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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: