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Midweek Tease: Her Christmas Hero

MWTease15Welcome back to this week’s Midweek Tease, made possible by the lovely and talented Angelica Dawson. Since we are getting into the spirit of the holidays, I decided to share a snippet from my short story, Her Christmas Hero.  This book and its follow-up, The Best Day Ever, are super-short stories, just over 5K each, perfect for a quick read. The first story was inspired by an actual event. Eventually, the situation was resolved, but it took  months.

Here’s the blurb:

Widowed mother of four Laurie Wilson gets a shock when a check that was supposed to have been destroyed is cashed, leaving her in a financial lurch just days before Christmas.

Leland Ostler packed his heart in ice years ago and goes through the Christmas season paying lip service to the holiday. When he discovers Laurie Wilson is the girl he was fascinated by in high school and discovers her plight, he determines to make sure that family has the Merry Christmas it deserves.

Here’s your tease:

Her Christmas HeroLaurie slipped her bank debit card into the machine and followed the instructions.

Transaction denied.

“The bank denied the charge,” the girl said, citing the obvious.

“I must’ve pushed the wrong key,” Laurie answered, fear clawing at her belly. This had happened too many times in the past. “There’s enough money in the bank to cover this.” She got paid yesterday. There had to be more than seventeen hundred dollars in that account.

Laurie redid the transaction with the same results. This couldn’t be happening. Not now. Not again. On the verge of panic, she swallowed her anxiety. Something was wrong. At this time six years ago, she’d have blamed Frank, but he wasn’t around to cause trouble now.

“Can you just hold onto these until tomorrow?” she asked, her cheeks burning in her embarrassment. “There must be something wrong with my card.”

“I can’t hold them for more than a couple of hours without a ten percent deposit,” the girl said.

Laurie nodded, well aware of the store’s policies. If you didn’t pick up an order within twenty-four hours of its arrival, the goods went back up for sale. She opened her wallet and pulled out all the cash she had. Seventy-one dollars wasn’t much, but it was enough to hold the precious tablets until she got this mess straightened out.

“The balance due by closing time on Monday is $624.79,” the girl said, putting the money in the cash drawer.

Laurie tucked her broken purse under her arm and hurried down the street facing into the storm. This had to be a card reading error. All she needed was a new bank card. She stepped into the bank, her stomach in knots, and got in line to see one of the tellers. She’d take out the seven hundred she needed and go right back to the store. If she didn’t get those tablets…

Staring at the slip of paper the teller had handed her, Laurie prayed this was all some kind of bad joke, and the floor would open and swallow her. The recent transactions page clearly showed a balance of $408.79, but what was most distressing was the entry above it. A check had been cashed earlier in the day for $1250.00, the exact amount she’d paid regularly up until last month when she’d bought the house she’d been renting, adding a mortgage to her mounting pile of debts, hoping the equity she gained would help her get her financial feet on the ground. But this…this was inexcusable. She’d been robbed!

“I’m sorry, Ms. Wilson. There isn’t anything we can do. If you feel this was a fraudulent transaction, you’ll have to take it up with the payee or the police. The check was cashed yesterday, and since you had the money in your account to cover it, we put through the transaction. We didn’t have a stop payment notice…”

“Thank you,” Laurie said, cutting off the teller, realizing she’d put her faith in someone and had gotten screwed again. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t get a break. Being a single mother was hard enough, but getting taken in, time after time, was just wrong. Wasn’t Karma supposed to even out in the end? The bank had cancelled her overdraft protection six years ago when Frank had cleaned out her account, and she’d been too ashamed to have it reinstated, which they’d probably have done since she’d managed to restore her credit rating.

How could she be such a terrible judge of character? Sure, her taste in men obviously sucked, but wasn’t there one honest person left in the world? She’d felt sorry for Jayne, believed her when the woman had said not paying the water bill had been an oversight, and then had scrambled to come up with the money for a down payment so she could buy the house when the landlady had said it had to be sold. This wasn’t the ideal house, but it was home and moving again this year of all years wasn’t going to happen. The kids had lost too much already, and now, somehow, she’d find a way to keep it all together—not for herself, but for them.

