Monday, November 30, 2015

To Plot or Not by Roseanne Dowell

At one of our chapter meetings of RWA, the speaker talked about plotting a novel and writing a synopsis before the book was written. She suggested if we had never done that to try it.
So I did.

I had an idea for a story that was taking shape in my mind. As usual, I knew how it would begin and how it would end. What happened in the middle? I didn’t have a clue. Oh, I had a few ideas. 

I knew there was a secret about my heroine’s birth, and she’d find a dead body But I had no idea who he was  (yes, I knew it was a male) or why he was killed. So I tried plotting. I came up with a few ideas about his identity and even about who murdered him and even why. 

I was totally blocked. The story sat for the better part of the year without me typing even one word. Every time I opened it, I read it, made a few changes and then I got to the part where I was stumped.
I stared at the computer, sometimes for hours, trying to come up with something, anything –even if it was garbage – just to get me past that hump. I couldn’t do it. So I’d move on to something else. I revised several other stories that I’d written a long time ago, then I’d go back to it. The problem was –I was locked into the outline, I didn’t know how to make the transition to the next thing. It didn’t feel right.                                                                                 
It wasn’t until one day; I was emailing my writing buddy about my dilemma. I needed help and any suggestions she could offer would be most welcome. I wrote what I had so far, and where I wanted the story to go. For some reason, in that email, I started to ask what if, which is how I usually wrote. I threw out a couple of ideas to her and answered them myself. Finally, I was unblocked. I even created a new character and another conflict. I ignored the plot outline and went a completely different way.
That was how I usually wrote, asking what if as I wrote, coming up with new ideas. For me, plotting and outlining doesn’t work. I’ll never do it again. For others, it works fine and good for them.  I understand it’s not necessary to stick to the outline, but for me, since I  outlined, I had trouble deviating from it.  It blocked my creativity. Yes, I should have ignored it long before, but it was too fresh in my mind. It took a year and then some to forget what was on that outline so I could move on.
I guess my whole point is – write the way it’s comfortable for you. There is no right or wrong way, there’s only your way. There are few hard and fast rules in writing. We all have to develop our own style, our own voice, and our own rules. Some authors get up in the morning and sit down to write. Some write later in the day, and still others write in the middle of the night. Again, whatever works best for you. The important thing is to write.

My current novels are available from Amazon at:  
Visit me at my website 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Unexpected by Ginger Simpson

This year was a record year for me. On November 12, I turned 70.  I'm shocked to even be able to type my age. :)  Since my entire life I've been reminded that I favor my father's side of the family, and most of them have passed (Dad 61, Uncle late 50s, Aunt late 50s, Paternal Grandmother and Grandfather, both far too young,) I expected to be gone long before now.  Thank you Lord for giving me my mom's longevity genes.   She just turned 91 on November 1.
Nov 1 - Mom's 91st
Atrium balconys

My husband, bless him, took me to Gaylord's Opryland hotel for an
overnight stay.  I've always wanted to be one of those rich bitches sitting on their atrium balconies, looking down at the travelers below.

 For a fleeting moment...I was.  Not the rich bitch part,but I did sit on a balcony overlooking the bar, restaurant and walkways below.  That night, we left our door ajar to the outside so  we could listen to the amazing sound of the waterfall cascading just feet from our room.
Listen to the waterfall

We enjoyed a drink and cheese platter in the bar, and later dined in a very proper and expensive restaurant.   Personally, I loved the carousel bar that was lost during the 100-year flood. :( far as my birthday trip... I'll be paying the bills for a while, but it was worth every penny, and a proper celebration to reach a year I never expected to see.  I'm already saving up to go for my 80th.
Waterfalls from the bar

View from our room...notice the decorations going up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Changing Traditions

Way back in my early years of marriage, we started a new tradition. It came with our first purchase of an artificial tree. I love Christmas, always have. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my two favorite holidays.
I have more memories of those two holidays from my childhood than any other. So it should come as no surprise, that once we bought an artificial tree, it went up the day after th and her neighbors thought the same thing.
Thanksgiving. Neighbors thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care. My mom always put up her tree December 6
My feelings are the same as my mom’s. We put too much work into decorating and we want to enjoy it for as long as possible.
Now days I see a lot of Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving. Which brings me to my newest tradition. Since my children no longer come here for Christmas dinner – our house is way to small to accommodate them and the grandchildren (and now great grandchildren) that my children have taken over the holiday. That’s fine with me, but that also means they don’t get to enjoy my decorations. So….yep, I put them up before Thanksgiving. That allows me to enjoy them more. So needless to say, yep, the tree is up, the house is decorated and today, I’ll light the lights – at least outside. I couldn’t wait so I lit the tree already.
There’s something so cozy and serene about the lights. I love the ambiance. They’re the only lights in the room for the most part. I used to have candles lit around the room also, but one night I went to bed and forgot about one. Luckily I woke up in the middle of the night and saw it. So now I have battery operated candles. They look just as nice and I
don’t have to worry if I forget to turn them off.

The only reason I still have Thanksgiving dinner at my house is only half of my kids come for dinner. My daughters all go to their in-laws and my sons came here. I use past tense because the last two years one of my sons went to my daughter-in-law’s uncle’s. This year my oldest son will be going to his girl friend’s sister’s. That leaves my youngest son and his family. There’ll only be eight of us this year. Everyone else will come later for dessert and I look forward to it. I’m sure I’ve said before my favorite thing is to have my family around me. I’m very blessed my children all live within about 20 minutes of me. So another new tradition will begin and that’s okay. I love traditions. Next month I’ll write about another one. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Hobbies by Roseanne Dowell

 I thought I'd talk a little about one of my hobbies instead of writing. That's right, you won't find anything about any of my books on this blog. It's all about my hobby.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m not writing is embroidery. 
Another is quilting. I've found a way to combine the two. First, 
I made baby quilts for my nieces. White on white, I machine
 embroidered them with the darning stitch so I had control. They turned out really pretty, but I really love to hand embroider. 
That’s when I discovered red-work. During a quilting shop-hop, one of the stores highlighted red-work. For those who don’t know what red-work is – it’s embroidery done in all red floss. Just the outline of the picture, not filled in like other embroidery patterns. Anyway, I fell in love with it.

Every year I make something for Christmas (usually a Santa) for my children and give it to them on Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s ceramic, sometimes wood. I found a Santa pattern and did it all in red-work, framed it and gave it to them one year.

 That’s when I decided to make a baby quilt for each of my grandchildren – not for them, but for their first born, my great grandchildren. I'd already made lap quilts for each of my children and grandchildren. 
But where to find patterns? I started out with coloring books for designs. I traced the images onto 12x12 squares of muslin and embroidered them.  After I finished embroidering the squares, I cut sashing and sewed them together. For the backing I used
various fabrics, not nursery print. None of the quilts have nursery fabric in them at all.
I also used patterns from zoo animals to Winnie the Pooh.
Eventually, I found transfer books and used them for designs, much easier than tracing the. I just ironed them on. 
I looked everywhere for baby designs. It took several years, but they're all finished. I have 14 grandchildren, that’s a lot of baby quilts. Most of the quilts are done in red work, but several are done with various colors of embroidery floss, too. 

  I also made quilts for my niece’s twins. One of the patterns is kittens and the other is bunnies. She had a girl and boy, so I thought the bunnies would be good for him. Recently, she had another child. A boy–so I just finished q baby animals one for him. 

So far I've given quilts to two of my granddaughters. It looks like I'll be giving another one next year. I recently found out another great grandchild is due in June, so another quilt will be delivered at her shower in April. We don't know the sex yet, but the quilts aren't gender specific. 
I've marked each quilt with the name of the grandchild they’re supposed to go to in case I’m not around to give it to them. My youngest grandchild is only four. I'm already in my sixties, there's a pretty good chance I won't see him married, let alone his children.
My daughters have been instructed to pass them out. I hope I’m still around to give each child their quilt, but if I’m not they’ll each have a piece of me for their children. I hope they treasure them as much as I do. Below is a collage of a few of the ones I made.

 To store them, I put them in large store bought quilt bag. Yes, I bought a quilt for my bed. But I did make one too, I embroidered wild flowers in each square – and yes, I filled them in, not just outlined. I use it on my bed in the summer. It took over a year to embroider all the flowers, but it was worth it. Besides, I have nothing better to do in the evening while I’m watching TV. That’s the nice thing about embroidery, you can sit in front of the TV and still work on it. The hard part was quilting it.

One of my favorite quilts is a queen size I made for my bed. It took the better part of

a year, and several times I was sorry I started it. But I persevered and I'm glad I did. 

