Dear Arlie – silver

I’m taking a break from Ten O’clock Scholar to work on a historical short story for an upcoming anthology. Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘silver.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.

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As raindrops started pelting the glass, Arlie threw her hands to her cheeks and moaned. “Nooooo! It can’t rain.”

“Don’t think you have any say in the matter.” Millie was nothing if not matter of fact. “It’s gonna rain whether you want it to or not.”

“But it will be too muddy!” Arlie stomped her foot on the oak plank floor and crossed her arms across her chest in a pout. “And I want a picnic for my birthday.”

Alla shook her head slowly. “Oh…waaa…waaa…you get quite maudlin sometimes, Arlie. Do you think everything in life is going to go your way?”

A look of shock flashed across Arlie’s face. “Now that you mention it, dear…why…yes. I do believe that circumstances should favor my needs.”

“Your needs…and your whims…” Alla didn’t look very sympathetic.

“Oh poppycock. Needs. Whims. Wants. Whatever you want to call it. I do believe life should go according to my desires.” The firmness set in Arlie’s jaw compounded her intent.

Millie turned from where she stood watching the rain cascade down the bay window. “If you two would stop your snipping with each other and think logically about it, you’d realize that Arlie’s birthday isn’t for another week. It’s not likely that it’s going to rain for a solid week. It will be dry by picnic day.”

“You think. It’s rained for a week at a time before. Sometimes even two.” Arlie wrung her hands and began pacing the length of Millie’s bedroom.

“It has. But not during summer thundershower season. That usually happens in the spring.” Millie gracefully eased herself back down on her vanity seat. “Besides, as my Granny always says, ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’ And she should know, with all the years she has behind her.”

Alla nodded her head in agreement, but didn’t add to the conversation.

Arlie scoffed in protest. “What silver lining could there be with this rain?”

Millie took a deep breath and appeared to be searching for patience. “Why dear, you know how low the creek gets during the summer. Some years it’s barely running by now. This rain will refresh the springs and it should be a nice wading depth for us in a week.”

Arlie didn’t look convinced. But when she awoke the next morning to the brilliant rays cast through her bedroom window, she knew that her friends were most likely correct. And they were. The rest of the week passed with nary another drop and the day of her party promised to be dry…and hot.

Saturday morning she sprung out of bed, wide eyed and bushy tailed. She could hardly get her corset tightened fast enough to run downstairs and check on the picnic preparations. When she scurried into the kitchen, she saw that Cook already had everything under control. An opened picnic hamper sat on the table, with a checked tablecloth folded beside.

Cook stood in front of a sizzling pan, turning pieces of fried chicken in the spattering oil. “Go on, girl. Get yourself some breakfast. You’ll have to wait on yourself this morning if you want this food ready before your friends arrive.”

“I do believe I’ll just have a piece of toast this morning.”

“Toast?” Cook snorted. “That won’t give you sustenance until the midday meal. You’ll waste away before you get to the meadow.”

“Okay. Toast with a bit of apple butter…and maybe a piece of fruit. I’m too nervous to eat much.”

Cook tried to suppress a smile. It didn’t work. The grin showed from ear to ear. “It’s that George fellow, isn’t it? You’re all atwitter over him going on the grand adventure with you today.”

Arlie smiled back at the sassy woman that had been a feature in their kitchen since she was a sprite. “Maybe…”

“Twaint no maybe about it. I can see what happens every time he’s around. You light up like a Christmas candle on a Christmas tree. That you do.”

Arlie cut a slice of bread from yesterday’s fresh baked loaf and popped it in their new-fangled contraption. Before it popped up ready to go, Alla and Millie arrived with a Kodak camera dangling around each of their necks. The girls giggled together while Arlie ate her light meal. Cook placed the containers of food in the picnic hamper, with plates and utensils laid in on the side of the basket. As she closed the lid, a knock at the side door announced more guests.

Arlie threw open the door to see George, William, and another boy standing on the porch.

George spoke up first with a slight blush rising up as the three stepped inside the kitchen. “Morning, Miss Arlie. This is Eddie, Williams’s cousin. You don’t mind if he tags along with us today, do you?”

Arlie cast her eyes down and simpered. “Why, not at all. It’s my pleasure.” She turned to the new fellow and held out her hand. “Eddie, so glad you could join us today.”

Millie looked up, appearing excited to see a third male guest. With a quick glance she acknowledged Eddie and then turned and dismissed him.

Alla made her way across the room towards where William stood inside the door. She hesitated as she passed Millie and murmured. “Not your cup of tea?”

Millie whispered back. “Not hardly. Too young and fresh faced. But he’ll be good company for the day.”

Chattering a mile a minute, the six friends left for the meadow. They moved as a group, taking turns carrying the wicker hamper until they reached the railroad tracks where they broke into pairs to traverse the portion they needed to walk along to reach the path that led to the meadow.

Millie hung back behind the others, hoping to capture a few photographs without her friends knowledge.

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Dear Arlie – picture prompt

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I’m taking a break from Ten O’clock Scholar to work on a historical short story for an upcoming anthology. Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt, so the posts will be 300 words or less.

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.

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Arlie shook her head vigorously, causing a lock to spring from her tidy bun and drape down the nape of her neck. “Not this year. After all, I’ll be turning twenty. I’m getting much too old for that now. Don’t you think?”

When Alla and Millie merely looked at her with questioning gazes, Arlie shrugged her shoulders and chattered on. “Besides…then I can’t invite the fellas to join us. A taffy pull would be fun. The boys would join us, loving anything with candy and sweets.”

Alla snickered. “And by boys you mean George. Right?”

A haughty rise in Arlie’s shoulders hinted at her inner agitation. “Naturally I mean George. Just as you’d enjoy pulling taffy with William.” She stuck her lower lip out in a pout. “But Mother nixed that idea. She said July heat is too ferocious to have molasses boiling all afternoon.”

“Arlie Lorraine Shinkle…” Millie spat the words out in frustration. “So what are you planning for your birthday party? Don’t keep us in suspense.”

“Well…I was…maybe…” Arlie hemmed and hawed.

“Spit it out,” Alla commanded in a rare show of authority.

“I was thinking a picnic in the meadow. I’ll ask Cook to fix us up a picnic basket with fried chicken and finger foods. We could go to that shady glen nestled at the bottom of the meadow. After lunch we could wade in the stream. Get our feet wet.”

“You just want to show off your trim ankles to the guys. You’re such an indecent lass sometimes.” Millie giggled at her impudent accusation. “You are inviting the fellows, aren’t you?”

As Arlie nodded in agreement, a distant rumble of thunder echoed across the skies and through the room. All three girls dashed to the bay window.  The wind whipped elm branches about and the sky darkened with the threat of an imminent thunderstorm.

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Three friends – circa 1911

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Dear Arlie – earth

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I’m taking a break from Ten O’clock Scholar to work on a historical short story for an upcoming anthology. Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘earth.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.

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Arlie straightened the stack of pamphlets in front of her, then leaned back and fidgeted with the cameo brooch pinned on her collar. “This isn’t as important as these flyers about our right to vote, but…are you two coming to my birthday party?”

Millie spun towards Arlie so fast she sent a flurry of the precious folded flyers tumbling across the dining room floor. She bent to retrieve them before her mother saw her and chided her for carelessness, and her friends came around the oak table to help. Millie glanced up, her hands still in motion gathering the mess. “When’s your party?”

“The party will be July first. It’s a Saturday. My birthday is on the third, but with all the festivities going on, Mother got the vapors just thinking about all she’d have to do in two days’ time.” Arlie sighed and rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why she’s in such a state about it. It’s not like she actually does anything. Cook is making all the food for the picnic at the park. And I’m sure Cook will be in charge of my party preparations too.”