She swallowed her fear and turned away from the counter, trying to breathe normally when her carefully constructed house of cards was falling down all around her. She’d have to borrow money on her credit card to cover the mortgage…

If you’d like to read the rest of the story, https://www.amazon.com/Her-Christmas-Hero-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B017TGEVAC

Please check out the rest of this week’s Teasers.

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Tuesday Tales: From the Word FROST

Badge for TT - very smallGood morning. Welcome back to this week’s Tuesday Tales. If you celebrate Christmas, have you started decorating yet? I need to get on that this week. The bins are out filling up the living room. Do you ever stop and wonder how you managed to accumulate so much stuff? Celebrating Christmas together as a family for 47 years definitely leads to stuff. Each year I try to sort through it, give stuff away, but parting with keepsakes and memories is difficult.

I my Tuesday Tales novel, my hero and heroine are dealing with memories, too, most of them sad ones. Have you ever regretted something you’ve done in the past? Have you ever carried a grudge that blinded you to all the facts but those you believed? Sometimes, when we look at the past through the lens of time, we see a different perspective, one that makes us question ourselves, and the process isn’t always a comfortable one.

This week, We’re sitting down at the bar with Michael. Enjoy.

Michael pulled into the parking lot at the Docks, a local pub he frequented on a regular basis. He’d chosen to make his home in one of the small villages outside of Victoria, strangely a place not too different from where he’d grown up. He just hadn’t made that connection until now.

Coming here was probably the last thing he needed tonight, especially if the place was crowded, but going home to his empty house would be worse. Damn Lydia for stirring up memories he’d suppressed for years. Now, he hurt almost as badly as he had back then, but what was even worse was he’d begun to second guess himself.

Twyla had been under her father’s thumb, something pretty normal back then, but what if it hadn’t been her choice? What if Daddy and Mommy dearest had forced her to marry that guy? She’d told him a little about her family dynamics, about her brother who’d run off and joined the army, and he’d met her mother only once. She was a cold fish who’d looked down her nose at him as if he wasn’t worth considering. They’d known her father would never accept a relationship between them. What if Twyla had said something, and her father had jumped the gun and forced her to marry that lawyer? Her folks could easily have intercepted those letters he’d sent. What if she’d thought he’d dumped her? He’d been too hurt at the time to even think of such a thing, and since he’d buried those memories for years … Why was it hindsight let you see things you’d been blind to before?

Entering, he was grateful to see the place half-empty, unusual for a Saturday night. He sat in one of the stools at the end of the bar across from the television set. The Blue Jays were playing the Yankees, and it looked like the birds were on top for the moment.

“Hi, Mike. What can I get you?” Joe asked.

“A pint of Kokanee. Is the kitchen still open?”

“Yeah. Tonight’s special is a salmon burger and fries.”

“That works for me. Where is everyone?”

“Ewan Miller got married this afternoon. You must’ve been invited. Everyone was. Most of them are at the reception down at the Legion. I’ll be dropping by after my shift’s over.” He chuckled. “That party will go on well into the wee hours. Everything on the burger?”

Mike nodded, “Yeah. I forgot that wedding was today. I usually avoid them. Bad memories.”

“Were you married?” he asked, his head tilted to the right.

“Almost.”

The bartender nodded. “Be right back with your beer.”

Mike focused on the screen, trying to erase Twyla’s green eyes from his mind. If that marriage had been forced on her, how had she explained no longer being a virgin? That must’ve been a hell of a wedding night conversation. But then he might be deluding himself, and she’d gone into it with her eyes open, making a fool of him just the way he’d believed all these years.

Joe placed the frosted beer mug on a coaster on the bar.

“I wouldn’t want to be whoever it is you’re mad at,” he commented. “There’s more frost in your eyes than there is on that mug.”

Shaking his head, Joe sighed. “I’m not really mad at anybody—just a little pissed at my sister. She wants me to go back east for a wedding, and the idea of going back there dredged up some bad memories I would have preferred stay buried. Those memories are like whales—gorgeous to look at when you see them frolicking on the ocean, but they stink to high Heaven when the get beached.”

