Tag Archive | picture prompt

Just Kidding…Not! (Picture Prompt)

Hello romance readers! Today’s Tuesday Tales post is from a new April Fool’s Day romance, Just Kidding…Not! This short story is another holiday romance set in the small historic town of Oak Grove Square. In this story we meet Irene, the owner of the local bookstore, Pageturners. A healthy lady, striving to live a balanced life in mind, body and soul, her April Fool’s joke brings an unlikely and unlooked for love to her doorstep.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Picture prompt snippets are short, only 300 words, so it will be quick reading this week.

After reading this snipped, return to TUESDAY TALES here to read more tales from a group of talented authors.


We had four pictures to choose from. This is the picture I chose to use as my prompt for the latest addition to Just Kidding…Not!


“I’ve got all day. There’s nowhere I have to rush off to. What’s your brainstorm?”

“I was thinking about having a party here. For the kids. An April Fool’s Day party.”

“You lost your mind, girl? Inviting kids in to play pranks?”

Irene threw her shoulders back and puffed up her chest. “No, I have not, Samuel Bateman…you old stick in the mud.” She swatted at his shoulder as she passed by, as if reassuring him that she was teasing. “I think it would be fun. Here, let me show you some ideas I had.”

Irene dug in her tote bag and pulled out a legal pad filled with scribbles. She looked up in time to see Sam rolling his eyes in exasperation. “What in the world do you have against kids?”

“Not a thing. Long as they behave themselves. Seems you’re setting them up for mischief with this party plan of yours.”

Running her finger down the page, looking at notes she’d furtively written while sitting in a merchant’s meeting that had droned on for longer than she’d liked, she began reading off a few of her ideas. “I thought we’d do two parties. A morning one for the younger ones. There’s lots of great books I can read them…”

“Wacky Wednesday. By Dr. Seuss. That’d be a great one for April Fools.” Sam interrupted and looked pleased with himself for his contribution. He smiled as he started to catch Irene’s enthusiasm.

“Good idea! I like it.” Irene grabbed a pencil and added the title to her notes before continuing. “Then an early afternoon party for the older kids. With food for their party. Like pancakes…but they’d be itty-bitty pancakes.” She circled her thumb and forefinger to make a circle no bigger than a quarter.

Manifesting Love – picture prompt


This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Heather and Brian found each other, even though Heather didn’t expect to fall for a full-time clown. Now it’s Corecia’s time to find love. She has her eye on a new man, but is unsure about Noah as he’s claimed that he doesn’t want to be tied down.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Picture prompt snippets are short. Only 300 words. Makes for a quick read this week. Come see how the bread picture I chose works its way into the story.

Then, return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.


As everyone else stood, Corecia held a hand in the air as if she were a school girl waiting for permission to speak. “Wait a minute. I want another roll first. I could make a meal of good bread, ‘specially when it’s as fresh as this. Trader Joes?”

Heather held the platter that held an assortment of crusty treats towards her friend. “Nope. Central Market.”

Clutching a soft, pumpernickel roll on a napkin, Corecia joined her friends in the living room. The women clustered around the square coffee table nestled in the corner of the L-shaped sofa and examined the plethora arranged for their manifesting lesson.

Juliette plopped down at one of the ends, leaning back with a huge sigh. “Pink candles? I thought candles to attract love would be red.”

“Me too,” Tracey agreed. “I’d planned on sharing what we learn tonight with my son. But he called yesterday all in a tizzy, telling me all about his new girlfriend. Guess he doesn’t need any candle help in his love life.”

Heather grabbed a sheaf of papers from the table and began passing them out. “To use candle magic in your life, you need to know what days’ work best for your intent. Also, we need to know about what phase the moon is in.”

“Phase of the moon? Now you’re starting to sound all new-agey on us Heather.” Juliette waggled her fingers in the air for added effect.

Heather straightened her shoulders and appeared startled. “Don’t you pay attention to the moon?”

