Posted by: Author | May 17, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | May 15, 2017

Tuesday Tales- Picture Prompt – May 16, 2017

This week we have a picture prompt and we’re each limited to 300 words. I’m still working on my pirate story. The heroine is now on a ship and has been commanded to show what she can do with a flinklock pistol.

Be sure to check out the other stories here.  

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Now that the time had come to prove myself, I got a bit nervous. While it was true Benedict taught me to shoot on ship under full sail, I hadn’t had such a tough audience then. Somehow, I knew it was vital I pass this test.

Glancing up at the flag, I wondered exactly what the wind speed was. We were moving along at a good clip and I needed to factor that into my aim.

“Ye gonna stand there or are ye gonna shoot?” Bruno asked.

“Give her a minute,” Leo said.

“Didn’t think no chit of a girl could do it.” Bruno sounded like a small child who had lost his puppy I was surprised he didn’t have his bottom lip out in a pout.

“If you’ll give this chit a moment to judge the wind, I can promise you at least a passable attempt at the shots.” As the men chuckled again, I stared up at the sky. The clouds were big and white and there was a glint of sunshine breaking through. I took that as a good omen and took my stance.

Pointing the weapon up and a bit to the side, I approximated where I thought the wind might carry the shot and let it go.

In a few seconds, the kid in the crow’s nest called down in excitement, “She got the right eye. Straight in the middle.”

Leo smiled at me and winked.

Still focused on my task, I called out to the boy, “Be ready for the next one.” I worried he might get hurt if I missed. Not that I intended to miss but I really wasn’t as cocky as I wanted these men to believe and I wanted that child safe.

“Ready when you are,” he yelled back down.

Posted by: Author | May 10, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | May 8, 2017

Tuesday Tales- May 9, 2017- Mother

We’re back with Tuesday Tales and the word of the week is Mother. My pirate story continues. The hero is talking to a former pirate in this scene trying to help the heroine learn the truth about her parentage.

Check out the other tales here.

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Not being sure it was wise to leave Lydia and Cecily alone without being there to defend myself, I reluctantly made my way back down the corridor.

When I arrived at the room where we’d left Nathaniel, he’d found a couple of glasses and a container of rum. “Sit. Come and drink. Even if you brought a silly woman with delusions of being the daughter of a famous pirate with you, it’s good to have you visit.”

I sat and watched as Nate poured for each of us.

“This is some of my own.” He let out a chuckle. “Who would have known back in the old days that I’d one day own my own sugar plantation and would have all the rum I could drink?”

“You sure did well by buying this place.” I looked around “It’s a wonder you had the money to do it.”

“What’s that mean?” The old man’s face turned red and he swallowed his drink in one gulp.

“Just that a lot of us spend the gold as fast as we get it. We all wanted to make it to port after a good haul and spend the coin on women and drink.”

Nathaniel laughed until he almost choked. When he found his voice, he said, “Yes. That’s true. If I’d saved all my money, I could have had more plantations than I can count but one seems to be enough.” He poured himself some more rum.

“After all, there’s only so much a man can drink, right?”

He nodded. “So, how’d you end up with the woman? She’s right pretty but it’s too bad she has no sense. Thinking Vane is her father.” Nathaniel shook his head.

“She seems sure it’s true. I agreed to bring her here to see if you had anything to offer on her quest to determine if she’s been told the truth about her parentage.”

“Bah. No. I don’t think so. Captain Vane was a man’s man and he may have whored around but he didn’t have children.”

“Is there any way to really tell? Surely the man had relations with some women who may not have been doxies. Could it be that some woman—maybe even more than one—found herself in a situation where she couldn’t find the father of her child as he’d set sail again?”

“I imagine anything is possible. It’s that I don’t think that happened to the Captain.”

It was useless to try to make the old man see sense. Of course, it was more than likely that Captain Vane could have left a lady in dire straits. It could happen to any one of them.