“That’s an interesting way to put it.” He chuckled. “Sisters and wives are all the same. Gabby’s been on my case to take her to Edmonton for a high school reunion. I wasn’t crazy about that crowd when I lived there, and I sure as hell don’t care who became a successful dentist or who drives a caddy, but she won’t get off my back until I agree.”

“That’s more or less what I’m up against, too,” Mike said, raising his mug to his lips and almost draining it in one gulp. “Don’t get me wrong. Lydia and I grew up there, and I have some fond memories of the place, but there are some I don’t care to revisit ever again.” He drained the mug. “Get me another one, will you?”

“Any man who looks like that talking about the past has to be remembering a woman.” He shook his head. “Another draft coming right up.”

Within minutes, Joe replaced his mug with another cold one.

Mike focused on the screen above his head, trying to lose himself in the game. The Jays hadn’t started the season well. At the moment, the Yankees were on deck. With one crack of the bat, the man hit a two-run homer and the birds were behind once more.

He huffed out a breath, and raised his beer to his lips, his mind returning to Eastern Ontario. Not all his memories of his time at Indian Lake had been bad ones, just as all his memories of Twyla weren’t. Would she have changed? Had she gotten fat? Her mother had been a little plump but nothing like his mom who’d tipped the scale at close to two hundred pounds. Would T’s hair still be the color of oak leaves in autumn or had she dyed it the way she’d claimed she would as soon as she went to school? He’d begged her not to, but what did his opinion matter?

He looked up at his face in the mirror behind the bar. There was snow on his roof, his mahogany hair having grayed early. The white mustache and goatee he wore hid the two-inch scar on his chin he’d gotten riding hellbent for leather down the dirt road when he’d heard about the wedding just two months after she’d left him.

As far as the rest of him went, while he had a few scars, spending thirty years in the army had kept him lean and toned. Women didn’t run away from him, and it wasn’t as if he’d lacked female companionship, but damn it, there’d always been a part of him missing, a part he’d given away.

Joe set the burger in front of him. “Enjoy.” He noted the empty mug. “Want another?”

“Yeah. Keep them coming. I’ll be cabbing it home tonight.” He reached for the burger and took a bite.

“I’ve known you for as long as I’ve run this joint and I’ve never seen you like this,” Joe said, his brow furrowed. “I know you well enough to realize you’ll keep your word and won’t drink and drive, but if there’s anything I can do … Bartenders are supposed to be as good as therapists and a hell of a lot cheaper. Why don’t you fill me in on your woes? Maybe talking about it will make it easier.”

“You sound like Lydia. That’s why she thinks I should go to this wedding. Twyla will be there, and my sister claims I need to talk to her and settle this once and for all.” He shook his head. “Maybe she’s right, but damn it, Joe. I’m not sure I can face her.”

“Why?”

“All these years, I’ve blamed her for leaving me hanging, for using me, but what if I’m wrong? Sure, I wrote to her, but I didn’t go and confront her, didn’t ask to know why she’d broken my heart. Now, I keep thinking maybe I should’ve gone the extra distance. What if she thinks I’m the one who didn’t care?”

Joe pursed his lips and shook his head. He picked up the empty mug.

“I would say your sister’s right. The only way you’ll ever know what happened is to confront the lady and get it out into the open. At least that way you’ll know whether or not you’re the one who screwed up.  Be right back.”

Mike took another mouthful of burger.  Joe was right. This was a band aid he needed to rip off once and for all. He pulled out his cell phone and punched in Lydia’s number. When she answered, he didn’t bother to identify himself.

“I’ll go with you. Make the reservations.” He hung up and reached for his third or fourth beer. It was going to be a long night.

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

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Midweek Tease: Another Tidbit from Holiday Magic.

mwtease15Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. For my American friends, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I wish you all a happy holiday. In honor of that holiday, I decided to put Holiday Magic into a Kindle Countdown deal in both the USA and the UK.

Many thanks to Angelica Dawson and the other authors who make this weekly blog hop possible.

You’ll note Holiday Magic has a gorgeous brand new cozy cover thanks to Melinda De Ross my cover artist.

Here is the blurb:

Seeing is believing, or is it?Holiday Magic New

Georgia Baxter loved everything about Christmas until she walked in on her fiancé in bed with another woman. Wounded and heart sore, she canceled her Christmas Eve fantasy wedding and fled to New York City, leaving everything and everyone, including her twin sister, Eleni, behind.

Three years later, still hurting but knowing it’s time to move on, she agrees to come home to help her sister, despite the fact she’ll be doing so at a time of year she now associates only with pain and betrayal. Discovering she’ll have to work closely with the man who shattered her dreams only makes things harder, especially when her body craves his touch.

Mark Anderson has no memory of his bachelor party other than waking up naked in the wrong woman’s bed. He clings to the hope someday he can convince Georgia to give him a second chance, but until she’s ready to listen, it won’t happen. Discovering she’s coming home to manage Holiday Magic for three months may be his lucky break.

Is there enough magic left in Christmas to help them overcome the past?

This week’s Tease:

Mark walked into the Holiday Magic showroom at eleven o’clock sharp. Georgia was at the desk with a customer, presumably Mrs. Ingram. It looked as if she wanted a seasonal display done, and Georgia was quickly drawing up ideas for her. Since she didn’t seem aware of his presence, he walked through to the back where he found Sam busily at work on inventory.

“Good morning,” he said. “I didn’t know you’d be here. Don’t you have classes?”

“Not this week. My professor has gone to some convention and won’t be back until Monday, and we have Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving. Meg’s gone to visit her folks, so I asked Georgia if I could help out with the year-end and pick up a little extra cash. She said I could help you count.”

He chuckled. Nicely played, babe. Game, set, and match. Instead of helping him as he’d hoped, maybe giving him the opening he needed to apologize—something she’d never let him do—she’d arranged for Sam to take her place.

Before he could comment on this dismal turn of events, the lady in question spoke over the intercom, indicating she’d seen him earlier, but had chosen to ignore him.

“Mark, can you come out front for a minute? I need your help.”

He returned to the showroom and walked over to the table where she was seated with the client. He nodded at the woman.

“How can I help?”

“Mrs. Ingram wants to have her chalet decorated for the Christmas season. It’s located in the Blue Mountain Ski Area, and she’d like to have it done next weekend.”

Mark looked at the woman and smiled. “I think we can manage that.” He turned back to Georgia. “The only other thing we have is the Gatsby wedding, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Have you got all the decorations picked out and priced?”

“Yes, but I don’t know how to calculate the time and distance costs. Can you finish it for her?” She smiled at Mrs. Ingram. “Holiday Magic belongs to Mark and my sister. I’m just minding the store while she’s out of town, so a lot of this is new to me.”

“Sure, I can do that,” he answered. “Do you want to stick around and watch, or would you prefer to help Sam with inventory?”

“I’ll help Sam, and you can explain the process to me later. Mrs. Ingram has a hair appointment at 12:30.” She turned to the client. “I’m sure we can get it done on Friday. I’m going to spend Thanksgiving with my sister, but I’ll be back on Monday to put everything together, and you can bring in the personal items you want me to use.” She said goodbye and Mark watched her leave the showroom.

Mrs. Ingram chuckled. “You’ve got it bad, haven’t you? She’s a lovely girl. I say go for it.”

“It’s a bit more complicated than that,” Mark answered, embarrassed to realize he wore his heart on his sleeve.

“It’s only complicated if you make it so. Now, what’s this special Christmas for my son going to cost me?”

Mark looked over the semi-completed invoice. Georgia had been thorough in her selections, quantities, and pricing. He quickly added the man-hours required, the driving distance and transportation costs, and the long term rental fee, and soon had Mrs. Ingram’s keys in his hand.

Everything she’d ordered, except the Christmas tree itself, since she insisted on a genuine pine, would come from the warehouse. The decorating team, which would consist of himself and Georgia since the others would be needed to decorate for the wedding, would have to leave before noon to be able to get up there, do the work, and get back that night. He wondered if Georgia had realized they’d have to do this alone because of the conflict. This was why Eleni avoided booking two events for the same day.

