Tuesday Tales: From the Word FIRED

New TT image

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog where a small group of authors share their work in progress with you. Each week, we use a word or picture prompt to inspire us. This week, the word prompt is FIRED. Here is my 400 word post.

I was going to return to my historical romance, but I know some of you have fallen in love with His Christmas Family, and since it isn’t quite finished, I thought I would give you a bit more.. Please note, I have changed the name of the heroine from Laurie to Jennifer–Jenn–in honour of a close friend who fell and broke her left wrist this week. No, she didn’t slip on wet ceramic. Ice got her, and since there seems to be so much of it this winter, well, I figured she deserved something to laugh about. So, Jennifer, this one’s for you!

Enjoy!

His Christmas FamilyStepping out of the shower, Jenn yanked the plastic wrapping off her cast. She couldn’t wait to get the darn thing off. Hopefully, the doctor would remove it in early January, and she could have her life back.

She rubbed the towel over her head. Why had she waited so long to cut her hair? The short style framed her face and made her look five years younger. Taking care of it was a breeze. A little mousse, drying, fluffing, and she was good to go. Adding her usual tinted moisturizer, she applied lip gloss and left the bathroom to get dressed.

They were leaving for Moon Valley after breakfast. Alfred had taken them there yesterday to decorate the place for the company Christmas party, and the children had helped trim yet another tree. Since this was home for Greta and Hans, the twins had taken the children on a full tour, showing off not only the resort and their ponies, but their rooms and toys.

Against her better judgment, at Lee’s request—more like a begging Cocker Spaniel with six pups beside him adding to his pleas—she’d allowed Heinz and Kate to outfit her four for the slopes. Since Lee insisted on only the best, she was grateful he refused to let her see the price tag, his only comment that she would get her gear after the cast was off and not before. That suited Jenn fine. She hadn’t been on skis in more than twenty years and would probably fall flat on her face the first time she went out on the slopes. The kids had been all fired up for their first lesson, and after seeing those happy faces, she realized that there was no way she could deny them this activity. Money wasn’t going to be quite as tight in the future, so maybe she could handle this.

She’d become adept at dressing herself one-handed although she’d figure out an effective way to use the fingers of her left hand to make some things easier—that didn’t include pulling on long johns. After contortions worthy of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, she pulled on her jeans and  added the new wide sleeved sweater she’d purchased on Tuesday. Adding the gold hoop earrings Cassie had given her for her birthday, Jenn deemed herself ready to face the curious people and their questions.

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

Advertisements

Tuesday Tales From the Word GREASY.

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. I hope 2019 is treating you well. I won’t be around again until February 12th when I’ll return to The Price of Courage.

For today, I post one last time fro His Christmas Family. This week’s word is GREASY.

Enjoy!

Diana shrugged. “I was going to try and find Dr. Everson. Mom says she takes in strays and I figured I was a stray. She went looking for Muffin’s brothers and sisters so they wouldn’t be cold, so I thought she would take me, too.”

Lee swallowed. It was a good fifty miles to Magda’s from here, and in this weather, the child wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“You are most definitely not a stray, Diana, and there’s nothing you could do that would make your mother not want you. That goes for me, too. Now, let’s get you back to her. I think she’s worried enough for one night.

Shifting into drive, Lee negotiated the fie-minute drive to the house in ten minutes, thanks to the road conditions. While the drive wasn’t an easy one, he was pleased to see he hadn’t lost his skills. He pulled up in front of the front door. He’d just turned off the truck when the door opened, and coatless, Laurie burst outside.

“Alfred, did you find her? Please tell me you found her.”

“It’s me, Laurie, and yes, I found her. She needs a bath and bed, but she’s safe.”

He opened the door and Diana climbed out. Laurie ran to her, heedless of the facet she had no coat or boots and the blizzard raged around her.

“I was so worried,” she said, enveloping her daughter in her arms.

Tears welled in Diana’s eyes again. “I’m sorry, Mommy.”

“Let’s get you both inside,” lee said, emotions filling his throat. “In case you haven’t noticed we’re having a blizzard. Are Sean and Kirstine back yet?”

