Posted by: Author | April 16, 2018

Tuesday Tales – April 17, 2018- Picture Prompt

This week, I have been in edits and also a final read through on my upcoming release so I wasn’t really working on new material. It’s a picture prompt week where we’re limited to 300 words so I whipped up an exactly 300 word piece of flash fiction for the picture I liked. The picture made me happy and so I wanted to use it. Hope you like my little story.

Check out the other writers’ work here. See what picture they chose.

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Marcia strolled past the old, beat up hutch. It looked as if it was handmade, but what attracted her to the item wasn’t the piece of furniture itself. It was the red teapot and polka dot cups.

Her heart made an odd flutter. How had these gotten to the antique store and on display at the sidewalk sale?

She couldn’t help herself, she was drawn to the cups as if they were a life preserver and she was over her head in the sea. Time slowed as she reached out.

When her hand touched the smooth edge of the cup, she was transported to that kitchen table. The last day they were together. Tears burned her eyes. This was impossible. Just when she thought she was over the heartbreak, she walked by the cups that always made her happy. Until they didn’t.

Realizing she was clutching the cup so tightly that it could break, Marcia gently placed it back on the scarred wood shelf. Wiping the errant tear that slid down her face, she turned away.

“May I assist you, ma’am?” a young man asked.

“No. I was admiring these. I used to have a set myself.”

“Sure you don’t want to buy those to replace yours?”

“No. I actually left them behind when I moved. On purpose.”

“That’s odd. The man who brought them in said he had to let them go as they made him sad. He’d lost his love over a stupid fight and she left them. He said they’d bought them together on a seaside trip.”

Marcia gasped. They were her cups. Had to be.

“He’s still here. Want me to get him?”

She couldn’t respond.

In a moment, her former love came around the corner.

“Niall?”

“Yes, love. It’s me. I’ve found at last you.”

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Posted by: Author | April 10, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | April 9, 2018

Tuesday Tales- April 10, 2018- Cart

This week’s word for Tuesday Tales is cart. I am still in my Regency set story called Lady Soldier. Our heroine has been discovered to be a woman and was on her way home to England when she and her escorts had to save Wellington’s life.

Be sure to check out the other tales here. 

new TT Feb 2018

Relieved he wasn’t going to discipline her further, she saluted. “Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now, let’s get these men into a cart and send them on the way to the next encampment and the prisoner of war area. No more parole for them.” Wellington saluted them all. “Once we complete that task, be on your way home. And try not to run into any other Frenchmen with my murder or capture on their minds.”

“We’ll try, sir,” Sandy said with a grin.

Maud’s uncle hugged her. “Go home. I’ll see what I can do to smooth things over with my brother, the duke.”

“Thank you.” Tears sprung to her eyes at his kindness. He was the youngest brother, but the duke listened to him more than his other family members. Perhaps it was due to Fitzroy’s battle experience. Maud didn’t know, but it was good to have her uncle on her side in this situation.

They made quick work of getting the prisoners loaded as well as the dead men. Maud wouldn’t have wanted to ride along with them and was happier than she’d been earlier to be going home.

Sandy rounded them up and they returned to their horses. “We only have a few more hours of useable daylight so let’s try to get some miles covered before we set up camp for the night.”

The ride seemed more amiable as they left the cantonment.  Maud didn’t feel as if the two men behind her were as angry as they’d been. Maybe working together had reminded them of how much they meant to each other. She hoped so.

They rode along at a good clip for about two hours, no one saying a word. Maud thought about what happened with Bouvier and his men. She’d been in a number of battles by now, but being that close to the enemy was disconcerting. When she’d been running from howitzer to howitzer, she was on the ground and near the infantry, but she’d been too focused on getting those machines fired. Today was different. This was engaging the enemy eyeball to eyeball.

She repressed a shudder at the memory.

Posted by: Author | April 4, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | April 2, 2018

Tuesday Tales- April 3, 2018- Toe

This week’s word prompt is toe. We’re still rocking along in my regency story with the heroine disguised as a male.

Be sure to check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

The three friends were assigned as cavalry as she suspected they would be.

As soon as they were dismissed and on their way back to their campsite, Robert said, “Thank goodness we’re still together. I was worried.”

“So was I.” Maud. confessed.

“I wasn’t. I knew we’d be assigned to wherever Shrewsbury would be. He likes bullying us too much to allow any of us to escape.” William waved his hand in the air. “I hope some Frenchie engages him so intently in battle that he can’t try to sabotage any of us.”

“Surely he wouldn’t do that to a fellow soldier.” Maud was appalled by William’s words.

“He’s so jealous of you and your skills, I think he might actually wish you harm,” Robert said.

Maud refused to accept it. Shrewsbury may not like her but there was no possibility he would want her harmed or killed. “I disagree, Robert. What would it benefit him if harm came to me?”

“Are you serious?” William asked. “Everyone in our group believes you’re a threat to his position. You could easily be field promoted and that’s scary for a man who only has his rank due to his family purchasing his commission.”

“How do you know he’s never been field promoted or if that would even matter to him?” Proud her friend thought she was skilled enough to earn a promotion, Maud’s heart swelled with pride.

“You never listen to the gossip, do you?” Robert asked.

“No. It’s never been something that interested me. I have an older sister who lives for scandal she can judge our friends and neighbors by. It turns my stomach to hear her and her close companions tear someone asunder for some perceived slight or bad behavior.”

“Not to criticize your lack of interest in such mundane things, but if you listened even once in a while, you’d find the truth is, the man does wish you harm.” Robert led the way to their tent and lifted the flap.

As soon as he did, he let out a gasp and stepped back onto Maud’s toe.

“Watch out,” she said.

To her shock, Robert saluted. “Sir,” he said.

Maud peered over his shoulder. Shrewsbury sat on William’s bunk.

When she found her voice, she pushed Robert in the side as she asked, “Is there some other task we should complete before turning in to be up early enough to move out?”

Shrewsbury stood. “No. I merely wanted a private word, Somerset.”

“Very well. Do you prefer it inside the tent or out? My companions planned to get some rest.”

“Since you put it that way, we’ll do it inside. Cecil and Everton can sit outside. It won’t harm them to stay awake a few more moments.” The smile on Shrewsbury’s face was more a sneer but Maud knew she had to ignore his blatant attempt to engage her in some act of insubordination. She had no doubt he was trying to bait her. Why else take the exact opposite position she did on which place to meet?

 

Posted by: Author | March 28, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

 

Posted by: Author | March 26, 2018

Tuesday Tales- March 27, 2018- Strong

This week’s word prompt for the writers of Tuesday Tales is strong. I am still in my regency era story.

Be sure to check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

When she arrived at the stable area, she asked for the head groom.

As soon as he came around the corner, she asked, “Has anyone returned a runaway horse?”

“I think we’ve had a half dozen mounts brought in by someone other than their owner. Which are you seeking?”

“My friend, Robert Cecil’s horse, Dante.”

“Ah, yes.” The groom rubbed his beard. “He’s back there. Eating everything in sight.”

“Thank goodness. Robert was worried and sent me to check. You know how attached we get to our steeds.” She was glad to hear Dante was eating. Just like his master, he liked his meals.

“Glad to hear your friend made it. With the amount of blood on the animal, we were afraid the rider was dead.”

“Thank God he isn’t. Sadly, the horse in front of him was shot and spooked Dante. I guess all the blood was from that other poor creature.”

“Dante is calm now. I hope the incident didn’t ruin him for future battles.”

“Same here. May I see him so I can report to his owner that I’ve laid eyes on him?”

“Of course. Follow me.” The groom led her past several other mounts and stopped at Dante. “Those other beasts are waiting to be claimed. It’s always a task when the battle is over to find out who won’t be claiming their horse. Such a sadness. These animals and their soldiers all have a strong bond.”

“I know. When you have such an intimate fighting partner, you become as one. I feel sorry for the ones who’ve lost their masters. It must be confusing and tragic for them.”

“I like you, Soldier. You understand horses.” He grinned and asked, “Would it be too forward of me to introduce myself?”

The man was at least twice her age and even though Maud was sure he was thinking she was his better, she had no such thoughts. “I’d be honored to make your acquaintance as we do seem to agree about these magnificent creatures. I’m Somerset.” She hesitated as she always hated to use her brother’s name. “Thomas.”

The groom smiled. “And I’m Peter Blake.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Blake and I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again.” She grinned. “May I visit Khan for a moment?”

