An Eight Lady Serial–The Laird’s Legacy – Part 9

Welcome to the ninth and final installment of our Eight Lady Serial, based on Jilly’s short story The Laird’s Legacy.

It’s been fun getting to know Jordy, Jenny, and the twins, but it’s time to wrap things up and send them off to live their Happily Ever After without constant interference by Random Words and Writing Prompts.

So here is the end of our continuing saga using the Friday Writing Prompt of: a character who needs to make a big change, and the words foggy, wasp, bachelor,  gargoyle, hound, flavoring, feudal,  aftermath, lantern, cough, anxious,  endorsement, glossy, knowing, saint,  endless

Full Circle

The foggy day had cleared by mid-morning, although the sun had yet to break through the overhanging clouds. The endless rain had stopped some time during the night, leaving the pavement and trees glossy and dark with moisture. It wasn’t a perfect day to take the girls for an outing, but Jenny had been anxious about Elspeth’s cough, and she thought, if she wrapped the twins up well, the fresh air might do them good.

Jordy, his bachelor days seemingly behind him, had called off work on the opera festival venue for the day because of the rain. The aftermath of the wind and rain had left the stone slick and the wood too damp to proceed with safety or finesse.

“Where shall we take the wee ones, then?” he asked, turning off the kitchen lantern. The sky had lightened to a pale grey; dim light filtered softly through the windows.

“I thought we could walk to the churchyard,” Jenny said. “I’d like to look for Alanis McLeish’s grave. And maybe visit the Blessing Stone, thank it for the girls.”

“Wear your wellies,” Jordy said. “It’ll be wet in the lane.” Continue reading

An Eight Lady Serial–The Laird’s Legacy – Part 6

Welcome to today’s installment of our Eight Lady Serial, based on Jilly’s short story The Laird’s Legacy.

While Kay would neither confirm nor deny being gobsmacked by the revelations in yesterdays installment, she’s risen to the occasion to address that burning question:  just who is Alanis McLeish?

So, without further ado, here is the next bit of our continuing saga, using the Friday Writing Prompt of: a character who got caught in a lie, and the words flowers, fumbling, sweet, dazzling, bribery, charming, mirror, calculation, truth, forgiven, identity, growl, nightmare, freckled, alarm, preserve.

# # #

Who is Alanis McLeish?

Alarmed, Jenny ran to the cottage through the flower garden. She didn’t notice the blooms’ dazzling display nor their sweet scent. Something had happened, something bad. Fumbling with the gate latch, she charged up the path.

“Jordy?” she said, breathing quickly. “What’s going on?” Continue reading

An Eight Lady Serial–The Laird’s Legacy – Part 5

Welcome to another installment of our Eight Lady Serial, that started when Jilly wrote a short story about Jordy MacHugh, a Canadian music teacher who inherits a derelict estate in the Scottish Highlands and decides to build an outdoor opera house by the sea.  In yesterday’s installment, Jilly added some much-needed conflict to the story.

As I re-read the entire saga, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to leave Jordy and Jenny to their own devices, though they may not appreciate the direction of today’s installment.

Without further ado, read on to find out what happens next. Using the prompts from Friday’s writing sprint – character(s) face a challenge – and including (most of) the random words: equipment, belly, aimless, baffling, noise, bloke, fuzzy, clever, beekeeper, footwork, glass, dream, corduroy, setup, lump and artist.

The Unexpected

By unspoken agreement, Jenny and Jordy busied themselves with separate pursuits when they returned to their temporary cottage after their aborted picnic along the cliffs.

While nondescript from the front, the area behind the cottage was a wild tangle of riotous blooms and clinging vines.  Paths that seemed to be in danger of being swallowed up by the creeping foliage wended around and about the area and led to an overgrown folly in the back barely visible through the trees from mere paces away.

