So you might have noticed a little pause in blog posts this last week.
That was the sound of my life catching up with me. I’ve been sewing dresses for weddings, attending weddings, and took the first vacation in about five years where I actually stayed at home. So what did I do at home? Cleaning!
I actually got a bit more sewing done, too, as that’s something I can do with my mum sitting in the room with me – in fact, my mum is still staying with us. She leaves in early October, to fly back to Australia.
It’s been great to have the family together, although I’m still in total denial about having a son old enough to get married. The wedding was small, but it had a lovely atmosphere, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. My kids most especially did. Two of them were in the wedding party, and all six of them (including the groom and his new wife) stayed up until the wee hours, long after the kitchen staff had whipped away all the clean glasses.
And now my daughter has announced her engagement!
At least there will be a couple years’ breathing room before we start this three ring circus up all over again.
I’ve put up a couple of photos of the wedding, including one of the points that tickled me pink; the bride wore boots.
So, I’m back at the day job, and dusting off the manuscript for The Branded Rose Prophecy. I am painfully aware that my self-imposed September deadline for finishing it has come and gone.
Now, I’m focusing on the end of November.
Let’s see how I do.
Meantime, here’s another flash excerpt for you.
Darwin walked right up to him. “You’re Asher Strand, I guess.”
Strand swapped the mug over to the other hand, and held out his right one. “You have the advantage of me.”
It was an oddly old fashioned thing to say, Darwin reflected as he automatically stuck out his hand, gripped Strand’s and shook. There was strength in the man’s grip, but he wasn’t trying to impress anyone. The grip remained firm and that was all. “Darwin Baxter,” he told him.
Strand’s brow lifted. “Ah…” he said, and pointed to the stool behind Darwin.
Darwin sat on it, and kept his feet on the floor, his legs stretched out. He was tall, but not nearly as tall as Strand, and now he was standing next ot him, he could see that Lucas hadn’t exaggerated the shoulders. He realized he was keeping his legs stretched out to make himself look taller. It was the old male instinct to show up the competition and he mentally sighed at himself for letting the man intimidate him.
But damn it, he was as fine a specimen in his way as the lovely hostess had been, but quite a bit younger. And while he was immune to it, Darwin could still feel the same vitality and aliveness in the man that the hostess had radiated with such impact.
“You know my name,” Darwin siad. “Someone has been talking about me.”
Strand nodded. “Charlee. Given what happened last week, I imagine you’re here to talk about that and about her. I must admit, I was expecting one of her parents to appear. Her father, most likely.”
“He’s sick,” Darwin said shortly. “Charlee hasn’t figured that out yet, but it’s serious. I’m surprised he has the energy to complete a shift. He’s got a job on the docks and that’s back breaking work even for a health young guy like yourself.” He stopped himself from saying anything else, like his suspicions that Montgomery was not just sick but dying, and the only thing keeping him heading off to work each day was the fact that in that family of four, he was the only one bringing in any sort of income. Darwin also didn’t speak of his worry about what would happen to those two kids when Montgomery got too sick to work.
Strand nodded. “I had my suspicions, from what Charlee has said about life at home. Is he dying?” he asked, the blue eyes holding Darwin’s gaze steadily.
Darwin pulled in a breath, riding out his surprise. “I think so,” he admitted reluctantly.
Strand absorbed that with a thoughtful, sober nod. “So…Darwin Baxter. Charlee has told me quite a bit about you. I envy you your profession, by the way.”
Darwin rolled his eyes as the truth dawned on him. “You’re the history nut,” he said, feeling slightly stupid. He hadn’t put it together until this very moment. “She let me think you were a kid at school.”