“Only when it’s a full one. Then all the loonies come out. You wouldn’t believe the customers I get the few days around a full moon.”

Heather nodded in agreement. “Full moons are important to watch. So are the new moons. But knowing when its transitioning between full and new is what you need to know. A waxing moon…”

Manifesting Love Club – picture prompt


This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Heather and Brian found each other, even though Heather didn’t expect to fall for a full-time clown. Leaving them all lovey-dovey and snuggled up together, we’re jumping ahead in the story to Corecia. It’s time for her to have some fun and find a little love.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Picture prompt snippets are short – only 300 words.

Return to TUESDAY TALES to read the rest of the story snippets.


“That’s his hook then? He can kiss?” Tracey shook her head in dismay.

“When his mouth is on mine and his arms wrapped around me…yo girl, he is an angel on earth and I never want the moment to end.”

Juliette held her hand high in the air. “TMI. TMI. We do not need to go any further with this conversation.”

Heather tossed a dish towel on the counter. “I agree. Besides, dinner is ready. Go get a seat and I’ll bring the entrée in.”

The ladies made their way to the dining table and proceeded with the delicate feminine dance of choosing who sat where. Heather carried a steaming dish in and placed it on the trivet.

“Mmmmm, that smells delicious.” Tracey inhaled deeply and rubbed her hand across her stomach. “What is it?”

“Zucchini Parmigiana.” Heather sat a spatula next to the white corning ware dish that held their meal.

“Zucchini? Where’s the beef?” Corecia joked. “I know you’re all Miss-Eat-Healthy after your brush with cancer. But girl…the rest of us still eat beef. A nice sizzling steak sure would be nice sittin’ next to that veggie dish you call a meal.”

“Don’t worry, Corecia. Besides, if you keep going on about Noah, I have a feeling we’ll all hear plenty about ‘da beef’.” The twinkle in Tracey’s eyes and her soft chuckle let everyone know she spoke in jest.

“Oh, Corecia, just zip it up for one night, will you? Didn’t your mama ever teach you ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’?” Juliette shook her head and rubbed her finger tips across her forehead in exasperation. “I just want to eat. I’m famished. Then I can’t wait to hear what Heather’s going to tell us about candle spells. You may have found your man, but I’m still looking for mine.”

Manifesting Love Club #8


This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Earlier, Heather introduced her idea of affirmations to manifest love. The friends are working on their lists of what they want in a man. It’s Tracey’s turn today, the widow that has no desire for another man in her life.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Picture prompt snippets are short – 300 words or less!

Return to TUESDAY TALES for the rest of the story snippets.



Tracey hemmed and hawed before deciding to share what she’d written. “You all knew Luke. You know how much I loved him and what a great marriage we had. No one can ever replace him. That’s what I want in a man. I want Luke back.”

Heather leaned over and laid a hand on Tracey’s forearm, patting in reassurance.

Taking a deep breath, Tracey continued. “I know I can’t have him back. Anyone that tried to be his clone would come out on the short end of the stick. The qualities that made Luke such a wonderful husband are what I think is important in a mate. Loving. Caring. Sensitive. Respectful and accommodating for the elders in our life. A hard worker. A good provider.”

Corecia cleared her throat and mumbled something under her breath.

“What?” Tracey stopped checking off her list of admirable traits to question her friend’s unintelligible comment.

“I said ‘Saint Luke’. You make him out to be a flawless paragon. I thought he was wonderful, too. I’m just curious if he had any faults? Doesn’t sound like it the way you’re going on.”

Heather gasped and held her breath. She didn’t like confrontations, especially at her dining room table. Her face looked like she expected Tracey to either lash out at Corecia, burst into tears, or storm out of the room.

Instead, to everyone’s surprise, amusement crossed Tracey’s face and she burst out in laughter. “You’re right. He did. Not many…but a few. One of them was a biggie. There was something he wouldn’t do with me. It was something that I dearly loved to do. If…and I repeat if…I ever end up with another man in my life…he’s going to go to the beach and take long walks on the shore at sunset with me.”

Manifesting Love #4


This is a new work in progress, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love.

Last week Heather introduced her idea of affirmations to manifest love. The friends are working on their lists of what they want in a man as Heather serves up dessert. Corecia mentions one item on her list. Come back next week to see what else is on Corecia’s list.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Several different food photos were given to the group and each author got to pick which one they wanted to write to. Snippets for the picture prompts are limited to 300 words. Reading will be quick this week!

Return to TUESDAY TALES for the rest of the story snippets.


Heather looked at the intent faces sitting around her dining room table. “While you ladies are thinking and writing, I have some apple pie for us.”

Corecia shot her friend a wicked look. “Oh sure. Make us do all this soul searching, and you’re not gonna play along yourself?”

Returning to the table carefully carrying a golden crusted creation, Heather just grinned. “I’m doing it too. I cheated though, since I knew what was coming up. I already made my list.”

Tracey looked up from the tablet she was doodling on. “Oh my lord! That pie is stunning. Where did you get it?”

Heather responded airily, with a bemused expression on her face. “Picked it up from a little place called ‘Heather’s Kitchen’. Fresh as of last night.”

“You made it yourself?” Juliette looked up long enough to be astonished.

“Of course I made it myself. It’s not that hard really.”

“Ha! Easy for you to say. I couldn’t make one like that.” Corecia didn’t look convinced.

Juliette poked at her friend sitting next to her. “Natch. You don’t even know where your kitchen is, Corecia. Have you ever figured out how to use one?”

Corecia swatted at Juliette’s shoulder. “Stop picking on me, girl. Don’t make me open a can o’ whoop ass.”

Heather chuckled as she cut the pie and passed slices around. “On your list of what you’re looking for in a man, maybe you should make sure to put ‘one that cooks’. Then you won’t have to worry about it.”

“One that cooks? I’ll be happy to have one that only has one girl at a time!”

“Write that down.” Heather handed out forks, along with her advice.

“It’s there, girl. It’s on my list.”

Tracey looked up, curious. “What else is on your list?”


-Sorry to cut the scene short. I’m sticking to the 300 word limits for picture prompts. Come back next week and find out what else is on Corecia’s list of ‘must haves’ in a man.-


Something Amiss in Alerald – TT picture prompt

Chrys N. Jay is taking a short break from Starting Over, for a new story, tentatively titled Something Amiss in Alerald. For the next few weeks I’m trying my hand at an LGBT Fairy Tale to submit for a contest. So we’ll leave Victoria and Toby in the bedroom where we left them (I’m sure they’ll find many ways to amuse themselves while they’re locked in there) and we’ll introduce you to a new princess in town. One that has no desire to find a Prince Charming. We’ll see where the story goes, because right now…I have no idea where this will take us!

Princess Reanna is having a confrontation with her mother, Queen Amica, over her balking at not wanting to marry any of the Prince’s that have come looking for her hand.

This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to a picture prompt. Reading will be quick, these weeks are limited to 300 words. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.



“What? You think you shall live out your life as an old spinster woman? You think that will make you happy?”

“I shall not be alone. I’ll have Nahla.” Reanna turned and gazed up into her servant’s eyes. “I shall most decidedly be happy in her care.”

A scarlet flush spread up Nahla’s cheeks. When the Queen’s keen gaze turned in her direction, the flush deepened and a sweat broke out upon her brow.

“I see…” the Queen mused, her eyes glancing back and forth between her daughter and the young servant girl. She paced the length of the bedchamber, and stopped abruptly in front of Reanna, staring at her.

“I believe it’s time for a change.”

Nahla stood by mutely, not daring to utter a word, her face drained, white and pale.

“Nahla, gather your belongings,” the Queen commanded. “I’ll be back.”

Once the Queen turned and left, Reanna flung herself into her servant’s arms with a sob. “Whatever are we going to do?”

Nahla stroked Reanna’s back as she held her. Her face was blanched white. Servants had been killed for less in the Land of Alerald.

