Miranda Brock
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PREORDER NOW AT bit.ly/SoulsAsunder

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Blurb

Following her purpose and picking up the pieces of her fractured heart is all Autumn wishes for. Increasing confrontations with Dehmons and the unveiling of powers keeps Autumn and her protective Searchers plenty busy, giving the Keeper the distraction she craves. Life is moving on and Autumn is beginning to find peace and strength once more.

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That is, until something sinister and mysterious begins to slip into Autumn’s life, bringing with it doubts more dangerous than the Dehmons who threaten the Keeper’s existence.

Souls Asunder Rune

New challenges arise as the Dehmon Masters start to leave their sanctuary, and with the discovery of a spear capable of turning humans into dark-souled Dehmons, the race to save innocents is more desperate than ever.

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With the enemy pressing in on all sides, will Autumn be able to uncover the truth of the dark and treacherous visions haunting her mind, and untangle her heart in the process?

 

Join Keeper Autumn and her band of Searchers as they journey toward a destination none of them are prepared for.

Revisiting a Scene from The White Carnation!

The White CarnationGood morning! Vacations are fun, but it’s always nice to go home again, even if you do get buried in tons of laundry.  This year, we made a different choice about our camping vacation. We booked our standard 14 days, but gave five of them to our daughter and her family while we took a few mini-vacations of our own.  One of the three special places we visited was an old favorite haunt, Lake Placid, New York, and I made a point of asking my hubby to stop and let me take pictures of a small stream I used as a setting for a scene in The White Carnation, Book One of the Harvester Series, later called The Harvester Saga when it came out in a bundle.

Lake Placid featured prominently in that book, both as a hideaway from whoever was out to get Faye, but also as the place where Rob and Faye rekindled their romance.

Here is the excerpt from the novel.

Rob signaled and got off the road at a designated lookout point. They were east of a small bridge over a fast-moving stream. The water gurgled and splashed over huge chunks of igneous rocks on the stream’s bottom, bubbling and roiling as it raced along in a swift current.

Faye leaned against him, threading her arm through his. He could smell the pine trees, a scent he always associated with the fresh air.

“It smells like Christmas here—like it did when I was young and we had a real tree each year.” There was a sadness and longing in her voice he hadn’t noticed before. “It’s peaceful, too. We’re right next to the road, and yet, I can hear everything clearly. It’s as if the water is singing. You can almost make out a tune in your head. Thank you so much for showing me this.” She reached up and kissed his cheek, bringing heat to his entire body. “You know, despite the circumstances, I’m glad we have the chance to be friends again.”

It was like having a pail of cold water dumped on him. “Just friends, Faye? I think we’ve established that we’re more than friends.”

“Have we?” She moved away from him. “I’m glad Dr. Chong suggested we hide up here.”

He wouldn’t press the issue. She might have only wanted a romp in the hay, but he wanted more—how much more, he wasn’t sure, but if they could clear up the mess from last year, they might have a chance. They had great chemistry. It was a place to start.

“So am I. My parents came up here every year. My dad loved fly fishing, and Mom was a landscape artist. She didn’t make a fortune, but she sold a few pieces now and then. I have some in storage. Remind me to show you them sometime.”

“Isn’t there a joke about a guy wanting to show a girl his etchings?” She giggled nervously, and he could tell she was trying to lighten the mood.

He chuckled. “There might be. Much as I’d like to keep playing tourist, the post office closes at five. Trevor sent our package express—that should give the U.S. Postal Service a reason for improved efficiency. Come on.” He took her hand and led her back to the car.

You can find The White Carnation at many retailers including Amazon.

Hope you have a delightful weekend.