“Maybe you’re correct. She indicated to me she’d been told she was his child her whole life.”

“Perhaps her mother didn’t know who sired the girl and the story sounded better if the father was a pirate. You know how some ladies romanticize the men of the sea. It would also explain a missing husband, if you know what I mean.” Nathaniel poured us each some more rum.

I knew exactly what he meant. How many ladies had pretended to a marriage when they found themselves with child? Countless, I was sure.

Posted by: Author | May 1, 2017

Tuesday Tales- May 2, 2017- Cry

Today’s Tuesday Tale word is cry. I am still working on my 1739 story and the hero and heroine are on their way to visit an old pirate to question him about the heroine’s putative father. They have been accosted on the road by two pirates.He knows one of them and not the other. He has them tied up after he shot one and she shot the other.

Be sure to read the other awesome tales here. 

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When Lydia threw herself at me as if she’d scratch my eyes out, at first I was amused. She was as wild as a polecat and that boded well for passion in the bed. Once I realized she was hurt as well as angry, I realized it really wasn’t humorous.  I could see, down deep, something I said had wounded her at soul level.

Having no idea what it was at first, I kept goading her to try to get her to realize I was merely teasing and meant no harm. Then I realized it was making her even angrier. I wished she be like the other ladies and either cry or flirt her way out of the situation. But Miss Lydia Vane was no ordinary girl. The more I was around her, the more I knew that.

I didn’t know how she planned to prove she was related to Charles or even if she needed to. What I did know was she definitely had some wild man’s blood in her veins.

Other than that one moment I could see fear in her smile, she’d been uncowed and even rabid there for a while.

“I’ll make you a proposal, if you’d like,” I said to John and the other pirate. “Just to make the lady happy, of course.”

“And what’s that? You’ll kill is now and not leave us to die a slow death out here?” John asked.

Rubbing my chin as if contemplating it, I said, “That could be the third option.”

“What are the first two?” Lydia asked. She seemed a little more on control of herself. She’d sat up and her breathing had slowed. Alas. She’d been very alluring as her chest rose and fell rapidly.

Forcing myself to look away from her comeliness, I addressed the pirates again. “First choice is to take you both to Nathaniel’s place and call for soldiers to take you away for accosting a couple of travelers.”

The second pirate spat on the ground. “That ain’t no option”

I held up my index finger to stop his whining. “Option two. I let you both go. Untie you and leave you to find your own way back under whatever hole you climbed out of.”

“We’ll take that one,” John said.

Holding up my second finger. “But there’s a caveat to option two.”

“What’s that,” Lydia asked, letting me know she was paying close attention

This lady and I will be coming back this way and if I see you—And I mean even the top of your head—I will kill you on the spot.” I glared from one man to the other. “Understand?”

“We do. You won’t see us,” John said.

“Don’t get wise with me. Don’t think you can hide behind a rock, tree or bush and take a shot at me. If you really think you know who I am, you’ll know that’s a mistake. Underestimating me would be deadly.”

Posted by: Author | April 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

I’m going to say some words today. Sorry. Ind’tale magazine sponsors the RONE awards and an anthology my story, Milady and Her Spy, is in is nominated for best anthology. If you read it and are so inclined, we’d appreciate the vote. It’s free. click here.
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Posted by: Author | April 24, 2017

Tuesday Tales- April 25, 2017 – Life

This week’s word for Tuesday Tales is life. I’m still working on my 1739 story set so far in Jamaica. The hero and heroine are visiting a plantation to obtain information on the heroines putative father, a famous pirate. Their host is Nathaniel, an old man who sailed with her “father” and his former prostitute girlfriend. The girlfriend and the hero have a past relationship. This partial scene is the night of their visit.

Visit the other posts here to read the other tales using this word prompt.

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Almost as soon as Nathaniel left me alone and I was able to get out of my breeches, Cecily arrived at my room. She was trying to be quiet but she was also demanding to be let in. I couldn’t believe she would do it knowing Nathaniel was already at odds with her over her flirting with me all evening. He was watching, I know it.