Alla spoke up in defense of the absent parent. “There’s a lot to get ready for a party. There’s all the cleaning too, getting the house ready for guests.”

“Cleaning?” Arlie giggled at the thought. “Mother doesn’t clean either. Cook does all the dusting, shining, polishing, and beating of the rugs. Mother stays busy crimping her corset tighter and polishing her pearls.”

Millie’s mother entered the room, her skirts swirling around her quick steps, sending a light breeze in the direction of the errant papers. “What on earth? Millie, darling, whatever are you three doing on the floor in the middle of this…this…jumble?”

“Now Mother, it was just a little fumble on my part. See, we’ve just about got it all picked up.”

Millie’s mother simply shook her head with a bemused smile on her face. “Sweet, sweet child. I do believe you got your clumsiness from your father. Speaking of which…” She turned and looked at the ornate walnut coo coo clock sitting on the fireplace mantle. “…he’s due home from the bank. And I, obviously, don’t have his supper even started yet. You three may want to make yourself scarce to avoid the upcoming fireworks. And it will be the dark, sputtering ones, not like the pretty flashy ones we’ll see on the Fourth.”

The girls laid the papers on the table and took off for Millie’s room where they could talk about the upcoming birthday activities. Alla and Arlie plopped themselves on the downy mattress, while Millie turned her vanity chair towards the bed and sat on it.

Alla almost wiggled with excitement. “Arlie, are you having a slumber party again this year?”

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Dear Flora – firecracker

I’m taking a break from Ten O’clock Scholar to work on a historical short story for an upcoming anthology. Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘firecracker.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.

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Dear Arlie

June 1911

“Alla, dear, hand me another stack, please.” Arlie Shinkle held a hand outstretched across the table and looked at her friend expectedly.

“Certainly.” Alla Richardson finished the crease she was making on the leaflet she was working on and laid it down in front of her. Taking half of the papers from the stack sitting beside her, she handed them over to Arlie. “After these, we’ll be finished.” She looked back down at the table and resumed her task in an aura of silence.

Arlie tipped her head towards the third girl sitting primly at the end of the table. “We made good time, getting these done. It would have gone faster if Pauline were here to help us.”

Millie nodded in agreement. “I wish Pauline hadn’t moved all the way to Los Angeles. I miss her being a part of our fun. Have you heard from her lately?”

“I got a postcard last month. It was a train going through the orange groves in Southern California. A wintertime picture – and not a spec of snow. I’m jealous. She said she’d gotten my letter. The one where I wrote and told her about Mrs. Kitch dying. Poor Florence. Losing her mother this young. And now she has to take care of her little sister, Ida Mae.” A look of sadness settled in around her briefly, then she shook it off and returned to the moment. “Millie, are these the last of the flyers? Did your mother have any more that she wanted folded?”

“No. This is the last of them. She’ll be excited that they’re ready to go. She and her suffragette friends will be passing them out at the parade on the Fourth.” Millie thrust her shoulders back and sat up ramrod straight. “She’ll be expecting me to help too.”

“But I thought we were all going to attend the parade together,” Arlie exclaimed. “It wouldn’t be the same watching the parade without you.”

“I know. I know. But Mother’s whole group is working with a vengeance now. Grace Trout has made such progress as president of the Equal Suffrage Association. And Mother was giddy with excitement when two women were elected to the school board in Springfield a few months ago. She’s confident that we’ll have the right to vote soon.”

Alla broke her silence and spoke up softly. “And your father…how’s he taking your mother’s crusade?”

Millie groaned in reply. “Not well. He alternates between a frowning, icy glare and bellowing like a mad bull. Especially the nights when he returns home from the bank and Mother’s been too busy to have dinner waiting for him like he prefers.”

“That must make for some awkward evenings.” Arlie leaned back in the carved wooden chair and tucked some loose curls back into her twisted bun. “When I get married, I won’t tolerate that kind of behavior from my husband. He’ll treat me kindly and with respect.”