“No, but Sean called and they should be here soon,” she answered, awkwardly picking up her daughter with her right arm.

Lee nodded and left her to it, knowing she needed to feel the child against her—hadn’t he done the same thing?

He followed them up the stairs closing the door behind them.

“I think you and your clothes need a bath,” she said good-naturedly. Your hair is all greasy, and I don’t think it’s because you didn’t wash it today.”

Diana laughed. “It’s ‘cause I was cuddling with Amber. She’s having her baby, Mommy, and Uncle Lee will take me to see it in the morning.”

Laurie paled, no doubt realizing that the child hadn’t just been in the stable, she’d been in the stall.

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

Tuesday Tales: From the Word Bracelet.

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales, the weekly blog post where I share scenes from my current work in progress with you, the reader, based on a word or picture prompt. This week’s word is BRACELET, and I’m continuing with His Christmas Family.

Cover by Melinda De Ross

Enjoy.

Lee stared at the tableau before him—the woman he’d fallen in love with, holding his niece whose words had probably shattered her soul.

Torn, he sat on the opposite side and reached for Greta when what he wanted was to pull Laurie into his arms.

Greta turned to him, lifting her arms to put them around his neck, the thread bracelet she and Diana had made earlier in the evening, still on her wrist.

“Now, sweetie, you have to stop crying and tell me what happened.” He ran his hand down her quivering back.

Still shaking with tears, she hiccupped twice and tried to pull herself together.

“I wanted to slide down the banister like I did at home, only this one is bigger and higher. I asked Diana to do it with me, but she was ascared, so we got pillows and piled them up. Zack seen us and he wanted a ride, too.”

Lee winced at the bad grammar, but knew this wasn’t the time to correct it.

“What happened next?”

“Diana thought we needed another cushion because he was littler than us, but he bounced really high and smashed your pot.” She started crying again.

“Shh, sweetheart. I’m not mad about the pot. Now, when did Diana run away and why?”

She said her daddy was right and she’d done a bad thing because she was a bad kid. Nobody would want a bad kid, not even you.”

Lee swallowed. What he wouldn’t give for the opportunity to wrap his hands around Frank Wilson’s throat.

“Did she say where she was going?”

Every minute the child wandered alone in the dark and cold increased the danger.

“No.” She sniffled, but then sat up. “She did say she was going to say goodbye to Amber.”

“Who’s Amber?” Laurie asked, sounding both hopeful and devastated.

“She’s a horse, Sonia’s pregnant mare.”

“Then Diana went to the stable? Would she be able to find her way in the dark?”

He nodded. “Yeah, the path’s lit at night.” He turned to Greta. “Thank you for telling the truth and helping us. Now, I want you to be a good girl and go to sleep. I’ll go and get Diana, and she’ll be right there in her bed when you wake up tomorrow.”

“You promise?” her eyes begged. “”Cross my heart,” he vowed, praying fate wouldn’t prove him a liar.

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

Tuesday Tales: Happy New Year

New TT imageHappy New Year! Welcome to the first Tuesday Tale of 2019. Hard to believe another year has come and gone so quickly. For many, 2018 was a hard one, filled with the aftermath of one disaster after another. May 2019 be kinder, not only to the people of Earth, but to the planet itself.

I’m posting a bit early this week since I will be going out shortly. As is fitting, this week’s word is YEAR. I’m going to finish off the next three posts with more from His Christmas Family, before it goes into secrecy until I know whether or not it’s found a home.  Here is today’s post.

When Laurie opened the door to the girls’ room, the sound of muffled tears greeted her. It had been a tough year for all of them until Lee had come into their lives. The girls hadn’t meant any harm. They’d only been after a little fun, and her little empath had to be devastated by this. She and Zack were especially close.

“It’s okay, Diana,” she said softly, approaching the bed with only the light from the open door to guide her. “Mommy isn’t angry. Zack is fine, and I’m sure you won’t do that again.”

Instead of calming, the tears grew louder, but once they did, she recognized that the one weeping wasn’t Diana.

“Greta, there, there, sweetie,” she said, sitting on the first bed intent on soothing the child. “Uncle Lee isn’t mad at you. He claims he didn’t even like that silly old pot,” although she seriously doubted that. Who could possibly hate an original Ming vase?

