Midweek Tease: All For Love

New midweek tease imageWelcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. Thanks to all of you for all the kind words and comments on No Good Deed. They were appreciated. Today, I bring you a snippet from one of my back-listed novels, All For Love. This is also a romance suspense novel. Enjoy.

Blurb:

ALL-FOR-LOVEKINDLE-NOOK (1)To overcome your fear, you must first face it.

Someone is out to destroy Greg Robertson and everyone he has ever loved. After an accident leaves his teenage daughter depressed and distraught, Greg will do anything to make her happy again, including hiring a bodyguard to protect her.

Olivia Cummings lost both her fiance and her cousin in a deadly avalanche. She has vowed never to set foot on a ski hill again. But now, working as a bodyguard with Marshall Security, Olivia must face her greatest fears to save Greg and his daughter.

Something about Olivia’s determination strikes a chord in Greg, but will she be the salvation he needs, or will he be her destruction?

Your Tease:

Surprised, Greg rose and began to pace. He’d expected Tim to do the talking. He hadn’t realized he’d have to bare his soul this way. He might be a writer, but there was a huge difference between putting words on paper and uttering them. He swallowed and licked his lips. Where to begin…

“It’s really quite simple. Someone is trying to kill me.”

“Kill you?” Vicki and Veronica jumped up and spoke as one.

“Why would anyone want you dead?” Vicki cried.

“I don’t know, but it’s not just me. It’s all those who are important to me—my daughter and her mother.”

“You have a daughter? Why didn’t I know that?” Veronica stared pointedly at Vicki.

“I thought you said he was single,” Veronica hissed.

Greg laughed self-consciously. “I am single. I’ve never married. Sixteen years ago, as a junior screenwriter, I had a fling with Nadia Eastman, but it didn’t last long, and we went our separate ways—something I’ll regret to the end of my days. I didn’t know Sheena was mine until the child was four. Nadia wanted money, and I wanted to see my daughter. We compromised. I got the short end of the stick, but little is better than none.”

“What do you mean?” Veronica asked, still glaring at her twin.

“Until now, I’ve only spent two weeks a year with Sheena, but it wasn’t by choice.”

“Well, that doesn’t sound fair to me,” Veronica stated loudly, her indignation obvious.

Greg swallowed. Talking about the accident was harder than he’d expected. “Six months ago, Nadia and Sheena were on their way to a reception when a van ran a red light and struck the Mercedes. The first responders were able to get Sheena out, but Nadia and the chauffeur were already dead.”

“That’s awful,” Veronica’s hands rose to cover her red cheeks. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Nadia Eastman sounds familiar,” Vicki said, ignoring her sister’s glare. “Who was she?”

“She was an actress. You’ve probably seen her on television, but she did more work in Britain and Europe than in America. You might remember her from The Secret Society. That film was nominated for an Oscar. It did well here.”

“Didn’t we go see that movie?”

Veronica cocked her head to the side. “I think so. Was the other driver killed, too?”

Greg shook his head in denial. “I don’t know. The driver fled the scene, and the authorities haven’t been able to find him, but you must understand. Nadia’s death wasn’t an accident.”

“Why do you say that? The van may have been stolen, but…” Veronica wasn’t the only one who looked perplexed.

“There was a bomb attached to the undercarriage of the car.”

Vicki and Veronica stared at him with saucer-sized eyes, their mouths agape. With similar expressions on their faces, the twins finally resembled one another. No wonder the babies looked alike.

“Someone rigged the car to explode?” Jack was on his feet in seconds.

“Yes. There was a press conference scheduled at the Russian Embassy in London. A few weeks earlier, she’d let me know she’d be bringing Sheena to me for her annual visit. Her career hadn’t been going well since her last film, and I think she hoped to get some free publicity. The press got wind of it—no doubt her agent had leaked the information. Something came up at the last minute, and I sent the limo ahead for them and called a cab for myself.”

Vicki gasped and stared at him. He could read the horror on her face.

“That’s awful. Do the police have any leads?”

