Tuesday Tales: From the Word CARTON

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Summer’s here!  Welcome sun and heat. Great day today. Eldest grandson graduated from eighth grade, his youngest sister, sixth grade. Where have the years gone?

As far as my writing goes, we’re still in winter and in France as story lines converge. Today’s word is CARTON, and since to most of us that describes a cardboard box. Since that material didn’t come into use until the nineteenth century, and we’re in the seventeenth, I needed a little poetic license. Mea culpa, but I’m also 30 words over the limit. Enjoy.

Murielle stepped outside, her mind awash with memories of the past and her girls. Lyon was very different from Caen, where the scent of the ocean, never very far away, permeated the air. The smaller dowager house, the edifice her uncle had chosen as his home now that he was on his own, was twenty minutes away, as the crow flies. Moving at a steady pace, she had plenty of time to enjoy her walk in the cool, crisp, clean air before assuming her hostessing duties tonight.

The full moon shone down on the rough stone path, turning it into an enchanted river of silver running between the trees. The pear orchard marked the western limits of the original estate. Many years ago, when her grandfather had wed, her grandmother’s dowry had included the lands below the small cliff, those now covered in vines, where his house was located. Her uncle’s estates produced some of the finest wines in the region.

She stopped and glanced over her shoulder. From this small rise, she could see the main house, the lights ablaze in the windows. As she neared the crest of the slight hill, the ruins of an ancient pagan temple rose out of the darkness, but here, the silvering effect was strangely chilling.

As a child, on those rare family occasions when everyone had gathered to celebrate a birth or a marriage, mourn a death, or enjoy a holiday together, despite warnings not to, she’d played among the stones, remnants of a civilization long gone—Gauls? Romans? Or another barbarian invader who’d sought to claim the land as his own? But she’d never ventured even this close to it alone at night. According to her grandmother’s tales, in the darkness, the spirit of those who’d lived and suffered at the hands of their oppressors, walked the ruins again, bemoaning their fate.

Tonight, she sensed her grandmother’s words rang true. Eyes she couldn’t see watched her, watched the house. The sensation made her flesh crawl. Stepping along at a brisker pace, a whiff of fetid fish filled her nostrils.

“Foolish old woman,” she grumbled. “Your mind’s still at Caen. Not rotted fish, but a carton of decayed fruit someone forgot in the rush of the harvest.” She shook her head at her own foolishness. “Mon Dieu!” The words came out on a rush as a shadow moved. “Who’s there? Show yourself.”

An owl hooted, it’s great wings flapping overhead. Crossing herself, Murielle hurried her footsteps, praying she wouldn’t slip and fall before being well and truly away from this accursed place.

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

Fun Vacation Read Released in Time for Summer: Just for the Weekend

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They’ve got snow in BC and Alberta and we have rainbows around the sun. Amazing I could get this good a picture with my Samsung 7 phone. The temperature was in the low eighties, with a slight breeze. Today, we have rain again, but that is so much better than snow!

Are you getting ready for the onset of summer? Tomorrow’s the big day, and we are expecting temperatures around 66 degrees. How’s that for a disappointment?

If that lets you down, my new release, Just for the Weekend won’t. Previously released with Crimson, this is a summer read that will keep you entertained.

Have you ever imagined doing something just a little risque?  C. C. James, kindergarten teacher, working with an ultra conservative, right wing  school board never steps outside the box, but when her best friend, Mitch, offers her a free long weekend in Vegas, how can she say no? After all, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right?

Attending a sci-fi convention can’t be that bad, but when Cleo’s costume turns out to be green paint and wisps of fabric, things heat up. Why not grab a copy and see what happens for yourself? This book does contain adult situations.

Melinda De Ross has outdone herself with this funky new cover! Love the green tinge to Cleo’s skin.

The blurb:

Just for the weekendSchool’s out and it’s time to play with the grown-ups.

Kindergarten teacher Cleo James is in a rut and needs a change. For the last three years, she’s been at her widowed dad’s beck and call, but enough is enough. When her best friend suggests a weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention, she sets aside some of her inhibitions, and agrees to visit Sin City. After all, it’s just for the weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. He’s looking for someone who’ll fall for him, not his wallet. The opportunity to disguise himself and mingle might just be the distraction he needs before embarking on his next big job. And, what harm can come from playing make-believe for a few days?
When he meets a shy, green-skinned slave girl, he’s entranced, and it gets even better when he realizes she’s mistaken him for a Chippendale. Between the sexual attraction and too much alcohol, he wakes up two days later married to his green-skinned beauty.
Sam’s head over heels in love with his bride, but she’s vanished. Finding her will be a lot harder than he thinks, especially when she’s played the name game, too.