She reached for the girl and pulled her into her arms as the dam broke, moving from sobs to wails. The child was probably missing her mother, especially now that she was upset.

“I know you miss your mom, but she’ll be back on Sunday. Now, settle down, before you make yourself sick.”

The child nodded, but the tears didn’t seem to ease. With the noise she was making, poor thing, it was amazing that Diana wasn’t awake and crying, too. That was what usually happened.

Cold filled her at the thought.

Still holding Greta in her arms, she turned toward the other bed and reached out a hand. Instead of touching a shoulder shrouded in blankets and flannel, she felt the soft body of one of Diana’s teddy bears.

“Diana?” she squeaked as fear gripped her.

“She runned away,” Greta wailed louder than before and pushed out of her arms.

Laurie blinked twice before the air whooshed out of her as if she’d been gut-punched.

“Wh … what did you say?” she asked, her voice coming from what seemed to be a million miles away.

“Diana runned away,” the child repeated, her voice clogged with tears. It was my fault.” She hiccuped. “I wanted to slide down the banister, and…” Her tears started in earnest again.

Laurie’s heart pounded and her breath came in gasps as the words sunk in. A keening cry started deep inside her and filled the room.

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

Tuesday Tales: Merry Christmas and a tease from the word CHRISTMAS

Grandkids

Four of my grandchildren, the inspiration for Laurie’s children in His Christmas Family,  join me this morning in wishing you all the merriest of Christmases. From our home to yours, may this day with family be one of the best ever.

New TT imageWelcome to Tuesday Tales on this special Tuesday. Each week, a group of authors share a scene from their work in progress with you, based on a picture or word prompt. This week, our prompt is the word Christmas. I’ve learned a lot from the wonderful writers in this group and hope you’ve enjoyed their posts as much as I have. I’ll presenting you with another scene from His Christmas Family which I hope will be available next year.

His Christmas FamilyLee stepped out of the stable.

“Good morning! How’s everyone today? Ready to go sledding?”

“Yes!” the children cried loudly, the youngest two bouncing up and down and dancing around.

“I love sledding almost as much as skiing, but what’s the other surprise?” Greta asked, getting right to the point.

“I thought you might like to help me pick out our Christmas tree.”

“A real tree?” Diana asked, her eyes wide. The child had been wanting a real tree to decorate for years. The artificial one they had was on its last leg and would have to be replaced.

“Yes, sweetie,” Lee said. “A real tree—two actually. We’ll cut them down before we go sledding, and Alfred, and Sean will have them all set up and ready for us to decorate when we get back, although we’ll have to fit lunch in between. Your mother brought over her decorations and I have some that used to belong to my parents. Mrs. Forbes said something about popcorn chains and cookie ornaments, too. While we’re in the bush, we can collect pine cones. She has a book full of different ways to make ornaments out of them.”

“Not Mrs. Forbes,” Zack piped up. “She’s Aunt Kirstine now.”

Lee laughed. “Yes, she is. And Aunt Kirstine has glitter and spray paint for you to use. She and Sean have made a space for you at the back of the garage. If these ornaments are as lovely as those you made yesterday, then we will definitely have the most beautiful trees in town.”

Her children stood in a row mouths agape. Frank had never been a fan of Christmas since his accident had happened only days after it. He’d allowed them to have a tree, but it had been sparsely decorated with only a few store bought ornaments. He refused to let it stay up for more than a couple of days. He hadn’t had a tree nor presents at his place the only year the children had visited him at Christmas.

“Daddy never let us have a real tree and he said we couldn’t decorate the one we did have,” Fiona added. “According to him, a real tree was a messy, waste of money and homemade ornaments were garbage.”

Shock flashed across his face, quickly hidden.

“Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I prefer handmade ornaments.”

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

Tuesday Tales: From a Picture

New TT imageSeason’s Greetings to one and all.

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales.  With less than a week to go until Santa Claus comes, I’m almost ready. My wonderful daughter is hosting this year, so it will be a more relaxing Christmas day for me.

Many thanks to Jean Joachim for hosting this weekly blog throughout the year and to all of the participating authors who make me feel worthy of participating. May each of you find your Christmas miracle this year.

