Tuesday Tales: From the Word SPIDER

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. Wow. Only 15 days until it’s officially winter and 19 until Christmas. I find it so hard to understand why time flies so much quicker as we age. Physics tell me it’s exactly as long as it always was, but my reality says otherwise. This week, our word is Spider which inspired me to share this with you. While I’m not a fan of spiders and webs. I like this legend.

This week, I’m continuing with my paranormal romance.

Anca shook her head. “Before your surgery, you said that you should never have made that promise, that you were afraid … What promise? What frightened you?”

Aunt Selma licked her lips and leaned back in her chair, looking older than her years.

“I was scared I would betray my oath and do more harm than good.”

“It doesn’t matter now. It won’t change anything. You can explain it all to me another time.” There was no point in upsetting her when nothing would change. “Did Walt mention that you’d be moving in his home for a little while until you can manage stairs?”

“He did, and I look forward to recuperating there.” She sighed. “But as much as I hate recalling those early days, you deserve to hear the truth. Life is a lot like a spider, building intricate webs to catch her prey. Hester’s family and ours were nothing but momentarily blips on that gossamer web, but we weren’t the only ones trapped there. Sir Walter Scott was right when he said, ‘what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’ Our families and others have been deceiving people for centuries, many of us simply to survive. The past with its ignorance and cruelty didn’t accept those who were different well.”

Anca dropped into the chair beside her. “I don’t understand. Isn’t Hester’s family ours?”

Her aunt shook her head. “Yes and no. Let me start with my history and then perhaps you’ll understand. During WWII, my father was a logistics officer for the U S Navy. He visited several cotton plantations in the south, and that’s where he first saw Mother. Althea was a rare beauty with midnight hair and the deepest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. There was something hypnotic about them … He was ten years older than she, but they fell hopelessly, madly in love. He describes her as a friendly, outgoing girl, the life of the party, but somewhat skittish, like a new colt. Within six weeks, they married, and Russell was born less than nine months later. When the war ended, he brought her and my brother back to Salem and returned to managing Cole Enterprises.”

Anca chuckled. It seemed as though this generation wasn’t the first to anticipate their wedding night.

“If your father was the Cole, then he was the one who controlled magic?”

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.

Tuesday tales: From the Word STINGY

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. December is almost here and there are only 26 days until Christmas 2022. Where did the year go? This week, our word is STINGY and I’m continuing with my paranormal romance.

“Aunt Selma, I told you before the surgery that I’m not leaving you again. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. As soon as you’re on the mend, I’m going to be working at the clinic with Walt, making use of that degree of mine.”

Her aunt’s eyes lit up and a wide grin split her face. “That’s wonderful! The Tanners and Coles together in partnership again. Hester must be so pleased. She’s waited such a long time for this.” She sobered. “Well, if Colby and I can’t go south, we’ll do our best to have a good time here.”

Anca wasn’t sure what her aunt meant by “partnership again.” Had the families been involved in commerce in the past? And if they’d been successful, would that have fueled the hatred others had for them?

“Walt says you can travel, but he wants you to wait until December, and as for Christmas, maybe I can get a cheap flight down for a visit. You’re going to Aruba this year, right?”

“Yes. We’ve rented a small cottage with a view of the ocean. You don’t have to be stingy. I’ll gladly cover the cost to have you come and visit us. At one time, I thought Colby and I might … might be more, but it didn’t work out that way. The goddess knows what’s best. We just have to be open to her. He’s a good man and a good friend.”

Anca smiled, all the love she had for this woman who’d essentially given up her own happiness for others filling her.

“He is and he cares deeply for you, but I’m sure you know that.”

“I do, and I feel the same way.”

“Love is a beautiful thing … at any age.” She took a deep breath. “Elise mentioned that I look like Russell Cole, my grandfather.”

Aunt Selma cocked her head. “Elise’s brother was Russell’s best friend, but I see more of my father than my brother in you. Both were good men.”

“Then why haven’t you told me about them? I asked you about photographs…”

“And there are none, Anca. Sit. I suppose it’s time for you to know the whole story.” She took my hand in hers. “They were all destroyed. That time in my life was filled with sorrow, but if things are to go as they must … my hands were tied.”

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.

New Covers and a Deal That Can’t Be Beat

Hello. I hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s Thanksgiving celebration. For the holiday season, I’ve put together a book box of the first five Cocktails for You series with their brand-new funky covers. At $9.99, it’s a 50% savings over purchasing these eBooks individually.

A delicious smorgasbord of romantic comedies designed to make you laugh and brighten your day.

Meet Kelly, Ronnie, Jewel, Sydney, and Robin, five women at a crossroad in life, each one searching to redefine themselves as only they can. Follow them as they blunder their way to falling in love and finding their own happily ever after.

Tequila Sunrise

She left him in stitches before pulling a Cinderella and disappearing. Ten years later, she wants a second chance.

Champagne Cocktail

She wrote a nasty letter to Santa, not expecting he would send a life-sized elf to her door with an offer she can’t refuse.

Buck’s Fizz

She’s determined to control her own destiny and not be a bargaining chip in her father’s business empire.

The Tipsy Pig

A socialite, a lone wolf, a snowstorm, and a pig with a taste for dandelion wine—the perfect recipe for disaster or romance?

Make Mine a Manhattan

What’s an author to do when she’s hopelessly stuck in her latest novel and the deadline is eight weeks away?

Get ready to laugh and cry, the perfect way to spend a day. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BN9DWJSJ

The rest of the series has been upgraded, too

You don’t always get what you want, especially when a typo can spell disaster. Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PRPZBKZ

What do you do when your family disappoints you? Run away, of course. Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09XY11W43

Tuesday Tales: From the Word TURKEY

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. After gorgeous late fall temperatures in the 70s, it snowed last week. Considering we’re just a little more than a month from Christmas Day, it was bound to happen. Hubby is back at work, no worse for the wear and tear, and things are slowly getting back to normal.

With that in mind, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends. It’s been another difficult year, but I’m sure everyone can find something for which to be grateful. I know I can.

This week’s word prompt is TURKEY. I’m continuing with my as yet unnamed but revamped paranormal romance. Thanks go out to my good friend Vicki for this perfect picture to match this week’s scene. This might seem as if it’s coming out of nowhere, but the turkey was mentioned in a scene at the very beginning of the book. What goes around, comes around. Enjoy!

“How did things go last night?” Aunt Selma shifted in the chair.

“Very well. Several people came by looking for you and your elixirs, including Elise Melrose.”

“Ah, yes. I forgot to mention that she would be coming by. The poor thing is so stressed. Such a sad event. It breaks Hester’s heart as well as mine. There’s a case of premixed Number 27 in the storage room. I wish there were more I could do for her, but she’s resistant to the goddess, and belief can’t be forced any more than you can talk commonsense to a turkey.”

Anca blinked. “Turkey? What turkey?” Was the anesthetic from yesterday still befuddling her aunt’s brain?

“If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was the same one who’s been pestering this property for as long as I’ve lived. The old tom is the patriarch of that small rafter that lives near the family cemetery. At one time, I thought he might be a reincarnated spirit, but if he is, he was a stubborn old fool before and has remained that way. I had Colby trap him and take him and a few of his hens into the woods a good ten miles from town a couple of weeks ago, and wasn’t the same stupid bird right back there the following week? I was going to ask Hattie to see if one of the ghosts could help, but we’ve all been so busy. That bird is a nuisance and just won’t learn his place. Who knows, maybe one of the hunters will shoot him this year and have him for Thanksgiving dinner. It would serve him right. All I’m trying to do is help him.”

“You mean like you’ve tried to help me?”

Aunt Selma sighed. “I suppose I do, although that wasn’t all your fault. Have you met my guests?”

If it wasn’t her fault, whose was it? There were days when she probably was as dunderheaded as that turkey.

“Yes.” No need to remind her that I’d mentioned that last night when I’d come by. “They aren’t what I expected.” She searched for the right words. “For documentarians and cameramen, I thought they would be more scholarly,” and less thuggish. “I … I wanted to check something on the computer, but—”

“Did you forget the password? I don’t think I changed it. It should be CCottage **13.”

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.

Tuesday Tales: From a Picture

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. I still have no new name for this piece, but it’s coming along. This week, we have a picture prompt, so our scenes are limited to 300 words. I’m continuing with my paranormal romance with its comedic scenes. Here’s the picture I chose.

