Relaxed Friday 43

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen: Book Three of the Magdalen Cycle (historical fantasy)…
The orange-red globe of the sun sunk toward the horizon. An hour or more of twilight would see the evening give way to a starlit night. Isabella sighed and leaned against the latticed wall of the castle of Tyre, gazing out over the sparkling sea. A breeze met her sigh, stirring into a riot the many fragrances of the rooftop garden. It teased strands of dark hair from her veil, blowing them across her face in an annoying fashion.

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
An excerpt!
June stared at her. “Henry’s vacuuming?”
“Yes,” said Elena. “Lucia convinced him.”
Lucia smiled, dimples flashing in her cheeks. “I can be very persuasive,” she said. Her accent made her clear voice sound like music.
June turned and walked swiftly to the kitchen entrance, Ellie following close behind. They both peeked out from behind the wall to look for themselves. Henry was, in fact, awkwardly and ineptly pushing the vacuum around the living room.
“If I weren’t seeing it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it,” June murmured.
“Me, neither,” said Ellie. “It’s as strange as me vacuuming my living room. I haven’t done it in decades. Jeffrey never liked my methods. I don’t go in straight, tidy rows, and I always suck up socks and pennies and other things.”
“I know, I was there that day he banned you from using the vacuum. To be fair, he spent a month picking it out, and you broke it when you sucked up that cat toy.”
“I didn’t see it!”
“It was a pole with a rope attached, Ellie. And the rope had at least twenty brightly-colored feathers and a plastic fish at the end of it!”
Ellie sighed sadly. “I know. It was General Meow’s favorite. May he–and the Dirt Devil–rest in peace.”

~ Laurean Brooks ~
An excerpt from Not What He Ordered
Molly pulled a piece of note paper from her reticule and wrote something. “Here’s my address if you want to stay in touch.” Carrie accepted the paper. “Don’t forget to tell Mr. Kramer that Katy backed out of their marriage arrangement.”
“Katy…Davis?”
“Yes.”
“I won’t forget. “It was all Carrie could think of. Strangers made her nervous, especially men. But she’d promised to deliver the message. She slipped the paper into her pocket.
“You can write to tell me how Mr. Kramer took the news. Well, I’d better get in line.”Molly picked up her bags and merged into the exit line with other departing passengers.
“Next stop Abilene!” Prepare to disembark.”
Carrie picked up her valise and melded into the line of passengers.
She scanned the station for a tall, slim, dark-haired man fitting the description of the mysterious Josh Kramer. Two middle-aged men wandered about, their gazes scanning the faces of passengers inside the depot. One man was short and the other paunchy. Neither wore a red bandanna around his neck.
After twenty minutes studying every man who walked through the door, Carrie set her luggage on the floor near a bench and sat down. If the man showed, finding him would be easier after the crowd thinned.
“Excuse me,” a deep voice boomed.
Carrie gazed up into piercing, black eyes The tall cowboy wore a black Stetson over coal-black hair with curls that caressed his ears. His strong jaw suggested a determined spirit. A little lower, a red bandanna circled his neck.
“I’m Josh Kramer. Are you the woman I’m looking for?”
Carrie’s heart raced. If only she were. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. “I…I–” was all she managed.
“Well, what are you waiting for? A ranch doesn’t run itself, Miss Davis. We’d better get going.”
Her tongue came unglued. “But, Mr. Kramer, I’m not–.”
He interrupted. “Is this all the luggage you brought?”
She could only nod. He snatched up her valise and tramped outside before she could find her voice.
Carrie jumped to her feet and hurried after him, catching up as he set her bag in his buckboard. “But, Mister Kramer…I’m not–.”
“Are you ready to go, Miss Davis?”
“Mr. Kramer…I need to tell you something.”
He shook his head. “Whatever it is can wait until we get to the ranch. I’m a busy man. And Aunt Em needs help with the canning. She’s the only reason I agreed to this…arrangement.” Without another word, he scooped Carrie up and plopped her on the buckboard seat. Oh, dear! He really believed she was his mail-order bride.