Jenny wandered the paths aimlessly, deaf to the noise of the bumbling bees, drunk on the abundant nectar and buzzing happily. Continue reading

An Eight Lady Serial–The Laird’s Legacy – Part 3

Welcome to today’s installment of our Eight Lady Serial, based on Jilly’s short story The Laird’s Legacy.

Kay was inspired to add to the story by this set of  Friday writing prompts: a character who faced a challenge, and the words equipment, belly, aimless, baffling, noise. bloke, fuzzy, clever, beekeeper, footwork, glass, dream, corduroy, setup, lump, artist.

Let’s see what’s next for Jenny and Jordy.

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And Now, Twins

Jenny handed the fuzzy bunny to the drowsy baby Elspeth and hoped to high heaven that the twins would fall asleep and dream the dreams of babies, whatever they were.

She was exhausted.

How had she ended up here? It was baffling. One minute she’d been walking along the Scottish cliffs admiring the view, and the next, evidently, she was mothering homeless twins.

Not that she had a clue how to do that.

But somehow Maeve, the village maven, seer, and chief beekeeper, had decided that they’d make a great family with Jordy MacHugh, Canadian ex-pat, budding opera house impresario, and all-round great bloke. Jordy did indeed seem to be a nice guy, not to mention cute, but this setup screamed trouble with a capital T, no matter how much fancy footwork you put into the dance. Continue reading

An Eight Lady Serial–The Laird’s Legacy – Part 2

Okay, technically these cliffs are in Ireland, not Scotland. Just pretend for now.
©Eldridge Photography

Welcome to today’s installment of our Eight Lady Serial, based on Jilly’s short story The Laird’s Legacy.

This installment was inspired by a picture from a trip I took to Ireland, though things did take a slightly different turn than I had expected when I started writing.  Still, I’m happy with the results and hope you are too.

Anyway, without further ado, here is a Jilly-inspired short story using these Friday’s prompts: a character who found something unexpected, incorporating the words basket, symbol, siren, bottle, freewill, baby, future, confusion, absurdly, little, grabbing, aroma, banana, vision, identical and robbery.

I hope you enjoy it.

Finding Home

Jenny stood at the edge of the cliff covered in a sea of undulating wild grasses and watched the waves crash over and around the rocks below.  She knew it probably carried an Arctic chill, but the sunlight glinting off the mesmerizing blue water made her think of warm summer days and soft caressing breezes.

She could feel her heartbeat slow and her breathing deepen.

She felt like she’d finally found home.

Daughter, sister, friend, co-worker; she’d been running so fast and for so long, filling those roles and more, that her current sense of calm confused her at first.  Then she thought of staying here forever; jettisoning all of the commitments weighing her down and starting over again by these beautiful blue waters.

The vision of a brand-new future took her breath away. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Wednesday Story Short

As I mentioned last Wednesday, I’ve been looking back at the past a bit lately, digging out old stories and seeing if they can be resuscitated or reimagined.  I’ve also been reading my way through a folder full of story shorts, written during the Friday Writing sprints.  Some were definite misses and their pages could be best folded into paper airplanes, but a few others were amusing enough to keep.

I thought I’d share another one of my favorites today.

So, without further ado, here is my short story based on the prompts from a Friday Writing Sprint, which included the Loch Ness monster and the words: sun, sand, cabin, canoe, heat, melt, ice cream, floaties, bikini, raft, breeze, freckled, hat, campfire, lake, and towel.

Enjoy.

* * *

Nigel vs. the Nephews

“No charades.”  Oh, kill me now.  Nigel Weatherby did his best to ignore the whine of disappointed voices and remained on the couch with his eyes closed against the midday sun, doing an excellent imitation of a boneless mass.

It was just an illusion though.  When he wasn’t draped over the sofa thwarting his nephews, Nigel was a championship swimmer, as well as a black belt and who knows what else.  He merely preferred to conserve energy for when it was absolutely necessary.