“Khan is your mount?” Blake’s smile widened. “That’s one special beast.”

“He sure is.” She leaned toward him and whispered, “Don’t tell him you think so. He already thinks he’s the best there is. It’ll just make him hard to live with.”

“I’ll keep it a secret.”

Posted by: Author | March 21, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | March 19, 2018

Tuesday Tales- March 20, 2018- Pale

This week’s word for Tuesday Tales is pale. I am still working on the Regency story where my heroine is disguised as a man and fighting in the Peninsular War in 1814. This scene is after a battle.

Be sure to check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

 

As the sun came closer to setting, as if by some unspoken agreement, the armies began to disburse away from the battlefield.

Maud followed the young corporal who’d led her to the cavalry unit that morning. He turned and called out, “Retreat.”

Grateful the day’s fighting was all but over, Maud did as ordered and guided Khan back to the area where they’d mustered earlier.

The colonel, still on his own steed, addressed his men. “Well done, soldiers. Get some rest this evening as I’m sure we’ll be engaging the enemy again at dawn.” He saluted them. “Dismissed.”

As soon as the colonel uttered the word dismissed, Maud was eager to return to her quarters and wash the dirt of the day off herself.

She left Khan in the care of the stable men and rushed toward her tent to check on her friends.

She neared and was surprised to see William, pale and shaken, hurrying toward her.

“Come with me to the medical tents. We have to see if Robert is there.”

Her stomach plummeted to her knees. “What happened? Was he wounded?” As soon as the words left her mouth, she wanted to recant them. Of course he was injured if William thought he was in the medical tents.

“It was awful. Awful.” William grabbed her upper arm and practically dragged her along. Not that she was slow but he was desperate.

“Tell me about it as we go.”

“We were in the middle of the fray and the horse directly in front of him was shot. When the animal went down, it threw its own rider. Robert’s mount reared up and let out a horrific scream”—William’s grip tightened—“like nothing I’ve ever heard before.”

“What about Robert?”

“He couldn’t hold on, his horse went wild. The next thing I knew, Rob was on the ground and his steed was running as fast as it could away from the battle. There was nothing I could do for Robert. He was soon surrounded by some of the French infantry. I’m hoping he survived.”

Maud’s stomach turned again and it was all she could do not to vomit. “Oh no. I know he’s good with close combat. Let’s pray we find him not too badly injured.”

“I’ve been praying all afternoon that he’s not dead.”

Posted by: Author | March 12, 2018

Tuesday Tales- March 13, 2018- Picture Prompt

This week, here on Tuesday Tales, we’re all writing to a picture prompt. I chose the one I did as it fit into the story I’m on deadline on. I’ve taken a break from my thriller involving human trafficking as I have to get this Regency story done and cleaned up in a few weeks. The heroine in it has dressed as a man to take her father’s place in the army and this is part of the scene where she left home. (This is for a series of books based on legends and reimagined in the the Regency era. Mine is based on Mulan).

Be sure to check out the other tales and pictures here.

new TT Feb 2018tt for march 13

The fear of being found out and dragged back home in shame took half the day to abate.

Once she was sure her plan hadn’t been found out, she relaxed a little. She even stopped for a while to allow Khan to graze and have some water from a stream. Once she was sure she could keep down some food, she ate one of the scones Thomas had gotten for her from Cook.

The sun seemed to move faster in the sky this day. Almost before she knew it, it was close to setting. Now she had to think seriously about where to make camp.

Although she’d brought her saved pin money with her, she didn’t want to take a chance on staying at an inn. A man as small as she was would be memorable. If her father sent someone to find her, they would most assuredly check inns along the way to the coast.

Grateful she’d been able to find her father’s old campaign tent, she set about finding a spot to erect it.

“What do you think, Khan? Can we find a place with grass for you and water for us both?”

The horse neighed as if he understood her. She was sure he did. They’d always had a bond. From the moment her father bought him at Tattersall’s. Even though he wasn’t a racehorse, he was of good breeding and strong. His only fault to the men at the auction house was he was too slow for Ascot. Her father had gotten him for a good price and from the instant the animal arrived at the Somerset stables, she loved him.

The sun moved deeper into the horizon. She spurred Khan on. “It’ll soon be full dark. We must find a place I can defend if need be.”

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