Just for the Weekend is available from Amazon and is free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Tuesday Tales: From a Picture.

New TT imageGood morning and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. It’s picture prompt week, and what a picture I chose. It isn’t always easy to work a prompt into a story, and this week, given where i am in the story, it was harder than ever. Forgive me for doing it this way. As the story unfolds, you’ll see why I did. I continue with Murielle and The Price of Courage.


Glancing at the ornate clock, Murielle realized it was already five. The meal was scheduled for seven, and her uncle would expect her to be in the salon by six to greet his guest.

Hurrying with her toilet, she donned her russet gown, pulled her hair into a tight bun at the nape of her neck, and covered her head with the matching cap. She sat on the side of the bed and pulled on her heavy boots. She would exchange them for her slippers once she was there. Only a fool would travel the rough path between the trees, the one that went by the old pagan ruins on the edge of the cliff,  in silk-soled shoes, especially at this time of year. Grabbing her fur-lined cape and gloves, she extinguished the candles in her room. Small satchel in hand, reminded that it had been all Isabelle had taken with her on her flight into the unknown, she closed the door behind her.

As she passed the dining room, she opted not to interrupt the family’s lively conversation. The practice of children dining with their parents wasn’t a common one in the homes of nobility, not even minor ones like her uncle, but for the middle class, like her nephew, a well-respected doctor in the area, it was what he’d grown up with, what he preferred.

Listening to Martin’s excited chatter as he explained how he’d helped the ostler this morning with the new colt, suggested his idea might be the right one. It gave parents a chance to get to know their children. The countess had never dined with Isabelle or Sophie, having died before the girls were old enough to leave the nursery. The count had waited until after Sophie’s fourteenth birthday to do so. Sadly, they would never know what they’d missed.

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

New Release! Forever and Always: From Short Story to Novel!

From despair to triumph. A love story that will bring tears to your eyes.

Living the Dream

Back yard 2019 gGood morning! It’s finally warm enough that we can predict summer is on its way!

This is a snapshot of one of my my flowerbeds. By the end of the month, the vine will have filled in and it will be a solid wall of green.

And while I was waiting for warm spring early summer weather, I was hard at work revising a former short story into a novel which has just been released.

After putting out as series as emotionally draining as The Harvester Fileswere, especially as they were preceded by Murder & Mistletoe, and the Vengeance Is mine Series, I wanted to do something a bit different before I tackle more books for both of those series.

A few years ago, I wrote a short story, There’s Always Tomorrow and a novella, Forever and Always which were published by Solstice Publishing. When my contract…

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500th Anniversary Multi-Author Post, Writing in the Modern Age.

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It’s been a roller coaster that’s for sure, but multi genre author, Marie Lavender makes it work. Today, she’s gathered authors of this era and asked them whether or not they read while writing? Check the blog out this afternoon for your answers.


In the meantime, why not check out this post where famous authors give writing advice?





Meet New Author Krista Michaels

backyard 2019 bGood morning! I always enjoy helping new authors launch their writing careers, and today is no exception. Say hello to the lovely and mysterious Krista Michaels.

Little girls all grow up on fairy tales, and as adult women, we’re still drawn to those stories of handsome princes and princesses, but fairy land is full of other magical creatures. The popularity of the television series, Once Upon a Time, proves we’re never too old for a little magic.

With that in mind, Krista’s come up with a new spin on an old favorite with her Lucky series, quick read paranormal novels best described as naughty fairy tales.

Leprechaun_ill_artlibre_jnlDo you recognize this guy? He gets a lot of press every year around St. Patrick’s Day. He’s a leprechaun, usually portrayed as a mischievous imp. Legend says, he hides a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but if you catch him, like a genie, he needs to grant you three wishes. Usually, the scamp find a way out of it, but if there’s a witch involved, all bets are off.

In Getting Lucky, Book One of the Lucky Series, Krista shakes things up just a bit.

Here’s the premise.

Getting LuckyIf Aralyn Croft doesn’t get the warlock the gold he requested, her own magic is as good as dead. Posing as a maid to sneak onto Gallagher Island, she plans to steal what she needs from the revolting leprechaun who lives there. What she isn’t prepared for is the sexy man she finds instead. When faced with the choice between saving her powers or betraying Drake, she is torn.