Charades in no way qualified as necessary. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Wednesday Story Short

As I mentioned last Wednesday, I’ve been looking back at the past a bit lately, digging out old stories and seeing if they can be resuscitated or reimagined.  This week, those “digging in the past efforts’ were a direct result of a spate of technology upgrades.  There’s noting like having gigabytes of files to move around to make a person think “what is all this stuff and do I really need it?”

One of the things I found, misfiled in a folder entitled “receipts,” was a number of story shorts, written during the Friday Writing sprints.  Some of the shorts weren’t worth saving and took a one-way trip to the recycling folder, but a few others were amusing enough to keep.

I thought I’d share one of my favorites today.

So, without further ado, here is my short story based on the prompts from a Friday Writing Sprint, in which the main character has to deal with a difficult client, including the words: moonbeam, undersea, bulldog, entertain , lonesome, miserable, façade, ambush, bluntness, cynical, wealthy, detox, grill , chain, audience, injury

I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading

Michaeline: Four Questions for Harper Cross

Author Harper Cross, also known as Eight Lady Nancy Hunter, aka Nancy Yeager, author of the five-story series, Harrow’s Finest Five (Starting with novella “Too Clever by Half” and followed by four full-length Victorian historical romance novels) answered a few questions for me regarding her new book, Baby One Last Time, the first book in her series, The Agents of HEAT (published April 29, 2021).

The lighthearted romantic suspense book is a second-chance romance. Cynthia has been expelled from the secret spy agency, HEAT, and her only chance to redeem herself is by working with her “tall, dark and diabolical” ex, Derek Wilder. Harper calls it “a shot of action & adventure, a dash of snark, and a twist of fun.”

She’s got a lot of fun things to say about the process in her interview, too!

Hot guy in black v-neck t-shirt with bracelet and looking over squarish sunglasses at viewer. Tropical palms, fire/scorched earth imagery.
Baby One Last Time is the latest book from Nancy, writing as Harper Cross. and is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers from the Agents of HEAT series. Image from Harper Cross.
Continue reading

Elizabeth: Story Nugget – “A Recipe for Disaster”

A couple of weeks ago I posted the beginnings of a short story about Daffodil and her brother Mortimer, who were in the midst of week two of quarantine.  Kay added a bit more to the story in the comments and then I added a bit more last week.

I’ve grown rather fond of Daffodil and Mortimer, so when I took a look at Friday’s story prompt and random words, I thought I’d continue their story a little more.  You can read (or re-read) the beginning of the story, What Could Possibly Go Wrongin this post and part two, A Stranger Comes to Town in this post.

Anyway, without further ado, here is another bit of story featuring bread making and including (most of) the words pretend, monochrome, glow, copper, uprising, chemical, blood, victory, scheme, headstrong, fatality, hollow, debris, vision, burning, and pragmatic

# # #

A Recipe for a Disaster

Daffodil Masters McWhorter blew an errant curl of auburn hair out of her eyes for the millionth time and eyed the charred lump on the countertop that was supposed to be olive walnut bread.

Frankly, it looked more like an over-sized hockey puck, and the debris-filled kitchen looked more like the scene of a recent disaster.

Which, of course, it was. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Story Nugget – “A Stranger Comes to Town”

A couple of weeks ago I posted the beginnings of a short story about Daffodil and her brother Mortimer, who were in the midst of week two of quarantine.  Kay added a bit more to the story in the comments, sending a very bored Daffodil up to the attics of the house for a little exploring, where she encountered what might have been a genie from a lamp.  When I took a look at Friday’s story prompt and random words, they seemed just right to use for continuation of that story.

If you want to read (or re-read) the beginning of the story, What Could Possibly Go Wrong, check out the Short Story Play Along post.

Anyway, without further ado, here is another bit of story featuring a stranger and including the words captured, wisdom, sparkle, sleep, home, barricade, glossy, ivy, headache, preserve, mistaken, ginger, blowgun, visitor, blubber, and raspberry.

A Stranger Comes to Town

Daffodil covered her mouth and nose to block out the worst of the smoke and blinked rapidly to clear her vision.

What the hell was that? Continue reading