Friday, 19 October 2012

Vampire Dreams - RFW Challenge No 47 - House of Halloween Horrors!

My black mystical entry for RFW's 
Hallowe'en House of Horrors. 

Vampire Dreams:

In the still of the night Breathless, pounding heart;
How close will he come The deed to be done?
Shivering, stilled in the
Clouds skittering past a silver moon;
A hoot, a toot, a flap of wings Who
is it who wears glittering rings?
A snowy owl, swooping past; No moon to light his path
Hear footsteps on flagstones; As moonbeams dance
on gravestones!
Shadows darting here and there Please, please, don't get tangled
in my hair
See his breath now on frosting air Sparkle in eyes, scintillating
He has but a short while, to quaff from the longed for vile
Soon to be heard a sprightly lark; He must then dash away to the dark
The kiss,
the hunger, the hold; No escape from one so bold
Agony and ecstasy of ill-timed
bliss; Power of attraction no dismiss
He always returns, driven by lust; Life's potent wine the inner must
A wanton smile, His token of trust and guile; But, how much, how much, will he want of the blooded nile?
It is the moment it is the time
The crossing of ever lasting line;
No escape from the dream; See the mystical catlike gleam
Too late, too late; He's opened his blood-lined cape;
Oh Mystical phantom of sensual nights Drifting, drifting in ecstasy
This is the way, the way it was meant to be!

to see entries by other participants dare to enter the RFW bat cave!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Oh How I Hate my Beautiful Friend - Challenge/Blogfest 45


Just over word count: (((slaps hand)))

I know, I know, I've cheated with a snippet from my upcoming book due out on release next month. Brief: It's 1650 England. The hero has been beaten up during a highway robbery and confined to bed with suspected broken ribs The story leads onto the famed escape of Charles II from Worcester post English Civil War. The heroine is not his wife, merely his betrothed at present...

“The two most beautiful women in the district,” said Thomas, a cheery smile, “and which of the two I wonder will tenderly feel my brow and declare me fit for a kiss.”
  This was the moment, the moment she had feared, the moment when Thomas’ eyes seemed as though embracing Anna. It was always thus the instant her ladyship entered a room; his eyes following her every movement. She had no right to feel jealous of the close bond between them, yet pain of rancour came upon her without warning, for Anna was younger and breathtakingly beautiful.
  To envy Anna could ruin her own relationship with her most treasured friend, for her ladyship gave no reason to suspect her guilty of inner heartfelt desires for Thomas. Nevertheless her ladyship went straight to his side, hand to brow a stern expression. “I do declare you are most unwell, Thomas. A fever no less.” Anna stepped back a pace, as though fearful of taint from a sick man, yet appeared to bestow a secretive smile for him alone? “You are in need of cold cloths applied to your heated body, and I cannot assist you in this.”
  He laughed heartily, winced with effort to sit up a little, and said, “Ha, yet Morton in fever and you slaved for days over his body to save his life.”
  “That I did, but he knew nothing of my hand in his recovery until you revealed all.”
  “And if I told you what he said you’d blush as you have never blushed in your life, my lady.” His eyes fell from Anna’s face, and instead settled on her own and her heart melted. “Her ladyship is a wicked tease, Bess, and  . . .”
  “I am aware of that,” she said, her outburst unnecessarily bitter.
  “What have I done or not done, Bess? Something ails you. I’ve never known you so quiet.”
  “Nothing ails me, bar your sister.”
  “Come here, Bess,” he said, tapping the bed beside him. “We have little enough time together as it is, and you choose to stand there when I know you are keen to leap atop me.”
  Anna laughed. “I shall leave now, for I am more than reassured you are back to your old self.” With that she smiled, the like bestowed only on close friends. “Make the most of this time, Elizabeth. I shall detain Catherine for as long as I am able.”

To see entries by other participants go here.

I'll be doing the rounds to comment on Sunday afternoon/evening...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Romantic Friday Writers - Challenge/blogfest 44

The RFW Challenge for this Friday is "I Should Have Kissed You". 

Should this be your first visit to a Romantic Friday Challenge feel free to join in the fun: just visit RFW, sign up on the linky and post your prose!

