July 4th in Ruthorford!

A Ruthorford 4th!

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“No, no, no!” Teresa waved the hand-tatted handkerchief at the boys toting a picnic tablepicnic table across the slopping lawn of the bed and breakfast. “Not too close to the creek. We want plenty of room for the quilts to be set up for everyone to pierchildsee the fireworks.” She used the dainty handkerchief to dab at the light sheen of sweat on her neck, then tucked it back into the waistband of her khakis. That handkerchief or one similarly pretty, had become a symbol. It bespoke more to her inner feminine side hidden beneath her customary attire of a crisp shirt tucked into a pair of khaki pants. As owner of Abbott Bed & Breakfast, it wasn’t often that she donned more than a serviceable costume—one fit for helping strip and remake a room in a hurry, or shoulder a tray of food from the kitchen.

She felt the arm around her shoulder before Morgan’s soft voice touched her ears. “Why ice teadon’t you slow down for a second? It looks fabulous.” Morgan squeezed her friend’s shoulder and placed a tall glass of sweet tea in her hand, the outside of the glass already wet with cold beads of water.

“Thanks,” Teresa smiled at the sun-kissed face of the redhead standing next to her. She never stopped being awed by the natural beauty of the young woman still considered new to their town, even after becoming such a part of it.

Looking almost identical to her deceased birth mother, Morgan’s emerald green eyes sparkled in merriment as she twisted the mass of red curls atop her head, fastening it with a clasp. “Have you seen Dorian?”

Distracted, Teresa’s gaze moved over the lawn and the bevy of people setting it up for the 4th of Julypicnic crowd get together. “I haven’t seen him since this morning. He got a call from Miss Alice and Miss Grace. Maybe he’s still at their place.” She raised the glass and took a sip before resting the cold glass against her forehead. picnic table family“That really helped.” She pulled out the handkerchief once more to wipe the beads of moisture from her forehead.

“That’s right,” Morgan said. When Dorian had told her about the ceremony involving Ruthorford’s legendary birds carrying sparkling streamers, she knew she’d see something few outsiders ever saw. At her flurry of questions, Dorian merely shrugged, adding, “The owl2owls and falcons are the purview of the sisters. I remember sneaking over there as a kid, having heard stories. I’d just managed to step into the barn when a huge owl swooped past me, knocking me to the ground. Miss Alice appeared out of nowhere, lecturing me about trespassing and then feeding me so much pie that I completely forgot why I was there. Some things are meant to remain a mystery, I guess.” Morgan figured with him working with them, he knew more than he was telling, but she let him distract her with a kiss. She now smiled at that memory.

“No,” Teresa called to several girls, her voice bringing Morgan back to the present. “Spread those quilts further apart and closer to the bank. Has anyone seen Rowe?”

“He’s down by the creek giving last-minute instructions to his cousins,” a young voice called from the side of the building, where wisps of smoke carried the aroma of the roastinggrilled meats pork, beef, and chicken drifted across the lawn, promising another bountiful BBQ, this time by Eryk, a last-minute replacement for Teresa’s recently deceased husband.

“Good,” Teresa called back. “Make sure Eryk gets some tea.”

Morgan noticed the frown etching Teresa’s brow. “You okay?” she asked.

Teresa patted Morgan’s hand. “I will be.”

Teresa burst out with a laugh as she turned and watched Mike Yancy stop a tray from slipping off the shoulder of Sandra, who’d been helping run the Abbott Bed & Breakfast since Bill became ill. For all his juggling, Dr. Yancy still managed to get a glass of ice water down the front of him and, almost a second one, when Sandra spun around to apologize. Still smiling, he walked over and handed Teresa a flower. “Good thing I brought a change of clothes,” he laughed heading up to the bed and breakfast to change.

Teresa glanced down at the flower and called to Mike’s retreating back, “You didsingle flowern’t get this out of my side garden, Mike Yancy, now did you?” But the smile on her face told Morgan she wasn’t all that upset if he had.

Sandra smiled sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders, almost upsetting the tray once more. Others carted trays of plates, napkins, knives and forks to the buffet line near the building. Over the years, the arrangement had changed little, the bed and breakfast having perfected the best way to serve large amounts of food to the horde of residents that would soon descend upon the annual cookout and fireworks celebration.

“I almost forgot,” Morgan said, pulling a picture out of her pocket, “I found this in myold sisters mother’s things. Do you think it’s Miss Alice and Miss Grace?” She handed Teresa the picture.

Teresa studied it. “I wouldn’t be surprised. I heard they were quite the athletes in their day.” She laughed, looking at the picture. “What would this make them, a hundred and something?” She glanced over at the two women directing traffic around they buffet. They looked to be in their seventies, maybe. But, hadn’t they always, she thought to herself and looked once more at the picture before handing it back. “You can ask them if it’s them. I’m sure not going to.”

Morgan pocketed the picture. “I don’t think so.” She laughed.

lakeTeresa took another sip of tea. “You know, I can’t remember when it’s been this hot in Ruthorford. Or dry.” She looked across the wide creek that had narrowed from lack of rain.

“Bask made sure the new fire engine was delivered this morning. We have two already in position,” Morgan reassured Teresa, knowing Teresa would find it in herself to worry about things easily left to others.

Teresa nodded, reassured. After all, Bask was Ruthorford. He single handedly ran the Abbott House, the foundation that owned Ruthorford, and ensured that what went on in Ruthorford, stayed in Ruthorford.

“Why don’t you take a break and cool off,” Morgan suggested, lightly touching her arm and giving a low-level push. “I’ve got things covered here. I think I saw Mike come back out couple under treeand head over to the buffet table,” she added. “People are starting to find their spots.” It was one of her greatest hopes that Mike and Teresa would one day resume the friendship they’d had before Bill had returned to Ruthorford and become match-mated to Teresa.

Teresa looked around once more before answering, “I think I will,” she said and smiled at Morgan, “after I check on Eryk.” As she turned and headed across the lawn toward the side of the old Victorian, she called over her shoulder, “…and not because of any push you did.”

She heard Morgan’s laugh as she rounded the corner and saw Eryk taking a long swig of tea. “I’m glad to see you’re hydrating.”

He turned and looked at Teresa, his eyes crinkling. “If my magic was any good, I’d make it a Long Island Iced Tea.”

She rose on tiptoe and planted a kiss on his cheek, still awed by Dorian’s twin. “Hmm. I’ve heard of water into wine, but never tea into liquor.”

“Have you seen Jasmine?” he asked, laughing and eying his glass.hawkj

“I think she’s with Dorian. She is keeping an eye on Brinn,” Teresa supplied. Brinn was the hawk that had attached herself to Jasmine and followed her back to Ruthorford.

Teresa strolled down the backside of the buffet, taking inventory as she moved. “We’ll fried chickenneed more potato salad in about ten minutes. Make room for Miss Grace’s pies. And bring more napkins,” she called after the young woman who took off to do her bidding.

Teresa let her gaze travel from the chatting residents heaping potato salad onto their already food-laden plates, across the lawn, to the table where Becky and Talbot Briscoe sat with Morgan, their adopted daughter, and the twins. Dorian now sat next to Morgan, his arm slung possessively across the back of her chair. Miss Alice stepped up, planted a loud kiss on Dorian’s cheek and offered the pie she was serving. Teresa smiled as she watched Miss Alice serve, not one, but two hefty pieslices of pie onto Dorian’s raised plate. She was glad he was taking the opportunity to share a bite with his family before he and Eryk manned the fireworks station across the water. They were the obvious choice to set off the impressive fireworks display, since they could do it from a distance. With their natural abilities, they could probably set them eveningwaitoff from this side of the creek. However, Bask insisted they be set up and managed from the other side of the water. As if thinking up the devil, she saw the tall, lean man making his way to Dorian, stopping to say hello as he went. He caught her eye and waved.

jasAt the table near the old willow tree, Brenda Garrett had joined Kateri Chance and Rowe Davis. Kat’s latest showing had been awoman and cat huge success at the Gallery in town. Rowe scooted down to make room for Dink, who’d better not be discussing business today. She managed Elements, the Native American store, and was a pit bull when it came to merchandising. Not to worry, Teresa saw Brenna and David McKenzie join the group and knew the young owners of Chapters, Ruthorford’s bookstore, would keep the table lively and steered away from shop talk.

The sound of children running drew her attention and she allowed herself one moment ofchildrenrunning concern as she watched them race under the willow toward the water. As if materializing from thin air, Rowe’s cousins stopped the youngsters before they could fall into the rock-strewn creek.

Yes, from what she could see, most of Ruthorford was here. And water melonthey all were enjoying themselves, in spite of the heat. With the large fans positioned in the ancient trees, the warm air kept moving, so no one seemed bothered by the temperature.

She watched Dorian give Morgan a quick kiss before heading off to set up the fireworks show. Most everyone had filled their plates and found a spot, either at a table or on one ofpicnic couple2the quilts. The heat sensitive foods were already being moved inside and desserts were taking their place. She reached over and grabbed a cold kabob of strawberries, melons, and peaches, plucking a ripe Georgia peach from the end and popping it into her mouth. She smiled at the cold sweetness.

She felt Mike Yancy’s hand on her back as he managed two loaded plates with the other.

“Think you got enough food?” she teased.

“One’s for you. I know you won’t eat and I can’t have you wasting away,” he teased bapicnic in the treesck.

“Stop that,” she chuckled and swatted at him, letting him lead her to their table, set aways off to the side but with a clear view. Tradition had it that for the next few moments, the staff watched the buffet, letting Teresa enjoy a few moments of “down time.” While she and Mike were munching on the final bits of BBQ and discussing the success of the day’s sparklersevents, the lights, strung throughout the trees to illuminate nighttime dining, blinked out, the only light from the sparklers children waved in the air. Within moments, the night sky burst into an explosion of red, blues, and yellows, to gasps and squeals of appreciation . Pinwheels, star-bursts, giant red fireworkchrysanthemums, purple comets, willows, and serpents filled the sky. Oooh’s and aaah’s rose from the crowd as display after display filled the night.

When the sky finally darkened, no one moved. Everyone waited in anticipation. In the owldistance, the silence was broken by owls screeching, and hawks screaming. The sound of beating wings grew louder. From the bend in the river, above the trees, streamers of sparkling light appeared, moving like long serpents, following the course of the river. Astreamers collective ahh rose from the crowd, as the large birds flew over the lawn, carrying streamers of shimmering iridescent colors. As they passed the creek, they released their burdens. The ribbons of light dropped downward, caught in the breeze, twisting and undulated, at last coming to rest on the water, setting it afire with sparkling colors, created from energy infused crushed gems painted on woven sheaths purple nightof grass. As the ribbons absorbed the water and sank, the lights floated downward, given the moving water a multidimensional quality. All of the birds slipped off into the distance, except one lone hawk, who circled until she found Jasmine and lightly landed on the woman’s gloved arm.  Jasmine turned and lifted her arm so Brinn could stretch her wings and, with a flourish, thpuppyey bowed. The crowd offered light applause, not wanting to frighten Brinn. As the light from the gems winked out, the trees, once again sparkled from hidden lights. Quietly, the Ruthorford descendants rose and bade their farewells, feeling the connection, the unity, and the magic they shared.

MAY YOUR 4TH OF JULY BE AS MAGICAL!

MK FINALlrgkEnjoyShoppeOfSpells DigitalCover112311NNversion the stories of Ruthorford’s descendants. Meet Morgan and Dorian in THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS and Jasmine and Eryk in MEADOW’S KEEP. Don’t forget Kat and Rowe in PENNYROYAL CHRISTMAS. All are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. GLYNDA’S DARE is coming soon!

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Memorial Day!

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial 2015a

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A SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY

A Mother’s a Mother ~ Even When She’s a Ghost
by Shanon Grey

        I’m going to tell you a different kind of ghost story. I am not referring to the ghosts we tell stories about while sitting around campfires or, in the dead of night, when a gaggle of girls squeal in fright during a slumber party. Yes, I am talking about real ghosts.
Bah, you say. Well, have you never walked into a different part of a house and felt a chill in the air? Have you never felt that someone was watching you, but no one was there? Have you left something in one place and found it in another, totally unexpected, place? Or, seen things out of the corner of your eye, yet, no matter how fast your movements, you can’t catch a glimpse of it. Unexplained phenomena, every one. Some, one, or all could have been instigated by ghosts.
I, myself, have a plethora of ghostly experiences from which to choose; however, I momanddadthink I will share the one about my mother. It is the one experience that taught me to be open to all possibilities. You see, my mother died of cancer right after I turned 9 years old. I don’t remember a lot about her except that she had been ill for a long time and, being a little kid, I went about my life, thinking this was the way it was supposed to be, since no one told me how sick she was. Or, if they did, I had no concept of grave illness and death. So, when she died, I was devastated. To be more accurate, I was traumatized, so much so, that I don’t have a memory of the following year. In fact, I didn’t know I’d lost a year of my life until I was almost an adult.
My experiences with the paranormal didn’t start until I was a bit older, after my father remarried, and I found myself at odds with my new stepmother. I know what you are thinking—“She was probably resentful and acting out”—which is what most thought. And yes, eventually, I suppose I did become that snarky rebellious teenager. But it took quite a while because, you see, I wanted a mother in the worse way. I won’t go into the details of why she wasn’t receptive of my efforts. I will just leave it at the fact that she wasn’t. After one of our more vicious bouts, I was restricted to my bedroom and threw myself across my bed, crying, my heart broken. I remember being cold and miserable when I drifted off. The feel of an arm going around me, holding me close, woke me. I reached up but felt no arm or hand, yet the sensation of being held continued. My nose felt cold, yet my body, even outside of the covers, felt warm. Being a bit of a burgeoning sleuth (having devoured more than my fair share of Nancy Drew stories), I remained motionless, while employing all my senses, the first one not to run screaming from the room. Listening, I heard no one breathing. There was a faint floral scent, but too faint to pinpoint. The room was too dark to see anything and I was afraid that, if I moved, whatever it was would go away and I would lose the feeling of comfort I felt. I realized that I wasn’t afraid and lay there, still as a stick, savoring the comfort, taking in the details so I would remember it. The next thing I knew it was morning and I was lying on top of my bed, fully clothed with no evidence of the other side of the bed having been disturbed.
That experience occurred several times over the years, usually when I would go through a particularly rough patch with my stepmother or stepsister. Never once did I find any evidence of it being real. After a while, I didn’t care. In those moments, I felt comforted and loved.
Eventually, I was removed from the household and ended up living with my aunt, which gave me a wonderfully “normal” high school experience, which I would later learn, never would have happened had I stayed with my family. As soon as I was out of the house and with my aunt, the visitations stopped. And later, around the time I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a dream about my ghostly visitor. In the dream—I assume it was a dream—I opened the door into the garage at my stepmother’s house to find a group of individuals sitting around in a circle on the floor. There was one open place and I went and took my position in the circle. My real mother was sitting next to me, looking lovely and well, something I don’t recall when she was alive. I don’t remember hearing her voice, but, somehow, she let me know that this was the last time she would be with me, unless I really needed her, and that I would be fine. Everyone began to fade and, as the panic began to overcome me, I felt that same sense of comfort I’d felt every time the arms had been around me and I knew, without a doubt, that it had been her spirit that had held me. I woke and she was gone.
Many years later, when my then boyfriend and I had come back from night classes at the university, I had my next experience. He had just told me that he had made a decision to move overseas. Shocked, I pretended to be thrilled for him, it being his dream to return to a place he’d been happiest, but inside I was hurting. With a smile and a stiff upper lip, I listened to his plans and his excitement until I couldn’t take it anymore and fled to my bedroom. As I stepped through the doorway, there, lying on my bed, was my mother, looking to be peacefully asleep. Either I squeaked or my boyfriend had come after me, because he ran right into the back of me, grabbing my arms to steady us. In my ear, he whispered, “Who’s that?” I turned my head, looked up at him and whispered, “My mother.” When I turned back, she was gone. We had both seen her, appearing as corporal as any living being. Suddenly the memory of all those years past came flooding back and, instead of being afraid, I knew I would be all right. Not only did I encourage him to find his dream, I helped him pack to leave.
It would be wonderful to say I was fine, but I wasn’t. I was absolutely miserable. I took a second job and worked myself to the bone, alternately crying that I’d sent him away and cursing him that he’d left me. I didn’t understand the vision we’d seen. I’d felt the comfort, yet he’d still left. I even got mad at the ghost, yelling into nothingness that she was wrong. But, she wasn’t, I just didn’t know it at the time.
As it turned out, the woman that hired me that summer turned out to be more of a mother to me than I’d ever known. We developed a friendship that lasted thirty-five years, until she passed away from cancer. During all those wonderful years, she encouraged me to pursue my dreams and be the woman I am today.
And the boyfriend? He came back that fall. He never made it to Europe because, as he told me when he took me in his arms, he knew as soon as he’d left that he didn’t want to be without me. My husband and I have been ecstatically happy for over three decades.

Mary & Jerry

Mary & Jerry

Mary, my surrogate mother and best friend, proved to be the best grandmother my kids could ever want. So, when her ghost appeared one night sitting on my bed, awakening me to tell me how proud she was of me for accomplishing my dream of being an author, I calmly sat up in bed and told her how much I loved her and missed her. When I woke the next morning, I was still sitting up against the pillows I’d piled against the headboard of the bed.

I’ve never seen my mother again. Nevertheless, I will be eternally grateful for the comfort and love she offered me when I needed it the most.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY ~ TO ALL MOTHERS,
BOTH ON EARTH AND BEYOND THE VEIL!

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Meet & Greet & Booksigning

Leaf & Bean PosterIf you’re near Newnan, GA, I sure would love it if you’d drop by! I’ll be at the Leaf & Bean with some of my writing friends. There’s something for everyone! If you can’t make it by, you can still enjoy Shanon Grey in:
Ruthorford ~ where magic is as natural as breathing ~
Both are on sale on Amazon right now ~ enjoy!
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Ruthorford
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1duAXNK
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/shanon-grey
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Shanon+Grey
Please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~
http://www.shanongrey.com
https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey
https://www.facebook.com/jerry.hampton.102

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Skating in a Storm

A Skating PartyIt’s difficult, but necessary, to be a full-time tech writer and a full-time author. Sadly, promoting my books takes the hit. So, I can’t tell you how happy I am that, in the 3 days, both books received a total of five 5-star ratings. First and foremost, I am thrilled that I am pleasing my readers. Second, I want my readers to know how much they please me by taking the time to, not only find and read my books, but to let me know how much they like them. Thank you!

Ruthorford ~ where magic is as natural as breathing ~
Both are on sale on Amazon right now ~ enjoy!
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Ruthorford
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1duAXNK
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/shanon-grey
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Shanon+Grey
Please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~
www.shanongrey.com
https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey
https://www.facebook.com/jerry.hampton.102

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Be My Valentine – Ruthorford Style

As you can imagine, Valentine’s Day in Ruthorford is a very special occasion. It all begins with the gathering of the Valentine’s Day Dance Committee, which invariably includes Teresa Abbott-Rutherford, the venerable sisters, Miss Grace and Miss Alice, the postmistress, Brenda, and anyone else they can wrangle into the mix.

First, they approach the Davis’ about the use of their big red barn. This barn has been used every year since heaven knows when, but they still follow the formality the elders feel is customary. Rowe and John, their parents now gone, have tried to tell them the barn will always be available–but you know The Committee–

Once the barn is a “given,” it is the responsibility of the Committee to get the decorating sub-committee in action. This committee is comprised of any able body in Ruthorford (and most everyone in Ruthorford is able-bodied) who, at the beck and call of The Committee, will transform said red barn into a glittering, glowing, party arena.

The invitations are a big event and it takes the full Committee to design and address each year’s increasing number of invitations. Of course, it seems that every year, a larger and larger number of descendants (did I mention this was for descendants only) have to be reached outside of Ruthorford, much to the chagrin of The Committee. Nevertheless, sense The Committee can’t seem to constrain the wanderings of its young people, they turn over the business of finding these wanderers to Brenda, the Post-Mistress. The quaint little Victorian post office becomes a beehive of activity soon after the winter holiday decorations are taken down and the Valentine’s trimmings take their place.

With invitations in the mail and the barn being decorated, Teresa takes over cooking for the event. Abbott Bed and Breakfast is known for its sumptuous food and this time of year is no different. There are cookies and candies to make, pastries to bake–with the exception of the pies, which are provided by the sisters, Alice and Grace, who for Valentines Day, create these incredible little tarts. But I digress. For the more health conscious, there are platters of fruits, cheeses, and various meats. Oh, did I forget to mention the chocolate fountain. No one has yet to get Teresa’s recipe for the chocolate that flows from this tower, but it is simply to die for, and she provides home-made pound cake and strawberries for dipping, as well as these little rolled delicate cookies no one can replicate.

Well, I’ve given you a hint as to the goings on in Ruthorford on Valentine’s Day. If you want to learn more, please take a peek at my little story, Finding Your Valentine. I think you will enjoy learning a bit more about the descendants of Ruthorford and their very “special” Valentine’s Day Dance.

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Ruthorford’s Mardi Gras Ball by Shanon Grey

Invitemardi_gras_banner_1Teresa stopped midway down the steps as eyes turned to her. Her gown, befitting her circumstances, was black. However, that was where the austerity ended. Its black beaded bodice hugged her curves down to her hips, forming a medieval girdle peak, which ended in a black jeweled dagger, below which a black silk organza skirt swirled against her leTeresa's maskgs as she walked. A short demi-jacket of a single thickness of the same material barely covered her arms and shoulders. By far, it was the most magnificent, and sensuous, gown she’d ever worn. A mask of black sequins and feathers, barely hinting at shimmers of purple and green, covered her face.

coinsIf those staring at her were amazed by her appearance, she, in turn, was stunned by the change to her bed and breakfast. Before her, the Abbott Bed and Breakfast has been transformed into a splendid, glittering, glistening Mardi Gras Ball extravaganza of golds, purples, and greens. Every surface dripped in beads, pearls, feathers, and sparkling coins. Gossamer folds of material draped, hung, covered, and swagged, shimmering in the light. Pillows, chairs, and couches were slip-covered in purple, green, or gold. Even the chandelier had been given a festive sheen with harlequin mini lampshades.

In the center of the lobby, atop the grand carved circular walnut table, sat the largest punch bowl she’d ever seen, already filled with the special punch the sisters, Miss Alice and Miss Grace, had brewed for this special occasion. Dry ice created a whirling fog that hovered just above a fizzing, sparkling green. Purple ice cubes bobbed about each time the silver ladle lifted the liquid to be poured into glasses. The old girls had outdone themselves.

It was, after all, their occasion. They had gone down to New Orleans the year before and had been nagging the committee to throw a Mardi Gras Ball. The committee, never missing an opportunity to celebrate, had jumped at the occasion. When Bill had gotten ill, they had offered to cancel but Bill would have none of it. One of his last wishes was that she go through with the ball, telling her to let it be a celebration of life. Although she wasn’t in the mood, she’d agreed and, by all that was Ruthorford and descendant, it would be a magnificent tribute to Bill Ruthorford. The committee, and the sisters in particular, had taken over. Guests were rescheduled for that weekend and she was forbidden to step foot on the main floor, entering and leaving by her private entrance.

It had been agony, letting others take over her home and business, but looking around as she descended the stairs, she needn’t have worried. It was truly as grand as anything Bill could have concocted, and he did have a way of coming up with some grandiose schemes. She stepped into the lobby and turned, letting the subtle music and the happy voices surround her. The 12-foot tall pocket doors that normally remained closed, separating the front parlor from the back parlor and the sun porch, were pushed into their walls, turning the space into a grand ballroom, its wood floors polished to a dark gleam. The ballroom was as fantastically adorned as the rest of the place. Even the dining room had undergone adinner Mardi Gras themed makeover, tables and chairs in coordinating colors, swags of beads twinkling in the light.

She spotted Morgan immediately, in an emerald green gown. Ten to one, the pirate in black and gold at her side was Dorian. Jasmine and Eryk were probably the couple in the complete purple and gold Venetian costume. From there, she found herself more in orangespeculation than certainty. The costumes were magnificent and the masks and headdresses covered their heads, completely hiding their features, except for the old sisters, who were garbed as either fairy godmothers or witches. She couldn’t be sure which, and she struggled not to chuckle. Short little things that they were, they reminded her of Flora and Fauna—or was it Merriweather—from Sleeping Beauty.

She wound her way through the throng, being handed a flute of punch by a waiter as she passed, and took her position at the far end, away from the crowd, where she could watch the tribute to her dead husband. He would have loved it. He would, however, have stayed in the kitchen, away from the crowd. The music swelled and she watched the dancers move in a waltz about the room. As she took a sip of her punch, its fizz dancing across her tongue, a hand reached out and took the cup. She looked up into the mask of man standing in front of her. He set the cup aside and held out his hand.

“Oh, no. I don’t think so.” She pondered his mask. “Do I know you?” She let a smile play across her lips.

His finger touched her lips, silencing her, and she felt a tingle move across her skin, as had only happened when her husband had touched her.

The man took her hand and backed onto the floor drawing her into his arms. They movedwalzters into the rhythm of the waltz, swirling about the room. She felt his hand caress hers, sending fire up her arm. The warmth of his other hand sent a hot blaze against her waist. As long as the music continued, she could enjoy the surge of power she’d missed for so long. The power of one descendant pulled toward another in a dance as old as time.

The music played on and they moved in harmony, their bodies never touching, yet she felt the energy wrapping them in a sensual cocoon of desire.

When the music stopped, the man led her back to her position, once again handing her the flute of punch. He bowed before her, his eyes drilling into hers. She gasped, her hand moving to her throat, but said nothing. Without a word, he turned and moved away, leaving her with a longing she found she missed.

She tried to watch him as he disappeared into the crowd but was distracted when her name was mentioned. One of the sisters, Miss Alice she suspected, was talking. As she let her eyes once more search the crowd, he was gone. Taking a deep breath, she once more assumed her role.

pearlsingoblet“Thank you, Teresa, for providing the magnificent setting for our first Mardi Gras Ball. I know it’s difficult, with Bill’s leaving us so recently, so we are doubly grateful. You are a wonderful hostess.” She raised her glass. “Please, everyone, have a glass of punch—the waiters are passing it out—so we can pay tribute to the wonderful man who couldn’t be here tonight.” The old woman waited a few moments as glasses were handed out before continuing.

“To Bill Ruthorford. May your legacy show us the way and lead us in all of our endeavors.” She raised her glass. Everyone raised theirs high in tribute before drinking it down. “I will turn the show over to my sister, so listen well. You know how she gets when she’s ignored.”

While everyone laughed, Miss Alice leaned toward her sister’s ear and whispered, “It is done, dear sister…they will remember nil.”

Grace addressed the crowd for a few moments, finishing with “…let the music play and the food be consumed. Make merry, descendants, you are what you are and will furthermore be, GateKeepers all.”

The music swirled, as did the crowd, round and round, laughter filling the night, as the descendants enjoyed their first Mardi Gras Ball.

AbbottOn the street outside, a lone figure watched, waiting, as the huge old Victorian glowed in an aura of purple and green.

 

 

Visit Ruthorford for yourself and be compelled by her magic. Magic, romance, and suspense ~ perfect for Mardi Gras!
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Ruthorford
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1duAXNK
While you’re at it, please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~
www.shanongrey.com
https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey
https://www.facebook.com/jerry.hampton.102

Here’s a bit more about Mardi Gras, for your reading pleasure: Mardi Gras

LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER!!!

 

 

 

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Drunken Pot Roast/Tipsy Stew

KDsBlog122614Christmas dinner was different this year. This year I did my fabulous Drunken Pot Roast, which means later this week we get Tipsy Stew! Yummy! So good, in fact, I’ve decided to share the recipe with you! Plus, I’m giving a signed copy of Meadow’s Keep to one lucky winner! So drop by Karen Docter’s website tomorrow, get the recipe, and enter to win! http://www.karendocter.com/
Merry Christmas!!!

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Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Christmas SaleFor those of you that know me, you know it’s been a challenging year. Illness in the family, job changes, trying times. Yet, I’ve kept Shanon Grey alive and writing. The holidays are always a bright spot for me. Be it Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, or any other holiday that offers up a chance for celebration and the warmth and love of the season, I adore the festive moments meant for sharing the heart’s joy.

This is a busy time for me, with my new job and all. So, I’m asking a favor. If you know of someone who might enjoy my stories, please tell them about me. Here are the links for downloading my books. As for me, I am editing a new Ruthorford novella and am working on another novel about her descendants.

From me, myself, and my alto ego, I send wishes of love and joy for the season! Thank you for being a part of my life ~

Magic, romance, and suspense ~ perfect for the holidays! On sale now! Download yours today!
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Ruthorford
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1duAXNK
Please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~
www.shanongrey.com
https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey
https://www.facebook.com/jerry.hampton.102

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Book a visit to Ruthorford Treat yoursel longfor the holidays! Magic…romance…suspense, enjoy the holidays southern style! 
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Ruthorford 
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1duAXNK
Please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~ www.shanongrey.com https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey    https://www.facebook.com/jerry.hampton.102

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