“A fringe group specifically targeting Nadia’s politics tried to claim responsibility for her death. Her role in a recent IRA based movie didn’t endear her to some. Sadly, new evidence indicates it isn’t that simple.”

“That’s insane!” She turned an accusing look on her husband. “Did you know about this?”

“Not all of it, but I’ve since spoken our security teams, and they’ll be on the alert.”

“Our security?” Vicki’s voice went up an octave.

“Well, yes. If whoever is behind this knows we’re related, we could all be at risk. Words gone out to the others. I’ll keep the family safe.” There was strength in Tim’s words that reassured Greg.

“This has all the makings of a George Stanton spy novel,” Veronica added. “I don’t know London well, but isn’t the Russian Federation’s Chancery located on Kensington Palace Gardens?”

“It is. The police are toying with the idea the accident was just that and actually prevented a far greater disaster. While I’ll never forgive myself for Nadia’s death and Sheena’s injuries, had the bomb gone off in the chancery parking lot, things could have been much worse. I can’t even imagine the collateral damage it might have caused. I’m not ready to take the credit for starting another war.”

“So, if you are the target, what’s the reason?” Vicki asked.

Graven Image is set in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion,” Veronica nodded. “It’s an excellent book, one of your best, but you were very critical of the rebels in the novel—that can’t have made you too popular with some of the more militant factions over there.”

“It hasn’t. I had my doubts about the press conference, but my agent had set it up to announce the filming, and since a lot of the movie will be shot on Russian soil, the Kremlin was eager to be part of the announcement.”

“You think someone is trying to kill you because of that novel?” Howard asked quietly.

That’s it. Please visit the other teasers.

#MidWeekTease August 30, 2017


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Tuesday Tales: From the Word BEAN

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Hello and welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. The last week of August already. Where has the summer gone?

Tuesday Tales are a weekly blog hop where a small group of authors add scenes to their works in progress based on a picture or a word. This week’s word is BEAN. I’m continuing with Same Time Next Year, a contemporary romance.

Twyla sat on the veranda of the main lodge, admiring the incredible scenery around her, in many ways astonished by how much things had changed and yet remained the same. The majestic oaks were taller, larger around, and still as green and imposing as ever. The canal hadn’t changed either, and it was impossible to walk along it and not look for him manning the gates, letting boats go up and down as needed. Knowing he wasn’t there and wouldn’t be no matter how much she wished it were different, pained her.

Season1_LogoFrom this vantage point, she could see the old “Liars Bench” still sitting in front of the store, now an ice cream parlor and souvenir shop. The men no longer gathered there to smoke their cigars or pipes and talk about the one that got away, but the bench remained, another monument to times long gone. How often had she sat on that bench waiting for Michael? She hadn’t dared have him come to the cottage to collect her. With Mother busy playing canasta and sipping sherry with her friends, it had been easy to sneak away most of the time. Those days when she’d been forced to babysit another card player’s kids had been spent by the pool, waiting for him to drop by for a swim. Stolen moments, lies of her own, but in the end, it hadn’t mattered.

Their first three days here had been spent settling in, revisiting the area, enjoying the gourmet meals, but in reality, she’d been looking for him, his sister, anyone she might recognize, and was bitterly disappointed. She was fifty years too late. Why had she even considered it might not be so?

Yesterday, they’d rented a small motor boat and had gone through the lock, spending the afternoon putt-putting along the lake, admiring the cottages better seen from the water than the road. There were so many more of them now. This morning, they’d used the tandem bike to drive along the road leading to those private cottages on Indian Lake. In her heart of hearts, she imagined coming across him or his sister, Lydia, tending the flowers planted around the house.

But, when they’d reached his place, a house she’d visited only once, the name on the sign by the driveway had been a knife wound in her heart. How many years ago had it been sold? The young boy they’d met along the way had told her these were new owners who’d purchased the cottage about five years ago. When she asked if he’d ever met the Morrisons, he shook his head. No one with that name had ever had a place along here for as long as he could remember. While it was true he was only fifteen, it was another nail in her coffin of dreams.