Word count: 596

Code: NCCO

And again, yes, wicked, I know, I've selected a passage from my published Historical Murder Mystery and Romance: Venetian Encounter

Brief: Lieutenant Herne and Countess Roscoff have become acquainted whilst staying at the English Emissary's Residence in Naples, Italy.  Attracted to one another, the countess nevertheless dare not let herself fall for the Lt's charming manner. He too is reticent in the belief she is far more than she seems, after a daring jewel theft occurred within the residency. They are also intrigued by the close relationship between Admiral Lord Nelson, Emma Lady Hamilton and William Lord Hamilton. Anyhoo, attractions and desires are sometimes tempting indeed and not as easily dismissed as one might wish for! ;)

   Therese glanced one to the other of the trio. Perhaps, thinking the WE significant and a little bold in the circumstance of the present predicament presented to the ménage à trios.
   “How soon?” enquired Therese, her china blues finally fixed on Emma Lady Hamilton.
   “A day or two for preparation and then, well . . . Take our leave I presume.”
   William Lord Hamilton stomped off to his study, Nelson headed for the terrace, and Emma looked utterly torn between both, and instead turned and fled up the grand staircase.
   Therese turned her china blues on him, her expression speculative. “And did you know nothing of this?”
   Hand pressed to heart, he declared, “I can honest say I had not a hand in this.”
   “But you knew, or at least had a suspicion something was afoot.” Hint of a smile streaked her face. “Is that not so?”
   “Rumour is one thing, evidence of imminent event another.”
   She laughed, a soft laugh. “Come now Lieutenant Herne, you arrive a few days in advance of bad news and then claim no hand in what is to come of this upset.”
   Had she overheard Nelson before entry to the salon, for her words mirrored his almost word for word?
   “Given that I am to take leave from here tomorrow, I fail to see how blame for letters delivered this very day can be levelled on my head.”
   “You are leaving, then? It has been confirmed?”
   If he didn’t know better, he could believe Therese was disappointed at news of his imminent departure. “Duty calls.”
   “And where does duty call you away to?”
   “That I am not at liberty to reveal.”
   She pouted her lips, amusement dancing in her eyes. “Oh, I see. Secret Admiralty business.”
   “Afraid so.”
   To tell her he would be sailing south and then into the Adriatic might set alarm bells ringing, and in any case he might never make it to Venice if orders due on the morrow dictated otherwise. Like Nelson, he had pleasurable pursuits in mind but no inclination to conduct such aboard ship.
   She smiled, a temptingly brazen smile, and strolled toward the open doors leading to the terrace. “Then this evening must be a goodbye celebration, for I too will be homeward bound in a few days time.”
   “But of course. Where else?” She leaned forward and glanced in both directions along the terrace. “It seems your sea lord has taken himself off for a walk.”
   “That, or . . .”
   “Would he?” she exclaimed, curl of lip hinting amusement to the idea of a man sneaking to a lady’s bedchamber in broad daylight.
   “Why not?”
   She stepped forward and glanced toward steps leading up to the second floor balcony. He in turn stepped closer, equally curious, and in doing so blocked her retreat to the drawing room. She turned suddenly and stumbled into him. From his perspective the collision could not have been better timed to perfection, and she was clearly not immune to the physicality of it all.
    A blush to her cheeks was charming in its innocence for she had not expected him to be that close. He leaned forward as though about to kiss her, and her eyes declared such was a pleasing gesture. As much as he wanted to devour her kissable lips, he stepped aside allowing her the opportunity to slip past him, which she did with a swish of skirts and not a glance backward as she left the room. No matter, he now knew she had wanted him to press his lips to hers.
If interested in this novel or others of mine inclusive 1st Chapters -  all can be found here.

To see entries by other participants go here.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Romantic Friday Writer Challenge 43 - Romantic Picnic

The RFW Challenge for this week is Romantic Picnic. 400 words max or less (blushes with guilt) and I'm slightly over word count ((((slaps hand))))

Should this be your first visit to a Romantic Friday Challenge feel free to join in the fun: just visit RFW, sign up on the linky and post your prose!

Cheating again with snippet from my published Historical Romance "Infamous Rival" -
 A Regency Murder Mystery.

In the eyes of the Marquis of Rantchester this was meant to be a romantic picnic and he does intend a little romancing, but the cruelty of another toward a horse and vile confrontation moments beforehand have unsettled  him and the heroine, and she is only just beginning to trust him: again. Bear in mind it's a murder mystery.

Explanation re historical novel: tiger = liveried groom whom sits/stands at rear of the carriage!

