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

Mr. EG C

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!).

91456918_10218914790799589_7888604103721353216_ott fire

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.

Posted by: Author | July 6, 2020

Tuesday Tales- July 7, 2020- Bug

This week, the authors of Tuesday Tales are writing to the prompt .  I am still working on my Regency Christmas story.

Check out the other tales here.

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Once inside, Charles glanced around as he took off his overcoat. Little sprinkles of sleet hit the floor. He ran a hand through his hair and more of them fell. He was still chilled to the bone and grateful George found a table near the fire.

I wonder why he wanted to come here. I don’t see anything unusual about the place. George led him to where he’d placed his own coat.

As soon as they were both seated, a young man with an apron on approached. “What may I get for you gentlemen?”

Once they’d ordered—pints of ale for each—and the waiter left, Charles asked, “What’s so special about this place?” He peered around. It was hard to see as the alehouse seemed to be short some candles.

“Haven’t you noticed there are no women here?”

A bug crossed the scarred wooden tabletop.  Charles almost reached out and swatted it, but thought better of it. No use getting the grime on his hands. I certainly won’t choose to eat anything here.

“Most places like this don’t have woman patrons. I did notice there were no doxies outside waiting on men to come out and that the person who took our order is a man, but I cannot say I took particular note of it.” Charles cocked his head at George and frowned. “Is this somehow important?”

George’s face seemed flushed, but Charles couldn’t really tell in the dim light. It also could be because it was certainly warm near the fire.

Their ales arrived at that moment and George heaved a sigh.

“What did you want to talk to me about?” Charles asked.

Taking a big gulp of his ale, George shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I made a mistake. Forgive me.”

Puzzled, Charles didn’t know what to say. What does George mean? Dragging me all the way across town and then telling me it doesn’t matter? “What game is this, my friend?”

“I apologize. I’ll pay for your hackney home.”

Still wondering why he’d been required to come all this way in the freezing cold, Charles sipped his tepid ale and let his gaze run around the room.

When he noticed two men at a table near the back door locked in an embrace, he looked over at George with his eyebrows raised in shocked understanding.

Posted by: Author | June 29, 2020

Tuesday Tales- June 30, 2020 -Bite

This week’s word for the authors of Tuesday Tales is bite.  I am still working on my Christmas Regency era story.

Check out the other tales here. 

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The next morning dawned cold and sleety. Charles walked near the river to meet George for breakfast in a café near the waterfront. The bite of the wind off the Thames cut through his overcoat making him shiver. Rubbing his hands up and down on his sleeves, he wondered anew what was so important that George wanted to discuss at such a remote place. It wasn’t near anywhere their crowd usually went. Such a mystery.

As he hurried toward his destination, Charles muttered under his breath. “It was warm and cozy at home. Why did I agree to this?”

Shivering, he increased his pace, hoping they had a liter of hot beverages on tap ready to be served. Chilled to the bone, he wasn’t sure he could take much more of the cutting wind.

Finally he turned the corner and spotted George standing outside.

Charles dashed toward his friend, ready to take him to task over arranging this rendezvous so far from home and insisting he not bring his carriage. His friend had obviously lost his sanity. The temperature was too low for this nonsense.

George came toward him. “Come inside and warm up. I have a table near the fire.”

“I can’t understand why the secrecy, friend. You could’ve come to my home and we could have dined quietly and warmly without this trek across the cold city streets.”

“You’ll see why when we go in.”

Charles shrugged. He was here now. Might as well go inside. But he was most definitely calling for a hack to take him home from this escapade.

Posted by: Author | June 17, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | June 16, 2020

I’m Taking Over

103548142_685467008969522_4756272789224326572_nToday, I am taking over the FB group called Historical Romance Lovers and sharing some excerpts along with some interactive posts.  Pop in if you have time.  We’d love to have you. Here’s the link.  

Sorry to miss Tuesday Tales this week.

Posted by: Author | June 8, 2020

Tuesday Tales- June 9, 2020- Picture Prompt

This week, the authors of Tuesday Tales are writing to a picture prompt. Each post is limited to 300 words.  I’s still working on my Regency Christmas story.

Be sure to check out the other tales here. 

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When he was on the street after the awkward meeting with Cavanaugh and his wife, Charles waved off his driver and carriage. He needed to walk. Even though it was cold, he wiped perspiration from his brow. The ballroom had been warm with all the bodies and the fires in the hearths, but his sweat came from the encounter.

They’d been polite enough but he knew she was fighting the urge to either slap his face or kick him in the shins. He didn’t exactly bolt away, but he didn’t linger either.  Just enough to not cause gossip. They’d merely exchanged pleasantries and he bowed to them and made good his escape.

Now outdoors, he strode along the dark street, unafraid. He was, after all, a former Army officer and could defend himself. Not that any cutthroats ever milled around this neighborhood of fine Georgian houses.

The farther away from the ball he got, the easier his breath came. He hadn’t realized he was holding in so much nervousness. It felt good to let it go. He took several big gulps of the winter air. It stung a bit going down, but he needed to cleanse away the angst of seeing the Cavanaughs.

Charles walked on, spying a set of benches he and his love used to sit on before the last time he went to the continent. His steps faltered and tears pooled in his eyes. He shoved them away brusquely with the sleeve of his coat. He couldn’t get sentimental. Lord knew he’d mourned more than most. He wanted to move on with his life but couldn’t seem to get past his loss.

Steps behind him pulled him from his reverie. Am I to meet my fate by cutthroat after all?

Posted by: Author | June 1, 2020

Tuesday Tales- June 2, 2020- Jar

Time for Tuesday Tales again. This week we are writing to the word jar.  I’m still working on my Regency Christmas story and dragging out the torture for you all who want to know what’s up.  Bwahahaah.

Check out the other tales here

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He didn’t take the time to stop and speak to Lord Ferguson as he’d told George. After all, it was a fabrication that he needed to in the first place. Beside, George wouldn’t be paying attention anyway.

Charles involuntarily glanced over his shoulder at the thought. Shocked to see George still watching him, he smiled sheepishly. George quirked his eyebrows. That’s wonderful now he thinks I was making up a reason to get away from him. He snorted. Of course I was. Not for the reason he thinks but because I can’t bear to have the first conversation with Cavanaugh since the incident.

A jar at his elbow startled him. He whirled around to see who ran into him.

Cavanaugh.

“I didn’t expect to see you here, Lockwood.” The man he was avoiding stood beside him.

“I was afraid you’d be here. I’m on my way out. I promise to be gone before your wife finds us together. I almost stayed home but I knew our hostess would never forgive me if I did.”

“You cannot avoid us forever. London is a small town—especially with those of our station. Just make sure you do not ask my wife to dance or engage in conversation with her.”

“I have no intention of engaging in any exchange with her at all. Trust me.”

“We are both required to be courteous and I hope we can do so. I want to thank you for keeping quiet about what happened in the spring.” Cavanaugh shook his head. “Especially now that her sister has returned from Italy. One scandal per family is a lot. They were not gone long enough for the public one to die down. I’d appreciate no fuel be added to that gossip fire.”

“You know very well I am in no position to say a thing. You’d have me in prison if I did.”

“I would take no joy in that. I do still have fond memories of when we were in the regiment together.”

“As do I. I only wish I had not ruined our friendship.”

“That is definitely on you, my friend. It is all on you.” Cavanaugh turned to walk away.

“There you are, darling,” a woman’s voice.

Charles recognized it in the split second before she looked up at him. Her eyes got huge and she said, “Oh.”

 

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