Aunt Selma was sitting in the recliner. Beside her sat Trisha Lattice, a member of the coven, dressed like a gypsy. Trisha claimed to predict the future, but with the treasure hunt looming over her, Anca was afraid to ask about hers.

While her aunt’s face was still pale, she wore a cotton-candy colored nightgown with a matching turban. Each of her fingers bore a ring, and large hoops hung from her ears visible at the base of her headdress. She was reading the newspaper while Trisha turned over tarot cards.

“Good morning, Aunt Selma, Mrs. Lattice.” Anca hurried over to the chair and gave her aunt a quick peck on the cheek. “I can’t believe how good you look.”

Aunt Selma chuckled and set aside the paper. “Appearances can be deceiving, but I’m in far less pain than I was. Isn’t it a shame that they decided to tear down the original Cole Shipping offices? I’d hoped to convince the town council that it could be saved. The building looks sound enough, but apparently the underpinning is too weak to sustain it.”

Anca’s ears perked up. If there was a treasure, it could be there.

“Did you say the original building? The one on Water Street?”

“Yes.” She showed me the condemned building sandwiched between two larger ones. “Of course, it wasn’t the one Hezekiah used. He simply worked out of Cole Cottage. Trisha, why don’t you go to the cafeteria and get coffee. I want to talk to Anca about last night, and we would just bore you. Take your time. I’m fine.”

The woman pursed her lips and nodded. She’d probably foreseen this in her cards.

“Anca, you let me know when you leave. We want to make sure the priestess has all the company she needs today.”

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.

Happy Book Birthday! Unforgettable Christmas Miracles (The Unforgettables Book 28) Kindle Edition

IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND CHRISTMAS IS ALL AROUND!

Just in time for Christmas reading, the ABB is adding another fantastic box set to its incredible lineup. Read on for a taste of what’s to come in Kindle Unlimited tomorrow and for advanced purchase now!

At this time of year, the fortunate rejoice with family and friends, but there are some who will have to rely on fate for their Christmas blessings. Enjoy stories of how these people find romance. Immerse yourself in their happiness as they delight in their newfound joy on that special day.

Celebrate the season with ELEVEN New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Authors as they spin a variety of romances – second-chances, romantic comedies, smalltown, paranormal, historical, beach-theme love stories, and more – in this Unforgettable Miracles of Christmas collection.

Mimi Barbour: Christmas Is For Everyone – Blizzards, puppies, and lost people. Ginny rescues an old man from freezing and his handsome son saves her and her son from being evicted. Will these strangers discover the true meaning of sharing at Christmas? A smalltown, caring family romance.

Rebecca York: Christmas Captive – His life was in her hands. Was it attempted murder or a boating accident? Psychic nurse Hannah puts her life at risk by investigating the conniving relatives who want to inherit the comatose man’s fortune. A paranormal romance.

Leanne Banks: The Billionaire’s Holiday Proposition– Falling for her had not been in his plans. Would she believe him? A billionaire romance.

Rachelle Ayala: Nick’s Christmas Ride – Nick Jolly’s antique convertible turns into a wild ride when his best friend and secret crush, Hayley, chooses three social media starlets for his Christmas-promotional dates. Two irascible Texas Hold’em playing ancestors, three social media narcissists, an old-time fiddler, and a flying car seems kind of normal for Nick Jolly and Hayley Brockman’s unexpected Christmas Creek romance. A fun romantic comedy.

Stephanie Queen: Small Town Glamour Girl Christmas – What chance does a poor smalltown girl have at a romance with a rich big city boy? Julie and Jack had a special connection a long time ago as kids, but does he remember that time? The magic and charm of the small-town Christmas rekindles their connection, but would her small-town life be enough for the billionaire? A smalltown, second-chance romance.

Josie Riviera: Candleglow and Mistletoe – Their unexpected attraction kindles something as warm and sweet as a holiday candle. But the weight of their pasts could turn the promise of their love to ashes. A smalltown, sweet and wholesome romance.

Susanne Matthews: Forever In My Heart – There’s nothing Michael Branscomb won’t do for his brother, including marrying the woman his twin wronged, but will Callie give him a chance? A contemporary marriage-of-convenience romance.

Traci Hall: Mistletoe Christmas – West Coast – Fireworks ignite when a retired Navy officer inherits a seaside cottage, accidentally burning down the deck his first day only to be saved by a sexy firewoman and the station’s dog. Set in their ways, can Mistletoe over the holiday be the miracle they both need? A contemporary military romance.

Dani Haviland: Chasing Christmas – Only love could be sweeter than freedom. When Samuel arrived to ask her to join his tribe, rescued slave Annie thought her life couldn’t get any sweeter. But it did. 18th century American Native historical romance.

Taylor Lee: Reckoning – Christmas Finale – Nothing will keep Cal from marrying Scarlett, the beautiful blonde media sensation. But the crooked Attorney General is going to try. Romantic suspense.

Nancy Radke: The Bend In the Canyon – His wedding was scheduled in two weeks. Only a miracle could bring them together. A sweet, western romance.

Don’t miss your chance to read some amazing, heartfelt Christmas stories guaranteed to put the spirit of the holidays into your heart. Only 99 cents USD or free to read in Kindle Unlimited starting tomorrow!

Tuesday tales: From the Word PAN

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the blog where you get a peek at what a small group of us are currently working on. John continues to do well, although he’s frustrated by what he considers his slow progress. Still, I think his recovery is amazing. He’s back working part-time and is driving again.

I’m working on a new title for this story, so I can keep Pumpkin Spice and the other cover, which I love, for something else in the Cocktails for You series next fall. The new title should be more in keeping with the paranormal/romance theme. As soon as I nail it down, I’ll share.

Today’s word prompt is PAN, and here is your 400-word scene. Enjoy.

“While we haven’t had any serious damage from a hurricane in years, Nova Scotia got walloped last month. It’s just a matter of time before we get hit again. Even if the storm doesn’t make landfall, we may have rough seas, high tides, storm surge, and coastal flooding. These two properties have never seen much damage, but you never know. The storms can be vicious.”

“Like the one that sunk Hezekiah’s ship?”

Walt nodded. “Maybe. His ship was thought to have floundered off Cape Ann. Never understood why he would choose to sail into a storm like that, but if he heard about Hester’s death and was on his way to seek revenge … It’s probably just as well all those men were dead by then—were they?”

Anca shrugged. “I doubt it since Henley’s wife died a few months after the execution. What if Hezekiah’s ship didn’t sink in the storm? While Fearless Red probably wouldn’t have attacked him, Black Jack Bellamy might have. He was quite the marauder in this area. Sinking a merchant ship would’ve been right up his alley. And if Hezekiah was hellbent on revenge, maybe it was him and not Hester who cursed those men.” She frowned. “The magic is supposed to be on the Cole side of the family, but Hester, who wasn’t a Cole, was the one with the ability to heal.” According to Aunt Selma, she was also an empath, but unless she and Hezekiah were related … if they both had powers, any child of theirs would, too. Sadly, the only one hadn’t survived her birth. “You know, one of the men asked me today if I knew Hester’s maiden name. I don’t. Do you? Was it in the article you read?”

Walt shook his head. “Not that I saw, but I didn’t get to the end of the piece. I do know her mother was a Langford, but that’s all I managed to get from it.” He opened the fridge door to get the milk and then grabbed a pan from inside the cupboard.

“Okay. Maybe Aunt Selma knows. Hester had at least one cousin, Stone’s wife. Maybe there’s another out there who felt slighted, and don’t the Langfords still own that big farm west of town?”

“They do. I’m taking Snap, Crackle, and Pop to the pumpkin patch there on Tuesday to get pumpkins to carve into jack-o’-lanterns.”

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Monthly Blog for November 2022

Wow! November already. Another year whizzed past and I’m not sure how productive or counterproductive it was. Too many things to do, not enough time to do them. It seems lately the more forward I go, the more behind I get. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s a reality.

This month’s question: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

Yes, I’ve participated in NANOWRIMO three times. The act of writing so many words under pressure is an exhilarating one and, after intense revision, I actually managed to publish the books, although revising them took a lot more than thirty days. Ovrall, I enjoyed the experience and will do it again when I can.

Last year and once again this year, I’m not participating. The reason is simple. Life keeps getting in the way. I can’t commit to five or six hours of writing a day because of family obligations among other things. Plus, I’ve got three books to finish, and no time at the moment to start a new one.

Life’s like that. Lately it keeps throwing curve balls at me, and I keep swinging and missing. Hopefully 2023 will be better for me. How about you? Check out other answers here.

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Tuesday Tales: From the Word STICKY

As unbelievable as it sounds, welcome to November. For those asking, my husband is slowly recovering from his surgery. The big issue now is how long it will take me to recover from it.

This week, our Tuesday Tales word prompt is STICKY. I’m continuing with Pumpkin Spice.

While there’d been fifty people on the tours, she’d also served twenty regulars who’d each had a couple of drinks and had sold ten bottles of elixir, most of them tonics designed to maintain good health, half a dozen pumpkin spice candle jars, and a dozen bars of soap.

Calliope had dropped in a couple of times, almost as if the cat were keeping tabs on her, which was ridiculous since there was no way a cat could do the work of a buff bouncer if she’d needed one, but the animal had gone out with the last patron. Unfortunately, neither Peanut nor Hester had shown up all evening. While the cat could probably manage on his own, the bird was a different matter.

Now, other than the music playing softly in the background, the bar was quiet. After her initial trepidation and momentary lapse of sanity when she’d arrived, imagining she’d heard Hester’s voice again, everything had gone well. Noticing a smell while she’d gotten things ready, a stench she associated with the water at low tide, not one unfamiliar to her or the area, Anca had lit the pumpkin spice jar candles that served as centerpieces on each of the bar’s fifteen tables. Then, she’d slipped back into Taproom hostess mode as if she’d never left, preferring the intimate nature of what was really a neighborhood bar to the madness of The Gilded Griffon. It had been like having friends around, and she’d loved it.

As she wiped down a particularly sticky spot on the bar, she reviewed the events of the evening. There was no way to describe her relief at seeing Aunt Selma alert and on the mend, if only for a few seconds, and the momentary thrill of being in Walt’s arms, a sensation she hoped to feel again sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, there had been some unsettling elements, too—the open door she’d locked earlier, the missing bird, and Elise Melrose. How long would it be before she could ask Aunt Selma about the trouble and Russell, her brother and Anca’s grandfather. How she would love to see a picture of him, but Aunt Selma had told her years ago that all photographs had been destroyed. She’d never explained how.

She couldn’t get over how chatty Colby had been. Maybe she could enlist him in a search for Hester. The bird had to be inside the cottage.

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word MINT

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, where you can read excerpts from a few gifted authors’ works in progress. We are back to a word prompt and 400-word scenes. Our word this week is MINT. I’m continuing with Pumpkin Spice.

“If Hester’s been in Cole Cottage all this time, why didn’t she reveal the treasure’s location to one of the many family members who’ve lived there over the years?”

Hattie shook her head. “She can’t, not because of anything Hedley did or said, but because of an oath she swore to her husband, to safeguard her secrets and the treasure until he came for her. This year, the planets are aligned the way they were back then for the first time in more than two hundred years. The last time it happened, none of the offspring from either side could get here, but this time, they’re all present. Unfortunately, Hester can’t or won’t tell me who’s who. She is determined not to break her oath. If her descendants find it, then she’ll be reunited with Hezekiah and be able to move on with him to be reborn in time, and the family will never have a financial problem ever again.”

“And if his descendants find it first?”

“They’ll lay claim to the treasure, including Cole Cottage. Hester will have failed Hezekiah and her family. A cruel vindictive spirit is capable of great evil.”

He frowned. “Can’t your goddess help Hester? Selma’s not only a descendant, but she’s also her priestess.”

“True, and that’s why she’s allowed me to tell you this. I’m speaking about the future … your future … yours and Anca’s”

The blood left his face to pool in his feet. “Are you telling me that Anca’s in danger?”

Hattie shrugged and popped a breath mint into her mouth.

“She’s safe enough for now. The cats are watching her. Not even his descendants could get away with two accidents in the same place, and as long as Selma is alive … Anca doesn’t know enough about the situation to put her in danger. The two of you must work together to find the treasure. It’s the only way. If you can’t find it before they do, you’ll lose her, just as Hester lost Hezekiah.”

“Damn it, Hattie, that’s not fair.”

She shrugged. “As they say, who said life was fair? I haven’t been told everything. No one has. You must discover the rest on your own. Anca is safe enough for now.”

He wasn’t going to bet Anca’s life on Hattie’s say-so.

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales