Posted by: Author | December 23, 2019

Tuesday Tales- December 24, 2019- Gift

This week’s Tuesday Tales word is appropriate for the day- it’s gift.  We are still in my Regency story.  The ladies of the house party are doing needlework while the men are off doing “men” things. 🙂

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new TT Feb 2018

Honora wished she could tell if the countess was angry or frightened. It was hard to tell since it could be either. She didn’t know the lady at all really but she’d seemed very kind when they had tea together. This was an altogether different side of the lady. One that didn’t seem as calm and settled as the other one.

As soon as the countess was out of the room, Charlotte moved to Honora’s side. She knelt down and practically hissed at her. “What kind of game are you playing? You and I both know you aren’t making a sampler for me. Why are you trying to embarrass me?”

Without answering, Honora pointed at the sampler.

Charlotte gasped. “You really are doing that?”

The sampler had roses and ivy around the edges and a space at the top with no name. Charlotte’s name was under that blank space and Honora had half-finished the words she intended to put below. The “happily” was there. All she had left was the “ever after” and the groom’s name.

It was intended to be a surprise wedding gift, but now that was ruined.

“You all must come and see this.” Charlotte waved the others over.

Is she trying to embarrass me now?

Several ladies crowded around. They all oohed and aahed and then the questions about the groom’s name came again.

Her sister put on the appearance of enjoying the teasing, but Honora could tell by the glittering of her green eyes that she was angry. Angry that Honora’s work was appreciated for its beauty and also angry she herself had called everyone’s attention to it. As well, the teasing without a true proposal had to be annoying to Charlotte. She could pretend to be coy about it, but the truth was, no one had declared for her.

Honora knew this was all growing into an ugly confrontation when they were finally alone. She wanted nothing more than to be off this estate and safe at home where she knew all the best hiding places. Charlotte’s wrath had caused her to learn those over the years. She had no chance of escape here.

Posted by: Author | December 18, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | December 16, 2019

Tuesday Tales- December 17, 2019- Persuade

This week’s word prompt for Tuesday Tales is persuade. Our heroine is still in the clutches of the man who grabbed her as she was out riding.

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new TT Feb 2018

Honora shuddered. She was truly out alone in the dark with a madman.

His shaking with the effort of holding her and practically giggling like a girl loosened his hold under her breasts.

Taking the opportunity to try again to get away as she was now willing to risk being in the dark by herself instead of with him and his nefarious plans, she lurched her body to one side.

She was almost successful in falling off the stallion on her head. As she dangled off the beast at his belly, Charles kept the animal moving as he held her by the waist. He loosened his grip and she slid more.

Letting out a squeal, but refusing to beg to be saved, Honora bit down on her lip to suppress her terror. If she fell now, she’d either be crushed by the horse or crack her skull on the hard ground. Neither was a good option, but she would absolutely die before asking this man for assistance.

“Had enough, Miss Honora?” He asked with another chortle. “All the blood rushing to your head should be making you dizzy by now.”

Honora didn’t want to say anything, but he was right. She was becoming sick to her stomach.

Before she could do more than grunt, he hauled her back up against him. “I know you can’t seem to mind what I tell you to do and you’re truly testing my patience, but we cannot arrive where we’re going with you acting foolish.”

Hope surged in her breast. For him to make that statement, he had to be taking her somewhere there were people. Perhaps she could persuade one of them to help her get away. Even if they were in his employ, surely they would pity a poor maiden who was silly enough to be caught out on a foolish quest to get home.

Posted by: Author | December 9, 2019

Tuesday Tales – December 10, 2019- Picture Prompt

Welcome back to Tuesday Tales. This week we are working with a picture prompt. The tales are limited to 300 words and I am at 299- 🙂  We find our heroine has been kidnapped in this segment. She made a foolish mistake in leaving the estate where she was a guest and fell into the hands of a villain.

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new TT Feb 2018tt

She wasn’t sure if they were headed back in the direction of Misrule. She wanted to kick herself for not really noticing her surroundings when she was astride Aloysius. After I kick Charles Lockwood, I’ll kick myself.

