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Monday, March 30, 2015


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.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015


This is my latest work, a military romance short story. It's only $.99. Here's a bit about it:

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?

Here's a sneak peek at the first chapter.

Chapter One

“Get out of the car.”

“What’d I say?”

“Get out.” Perri shifted the car into drive.

“Look, Perri, the kid’s been gone for five years already. When are you gonna let go?” Ike closed the door but leaned on the open window, in no hurry to leave.

“Mike. The kid’s name was Mike,” Perri said as she peeled out, depressing the gas pedal almost to the floor. “Asshole.”

Perri slowed down when she crossed the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. She forked right onto the Palisades Parkway, then leaned back against the rich leather seat of her BMW. The drive to Pine Grove was so familiar she could do it in her sleep.

You’d be five today, Mikey. If you had lived. It’s five years since we scattered your ashes in Cedar Lake.

June twenty-second, the day before Mikey’s birthday, was the day of Perri’s annual trip to Pine Grove. She took a shaky breath. SIDS took four-month-old Michael Jessup. The son of Perri and Sergeant Matthew Jessup…once her husband, now her ex.

Perri pulled into the driveway of the Pine Grove Guesthouse facing Cedar Lake. She had a standing reservation for the same week every year. Lacy Ryan, gray-haired owner of the guesthouse, had Perri’s room ready. She took a freshly baked cookie off the plate Lacy was holding.

“Room’s ready, Perri.” Lacy hugged the pretty brunette.

“What’s all that lumber in old Doc Branford’s yard?” Perri munched on her cookie.

“Doc moved to Florida. Somebody bought the place. Fixin’ it up too.” Lacy took the plate into the kitchen. “Coffee’s still hot.”

Perri felt a twinge in her gut. Doc Branford’s house was the house she and Matt stayed in on their brief honeymoon. He was on leave from the Marines when they met. Every year Perri peered at the old place from next door, watching it get more dilapidated and seedy. She couldn’t bear to stay there. Too many memories…it’s where Mike was conceived. They stayed there again when they brought his ashes up…when they had that brutal fight. Perri shook her head to get rid of the memory.

“He wouldn’t have died if you’d been here instead of Afghanistan!” she screamed at him.

“You…you let my son die!” he hollered back.

The shouting match echoed in her brain as if she was hearing it for the first time. Her stomach knotted as the horrible words they exchanged knifed through her gut.

“You all right? Ya look kinda pale,” Lacy asked. She put her hand on Perri’s forearm as she guided her into the kitchen.

“Do you know who bought Doc’s place?” Perri took a sip of her coffee.

“Nope. Haven’t seen him yet.” Lacy fumbled with her cup, nearly dropping it.

“Think I’ll take a look after I unpack.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t do that. Trespassing. It’s somebody’s property…he probably don’t like people snooping around.”

Perri shot Lacy a quizzical look, but the older woman avoided her glance.

To read the rest, you can buy it here:

Monday, March 23, 2015


Welcome! This week's prompt is "catch". This is a continuation of Maggie's Story, which begins about thirty years go. Don't forget to go back and read the amazing Tuesday Tales authors.

30 years ago
“Aggie, it’s been two weeks and this pip ain’t got a job. Rent’s due in another week,” Burt said.
“Maggie, any leads?” Agnes turned to face her roommate.
The brunette shook her head. She’d worn out a pair of shoes, walking the pavement, looking for a job, with no luck.
“Burt, take her in with you. They’re always looking for people at the hotel?”
 “Yeah, yeah. Just fired a chambermaid yesterday. Everyone’s complainin’ they’ll have to do twice the work.” 
“Burt works at the Gold Crown Hotel.”
“You do?” Maggie’s eyes got wide.
“In the laundry,” he snorted.
“They’ll be needin’ a new maid. You game?” He looked at Maggie.
“Sure. What's the catch?” She twisted a napkin in her hands, dropping her gaze to avoid Burt’s piercing stare.
“It’s hard work, girl.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work.” She raised her chin.
“Be ready at five thirty.”
“In the morning?”
“Hell yes. Laundry, maid’s work is done in the morning. But you’ll get out around three.”
She nodded.
“Don’t fuss about clothes. They give you a uniform. Just keep your knickers on, your mouth shut and your eyes to yourself and you’ll do fine.” He looked her up and down, then gave his head a slight shake.
“Thanks.” Maggie knew that her skinny form wouldn’t tempt anyone and for the first time, she was relieved.
The next morning, she threw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grabbed a carrot and stuffed it into a small bag. She met Burt at the door.
“Come on, lassie. Don’t look so glum. A smile might get you the job. No one likes to work around a sad sack.”
She missed her own room, her quiet life in England, taking care of children and reading. She sighed and kept her mouth shut. Good practice.
Burt introduced her to Mr. Vane, the man who did the hiring. He looked her up and down in the most demeaning manner.
“Awful skinny. Gotta lift sacks of wet towels.” He leaned over to squeeze her biceps. She jumped.
“Don’t get ‘em in a twist, girl. Just seeing if you got any muscle on those bones.”
“Yessir.” Maggie tried to keep the tremble out of her voice.
“I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. You’re hired. But you better keep up!” Mr. Vane fished through a pile of uniforms. “This looks like it might fit your scrawny frame. Catch!” He tossed the white cloth dress at her.
Burt winked and gave her the thumbs up.
“Be here at six. Not one minute after.”
“Yessir.” Maggie nodded, tucked the uniform under her arm, did a half curtsy and left with Burt.
“Ya done good, lassie.”
Maggie let out a breath. Now my life begins. 
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Monday, March 16, 2015


Welcome! Today's word prompt is "random". For those who have read, TO LOVE OR NOT TO LOVE, I am starting Maggie & John's story here in Tuesday Tales and will be bringing it out as a book when it's completed. Here's the first installment.


“It’s not like I’m going to take up with some random stranger, Mum,” Maggie said, twisting a handkerchief in her hand.
“Just be a good girl. Do what they tell you.” Her mother patted her hand.
“I’m not a girl. I’m twenty,” the young woman mumbled.
“Just don’t get preggers again.Okay?”

Maggie glared at her mother. A loud whistle startled the two women.
“Time for me to go.” With a quick wave, Maggie’s mother exited down the gangway as the ship prepared to depart Southampton for New York.
Maggie Chadwick spotted the woman making her way to the underground. Glad to have this bad seed off her hands, I bet. Sure she’d gotten knocked up. When Nigel bugged off to Wales, her mum had maneuvered her into having an abortion she didn't want.
Now Maggie was headed to New York City, to bunk in with a cousin she’d met once. Embarrassing daughter problem eliminated.
The ship pulled out of the dock and headed East. 
It took every penny her mum and dad had put away for holiday to pay for her passage. She assuaged her feelings of guilt with the fact that this was the last dime they'd ever spend on her. Her passage was one way. People milled around everywhere, but loneliness surrounded her lie a cloak. She shivered. She’d be cleaning up her own messes from now on.
When they docked in Manhattan, Maggie a woman in a loud dress accosted her.
“There you are, dearie! Good to see you, Mags.” The woman slapped her on the back.
“Come on, lovey. This way.”
After days of being alone, Maggie was happy to see a friendly face. She took a deep breath, then descended into the hot subway, half scared, half curious.  
The two bedroom apartment was small. Gladys led her to a narrow twin bed in a room jammed with two other beds the same size.
There was barely space to move.
“This is yours, love. Here’s the paper. Look for a job. If you can’t find anything. Burt might be able to get you some work as a chambermaid at the hotel where he works. Do ya know how to make a bed?”
Maggie nodded. Gladys handed her a set of keys, kissed her on the cheek and headed for the front door. When her cousin was gone,
Maggie sank down on her bed and cried.