Posted by: Author | September 14, 2020

Tuesday Tales- September 14, 2020- Skinny

Sorry I was out the last few weeks. I was super sick and couldn’t focus at all. But I am back this week- still in the Christmas story. Maybe I will get it finished by NEXT Christmas at the rate I’m going.

This week’s word the authors of Tuesday Tales is skinny.

Check out the other tales here.

They moved along at a quick pace, both man and dog battling the cold.

Finally, Charles spied the stable where he’d left his carriage and driver. He made haste to the warmth he anticipated inside the premises.

When his man spotted him entering, he dashed over. “You must be frozen through. I have a brick warming for the carriage and will have you ready to go in a moment. He glanced down at the dog. “Where did you find that skinny little cur?”

“He was outside a café and I took pity on him. I am taking him home.”

The man pulled his forelock. “Yes, sir. I’ll have you both cozy and home in no time.”

Charles headed to his carriage and helped the dog inside.

Once they were both onboard, Charles grabbed the fur pelt he kept inside and wrapped himself in it.

The dog looked at him piteously. Even though the creature needed a bath in the worst way, Charles couldn’t stand to see the poor thing shivering. “Oh come on then.” He opened his arm, exposing a spot for the dog to snuggle up to him.

The dog wasted no time and leapt up on the seat. He huddled under the blanket and practically purred like a cat.

The driver picked that moment to bring the heated brick to place at Charles’ feet. Charles ducked his head down at the expression on his man’s face.

Not that he was embarrassed. Oh no, that wasn’t it. Couldn’t be, could it?

Charles cleared his throat. “We need to hurry home. I am unsure when this animal last ate and I would like to be sure he has something soon. Take us around to the back door and I’ll take him in through the kitchen to see what Cook can find to feed him.”

His driver looked at his employer as if he was daft, but merely nodded and tugged hi forelock again. “Yes, sir. Right away, sir.”

Posted by: Author | August 26, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | August 24, 2020

Tuesday Tales- August 25, 2020- Bark

It’s Tuesday Tales day again. Time to read some story snippets.  This week, the word prompt is bark.  I used it two ways. I almost went with a third when I added the tree, but thought that might be overkill. 🙂 This is still my Regency Christmas story.

Check out the other tales here. 

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After the priest prayed for him to find peace and open himself up for new love, Charles made his way to the side of the nave and lit a candle. “Go in peace, my love. I’ll never forget you.”

He turned too fast and barked his shin on the closest pew.

It took everything in him not to let out the word that almost came. The priest was still close by and it wouldn’t do at all for the man to hear such irreverent utterances. Much less in this holy place where I don’t deserve to be.

Sticking to a mild “ouch,” Charles hobbled to the double doors and back out into the cold.

Sending a wistful glance in the direction of the Hume mausoleum, he walked toward the closest café. A hot drink was just what he needed. A toast to the past as I move into the future.

He stopped beside a tree at the entrance to the café and knelt down to pat a dog sitting there. “Aren’t you cold? I know I am. Where do you live, boy?”

The dog let out a little woof—not even close to a bark—more like he didn’t have the energy to unleash a respectable sound.

A man stepped out of the cafe. “Is that your animal, sir?”

“No. I was merely talking to him.” Charles knew he sounded like a ninny, but the words came out anyway.

“If you’re on familiar enough terms with the creature, can you ask him to find somewhere else to sit? He’s been there for days. He needs to clear off.” The man waved a small towel in the general direction of the dog and Charles. “Shoo. Off you go.”

“Do you have any information on where the animal lives? I could try to take him there.” Why am I thinking about helping this dog? Surely he’ll find his way home.

“No idea. Just take him home with you. He seems to like you.”

Charles contemplated the black and white creature who stared at him with his head cocked and one ear up as if he were paying attention to the conversation. Maybe this is a step in the direction of opening my heart to love as the priest suggested.

“I will take him.” Charles took a calling card from his coat. “If anyone tries to claim the dog, have them call on me.”

The man took the card and looked at it. “I doubt it will happen but I will put it behind the counter.”

To his surprise, when Charles turned to walk away, the dog followed him as if they’d been together for years. Now to find the creature something to eat. He had to be starving.

Posted by: Author | August 17, 2020

Tuesday Tales – Aug 18, 2020- Slowly

Welcome to Tuesday Tales. This week, the authors are writing to the word slowly.  I am still working on the Regency Christmas tale.

Check out the other tales here. 

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As he slowly made his way to the door of the church, Charles thought he heard the sound of a bagpiper.

Shaking his head, he tried to get the sound out of his head. His beloved had always loved the sound of the pipes and it was a bit too much for him to take at the moment. Charles didn’t believe in mystical signs and shrugged off the idea of a heavenly piper. It wouldn’t do to entertain fantasies even at this time of year. The baby Jesus story was one thing, but a piper playing a mournful tune in a cemetery was quite another.

He snuggled deeper into his two scarves and moved them higher to cover his ears. I’m imagining things and need to find the priest. Talking to a live man will help me push this music out of my head, because surely, my head is the only place it is.

When he arrived at the large mahogany double doors, he took a deep breath and straightened his spine.  Time to obtain a bit of advice about life and death and moving on with my life.

Almost frightened that he’s say something to cause the priest to cast him back out into the cold, Charles stepped inside. Warmth flooded over him as well as the smell of incense.

A young priest came toward him with his hands out in welcome. “Come in. Come in. Whether you came to silently pray or you need someone to speak with, you’re most welcome. I saw you out in the graveyard.”

Glad that he hadn’t gone to his beloved’s mausoleum since the priest had been watching him, Charles came further into the vestibule. “I could use an ear, Father, if you have some time.”

“Surely, surely.” The priest seemed friendly enough, but Charles knew he still needed to be on his guard.

 

Posted by: Author | August 10, 2020

Tuesday Tales- August 11, 2020- Picture Prompt

Sorry I have been AWOL the last couple of weeks. I had to have emergency oral surgery and had a rough time getting well enough to focus on anything. It kicked my rear… in addition to my mouth.  🙂

I am still in the Christmas Regency story.  Each post this week is limited to 300 words. Check out the other tales here.

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Charles walked around the cemetery with his gloved hands in his greatcoat. He wore two scarves his old, blind, nanny made to keep him warm. They were a jumble of mismatched yarn but since the woman was almost the only person who’d ever shown him love, he wore them proudly. Woe betide anyone who commented negatively on them. He was sure he’d receive a new one for his Yuletide gift from her.

He shivered. It was a brutal winter already. I do not even want to consider how cold it will be in the new year.

Avoiding the priest of the small church had been easy this time. The man wasn’t a ninny. He had more sense than to be out in the graveyard on such a bitterly cold day.

Charles was relieved. He wished he could visit this place more often but he couldn’t afford to attract attention. Even though he presumed he was alone, he avoided the burial place he truly wanted to visit. He usually got within a few plots of the family mausoleum, but feared being found close to the actual place where his love was buried. Visiting even from a distance gave him comfort.

What he’d give to talk to his lover now. Charles snorted. “If that were possible, the conversation would never need to happen.”

Unbidden, tears flowed. They froze on his cheeks, making his face tight. He brushed them away. Lord knew he’d cried enough tears over the loss of his future with his beloved. Time to move on and accept life was not going to work out as they wished.

He turned to head back to the church to light a candle and warm up a bit. Maybe he would have a word with the priest after all. Not the truth, though.

 

 

 

Posted by: Author | July 22, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | July 20, 2020

Tuesday Tales- July 21, 2020- Brand

The word the Tuesday Tales writers are using this week as our prompt is brand.  I had a bit of a challenge fitting it into my Regency era story, but I did it. 🙂

Be sure to check out the other tales here. 

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Seated in his drawing room the next morning, Charles swung his crossed leg as he waited impatiently for George to show up. They would have to have a conversation about the evening before. It was a complete mystery to him why George would have him meet him there.

His butler opened the door. “Mr. Lockwood, the new wine casks have arrived. Would you like me to have them taken to the cellar or would you like to inspect them first?”

Charles stood, relieved to have a task to take his mind off the upcoming visit with George. Flicking his coattails, he said, “I’ll come and try a glass. Last time we ordered wine, it was not quite up to the quality I expect.”

“Yes, sir. I took the liberty of ordering from a different vintner this time for that very reason.”

“Good man.” Charles followed his butler to the receiving area near the back door. He didn’t usually venture to this part of his house, but he needed a distraction.

“I’ll draw off a taste for you, sir.” The butler snapped his fingers to the closest kitchen maid. “A cup for Mr. Lockwood.”

She passed a small pewter drinking cup to the butler as Charles used his right index finger to trace the brand burned into the wood showing the initials of the winery as well as the quality of the goods. It was one he did not recognize. “Where did you order this?”

“From Johnson & Justerini in St. James’s. This is a new winery they have started to do business with. I believe the Prince Regent ordered the same wine. At least that is what I was told. I hope it meets with your approval.”

“If Prinny likes it, who am I to say it is not wonderful.” From what he knew, the Prince Regent was a discerning drinker, so he was fairly confident this wine would be exceptional. “Although I am surprised he would use the same spirits merchant as his father. I thought they did not agree on anything.”

“Perhaps they have one thing in common.” The butler cracked a small smile as he handed the wine to his employer to try.

