Posted by: Author | May 26, 2020

Tuesday Tales- May 26, 2020- Great

This week’s word for the writers of Tuesday Tales is great. I’m still working on the Regency Christmas story.

check out the other tales here
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Charles wished he could move away from George without it appearing as if he wanted to avoid James Cavanaugh. His mind raced as he tried to think of a reason to escape. 

“By the way, did you hear about Lady Cavanaugh’s sister?” George asked. 

Half-distracted, Charles shook his head, all as he scanned the room for someone else he needed to speak to so he could make his excuses and leave this place behind the plant. The place that turned into a trap for him as tight and effective as if he’d set it himself on his family property to catch a fox from the henhouse. 

“She and her mother have returned from Italy.”

“They went to Italy?” Charles did not really care but he supposed he needed to at least act interested. Where is Cavanaugh? Is he still coming this way?

“I thought everyone knew that. Remember when Lord Percy’s son pretended to want to elope with her and the whole thing blew up on the Serpentine?” George nudged him. “Surely you recall. It was the talk of the town. Her mother took her to Italy to wait for the scandal to die down.”

Charles nodded. Now that George reminded him, he remembered. It was nothing to do with him, thank goodness. 

“What about it?” Charles let his gaze dart back to where he’d last seen Cavanaugh but he was nowhere to be seen. A great, huge man, he shouldn’t be able to hide even in a ballroom full of people. His height would always give him away. Where is that blasted man?

“It seems she was taken ill with some disease over there. She won’t see anyone. She’s hiding in her house.”

“Why are we gossiping about some poor girl?”

George frowned. “I thought you might be concerned since her sister is married to your friend Cavanaugh.” He scratched his head. “Didn’t you also squire her about town at one time?”

“I may have amused myself with her for a little while, but I assure you, she is not someone I care to discuss.” Charles bowed slightly. “Now you must excuse me. I see Lord Ferguson across the room and I have a bit of business to discuss with the man.”

He turned on his heel and took large strides toward the back of the ballroom to make good his escape from the place. 

Posted by: Author | May 21, 2020

New Release: May 26, 2020- Preorder

May 26, Lord of Misrule comes out.  It’s up for preorder now for ebook.  There is also a paperback which is available now.  Link for e-bookLink for paperback. 

Blurb:

What’s worse than being a wallflower? Honora Marlowe doesn’t know, but whatever it is, she is it. Or at least she thought she was. Overlooked by the members of the haut ton, she dresses to blend into the scenery and knows no one sees her.

Until one night at a ball when she’s hiding behind a plant and hears two men she doesn’t know discussing her vivacious sister and how desirable she is. This isn’t unexpected as her sister always outshines her. But when their discussion turns to Honora, she no longer can pretend she’s invisible. She’s actually looked down upon.

James Cavanaugh, recently elevated to a baronetcy for bravery in battle, inherited a manor house from an army friend who died in his arms. He’s on a quest to find a bride to help him run his estate. He finds himself attracted to Honora’s sister when she’s pointed out to him at that ball.

After hearing the men’s conversation, Honora is appalled when her sister and she are invited to a house party at Lord Cavanaugh’s estate. Forced to attend, she has no idea of the danger ahead. Blending in is no longer an option.LordOfMisrule-HiRes (1)

Posted by: Author | May 20, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | May 18, 2020

Tuesday Tales- May 19, 2020- String

This week’s word prompt for the writer’s of Tuesday Tales is string. I am still working on my Regency Christmas story.

Check out the other tales here.

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A tap on the shoulder startled him. Turning his head, he said, “George Pettifer, what are you playing? Sneaking up on a chap like that.”

“It’s not like you to hide behind the foliage. You are usually dancing with some young lady or more likely, trying to lure one away from the sight of her chaperone. Is that the plan here? Seems rather daring.” George nudged him in the side.

“I was taking a rest before the next round of dancing.”

George tilted his head toward the dance floor. “You rarely have a free dance. By the time you are announced at the door, there are a string of eligible misses lined up for you to select a reel, minuet or country dance.”

“I kept my commitments light this evening.” Charles hated to lie but he actually didn’t sign anyone’s card this evening. This was his first foray back into society since his extreme actions before the summer. He knew his secret was still safe, but he was still a bit leery about being out at a ball. He had not felt like he could say no to his host and hostess though as they were old friends of the family. They had even sent a special card requesting his attendance. So here he stood. Hiding like a coward.