So now you know a little more about me. I'm not just an author, I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.  I enjoy writing, but my family is my first love. 

Find all of Roseanne's books at Books We Love or Amazon

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sunday Snippets with Ginger Simpson #sundaysnips

This week I'm sharing snippets from Culture Shock, my mystery romance that takes place in San Francisco.  Cynthia Freitas moves from the Midwest to the big city, expecting a different lifestyle.  Imagine her shock to find a serial killer loose in her own backyard, and he's killing women that look just like her...or her body when the old wiring in her run-down tenement causes her first kiss with her handsome neighbor to have a jolting outcome.

The sun was setting when they got back to the Cairns. Alex held the door open. “Here we are, back to reality.”

Cynthia stepped inside, but paused at the bottom of the stairwell. “Does reality have to smell so musty? I’d prefer something more pleasant.”

He smiled. “I agree, but the reality I referred to is we both have to work tomorrow, and that
sucks. I wish I’d been born rich instead of handsome.” He flashed a wink.

Did he know how attractive he was? His good looks had drawn the admiring stares of so many
women during their outing…and they all envied her, little ol’ Cynthia Freitas.

He followed as she climbed the stairs. She paused at the first landing and faced him. “Too bad
we can’t have everything we want, but I’d say today was a great ending to the weekend.” She smiled.
“Seriously, this was a great afternoon. I really enjoy looking in all the stores, although I can’t believe I didn’t find anything I wanted to buy. Maybe I should see a therapist.”

He shook his head and grinned. “Maybe, but push on, my dear. We have another flight to climb,
and dogs are barking.”

At her apartment, Alex took her key and unlocked the door. “I had a great time too. If it wasn’t
Sunday evening we could have made our time together last a little longer. Maybe we can do this again another time?”

Her excitement bubbled to the surface. “That would be wonderful. Hey, as a matter of fact, my
brother Kevin and his girlfriend, Sara, are coming to visit in a few weeks. They want me, of all people, to show them around the city. Would you be interested in joining us?”

She held her breath hoping he wouldn't decline. She'd like to show Kevin she did have some
confidence in herself. 

"I'd like that very much." He leaned down and brush his lips against hers.

Her heart skipped a beat then resumed its normal pace. She took a quick breath. "That was nice."
"Good. I was hoping I wouldn't offend you."

"No offense taken." And no defense either. Her knees turned to jelly. She opened her door, but
paused, hoping for maybe yet another, and longer, kiss.

Instead, he took her hand and held her knuckles to his lips. "Goodnight," he whispered, warming
her hand with his breath. He smiled and walked toward his apartment.

Cynthia went inside her place, closed the door and rested against it. She pondered the emotions
Alex stirred within her. She feared falling for him, too afraid of what might happen if he didn't
reciprocate the feelings. Could she handle rejection? She had no idea.

After making sure the door was locked, she went straight to the bedroom. Alex’s reminder about
the deadbolt flashed through her mind. She’d buy one tomorrow and ask him to install it. His offer of
help provided more opportunity to be with him, and she'd take him over the super any day.


This is where the excitement really begins.  You can get your copy at Books We Love, using my author's page and clicking the cover you like.  Please take advantage of the BOGO sale going on right one, get one free.  A great holiday special.

Now hop on over and visit my other Sunday Snippet Pals: (Juliet Waldron) (Tricia McGill)

Don't forget to come back next week for more Sunday Snippets.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Do You Want a Husband or Need a Father?

I'm always amazed at the number of women who say, "My husband would never let me...(finish the sentence.)"

Just typing that quote makes me shiver.  I have always believed and do to this day, that marriage is a 50/50 arrangement.  I entered into a union as an adult and equal to my husband.  I asked my father for permission to do things because he was my parent and responsible for my actions until I became an adult, but I don't need to have permission from my husband to do whatever I wish.  Out of respect and kindness, I "check" my intentions with him to assure there is no problem, but to assume I need his permission is totally outside the realm of reality. I'm a grown woman.

I think this type of attitude transcends to the heroines in my books. I like women who have guts and aren't afraid to live life on their own terms.  Some of mine have withstood Indian attacks, mock rescues by the Cavalry,falling into a well, fighting a raging river, and in my current WIP, living life with someone threatening her with murder.  I've had reviewers call my female leads head-strong and spoiled, but I believe anyone who takes responsibility for their own decisions and stands strong against the grain can be considered spoiled if someone is viewing relationships from a parent/child aspect. If you look at an individual as a responsible and mature adult, you usually get a different outcome.

Main Character Acts Like a Spoiled Brat - A review for Ellie's Legacy

Another Review for Ellie's Legacy:  Although Ellie matured and realized her father was trying to do what was best for her, she acted like a brat for much of the time.

Review from Betrayed:  Although living a comfortable life financially, she wants to be loved and be in love. She meets Evan online and he sweeps her off her feet.

Review from Betrayed: Cassie is extremely trusting and let things happen too quickly. Evan took advantage of her at every turn and she suffered the consequences

A relationship should be a  sacred bond into which you enter with love and respect, not a means of binding someone to another's opinions and judgments.  In my humble opinion, separation happens when one party loses the respect of the other. Respect t is a big component in love...along with trust, and if you can't trust your partner to make their own decisions, there isn't much room for respect...or love.

In my novel, Betrayed, I wrote about Cassie Fremont, an independent woman who WAS a confident and self-supporting individual until she let a man steal her independence from her. Betrayed happened to be based on a true life experience with Internet dating, and the message I hoped to deliver resounded with the very person who lived through the entire ordeal.  Love is a wonderful thing, but none of us need validation to make us who we need to be.

Okay...this is my rant for the day.  Just remember, if you're talking to me on FB, don't ever indicate you have to seek your husband's approval.  *lol*

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE!  Just in time for the ol

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Day in the Life

Many people ask what a writer's day is like. Strangely enough, my day is anything but what the typical writer's day. At least the typical writers I've read about. I don't start the day with coffee, sit at
my desk and write for eight hours. Matter of fact, I don't even sit at a desk to write. Usually, I'm on the couch with my lap top. I seldom wake up, get my coffee and begin to write.
So when do I write, you ask?
I've often woke up in the middle of the night and wrote throughout the night. I learned early on in my career not to ignore a thought. If I don't write it down immediately, it's gone. I woke up one night with a dialogue from a work in progress. Thinking I'd remember it the next day, I turned over and went back to sleep. The next morning I remembered little of it. A few words here and there. In fact, not only was most of the dialogue gone, so was the idea.
So now I get up and write it down immediately. That often leads to other ideas and hence, the reason I ended up writing all night. Fortunately, my children are grown, my husband was on the road and I didn't have to answer to anyone. If I wrote all night and slept all day no one was the wiser.
Although seldom did I sleep all day. Sleep, in my opinion, is a waste of time. I hate naps, always have. Well, as long as I remember anyway. So I'd sleep for a couple of hours and if an idea hit, I'd write all day also.
So, what is my typical writing day?
Truthfully, I don't have a typical writing day. Sometimes I write first thing in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. Sometimes, I don't write at all. Lately, I've not written much because my characters refuse to speak to me. They can be stubborn that way.
I must have made them angry or they don't like the way the story is going. I'm sure they'll lead me in the right direction eventually. In the mean time, I'm reading what I've already written and revising/editing as I go along. I'm hoping by time I get to the point where I left off, I'll figure out which direction they want to go.

For now you can find my books at Amazon

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Interview with Dancing Fawn (Grace Cummings) by Ginger Simpson

Interview with Grace from Dancing Fawn

Today my guest, Grace Cummings, the heroine in Dancing Fawn is here to tell us how she survived being held captive by Indians.  So, without further ado, let's begin the interview:

Just for clarification, HOST will indicate the interviewer’s questions below:

HOST:   It must have been a very traumatic ordeal for you.  Can you tell us about it?

GRACE:  It was horrid. (She shudders) I still hear my mother's screams in my head.  I…

HOST:  Do you need a moment to compose yourself?

GRACE:  No, I'm fine.  (Deep breath)  It was 1874. My family had moved around a lot because my father, bless his departed soul, was a restless man.   It was hard for a girl my age to make friends, not living in one place for very long, and just when Ma, Kevin and I thought we might settle down, General George Armstrong Custer made an announcement about gold being discovered in the Black Hills of Lakota territory.  That's all it took!  Pa loaded everything back into our Conestoga and insisted this was his chance to strike it big. 

HOST:  Why didn't you mother put her foot down?

GRACE:  You have to understand that back then, women were expected to know their place.  Ma pretty much did as Pa said.  Besides, he promised her that when he hit the mother lode, he would buy us a new house; new furniture and we'd never have to move again.

HOST:  I can see how that might have sounded pretty enticing.

GRACE:  It was.  We all had visions of putting down permanent roots, so being out on the plains, cooking over a campfire again and roughing it for a just a little longer was worth it if Pa and my brother, Kevin, found gold. 

HOST:  Tell us more about your experience, please.

GRACE:  All right.   We had made camp at the base of the Black Hills, near a sparse stand of trees.  There was a small stream nearby, so water was plentiful.  Ma and I slept on a pallet of blankets in the wagon, while Pa and Kev slept in a makeshift tent.  We had just finished breakfast one morning and were laughing and talking before Pa and Kev went off to the mine, when I happened to spy some riders on the horizon. It soon became clear from the whooping and hollering that they were being attacked by Indians.

HOST:  Oh my goodness, what did you do?

GRACE:  Pa immediately yelled for Ma and I to get back in the wagon and he and Kev grabbed their rifles and crawled underneath.  I hunkered down behind the tailgate, waiting for Ma, but she never came.  I was so scared, hearing the sound of gunfire and those blood-curdling war cries, I covered my ears, but it didn't help.  When I got the courage to peek outside, I saw the Indians circling our hiding place and Ma running in the opposite direction.  I think she was trying to draw them away from me.  I didn't realize it at the time, but Pa and Kevin were already dead.  They were easy pickings with no real shelter.

HOST:  How awful. 

GRACE:  You have no idea!  (Stopping to bite her knuckle, then staring straight ahead). They…they shot my ma down in cold blood right before my eyes.

HOST:  Oh you poor thing.  What did you do then?

GRACE:  (Dabbing at eyes with hanky) I curled myself into a ball and prayed that it was all just a bad dream, and that I'd wake up.   When I didn't hear anything for a while, I found the courage to rise to my knees and peer over the tailgate again.  I almost had heart failure when I came face-to-face with the ugliest sight I'd ever seen.

HOST:    Oh my gosh, I have goose bumps. What was it?

GRACE:  It was the person I later learned was Black Crow.  His face was painted with bright yellow lightning bolts, and he had a scar that ran from ear-to-ear.  He pulled me out of the wagon, barking orders in a strange language, and threw me to the ground.  I felt like my heart was going to pound its way right through my chemise. (Holds hand against chest)

HOST:  Oh my goodness, what was going through your head?

GRACE:  I was certain he was going to kill me, too.  I think he might have had it not been for one of his friends.  The one, called Little Elk, seemed to step in and calm Black Crow down.  Still, it was an awful thing to go through, wondering if you were going to live or die.  After Black Crow tethered my arms together and dragged me along behind his horse, like I was nothing more than an animal, I almost wished I had died.  I fought to keep up all the way to the Indian village.

HOST:  How far was it?

GRACE:  (Holding out her wrists).  I'm not sure, but you can still see the scars where the rawhide bit into my skin.  I didn't have time to get my shoes on, so my feet were pretty raw, too.  I'm used to walking beside the wagon every day, but being dragged is quite different.  It took forever.

HOST:  What happened when you got to the village?

GRACE:  I was so tired I could barely stand, but I dared not drop to the ground when it seemed like the whole village stood in a circle around me, staring and laughing.  I thought for sure I was about to meet my maker, but something very surprising happened.

HOST:  Don't stop now!

GRACE:  A beautiful green-eyed woman walked into the midst of things and protected me.  She spoke their language and dressed in their clothing, but it was evident from her flaming red hair that she was white.  If it hadn't been for her I would never have survived to tell this story, that and the fact that Black Crow's mother didn't like having a white woman share her home.  (Grace gives a half-hearted chuckle)

HOST:  What happened?

GRACE:  After only one night in her tepee, Black Crow handed me over to Little Elk. He, at least treated me with kindness, allowing Green Eyes to help me bathe and wash my hair.  I was still scared, but not nearly as much.  Pa always said I was headstrong, and it almost got me into  trouble when Little Elk gave me a new name.  (Sitting up straighter, squaring shoulders)

HOST:  Oh gosh, we're almost out of time and I hate to make you stop.  Can you give us a brief summary, and quickly?

GRACE:  Although there is so much more to tell, I'll just say that Little Elk played a big role in the decision I made when the white soldiers raided the camp. Unless you want to invite me back for another visit, I guess you'll just have to read the book.  (Holds out a copy)

HOST:  Is this for me? How nice, and it's autographed.  Grace Cummings, thank you so much for spending time with us and sharing your captivating story. I'd like to remind our readers that Dancing Fawn by Ginger Simpson is offered at  It’s also offered on her Amazon page, but you won't get the BOGO sale going on right now.  Buy one, get one Free.  What a holiday deal.  Happy reading!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mama Went to Buy a Cow

I grew up in a strict Catholic home during the mid to late fifties, with three older brothers, an older sister, and a younger sister. We attended the Catholic School across the street from our house.  My mother, like all good mothers, was involved in the church and school, and knew the teachers and nuns well.  Our next door neighbor, and Mom’s best friend, Rose, often drove the nuns to the store, bank, or ran errands for them. Naturally, she knew a lot of what was going on at the school, much more than my mother did.
Two of my older brothers were notorious for getting into trouble, always playing silly immature pranks. It wasn’t unusual for them to receive a swat with a ruler.  Back then, corporal punishment was the normal manner of discipline in school.
 Our mother didn’t put up with disrespect or monkeyshines at home let alone in school. We were there to learn, and we had darn well better pay attention. So when she found out someone had gotten into trouble, and she always did, they paid for it at home, also.  We used to think she had eyes in the back of her head. Later we learned most of her information came directly from the nuns or teachers themselves, and sometimes from Rose.
We all knew if we misbehaved, it wouldn’t take long for her to find out. I tried to stay out of trouble - besides, it wasn’t in my nature to act up – at least not much.  My brothers did plenty of that, and I didn’t want to suffer the repercussions. Not that I was a perfect child, far from it, I got my share of spankings, but in school I tried to do what was expected of me. Maybe because of a lesson I learned early on.
My dilemma began in the first grade.  My teacher, Sister Roseanne, was a young and pretty nun. Everyone loved her. Besides, she bore the same name as me, which made her extra special. I loved school and every morning I willingly followed my brothers and sister.
Except for one day.
That day my sister, Mary, didn’t have to go to school. She had to stay home and baby-sit our younger sister. Not that this was normal, but whoever was supposed to watch Gloria couldn’t do it and my mom couldn't cancel her appointment. At any rate, I wanted to stay home, too. Naturally, she said no. I was angry and upset.
So upset, in fact, I didn’t even kiss my mother good-bye that morning, and off I went pouting, mumbling and grumbling about how unfair it was. My brothers laughed and teased me on the way to school, which didn’t help the situation.
 I’d never left without kissing my mother before, so, by time I got to school, I felt so bad that I sat at my desk and cried. Every time Sister Roseanne asked what was wrong, I cried harder and refused to answer. Feeling worse by the minute my tears soon turned into sobs.  I couldn’t even do my work.
Finally, at wits end, Sister spanked me for being insolent. This, of course, made me cry harder, and my little heart was crushed. My beautiful teacher, who bore my name, spanked me.
Since I still wouldn’t stop crying, she sent me for Mary, hoping, I guess, to find out what made me so upset. By this time, I’d forgotten Mary stayed home. I stood outside her classroom, tears streaming down my face and knocked on the door. Sister Mary Francis answered my knock.
“Sister Roseanne wants to see Mary,” I said, choking back sobs,.
“Mary isn’t in school today.” Sister Mary Francis gave me a quizzical look.  “Is she sick?”
“Oh, that’s right,” I wiped my tears, “I forgot she had to stay home to watch Gloria.”
“Oh and why is that?”
“Because my mama went to buy a cow.” I answered and hurried back to my classroom, for some reason the tears forgotten. I made it through the rest of the day dry eyed, but I couldn’t wait to get home to give my mother a kiss and hug.
Later that day, I sat outside the window as Rose and Mom talked. I was worried, sure that Rose knew about the spanking. Of course, I hadn’t told my mother, I didn’t want her to know.
 “Wait until you hear the story Sister Mary Francis told me.” Rose told my mother. “She said Rosi came to her classroom looking for Mary and told her the most fantastic tale. She could hardly stop laughing. Rosi told her that Mary was babysitting because you went to buy a cow.”
I held my breath, listening and waiting for her to get the part about the spanking as she told the story.
“But, Sister, I told her." Rose continued. "It was true. Her mother did go to buy a cow. They just purchased a freezer so she went to buy a side of beef. Julia, you should have seen the look on her face as the reality of it made sense, it was priceless.”
I let out a sigh of relieve when my mother laughed. She never did ask why I went to Mary’s classroom. Maybe she already knew and thought I had been punished enough. I never got in trouble or spanked in school again.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sunday Snippets with Ginger Simpson #sundaysnips

This week I'm sharing a snippet from Time time-travel romance with an historical twist.  In this story, a modern day attorney and a pioneer wife change lives and eras and discover what it's like to walk in another's shoes.

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Time Tantrums

David sat beside Taylor’s bed, his heart aching at seeing his beautiful wife swathed in bandages, an IV in her arm, a tube down her throat. The large hospital bed dwarfed her five-foot-eight frame and elevated her head. 

The breathing machine’s swooshing and the heart monitor’s steady beep were the only sounds in the room. 

“Everything will be okay, baby. Just wake up.” He held her hand and offered words of encouragement even though he wasn’t sure she heard him. 

“Mr. Morgan?” The doctor entered with a serious look on his face. 

David rose from the chair, his pulse racing. “Yes, doctor. Have there been any changes since I spoke with you in the recovery room? How is she? Is she going to be all right?” 

“Mr. Morgan, as I told you, we don’t know right now. We did all we can. She suffered a lot of trauma. We’ve taken care of the internal bleeding and removed her spleen, so all we can do now is wait and hope.” He glanced at her chart. 

“Money isn’t an issue, doctor. If you think she needs a specialist—” 

“I assure you, Mr. Morgan, the surgical team consisted of the finest doctors. Now, only time will tell.” The doctor patted David’s shoulder, then turned and left the room. 

Tears welled and David blinked them back. He turned to his wife and took her hand. “Taylor, darling, you can make it. I know you can. I’m going to be right here. Do you hear me? Squeeze my hand if you do.” 

Her fingers curled around his hand. The grip was weak, but she responded. 

“Doctor, doctor!” David yelled. “Come quick. I think she’s waking." 

The doctor rushed back into the room.

David gazed at him, heart filled with hope. “She squeezed my hand. Squeeze it again, Taylor.” 

The physician put a stethoscope to her chest. He raised her bandage and lifted her eyelid. “Mrs. Morgan, if you can hear me, blink your eyes.” 

David watched her closely. She blinked, not once, but twice. 

“That’s good, Mrs. Morgan. You’re doing fine, just fine. You’ve been in an accident and were badly hurt, but you’re going to be okay. Your husband is here.”

David stood and leaned in. “Hello, darling. I’ve been so worried about you, but like the doctor says, you’re going to be fine.” 

He brushed a kiss against her cheek. 

* * * * 

You aren’t Frank! Where’s Frank? Why are you kissing me? I don’t know you. Somebody help... 
Who was this man? Mariah fluttered her eyes and barely lifted her head off the pillow. The mere movement caused her temple to pound. Her gaze darted around the room. Nothing looked familiar. Why did she feel so sore?  Nothing she saw made sense. Strange machines, dials, sounds, and the room—so white, so pristine. She tried to raise herself, but couldn’t. Where was she? 

Glancing down at the strange tube in her arm, she gasped, then raised her hand and touched her head. Bandaged? God help her. Where was her husband? Her mind formed Frank’s name but her lips failed to speak it as darkness shrouded her. 

* * * * 
A woman in white stood over Mariah. “Oh, Mrs. Morgan, you’re awake. We’ve been so worried about you. Your husband just went down to the cafeteria for something to eat. He’s been here every day for the past two weeks. You gave us quite a scare.” 

The stranger fluffed Mariah’s pillow and checked the tube in her arm. “Wouldn’t you know you’d wake up the minute he left? Poor fellow, he’s barely had time to change his clothes.” 
Cafeteria? The word meant nothing. Two weeks? She’d been here for two weeks? And where was here?   She tried to ask, but nothing came out. Vaguely recalling something thick and painful in her mouth, she swallowed. Thank goodness whatever had been there was gone. 

“Don’t try to speak, Mrs. Morgan." The stranger patted her arm. "Your throat is probably pretty raw. We just took the breathing tube out yesterday. You’ll be able to talk soon, but now you just need to rest and get well. Let me give you a little more pain medication.” She fiddled with some sort of bagged liquid hanging above the bed. Her fingers followed the tube down and smoothed the tape holding a needle in Mariah’s arm. “There, that should make you feel a little more comfortable.” 