“Ha! What husband? You keep up that kind of attitude and you’ll never get one.” Millie chucked and slapped at Arlie’s arm to show she was teasing. “You still have your eye on George?”

Arlie flushed a deep scarlet and hesitated before replying. “…maybe…He is going to propose one day. I just know it.”

“You sound awfully confident about it. I don’t know though…he and William have been hanging around without making any moves.”

“William’s mine!” The words burst out of Alla’s mouth. Her hand flew up to cover her lips and a wide eyed look of surprise stared back at her two friends.

A smirk peeked from Arlie’s face before she managed to hide it. “You can have William. I’m not interested in him. I want George. He’s the one I’m going to marry.”

“You think. I would have thought he’d make his intentions known by now.” Millie spoke firmly and forcefully. “He may not be the man for you if he’s not man enough to be bold.”

An arrogant tilt of Arlie’s chin paired up with a gleam in her eyes. “He’s man enough that he asked me if we were going to Christina Park on the Fourth. He wants to watch the fireworks with me.”

“Knowing him, he’s going to have a string of firecrackers in his pocket. Not an engagement ring.” Millie grinned as she gathered the piles of folded flyers together.

Alla sighed and a wistful look settled on her countenance. “I wish William would ask me. You’re a lucky girl. Your birthday on the third and fireworks with her fellow on the Fourth.” She turned towards Millie. “What about you? Who do you have your sights set on?”

“Me?” Millie laughed in response. “I doubt I’ll ever marry. Not if all men act like my father. I think being a strong, independent woman is more important. Until we have the right to vote, and are equal to men, then there’s too much work to be done. I’ll be marching in parades and passing out flyers and making phone calls and protesting with all my might. I won’t have time to be home cleaning a house, pressing and starching shirts and slaving over a stove so that my husband can be the big man boss of the household.”

Arlie and Allie looked at their friend in astonishment. Although they’d be helping Millie and her mother and the local suffragette group with their activities over the past year or two, they had no idea that their friend felt so intensely about the cause.

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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. In this snippet, we jump ahead in the story to Peggy’s first day of class.

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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It was the same as always with this site. That’s why Peggy only looked at Pinterest after the boys were in bed for the night. First she scrolled through the new posts. That task always took longer now that she followed more pages than ever before. New recipes, craft ideas, garden inspirations. Quotes that encouraged and motivated. An hour later she was still browsing. She hadn’t even looked at interior design ideas yet.

She pulled the loose tendrils off her neck that had escaped from her massive hair clip and muttered out loud to herself. “Okay. Ten more minutes. And that’s it.” Moving the mouse to the search option, she typed in ‘interior design living room.’

If the countless pins that showed up weren’t enough, additional options were listed across the top bar, giving her the chance to drill down even further: Colors. Warm. Rustic. Staircases. Modern. Bohemian. Small. Traditional. Cozy. Contemporary. Luxury. Simple. The possibilities went on and on.

Feeling whimsical and free-spirited, she clicked on ‘Bohemian.’ The images that appeared caused a feeling a peace to settle across her like a well-worn cloak. She grinned, feeling like she was stepping back in time, back to her younger care-free days – a time before husband and children – a time of fewer responsibilities.

She kept scrolling and looking, even as her eyelids began to droop and her shoulders began to sag. Yet, she couldn’t stop. She felt compelled to keep looking.

The sound of a buzzing alarm from her bedroom filtered through to her consciousness and jolted Peggy awake. She sat upright in the chair where she’d dozed and shook her head, trying to step out of the fogginess of slumber. Lifting her head, she saw the golden orange glow of the sun peeking over the horizon, casting its early morning embers across the sky. She wondered what Derek would say, or if he’d even notice that she never made it back to bed last night.

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Ten O’Clock Scholar – stone

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 ‘stone.’