“This place is so much more than I expected, Grams,” Lana said, interrupting her thoughts and sitting down across from her once more, reaching for the pickled green bean that adorned her Caesar. “And these drinks are to die for. Who would’ve thought a Bloody Mary made with Clamato juice and pickled bean brine could taste so good?”

“Just take it easy on them, will you. Technically the drinking age in Ontario is nineteen and you are a few months shy of that,” Twyla said, realizing she sounded more like Billie than herself. How had that happened?

Since they’d missed lunch, the two of them had opted for something in the pub, choosing to sit on the deck. Twyla sipped her glass of pinot grigio.

“I’m beginning to sound like my mother or yours,” she said and chuckled.

The waiter arrived and placed a Caesar salad in front of her and a plate of cheeses and cold meats as well as a basket of bread in front of Lana.

“Will there be anything else?” he asked, his gaze drawn to the young woman rather than the old one.

The dance never really changed, did it? The partners might, but the ballet of sexual attraction went on.

“Grams, do you want anything else?” Lana asked, her forehead creased.

“A glass of ice water, please.”

The young man smiled. “Yes, ma’am. Right away.”

Lana leaned forward. “He’s kind of cute, isn’t he?”

Twyla shook her head and chuckled. “I thought Dillon Harding was the man of your dreams.”

“You know what they say. It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite as long as you eat at home. Dillon and I are solid right now, but who knows how long that will last when he’s surrounded by coeds at Berkley? I’m sure he’ll admire the competition, too, and if it’s meant to last, it will.” She reached for the freshly bread in the basket and slathered it with butter. “And before you say anything scathing like Mom would, I’m just being pragmatic. Long distance relationships don’t have a good track record.” She ate the bread, licking her lips. “This is awesome. Are you sure you’re okay with me leaving tomorrow? I can hang around for another couple of days,” she offered, smiling at the young man who delivered not one but two glasses of water. “Dillan won’t mind as long as I’m there by Sunday.”

Twyla forked a bite of lettuce into her mouth, savoring the garlic dressing and parmesan.

“I’ll be fine. You’ve spent the last three days dancing attendance on me. I came up here to write and it’s about time I started.”

“Well, as I live and breathe. Twyla Lancaster. It is you.”

Twyla swallowed and looked up into the one pair of eyes she’d hoped never to see again.

“Mavis Crowder. Fancy meeting you here.”

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: Debbie De Louise

Welcome Solstice author Debbie De Louise.

newstoryreleasesteaser On Tuesday, August 22nd, my romance, Saving Snow White, and my mystery, Dying for a Vacation, were released for only 99 cents each.

When Amy comes home from veterinary school for the summer, she is reunited with her best friend, Tom. When she learns he has a girlfriend who is totally unsuited to him, she wonders if she has let her chance go by.

Detective Donald Jackson is preparing for a long-awaited vacation, but first, he must solve the case of a murdered librarian at the Flower Hill Public Library.

Here’s an excerpt from Dying for a Vacation: The FHPL was one of the last holdouts of the New Hampshire library system to retain an un-automated system of checking library holdings.  I didn’t care much for the OPAC’s of the larger libraries, anyway, with their computer databases that always seemed to freeze when I was looking for the next book in Lilian Jackson Braun’s “Cat Who” series.  Braun is my favorite mystery author.  Like her character, Jim Qwilleran, I have a handlebar mustache that’s pretty sensitive, although it doesn’t help me solve crimes.  I love cats, too, but I only have one and it isn’t Siamese.   Tinky is just a stray Emily brought to my house one day about five years ago.  One of her daughters from her second marriage was allergic to it, so she thought I might like it to keep me company.  She knew I liked cats, although we didn’t have any when we were married.  No kids either.  All the time I spent on cases back in Boston probably made a girl her age pretty lonely.

You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Vacation-Debbie-Louise-ebook/dp/B074ZJJMG7

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: a Visit to the Kingston Penitentiary.

