Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Yesterday's vignettes and finishes were terrific! I'm still chuckling over the 20 virgins, unexplained explosions, riding crops and nose holding while plunging. I can hardly wait to see what y'all come up with next!

Today we welcome Loucinda McGary, Trish Milburn, Christine Wells and Beth Andrews! These ladies have written some great vignettes about the picture above, titled "Lady in the Woods." Now all you have to do is finish any (or all) of the vignettes with one or more lines and you could be the winner of today's terrific prize package: signed copies of A Firefighter in the Family, Wicked Little Game, The Wild Sight and His Secret Agenda.  Let's put our imaginations to work!

Our first vignette today is by Loucinda McGary, affectionately known in the Bandit Lair as "Aunty Cindy." She's the author of romantic suspense novels featuring sexy Irish heroes and set in fascinating foreign locales. Which makes sense when you discover that she's visited (at last count) 47 states and 25 foreign countries. Her most recent release, The Treasures of Venice, is set in, appropriately, Venice, Italy. Her next book, The Wild Irish Sea, takes us back to Ireland and will be published in July of this year.

Vignette #1 by Loucinda McGary

Cold! Great Merlin’s ghost it’s cold, and now it’s snowing too.

Can this possibly get any worse? I mean what moron schedules a Ren Faire in the middle of January? Probably the same one who designed this fur coat with no buttons. DUH!

At least I was smart enough to put thermal long-johns on under this velvet gown. Authenticity be damned! I am not freezing my ass off any worse than I have to.

If I didn’t need the money, I’d have never signed on for this gig. But unemployment benefits don’t go very far, and they definitely don’t last forever. Besides, working this Ren Faire was supposed to be all cash under the table. A nice little bonus just when I needed it most.

Only where is that slimy promoter? I saw him sneaking off into these trees, that’s why I followed him. Not my fault the crowd didn’t show up in this freezing weather. A deal’s a deal, and I want my money. I know the little weasel’s around here somewhere, even if I can’t see his tracks.


Christine Wells writes historical romance for Berkley Sensation. Her debut book, THE DANGEROUS DUKE, was a 2009 RITA award finalist. WICKED LITTLE GAME, a RT Magazine nominee for "Best Sensual Historical Romance of 2009" is in stores now and SWEETEST LITTLE SIN (Louisa and Jardine's story) will be released on May 4, 2010.

Vignette #2 by Christine Wells

The copse Louisa entered was shady, silent and still save for the twigs and leaves that snapped and crunched underfoot. It was cooler here, with the thickly wooded forest blocking all but a light dapple of sun.

Louisa gathered her skirts to step over a tree root that cut across the path. She looked up and nearly stumbled.

Standing in a clearing at the heart of the wood was Jardine.

They stared at one another for long moments, and under his penetrating, assessing gaze any modicum of peace she’d achieved in the past weeks shattered.


He moved toward her, sleek and lethal. “Well met, Louisa.”

Louisa willed herself not to step back, to hold his gaze while he stalked her, circled her like a panther toying with its prey. She forced herself not to turn when he halted behind her, murmured in her ear…


Trish Milburn writes romance for Harlequin American under her own name and young adult novels under the name Tricia Mills for Razorbill. She reviews young adult releases here at The Romance Dish on the 10th of each month. For more information about Trish and her books (including The Family Man, out in March), visit her website.

Vignette #3 by Trish Milburn

Yvette stopped in the clearing and listened. But it was as if the snow had not only covered the ground, but had also dampened all sound. No scurrying of woodland creatures, no squawk of disturbed birds, no stamp of large animals greeted her ears. Though the moon behind the clouds shed only the faintest light, it was enough for Yvette to tell that the only tracks in the clearing were her own.

She had always loved walking in this forest -- the one place where she could get away from the cacophony that was her everyday existence. She loved the peace it exuded. But tonight it was too quiet, too empty. She shivered beneath the fur-lined cloak. She’d been a fool to agree to meet him here. What if everything Sofia had told her was true? Suddenly feeling profoundly alone, she turned to retrace her steps. She froze at the sight of what stood in her path.


Beth Andrews wishes she could cast a spell that would enable the many stories in her head to simply appear on her computer screen without all the procrastination, chocolate and copious amounts of coffee usually needed. Until then, she’ll keep typing because to her, there are no words more magical than The End. HIS SECRET AGENDA, Beth’s latest book for Harlequin Superromance was out in October. Her next release, DO YOU TAKE THIS COP? is out in May. Check out her website for more information!  

Vignette #4 by Beth Andrews

She stepped into the clearing, the gold plated heels of her beloved Jimmy Choo black leather boots sinking into the damp earth. Snow fell softly, the fat flakes swirling around her, glistening in the moonlight streaking through the bare-limbed trees. Skin tingling with excitement she exhaled heavily, her breath forming a shimmery cloud before disappearing.

Tipping her face up, she shut her eyes. A cold breeze lifted the ends of her hair. Silence, absolute stillness surrounded her. This place, this spot, was the one she’d been searching for.