“I really appreciate you doing this for me on such short notice, and I’d like to thank you somehow. Will Georgia be going with you?”

He nodded. “Holiday Magic has a wedding in town that night, so she and I will handle this.”

Mrs. Ingram smiled mischievously. “Feel free to stay the weekend. The skiing is excellent, and if you’re not into that, I’m sure the two of you can find something to do. I’ll delay going up until Sunday. I’ll have the caretaker bring in wood for the fire and get groceries.”

“Thanks, for the offer, but we’ll probably decorate and dash.”

“Well, I’ll call him anyway. The weather changes suddenly up there, and you never know when Old Man Winter or Cupid might strike. It can be a very isolated and yet romantic place.”

Want more? https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Magic-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B00NZET216

Don’t forget to check out the other teasers this week.

This is a Blog Hop!

#MidWeekTease November 22, 2017


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Tuesday Tales From the Word: THANK

Badge for TT - very smallHappy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. We Canadians celebrate that holiday back in October, with the turkey and all the trimmings. That way, we can do it all over again at Christmas. It really is the most economical meal for large families.

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the weekly blog hop where great stories are born. Each week, using a word or picture prompt, the people who participate in this blog, share their works in progress with you.  Fittingly, our prompt this week  is the word THANK. I am sharing from my Women’s Fiction story, Same Time Next Year, my book within a book.

Enjoy.

Twyla sighed and watched the small rodent scurry back under the leaves. She would project her mother now. It happened every time self-doubts and a sense of failure plagued her.

Dear, dear, foolish, stubborn mother. How certain she’d been of her convictions, of her duties, of her responsibilities, unable to bend and accept that the world might not be as black and white as she thought it was. There’d been no gray for her, no shades of possibility. What was right, was; everything else was wrong. Perhaps if she’d been able to set some of those dogged beliefs aside, shown her children that their happiness was as important to her as anything else, Ethan wouldn’t have gone off to war, a gentle soul in a hell he could never have survived. Mother might’ve been happier, and Twyla wouldn’t have gone looking for love in the wrong place, so desperate to matter to someone.

As she hurried along the flagstone path, she avoided looking up at the sheet lightning in the distance. Climbing the green stairs to the main building’s red door, she exhaled heavily. This wasn’t the time to think about her mother—she was down enough as it was. She reached for the door handle only to have it swing open, startling her.

“I’m so sorry,” an older man said, leering at her.

He reminded her of a wolf licking his chops, and she felt the hairs on the back of her neck bristle, as his eyes zeroed in on her cleavage.

“They really should put windows in these old wooden doors.” He smiled, his eyes crinkling.

“But it would ruin the esthetics, Frank,” the woman following him said, before Twyla could think of a scathing remark about the way he ogled her.

“Yes, but I almost mowed down this young lady in my haste,” he answered, grinning broadly to show off his even white teeth.

Seriously? Young lady? What a crock.

Teeth that white at his age had to be dentures.

The lyrics to David Lee Roth “I’m Just a Gigolo” raced through her mind.

Twyla tamped down the urge to say something derisive and smiled. She should feel flattered that she still looked good enough to get such looks.

“I’m fine. No harm done.”

The woman behind him popped her head around his side, the way a child peeked out from around its mother.

“Twyla Lancaster. I heard you were here. I recognized your New Jersey accent,” she cried, her eyebrows raised, a pleased smile on her face.

Did her face display the “Who the hell are you?” she felt? Twyla smiled and reached for the hand held out to her.

“It’s Nessa Rosenburg, Prendergast, now. This is my husband, Frank.”

Thank God the woman had introduced herself. She would never have recognized her.

“Nessa, how nice to see you again. You look marvelous—so different.”

It wasn’t just a line. Nessa had lost at least fifty pounds since the last time she’d seen her. In addition, her nose had been straightened as well as her teeth. Her mouse-brown hair was a gorgeous silver color that went well with her pale complexion and unusual gray eyes. Gone was the ugly duckling Mavis had teased so miserably.

