Tag Archive | contemporary

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past

Looking back and forth with author Charmaine Gordon
The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past
Back in the days when people didn’t lock the front door or car doors, the big family I belonged to gathered at my parent’s home for Thanksgiving. When I say big-I’m talking BIG. Grandma and Grandpa had ten kids. My mom was in the middle and somehow she became the hub of the wheel of this family.
Picture this: Grandparents seated at one end of the table, candlelight shining on their white hair and proud faces. At the other end sat my father, leaning back in the chair, master of all he surveyed. Every other chair was occupied by an uncle while my aunts scurried back and forth from kitchen to dining room carrying trays heaped with enough food to feed a small nation. And as they waitressed, they managed to gossip about everything and everyone.
Did I mention that the table extended into the living room? Well it did, to accommodate all the cousins who were up to no good. Boys of all ages and me, the first girl born to this rowdy bunch and two quiet girl cousins. We couldn’t wait to finish dinner and crawl under the grown-up table and sit with legs of various relatives all around us, while we listened to adult conversation and tried to stifle laughter. We weren’t discovered until cigar and cigarette smoke from above sent us coughing and choking for fresher air.
Ah, sweet memories of the ghost of Thanksgiving past.

And now for a different kind of Thanksgiving.
“TO BE CONTINUED” Romance in a ‘survive and thrive’ world
This one takes place at St.Paul’s Church in Westchester, New York where the soup kitchen is renowned for generous meals. Beth Malone, the protagonist in my story, volunteers her time as a way of giving back to the community. In this chapter, Susie, her daughter, questions why and what her mother is doing there and learns about giving.
Susie said, “What’s your domain, Mom?”
Beth laughed. “The kitchen, of course. It’s high tech and on
Thursday’s all mine. But not for too long. The regular chef is
pregnant, due in a week. I’m filling in.”
“Do you like doing it? It seems like a lot of work.”
Beth picked up the pace, eager to see what lay ahead in the
kitchen. “I came here to give something back to the community
since I have so much. Yes, I like it. A lot.” A lot better than years
trying to please your father. Did I really clean the dirt out of his
golf clubs?
When Beth opened the kitchen door, she was overwhelmed with
the number of volunteers—old and young—aprons tied around their
waists listening to clean-shaven Harold speak clearly about kitchen
chores. Heads turned and she greeted the group. “I don’t want to
interrupt Harold. He seems to have everything under control.” She
introduced her family telling them Javier was an experienced chef
and he was there as a volunteer.
Harold continued with his list. When Beth moved near him, he
showed the written items to her. She asked if he’d mind her adding
a few ideas to simplify and he nodded it was fine.
Quickly two kinds of stuffing were in preparation, three people
worked on fresh vegetable platters and fruit cups. One large pot was
reserved for turkey gravy and a mixture of flour and water was
stirred carefully.
Cheers went up when the turkeys were delivered. Javier
checked each one to make sure they were all fully cooked. Beth
watched the big clock. Pies were due any minute. Sam volunteered
for pie pick-up and delivery since the bakery was on his way to the
church. A knock at the door. A volunteer opened and called out.
“Sam’s here with the pumpkin pies. He needs help bringing them
in. Clear a table.” The volunteers loved Sam’s inside stories about
the star jocks. They flocked around him whenever he showed up.
Four teens ran out and staggered back, carefully placing boxes
on the table and running out for more. Every time the door opened,
a cold blast of air swept through the warm kitchen. The table almost
groaned with the boxes. At last they came back empty handed.
Beth opened one box. The pie was gorgeous, crust fluted and so
flaky she was tempted to taste it. So she did.
Heaven. Soon they had to be opened and placed on the dessert
table.
She wore her chef’s hat at a jaunty angle and the starched jacket
half-buttoned. Beth hadn’t cooked, stirred or peeled anything. Just
watched and barked out orders. She liked being chef. Suddenly
Sam came in the back door, walked directly to her, grabbed her by
the hand and pulled her out the door. A few wolf whistles echoed
from the kitchen. She steered him to the closest room; dark and
quiet. Without a word, he wrapped her in his arms and kissed her
long and sweet until they were breathless.
Coming up for air, Beth said, “What. . .” Her words were cut
off with another kiss.
“I missed you last night,” another kiss, “and this morning.”
“Lisa, Maverick, and the twins are joining us for dinner.” In the
shadows she saw a look of pleasure on his face. “After they leave, I
can thank you properly for the pies.”
Holding hands, they strolled back to the kitchen.