It was…magical.

A triumphant smile curved her lips as her eyes opened. It was the perfect spot.

Though her eagerness pushed at her to rush, she worked carefully, methodically as she cast her circle. There could be no mistakes. Not tonight. Not when she was so close to getting what she wanted.

Once the circle was complete, she recited the spell guaranteed to bring her what her heart desired most…


  1. Is there a Golden Rooster here? Ahoy, Roosty!

  2. Wow, what fantastic vignettes and what a variety of tone. That's one of the reasons I love this game - the incredibly different takes everyone has on the pics. After yesterday's mayhem (still giggling at the kelp stuff!), I can't wait to see the entries for today!

  3. Hey Fo,
    I do believe the chook has flown the coop to Mariska's place, the wily rogue!

    I couldn't wait to read the other 3 vignettes for today, and I must say it was worth staying up late to take a peek!

    Louisa and Jardine... OOOHH, that Jardine!

    Something scary standing in Yvette's path?

    And spell-casting by WonderBeth for a heart's desire?!?!

    WHOO BOY! Can't wait to read more.


  4. #3
    "Sofia, what are you doing here?"

    "You are so gullible, Yvette. Did you really think Etienne would meet you, alone, in the woods, at this time of night? I have succeeded, I think, in keeping you two apart, oui?"

    "But, I don't understand. Was the note not from Etienne? What do you mean, keep us apart?"

    Giving a bitter laugh, Sofia pulled a dagger from beneath the folds of her cloak. "I will kill you and have him for myself."

    "I think not," came Etienne's voice, soft and dangerous from behind Yvette. "Ma cherie, Yvette, I love only you and have for a very long time. Come to me, for always."

    Turning, Yvette saw Etienne's handsome face as he held out his hand to her. Running, Yvette fled to her love and the safe haven of his arms.
    This is soooo hard. Don't laugh too hard when reading it.

  5. Okay, I'm early today. Here are my offerings.

    #1. The sound of a twig, yes over there behind the rock. I walked with care not wanting to alert him to my presents.

    Oh good Lord! What was that disgusting smell?

    He stepped out from behind the rock surprised to see me, as I was to see him zipping up his pants.

    “You’re early,” he said.

    #2. “At last I have you to myself.” His breathe hot against her neck.

    She closed her eyes and begging her treacherous body not to respond to him. He pressed closer.

    She licked her lips. “Why did you send for me, sir?”

    He moved to stand in front of her and raised an eyebrow. “Can you not guess Louisa?”

    “No, sir I cannot,” she said, lifting her eyes to meet dark brown desired fill eyes look down at her.

    He ran a callous finger down her cheek. “I do believe, we had a bet.” He stopped letting the words sink through her fogged aroused brain. “Whoever lost would run naked through the forest.”


    “Time to disrobe, my sweet Louisa.”

    #3. “Oh my!” she whispered.

    He bowed at the waist. “Lady Yvette,” he greeted her.

    Despite the chill of the night air, she felt decisively hot. Her gaze took in his wide shoulders and narrow hips, coursing her thoughts to wonder what lay beneath the clothes that covered him.

    “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours,” he said as if reading her mind.

    #4. Then before her eyes stood the man of her dreams, all six foot six of tanned muscled heaven.

    Beside him on a table, a package!
    “You may only choose one of us, my mistress.” His deep velvet voice washed over her.

    Crap! What to do now. Take the hunky heaven on legs man or the never-ending packet of heaven. She eyed him, his body called to her. Heat pooled between her legs as reached out to him. She smiled weakly and picked up the packet of Tim Tams.

    What is a girl to do? Next time it will be his turn, she thought as she bit into the chocolate slice of heaven.

    Now this is fun. Can't wait to read what everyone else comes up with today.

  6. Hi ladies! I love what the other Banditas came up with and I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone finishes them off.

    Anna, there is only one Golden Rooster! I'm sure the dishers have something equally fun. An appetiser, maybe?

  7. Again these are fantastic but I think a little harder for me anyway LOL

    She walked towards the trees and carefully went under the low lying branches and stopped dead in her tracks there he was laying face up lifeless eyes staring into space. Her only thought how am I going to get my money now?

    You came I was wondering whether you would or not his heated breathe sent goosebumps along her spine was this what she really wanted?

    So Sofia was correct Yvette started to shake and stare at the bit grey yellow eyed werewolf. What was she to do run?

    Her knight in shinning armour the man she had always loved who had been lost to her 3 years ago.

    I have had another go I loved the ones from yesterday and look forward to everyones today

    Have Fun

  8. Deb, I think that was a great effort. Brava! I do love a happy ending:)

    Sandie, methinks thou hast thy tongue planted firmly in they cheek! Naked through the forest, indeed. Snork!

    Helen, great endings! Wow, I'm sure it's going to be difficult to choose a winner today.