 

 

Posted by: Author | July 15, 2020

New Release- Faith Marlow-Being Dracula’s Heir

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My friend, Faith Marlow, has a new release – out today.  Link to buy 

drac heir

EXCERPT:

Beneath Valeria and Lamond, the narrow streets looked like the Minotaur’s labyrinth, full of twists, wrong turns, and dangerous adversaries for any poor mortal who might be lost. The city hummed with the combined heartbeats of every New Yorker within their earshot. It was a dull roar beneath them, an ocean of sound that resonated within their particles, like strumming the strings of a harp. Above it all, louder than every other despite the distance, was Emil’s slowly beating heart. He was the soloist that sang above the crowd, clearer and more beautiful to her ears than any other. She could home in on the sound and let it guide her until she was by his side, and anywhere in the city seemed to be in range. She had learned she could hover without interfering, knowing exactly how close she could get without alerting him to her presence, and she felt the ripple of awareness bounce back to her. She had no intention of bothering him tonight anyway. She would try again in a few weeks to make plans with him.

The eternal lovers chased one another above the smoggy, overcast city sky like playful children at recess. The haze and abundance of flashing lights helped to keep them hidden from the buzzing humans below. The night was never completely dark, not like it had been before the advent of electricity. At least there were more distractions for the humans, ways to remain unseen should that please them. They danced through the clouds, directionless and free-hearted, the sound of their laughter filling the space between their particles that were constantly entwined.

Like a bolt of lightning, Valeria suddenly descended to street level. The heels of her T-bar style black patent leather shoes clicked against the pavement as she ran toward a heap of rubbish.

“What are you doing?” Lamond questioned, descending behind her. He watched her at a bit of a distance, giving her some space as she plundered through the trash heap.

“Oh my god,” Valeria whispered, her voice nearly stolen by shock. She stepped backward, her face even more pale than usual, eyes wide with fear. Venturing closer, he dared to look upon the scene that had caused her to recoil. There, amid the debris, was a young woman lying in a pool of blood. Her throat had been ravaged, torn away as though a wild animal had attacked her.

“I heard her heart give its last beat.”

Lamond looked to Valeria for confirmation, understanding why the discovery had given her such a fright. He already knew what she was going to say.

“A vampire did this,” she said nervously, kneading her hands. She instantly felt like she was running a fever and freezing at the same time. She looked all around her, desperate to catch a glimpse of the killer but to no avail. “I’m certain of it.”

“Emil?”

“No. Emil is far too skilled for such a messy bite, not even one meant to kill. This was someone else.”

You can order Book 1 here for 99 cents for a limited time (July).

faith

Faith Marlow is a USA today best selling author of dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Dark, yet inviting and familiar, Faith seeks to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, she hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.

She has five full length novels currently available at Amazon and more in the works. Her debut, Being Mrs. Dracula, chronicles the lives of Count Dracula’s three beautiful, yet very different wives, Valeria, Ilona, and Fleur. The story continues with Being Dracula’s Widow. Her latest release and the third installment of the series Being Dracula’s Heir will be available 7/16/2020.

The Nightmare Hunters is the beginning of The Dream Journal series, and is a dark fantasy/ horror series with hints of sci-fi. The psychological thriller/ survival horror, Couples Therapy is a fast- paced, terrifying journey through the depths of guilt and longing for redemption and is the author’s only story not to include paranormal elements.

Faith is also proud to be featured in multiple anthologies, benefiting various charities. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching a horror movie, online shopping for Funko Pop! figures, at a rock show, or entertaining her house panther, Teddy. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Scottie, and son, Avery.

Posted by: Author | July 15, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | July 13, 2020

Tuesday Tales- July 14, 2020- Picture Prompt

It’s time for Tuesday Tales.  This week, the authors of TT are writing to a photo. I’m still in my Regency Christmas story.

Check out the other Tales here. We’re limited to 300 words this week (mine is 301- oops!).

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Horrified and in a panic, he looked over at George. “What have I done or said to make you think this was a place I’d want to visit?” Even with the warmth of the fire, Charles could feel his own heat rise. He needed to get out of here. Before someone noticed him.

George’s face probably reflected his own. The man appeared terrified and a flush rose up his cheeks. “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I was mistaken. I beg your forgiveness and hope you’ll not discuss this with anyone. I know it’s a crime and I plead with you not to report me to the magistrate.”

“Even if I were inclined to do so, how would I explain my own presence here?” Charles pulled at his neck cloth. Is it getting hotter in here? “Be assured. Your secret is safe with me.”

Still curious why George would invite him here, Charles decided to slake his curiosity at a later time. Right now it was vital he make his escape. Immediately.

With one last longing look at the cozy fire before heading toward the door and the frigid streets, Charles said, “Please call round my home tomorrow to discuss this in detail.”

George paled. “So you’re going to report me after all?”

“No. I can’t afford to be seen here. Charles pulled on his overcoat. “Frankly, I’m shocked you’d take the risk yourself.”

Before George could say anything further, Charles moved as quickly as he dare toward the exit. Head down, he made it just as it opened, admitting several other men. They weren’t as well-dressed as Charles and he briefly wondered if they were there to cause trouble. He couldn’t afford to stay and find out.

Brushing past them, he kept his face averted and made it to the street.

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