Breathing tube? Mrs. Morgan? What’s happening? Somebody tell me, please. Confused and frightened, Mariah’s teary eyes focused on the man who walked through the door.

“Ah, Mr. Morgan, your wife is finally awake.” The woman in white greeted him. “She seems pretty alert.” 

“Taylor, sweetheart.” He rushed to the bed. “Thank God, you’re awake. I’ve been so worried about you.” 

Mariah turned her head to the side, avoiding the stranger’s kiss. “I’m not Taylor.” Her words were merely a whisper that no one heard. 

“What are you trying to say, darling?” He bent lower.

“I asked her not to try to speak yet.” The white-clad woman rubbed her own throat. “The breathing tube you know.” 

“Of course." He nodded. "The nurse is right. Don’t talk, sweetie. When you’re healed, we’ll have lots of time to chat. Just rest.” 

Confusion shrouded Mariah. Why did they keep calling her Mrs. Morgan, and mentioning Taylor? Why weren’t they using her own name?  A tear slid down her cheek. She’d rest for now, but when she could speak, she’d insist on knowing where she was and why a strange man considered her his wife. 

The man she knew only as Mr. Morgan stretched his hands over his head then massaged the small of his back. “Now that I know you’re on the mend, I’m going home to shower, shave and change clothes. Your parents are waiting for my call to update them on your condition. I’ll be back tomorrow. You get some rest, baby.” He bent and kissed her forehead. 

Yes, go away. I need to think…and answers...I need some answers. Mariah sensed herself drifting off. Something made her very drowsy. 

* * * * 

The nurse’s poking and prodding rudely awakened Mariah. “Good morning, Mrs. Morgan. I need to check your vitals.”  Sunlight barely filtered through whatever covered the window. Mariah’s head felt like it hovered somewhere above her. She blinked, hoping she was in the middle of a bad dream and about to wake up. 

A strange band squeezed her arm, and she grimaced. The nurse placed a round, flat object against Mariah’s skin, and appeared to listen intently. “Good blood pressure, Mrs. Morgan," she finally said. "How are you feeling?” 

How? Terrified! Mariah heard her own heartbeat. “I’m sore,” was all she could croak out. 

“Of course you’re sore. You were in a terrible car accident.” She jotted something on a board of some sort. 

Mariah's thoughts jumbled, and putting them into words proved impossible. What kind of accident was a car? Where was her family? 

The nurse rounded the bed and revealed the shortness of her skirt. Mariah widened her eyes and bit her lip to keep her mouth from gaping. How inappropriate to show so much leg. 

The woman tucked the covers in at the end of the metal frame. “Do you think you could manage a drink this morning? Perhaps some ginger ale? The doctor left orders for you to have liquids. Once we know you can tolerate drinking, perhaps we can get you a food tray.” 

Mariah was hungry. If she’d been here for two weeks, how had she survived without eating? Just the mere thought of being without food for so long made her stomach growl. “Yes… please.” She forced out the words. 

After the nurse placed a filled glass on Mariah’s tray, she pushed a button on the side of the bed. Mariah rose into a sitting position. Her gaze darted from the mechanism to the nurse, and questions burned in her mind. How had she done that? 

Amidst jumbled thoughts, she maneuvered around the tube in her arm and picked up the glass, anxious to ease the soreness of her throat. As she took a sip, he entered the room. 

“Taylor! Look at you. Sitting up! You must be feeling better.”

The man called David Morgan had combed his blond hair and shaved. He didn’t look nearly as haggard as she recalled. Not quite as tall as her Frank, the shirt he wore revealed the same muscular shoulders.  Mariah considered him good-looking, but his clothes, his shoes... everything about him and this place seemed strange. Everyone dressed and spoke differently. If only someone would explain what was happening. 

“It won’t be long before I can take you home, babe.” David Morgan interrupted her thoughts. “I’ll bet you’ll be happy to be back in your own home and bed.” 

Mariah’s hand trembled. She set her glass down, lay back against her pillow and looked away. Why would she go home with him? She didn’t even know the man. 

Using every bit of mustered strength, she turned her glaring gaze back to him. “I’m not Taylor!” she croaked.


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