Drake Gallagher trusts no one. Everyone is always after his gold. He has had no choice but to shut himself away in his mansion on his own secluded island. He has never had reason to mingle with his vetted staff until, Aralyn, a new maid, wanders into his bedroom wearing nothing but a skimpy gown. His body reacts to this mortal in a way he never imagined it could. Will Aralyn and Drake get lucky? Or will they decide love is too big a price to pay?

Believe me when I say, the sparks fly between these two, and the combination is explosive, with just the right amount of erotic detail to quicken your pulse and raise your temperature.


Here’s a quick peek.

“A leprechaun? Are you kidding? They are revolting—almost as revolting as you.”

Aralyn Croft started to raise her hand but lowered it to her side. She would teach this warlock a lesson if only she had her powers. She stiffened her spine in defiance. Serevin lifted the black hood away from his shrouded head just so she could see the satisfied smile snake across his face.

“If you ever want to use magic again, you’ll get me what I require.” His amber eyes bore into her almost burning her skin.

“Without magic how am I going to trick a leprechaun into giving me his gold?” she asked through gritted teeth.

She’d realized what she was getting into when she’d come to the warlock for help, but that didn’t mean she had to like it. His eyes traveled over her body almost violating her. Unwelcome shivers crept down Aralyn’s back.

“I’m sure you’ll come up with something.” He held up his left hand. “Leprechaun gold,” he held up his right hand, “magic restored.” He clasped his hands together with a loud smack. “That is my price.”

Aralyn tossed her ebony hair over her shoulder and sucked in a deep breath. Just getting onto Gallagher Island, where the leprechaun lived, would be a challenge in itself. With an enchanted rainbow situated above the island, the location wasn’t the problem. It was how she would infiltrate such a protected place. The entire island would be charmed. Without an invitation or magic she had her work cut out for her.

“Fine,” Arayln growled. “I’ll get you Drake Gallagher’s gold. Just remember you owe me my magic.”


Luucky in Love.Think things will work out for our mismatched couple? Think again. Families can be difficult and when Cousin Darius discovers what’s been happening on Gallagher Island, he’s not about to sit still and neither is Harlow, Aralyn’s sister.

You’ll find magic and mayhem, and scorching scenes. Watch for Lucky in Love, Book Two of the Lucky Series coming soon.


Krista Michaels is a published author who writes romance with a twist of naughty. Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristamichaels_


Tuesday Tales: From the Word FLOWER

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Ten days away from the official start of summer, and we’ve certainly felt the heat, but sadly it won’t last. More rain in the forecast, but on the plus side, everything is incredibly beautiful and green.

We continue with The Price of Courage, The Canadiana Series, Book Two, and Murielle.

Enjoy as the plot lines start to converge.

“Silly girl. The chevalier has had half of France looking for her. Apparently, after begging both his pardon and the king’s, she’s prepared to obey his majesty’s will and marry the new Count of Caen and assume her position as countess. The wedding will take place in Paris, at Notre Dame, the Sunday following Epiphany.”

Lips pursed, prepared to refute Gerard’s words, Murielle bit her tongue. It couldn’t be true. Whoever this poor girl was, she wasn’t her Isabelle. If her charge had failed to escape on the ship as planned, she would’ve gotten word to her. The girl might be foolhardy, but she was brave and determined to learn the truth. Moreover, she would die before she would bend to the likes of d’Angrignon. Instead of arguing the matter, Murielle forced herself to smile.

“Isabelle always had a mind of her own, refusing to do things the easy way. She’s like a wildflower forcing her way up between the stones rather than in fertile soil. I wish them both much happiness. Now, I’d better hurry and get ready before I’m late. You know how highly Uncle Nicholas prizes punctuality.”

Climbing the steps one at a time, Murielle packed her small valise, her conscience screaming at her, warning her that she could be in danger. If d’Angrignon was passing off a stranger, or possibly one of the Navarre cousins with similar coloring, as Isabelle de Caen, she could unravel his plans with just a few words.

The man was ambitious, and such men had enemies. He knew where she was. She’d made no secret of her plan to return to her home. Would he come looking for her to ensure her silence? And if he did, what danger would the family face? The man was without honor. He would think nothing of destroying anyone who stood in the way of his desires. The sooner she left France, the better.

Setting her concerns aside for the moment, she checked the Swiss clock in her room, the gift Isabelle had given her on her fortieth birthday. While she’d gotten old, so much of life had passed her by. She’d lived only for her girls. Might she have fallen in love and married again if she’d turned down Fiona’s offer the day of Gaël’s funeral? Nothing good would come of playing “if only.” How many times had she told Isabelle the same thing?

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