Across the room, the butler announced, “Lord and Lady Cavanaugh.”

Charles’s stomach contracted and he found he could not catch his breath. They are here. Now what?

George nudged him. “What happened between you and James Cavanaugh? You, he and William Hume always were together. After Hume died, I thought you and Cavanaugh would still be at White’s together or sparring the boxing ring, but we never see the two of you together now.”

“He got married. That’s why we don’t see each other. The bachelor life does not continue when there is a bride.” Charles let the lie fall from his lips with ease. This was the answer he’d practiced for these occasions.

Darting a glance over George’s head to see where Cavanaugh might be, he swallowed hard. It looked like Cavanaugh was headed right in his direction. No escape.

 

Posted by: Author | May 14, 2020

“For Life”- a Review

I’ve been watching the show “For Life” on ABC and the season finale was on Tuesday night. It was a tough show to watch in many ways. The way the prisoners were treated was one of those hard parts, but even worse, to me, was the way the legal authorities used their positions for their own gain as well as to keep convicted felons in more than just lockdown, but in a state of perpetual anxiety and helplessness.

It’s my understanding this show is based on the real life situation of Isaac Wright, Jr. who did study law and eventually get admitted to the bar. He also has helped free many wrongfully convicted men. When I researched him, I learned that the prosecutor on his case- Nicholas Bissell- was eventually arrested, tried, and convicted for corruption and for engaging in unethical conduct and obtaining tainted verdicts using coerced testimony. The coward/bully then killed himself.  I guess he knew he couldn’t handle prison like so many he sent there.

When I first started watching the show, I felt like all the villains (the corrections officers and prosecutors) were one dimensional with not one redeeming quality. The new warden (a good person) wanted to reform the prison but was thwarted at every turn by the powers that be. The prior warden was an ass, the man running for attorney general was unethical and a jerk, the prosecutor under him assigned to the protagonist’s case was evil and scowled all the time. One of the corrections officers was running drugs into the facility and got away with it for far too long. I don’t know where they got the actors to play these roles, but they did a good job on casting as they all had smug, unkind, and mean facial expressions. They made my blood boil.

It almost seems as if the villains were caricatures of people- taking all the bad and not one good thing about any of them. When I realized the real prosecutor in Mr. Wright’s case went to prison for his conduct, I could see where the writers of the episodes thought this was the way to represent the characters. But is anyone truly wicked all the time? With no redeeming qualities at all? They were shown as such here- I think the viewer is savvy enough to have fully fleshed out characters in a show that has so much to say about the judicial system. It would have been better- in my humble opinion- to make all the characters as fully rounded as the new warden, the hero, and his friends and family. It would make for a more nuanced show.

And the poor protagonist. What can I say? I got so upset watching how he was treated and the extent the above villains set out to destroy him. He couldn’t catch one break. They plotted and schemed to deny him due process at every turn. As a lawyer, it eventually annoyed me as it made me wonder what the hell was so important about ONE man to have all these people risk their careers to keep him down and in prison. It started to make no sense.

But I kept watching. It was compelling in a way that made me sick. I’ve been part of the legal community for many, many years and I know there’s a lot of corruption in places but this over the top series was a bit nauseating. I had to turn the channel many times or fast forward past parts because the pure, unadulterated evil emanating from some of the characters (with no explanation of why keeping one man down was so vital) made me mad, both for the character in prison as well as for the way the show portrayed almost everyone in a position of authority as one-note evil.

Then we come to the last episode of the season.  I was hoping for more closure but I see they are wanting to stretch this series out for at least another season. The main thing that annoyed me about this last episode- besides the evil attorney general making a speech about the protagonist in a church-!!!- is the protagonist’s daughter went into labor at the penultimate moment before he was going to court. He was told about it and he asked if going into labor five weeks early was safe. The response? “Oh that’s normal for first pregnancies.”  Um. No. It’s not. It’s actually pretty alarming. Babies need lung development and that’s the last thing to happen- even one extra day in utero can mean a lot with the lungs. It made me wonder if her labor was tossed in as one more moment of angst (in a show filled with angst and unfairness for this protagonist) for him- then to be told it’s all okay, it’s normal-  it seemed a bit overkill to me. Oh, and when they showed the baby, they said he weighed like 7 lbs, 9 ounces. My, my. Five weeks early and weighs as much as my grandson did and he was nine days late. I know that’s a petty nitpick, but by that time, I was over the whole thing.