Nessa grinned. “I’m not surprised. I was involved in a pretty bad accident back in 73. I had to have a little work done. I’ll tell you all about it someday. I must say you look amazingly the same. Mavis failed to mention that when she told me she’d run into you. Care to join us for a drink? We’re going to sit out here and watch the lightning before we go home.”

Smiling to take the sting out of her words, Twyla shook her head. “Not tonight, but thank you. I’m just on my way into dinner. Do you still live in the area? Maybe we could meet for coffee or something. I’m here until the end of the month.”

Nessa’s face lit up as if Twyla’s offer really meant something to her.

Guilt filled her. While the last thing she wanted to do was trade war stories with someone else who’d been part of her debacle back then, she’d liked the girl who’d been the butt end of so many of Mavis’s cruel jests.

“Actually, we live in Smiths Falls. We come her once a week for dinner, usually Saturday nights when prime rib’s on the menu. Why don’t I give you a call tomorrow, and we can set something up?”

She pulled out her Smartphone, and trapped, Twyla rattled off her cellphone number.

“Great. I’ll call you tomorrow. If you’re not interested in the roast, they’ve got a lovely salmon tonight, too.”

“The beef sounds good to me. I’m a carnivore from way back. I’ll expect your call.” She held out her hand to Frank. “Nice meeting you.”

“The pleasure’s mine.”

He reached for her hand, held it, his gaze raking her up and down, making her feel as uncomfortable now as it had back in her teen years. Some things never changed. Some men still didn’t seem to realize that women were more than a set of tits and an ass.

Pulling her hand away, she swallowed her bitterness and smiled. Maybe like Lana had said, he was just wetting his appetite by appreciating what he couldn’t have, but making her feel like a slab of meat right now didn’t increase her self-worth.

“If you’ll excuse me, dinner’s waiting.” She nodded and smiled.

“Enjoy your meal,” Frank said, holding the door open for her.

God, what was wrong with her? Did she really need to question everyone’s motives? Frank was old, probably older than she was, the product of a generation of dinosaurs where looking a woman up and down and appreciating what he saw was not only normal but acceptable. No doubt he had no idea doing so made him a jerk. Had those looks always bothered her? Not when Michael had done the appreciating, but look where that had gotten her. She was just too sensitive tonight, and the longer she stayed here, the worse it would get. Coming to The Colonel’s Inn could well be the biggest mistake she’d ever made.

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

 

 

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Friday’s Featured Author: Me and Star Trek!

20171008_112753Welcome to Living the Dream. If it’s your first visit, I hope you’ll come back. If you’re a regular reader, nice to see you again. Since I didn’t have an author booked for this week, I decided to feature myself.  Selfish? Maybe, but if I don’t blow my own horn, who will?

This month is an important one for me. I’m halfway through Nano month. Not sure the book will actually finish he entire book in time, but I’ll make the 50 K word count without a problem. As of yesterday, I was over 41 K. Once done, Finding Eloisia will sit on my desktop until I get back from my vacation in January before I begin its edits.  Finding Eloisia is a sci-fi novel, but it’s also a parable about our current lives and situations as so many of them are. Gene Roddenberry started that with his vision that became Star Trek.

20171008_094314Back in October, our Thanksgiving weekend to be exact, John and I went to Ticonderoga to see the Star Trek original set exhibit. Do I hear a Geek cry? Watching the original series with William Shatner was a ritual in our home. My dad never missed an episode, and when I went to university, it was neat to discover that the guy who’d stolen my heart was a fan, too.  We plan to return next May and actually see Shatner there.

When I conceived of the idea of Eloisia, I thought I would write it like a serial with an episode, like a television show, coming out each month. I managed three, but since people didn’t really read the blubs, I got comments like –part of the book is missing. LOL Yes, it definitely was. I’d intended ten episodes, like a series year, but that proved to be way too ambitious a project, so, this year, I opted to start where episode four would’ve been and finish the story as Nano. The visit to the set of the Enterprise, was a great way to accomplish that. Have a look at the pictures and see for yourself!

