Posted by: Author | August 10, 2022

Wordless Wednesday

Basque Cheesecake by EGC
Posted by: Author | August 8, 2022

Tuesday Tales – Aug 8, 2022- Branch

This week’s word for the writers of Tuesday Tales is branch. I am still in my Regency set story.

Check out the other tales here.

Jane did not allow herself to hope this meant he had changed his mind about marriage. To take her mind off that fact as well as help her plans to move away, she asked, “Speaking of shore, where do you usually put in to port when you are returning from sea?”

“It depends on where we have been. If we have been to France or anywhere north of there, we put in at Dover. If we have been to Spain, we come back in at Portsmouth.”

“You never come back through any other port?” This was helpful. She would not attempt to settle in Portsmouth. She needed to make a fresh start that sadly, did not include him. How will I get over loving him if I keep seeing him?

“Why are you so suddenly curious about my port habits?” He grinned down at her. “Planning to go to sea, are you?”

“Not likely. I was merely making conversation.”

They arrived at the café he had clearly chosen as he stopped to open the door.

He quirked his eyebrows as he let her past him to enter the premises. “Seems a bit odd is all.”

They found a table near the back of the main dining area. Jane wondered if he was as eager to stay in the shadows as she since he picked the same out of the way table she would have chosen had she been given the opportunity to choose.

Once they were seated, she continued the conversation they started outside. “If you don’t mind me asking another question, why did you choose to go to sea?”

“A man has to have an occupation and it seemed as good as any.” He waved the server over. “I hear they have a pretty tasty fish special here. Want to try that?”

Wondering if he was trying to change the subject, she said, “That would be fine.  I only ask about going to sea since you were in the Army before you were injured and that is a different branch of service than the Navy. You were not in the Navy, were you?”

“Oh no. I was never in the Navy.” He placed their food order and then focused on her. “I chose the sea after I came home from the war in the former American colonies.”

“I thought you were injured on the Peninsula.”

“No. My regiment did spend time there but we were sent to the United States to assist when things got bad there. That’s where I lost my eye.”

Posted by: Author | August 1, 2022

Tuesday Tales- August 2- 2022- Crazy

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt, Crazy. I am still in my Regency story.

Check out the other tales here

His smile as she walked into the hallway made her happy. True, he was not traditionally handsome due to the scarring on his face and the eyepatch he wore, but he had a fine figure and appeared string and capable. He had told her a bit about his days in the Army. Nothing too delicate for a young woman’s ears, but enough for her to know he had not had an easy time of it. As if she could not tell that from his injuries. She sometimes wondered if he had more scars and injuries that were not visible. Those thoughts always made her blush as she knew she should not be thinking about those kinds of things.

“Good morning. I thought we would take a stroll near the waterfront today. Not near where you work, but I heard there was a new café where a number of ladies have been dining with their beaus and I thought we could try it.” He looked down at her. “If you would like that.”

Her stomach clenched. “You do not mean ladies of the ton do you?”

He tilted his head and gave her a quizzical look. “Oh no. It is not that nice. It is more for people of our class.”

Relieved, she inclined her head. “That sounds delightful then. Thank you.” Jane hoped he did not read anything into her question.

As they walked on, arm on arm, he did not ask any questions about her inquiry so she relaxed a little. Those places she used to dine were strictly off limits now. Not only because of her lack of coin to afford them, but for all the reasons she went into hiding in the first place. Oh how she missed having the liberty to dine where she chose as well as walk where she chose. Would it not be lovely to walk with her captain in Hyde Park?

Pushing the crazy thought of daring to do such a thing again and the consequences of that to the back of her mind, she glanced up at her escort. He was certainly in a good mood today. He was smiling and greeting most everyone who passed them.

She could not resist asking, “Why are you so content today?”

“Why would I not be? I am stepping out with a lovely lady, the sun is shining and I have a few days before I return to my ship. I love the sea, but I also like spending time with you onshore. It is amusing how much I have learned to like my time on shore since I met you.”

Posted by: Author | July 27, 2022

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | July 25, 2022

Tuesday Tales- July 26, 2022- Hot

This week, the authors of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt mad. I am still in my Regency story. I have lots of ideas about where it may be going, but it’s just slow writing this time around for some reason.

Check out the other tales here.

Determined to stop feeling sorry for herself and take action, Jane stood and, clutching the quilt around her shoulders, walked across the room to the loose floorboard near the small end table she had picked up at Portobello Road on one of her rare outings to that area of town. It was easy to carry and she knew it would be perfect for placing over the spot to deter any would-be burglars. Not that the boarding house where she lived had many people worth robbing.

She knelt and lifted the loose board, pulling out the small wooden box her older brother had carved for her.

Opening it, she ran her hands over the coins collected there, wondering if they were enough to obtain an inside seat on the mail coach as well as establish herself in a new place. I guess it depends on where I choose to go. The cost of transport is just as good a way to choose where to live as any.

She stifled a laugh. It was actually a mad way to decide where to settle, but since she had no knowledge of the southern part of the country and the north was too dangerous to her safety, she decided to call at the nearest coaching house before work the next day and ask about fares to coastal towns in the south.

Satisfied she had a plan, she touched the diamond broach that was her mother’s. She didn’t unwrap it from the neck cloth that used to belong to her brother. It was enough to feel it was still safely hidden away. “I will not have to sell you just yet. I hope anyway.”

She climbed back into her creaky old bed and willed herself to go to sleep. Worrying never helped anyone and the Lord knew she had been giving too much of herself to it. She kicked the quilt off as she suddenly was hot. Perhaps it was her being greatly troubled by the uncertainties of her life at the moment and nothing to do with the actual temperature.

When she rose, Jane broke her fast with a piece of bread then dressed in her prettiest gown. The promise of seeing her Captain made her smile. A smile tinged with sadness though as once he sailed again, she might never lay eyes on him again. In her mind, she knew it would be better. Her heart would hurt for a while, but she had face heartache before and knew she would survive.

Posted by: Author | July 20, 2022

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | July 18, 2022

Tuesday Tales- July 19, 2022- Picture Prompt

This week is picture prompt week for Tuesday Tales. I am still in my Regency set story. Snippets are limited to 300 words this week.

Check out the other tales here

Jane did not sleep well. She was dream- chased by Johnny throughout the night and kept waking up startled when he grabbed her. She finally decided to get out of bed and sit in the chair. She pulled it over to the window, wrapped herself in the old patchwork quilt she had taken from her parents’ home and stared out at the still dark sky.

As she fretted over what to do about Johnny since it was clear he was not going to ever leave her alone until he got what he wanted, she made the second hardest decision of her life. In order to protect herself, she would leave London.

Tears rolled down her face. She had already fled one terrible situation and made this new life here—such as it was. She did not believe it was a great life, but it was hers and she had been free of danger for a while. Almost getting used to being able to sleep at night with no fear other than the fears of living alone, she hated to think about leaving yet again.

Where to go? She snuggled deeper into the warmth of the quilt. This was not something she planned to do and it broke her heart to think of making her way to another town with a harbor. She could not risk taking a job as a governess which was all she was really qualified to do. It was why she ended up being a barmaid in the first place. It would not do to be found and returned to her rightful place in the world.

When her mind went to all she had lost, she sobbed and the tears flowed harder.

Posted by: Author | July 15, 2022

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? How About Elvis?

Absolum’s Grave Marker
Mallie’s parents

I’ve wanted to share this for a while and finally decided just to do it here on the old blog.  As some of you know, I am a huge history buff and that includes family history. I may share more tales of the old family if the urge hits. 🙂

We’ve all heard that everyone is separated from Kevin Bacon by six degrees (the game is actually for movies, but it happens in real life too). Mine is three degrees from Kevin. A friend’s daughter, who I’ve known since before she was born, took a week long acting workshop in NYC and Kevin’s daughter was in the same group and they know each other, so that is me within 3 degrees of Kevin.