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

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Sure enough, his footsteps padded down the carpeted hallway, right past the dining room table without a pause to stop and say goodnight. A brief moment of elation filled her with joy. She wouldn’t have to deal with his bullshit tonight. Almost as suddenly as the happiness descended, it fled, leaving in its place a well of sorrow and sadness.

Tears welled up behind her eyes, her vision clouded and sobs threatened to spill out. She caught herself and stopped the emotions from overwhelming her. She didn’t want him to hear her break down crying.

We can’t keep going on like this. I need to make a decision. I’ve got to give him an ultimatum. But…what if he takes me up on it? I don’t have any money. I don’t have a job. I have no earthly idea what I’d do then.

Reacting in a manner that had served her well her whole life, instead of dealing with the critical situation in front of her, Peggy tamped down her emotions and her thoughts and turned her attention to an action unrelated to the dilemma that left her feeling confused and helpless. She flipped through the pages of the opened textbook in front of her.

TT_stone bedroom.jpgA photograph of a peaceful, serene bedroom caught her eye, making her gape in awe. A rush of desire flooded through her. I want that room! The light neutral colors were soothing. The bed linens were plush and inviting. The beige stone wall behind was the perfect accent, lending a natural, but not rustic, feel to the atmosphere.

She turned the page to find another photograph depicting different stone varieties for interiors.

And here I thought stones were only used for walkways, or maybe some countertops.

She ran her finger down the list; marble, field stone, limestone, granite, slate, river rock, pebbles.

TT_stone.jpgI can see there’s going to be a learning curve in this class. There’s ideas here that I’ve never even thought of using in a room. I’d better start opening my eyes and checking out the possibilities. Maybe I’ll text Wanda tomorrow and see if she wants to meet up and go visit some model homes with me.

The grandfather clock on the wall ticked on as Peggy spent the next hour browsing through her brand new copy of The Fundamentals of Interior Design. After perusing through the end of the book, she returned to the first chapter and began reading. The Design Process. Yellow marker in hand, she highlighted sentences and sections that she wanted to make a note of. At some places she picked up a red pen and underlined words and ideas that she wanted to remember. On a legal pad she made notes of words to look up, and ideas she wanted to Google for more information. By the end of the chapter her mind whirled and tumbled with new data and facts. One more thought crossed her mind. She closed the book and set it aside, then pulled her laptop closer. Opening it up, when the screen appeared, she clicked on a favorite icon. Pinterest.

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FREE BOOK: Following Your Dreams

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Are you following your dreams?

Are you chasing the life you desire with every fiber of your being?

Do you know what your dreams are?

Get a FREE COPY of Following Your Dreams.  Reflections, Affirmations, and Workbook Exercises help you focus on achieving a life you dream of.

Here’s one of the reflections and affirmations that’s included.

Commitment leads to action.
Action brings your dream closer.

Marcia Wieder

Dreams are destined to remain mere wishes, briefly flitting through our consciousness, until we take action to make them a reality. That’s why so many unwritten novels remain unwritten tomes, living forever in the minds of the author, but never making it to the page.

Ask anyone what their dreams are. Ask your friends, your family, or your co-workers. Almost everyone will have an answer for you. And then…ask them what they’re doing to make their dreams a real part of their lives. That’s where you’ll see the gap. Many won’t have an answer for that question.

Until we commit to our dreams, until we vow to take action, they will stay in the nebulous netherlands of ‘Someday’.

Make the first step towards an unrealized dream. Take the step of commitment.

Affirmation: Today, I commit to following my dream of _____________.

(Fill in the blank with one of your dreams.)

Get your FREE COPY of Following Your Dreams here!

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Ten O’Clock Scholar – purple

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 ‘purple.’

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

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Nerves tingling with excitement, Peggy couldn’t wait to dive into her schoolwork once the boys were in bed. She was so anxious and ready to start her reading, she started the whole run the bath and lay out the jammies process thirty minutes earlier than usual. Not that the boys were that happy about it. But they were never excited about bath and bedtime, so their reaction was nothing new.

Neither was Derek’s. His behind was firmly attached to the sofa cushion and would remain there until he headed to bed. TV blaring, empty beer cans leaving wet rings on the coffee table, cigarette butts piling up in the ashtray; that was his usual nighttime routine. Peggy had tried getting him to help out with the boys at bedtime. His rote response did nothing to endear her to her husband. “Nothing doing. That’s your job. I work all day.”

As if I sit on my tush and eat bon bons all day.

But tonight nothing would erase the shimmer of anticipation that rippled around her.

Finally the boys were tucked into bed and Peggy headed for the kitchen table with the stack of books she needed for her classes. Opening the book for the Interior Design Basics class, she stroked the cover page lightly and silently admitted to herself – there’s nothing like the fragrance of a brand new textbook with its slick pristine pages, crisp to the touch.

Perusing the table of contents, the chapter on color theory caught her eye. “Page 178.” She muttered softly under her breath and flipped through the pages until she found the section she searched for. Skimming through the subheadings, she turned the page and stopped at the full size color wheel. Finding her favorite color, she read off the list of corresponding names.

purple colors“Violet. Boysenberry. Lavender. Plum. Lilac. Grape. Periwinkle. Eggplant. Iris. Amethyst. Orchid. Mulberry. Wine.”

Who knew there could be so many different colors and names of purple?

The sudden silence in the living room announced that Derek was done and headed for bed. She halfway wondered if he’d even come in the kitchen to say goodnight. She knew he wouldn’t make the trip in to throw his own empty cans away. A small part of her missed the old days of their marriage when they seemed happy to be around one another and would spend time in the evening cuddling and being intimate. The larger part of her was so disgusted with the current state of their relationship, she didn’t care at all if he came in to say goodnight – she almost preferred that he keep his distance and let her enjoy this small slice of quiet time. She had so little time for herself that she’d almost forgotten what it was like.

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More Beginnings, by Iris Blobel

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~~ More Beginnings ~~
(2nd Edition)
by Iris Blobel

 

♥♦♥  BLURB ♥♦♥

Zach Taylor, an escort in Sydney, living in Hobart, enlists the help of Natasha Peterson when his teenage friend, Mia, runs away. He soon finds out that the ‘dragon’ is really more of a kitten. And although Natasha, Mia’s teacher, is attracted to him as well, she has her own problems to deal with, not to mention her initial reaction to Zach’s occupation.

Will Zach’s job keep him from a chance to be with Natasha?

Life is good for teenager Mia Levesque. But when Darren Schuster shows up in Hobart, she knows something is up once Sophie and Mark cut their weekend away short and rush home in the middle of the night. When Sophie won’t answer Mia’s questions, emotions run high, and Zach confirms Darren’s identity to Mia. Disappointed, angry, and feeling alone, Mia runs away.

Will life settle back into a routine for Mia once she finds out about the stranger in her life?

New Beginnings have given the Levesque girls a new start in life, will More Beginnings be another chance for them?

AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071F7FPQ9/

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071F7FPQ9/

AMAZON AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071F7FPQ9/

♥♦♥ EXCERPT ♥♦♥

Zach Taylor’s young neighbour, Mia, let out a long sigh as she joined him on his front porch and sat next to him on the swing. Enjoying a cool lemonade, he invited her to grab a soft drink from the fridge as well. It was a warm summer day, and the air showed no sign of cooling down. A lot of people in Hobart were weary of the unusual hot spell for the very southern Australian city.

With another hefty sigh, Mia raked through her long, blond hair and stared into the distance. “Honestly, Zach, she’s a dragon. I’m sure she does it on purpose. She doesn’t like me. She thinks I’m spoilt.”