  9. More fabulous vignettes to go with that great pic! I love all the different voices - look forward to seeing what the Dishettes come up with to finish them off too.

    Just have to say - Jardine! OMG is he ever yummy - can't wait for his book, Christine.

    Sandie ROFL about the choice between the hunk and the Tim Tams!

  10. Hello, lovely Vrai Anna! Yes, I shamelessly used my own characters for this one. So glad you're looking forward to Jardine:)

  11. Good Morning, Dishes!!!

    I see we are already off to another great start with the vignettes. Don't ya just love that picture? I think she looks magical and anything can happen with her.

    Looking forward to all the responses, though I will have to read them later this afternoon. I'm heading to the office this morning for a day full of excitement. Well, not really but a girl can dream!

  12. Oh, my! I love the Lady in the Woods vignettes. What in the world is Yvette or Louisa or whoever up to? Personally, I want to see what happens to the Ren Faire weasel. Ha!

    I also would love to meet Jardine in a snowy wood. Yowza!

    Secret assignations? Magic circles? I'm afraid the vignette bar has been raised mightily high over here!

  13. Deb, I love your happy ending! Now Yvette just needs to pull a knife out of her boot and peg Sofia with it and it will be a really happy ending! *g*

  14. Sandie, I almost spewed coffee out my nose! Of course, Tim Tams win every time. :-)

  15. Helen, OF COURSE, AC's story features a dead body. We expect no less!

    And yes, Jardine IS what Louisa really wants. I think he's what many of us really want. *g*

    Oh, a werewolf is perfect in that dark, snowy wood!

    I adore a long-lost hero back from the dead. You just know it will end badly...but maybe with his best friend as consolation prize?

  16. I actually have to go to work today, so there will be no unexplained explosions.*g* These are all great, though, vignettes and endings!

  17. Anna, I think the Golden Waiter may be lurking around here. *g*

  18. Oh good Lord! What was that disgusting smell?

    LMAO, Sandie!

    She smiled weakly and picked up the packet of Tim Tams.

    The power of Tim Tams wins every time! LOL

  19. Deb, a happy ending is always good.

  20. More awesome vignettes, ladies. I love how different each one is. I'm finishing my revisions today so I doubt I'll get to add anything to them. Have fun!

  21. Good morning, Dishes! I so loved reading all the vignettes - isn't it fun to see how we all come up with such different ideas to the same picture? *g*

    Anna, I believe Gannon mentioned a Golden Waiter! I'm imagining one of our Cabana boys dipped in gold ;-)

    AC, I LOL over the no buttons in your vignette! Love it!

    And yay, Christine brought Louisa and Jardine to the party! Only a few more months until their story comes out. I can't wait :-)

    Trish, I love how you've given us hints of Yvette's background and ended on such a suspenseful note *g*

  22. Wow, you ladies really know how to set up some interesting situations! I can't wait to see what the fabulously creative souls here at the Romance Dish come up with today....

  23. Oohh...Deb, great ending! Love how you added so much danger and betrayal *g*

    ROFL, Sandie! Tim Tams are truly hard to resist :-)

    Helen, those are all fabulous! I cracked up over your first one *g*

  24. Great job, Banditas! Like Anna C and S said, I really enjoyed the variety in the vignettes. What incredible imaginations!!!

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  26. Buffie, I so agree with you about the picture! Very magical *g*

    Christie, yay on finishing your revisions!

  27. #1 There was a rush of wings as a couple of creepy black crows - or maybe they were ravens -- burst out of the branches of a big oak tree. I wondered what had disturbed them and headed toward the tree to investigate.

    I squealed like a ninny when I stumbled over a lumpy pile of leaves with a shoe sticking out of it. I knew that shoe.

    I had to see for sure, even though my stomach strongly disagreed. With one hand clapped over my mouth, I brushed the leaves away.

    It was the promoter, all right, looking more sad than slimy with the hilt of a bone-handled knife sticking out of his back.

    Okay, I admit for a split second I was tempted to check his pockets. I needed that money and, besides, he sure wouldn't miss it.

    But that knife sticking out of him was so obscene I had to pull it out, never mind how many episodes of CSI had taught me crime scenes shouldn't be disturbed.

    I regretted the decision almost instantly. When I tugged on the knife -- pulling it out was harder than I expected -- it came out with a gush of blood, spraying me and drenching his sweat-stained shirt.

    I froze for a split second and that was all it took to seal my fate.

    "My god, Meg, what have you done?"

    With a sense of impending doom, I flashed on the Lady of Shalott. "The curse has come upon me!" were the words that ran through my head.

    The words that came out of my mouth were more prosaic. "Oh, shit."

    I raised my eyes to the stunned face of the last man I expected to see. He was too busy taking in the knife I held in my blood-stained hand to notice that my heartbeat had gone into overdrive.

    Not that it mattered. My life could hardly get any worse.

  28. Anna C., you're early off the mark! Aren't these vignettes great?

  29. Isn't it wild how the same picture can produce four such different vignettes? Very fun.

    Deb -- oh, no! Sofia is a backstabber. But Etienne saves the day.