What amazed me most was realizing how so much of it was smoke and mirrors. That corridor is only maybe thirty feet long and they just kept changing the plaques on the wall to make you think you were elsewhere.  Sickbay’s beds and scanners actually made noise, as did the transporter.  All the screens on the bridge lit up, too.  They had one set for quarters and just changed the items in it depending whose room it was supposed to be.

It was interesting to see what was used a fancy futuristic equipment. Look here. This is an oven rack, crinkled tin foil, and PVC piping.  Who knew? The other, the circuit board, contained plug adapters to go from AC to DC current.

Probably the most interesting thing to see was Engineering and the Warp core. 20171008_105742

Would you believe those are balls spray painted gold? And that chamber is only three feet deep. When you think about it, this was probably the best magic show on Earth.

So a lot of the ideas for Eloisia were born on Star Trek.  If you’re looking for something irreverent to watch that will bring back memories of the original Star Trek episodes, try The Orville. I love it. https://www.citytv.com/toronto/shows/the-orville/

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a837991/seth-macfarlane-the-orville-uk-where-to-watch/

20171008_112230

 

 

 

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Midweek Tease More from Wedding Bell Blues

New midweek tease imageGood morning and welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. Thanks to Angelica Dawson who makes this blog hop possible each week. There’s some incredible talent here, and I’m humbled and awed to be part of this.

My tease this week comes from Wedding Bell Blues, the novel currently in a Kindle Scout campaign. If you’ve already nominated it, thank you. If you haven’t, read this excerpt, go to the website and nominate the book. If it’s lucky enough to get a contract, you get a free e-copy of it from Amazon.

Here’s the blurb:

WBB final coverRomance, mermaids, cursed treasure and more.

MJ’s having a bad year. She’s canceled her wedding, but refuses to give up the honeymoon. When she arrives on Paradise Island, she discovers her ex has changed the reservation. Stranded, she has to rely on her first love, a man who sees her as his kid sister, for help. When Paul discovers the man behind her plight is the bully who made his own teen years hell, he gets MJ to agreed to pretend to be his fiancee. Add in mermaids, treasure hunters, and Quimbois magic, and anything can happen.

This week’s tease:

MJ licked her lips. “I’m taking a vacation before I move here.”

“You are?” Carla asked, her face suddenly animated. “I wondered when you said the end of July because I thought you were leaving next week. Well, I hope you’re going to one of those hedonistic places where gorgeous men wait on you hand and foot. There’s bound to be some hunk there who’ll make your body sing. I can’t see Mark ringing too many of your bells in the sack.”

MJ swallowed. “Don’t be crude. Actually, Mark has a lot to do with where I’m going.” She took a deep breath and stared at the road ahead. “I’m going on my honeymoon, and there’s absolutely nothing you can say that will change my mind.”

Carla opened and closed her mouth several times, but no sound came out, reminding MJ of a fish in an aquarium.

“Oh my God! Marilyn Jean Summers, you’re insane.”

The shrill pitch of Carla’s voice made her ears ache, and MJ winced. She’d known her best friend would make a big deal of it which is why she’d waited until now to bring it up, but someone had to know where she was going in case of an emergency.

“First this crazy move, then agreeing to stay in a tawdry motel, and now this?” Carla shook her head side to side hard enough to give herself whiplash. “You’ve gone over the edge. You can’t go on a honeymoon—you’re not getting married—and you certainly can’t go on a honeymoon by yourself,” she cried.

“Why not?” MJ asked, suddenly calmer than she’d been all day. “Lord knows it’s cost me more than anyone can imagine. Besides, a honeymoon is just a criminally expensive vacation, and I paid for the damn thing; ergo, I’m going. I’ve had enough disappointment to last me a lifetime. I’m not giving up anything else.” She signaled and turned into the hotel parking lot.

“You do realize you’ll be on a plane alone,” Carla said, undoing her seatbelt as MJ parked the vehicle.

“I’ve been on planes by myself and survived,” MJ mumbled. Why did Carla always have to hit on the sore spots?

“Don’t you realize how dangerous it is for a woman to travel alone, especially to some unknown island in the middle of nowhere?”

“It’s in the Caribbean, near Martinique, subject to all French laws and customs.” She popped the trunk.