Reanna tipped her head and nuzzled Nahla’s neck. “Dearest…I musn’t lose you. My heart belongs to you.”

The girls clung to each other in despair, fearful of what Queen Amica had in mind.

“However can she know?” Reanna wondered. “How can she know that I love you?”

“Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she only suspects. If she returns and finds us clutching each other like this, she will certainly know.” She untangled herself from the embrace and stepped back.

As Nahla slipped into the small room curtained off from Reanna’s extravagant bedchamber, the Princess turned and moved to the turret window in a daze. She stood staring out into the vast land before her, her mind in a whirl.


Thyme for Love – TT picture prompt

 Tuesday TalesHere’s a snippet from my current work in progress, Thyme for Love.

After several busy, overbooked weeks, Sally and Izzy have a whole day together. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Only 300 words, so it’s quick reading this week. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.


TT_August 2015 pic prompt

After a kiss that left her breathless and weak in the knees, Sally clung to Izzy, afraid to trust her balance.

“C’mon, babe. I’ll show you the house.” Izzy stepped towards the house, tugging her hand in his.

Stepping inside Sally saw a laundry room littered with several pairs muddy boots lined up by the back door. A laundry basket sat on the washer overflowing with dirty laundry. She almost shuddered to think what the rest of the place looked like. But as she followed Izzy into the kitchen, looking around in amazement. Counters were clean. The floor was spotless. The walls were bare, and while perhaps boring in their unadorned state, they were clean and appeared to be freshly painted. One lone dirty glass sat in the sink.

Laughter bubbled from her throat. “You’ve surprised me.”

“How’s that?”

“It looks like a bachelor’s house. Yet, it doesn’t.”

“What do you mean?” He looked puzzled.

“It’s much cleaner than I expected a man’s house to be. But…” She paused and swiveled her gaze around the sparkling kitchen. “You sure don’t have any ‘fluff’ though.”

“Nope. No fluff for me. I’m an outdoor man. That’s where I live. In here, I only eat and sleep.” Amusement flashed across his face. “Except for special occasions. Then, I add a few extra touches to the décor.”

“Oh? What special occasions?”

“When I’m expecting special company. Then, I decorate up a bit.” He pointed into the dining alcove set off of the kitchen.

Sally turned and saw a spray of delicate, two-toned roses displayed on a hand hewn oak dining table, surrounded by a mass of chocolates.

Tears welled up in her eyes as a feeling of love filled her body and oozed through her pores. Her mouth opened – but no words came out.



Tuesday TalesA2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0R: ROMANCE

Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. ~Elinor Glyn

Here’s another double duty post. Romance is for the ‘R’ in the A to Z Blog Challenge. The story snippet for Tuesday Tales is written to a picture prompt this week. So, here’s a little romantic tale for you, the next installment of my current WIP, THYME FOR LOVE.

Check out what the other authors wrote to this picture at TUESDAY TALES. (It’s fast reading, the picture prompt stories are limited to 300 words.)


TT_042115Izzy paused to see if Sally needed to help her customer, but the lady went wandering off towards the back as if on a mission.

“She’s a regular. She has some favorite booths,” she explained.

He lowered his voice to ask his next question. “I was just thinking. I know its short notice and all, but could you get away for the weekend? You could go down to Austin with me, meet my ex and see that we’re just friends. They’ll be a few of us helping her. Then you and I could spend the night on the town. Just the two of us.”

“I wish. But no, I can’t this weekend.” Her fingertips grazed his check. “It takes a bit of planning to get away from here over a Saturday. And this close to the herb festival, I just have too much on my plate right now.”

“I totally understand. With my plants I have the same problem. What about after you close tomorrow night? Are you free? We could run over to Hank’s for some BBQ, then we can take a walk down Latham’s Trail. Just walking and talking and spending time together.”

“Perfect! I love walking that wooded path. Especially since I’ve been so busy I haven’t been meeting the girls for our morning stroll around the square here.”