    Sandie, LOL on the Tim Tams. :)

  30. Becke, you can't stop there! I want to know what happens next!

  31. His Harley, dusted with snow.

    Yvette couldn't have been more stunned if a unicorn walked out of the trees.

    The tracks of the tires were nearly covered by the fast-falling flakes, so the Harley had been there for awhile. Which meant Spike had arrived early. Why?

    She shivered. The fur coat was for effect more than warmth, and it was cold enough to freeze a witch's --

    No. She didn't use words like that anymore. She wasn't that girl, the teenaged troublemaker with the mouth like a trucker. Yvette had said goodbye to her a long time ago.

    She'd intended to show Spike how grown up and sophisticated she was now, but one look at his tattooes and her control had started to crack. She wasn't fooling anyone but herself.

    Spike knew who she was. He knew how bad she could be, how wanton. How could he not? He'd taught her everything she knew.

    If Sofia was right, his life had taken a different direction in the years they'd been apart. But, like her, he was the same hard-ass under the veneer of civilization.

    The air shifted and she heard footsteps behind her.

    She fought the urge to run -- she knew he'd never let her get away.

    Not this time.

  32. Good Morning All! Aren't today's vignettes fabulous? I'm so excited to read what our dishies have come up with today to finish them off. Hmmm...that didn't sound quite right. "Finish them off?" Well, in some cases, I'm sure that will be a most appropriate sentiment! ;-)

  33. Forgot to post the number for that one -- #3, Trish's vignette.

  34. Helen, you hit on the idea I had in my head for what Yvette saw! Great minds think alike. :)

    Becke, wow, you've gotten the heroine in a heap of trouble. That poor Ren Faire promoter does seem to be biting it a lot today.

  35. Hi Anna! No Golden Rooster here today. Could we temper your disappointment with the Golden Waiter? Gannon has been dedicating herself to personally, intensely training him to serve your every need.

    Now if Buffie, Andrea and I can just figure out where Gannon stashed him...

  36. Hi everybody! I'm so frustrated I forgot to stop by yesterday. I keep thinking TODAY is Monday. Grrrr. I was so looking forward to that.

    Anyway, I jumped right in before I even said hello -- how rude!

    I had so much fun with these last year -- I can never do it in one or two sentences, but I love this sort of writing challenge! And it's even more fun when the vignettes are so great - thanks for doing this!

  37. Becke, so Yvette's after the bad boy? Oh, the possibilities. :)

  38. No laughing here, Deb. That was wonderful!

  39. Sandie ~ Oh good Lord! What was that disgusting smell?


  40. Great job, Helen! Love the werewolf!

  41. Christine, love that you centered your vignette around Louisa and Jardine. I'm counting the days until their book, SWEETEST LITTLE SIN, releases!

  42. Anna S. ~ Hope you're feeling much better today!

  43. LOL @ the Tim Tams! Have to admit, that would be a tough choice!

  44. Whoa, Becke! #3 gave me chills! Great job!

  45. This one is #4, Beth's vignette. (It's taking me longer to do Christine's because I don't normally write historicals.)

    Okay, here's Beth's:

    . . . guaranteed to bring her what she wanted most: the runes that would give her the powers she needed to defeat Damian.

    She huddled inside the fur coat as a mist began to form before her. Thank the goddess, she'd interpreted her grandmother's spell correctly. Within seconds, all the power she so desperately needed would be hers.

    She took a step back as the mist began to solidify, shivering as a premonition of disaster made her blood run cold.

    The runes were small -- according to legend, they were small enough to fit in the palm of her hand.

    The mist, on the other hand, was large. Larger than Zara, and she wasn't far short of six feet.

    Had she interpreted her grandmother's spell incorrectly after all? She needed those runes, damn it -- she couldn't afford another mistake. People's lives depended on her.

    But when had anything gone right for her? She was the witch with so little power she could barely conjure a candle flame. Who couldn't create a love potion strong enough to keep her own husband. Who couldn't draw a line of protection with sufficient wards to save her own child --

    She gasped as the mist solidified into a familiar form. A towering, intimidating and extremely angry form that looked an awful lot like her ex-husband.

    Before she could get a word out, he charged into her magic circle and lifted her into the air, bringing them face to face.

    "What the hell have you done now, Zara?"

    If she knew the answer to that, she wouldn't be in this mess.

  46. #2: Christine's vignette

    A blush heated her cheeks at Jardine's words. The irony did not escape her -- because of Jardine, she no longer had the right to blush like an innocent maiden.

    Nor would an innocent maiden find his shocking suggestions so deliciously tempting.

    Louisa hardened her heart with a reminder that he was the one who had left her when she needed him most. "Don't toy with me, Jardine."

    His eyes narrowed. "I've done more than toy with you, my dear. Or have you forgotten?"

    "I'm engaged to be married, as you well know."

    She tried to ignore the changes in him. There were lines on Jardine's face that made him look older than she knew him to be. He was more muscular than before and he seemed to have grown taller, although that was unlikely.

    He'd still carried the vestiges of youth when he left her. Now Jardine was all man. He was harder, in every way.

    Her eyes dropped, then widened in surprise. Oh yes, in every way.

  47. Becke, great continuation to Beth's story.

  48. Oh this is fun! I loved the contrast of going from Cindy's modern snarky voice to Christine's soft historical one.

    LOL on the Tim Tams, Sandie! Love that unexpected twist!

    Helen - I knew a werewolf was going to creep out of the woods in one of these vignettes. Good on you for seeing it too!

    Becke - We missed you yesterday! I think you would have had fun with our hottie in the sand.

    Maggie - Pooh on work. Come back to join us when you can. You had some great endings yesterday!

  49. Donna - I'm kicking myself for missing it. The darn holiday threw me off and I totally forgot about it. I was thinking it started today.

  50. 1-No footprints come into sight for a full five minutes and then … I see what looks like a boot print. I’m not sure at first taken in the enormous size but then again anyone seems to have bigger feet then my miserable size 6. I follow the steps as fast as I can stumbling and hugging myself again cursing the guy and money trouble that made me do this. Finally I see something moving half behind a tree. He You! I shout, yes you MR. get out here where I can see you. I need to talk to you. He steps aside and then forward and all I can do is Gasp ….. before me is a tall, dark and devilishly handsome scarcely clothes Scott.
    You know lady, you didn’t need to shout. I could hear ya coming a mile away. Tripping over ya own two feet. Cursing under ya breath. Luckily for you though, cause nature called not but a minute ago.
    That would have been a sight. Even so he looked as out of a picture. You know the one on a dishy romance novel. Not that I would admit to read those kind of books.
    Dark tanned skin, white pull over, Scottish kilt and a pair of boots that hugged some very nicely shaped calves.
    Well lass, he asks. What are ya waiting for the shows starting. I can’t believe this is happening. But I’m following some gorgeous guy in a kilt, me dressed like an idiot. To make a complete and utter fool of myself. Welcome to lala land.

    2- Did you honestly think you could escape me by hiding here my dear. Don’t you know that I am as familiar with the woods as I am with the contours of your fine female figure.
    Louisa gasped at the memory of their stolen moments together. That night and all it’s movements were engraved in her mind. It filled her it , confused her, excited her and made her run for cover. Obviously he had suspected her plan to find the abandoned cottage at the edge of the forest.
    Planning to stay at rose cottage my dear, he asked. How did you know I too planned to stay there with you for a very long night.
    He did it again, Saying nothing and yet hinting that she owed him. Making it all too clear that she hadn’t seen the last of him. He wanted her, he’d said. And Jardine always planned on getting what he wants.

    3- There in front of her was Chris. Dressed in a complete black. There you are Yvette, I was beginning to think you’d changed your mind. Me, no I haven’t changed my mind. Gosh he was handsome she noticed once again. Every time they had been apart she tried to tell herself he was not so good looking or did not have such a power over her and here he was proving her wrong, again. Shall we? He asks. Yes we shall. He holds out his hand and when she placed hers in his he pulled her close. Let’s dance first, to get rid of those nerves shall we. He slowly starts to move and to her great surprise Yvette moves with him. We have no music she says. Nonsense he responds. We even have our own song. Listen closely to the murmurs of our minds, the soft sounds of our breath and the beating of our hearts. Pretty isn’t it? Yvette smiles and sighs, yes it is.

    4-A guardian angel that would come to earth and show her the meaning of life. She slowly opens her eyes and spots a movement close by. For a brief second she believes her wish came true and then she recognizes the man that stands close by. It is her brother’s best friend Tristan. How silly she thinks, to for one moment believe him to be my destiny.

  51. New ones ya! ^^

    1)Geese, i think he went over there by those pine trees. Geese, these trees are kinda of thick. Seriously thick. Where is this fog coming from now? What is with this..... omph!... Ouch! Merlin's pants that hurt!

    "Excuse me did you say something about my pants?"

    Who just spoke? Seriously? "Who's there?"

    "I say you did you just say something about my pants?"

    I looked over to see the strangest looking man i've ever glanced upon. He was wearing green robes, a thick cloak, and had a long white beard. I asked him again who he was?"

    "You've already said my name silly girl. It's Merlin. How ever did you find me? I've been stuck here in forest of Brocéliande since Niviane trapped me here?"

    Oh great.. Just when i thought that this day couldn't get any worse or weirder...

    2)But she couldn't. Jardine was like a spell caster who held your attention as he preformed his next trick. Is it real magic or a trick? Just like a audience member in the show Louisa never was sure if Jardine affections were real or a trick. Dare she find out?

    3)There in her path was something so frightening, yet so beautiful at the same time. A white wolf with the bluest eyes Yvette had ever glanced upon. Something about those eyes were so strangely familiar. As if she had glazed upon them in dance, but that was impossible. Magical beings were not permitted to be part of nobility. Certainly if there was someone they would surely be found out and put to death or banished. Yet, she is sure she had glanced upon those eyes before. Should she speak the name that is upon her mind and lips?

    The white wolf moved closer to Yvette. No hint of attack, nor sound of warning coming from his mouth. If wolves could give mischievous smiles Yvette was almost sure this one would be.

    "Is that you Cyrus?"

    4)Julianna wished with all of her heart . "My heart, unlock the desire you hold. You greatest wish. Let this desire come before me. I do not care for looks nor wealth. Nor power. Nor good health. All i want is love."

  52. Not to worry, Becke! There are still three more days to play after today and I have it on good authority that there are many more fabulous vignettes in the wings. The Banditas have outdone themselves! :)

  53. I'm with PJ, Becke....don't keep us in suspense. Keep going! LOL

  54. jedisakora, I really like the continuation of Yvette's scene. I like the detail about the nobility.

  55. Becke, #3 is fabulous! Bad boy on the Harley? The possibilities are endless!

  56. Becke, I love #4, too! A lot more to that story, to be sure. :)

  57. He was harder, in every way.

    Her eyes dropped, then widened in surprise. Oh yes, in every way.

    Perfect, Becke! *VBG*

  58. These are so much fun! Now if only I can use some of this inspiration on my own stories.

    I'm having a blast reading everyone else's endings to the vignettes. Isn't it great how we all come up with such different endings?

    Although the poor guy in Vignette #1 doesn't seem to have a hope of survival.

  59. Becke, that's what slimy promoters get! lOL

  60. Getting there slowly, PJ - thanks! Will need all my strength for Friday, methinks!

    Becke - I'm dying with your Jardine piece! ROFL!

    I'm so impressed by how creative you all are. There are some truly awesome additions to the vignettes.

    Helen - great to see you having a go!

  61. WOW DE WOW WOW!!!

    We've got some fantastic continuations going here!

    ROFLOL at the TimTams! Men are everywhere, they come and go, but Tim Tams....... :-)

    And how very interesting that dead bodies keep popping up in the continuation of my vignette. You'd think someone had read my books or something. ;-)

    Keep em coming, Dishies! They are GREAT!


  62. Becke, those are awesome endings! I was LOL at your first one *g* And I love that you brought my lady's ex back into the scene - I adore a reunion story :-)

    Fabulous job, Kirsten! Love the ending line for #2 and it sounds as if my lady knows her destiny quite well ;-)

    Jedisakora, those are absolutely lovely and so lyrical!

  63. Lots of magic and mystery in these vignettes. And the continuations are great!

  64. Oh, my. SNORK! Tim Tams and dead bodies and werewovles, Oh MY! Grins.

    Sandie - SNORK - what was that disgusting smell

    I'm loving these. How fun, fun, fun. I know everyone was talking about it yesterday, but it is so fabulous to see how four writers can come up with completely differnt scenarios for the same, exact picture. WOW.

    And then, there are the endings....SNORK!

  65. Nancy, KJ and Cassondra, I think we have some serious fun to look forward to tomorrow!

  66. Good afternoon...and Ladies of the Dish, thanks for having us here this week. It's another day of interesting vingettes!

    Can't wait to see how all the readers handle them!

  67. Oh Deb, no one would laugh...you did a fine job on that #3 entry!

  68. Sandie...TimTams over a hunky male? Seriously?

  69. Okay, these are probably so cheesy they smell but I am giving it a shot anyway. I have never attempted anything like this before. Please folks don't laugh, I don't profess to be an author.

  70. Vignette #1 by Loucinda McGary-Part 1
    Wait, where are his tracks? Where are my tracks? Why are there no sounds? There weren’t many people that showed up but what did were noisy. Julian feels a sudden warmth begin to generate from her coat and gown, then a glow beginning along her arms. Now what! She is frightened as the glow grows and surrounds her in light, it spreads to the trees around the clearing. A loud buzzing noise begins and she feels as if it is in her head. Julian falls in a heap of velvet, fur, and thermals. Whoa! What happened and who are all these people around her? There weren’t that many people at the Ren Faire. Julian shakes her head slightly, trying to clear the fuzziness and still light buzzing in her head. “Here, here, lie still my lady, just wait a moment until your maid can bring you some drink.” A small man is kneeling beside her a slight smile on his lips as he puts a folded cloth under her head. “I know you, and why are you talking with such a strange accent? You are Mr.Rutledge the promoter and I want my money and out of here!” Julian says lifting her hand to her still tingling face.
    “Shhh, rest easy my lady, here comes Alicia with your ale and my name is Jacob, I have been with you since you were a child.” Raising his head he says more loudly, “Our lady is just a little befuddled from her faint, make room so Alicia can get through.”
    Julian tries to raise herself up on her elbows but the dizziness swamps her yet again, what is happening to me? A little round woman in period costume bustles up and kneels beside her holding a chalice of something wet and just a little smelly. Holding Julian’s head up she tries to get her to drink. “Oh no, I am not drinking that and who are you.” This time as she struggles to get up Julian succeeds and though a little shaky manages to stand and look around. “What is going on here?” she asks. “I don’t know this place or these people.” Looking around Julian sees nothing familiar to her. Good Heavens, had she been drugged? Grabbing the little man by the front of his shirt she shouts, “Okay, I don’t know what game you are playing but I am out of here now!”
    “My lady, please, lower your voice, you must be calm before your people.” Jacob says soothingly.
    “My people? What are you talking about?” Julian says more quietly, there is a murmur beginning among the throng of people surrounding her. “Tell me what you mean and I want an answer right now!” She whispers fiercely still grasping his clothing.
    Eyes darting around the crowd nervously Jacob calls out for the cart to be brought for Julian and someone needs go for the old woman in the wood. A young boy darts to the back of the crowd as another goes running in the direction of the wood nearest the clearing. “I will tell you all my lady, please, just stay quiet until we can get into a private place to speak freely.” The man calling himself Jacob now glances to the right as a rough wooden cart filled with furs is trying to get through. The crowd parting to make way with many casting concerned looks her way Julian decides maybe she had better bide her time before asking any more questions.

  71. Vignette #1 by Loucinda McGary-Part 2
    As the cart is drawn up beside them, Julian lets Jacob go and is bundled into the cart and covered with the furs. Alicia settles herself and her skirts on the edge of the cart, smoothing the wisps of hair from Julian’s face. “It will be alright my lady, you are home now and we can live again.” Julian closes her eyes and sighes, she is so tired, maybe she will just rest a moment before she starts questioning again.
    Julian opens her eyes on a start, what a dream! Oh, not a dream, she is moving, lurching about in a cart and the older lady is still beside her, patting her hand, trying to soothe her. A building comes into view as the cart travels round a bend in the track. That isn’t just a building, that is a castle! Julian’s heart is in her throat, what is happening to her, is she in some huge hallucination? She hears the grinding as the gates are drawn up and the bridge is let down for the cart to enter. Again, more people milling about in the yard. A man separates himself from a knot of people and runs up to the cart, grasping the wooden rails and peering at her from beneath a shaggy lock of dark hair. “My lady, what has happened? Artis ran in some time ago and told the tale that you had fainted at the gathering and was talking and acting so strangely he thought you had taken a fit. He brought the old woman from the wood. She is waiting in your chambers even now. “
    “Be still Lucious! Our lady just had a faint and was befuddled when she came to herself, that is all! The old woman will give her some herbs to drink and she will be fine.” Jacob was scurrying about dragging the furs from her and preparing to lift her from the cart. “Don’t speak aloud I beg you.” He whispered as he began to lift her.
    “Halt!” Shouted a man as he parted the crowd and came to the cart. Julian looked up, and up…..wow, and up to one of the most gorgeous men she had ever seen in her 28 years. Heavens above! Coal black hair, chiseled features and ice blue eyes, not to mention a perfect physique. Twinkling eyes looked into hers and just a slight wink as he bent down and lifted her into his arms and against a most satisfyingly solid chest. Well, if this was a hallucination at least it was a good one Julian thought as she slid her arms about his neck.
    The crowd parted like the sea as he strode for the doors of the castle, Jacob and Alicia scurrying behind. Up the stairs like they were nothing and into a huge chamber he carried her and placed her gently on a huge bed covered in linen sheeting and fur throws. “Old woman, she is here at long last, do your magiks so I may have my lady back.”
    The laird stepped to the side still holding Julian’s hand as a gnarled old woman hurried up to the bed with a wooden cup filled with a sweet smelling brew. “Here my beloved lady, drink this and be home to stay.” The old woman held the cup to her lips as Julian sipped the sweet drink, again with the buzzing in her head, did someone let a bunch of bees loose up there? Closing her eyes against the sensation Julian suddenly knew, she was home, she had been gone so long but she would never leave again. Opening her eyes she looked into her husband’s face and smiled. “Jason, I am back, how did you find me? How did you break the spell?”
    Jason breathed a great sigh of relief, “My love, it took years to find you in that time with so many people, but our broke the spell and brought you home.”

  72. Ooh, Deb, LOVED it! Wasn't laughing at all, thought it was great. That Sofia is a piece of work! And yay for Etienne!

    Sandie, yours cracked me up, especially the Tim Tam one! Snort! How cool is that?

  73. Christine, an appetiser? Do you mean CHICKEN NUGGETS???!!!!

    Hey, Helen, thanks for playing. Great entries! Aren't these fabulous vignettes? I tell you, we Friday girls have got our work cut out for us!

