Lost and Found Valentine's Edition 2016
Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog!
I'm thrilled to be kicking off this month of romance by participating in a Valentine blogfest, Lost and Found Valentine's Edition. The bloggers are writing fictional or non-fictional short pieces about love, lost or found. You're invited to visit and celebrate February, the month of love, and luxuriate in the wealth of romance stories at these writers' blogs. Go ahead. Play hooky for the day and escape for awhile into the world of romance with a variety of short stories and poems.
You can find the list of participating bloggers in the sidebar of Denise Covey's blog. Have fun!
Big thank you to the following writers who are hosting this awesome blogfest.
* * *My contribution is below.
Hello Again by J.Q. Rose
Valerie removed the enclosure card from the vase filled with exotic greens and stunning white roses. Her eyes narrowed as she studied the signature, “With love, T.B.” Replacing the card in the holder, she turned to her daughter, Rebecca. “Do you know who T.B. is? I can’t think of anyone who would sign a card with those initials.”
Her beautiful Rebecca, dressed in a stylish black suit and white silk blouse, slipped her arm around her mother’s waist.
“I don’t recognize the initials either.” Rebecca’s brown shoulder-length hair flowed around her face when she shook her head. “Come on, Mom, they’re waiting for us in the family room. The service will begin soon.”
Valerie turned from the display of floral tributes and smoothed her simple black dress that snugged her trim figure. She was thankful her daughter and son were by her side. The colorful flowers from friends and family gave her comfort, but the heady fragrance of the blossoms overwhelmed her senses..
She gazed one last time at her husband lying in the casket. Guy was as handsome in death as he was in life. The huge casket spray of rubrum lilies and red roses couldn't soften the reality of him lying lifeless in the bronze casket.
Tears surfaced in her eyes. How could she have any more tears left? Valerie had cried for days. She dabbed her nose and wiped her eyes with a tissue. Taking a deep breath to strengthen her for the difficult day ahead, she squared her shoulders vowing to make it through this service, the cemetery, and luncheon after.
Valerie had to be strong for her kids even if they were adults, but her insides were whirling and her legs didn’t want to keep her upright. How was she going to say good-bye forever to her husband of thirty-five years? Her best friend. Her lover. Her life.
Sitting at her kitchen table a few days later, Valerie stared at the card enclosed with the white roses. She couldn’t find a clue to the identity of T.B. This was the only acknowledgement card left to be written, but she had no idea where to send it. No one in her family could help her. The local floral shops had no record of the floral delivery. Mr. McGrady, the funeral director, told her he had found the vase sitting on the table in the entryway. He'd seen a man leaving the building, but Mr. McGrady never saw him clearly enough to recognize him.
Valerie couldn’t explain why, but she felt close to the sender. She couldn’t stop thinking of the beautiful roses and the card simply signed T.B. There was something very special about the sentiment, she knew. But what was it?
* * * *
Spring eventually emerged after the dark days of winter and death. Valerie had endured. Seeing the snow melt, the daffodils bloom, and the earth green up helped to lighten her heart.
That spring afternoon Valerie felt the warm sun’s rays on her back as she dug into the soil to plant pansies in the flower bed by the front door of her house. A large white limousine pulled up to her neighbor’s home and out jumped a teen-aged boy in his fashionable tuxedo. Behind him two young couples piled out.
The boys seemed so young with their fresh haircuts and fine looking tuxes and the girls dressed in elegant evening gowns of red, black, and deep purple. Their long, thick tresses were creatively styled in up-do’s for that traditional evening event in high school, the prom.
The teens’ nervous laughter and banter echoed through the neighborhood. Residents gathered to watch as the young people posed for photos with the neighbor’s daughter under the flowering crab apple tree in the front yard. Soon the three couples entered the limo again and were off to make memories.
Valerie returned to planting her flowers remembering her high school proms, dresses, and friends. She smiled as she tamped the soil down around the colorful plants. Suddenly she threw down her trowel, ripped off her gardening gloves, and raced up the front steps to her house. When she entered the family room, she didn’t stop to wash her hands or remove the floppy straw hat on her head. Instead, she grabbed the phone book and turned the pages to a number she deftly punched into her phone.
“Hello, Valerie.” A man’s voice greeted her. Her eyes sparkled as a smile spread from cheek to cheek. It was the same voice she remembered from forty years ago when they had attended her senior prom together.
“Hello, Teddy Bear.”
# # #
Did your school have a junior/senior prom? Did you attend? Do you remember your date? Are you still friends with that person? Please share with us in the comments below.
Wednesday, February 3--First Wednesday of the month is ALWAYS Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG). Yes, we throw our insecurities out in broad daylight for everyone to see. And that's okay because the writers who participate are also filled with wisdom and support. Stop in on Wed and discover what makes me insecure.
Thursday, February 4
Romance Readers Want to Know is a brand new series beginning this week on the J.Q. Rose blog. Talented romance author Nancy Bell kicks off the series and is offering a giveaway to a lucky winner. Come back and discover what readers want to know about Nancy and her writing.
|Romance Readers Want to Know on the J.Q. Rose Blog
|Romantic suspense, Whispers in the DARK
by Kris Bock
Back of the Book: Whispers in the Dark
Kylie Hafford craves adventure when she heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Romance isn’t in her plans, but she soon meets two sexy men: Danesh looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past, and Sean is a charming, playful tourist. The summer heats up as Kylie uncovers mysteries, secrets, and terrors in the night. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive—and to save the man she’s come to love.
Whispers in the Dark is romantic suspense set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. Reviewers give it a 4.3 star average: “A great read with a strong plot line & likeable characters!”