“It’s a date. I’ll meet you here at six sharp, when you close.” A quick glance around the store revealed no customers in the immediate vicinity. Stepping closer, he cupped her face in his hands and grazed her lips with his. “Until tomorrow, darlin’.”

A quick wink and he was out the door, leaving her in a haze, wanting more. Much more.

Thyme for Love #7

 Tuesday Tales

Sally, a devoted business woman and owner of Crafter’s Cottage, just met an organic farmer interested in being a vendor at the upcoming herb festival. Their meeting to fill out the vendor application has suddenly turned into a dinner date.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Only 300 words. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.


TT_February pic prompt

Hank’s BBQ was a staple eatery for most of the Oak Grove Square merchants. They frequently ran into one another as they dashed in to pick up their favorite sauce slathered delicacy. Many business arrangements were finalized over a dish of his creamy banana pudding. With the handsome man sitting across the red checkered tablecloth from her, his hair gently brushing the tops of his shoulders each time he moved his head, Sally had never been more aware of her background. The colors seemed brighter and the aromas more pungent. Even the Toby Keith melody blasting from the speakers as he crooned about ‘You shouldn’t kiss me like this unless you mean it like that’ seemed melodious and romantic.

“Well, it’s not the Ritz.” Izzy laughed and draped a functional paper napkin across his jean clad knees. “You’re probably more used to the fine dining experience with men. You know, the whole cloth napkins and champagne glasses thing. Sorry. I just give you this.” His hands motioned around the room full of loud, beer drinking, beef guzzling diners.

“No. This is perfect. I think I could devour one of Hank’s pulled pork sandwiches every day.”

“But you’re so elegant and sophisticated looking. You don’t look like a BBQ and beer type of gal.”

“You’ve only seen me in my ‘work clothes’. Running a business, with the customers and the vendors I deal with on a daily basis, I like to look professional. I like real though. I’m not into show. Just get me away from work and I’m a jeans and T-shirt gal.”

A grin spread across Izzy’s cheeks, showing off a dimple she hadn’t noticed before. “Too bad you didn’t wear your jeans tonight. We could have gone for a stroll around the lake later.”

Thyme for Love #3

 Tuesday Tales

There’s a new story for the new year in Tuesday Tales. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met last year, fell in love and lived happily ever after. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in his sight. Join us to see what surprises are ahead for Sally, of Crafter’s Cottage. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Snippets are short – only 300 words for the picture prompts.

TT_January 2015 picture prompt


The two women halted mid stride and stood gawking in the middle of the street. The sight of the muscular man lounging against a black Ford pickup truck, framed by the typical Texas cowboy hat, had both ladies momentarily speechless. “Oh my! If that’s an organic farmer, I think I just became interested in farming,” Victoria finally muttered after composing herself. “Yum. Now, wouldn’t I like to find that wrapped up and under my Christmas tree,” Sally agreed. “I believe that organizing the herb festival just became a very pleasurable task.” Victoria volunteered, “Maybe I should go with you. You know, to chaperone. “No. That’s quite all right. I have this handled.” The smirk on Sally’s face was a dead giveaway. She was looking forward to the exchange with the farmer boy – and possible vendor of the town’s upcoming festival. She bounced away towards Crafter’s Cottage, her ponytail bouncing away in time with her eager step. The fresh faced stranger brushed his long hair off the nape of his neck, adjusted his Stetson and appraised the woman approaching his truck. As she got closer, he moved away from the Ford’s hood to meet her at the doorway. Tipping his hat he ambled up. “Howdy ma’am. Are you Sally?” He stuck out his hand in greeting. “Um … yeah … uh …” She shook her head to regain her senses. Looking at his still outstretched hand, she finally remembered to put her hand out for a shake. A jolt of electricity tingled down her arm and she almost pulled her hand back. “Uh … sorry about being late. Believe me … I’m not usually this speechless. It’s just … you know … the walking and all … and …” She’d never felt so flustered in all of her life.