The dragon in question was Miss Peterson, Mia’s high school English teacher. There was no doubt that Mia liked school, and she enjoyed her classes. And even though English wasn’t her worst subject, it certainly was the toughest one, with Miss Peterson piling on homework one after the other.

Zach took a sip of his drink before he replied, “Hey, pumpkin, settle down. What’s that supposed to mean you’re ‘spoilt’?”

She lifted her shoulder in a slight shrug. “You know!”

Raising his brows, he replied, “Actually I don’t know! Isn’t she Sophie’s good friend?”

Another shrug. “Kind of, I suppose. They used to do the boxing stuff together, and since Soph’s carrying a baby, they go and enjoy coffee and cake instead every once in a while.”

Ignoring his chuckle, she went inside and helped herself to cold lemonade. She opened the can with a simple click as she returned outside and took a long sip.

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥
IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/iris-blobel

Ten O’Clock Scholar – hug

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 ‘hug.’

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

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Reaching for the note, Peggy kept her eyes on Mrs. Stone. After the teacher’s admonitions about tardiness and cell phones in the class, Peggy didn’t think that passing notes to one another would be an allowable action, even though she hadn’t specifically spoken against it. Even though many years had passed since Peggy sat in a classroom, she instantly felt like she was back in Junior High, passing notes to her best friend. Although, in this current technological age, it felt like old times. What the kids would call ‘old-school’, she supposed.

Looking at the piece of paper in her hand, she saw it was a phone number. She gave a thumbs up motion to Wanda, to acknowledge it. I’ll have to ask her if she texts. My parents do, but Wanda looks older – more like my grandparents age. They carry cell phones, but don’t know the first thing about texting.

Before she could worry more about Wanda’s texting abilities, she turned her attention back to the instructor, who was pacing back and forth across the front of the room during her introductory discourse. “…you’ll need to have your laptops with you every day.” She picked up a stack of papers from her desk and handed the pile to the corner seat. “Here is the syllabus for the quarter, along with instructions and passwords to log onto the online course items. We will have two mandatory field trips. One to the Pacific Design Center and one to the Gable House in Pasadena. The dates and times are in the syllabus.”

gamble house.jpg

Field trips? Clear to Pasadena? And the Design Center in LA? How am I going to work that out? I hope Mary’s up for a few longer days than I anticipated.

wallpaper samples.jpgBut she couldn’t dwell on that. Mrs. Stone was off in another flurry, opening the cupboards that ran the full length of three sides of the class. “…samples are in here…textile samples…wallpaper books…paint chips here…”

Even though the work seemed overwhelming, Peggy was enthusiastic to start learning. A ripple of excitement coursed through her soul as she imagined immersing herself in the hundreds – or thousands – of available samples.

By the time she left class, Peggy’s head was whirling with the massive assignment list the students received.

Wanda caught her elbow as she gathered her belongings. “Call me and we can compare notes about the class.”

“OK. But I don’t have a lot of time to chat during the day. You know, two young boys and all. You text?”

“Naturally.”

“Great. I usually text. But don’t take it personal if I don’t reply right away. Sometimes I’m in the middle of things and can’t answer then.”

A wistful smile filled Wanda’s face, smoothing out the crevices that lined her face. “I remember those days. Vaguely. Now my grandchildren are having children and I’m an old woman with nothing to fill her days.” A gleam in her eye replaced the look of longing. “Until school. Happy 60th birthday to me. Now there’s an agenda to my week and a purpose to get up and get dressed.”

Peggy chuckled and held up a palm for a high five. “Good for you! We’ll chat. But I’ve got to run and pick up the boys now. They’re not used to being left with a sitter, even though it’s a friend that they know.”

Dashing to the car, Peggy felt like dancing with glee. I needed this! School and learning. And making new friends. Topped off by giant hugs from the boys when I pick them up. Life doesn’t get any better than that.

It was when she was in the car, fighting traffic on the congested 10 Freeway that she thought of Derek and wondered what mood he was going to be in that evening.

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