Delilah Dunnfield the Valentine’s Vamp

For Vday blog Event page

I am honored to be participating in another indieBRAG Blog Hop. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers! My first book is called The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield and I have been slowly but surely working on the sequel. I am going to give you all a peak into the sequel. I hope you enjoy it!

Delilah Dunnfield the Valentine’s Vamp, a chapter from Daylight Dawns on Delilah Dunnfield by Victoria L. Thurman

I raced in the door, my hands full with my purse, keys, and a beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses that Ben sent me at work. My first real (happy, guilt free) Valentine’s flowers ever! I tripped over Boots, who meowed and then tried to bite my ankle. It was already 5:25 and Ben was coming to pick me up at 7:30 for our Valentine’s dinner. Our Valentine’s dinner. Me and someone I really liked. Me AND someone I really liked. I couldn’t believe it was real. I figured I would get hit by a bus before this day ever came. I had to find something special to wear.

Boots had a change of heart and rubbed up against my legs. He seemed to meow “feed me, please.” I ran in the kitchen and put my flowers on the counter and raced to get Boots’ dinner. He sniffed it and walked away. Typical.

I was drying off from my shower, when I heard a loud crash and breaking glass. I bolted out of the bathroom and to find Boots sitting on the counter looking down at the dozen red roses and baby’s breath laying on the floor. That cat had no idea how much time he was costing me. I should have found an outfit on Sunday when I’d had time.

“Why, Boots, why?!”

I put my slippers on and picked my way across the linoleum. I gathered my fifteen pound, longed haired cat in my arms and took him back to my bed. I closed the bedroom door and ran back to the kitchen to sweep and mop up. I should have remembered he loves flowers and plants. I think that cat loves them more than I do. Ever since I rescued him from the flood and never let him outside, he acts like he is in prison. Always trying to eat the plants I bring in and always trying to escape. But then there are the times when cuddles up in the crook of my neck and sleeps next to me and I know he loves me and really doesn’t want to escape.

Boots lounged on the bed and was watching me fifteen minutes later standing in a pool of clothes around my feet. I sank down into the pile and shook my head in defeat, “Boots, it’s impossible. I’m running out of time. I have nothing to wear. I knew I should have taken the day off from work. Why didn’t I realize how important this night would be to me? Bootsie, I never had a real Valentine’s Day before. What am I supposed to be, act like, wear, do? Hair up or down? Evening dress or slacks or jeans?”

I let a long sigh and decided I had no more time to waste. “First of all Boots, I need to do my hair and make-up. That way when I try on an outfit, I can get the full effect.” Boots looked at me and meowed. I took that as agreement.

I smiled at myself in the mirror, dark burgundy lipstick for sex appeal, or light shimmery pink for the innocent look? My hair was a win. I used my curling brush to straighten out my kinky curls and created large soft curls. My brown hair showcased the natural highlights when I blew it out straight.

I dug through the pile of clothes and found my slutty yet conservative shirt. I paired it with my black skirt that was cut above the knees and knee high black boots with the spikey heels. (Hand me over from Jeannie.) A little dark purple eyeshadow and dark purple lipstick (curtesy from a free gift of make-up at the cosmetic counter at Flaire’s Department store). I strutted around in front of my full length mirror wrapping a black feather boa around my neck and batting my eyelashes. Maybe I was expected to be sexy and like a bad girl. Maybe my first Valentine’s was going to be like other people’s prom night. Maybe Ben had made reservations at a hotel and we were going to… oh no. But I had to be ready just in case. I certainly didn’t want to say no to the one person I longed to say yes to.

Boots sat on the bed watching me. I lowered my lashes and whispered in my best smoldering sexy voice, “Well, hello, Bigboy. Come and get it.”

I heard a strangled noise come from the black and white fluff ball staring at me from the bed. I turned, “No?” He gave me a look of disgust and licked his paw.

Hmm. I sighed and figured I could never go through with a bad girl image. What a joke. I found my green and plaid button up shirt, jeans and brown boots.

Oh no. Lord, I can’t wear this! I looked like a boy! A boy learning the lumber jack trade from his father. Maybe it was because I washed my face and didn’t reapply make up. I quickly redid make-up with green eye shadow and burgundy. Ugh! Now I look like the boy’s sister learning the lumberjack trade!

“It’s 7:17! What am I going to do!”

I found my old prom dress. Did I still fit it? Green satin skirt that flared out from an emerald sequined sleeveless bodice. I squeezed in the best I could. Although I couldn’t breathe very well, I turned to look in the mirror.
Boots looked up at me and then looked away curling up in a ball, like there was no hope for me. Fine. I didn’t need his opinion anyway. I knew what to do.

My underarms sweat profusely from my panic attack. I stripped down again and dried off. As I was reapplying antiperspirant I glanced in my closet and saw an option I hadn’t thought of still hanging inside. My pink monogrammed boyfriend shirt. It was perfect. Ben was my boyfriend. He didn’t expect bad girl in black leather. He didn’t want lumberjack girl or prom queen. At least… I didn’t think he did.

In the end I decided on my boyfriend shirt and jeans. I wrapped a pink chiffon scarf in my hair and let the ends hang over my shoulder. I turned and threw a smile at myself in the mirror. Hmm, maybe a little too Sandy in Grease.
“Boots. Boots! You gotta tell me is this too Grease?” Boots snored in response. Argh! Never trust a cat. I ran toward the closet. I need to change!

A knock, knock, knock came from the front door.

Too late. Ben was here. I glanced at my face in the mirror, the soft pink lipstick and the seashell toned eye shadow were a perfect choice. My pink patent leather pumps made me feel feminine and pretty. So maybe I was okay. Maybe even if I was a little Sandra Dee tonight, maybe Ben would like me anyway.

I opened the door. I held my breath admiring Ben’s brown eyes and dark hair hanging across his forehead. He smiled at me and took me in. I was glad I didn’t dress up in prom clothes or as a Valentine’s vamp. Ben wore jeans, a simple blue button down shirt and his Gucci shoes.

“Delilah, you look beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day,” Ben said and kissed me so sweetly. “Ready to go?” he asked still holding me in his arms.

After I locked the door, Ben laced his fingers through mine and we started down the stairs. He leaned in and whispered, “Too bad I left my T-birds leather jacket at home. We could have met up at Thunder Road.”

Ugh. I rolled my eyes. He laughed.

The End
Enhanced photo, scarf

If you would like to win a copy of my first book The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield please leave a comment for my give-away. I am giving away a signed paperback copy. Please let me know your email address, so I can get in touch with you if you are the winner! book

Each author participating in the Valentine Blog Hop is providing a print copy or e-book in the book giveaways. Be sure to visit their websites and comment on their post to enter a chance to win a copy of their book.

Prize and book giveaways Start February 13 and End on February 26.

Also! Click on the indieBRAG website https://www.bragmedallion.com/ to enter your chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card!
Rules:
– The chance to enter for the Prize and Giveaways ends February 26. The winner will be given a gift card from Amazon. The prize will be announced on the indieBRAG Website on February 29th. And each author will announce the winner for their giveaways on their sites on February 29.
– You must be 18 years or Older to participate in the prize & Giveaway.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.

Please hop over to our next indieBRAG Valentine’s blogger C.L. Talmadge: http://www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe/www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe/
talmadge

New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Resolution

awesome

I very rarely make New Year resolutions, because like a lot of people, I never stick to it.

I lazed around the apartment on Friday with my first ever hangover headache from drinking two small glasses of red wine the night before. (I heard if you are prone to migraines you should steer clear of red wine. Well, I heard that on January 2nd and it didn’t help avoid the migraine on January 1st.) While lying on the couch with my fat fluffy cat snoozing on my stomach, I began to think about New Year’s resolutions. I am now in the “I need to lose weight” club, which I have been in for years but was in denial about.

I am taking a class at the YMCA to help me diverge from my path to diabetes. The class has been going on for 7 weeks and I have been so busy with the holidays and other things (which are a story for another day) that I have not had time to carve out even ten minutes of exercise time. I have failed miserably with my fat gram counting (thanks to the pecan pie from Goode Company’s Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie- to die for!- among other Christmas delights). Well, so what if it isn’t day one of the program, maybe 8 weeks will be the charm for me. With visions of pecan pie dancing in my head, I thought about what my goals will be.

(I would discuss my writing goals, but I don’t want to jinx it.)

January 2nd. Okay, so I let another day slip by. January 3rd and already 7:30 pm! Yikes! According to my sister Mercury goes into retrograde on Tuesday and I better get started on my exercise program before Tuesday (Jan 5th) or I will have a difficult time after that day. I run to grab my sweat pants, T-Shirt, shoes, etc. I find my 10 year old DVD of a stretching course and pop it into the DVD. Better late than never, right?
The class begins.
“I hate this! Why!? Why God, am I being punished for being a human on this Earth?!”
Huff puff.
“Which is left and which is right? Wait! I’m still thinking!”
“Slow down, lady, you’re going too fast!”
“Why me?!”
Huff puff.
Bell (my fat and fluffy cat) comes out to find out what all the racket is about and finds me on the floor. He decides to comfort me in my time of need, not seeing him, I roll over on him.
Oops.
Standing up on one leg, holding the other to my buttock for a good thigh stretch, I lose my balance and kick Bell who was rubbing up against my standing leg. “Mrrreoow!” He flies off to find a safe spot in another room.
I’m crying now. Yelling at the lady that I can’t do 3 reps! Gulping water.
“I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!”
(If you can’t tell, I just really don’t like forced exercise.)
Finally the routine is over. I crawl to my room and change into pajamas, too exhausted to get a shower.
January 4th 5:30am. “Blast you fat cells! I want to sleep!” But I force myself to get up. I try the routine again. This time fast forwarding through all of the 3rd reps, to save time, and stop the constant complaining that seemed to escape my mouth.
January 5th (Doomsday) 5:30am. “I just want to sleep. Can’t I just sleep?” I hold my pillow like a life preserver, but it cannot save me from Mercury’s retrograde.
I force myself up, angry at the whole Solar System now… “I’ll show that planet whose going to let it rule her!” I do the stretching routine again, this time in the areas where one should squat on one leg with the other outstretched and then stand up only to go back down on the other leg… I stay close to the floor fairly crawling from side to side. Huff puff.
I did it! I couldn’t believe I did it three days in a row.

And what surprised me even more is that today I did it for the 5th day in a row. And today there was very little complaint and name calling coming from my mouth.

If anyone is having trouble with sticking to their exercise or resolution in general– blame Mercury and try again in 3 weeks when it is out of retrograde.

A Christmas Tale from Wildwood Circle

Dalonegha book signingHello, I’m Victoria Thurman, author of The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield, which received a B.R.A.G. medallion. I am very excited to be a part of such a wonderful group of authors and those who have recognized us. I am very happy to be participating in the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop. ALL-ABOARD-with-medallion

A Christmas Tale from Wildwood Circle

In a small, brick, ranch-style house in a small South Georgia city on a street called Wildwood Circle, there was a dark spot on the brownish-yellow shag carpeting.  It looked and felt a little like gum, but it had turned black from years of foot traffic coming in and out of the master bedroom, my parents’ room.   Any outsider would have thought it a ghastly sight, but I didn’t see a black glob of something ground into the carpet.  I saw a Christmas morning and five little children, full of smiles and wonderment, holding heavy stockings, invading the master bedroom, while the sky was still dark.

There are a few different ways to tell this story, but this is my version—an untold story from the third child, the middle child, who was an observer from birth and who became a writer.

It was back in the time when people didn’t think shag carpeting was such a bad idea.  In the living room sat an old green couch, a comfy orange chair, and a rectangular coffee table with two side drawers.  On the table lay an abundance of children’s Christmas books, as our father was an English professor and our mother, an elementary school teacher.  A small black-and-white TV was moved to a corner, making room for a large Christmas tree in the front bay window.  Our tree that year, and most years, took the form of a wild pine grown in a wild wood.  Every branch was lovingly draped in ornaments, many of which were handmade by a distant cousin in New England.  Each year my siblings and I so looked forward to the brown-paper-covered box with “The Thurman Children” written in black marker on the top.  Each year the contents were four or five types of ornaments, with one of each design in a different color for each child.

My siblings and I were always involved in some form of the arts during Christmas time—choir, theater, dance.  The ballet was a family venture, and one year, a few years later than this particular year, all five of us danced in “The Nutcracker,” including our brother, who was recruited for the party scene.

This particular year, after a week of concerts and recitals, we dressed in our Sunday best and travelled across town in our new, blue Chevrolet station wagon to the First Presbyterian Church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service.  The church sanctuary was about 100 years old at that time.  Christmas wreaths with red ribbon flanked the old wood doors at the vestibule.  Windowsills below stained glass windows were draped with real cedar branches, and a candle in a hurricane lamp globe sat in the middle of each windowsill.  There were rows of pews on both sides of the sanctuary, with one wide aisle down the middle and skinny aisles down each side wall.  We slipped into our usual seats, which were about halfway down on the right side of the church.  I remember each of our candles being lit one by one in anticipation of the final hymn, “Silent Night.”  My small hand wavered, and wax dripped onto the page of the hymnal.  Once the chandeliers were turned off, only candle glow remained, and my thoughts always drifted back to a hundred years before. Was this what it was like in our church back then?

After the church service, back in our cozy home, we stayed in our dresses and sat around our large dining room table, with its cheery Christmas greenery centerpiece.  We drank hot chocolate with marshmallows out of Santa mugs and ate our mom’s homemade Christmas Hermit cookies.  It was always an intimate family moment of conversation and stories.  Our father read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” to a captive audience. It was then time to hang our stockings by our own chimney with care, and after that we each got to open one present.  I remember getting a Barbie doll.

Christmas morning dawned, and our oldest sister gathered us in the hall and passed around our stockings.  She knocked on our parents’ door, and we heard sleepy voices inviting us in.  We all piled onto the double bed and began to delve into our stockings.  Joy filled the room as we began to play with our treasures.

Once the surprises from our stockings and our gifts from Santa were revealed, our parents went to the kitchen for coffee and to start making breakfast.  My four siblings and I stayed on the bed or sat on the floor and played until we were called to the table to eat.  Like a stampede of cattle we raced to the table, because after breakfast came gifts from under the tree.  And in the stampede, a little ball of Silly Putty was trampled and ground into the shag carpet, forever leaving a memory of Christmas in my mind.

Picture2

The next stop on the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop is Monday 28 with Lisa Brunette

My mother’s Christmas Hermit recipe:

Preheat the oven to: 375 degrees

Grease 2 baking sheets

Baking time: About 20 minutes

Quantity: About 10 dozen

Storing: Airtight container for 3 weeks

1 cup softened butter

3 cups brown sugar

4 tbl milk

4 eggs

3 tsp baking powder

6 cups sifted flour

2 cups seedless raisins

2 cups currants

1 cup chopped nuts

2 tsps grated orange rind

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and eggs.

Sift the baking powder with 3 cups of flour. Add to the creamed mixture. Blend well. Add raisins, currants, nuts and orange rind- mix well. Sift spices with the other 3 cups of flour, adding to the mixture and mix well.

Drop by teaspoonful, 1- 1 ½ inches apart onto the greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from pan onto wire rack and let cool.

Practicing

Hello, I’m Victoria. IMG_0354  (and yes, “people like me”) 😉

I’m an artist and a writer. I paint landscapes, birds, and flowers. (Don’t even ask me to paint people. It just doesn’t happen.) I am not very good with technology, but I continue to try and learn. So in preparation for my blog tomorrow which is a part of the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop, I am going to write a hodgepodge of things today.

First I’d like to learn how to set up a link behind someone’s name. So I am going to send you to my good friend and fellow IndieBRAG medallion recipient, Elizabeth Byler Younts.  I think I did it! (After a few tries of looking at options on the left, I looked over to the right and saw the Text tab and Add link.)

Almost all artists procrastinate, but I have been very busy the past few weeks, helping friends out with house/dog sitting (which I have retired from) and painting a few ornaments for Christmas presents. (More on that in another blog.) I have not had time to spend on my website until now. Below are a couple of pictures of what I did over the weekend.

woodpecker                  Bob's 2

I have not had a Christmas tree up for over a decade. So this year, I decided I needed a little Christmas (you know, “right this very minute”). I took a day off from work and spent a three-day weekend decorating a corner of my apartment.

Tree 1   Tree 2   Tree 3

I think I may know the basics now. I will have to look up a few how-tos before tomorrow. Thanks for coming along on the learning train with me. 🙂