From a distance, Susie watched her mom and a man exit a room holding hands. She wondered who the hell he was and what he meant to Mom to bring a rosy glow to her cheeks.
After hearing about Mom’s kindness from the pregnant chef and the once battered woman in the locker room, Susie realized, for the first time, how lucky she was to have such a special mother.

To Be Continued
OPTIONED FOR TELEVISION MOVIE
Series: Women Who Survive and Thrive by Charmaine Gordon, Book 1
Elizabeth Malone wakes up the morning after an amazing night of passion with her husband of forty years to find a note: Dear Lizzie, it’s not you, it’s me. Abandoned by her husband, disappointed in daughter Susie’s casual attitude Dad’s having a mid-life crisis, Beth decides to re-establish herself as the winner she once was. When Frank Malone returns, he’s in for a big surprise!
Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-ebook/dp/B0030IM65G
AllRomance Ebooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobecontinued-395548-149.html
Smashwords for All Ereaders – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7283
PRINT – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-Charmaine-Gordon/dp/1935407430

11/8/15 WEWRIWA

I have two large Grand Dogs. One is a Pit Bull ; the other is a Chocolate Lab. They love their Granny. I ask you why oh why must I dog sit every so often? I’m just a Gal who can’t say NO. Don works late tonight so I’m packing my pillow, jams, writing stuff and off I drive to daughter’s where the pooches wait for me. Shh, don’t tell but I do believe by next year, wedding bells are happening and I won’t sit any more for the Grand Dogs sweet as they may be.

Moving along with Dr.D and the Dad. Last week Tony admired Diane’s tomatoes in the fridge as she admired his butt when he leaned over.

excerpt:

. My youthful staff tended to saunter in soon after me from active social lives Saturday night and to my surprise, Tony hurried in with a small child in his arms.
“What’s the matter?”
“Ear ache, the sitter didn’t call me.”
Sitter? he said he didn’t have children.
“What’s your name, honey?” and I held out my arms, not meeting his eyes.
She sobbed and buried her wet face in my neck, “Maria.”
“Let’s take a look in your ear and see the bad booboo that’s hurting you.”

After  a thorough check-up I beckoned with a follow me crook of my finger and led Tony to my private office.

“Maria has a severe ear infection; I checked his insurance papers; “Maria Gonzalez and your name is Tony Flannigan as I recall and you said you have no children so what’s this all about?”

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DD CVR ARe

11/1/15 WEWRIWA

There was, years ago, an old saying: Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet; give me something good to eat. On that charming note, we end Halloween Night. Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end. Last night, we drove to the city to meet Don’s cousin who qualified for the Marathon. All the way from California, this darling girl flew and we had a great time. Acting days of yore returned to me. I was in my glory carrying on like looney tunes, having a ball.

And now back to Dr.D and the Dad. When last seen, Diane opened the door and let Tony into her life

Excerpt:

Holding up the big graceful pink shell that carried an echo of the ocean, he said, “Where did this conch shell come from, I’ve never seen one this large.”
“My folks liked to canoe all over so every year we went down south to the Keys and there it was half buried in a dune.”
“Your home is so, um, cozy is the word, filled with things you care about,” and then Tony lifted Tiger and draped him around his wide shoulders and my damn cat purred loud enough for me to hear.
His obvious delight in learning about me and my background filled an empty place in my heart.

“Let’s make dinner unless you’d like to go out cause I’m a good short order cook.”
“ I must warn you, I haven’t shopped in days so slim pickings are what’s available in the fridge and you’re welcome to check it out.”
He leaned over peering in, my tabby clinging to his shoulders.
Nice butt, I thought.
“How ‘bout omelets with cheese and um, Diane, you have beautiful tomatoes.”
I covered my boobs, realized his head was still in the fridge while mine was in the gutter.

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DD CVR ARe

10/18/15 WEWRIWA

Hi Folks, the week continues with ear infections and throat infections for daughter and my grandest. What a week we’ve had. Meanwhile I’ve finished the book about the Costigan twins and I LOVE it. Titled Together Again, it should be released in two weeks.

Moving along with Dr.D and the Dad, we’re up to more fun as they get to know each other.