Not sure I’ll watch the next season as this show is excellent and has a lot to say, but it causes me to have minor conniptions. I’m rooting for the prisoners to get back the warden that cared, for the protagonist to get out of prison and the evil villains to get their due, but I don’t think I can deal with more shenanigans from the characters in positions of authority. They truly make me want to get inside the television and smack them.

Posted by: Author | May 13, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | May 11, 2020

Tuesday Tales- Picture Prompt

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to a picture prompt. I’ve started a Christmas story with some of the same characters in my book, Lord of Misrule, that releases later this month. I wasn’t quite ready to let the characters go.  This snippet is the beginning of the story. Not edited. 🙂

The tales are limited to 300 words. Mine is 298! 🙂  Be sure to check out the other tales here. 

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Charles Lockwood skirted around the edge of the ballroom, eyes darting, taking in who was in attendance. Hoping a certain Lord and Lady weren’t there.

The last time he’d been in this ballroom was right before he made a fool of himself taking a young lady hostage and hiding her at his old nanny’s cottage. He had initially turned down the invitation to appear tonight, but the hostess was an old friend of the family and insisted he come. So here he was, praying not to be seen.

As he took refuge behind a plant and against a side wall, the irony of what happened last time filled him with shame. The young lady who had hidden in this spot then was the same one he had treated so abysmally.

Leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, he watched the dancers doing a country reel. He had to admit, they looked enchanting in the candlelight. The hostess chose the unusual color of red candles for her Yuletide decor. Her choice made the ballroom almost magical.

Charles suppressed a snort. People would surely talk if they heard me make such a romantic statement.

To cover for his true inclinations, Charles had taken on the guise of a rake. Mothers asked him to their balls only to make up numbers and they closely guarded their daughters from him. That was perfectly fine by him as he didn’t want any female entanglements to interfere with his life. He supposed he would have to take a bride eventually. Being a thirty-two year old bachelor was fine, but much longer than forty-five, members of the ton might start wondering at his reasons. It was bad enough the Lord and Lady he didn’t want to see knew the truth and could expose him.

Posted by: Author | May 6, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Across the street from my office

Posted by: Author | April 22, 2020

Wordless Wednesday- Cover Reveal

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Posted by: Author | April 20, 2020

Tuesday Tales- April 21, 2020- Square

This week’s word prompt for Tuesday Tales is square. I am between books (doing edits on Honora’s story I’ve been sharing which should be out soon) and haven’t decided where to go next so I’ve written a little short story for this week. I hope you like it.

You can find the other tales here. 

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A young man with a blade runner leg on his right side, a pretty girl with vivid blue hair and another girl in tight short-shorts, slightly heavier than the blue-haired one passed by the bench where I sat in the middle of the town square. I’m a people watcher and most days, I take refuge under the big oak tree that gives the best shade.

I like to imagine the lives of those who pass by. These three I see as a boyfriend and girlfriend with the heavier girl as the best friend of the blue-haired girlfriend of Blade Man. I have memories of being the pretty girl with the best friend who always seemed to fade into the background and I’m ashamed now to recall how I never realized how the third-wheel girl felt.

Imagine always being number two. I know how that feels now. Having gained some years and also weight, I see what I didn’t see when I was the toast of the town. Older, heavier people aren’t treated kindly by our society. This is why I’ve become a recluse who lives her life vicariously by watching others. Being ignored in stores and on the street is demoralizing.

For a moment, I’m tempted to take Third Wheel aside and advise her to get out of the shadow of Blue Hair while she’s still young enough to impact the world herself. But then I think about how she might react to my words. Probably ignore me or give me a sneer like I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.

The moment passes, they move on and I direct my attention to the group of four people on the grass lolling around as if they’re an art installation. The guy with the long dreads is on his stomach, a girl with a plaid shirt and not much else on is on her side with one knee up and another girl has a book in her hand she’s just holding up in the air. The last young man has his body draped around the vignette like a capital C. They intrigue me.

Before I can come up with their “story,” an unexpected shower arises. Rain pours on the grass, quickly making mud puddles. The art installation moment is ruined as the four characters flee for the awning of one of the stores across from the square.

As for me? I’ll keep sitting here with my face raised to capture the cool drops from heaven. Getting soaked is no big deal. It makes me feel alive. Which is something new for me.

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