Pen front doorYesterday, John and I went back in time–no, not in a time capsule or anything that cool. John grew up in Kingston, Ontario. If you know anything about the city, you know that it’s home to Queen’s University, where I got my teaching credentials, but the city and surrounding area is also home to a number of prisons–some currently still housing those who see laws as suggestions or something to be broken rather than rules to live by. Those places include Joyceville, Collins Bay, and of course, Millhaven, the maximum security prison opened early after the riot of 1971 in the Kingston pen.

Pen mapThe Kingston Penitentiary, decommissioned as a prison in 2013, was built between 1833 and 1834 and has the dubious honor of being Canada’s first penitentiary. It consisted of one cell block with cells less than 30″ wide, 8′ deep, and 6’7″ high. Imagine being imprisoned in a closet. Men, women, and children were housed  in those cells–the youngest a boy of 8 named Anton who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family. He was sentenced to 3 years for his crime. Lucky for him, he got work release and was able to leave his cell most of the day to help the men build the clock tower, stock walls, and north gate house, finished in 1845, which surrounded that original block. Unfortunately, any women housed in the institution didn’t get any fresh air until much later when a women’s building was added. Think of it: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It’s a wonder they didn’t lose their minds. I would’ve. Cells were doubled in size at the end of the nineteenth century. Still, a very small world.

When you take the tour, they begin by telling you that, because of Canada’s Privacy Act, they can’t discuss specific prisoners. You can read about the most infamous ones here.

Other notable inmates include Russell Williams,[19] Paul BernardoClifford OlsonRoger Caron and Grace MarksWayne Boden, the Canadian “Vampire Rapist” died there in March 2006. Tim Buck, leader of the Communist Party, was a prisoner at Kingston Penitentiary convicted under Section 98 of the Criminal Code during the early 1930s. Marie-Anne Houde, formerly convicted for the murder of her stepdaughter Aurore Gagnon, was sentenced to life in Kingston Penitentiary, following the appeal to commute her sentence to death citing health reasons. She was released on June 29, 1935.[20]

Mohammad and Hamed Shafia were imprisoned in the penitentiary after being convicted of killing Mohammad’s three daughters and first wife. Michael Rafferty was serving a life sentence for his role in the kidnapping and murder of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford of Woodstock, but has since been relocated.

20170823_141946To say the tour was eye-opening is an understatement. Our guide and the others who spoke to us along the way provided insight into what it might’ve been like. The KP had no massive mess hall like you see in movies. The men in a cell block stayed in their unit, not always in their cells with meals brought to them. We stood where the last prison murder occurred over the use of the phone, their only lifeline to the world outside. A former warder told us about the 1971 riots and the modifications made to the prison afterwards because of them.

20170823_141239At the time of its closure, there were over 400 inmates in the prison and rehabilitation center housed on its grounds.  The KP also housed the regional prison hospital, and since faking an illness only got you from one prison to another, there were fewer such incidents.

Those prisoners have all been relocated to other more modern facilities across the country, where they have larger cells based on new government prisoner regulations. Some of the cells in block G that we visited were set up as they would’ve been when the prison closed. The toilet and micro sink are at the head of the bed.

Anything in them had to be purchased by the inmates through money earned or given to them. The max a family could contribute was $300.00 a year. Christmas and birthday gifts weren’t allowed.

20170823_144401This staircase, reminiscent of the one on the Titanic led to all the shops.At the top in the center was the school. I was surprised to learn that even at the time of closure, these prisoners had to earn their keep. The first $80.00 in their commissary account was set aside to use for their body bag in the event of their untimely death. Those prisoners who had a grade 10 education and could work, were given jobs in one of CORCON’s shops. (That’s the name given to prison industries) Some made or repaired the canvas bags Canadian letter carriers have used for as long as I can remember. Others made mattresses and or those folding doors used to divide gymnasiums, while some who wanted to become barbers provided hair cuts etc. On a weird note, some of them even made locks and keys, probably not the best trade to learn in jail. If you’ve visited Parliament Hill, the wrought iron staircase in the library was built in the Kingston pen. If you hadn’t finished grade 10, you couldn’t work, but you earned your keep going to school. You could quit at grade 10 or go on. According to our tour guide. some inmates finished university. She mentioned two in particular. One works with at risk youth, while another teaches at a Canadian university.  This picture is of the mattress shop, one of the few buildings that survived intact after the devastating fire of 1954. This is a picture of a photograph. Today the shop is empty, but you can still see the exquisite workmanship of the original ceiling.

20170823_145841

So how much does an inmate get for working? The max was around $6.00 a day. Of that, the prison kept half to be put in a saving’s account for the prisoner to either provide money to start a new life when his term was up, or pay for his funeral. The remaining $3.00 was divided up to pay for things that included 20% to room and board, more for cable etc. If the prisoner was lucky, he might have enough for a couple of chocolate bars and a bag of chips from the commissary once every 2 weeks.

Since fresh air is important, prisoners were let out into the exercise yard daily, but always under the watchful eye of the armed guards in the tower. This was a maximum security prison after all.  At one time, this yard housed as many as 400 men with a gate dividing them into two smaller groups. They had a weight area, basketball hoops, even a ball diamond.20170823_150359

So what did I learn from my visit? For one, I am grateful I was raised to believe rules were meant to be followed. I would never have survived in a place like this. For another, I learned that some of those inmates were talented. While writing and drawing in the cells was forbidden, prior to the closure, that rule was relaxed. There were talented artists among the inmates. Sad but true, I

hope some of them now located elsewhere, have learned or will learn from their mistakes.

In conclusion, I have to admit I wish things had remained the same. All we hear about these days are Club Med prisons. Maybe they are more humane, maybe they even have a shot at rehabilitating prisoners, but in the end, it would be better if everyone just learned to follow the rules. No crime, no time. That works for me.

 

 

 

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Midweek Tease: Another Taste of No Good Deed

New midweek tease imageHello. Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. I’ll begin with an apology for missing last week. I had a close encounter with the stomach flu I don’t ever want to repeat. Laid me out for two days.

This week, I bring you another scene from No Good Deed.

The Blurb:

Psychological 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.

Your Tease:

Alexa struggled to wake, as if she were underwater and needed to break the surface to breathe. It wasn’t the first time she’d attempted the feat, but every time she got close enough to see the light, the pain was excruciating, and she would spiral down into the numbing darkness once more. This time, she broke the surface and gasped as the world around her solidified.

She was in bed, not her own, but definitely not the last one she’d slept in, her torso sheathed in a hard casing, making her feel like a turtle in its shell. The small chamber, one wall covered by drapes, reeked of antiseptic. Moving her head from side to side, she recognized the hospital room for what it was, noting the IV pole and smart pump near the bed, delivering whatever medications she needed. Not dead—then what?

A tinny voice echoed inside the room, the urgency indicating some sort of emergency, but the only word she understood was rouge. Had she ever been in a hospital where communication was clear, no matter what language it was in? Now, the voice called for Docteur Legault, chambre 237. That must be where the crisis was.

Shifting in the bed as well as she could, considering the armor she wore, and increasing the pain in her back by doing so, she wiggled her toes, lifted her legs slightly, and exhaled heavily. Thank God. She wasn’t paralyzed. The possibility had crossed her mind … memories of what had happened to those poor men filled her with sorrow, not only for them but for herself.

How long had she been here? A day? Two?

Richard had to be on his way, and when he got here, he would be furious. Once again, despite her carefully laid plans, she’d failed to escape.

She could refuse to go with him, but considering the fix she was in, doing so would only make matters worse. Using his charm, he would convince the medical staff that she was stressed, delusional, maybe even despondent. With the language he knew so well, he would pepper his speech with words like psychotic break, manic episode, bipolar, and the faces of those listening would change. He would mention her mother, and their eyelids would droop, their gaze would drift to her and move away quickly, while the corners of their mouths would pull down slightly. Every one of them would buy his story, pitying the well-known surgeon and philanthropist with the emotionally disturbed fiancée. None of it was true, but he was a professional, one of their own, and his word was as good as gold.

But when he reached for her, she would read the truth in his eyes—the anger, the possessiveness, the smugness, and finally the madness, knowing she was his prisoner once more.

Please visit the rest of this week’s teasers.

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Tuesday Tales: From the Word BIKE

Good morning and welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. Each week, myself and a small group of gifted authors work on a story, adding a scene based on a word or a picture prompt. Works in Progress are interesting animals to follow since they change and evolve on a regular basis. While some of my fellow authors pre-plan their books, fleshing out the plot and the characters ahead of time, I don’t work that way. For me, the story creates itself as I write it.

Originally, I had planned for Same Time Next Year to be a ghost story, but it’s hard to have a happy ending that way. Instead, join Twyla as she lives in the past and the present, reconciling her last dreams and aspirations with the reality of a life well-lived. Will she find the love she’s always craved? I’m not telling, but between us, all my books have happy endings.

Here’s this week’s scene, based on the word BIKE.

“We’re here,” Lana said.

Twyla blinked. The distance from the path into the woods to the reception area had seemed so much farther before.

Lana pulled the car into one of the spots reserved for the physically handicapped.

Twyla frowned. “I know that sticker of mine says you can park here, but I wish I had never let your mother talk me into it. I’m not an invalid. I can walk a few hundred extra feet.”

“Relax, Grams. You know it’s only temporary. Once we register, we’ll be parking next to our cabin. I have to admit it’s gorgeous here—so calm and peaceful—nothing like the hustle and bustle of a big hotel. Come on. The office is over there.”

Twyla started. “No, the office is in the Annex.” She pointed left to a smaller building. “I’ve been here often enough to know that.”

Lana smiled at her, her brow furrowed slightly, and licked her lips. “It’s been remodeled, remember? I’m sure quite a few things are different.”

Twyla nodded. How stupid of her to assume the renovations would’ve kept everything as it had been. Getting out of the vehicle, she looked around—not with eyes focused on recalling things from fifty years ago, but through the lenses of reality.

Everything had a bright, new coat of paint. Up on the veranda, despite the fact that it was mid-afternoon, people were enjoying a meal al fresco. She glanced at her watch. No one had ever been able to get anything to eat outside regular mealtimes, something she herself had bemoaned, and they’d never been able to eat on the veranda.

She blinked. Was that man drinking beer? He was. Another change for the good since there was nothing she would like better right now than a drink with some extra oomph to it.

Following Lana up the few steps to the large red doors leading into the dining room, she smiled. What other surprises were in store?

The entire area had been redone with a modern reception desk at the base of a new staircase. Staff, both male and female, were at work setting tables in the dining room on the right. The narrow hallway on the left was gone, and where there should’ve been rooms, there were bathrooms and a sign indicating a pub.

“This is so different,” she said before she could stop herself. “There used to be rooms on this floor.”

The woman behind the desk nodded. “They’re all gone now. No one would pay for something that small these days. And sharing a bathroom? It just wouldn’t happen. This level is our entertainment hub. There’s the dining room and the pub on this floor and a lounge overlooking the pool area upstairs. Our hotel facility is currently under construction on the eastern side of the property.”

“Did you say the lounge  overlooks the pool?” Twyla asked. “Have they moved that, too?”

“Yes. The old one was in bad shape, so the new owners had it filled in, added more native plants to the garden areas, and built a modern children’s fitness playground, complete with a mini zip-line. The kids love it. The new pool is right out here. We’ve just finished the landscaping, too. Now, welcome to the Colonel’s Inn. I’m Tracey. What can I do for you?”

“Twyla Wilson. I have a reservation for Juniper Cottage. This is my granddaughter, Lana Markham. She’ll be staying with me on and off during my vacation.”

The woman nodded. “Welcome.”

She keyed information into the computer, another innovation since the Crosses, the previous owners, had done everything by hand.

“Welcome, Mrs. Wilson. I see you’ll be with us for the month. I’ll need your credit card, please. All meals are à la carte and charged to your account. That works in the pub and ice cream parlor, too, as well as for any rentals such as boats, canoes, paddle boards, or bikes.”

Twyla fished it out of her wallet. When she’d stayed here before, meals had been on the American plan—part of the overall price. The ice cream parlor had been a general store servicing the entire area, including the cottages along Indian Lake. Mother had paid their bill with a personal check, something few people even accepted these days.

“While reservations for breakfast and lunch aren’t strictly necessary, we do require them for dinner. We have a considerable walk-in or float-in clientele. The dining room serves from five until nine-thirty.”

Lana chuckled. “Pick any time you want, Grams, but while I’m here, can we do eightish?”

Twyla nodded. Mother had insisted on meals at five-fifteen, something she’d hated. She’d been late too many nights that last time, which had earned her more than her fair share of glowers from the other families in the dining room.

“Eight, please,” she said to the woman. “As far as breakfast and lunch go, I’ll play it by ear.” Truth be told, she’d brought her single serve coffeemaker with her and a cooler that plugged in. As long as she had her coffee first thing in the morning, she would be fine.

“You can also get meals in the pub, which opens at eleven,” the receptionist said, handing her the documents she’d printed.

“Thank you.”

Ten minutes later, they were back in the car. Lana started the engine and moved out of the parking lot, following the road toward their cottage.

The butterflies in Twyla’s stomach went crazy.

“Look!” Lana said, pointing to at least two dozen bicycles in a rack. “They’ve got tandem bikes for rent. Have you ever been on one? Since the front driver really does all the work, maybe we can try it.”

Twyla stared at the rack, not seeing the modern single and double rider bikes of today, but the old no speed bike from her past, the one she had ridden with Michael by her side as they headed to their secret rendezvous.

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: Megan O’Russell

Today’s guest is YA author, Megan O’Russell, isn’t new to Living the Dream. Her books, The Tethering and Siren’s Realm, temporarily unavailable, are among the best YA fantasy I’ve ever read. I sincerely hope she plans to release these books again since I enjoyed them immensely.

Today, Megan gives us a look at her latest release: The Tale of Bryant Adams:
How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, a new young adult urban fantasy.

Bryant Adams cover

Ever wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?

Don’t worry. I never wanted to either. But if you’re ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you’ve never had the guts to say actual words to, there’s an app for that.

I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn’t have, burned down the set shop for my high school’s theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad’s penthouse.

But it gets better! Now I’m stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It’ll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.

Don’t miss the Goodreads giveaway running through August 31st. Readers can enter to win a paperback copy at:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/249261-how-i-magically-messed-up-my-life-in-four-freakin-days

 

The Birth of the Story:

The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days had a very interesting origin that had very little to do with magic and a lot to do with being cold.

I love hiking. There is nothing better for coming up with new ideas or unraveling tricky plot problems than climbing. Having the simple task of putting one foot in front on the other makes it easy to think, unless you’re cold. On one very cold hike in Alaska, I was having trouble brainstorming. My boots were wet, my legs were sore, and my husband said, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were an app on my phone to start a fire?”

First of all, that would be amazing. Maybe cheating a little, but you’d never have to worry about being cold again. Second, the possibilities of magic on a phone would be endless. We spent the next eight miles talking about all the amazing magical apps you could include in a phone! Spell reference? There’s an app for that. Instant, magical ball of light? There’s an app for that, too!

A little wit, a little drama, and a touch of madcap magic in Manhattan. The idea of a cell phone containing a magical library evolved into the life and adventures of Bryant Adams, and I am thrilled to share his story with all of you.

About the Author:

Megan O’Russell is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include YA series Girl of Glass and The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days as well as the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet. 2018 projects include The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic and book two in the Girl of Glass series Boy of Blood. For more information on Megan O’Russell’s books, visit MeganORussell.com.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vzWzqJ

Curiosity Quills Press: http://bit.ly/2uYGhnW

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2vBzh1M

WWW.MeganORussell.com https://www.facebook.com/ORussellauthor/

Twitter: @MeganORussell

Visit www.meganorussell.com for contact details, review copies, photos, and an author bio.

Best of luck with this one!

 

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