Excerpt:

“After our uh, collision, I’ll need a shower before my next client,” and Tony grinned to indicate his sand covered hard body deliciousness. A six-pack of ab muscles dared to show through.
The only heat between us would be the Florida sun once I stood up.  I also had to be at the clinic before long and needed a shower and a change. And the tide was rolling in fast as I scrambled around on hands and knees to gather my belongings to finally struggle to a standing position.
“You know my name and profession and I know almost nothing about you except that you use vanilla scented shampoo; your neck and shoulders are tense but your skin is perfect.
“I’m Diane O’Rourke, head pediatrician at the walk-in clinic in town.” I stopped in the hot sand, regrouped belief in myself with a few breaths and thought I may be a bit overweight but so what, I don’t know any other woman in town who has accomplished so much. Fortified by the mental shot in the butt, I trudged behind Tony like a bear cub

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DD CVR ARe

10/11/15 WEWRIWA

And the days dwindle down. . .Actually the weather has been wonderful but troubles afoot, my friends, with daughters bunion surgery and a sudden major problem with my precious granddaughter’s blood cells in her dear chin explosion. She needed a bit of plastic surgery and a stitch in time. Frankly, this Granny is weary.

Moving on with the delicious story Dr. D and the Dad, The guy who resembles Antonio Banderas trips over the sand lump of Dr. D. Lets see what happens next.

excerpt:

I just lay there like a lox on a plate and continued to moan.
“Don’t move,” he said.
That’s the moment I fell in love with him, one of the moments.
“Tony Flannigan here, I’m a physical therapist.”
Gentle hands felt my neck and shoulders. He set my straw hat aside and ran fingers through my best feature to press my scalp. Peering through my dark wrap-around sunglasses, he smiled to display the whitest teeth on the East Coast.
“How about your ribs, any pain?”
Panic set in because Tony wouldn’t be able to find my ribs. Mom always taught me to clean my plate and that’s no excuse for a middle aged woman.

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DD CVR ARe

9/27/15 WEWRIWA

What a week. The weather is still gorgeous and I’m, like all of us, so busy writing.

I’m asking you, my friends, for a title for the WIP almost finished. Twin Costigans come home to Chicago. Just a few words to sum it up. A gift copy for the best idea.

And now here comes an oldie but a goodie. Dr. D and the Dad

excerpt:

“She’s sleepin’, Doctor D’s sleepin’,” the smallest boy said and giggled. Little fingers lifted my sunglasses and dropped them back on my sun burned nose.
Almost sleepin’, I thought, eyes closed, if they’d let me. Easy to doze in the hot sun, heavy wet sand covering most of my ample body. This band of munchkins, my patients at the clinic, wore themselves out carrying little red, blue and striped pails of sand. When a high pitched voice interrupted my reveries to ask if they could cover my toes, I’d said sure. Little did I know they’d get carried away and create a mountain of me at this end of St. Augustine Beach. And little did I know they’d abandon me for cookies and juice when mommy called as the tide began to roll back in. It was a warning, you too can be replaced by a cookie. Should be posted at the beach and given along with every birth certificate.

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DD CVR ARe

9/20/15 WEWRIWA

And here we are -autumn in New York. Just the beginning of another season of beauty.

One more snippet of my WIP and then I’ll move on. Thanks for all your help and super comments.

excerpt:

They drove up to their home on Lake Shore Drive to find lights twinkling from every window.
The twins grabbed both ends of the old duffel bag and ran up the steps to the elegant door with a huge brass knocker in the middle. Voices came from inside and laughter; a party was going on.  Their big sister Charlie answered the door and said,”“Oh My God, they’re here and all grown up, Jimmy, hurry.”
Aunt Eleanor, Uncle Stuart and Edgar watched the children reunite. Solemn at first, tentative and then joyous with Shelley, Jimmy’s wife and six little kids in the background, and Charlie’s husband Jerry with their two kids.

Celia crouched next to her sister, tears falling as they caressed each small face and said, “Family, sister, we’re part of a family, finally.”

When dinner ended and small heads drooped, Celia said, “Excuse us, but is there a private room where we can talk to Charlie and Jimmy for a little while?”
The twins gazed around the table hoping, on this night, they could finally find out what happened so long ago and clear away the cobwebs that disturbed them. Only their big sister and brother knew the answer.

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9/13/15 WEWRIWA

Well here we are, a pouring rain today and that’s just fine. Maybe the grass will turn green again. Bless our loved ones who were lost at the World Trade Center years ago. So many hearts were broken that fateful day. May there never be another day like that in our beautiful country.

Today I continue with my WIP. Thanks for all your enthusiastic comments, dear friends. Last week, the twins escaped the private school where they lived captive for many years with the help of Aunt and Uncle Alfred and as always, Edgar in his black suit. Chicago, here they come.

Excerpt:

“Thanks for springing us, otherwise we would have climbed over the gate and hitchhiked to Chicago.”
Eleanor thought about the cold winter they were facing and the fact the girls wore simple cotton shorts and tee shirts as she asked, “Do you have warm clothes in the duffel bag?”
They giggled and Carey said, “no, Ma’am, just undies, socks, sneaks, jammies. . .”
Celia finished with,”2 shorts, 2 tees, I white shirt and a black skirt.”
“And a partridge in a pear tree,” their sweet voices sang in harmony.
Uncle Stuart chuckled, “We’re in for a wonderful life with our nieces.”

Celia whispered to Eleanor. “Where’s the loo?”

“Stuart, the girls are like foreigners in some way with everything so fresh and new.”
He took a deep breath and exploded with laughter when the girls returned riding piggyback carrying gift soaps and lotions from the small loo.

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whendoublebecomessingleanother 5 Star review I’m pleased to share with you.

By Judith Audevard on September 6, 2015

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

9/6/15 WEWRIWA

Hi Gang, what a glorious week. Lots of good news but it will keep for a little while

Continuing with my WIP. This is where the twins are kidnapped from the school where they’ve been kept for many years. They texted their Uncle Stuart in Chicago who gave the word to the evil sister Elizabeth that the cops were after her and drove to the isolated school to kidnap their nieces age seventeen.

excerpt:

They tiptoed down the hall to a small room and one of the girls closed the door cramped for two and now there were five adults packed like sardines, everyone smiling.
“Did you come to spring us ’cause we’ve been waiting for a long time.”
Like a comedy act, the girls had their audience silently cracking up.
Stuart held thumbs up, Eleanor held both thumbs up, and Edgar said, “Break out.”
They packed in one duffel bag, if you don’t have much, it doesn’t take long just like Charlie and Jimmy.
“Wait for us by the front door and we’ll say goodbye and thank you for holding us hostage for too many years.”

The twins never looked back, their green eyes popped wide at the shiny black limousine parked in the driveway.

“We will all be quite comfortable getting to the airport,” as she touched their matching tawny auburn hair glowing in the late afternoon sun. Carey whooped with obvious joy and cartwheeled all the way to the sleek long machine and her sister followed with back flips not missing a beat.

Five minutes later they were all seated in the spacious limousine, the girls apparently subdued by the sudden change in status.

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whendoublebecomessingleat Amazon and B&N available in all eformats and paperbacks

Announcing a 5 star review for When Double Becomes SIngle by Joanne Guidoccio

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Ms. Gordon has written a novel that tugs at the heartstrings. From start to finish, I found myself rooting for Sharon Michaels, the lovable protagonist, who succeeds in inspiring and motivating not only widows and widowers, but anyone who is experiencing an empty nest, divorce, retirement, or other unexpected change of circumstances.

After the death of her beloved husband, Sharon grieves deeply but finds the inner strength to begin her healing journey. As she embarks on a series of adventures, her life becomes a whirlwind, filled with new people and delightful experiences. At one point, a prolific “senior” author makes a cameo appearance, adding to the inspirational tone of the novel.

Well done, Ms. Gordon! This is a book I read in one sitting and simply couldn’t put down.


8/30/15 WEWRIWA

Ocean City, MD almost gobbled me up with  pounding waves and low and high tides at any given moment. We had a fine time , the three of us, I wrote many chapters longhand on the beach, worked out in a gym at our digs and grandest made some super new friends from Long Island. And now back to real life with bags unpacked, cats purring and so is my hubs now that the laundry is finished.

The Alfred’s, Eleanor and Stuart plus their manservant, Edgar arrive in Salt Lake City to step out into the dry heat. They look up and see an eagle dive for prey to remind them of the evil sister Elizabeth.

Excerpt:

Edgar stepped out to open the back door of the streamlined limousine and
Eleanor, resplendent in a flower garden silk dress, floated out in her graceful way into the dry air where the sun created a halo around her.
Her sister dismounted from a black stallion better groomed than she was with weathered wrinkled skin and waved away the young rent a hunk cowboys.
Stuart and Edgar remained at Eleanor’s side; like a desert tableau with a light wind blowing sand at their city feet, no one spoke.
When Elizabeth opened her mouth to break the silence, Stuart warned her by holding up his hand.

Stuart had his court face on, confident, facts lined up and proof. “ Regarding the investigation into the death of your first husband, it was apparent to the police that you had erased someone’s prints from the tire iron to replace them with your own.”
“I’m calling the police,” and Elizabeth pulled a cell phone from her jacket and waved it at Stuart.
“ You’re under suspicion regarding the disappearance of Max Calhoun; his grown children think you had something to do with him not calling the past few months.”
.Eleanor spoke, her voice sweet and clear, “I‘m the mother your children never had before now let’s get out of this place of misery.”
The little sister she once knew and loved began to scream and stamp her cowboy boots in the sand just the way she’d done years before.

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