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Monday, April 20, 2015

TUESDAY TALES, PICTURE PROMPT


Welcome! This week we have this picture prompt. We're only allowed 300 words! It's a challenge. I'm returning the Maggie's story for a short interlude. Thank you for coming. Click on the link below to return to Tuesday Tales and read the fine stories there.
********
Maggie walked down the road that abutted the Roberts one hundred acre estate in Sumner, New York. Though only an hour and a half north of the City, Maggie found peace walking the rural paths and streets. It reminded her of home. She missed the fresh air and unhurried attitude. 
   They had been encamped there since the first of July. The rambling Victorian house was quite comfortable. The kitchen was well equipped, the garden bursting with ripe vegetables and the market stocked with fresh local eggs and meat. Cooking there had been a joy.
    John drove Mr. Roberts up every evening and back again in the morning.  He was devoted to his wife and son and refused to spend a night without them. Watching the couple hold hands, take long walks and get lost in conversation over cocktails made Maggie sigh. They were the love story she had always dreamed of.
    The only sour note was that pesky driver, John. She sensed that he was always watching her. One lazy afternoon, she stole outside for a stroll down Bear Camp Road. When she heard footsteps behind her, she stopped.
     “You walk this road often,” John said, coming up behind her.
     “What’s it to you where I walk?” Maggie turned a hard eye on him.
     “It’s not safe alone.”
     “One minute you think I’m nippin’ the silver, now you’re worried about my safety?”
      Before she could go on, the tall man leaned down and pressed his lips to hers.  Maggie jumped back and slapped him hard across the face.
      “You’ve some nerve! Get away from me.”
      She headed back to the house with John beside her. He rubbed his cheek.
      “You had it coming. Hope it was worth it,” she mumbled, eyes straight ahead.
      “It certainly was,” he chuckled.

  
  

                   

Thursday, April 16, 2015

SWEET LOVE REMEMBERED - EMOTIONAL STORY - $.99

This story is special to me. It grabbed me as I took a long walk. When I returned, the story poured out of me in just two days. It's been a favorite of mine ever since. When it was released, I saw I was not alone. Whammo! 11 five star reviews right out of the box.
It's a novelette, a new term for a short book.

Here's what people have been saying about this story:

"This was the most incredible book I have ever read. I have never cried while reading a book and I did with this one. I read it in one night and just didn't want it to end..." Brandi

"I couldn't believe such a short story could make me feel so much..." Deb

"This was a sweet and powerfully emotional read. It may be short in length, but it definitely doesn't lack in content..." Sara


 "Sweet Love Remembered is phenomenal story. Matt and Perri's story is heartbreaking, and one that happens all too much in real life..."   sferguson


"OMG!! What a powerful short story. I was ugly crying big time. Jean did an outstanding job telling so much in such a short story packed with emotion." Amy

"Powerful short story..." Crystal

"This was a powerful story about loss and second chances..." cx3ane


"Very powerful read. loved this story...." Amy O'Neal

"WOW!!! So much emotion in such a short read. I had heart twinges and tears for this. I can never imaging going through what these two went through and my heart breaks for them..." Sassy Beta Reading and Review.

"What a lovely story of loss and finding your true love for the second time... I had tears in my eyes at the end. Very well written." Claire

"What a fabulous tear jerker!!! This short read had it all: love, loss, grief, and reconnections..."

It's only $.99. 
Blown apart by a heart-rending tragedy, Matt and Perri Jessup went their separate ways; he to Afghanistan and she to New York City. With loss, acrimony and heartbreak coming between them, was there any reason to stay together? Would a chance meeting five years later bring back old recriminations and accusations? Could they build a bridge between them or was the gulf to wide to cross?  
Buy links:

Monday, April 13, 2015

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "NAIL"



Welcome! Thanks for coming. This week I continue Maggie's story incorporating the word prompt "nail" at the end. Here we meet the other important person in her story. 
************
Maggie's days were spent in hard labor making beds, and cleaning toilets. Every day at two she would stop by the Roberts' suite. Anne would prop her baby, Penn, on the maid’s lap and open a book. 
The lovely scent of the freshly-washed baby made her smile. He gurgled and trained his blue eyes on her, studying her face as she read. His mother would steal into the master bedroom for an afternoon rendezvous with her handsome husband.
Maggie would sigh, wondering if she’d ever feel that kind of passion again. 
At three, she’d put the sleeping baby down, pick up the twenty dollars left on the dresser for her and tiptoe out of the room.
Maggie smiled more days than she didn’t, even under the burden of the heavy, physical work. As the thirtieth of the month drew near, Aggie took her aside.
“Burt’s been telling me about you and the Roberts family. It’s not a good idea, girl. They’ll be leavin’ and you’ll be sad.”
“Too late,” Maggie brushed her off.
On the thirty-first, Maggie dragged herself to work. Her heart was heavy. This would be her last day with Anne and baby Penn. 
As she pushed her cart down the hall, tears threatened. The Roberts’ door was open and she heard laughter. The squeak of the wheels on the old cart announced Maggie’s arrival. Anne popped her head out.
“Oh, good! You’re here,” she said, pulling the young woman into the room.
Penn bounced in his baby seat and shrieked with joy. The sight of his smile and the sound of his laughter chased the sadness out of her heart. 
“We have a surprise for you,” Anne said, barely able to stand still.
“You do?” Maggie’s eyebrows rose.
Mr. Roberts joined them. He slipped his arm around his wife’s waist. They glanced at each other, grinning. Anne got up on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek.
Maggie’s gaze bounced from one to the other and back again.
“What’s up?”
“We have an offer for you,” the husband said.
“Oh?”
“Tell her, tell her!”
“Why don’t you?” He gazed at his wife with a loving twinkle in his eye.
“Maggie, we want you to come work for us.”
“You’re not in love with this job at the hotel, are you?”
 “In love with it? I hate it with a passion. Mrs. Roberts and little Penn are the highlight of my day.”
“Come with us, Maggie. We have a big apartment. You’d have your own room.”
“And bath, too. And I’ll double whatever you’re making here.”
Maggie pinched her arm. This is a dream. It isn’t real.
“Maybe  you’d better sit down,” Anne said, ushering the maid over to a chair.
“Are you serious?”
“Damn serious.”
“Penn adores you and so do I,” Anne said, warmth visible in her eyes.
“We have a penthouse on Park Avenue. I own the building. We’ll see that you're comfortable.”
“Are you kidding?”
“Never been more serious in my life. My wife says you’re the best nanny. How soon can you pack?”
“In an hour.”
“Done.” Mr. Roberts shook her hand. Anne hugged her and Penn clapped his hands.
“Darling, would you send John over to pick her up?”
“Of course. Our chauffeur will be there at…”he glanced at his watch. “Six. How’s that?”
“Perfect. Thank you so much. I don’t know what to say.”
“Just be ready.” After another look at his watch, he left the room.

Maggie paced in front of the decrepit building she’d called home. A shiny, black limousine stopped. A tall, handsome man got out, opened the back door and tipped his cap.
He took her suitcase and placed it in the trunk while she settled into the backseat. The ride was smooth as a magic carpet.
“I’m Maggie.”
“John here,” he said in a perfect English accent.
“Nice to meet you.”
“Don’t be thinking you’re going to take the Roberts’ for a ride, young woman. They are the most decent sort. I’ve got my eye on you. I’ll be watching. Better not find any of the silver or jewelry missing or you’ll answer to me. I nailed the last nanny. She's doing five years in jail for theft.”
Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to read the tales by the most talented authors. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

TUESDAY TALES - "SPEAK" IS WORD PROMPT


Welcome to Tuesday Tales. The word prompt is "speak." I am continuing Maggie's story this week. Thank you for stopping by. Don't forget to return and read the wonderful stories by other writers.
*******

After her encounter with Anne Roberts, Maggie bounced out of bed each day, hoping to run into the woman and her baby. She’d meet Burt in the kitchen.
“Say, Burt, can you find out how long someone’s going to be in the hotel?”
“Why? What for?” He narrowed his eyes.
“Nothing. Just there’s this woman with her baby. And, well, she asked me to help. The lad was crying and I…”
“You’re not supposed to mix with the guests, Maggie. I thought I made that clear.”
“Mr. Wiggins said if a guest needs something, we should provide it,” she said, sticking out her chin. “The woman’s child wouldn’t stop crying. She asked me for help.”
That’s the way, girl. Speak up for yourself.
“So, what did you do?” He raised an eyebrow.
“I patted the laddie on my shoulder a bit and he burped. Tears stopped.”
“Bet she was grateful.”
“She was. So I was wondering if you could find out how long she’s stayin’?”
“Maybe I can and maybe I can’t.” He leaned over a little closer to her. “But a little kiss might be just the ticket to get you what you want.”
Maggie shoved him away. “Burt McFarland! Shame on you! Get away from me.”
“Pretty high and mighty for a maid, Missy.”
“Leave me alone. I don’t need your help.”
“Fine, then. Get your own arse to work.” He huffed out the door.
Maggie picked up her sweater and purse, then headed for the subway. When she arrived at the hotel, she stopped at the front desk.
“Alex. Can you tell me how long Mrs. Anne Roberts is staying?”

The young man smiled at her. “For you,
Maggie, anything.” He flipped through a large book on the counter.
“Hmm. Seems she’s here for two months.
Not leaving until the fifteenth of July.”
Maggie grinned at him, her heart lifted. “Thanks, Alex.”
“You have dealings with her?” He knitted his brows.
“Just helped her with her baby for a moment. She’s a nice lady.
Thought I might look in on her when I have time and see if she needs anything.”
“That’s the spirit, Maggie,” Mr. Wiggins said, as he came around the corner. “Wish we had more employees like you.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Maggie went to her locker and changed into her uniform. As she pushed her cart down the hall, she heard a soft voice calling.
“Maggie?” Turning her head, the maid spied Anne Roberts in the doorway of her suite, motioning for Maggie to join her.
“He’s sleeping,” she whispered. “Thought you might like to see him when he’s calm.”
Maggie peeked in at the infant. “He’s beautiful. What's his name?”

“Penn. After his grandfather.”
“Perfect. Unusual name for an unusual boy.”
“His father is off closing a deal this morning, so Penn and I are alone.”
“I’m around if you need me, Missus.”
Anne patted her shoulder. “Thank you. That’s very comforting. You’re much more help than Mr. Roberts.”
She smiled.
“My pleasure, Missus. My pleasure.”
Maggie couldn’t take her eyes off the little boy. He’d won her heart in an instant. And he’d be here for another month and a half. Happiness flowed through the young woman as she leaned against the door jamb. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

TUESDAY TALES - MUG



Welcome! Today's word prompt is "mug". I'm continuing with Maggie's Story today. Don't forget to return to Tuesday Tales and read the other amazing authors' work there. Thank you for stopping by.

*****
Maggie made a face when Burt shoved a mug of steaming hot coffee at her at 5 a.m.
   “Tea drinker, Burt,” she managed to mumble.
   “Coffee’s the drink here, girl. Get used to it. It’ll jump start your day.”
   Maggie and Burt traveled to the hotel together every morning.
After three weeks, she still wasn’t used to getting up at five. They walked to the subway together in silence, Maggie not awake enough to talk or listen. 

The work at the hotel was hard. She lifted heavy bundles and carted piles and piles of sheets and towels. And sometimes disgusting, too. Shocked at what people did to hotel rooms or what they left behind, she'd shake her head and mutter to herself. Emptying waste baskets with used condoms in them made her sigh.
   Her workday finished at three thirty. She’d return home and flop in bed for a nap. At five, Maggie was alone in the house. Bored and broke, she'd cook. When her roommates returned at six, they were grateful to have a hot meal waiting for them. And Maggie never had to do the washing up afterward.  
   She’d mastered the art of cleaning up while remaining invisible. One day, while she was returning with her load of dirty linens, she heard a baby crying. The door to the hotel room was cracked open.
   Peeking inside, she saw a beautiful blonde woman, holding an infant and walking to and fro with him while he wailed. 
   Her eyes, full with tears threatening to spill over, connected with Maggie’s. Crap! Am I going to get in trouble for peeping?
   A shiver of fear shot up her spine as she returned to her cart. The door opened.
   “Wait,” said a trembling, female voice. “Do you know anything about children?” By now, a few tears had escaped and were running down her cheeks.
   “Six younger brothers and sisters, so I guess you could say I do.”
   “Please help me. I don’t know what he wants.”
   Fearful she was overstepping her boundaries, Maggie crossed the threshold of the suite anyway. She reminded herself what her boss had said. The guest comes first. Whatever they want, we provide.
  The woman handed the baby to Maggie. He had a bit of dark hair and beautiful blue eyes, bathed in tears. His little face was red from crying. She spoke to him in a soft voice and rubbed his back with one hand while she chested him with the other. The child gave forth with a loud burb, then quieted down.
   “I’ll take him now. And thank you.” The woman pulled a twenty dollar bill from her pocket and pressed it into Maggie’s hand.
   “No need…”
   “Please. I insist.”
   Maggie nodded, grateful for the extra cash.
   “My name’s Anne Roberts,” she said, holding out her free hand.
   “Maggie. How old is he?”
   “About eight months. Thank you, again.” She smiled and closed the door.
    Maggie stopped to lean against the wall and close her eyes. He’s about the age mine woulda been.