Despairing of her chance of survival against this madman, Honora prayed. Not as much for her own safety, but for her family. Memories of when her grandmother passed away flooded her. The lady had been wicked and unkind most of their lives, but when she died, Honora’s mother was full of anger at herself for not trying harder to be a good daughter to the woman she despised. Honora was sure the same feelings of regret would consume her mother upon hearing of Honora’s demise.

She let out a snort. Why am I lying to myself? Mama will be more upset at me if I return. The scandal would send her to her bed with the smelling salts.

“First you’re fighting me as if you’re possessed by demons and now you’re snickering?” Charles tugged on her hair. “Perhaps you are as mad as I think you are. You with those eyes of no color. Is that the mark of the devil on you, Miss Honora?” He emphasized the Miss in such a way that told her with no doubt that he had less than any respect for her.

She didn’t respond.

He went on, “I wish it had been your sister I caught out by herself close to dark. Now that would’ve been a real treat. I wouldn’t be making haste to hide her. I’d first have made love to her under the sky. The moon hanging over the trees would provide just the right mood. Then we’d go to my lair and love each other all night.”

 

Posted by: Author | December 4, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | December 2, 2019

Tuesday Tales – December 2, 2019- Frozen

Welcome to Tuesday Tales. I missed last week due to the birth of my first grandchild. He was a Tuesday Tale for sure!!  So blessed to have him here safely.  This week’s TT word prompt is frozen. We are still in my Regency tale and here we have the two sisters and their mother off to a house party they’ve been invited to for a week. The heroine’s sister has it in her head that the host is going to ask her to marry him. I mean, why else invite them to his house, right?  🙂

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new TT Feb 2018

“Stop being a ninny and get in the carriage. You’re keeping us.” Charlotte leaned out the door. “I want to hurry and arrive. It’s a long journey and I’m so tired of always being late everywhere because you don’t want to go.”

“Will you promise me to at least try to be nice to your sister this week?” their father asked.

“If she stays out of my way, I will.”

“You don’t mean that,” he said with a smile. “You’re merely nervous about whether Cavanaugh will ask for your hand. Chances are, he won’t as he hasn’t approached me to ask permission.”

“He hasn’t?” Charlotte’s face reddened and she frowned.

“Maybe your father wants you to be surprised, so he’s not telling you,” their mother said.

“Is that right, Father?” Charlotte’s expression turned sly.

“Now, Cassandra, don’t say things like that. The young man hasn’t approached me and it’s unfair to get Charlotte’s hopes up that way. As we discussed, we hope this house party is a chance for him to offer to court her. That’s all.”

“I want it to be more and if Honora would come on, it might be.” Cassandra’s head and upper torso disappeared into the carriage.

Realizing she had no hope of a reprieve, Honora’s shoulders slumped and she allowed herself to be handed in. She sat on the opposite side of her sister and looked out the side window. Perhaps she could ignore her.

When their mother was settled, the driver urged the horses on and they were underway. Charlotte prattled on about Lord Cavanaugh, debating with their mother whether or not the man had been to see her father to ask for her hand.

Honora tuned them out as the question had already been answered by their father. He didn’t lie or prevaricate, so Honora believed him when he said the lord hadn’t called on him. Why debate a question that was already answered?

She thought back over that first night she’d seen Cavanaugh and Lockwood. After she made her escape, she’d hidden in the garden to the left of the veranda. It was cold out there but honestly, with the way she’d been ignored and then talked about as if she were one of the sideshows at Vauxhall, she decided she’d be better off outside under the stars. It was crisp and cool and since her face was so hot with embarrassment and humiliation as well as the exertion of running in her tight gown, she took the chance and found a small bench and sat in peace. She’d hoped they’d find her in the morning frozen to that bench. Alas, it didn’t happen.