Since this is picture week, with a 300 word maximum, I’m going to bring you another tidbit from His Christmas Family.

Here is the picture. Tuesday Tales picture

And your scene.

Keitha laughed. “The next thing you’ll tell me is that you’ll be decorating the place for Christmas this year.”

He laughed. “I already have. In fact, I’ll be hosting the staff Christmas party on the 21st. It’ll be an all day affair with activities for the kids and a visit from St. Nick. Why don’t you drop over.”

Keitha shook her head. “Maybe I will. I’ve always believed in Christmas miracles. This sounds like one. Merry Christmas, Lee.”

“Merry Christmas, Keitha.”

“Uncle Lee,” Greta shouted running over with Diana and Fiona on her heels. “Look at what we made.”

Each girl held a small, round platter. The outside row was covered in artificial pine, with six shiny round  red, green, or blue  ornaments placed equidistant in the branches. In the center sat a miniature red, green, or blue house decorated with snowflake stencils. A string of miniature  lights completed the scene.

“These are gorgeous, ladies,” he said. “We’ll have to find a place of honor for them.”

“Mine will be going to Mom when she comes home, and Diana’s going to give hers to her mother,” Greta said. “She likes green.”

“That’s a wonderful idea. What will you do with yours, Fiona?”

The little girls pink cheeks reddened. “It’s for you so you’ll ‘member us,” she whispered. “The blue house matches your eyes.” She giggled.

Lee grinned, unexpected emotion clogging his throat. “I can see that. Thank you,” he answered. “I will cherish it forever.” He glanced around and saw Laurie, Zack, and Ben headed his way. “Here comes your mother. I’ll go put these in the car.”

He grinned and waved to Laurie before filling his hands with decorated platters. This was shaping up to be one of the best days ever.

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

Tuesday Tales: More From His Christmas Family and the Word BLADE

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. Have you ever noticed that things that can go wrong usually do at the least opportune moment? A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those household accidents that you never expect. I rolled out of bed and jammed the ring finger on my left hand in an effort to stop my plummet to the floor. Now, in a splint for the next six weeks, everything takes longer to complete, so, I am sad to say, His Christmas Family will not be finished before Christmas. I will complete the story and publish it next year, so watch for it. I the meantime, here is one more clip from the story with the word BLADE

His Christmas FamilyJaw clenched, his fisted hands in his pockets, Lee stood staring out the window at the unexpected winter wonderland. Thank goodness he’d flown home a day early. The snowstorm had started during the night. Since then, thanks to a mixture of snow and ice, the streets and sidewalks of Payton Falls had turned into skating rinks.

If this kept up much longer, he might close down at noon and give everyone plenty of time to get home before dark. Sean would appreciate it as well. Just because he’d stopped driving ten years ago didn’t mean he couldn’t show concern for those who did.

Climate change at its finest. Last week, torrential rains, this week, a freaking snowstorm. Below him, cars continued to swerve left and right in the heavy slush, the windshield wiper blades and snowplows unable to keep up with Mother Nature.

Why was it that, no matter where you lived, come the year’s first snowfall, everyone suddenly forgot how to drive?

He watched as an older model gray minivan turned the corner too quickly and skid, narrowly avoiding the mailbox, before pulling into the employee parking lot. How did that vehicle manage to pass a road worthy test? Given the amount of rust on it, the thing could fall apart at any minute.

A dark-haired woman in a familiar blue coat, lugging a purse the size of a gym bag, got out of the vehicle and slipped and slid her way toward the main door. He shook his head. Laurie had occupied far more of his thoughts last weekend than she should have, especially since he couldn’t stop himself from turning on the phone and looking at her photographs. Try as he might, he just couldn’t place her. One thing was certain, she was terrified of him, and for some reason, that bothered him.

Watching her now as she tried to make her way to the building, he shook his head. Why did women insist on such ridiculous footwear? Heeled boots might look good, but they were ankle breakers on days like this. Hadn’t she learned anything from last week’s incident? He shook his head and turned away from the early winter storm. The last thing he needed was for her to look up and see him spying on her.

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