Win a FREE copy of In Celebration of Mothers

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Want a chance to win a FREE copy of In Celebration of Mothers?

May 7th I’m giving away one free print copy and three PDF versions of this anthology celebrating motherhood.

All you need to do is subscribe to my new newsletter, Trisha’s Tidbits. The newsletter comes out once a week and that’s all you’ll get. No, I’m not going to fill up your inbox with countless messages. Promise!

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Everyone who subscribes by Saturday, May 6th, will be entered into the drawing. The winners will be announced in the May 7th newsletter. There are lots of other contests in the works, including one for a $10 Amazon gift card when we hit the 100 subscriber mark. Each week will also have a story snippet in it or an excerpt from a current book. There will also be chances to win Advance Reader Copies of future and existing books, in exchange for an honest review. Subscribers will get the first chances for these opportunities.

To see more about In Celebration of Mothers, you can check it out here.

A mother listening to her child’s heartbeat. A mother soothed as she holds her son’s hand. A daughter grateful for the pearls of wisdom from her mother, gracing her neck in an invisible strand long after her mother’s life on earth. Memories of special Easter dresses. A mother’s purse full of delightful objects. A mother dancing around the kitchen as she shares music with her son while they mop. Shopping trips with mother’s that are more than mere chores. The stories here celebrate mothers and the glorious world of motherhood, in all its variations. Mothers celebrating their own children, and children paying tribute to their mothers. Take a peek inside to join the celebration. In Celebration of Mothers, women share stories of gratitude. The contributors write of their thankfulness for their mothers, for what they’ve learned through the years, for the acts of kindness and sacrifice their mothers exhibited. If the mother has too short of a life, as in Redwood Park, or if she lives a long, full life to over 100 years old, as in One Hundred and Going Strong or My Mom, My Angel, a common trait is shared; a deep, abiding love for mothers and the state of motherhood.

Want to try for a chance at your copy? Sign up for Trisha’s Tidbits here.

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Ten O’Clock Scholar – life

In Ten O’Clock Scholar, Peggy, a mother of two young boys, decides to go back to college for her Interior Design degree. The only problem with her plan is a reluctant husband. In this snippet, we jump ahead in the story to Peggy’s first day of class.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘life.’

Enjoy this week’s story snippet, then return to Tuesday Tales for more delightful tales from other talented authors.

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An early morning August sun blazed across southern California in celebration of Peggy’s return to school. The memories of a childhood mid-September first day of school, with an early fall chill to the morning air, were something from the past. Life had changed in the twenty-five years since Peggy was a student, ecstatic with a new dress to wear to a new grade. Now, the academic year began earlier – right in the middle of the dog days of summer.

Knowing that the air conditioner in the car wasn’t working right then, Peggy dreaded the drive home, knowing it would be over a hundred degrees by the time her last class ended. But the afternoon heat was the least of her worries. Her nerves had kicked into high gear earlier in the week, and the lack of sleep the night before as she tossed and turned in an insomniac daze was reflected in the dark shadows lining her eyes.

first day of schoolShe’d planned on leaving the house early, leaving her plenty of time to try to find a parking spot and get to the classroom long before the scheduled start time. She’d even packed her satchel the night before, relishing the new supplies that filled it. Notebooks, legal pads for notes, new pens and highlighters – she had everything she thought she’d need, plus a little more.

And then…the morning happened.

“Clifford Anthony Taylor! Why aren’t you dressed yet? We’re leaving in ten minutes!”

Five minutes later, Cliff still sat in the middle of the bedroom floor surrounded by regurgitation of a giant Lego monster – minute multi-colored plastic blocks in various piles and an oddly constructed contraption in the midst of being built.

She bit the inside of her check and counted to ten, knowing that what was headed out of her mouth at the moment wasn’t language meant for a child to hear. Even if it was a hardheaded, obstinate, noncompliant boy.

“Two minutes! Get it in gear…now! Or your Lego’s are gone for a week!”

Cliff looked up when he heard the calm iciness of her statement. Realizing that now mom meant business, he reluctantly left his building behind and moved towards the clean clothes his mom had laid out on the bed earlier that morning.

Peggy grabbed the pile of clothes on Jonathan’s bed and headed to go change him. She knew she’d find him parked in front of the television, enraptured by his favorite children’s video. Seeing only one shoe on the floor, she began looking for its mate. Nothing under the bed. No shoe around the toy box. She didn’t find it in the closet either. Feeling more frazzled by the moment, she frantically set out on a search mission throughout the house.

“Jonathan, where’s your other shoe?”

No response. Deep in a musical wonderland, the two year old hadn’t even heard her.

Ten minutes later, she finally found the canvas mate tucked between cushions in the sofa. Finally, the toddler was dressed and ready and she almost dragged both boys out of the house a full twenty minutes later than she’d planned on leaving.

The boys bickered in the back seat the entire way to Mary’s house.

Mary threw open the front door as soon as they pulled into the driveway and headed out to greet them. “There you are! I was starting to worry.”

Peggy grimaced as she pulled a bulging diaper bag from the front seat. “Oh my lord, you have no idea what a disaster this morning was.” She handed the diaper bag to her friend and leaned in the back to unfasten car seat buckles.

As she followed Mary inside, directions and cautions spewed out of Peggy’s lips.

An impish grin flashed across Mary’s face. “I think I’ve got this. I have had children, you know. Grandchildren too.”

When Cliff realized that he and his brother were staying with Mary and mom was leaving, he started crying.

Peggy gathered the sobbing boy in a giant hug. “It’s okay. I’ll only be gone a few hours.”

Her words didn’t reassure. Cliff just clung to her tighter.

“I don’t know what’s up with this. I know he loves you and he always enjoys when we come visit you.”

The gentleness of a grandmother’s understanding shone from Mary’s eyes. “Yes, dear. But we’re usually just visiting here. Or going to lunch. Mom’s never gone off and left him with me before.” She bent down to the golden head tucked into his mother’s side. “There are some fresh chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen. I was going to save them for after lunch…but I bet your mother wouldn’t mind if we go have one now.”

The mention of cookies – especially at breakfast time – caught his attention and Cliff stopped his crying. A few remaining sniffles later, he loosened his grip on his mother and followed Mary to the kitchen. Jonathan had heard the ‘cookie’ part and had already wandered in there, in search of a treat.

Peggy took advantage of the break and dashed outside, in a mad rush to the campus.

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read more delicious story snippets.

Return to my WEB SITE here.

Ten O’Clock Scholar – picture prompt

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In Ten O’Clock Scholar, Peggy, a mother of two young boys, decides to go back to college for her Interior Design degree. The only problem with her plan is a reluctant husband. Peggy soon learns what it’s like trying to complete homework assignments, draw plans, and take required home tours while maintaining a home and caring for two little ones – with no support and a lot of opposition from hubby. Will she survive and achieve her dreams? Or will the struggles and arguments undermine her and make her give up? Stay tuned and read along as we find out.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt.

Enjoy this week’s story snippet, then return to Tuesday Tales for more delightful tales from other talented authors.

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By the time the next weekend arrived, Peggy wondered if the weekend away was even worth it. It was easy for Derek to agree to the trip to Big Bear. All he had to do was come home from work, load the ice chest into the car along with the bags that were already packed…and take off.

It was Peggy who spent most of the past two days shopping for groceries, washing and packing clothes – in general, making a list and checking it twice. She’d been up well past midnight the night before working on last minute details. But, even thought it was a lot of work, a change of scenery would be a nice treat.

The boys bickering in the back seat didn’t bother her. As most mothers can do, tuning out siblings arguments was an acquired skill and one that she had to put into play all too frequently. About the time the nitpicking started to screech through her numbness and get on her last nerve, she turned to reprimand the two and caught Jonathan’s head drop to his chest in slumber. Motioning to get Cliff’s attention, she held a finger in front of her pursed lips. “Shhhh. Leave him be and let him sleep.”

With no little brother to pester, Cliff soon settled down and started playing one of the games on the tablet they saved for the boys to use while traveling.

Peggy turned her attention to the scenery, watching the landscape change as they gained in elevation, getting higher into the mountains as the SUV turned on the switchback road like it made the trip every week. Thoughts of the pine scented forest that waited for them at the cabin tantalized and Peggy’s thoughts roamed to luxurious walks alone in the wooded trails around the lake.

Ten O’Clock Scholar – lake

In Ten O’Clock Scholar, Peggy, a mother of two young boys, decides to go back to college for her Interior Design degree. The only problem with her plan is a reluctant husband. Peggy soon learns what it’s like trying to complete homework assignments, draw plans, and take required home tours while maintaining a home and caring for two little ones – with no support and a lot of opposition from hubby. Will she survive and achieve her dreams? Or will the struggles and arguments undermine her and make her give up? Stay tuned and read along as we find out.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘lake.’

Enjoy this week’s story snippet, then return to Tuesday Tales for more delightful tales from other talented authors.

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Peggy walked her sister out to the car and wrapped her nephews up in a gigantic hug. Al, the quieter and more compliant one of the two, submitted to the affectionate kiss from his aunt. Ed squirmed, trying to get out of the embrace. Peggy laughed, enjoying her nephews embarrassment, before returning to the house, her mind already shifting to making a decision about what to have for dinner.

She debated about throwing a cookie sheet full of fish sticks in the oven, but remembering Derek’s sarcastic reaction the week before, she chose not to go that route. The past week had been difficult enough without throwing more ammunition onto the flames of their feud. Deciding to make a meatloaf and baked potatoes instead, Peggy stopped at the television to start a DVD. She almost couldn’t bear to hear another round of ‘the wheels on the bus’, but she knew that Jonathan’s favorite would keep him occupied while she chopped onions and scrubbed potatoes.

But Peggy didn’t make it to the kitchen right away. The open laptop sat on the desk, beckoning to her in a come hither manner. One quick peek, she thought, then I’ll get to dinner. She almost didn’t stay when she saw she had 68 new emails. But the lure of unseen messages is stronger than the drudgery of the kitchen. Scrolling down the list an email from the college caught her attention. Her gut tightened and a ball of tension tightened in her throat. With a mixture of dread and excitement, she opened the message.

“Hooray! They accepted me!” she shouted to the room.

Jonathan looked up with a puzzled look, then turned his attention back to the musical rendition on the screen in front of him.

Giddiness swept over her. Not only was she accepted and enrolled in her first class, her student loan application was approved too. She only had to show up at the office with documentation to secure the financing for the upcoming semester.

With a grin plastered across her face, Peggy shut the laptop and scurried into the kitchen. Now the task of making dinner – once again – wasn’t as formidable as it had been just a few minutes earlier. She hummed as she bustled about chopping, and slicing, and dicing.

The aroma of a sizzling meatloaf filled the house when Derek and Clifford arrived home. Clifford, in his typical five-year-old enthusiasm, dashed into the house chattering up a storm. He was full of tales of the evening and bounced with joy when he reported on how he got to fly on his dad’s training cord.

Peggy glanced at her husband to gauge his mood. She noticed a smile on his face, an uncommon occurrence lately. “You seem pretty chipper tonight. What’s up?”

“I’m a hungry man. Could smell dinner when I stepped out of the van. Meatloaf?”

“Yes. And baked potatoes.”

“Great. I’m ready.” He rubbed his stomach to emphasize his words. “Oh, by the way, my brother called tonight. Wants to know if we want to go up to Big Bear with them next weekend. They’ve got a lake house for three days. Says there an extra room we can stay in.”

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Return to TUESDAY TALES to read more delicious story snippets.

Return to my WEB SITE here.

Ten O’Clock Scholar – number

In Ten O’Clock Scholar, Peggy, a mother of two young boys, decides to go back to college for her Interior Design degree. The only problem with her plan is a reluctant husband. Peggy soon learns what it’s like trying to complete homework assignments, draw plans, and take required home tours while maintaining a home and caring for two little ones – with no support and a lot of opposition from hubby. Will she survive and achieve her dreams? Or will the struggles and arguments undermine her and make her give up? Stay tuned and read along as we find out.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘number.’

Enjoy this week’s story snippet, then return to Tuesday Tales for more delightful tales from other talented authors.

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“Sure. Come on by. Only Jonathan’s here though. Derek took Cliff with him.” Peggy scanned the living room to see what messy remnants remained littered about.

“Of course. It’s the weekend. They must be out flying. Guess I know my brother-in-law by now.”

“Yep. They headed out early. A van full of planes and an ice chest full of beer.”

By the time Liz’s orange Mustang pulled up in front of the house, Peggy had already done a quick pick up. Piles of discarded dirty clothes were stuffed in the hamper. Dirty glasses were placed in the sink, somewhat out of sight. A fast dust with a spritz of lemon cleanser at least made the room fresh and clean smelling. She’d thought about running the vacuum, then decided against it.

The flurry at the door when her nephews, Ed and Al, came running in made vacuuming a moot point. Keeping up with debris from tiny boy’s sneakers was an impossible task. The boys, just a year and two older than Cliff, dashed off to the boy’s bedroom, looking for their cousin.

TT_sodaWith the three boys busy at play, the two sisters had a chance to sit down and catch up. Grabbing a cold soda for each of them, Peggy dropped ice cubes in two glasses and filled Liz in on her latest feat. She also reported how angry Derek was over her bold move. “And still is,” she added. “Although…the house is a lot quieter when he’s not speaking to me.”

“Better than him yelling and throwing a tantrum.” Liz paused, thinking of her own past experiences with an angry, abusive husband. “Been there. Done that. Have no desire to go through that again.”

“Well…we had a bit of that the first night. When he first found out. But at least there’s no new holes in the wall over this.”

“Yet. You haven’t actually started school yet. Let’s see what happens then.”

A trio of three young boys ran up, stopping the conversation momentarily.

“Can we go out back and play?” Ed, the younger of the brothers, was the unofficial spokesman of the group, speaking up more easily than his quieter, older brother.

“Sure. Go ahead. Watch out for one of the swings though, the seat broke…”

The sliding glass door was opened and the boys dashed out back before the rest of the words were out of her mouth.

Liz laughed. “Good thing we both stopped at Boy Number Two. Don’t know what we’d do if we had any more.”

Peggy groaned and nodded her head in agreement. “I know. Some days I wonder how Mom did it all, with three of us.”

“Especially with Butch. He was a little stinker when he was younger.”

The two sisters began reminiscing about their brother, now thousands of miles away in Iowa, and not able to defend himself.

“Remember in Arkansas when I went in the house and he took my lawn chair and tied it up in a tree?”

“How about the time he cut my arm, playing with Dad’s ax?”

“And how he always messed up the top of our hair?”

“Tattle telling! Remember him standing on the balcony at the two-story house, spying on us?”

The afternoon in conversation with her sister, as the three boys ran in and out, soothed Peggy’s spirits and eased her worry. Somewhat. She knew she still had a difficult road in front of her and she wondered if she’d be able to accomplish her new goals. But for now, for these few hours, she could relegate her concerns to the back of her mind and enjoy the sisterly comradery.

As the shadows visible through the kitchen glass door deepened, Liz pulled out her phone and checked the time. “Sorry. I’ve got to go. Don’t want to be here when your hubby gets back – if you know what I mean.”

“I don’t blame you. Hey…I don’t want to be here when hubby gets back.”

April 2017
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