Similarly, I’m within a few degrees of Elvis Presley in two ways. Let me take you through a bit of my family history to explain.

Absolum Phillips was born in 1816 and was quite prolific. He had 3 wives and 17 children (with two of them) over the course of his long life. His oldest son was John Wesley Phillips and was born in 1838. His mother was wife #1 of Absolum—she died in 1857.  In turn, John’s oldest son was William Wilson Phillips, born in 1866. William had a daughter named Mallie, born in 1894 who ended up being my great-grandmother. 

Absolum’s youngest son was named Charles Tucker Phillips and he was born 39 years after his oldest brother, in 1877—his mother was 41 when he was born and died within a year, whereupon, Absolum married wife #3.  Charles was the father of Sam Phillips, born 1923 (when his father was 46 years old). Sam founded and owned Sun Records and discovered Elvis. So, my great-grandmother was second cousin to Sam.

But it gets better. My great-grandmother’s sister was named Eva, born 1909. She married a man named Edgar Cochran and they moved from northern Alabama to Tupelo, Mississippi and when Elvis was a baby and toddler, Aunt Eva babysat him a few times as she was friends with his mother.

So, on the one hand, I’m two degrees from Elvis as I knew Eva and she knew baby Elvis and, on the other hand, I’m three degrees from Elvis as I knew my great-grandmother who was cousin to and knew Sam Phillips who knew Elvis. As they sing in that Disney ride, “It’s a Small World After All.”

How about you? Any close degrees of separation from someone famous?

Posted by: Author | July 13, 2022

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | July 11, 2022

Tuesday Tales- July 12, 2022- Angry

This week the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word angry. I am still dragging with this Regency story. I’ve written two short stories recently that got me side-tracked so I am still working on this tale.

Check out the other tales here.

Ashamed that this woman he cared about had been subjected to such indignities in the street, he stared into her eyes. “Do you know him or is he a stranger?”

“Are you accusing me of leading him on?

The hurt in her eyes was a knife to his soul. “Of course not. He is a brute and clearly has no respect for the ladies. I certainly did not mean to infer any fault on your part. Please forgive me if it sounded thus.”

“I am sorry as well. It is just that I am tired from working and tried of that man continuing to try to impose his will on me.”

“Has he violated you in any way?” Daniel’s rage rose higher in his chest at the very thought of such a thing happening to her.

“No.” She shook her head. “At least not yet. I fear he might have had you not come to my aid. He frequents the tavern and has been bothering me more and more in the last weeks.”

He held his arm out to her. “Let me walk you the rest of the way home. Once you have a chance to rest, I would like to meet again and have a meal as we discuss how to deal with this man.”

She smiled up at him. A tremulous smile that he feared would dissolve into tears. He could not stand it if she cried.

Although he knew her tears would be real, whenever he saw a woman cry, it made him think of his treacherous sister-in-law who specialized in fake tears to get her way.

Anger again raised its head in his breast. He shoved thoughts of Teresa to the back of his mind, determined to keep her there where she belonged. Out of sight and out of his life.

“You’re awfully quiet,” Brandy said as they neared the boarding house where she lived. She sounded nervous like she thought he was angry with her.

“Sorry. I was merely thinking about the best punishment for that man.” He smiled down at her. “If he was under my command, I would either have him flogged with twenty lashes or keel-hauled.”

“I do not know what keel-hauled is, but if it is anything like lashes with a whip, I do not think I want to know.”

“Depending on who you talk to, it is much worse.

She held her hand up as they arrived at her door. “Do not tell me. I would rather live in ignorance.”

He lifted her hand to his lips and placed a kiss on her knuckles. “I assure you that is true.”

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