Code: NCCO

Discussing private matters and inner fears whilst a driver up front and tiger behind, was not exactly of her choosing. She cast her gaze from the marquis’ face and he graciously accepted their conversation at end for the present: until the carriage came to a standstill beneath a magnificent oak tree at the edge of a small copse.        
    “I am utter famished he said,” alighting from the carriage before Jem had even turned, let alone leapt down to carry out his routine tasks. “Stay where you are, Jem” the marquis commanded, and duly hauled a picnic hamper from the carriage along with a carriage rug. “Right, be off with the pair of you, and back here within two hours,” his instructions to the driver, as soon as her feet touched the ground.
    The carriage rolled away and left to their own devices Rantchester spread out the rug and said, “This is where we go native, and perch our arses on the ground.” She laughed, she couldn’t help herself, for he discarded his hat and jacket and further said,  “The Lady first.”
    She settled to the rug rather glad of the cool shade afforded by the tree’s overhead canopy. “It’s a lovely spot up here. And a glorious view over Bristol.”
    “It is,” his reply, the picnic hamper to hand. “Now, what have we got to munch on?”
    She glanced to her left, Bath below them, then back at Rantchester. “How did you find this heavenly place?”
    He grinned, game pie already to mouth a bite taken. “An assignation with a lady of note, years ago.” He chewed on his pie, then said, “Memorable day, for I lost my virginity.” He swallowed, and laughed heartily. “I see you’re not shocked, which brings me to why I asked you out today.” He gestured to the hamper. “Eat, please, or I shall feel less than a gentleman whilst sat here stuffing my face.”
    She surveyed the basket, and he in turn leaned forward and drew forth a small silver engraved flagon and two silver goblets. “Goodness, who prepared all this for you?”
    “My cook, and I won’t do without her. She goes where I go and sees me proud for whatever I demand of her.”
    “Well, she most certainly sees right by you.” She selected a stuffed apricot, a mere bite delicious. “Oh my goodness, what does this filling consist of?”
    “Chopped hazelnuts, herbs, ginger, lamb and apricot.” He glanced at her then, a goblet extended and half filled with claret coloured liquid. “Why do women have to know what it is they’re eating?” He shook his head, clearly amused at her reticence to accept the wine. “Drink up, it’s not poisoned.” Again he looked her in the eye. “About that night of the summer ball.”
    Her trust in him now assured she accepted the goblet and fibbed outright. “I must tell you . . . some aspects of that night still elude me. I simply cannot remember.”
    He drained his goblet in one swig, his eyes settling on hers. “I wish.  For I remember it all too well.” He refilled his goblet, glanced skyward. “Damn it all, dragging up the past on a day like this, I must be mad.”
    “But it is necessary, is it not?”

If remotely interested in my books they're here.

To see more contributions to the challenge go here

Thursday, 26 July 2012

RFW Challenge/Blogfest.

Romantic Friday Writers hold a fortnightly writing challenge: themes set by RFW. Why not pop along and join in the fun!

GUIDELINES: 400 words of prose or poetry. Must contain a romantic element, small or significent.

This is snatched from my Regency Romance *Scandalous Whisper*.  In days gone by letters were commonplace and the art of writing such was something to be proud of. Anyhoo, the letter below and the heroine's anguish says it all! There is an underlying message in the letter but Christina has yet to fathom that aspect of the message. Can you grasp what Robert Lord Devonish is telling her? If you would like to read the first chapter of this novel you'll find it here.

Butterfly girl,

It is with deep regret I have to inform you the door to the tower folly will be padlocked and remain inaccessible for the foreseeable future. I cannot in all honesty bear the thought of another man trespassing in what has now become a precious place to me. Recall to my regiment arrived a day past, and I know not when we shall return. We are bound for India soon after Yuletide.  The painting you so admired will be put into storage on Wednesday morning.  However, I have a miniature you might like to consider in fair exchange for my having full possession of the portrait. Should you wish to accept my gift and cannot oblige in person. Look for a moss covered stone close to the hinge side of the door. It is loose and will prise free.

God bless, and should you see a Purple Emperor come summer, remember me. 
Yours ever,
Robert Devonish.

  Tears spilled forth. The letter was so formal her heart sank to the depths of despair.  He could have, should have expressed the love shared between them but had not. She could not see it if it was there.
  What did his words mean beyond imminent embarkation for India and some miniature gifted to her? What a cruel trick after . . .
  She dared not dwell on her recklessness in throwing herself at him. What a foolish thing to have incited lust within him. For that is what it was. Nothing more. She glanced at the letter again. Yet it was signed yours ever, something no gentleman should impart to a lady of no consequence.
  Confusion befell her, for her heart screamed to see only good in his letter while her head saw clear evidence of his backing away. Why would he do that? Was it then true, that he was to be wed to Lady Emily Roach?  If that was so why had he wanted to approach her parents and ask for her own hand in marriage? Had their liaisons at the folly meant nothing more than a pleasant distraction, and mention of marriage mere overture to seduction? How foolish she had been and a terrible lesson learned.
  She reread and reread his words again and again, sobs catching in her throat, tears spilling onto the letter-headed paper.  She cast it aside tempted to put it to flames in the hearth for her heart felt torn apart; a terrible hurting never experienced before. She glanced at the very window where once roses in a vase had stood, and she recalled the incident of his looking up and his catching her spying on him.
  What had she done wrong? 

To see entries by other participants go here.

Monday, 16 July 2012

US Publisher Release & Second book release!

 I'm not sure I'm quite out of blog hibernation as yet, but when one has good news it's great to share it with friends (blog followers). HELLO!! Hope you're all doing well writing-wise...

My good news the US published novel, long awaited novel has come to fruition one year after subbing it.  This it it, a cross-genre chick-lit/sensual romance novel.

It's on release at Amazon! 

In the past Tania has masqueraded as Nina at parties, and likewise Nina has pretended to be Tania. As far as Tania is concerned one more act of deception isn’t going to hurt anybody. Despite Nina’s reluctance, she’s won over by Tania’s pleading ways and travels to London on a pre-arranged date with a Polo playing playboy. Against her better judgement she becomes as smitten by Allessandre as that of his prized stallions, and one mad moment of intimacy seals an inescapable bond between them.

Aware his heart is already captured, nevertheless Allessandre has it in mind he’s been duped by identical twins. Although a man borne of honour, he has a ruthless and vengeful nature. Determined to unveil the twins and teach them a lesson they won’t forget, revenge proves bittersweet when the one he truly desires takes flight. Forced to travel half way around the globe in attempt to redeem his unforgivable behaviour he has no idea she walks with lions, nor that a lioness will challenge his desire to be the life-long protector of the one he loves.

My second release is a historical:

A Romantic Georgian Murder Mystery: the year is 1800: Naples and Venice.

Amidst a gathering of nobility and gentry a daring jewel theft occurs. A young naval lieutenant suggests the notorious Venetian jewel thief could well be a woman, but a beautiful Russian countess scoffs at his suggestion albeit in coquettish manner. Determined to unmask the identity of the thief, at the same time intrigued by the countess, Lt Herne covertly follows Therese around Naples. But where the countess treads murders occur with frequency and she suddenly takes flight to Venice.

Ordered to the Adriatic on naval business Herne drops anchor in Venice. Tempted ashore by Carnivale a second encounter with the countess proves fatal for both. Madly in love they indulge in pleasurable pursuits but become embroiled in the mysterious death of a Russian count, and Therese feels duty bound to return to St Petersburg. Herne awaits her promised return to no avail. Three years later and back in England he discovers the countess on his doorstep, and wonders if he dare let his heart rule his head again? Equally, Therese fears a secret is best kept secret but Herne asks a potent question and she cannot lie for the truth is staring him in the face!


Friday, 1 June 2012

Romantic Friday Writers' Challenge!

The prompt for RFW this time is: 'Yes. No. Oh, All Right Then! '
Well, typically I had to modify this to fit existing prose, because I've again cheated with snippet from present WIP.

Brief: Lt Herne British Royal Navy (newly promoted to Commander Herne) and Countess Roscoff are highly attracted to each other. Although he knows the secret of what she is and what she has done, he has to prove it and is wary she may be one of Napoleon's spies...BTW, she lost her monkey and he's found it, or rather it found him... 

Lieutenant Herne, Lieutenant Herne,” rang out like sweet music to the ears. For there was Therese, skirts hitched up, petticoats frothing and hat held to head and of all things, she was running like a wild young girl, not her usual elegant poise. Ropo squealed, deafeningly as he leapt from his shoulder. Subsequently, his naval hat bit the dust of the quayside steps. “You found him,” she managed, semi-breathless almost toppling over the edge of the quayside in her mad rush. The damn little monkey clung to her and chattered crazily as she hugged him to her temptingly exposed cleavage, and how he envied Ropo that treat. “I am so sorry my little love, so sorry you witnessed such a terrible, terrible happening. Poor, poor Ivan.” Tears brimmed and spilled forth, and it once again became his duty to offer a kerchief. “Thank you,” she said, a half smile, as he clambered ashore. “I already owe you so much, and now this. My Ropo safe and well.”
    “I had little to do with his rescue. He was more intent on robbing my pocket.”
    “Oh no. He tried to rob you.”
    “Only, in that I had demonstrated my pocket held nutty treats.”
    “Oh, I see.” She beamed a smile. “I heard you and Lord William tried to lure him from a rooftop but he wouldn’t oblige.”
    “We did, and finally gave up. I assumed he recognised the residency and would stay close if not finally venture to it in hope of finding you.”
    Damn, he should have kept quite, for her look implied wariness and he rightly expected a white lie in response. “But Ropo has never been there.”
    Thinking off-the-cuff and not wanting to alienate her, he said, “Yes, but primates like other animals have a greater sense of smell than you or I. Is it not more than possible his refusal to leave the rooftop implied sense of your presence, your scent keening his attention?”
    She scowled. “You choose to insult me by implying I smell?”
    “You know perfectly well what I meant.”
    She chuckled, a soft infuriating Therese chuckle. “I so love it when your eyes turn devilishly defensive, yet your tongue rebukes whilst visage a picture of amusement.”
    The waiting seaman coughed, a polite cough to attract attention. “Commander Herne,” said he. “Do you wish to stay ashore?”
    “No, I’ll be with you shortly.”
    He caught up Therese’ elbow and steered her out of earshot of the seaman, whilst she in excited haste exclaimed, “Commander Herne. Oh, I do apologise most sincerely. I had no knowledge of your promotion.”
    “No matter, it is of no great importance. Mere formality. But, what say you to a sea voyage, a short one on HMS Penultimate?”
    “Aboard your ship?”
    “All prim and proper and above deck, I assure you.”
    Her lip curled at the edge, provocative in extreme, her words tantalising. “Not to see your cabin, the captain’s cabin?”
    “If you wish.”
    “I wish.”
    Then will you grace Penultimate’s decks, tomorrow?”
    “Yes. No.” There was a long, excruciatingly long pause, and, “Oh, all right then!
  In exuberance he broke with protocol, leaned forward and kissed her forehead.    
    “I do smell, then?”
    He laughed, leaned forward again and this time placed his lips to hers. Mercy mercy, this was dangerous territory for she could be one of Napoleon’s many spies.

Over word count: who cares...

To see entries by other participants, go here.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Picture Prompt Challenge!


My contribution to the Romantic Friday Writer's Challenge.

“Not bad, not bad at all. Legs up to their . . .” Momentary silence befell them, while Danny eyed the The Lollipops, the girls who were gigging at the pub. “Should have come here before . . . Why haven’t we?”
   “Dunno, but the girls said to meet ’em here tonight,” replied Ginger, eyeing a new arrival shimmying toward the bar. “Get a load of that.”
   Danny swung round, beer swilling from his glass. “Oh shit.”
   Tom burst out laughing. “Am I seeing things?”
   “Like what,” groaned Danny, a wet patch in his groin area. “Jeez, that’s all I need.”    
   Ginger glanced at Danny’s predicament, and roared with laughter. ‘Classic, mate. A sure sign of wet Lollipop dream. They’ll love you.”
   “Hey guys,” intoned Tom, eyes glued to the newcomer. “You sure you wanna hang out here?”
   “Yeah, why?” Ginger followed Tom’s line of vision. “Ah, see what you mean.”
   Danny turned in his seat, his foot catching that of a Lollipop girl: the trio making toward the podium. “Sorry about that, didn’t  . . .”
   Bright blues locked onto his, and Danny sensed . . . No, felt the vibes going through his body. Whoa, this couldn’t be happening.”
   “Hey sugar,” said blue-eyed Lollipop, deep rasping voice akin to that of an old movie star he’d seen on TV and kind of sexy with it, “come and see me later, after the gig.”
   Once again silence befell them as the Lollipops strolled past on skyscraper heels.
   “I’m out of here,” said Ginger, getting to his feet.
   “Too late,” said Tom, “the girls just walked in.”
   Danny glanced toward the door, Jenny having spotted their table and waving as though not having set eyes on him in weeks. Love’s young dream, and Jenny as remote from a Lollipop girl as that of . . .Damn it, why had the girls selected this pub for an anniversary do?
  “Oooh, big boy,” she said, slipping onto his knee, a kiss to lips as the Lollipops burst into song. “Missed me?”
  “Not yet, I’m still trying on that score.”
  She puckered her nose. “Great here, in’t it?” she said, addressing her best mates, his best mates girlfriends. “Different. Like kind of funnnnn different.”
   Charlene, Ginger’s girl said, “Yeah, and those Lollipops in’t half got some balls to stand up their in them there skimpies.”
   Sharon, Tom’s girl burst into laughter, said, “Big girls, in’t they. Like tall, tall.”
   Charlene started giggling. “Oh Danny, if you could see your face.”
   He laughed. “Come here.” The kiss potent, driven by lust, edged with guilt. “I love you.”
   “I know you do,” said Jenny, semi-breathless, “but what brought that on?”
   “Nothing, just saying.”
   Ginger laughed. “Happy Anniversary mate.” He raised his glass. “To all of us, one year down and two days to go to your big day.”
   “Thanks, Ging,” said Jenny. “Stag and Hen do in one is more fun, don’t you think? And guess what . . . Danny boy, you’re going to get to sing with the Lollipops.”
   “No way,” said Danny, hefting Jenny from his lap. “No bleeding way I am getting up there and singing along with trannies.”
   “Danny. Wait.”  
   Ginger laughed, got to his feet and raised his glass. “Bad move, Jenny, bad move.”

Hee hee, over word count if it's 400 for today's challenge. And believe it I penned this over lunch. OK: to see other participants in this picture prompt go here.

Friday, 30 March 2012

A-Z Challenge or posting up Gone Fishing?

Are you in the A-Z Challenge or have you opted for a month's holiday re blogging?

I'm taking a holiday from blogging for a few weeks: Have fun folks... :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

RFW Challenge/Blogfest!

OK RFWers, I'm in this week with a snippet from "Love Walked In"  a semi-autobiographical Romantic suspense penned in fictional context, which will be going live on Amazon in a week's time: or before if the fates smile upon me... 

‘After daddy’s death,’ said Fiona, noticeably tentative, as though doubting her chance of an answer, ‘you never really cried, not once . . . Did you miss him, or was it all over between you beforehand?’
  Cassie reached out, affectionately stroked her daughter’s face. ‘Oh yes, I missed him, very much. And no, it wasn’t all over between us. Don’t ask me why, but I think I would have forgiven your father for virtually anything.’ She would have, she knew that, with exception of a certain indiscretion that had hurt Mac, and hurt her too, when the truth came to light. ‘He had an irresistible appeal, your father, and almost impossible to say no to.’
  ‘I know things were a bit dodgy on occasion, but I’d hate to think . . .’
  Cassie hugged her daughter. ‘Your father never hurt me not while he was with us, not intentionally, but by hurting another it hurt me indirectly. It was something that happened a long time ago and of no consequence now, and life goes on.’  
  ‘And now,’ queried Fiona. ‘What of Mac? Do you think he will come back?’
  ‘Oh he’ll come back, one day.’ Cassie looked out of the window toward the paddocks where horses were standing in the shade of the chestnut tree: idly swishing tails and nodding their heads in the midday heat. ‘He rings me every night, when possible, though didn’t last night.’
  ‘But he’s been gone seven months.’
  ‘What’s that compared to the rest of our lives?’
  ‘True, but why absent so long?’
  ‘It’s going to be a long-distance relationship for quite a while I think, and we’ll only get to see him when on vacation and the occasional snatched long weekend. I must admit, though, when he missed our scheduled call time last night I did try his number. Strangely, the answer-machine was switched off, so there will be no message awaiting his return. I tried his cell phone too and that was switched off, and there was no e-mail this morning. Goodness knows where he’s flown off to at short notice? I’m sure he’ll ring as soon as possible.’ She ruffled her daughter’s hair. ‘Skip this awful mess, and come riding with me, and I’ll help you tidy your room later.’
  ‘Oh must I?’ whinged Fiona, crumpling a blue silk dress in anguished gesture of hands to heart. ‘I’m expecting a phone call from a certain young Austrian, and . . .’
  Cassie kissed her daughter’s brow. ‘I’d forgotten you’re not terribly minded toward equines at the moment.’ As Fiona returned to sorting clothes, Cassie smiled, contentment and a skip in her step as she made for the door. ‘See you later, after you’ve spent ages and ages drooling over a hot phone line.’
  Fiona scooped up a pillow and flung it at her departing mother. ‘Who is it says I love you, love you, because . . . Because what, might I ask?’
  Cassie caught the pillow and tossed it back whilst bestowing a big smile: the because was personal, but Mac knew what it meant, and that's all that mattered. 

To see other contributions to this challenge/blogfest go here.