 

Posted by: Author | November 20, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | November 18, 2019

Tuesday Tales- November 19, 2019- Fudge

This week’s word prompt for Tuesday Tales is Fudge. Since I am writing a Regency era story and the confection of fudge wasn’t created until 1895, I thought I’d use the 1766 definition that means nonsense or lies and was used by sailors. I have the heroine’s mother using it when she’s telling her daughter not to be embarrassed by an event of the  prior day.

Check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

Honora slipped out of bed and into her old riding gown from the prior day. She was sure Lord Cavanaugh wasn’t going to be joining her after all. When Charlotte entered the stables yesterday, he’d been being so kind and trying to cheer Honora up, but as soon as her sister showed up, he ignored the conversation they’d been having.

In fact, he tried to cover up what they planned this morning by telling Charlotte he’d planned the noon meal today out by the pond. It hurt Honora that he couldn’t tell Charlotte they’d arranged to ride together. Rejection again just when I thought he might actually be a nice man who wanted to see how I handled Aloysius.

Charlotte insisted she’d been sent by his mother to beseech him to return to his guests.

She recalled James did ask her to come with him and her sister, but it was too soon for her. Not ready to face the others, she’d made excuses to stay with the horse and later made her way back to the house, carefully skirting around the field where the fete was being held.

Once in her room, she rang for Mary and had her assist in readying her for bed. Feigning illness, she asked the girl to let her mother know she wasn’t going down for the evening.

Of course, her mother didn’t like that.

As she tucked her hair under her cap, she relived the conversation.

“You must come down, Honora. People will think you’re not a good sport. They weren’t laughing at you, they were laughing at Charlotte for thinking her C was a J. It’s all a game anyway. No one believes that nonsense is real.”

“They were not laughing at Charlotte, Mama. I can’t understand why you and Father think I have any role at all in society. I’m always the butt of the joke. Charlotte always comes out ahead. It’s the way things are. I can accept that. Why can’t you?”

Tears rushed to her eyes as she recalled her own words. They hurt to even think them and it pained her more to have to say them out loud to her own mother. Why can’t she understand how I feel?

Her mother brushed aside Honora’s comments as if they meant nothing. “Fudge.  I’m sending Mary in to dress you and you will come down.” Mama stood and brushed her skirts smooth. “I mean it, Honora Jane Marlowe. It’ll only be worse tomorrow if you don’t face it today.”

Posted by: Author | November 11, 2019

Tuesday Tales- November 12, 2019- Picture Prompt

Time for Tuesday Tales again.  This week, we have a picture prompt. These posts are limited to 300 words so make for quick reading. I’m still working in my Regency set story for NaNoWriMo. Our heroine is in a spot of trouble here.

Be sure to check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018duck

 

She walked toward the front door, intending to take a walk around the house and perhaps to the duck pond she’d noticed the day before from one of the windows.

Ducks and swans always made her happy. They reminded her of herself—not the meanness of swans—but the way they acted serene on the surface as they floated along. The reality was they were working very hard under the surface to appear calm. The same for her. She had to show the world she didn’t mind not being considered worthy while all the time minding very much.

As she rounded the corner of the building, she heard a sound behind her.

Glancing over her shoulder, her stomach dropped as she realized Charles Lockwood seemed to be following her.

Maybe she was mistaken. Honora stopped where she was to allow him to pass.

Surprised—but not—when he stood beside her, she made an involuntary sound, but didn’t say anything.

“Do you ever say anything?” He peered down at her. “I realized I’ve never heard your voice. Is the real reason you’re so quiet is you actually can’t talk?”

Not wanting to be alone with him even though it was daylight and people were right around the nearest corner, Honora glanced from right to left, looking for a way to get away from him.

“Don’t be afraid.” He took hold of her upper arm. “Ask your sister. I’m completely harmless.”

Honora wasn’t going to discuss this man with Charlotte. Not that she would trust her sister’s answer if she did ask for it.

“Leave me alone.”

Charles tightened his grip on her. “So she does speak. Will wonders never cease?”

“Unhand me, sir.” Honora tried to pull away from him, but his grip tightened, trapping her. His strength was too much.

Posted by: Author | November 7, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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