I ignored her and tugged my breeches back on before climbing out the window. Circling back, I went in a side door and crept to Lydia’s room. It was vital she let me in so I could pretend to our hosts that we were truly lovers. It was the only chance we had to survive.

Nathaniel wouldn’t hesitate to kill me if he thought I was trying to seduce Cecily. It appeared to me that the man had fallen in love with the former prostitute. And a man in love was a dangerous thing. I knew from personal experience.

For a few moments, I didn’t think Lydia was going to open the door but she eventually did.

As I slipped inside the room, her eyes widened. I presumed at my attire. I hadn’t take the time to pull on my boots so my legs were partially bare as well as my feet. My linen shirt hung out of my breeches and I had no other items of clothing on. Grass stuck to the bottom of my soles.

It was painfully obvious I was making her nervous but I had no nefarious purpose in being in her presence in such a state of dishabille. This was a matter of life and death for I had no doubt Cecily intended to climb into my bed, followed shortly by Nathaniel with his knife to gut me.

“What do you mean, you could be killed?” she asked. A hand fluttered to her throat. “Has Nathaniel tried to use that knife on you he had earlier?”

“Not yet but I’m sure if I stay in that room he led me to that I’ll be dead by morning.”

“Good Lord what have you done?”

Could she truly think I’d done something to alienate the old man? After what had happened earlier on the day? “Of course not. I might have taken some chances in my life but I’m no fool.”

“I didn’t think you were but you must admit? This is an unusual occurrence.”

Her gaze raked over me. “Neither of us is dressed for entertainment.”

“My dear Lydia, I must disagree.” Her expression alerted me to her lack of amusement. Before she could toss me out, I took a step toward her with my hand out. “I beseech you. Allow me to stay. I’ll not make any more jests.”

“If you’re in so much danger from Nathaniel, shouldn’t we get the horses and cart and leave now?”

“I’m only in danger from him if I don’t stay in this room.”

“What do you mean?”

“It should be as obvious to you as it is to me that Cecily intends to invade my bed. When she does”–I slid my index finger across my neck–“Nathaniel covers
the mattress with my blood.”

Posted by: Author | April 19, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | April 17, 2017

Tuesday Tales- Photo Prompt

Tuesday Tales is a group of authors who share a word prompt each week to write to. Once a month, we have a photo prompt and those posts are limited to 300 words.  I’m still working on my pirate story set in 1739. The hero is taking the heroine to a plantation to meet with an old pirate who settled there once he stopped going to sea.

Be sure to check out the photos chosen this week by everyone and their stories. Check them out here. 

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We rode past some fields. Seeing a number of shirtless men working, their skin glistening in the heat of the day, made me lightheaded. It was as if I’d returned to South Carolina. It had always made my heart hurt to see a foreman out with his cane watching for a chance to use it in some soul who he believed wasn’t working fast enough.

I had to avert my eyes even as I was ashamed there was nothing I could do to help these poor people. My opinion wasn’t shared by many of the Carolinians I was raised around but I think I could imagine myself as one of them based on how my grandmother treated me. True, I’d never had to work in a hot field but I’d been subjected to the same kind of caning these men faced.

Not sure how I’d manage staying at the plantation and keeping myself from crying, I allowed myself a bit of that luxury now. I hoped Leo didn’t notice. I kept the brim of my hat down just in case.

“We’re almost there.” Leo pointed ahead. “There’s the first outbuildings.”

I nodded but stayed silent as I didn’t trust my voice not to give away my tears.

Less than ten minutes later, the horses brought us to a stop in front of a simple manor house. It wasn’t nearly as ornate as many of the columned houses of my home but it still had a presence about it. Maybe it was that it was taller and broader than anything else out here.

It was painted green but some of the paint had faded in the sun. Pretty yellow flowers grew against its side.

Posted by: Author | April 12, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

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