“What if you break a law?” Carla asked. “You could end up on Devil’s Island.”

MJ laughed and got out of the vehicle.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said, huffing out a breath. “That penal colony closed almost sixty years ago.”

Carla hurried out of the car.

“Fine, but with your complexion, you’ll fry or someone will mistake you for a zombie. They practice voodoo down there. You could wake up with a stake in your heart.”

“You’re full of good news, aren’t you? Stakes in the heart are for vampires, and if I had one, I doubt I would wake up. Be reasonable. Everything will be fine.”

“So you think, but they speak French there, and you don’t.” Carla glared at her and crossed her arms as if that was the end of it.

Reaching into the trunk, MJ pulled out her small bag and Carla’s larger one before slamming the lid closed.

“Since the resort caters to international tourists, I’ll bet someone there speaks English. If I have to, I’ll point at whatever I want or mime it. According to the brochure, printed in English, all your dreams come true on Paradise Island.”

“You mean your nightmares. I don’t know why anyone would want to go to a jungle island in the first place, let alone someone who’s afraid of water and has asthma.”

“It’s tropical rainforest, not jungle, and my asthma rarely bothers me when I’m near the ocean.” MJ picked up both bags and led the way into the reception area. “And it’s not that I’m afraid of the water exactly. I just don’t like it when I can’t touch the bottom and stand up.”

“Hah! I’ve seen the look on your face when you get splashed. It’s the same as the one on the face of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.”

“You’re exaggerating again. I’m not likely to melt if I get wet.”

“Fine, but don’t you listen to the news? They’ve got snakes, lizards, and all kinds of insects there. They’ve even got killer bees in Trinidad and Tobago.”

“Good thing I’m not going to Trinidad then,” MJ said, rolling her eyes, letting Carla’s wild imagination have its say. “Let’s get checked in and get something to eat. There’s a bowl of chocolate ice cream out there screaming my name. As you always say, chocolate fixes everything.”

Not that anything could this time.

Please take the time to nominate Wedding Bell Blues

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3QCVEIVE1QUTB

Please take the time to check out the others teasers. 

#MidWeekTease November 15, 2017

 We’re a bigger group this week!

Posted in Uncategorized

Tuesday Tales: Picture Prompt Time

Hello again, and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. Each week, the authors in this group use a word or picture prompt to add to their on-going story. This week, our word prompt comes from one of five images, and with that is the 300 word limit. It’s short and sweet, and a lot harder to do that you might think! I’m continuing with Same Time Next Year, and here is the picture I chose.

chipmunk

Here’s this week’s offering:

At this time of year, the sun didn’t set until after nine, but tonight, because of the heavy cloud cover, it was darker than usual. The ear-piercing chirp of a cicada followed by several pings from the bug zapper, death cries, broke the silence. Survival of the fittest.

It was the perfect weather for a thunderstorm. The air was perfumed with the sweet, spicy tang of ozone. Ethan had loved storms, the wilder the better, while she’d hidden under the covers until the clamor died down, coming up for air when she had to, sweat soaked and shivering.

Thank goodness for air conditioning. With it running full tilt, she hadn’t realized how warm and muggy it was. Back in the day, cabins relied on noisy, metal fans and open windows to cool them. No one really complained because it was what everyone was used to.

A young couple so wrapped up in one another that she doubted they even saw her, crossed her path, walking arm and arm, like some four-legged, two-headed creature, ignoring the perspiration beading on their brows and trickling down their backs.

As she sauntered along the fieldstone pathway, solar lights popped on here and there. Like a thousand fireflies in flight, twinkle lights shone from the lower branches of the trees. In the past, the only light at night had come from lampposts scattered around the grounds, leaving lots of dark corners for stolen kisses.

Within ten yards of the main building, a chipmunk ran across her path, stopping in front of her to rearrange the shelled peanuts in his mouth, his cheeks puffed out with their treasure.

“Don’t feed the vermin, Twyla,” her mother’s judgmental voice echoed inside her head. “Those things are filthy, disease carrying rodents—nothing but rats wearing uppity fur coats.”

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