  74. Vignette #2 by Christine Wells
    ”Did you truly believe you would escape your destiny Louisa? I have spent my life looking for you, I knew the moment you stepped into the ball room at Lady Agatha’s that you were the woman destined to be my lady. “Lord Evanridge, this is not proper. My brother will be here any moment. We can’t be found alone like this.” Louisa stood very still, barely breathing as she felt the heat of him surround her almost as if he had wrapped himself around her. What can I do, she thought, if we are found I will be wed to him before three days pass. Me, wed to a rake, a wastrel, it is only my dowry he wants. Her head comes up, she hears a crashing in the woods, muttered curses, oh no, my brother, and from the sounds he is not alone! Where can she hide? Louisa cannot be found alone with Jardine, Lord Evanridge. The trees are too far away to provide cover. Jardine, almost as if he can read her thoughts takes her elbow, “Don’t run Louisa, your brother wants us to be married, he finds he likes the idea of being brother by law to a Duke of the realm.
    “Let her be,” says a voice from the edge of the clearing. “Her brother James seems to have changed his mind about her future husband.” Reaching behind him Raithe drags James in front of him roughly. “Tell him James, tell him your thoughts on this subject now.” A bedraggled James, lip bleeding, eye purpling, glares at Raithe. “It is so Jardine, Louisa is going to marry him. His grip tightening on Louisa Jardine pulls her in closer and in front of himself more fully, slipping his hand into his pocket. “You are dead, I saw your body fall from the cliff.” Louisa closes her eyes, please, God, let it be true, Raithe, alive and well! Raithe laughs softly, “Did I not tell you brother mine that I was blessed? The body you saw was your henchman, not me. I was a little worse for wear but Toby carried me off to safety. We have been watching and waiting for you to get out in the open where we could get to you.”
    “That’s right governor, I’m not dead either, so you might want to take that hand out of your pocket there and let the lady go. I have a right nice shot of your back and I would be only too happy to shoot you through the heart, front or back don’t matter to me.” Toby said from behind Jardine.
    Louisa opening her eyes looks straight into Raithe’s clear blue gaze, a slight nod of his head and Louisa jerks her arm from Jardine and drops to the ground in a flurry of velvet and fur. Pulling the gun from his pocket Jardine turns to take Toby out of the picture. One shot and Jardine falls as Louisa rolls out of the way, then scrabbles up and runs for Raithe. Raithe gathers her in his arms as he watches Toby go to Jardine’s body. “You really are alive.” Louisa breathes the words softly. “Of course, did you think I would leave my little hellion alone?” says Raithe. “I am happy to see that little trick I taught you when we were youngsters. Even as children Jardine always wanted what wasn’t his. “He bends his head and takes her lips in a warm sweet kiss, “Three days my love and you will be the new Duchess of Evanridge, the title was never Jardine’s in truth and you were never destined to be his, only mine.”

  75. WOW!!!! I love today's vignettes :-) Most awesome talent, you Bandita's!!!!

  76. Vignette #3 by Trish Milburn
    Sofia, what are you doing here? Where is your chair, you are walking! She rushed to her friend but stopped when she saw the madness in Sofia’s eyes, no, this can’t be true, not her friend, it couldn’t be. “Yes, said Sofia, believe it Yvette, did you really believe I was your friend?” “Ronan is mine, I have followed him through the ages and tonight he will be mine for eternity. I only needed one true loving heart to finish this chase and I found it in you. Unfortunately, you must lose that heart to complete this spell.” Pulling a dagger from beneath her cloak Sofia started toward Yvette, a crash in the surrounding woods was the only warning before Ronan was there, his companions forming a tight circle around the three players in this game. “It is over Sofia, the chase has ended, but not the way you had planned, I have someone for you to meet. Two of the surrounding companions stepped back and through that break stepped an old graying wolf, huge with silver colored eyes as he walked closer Sofia dropped the dagger and started stepping back. “No!” Sofia cried, “It was a bonding not of my choosing, I won’t go back!” As they all watched the wolf transformed into a man, tall, imposing, stern of visage, silver hair swept back from his proud brow. Putting out his hand, Sofia froze, unable to move, he walked to her and taking a diamond collar from his pocket he placed it around her slim throat and she moaned as her body altered in a shimmering cloud, a lovely she-wolf stood before them, her head bowed before her mate. “Everyone knows that wolves are bonded for life Sofia, your collar has been charmed, you will never shift again, nor will I.” So saying Zelin transformed for the last time and the pair broke through the circle and bounded into the woods. With a small smile Ronan turned to Yvette caressing her with his eyes, “It is done my love, we are safe and all is as it should be in our world.” Yvette smiles and nods, slipping her hand into her pocket she removes her own collar and places it around her neck as Ronan and the other all do the same. The clearing is awash in a sparkling cloud as they all transform, the wolves separate into their packs and begin their travels to their own home woods.

  77. Vignette #4 by Beth Andrews
    Her great, great, great, grandmother told her in her dreams that her time had come. Arelle had been working on gathering everything together for two years and everything was set. She had found the amulet, the period clothing, the crystal and the ingredients, she even found her many great grandmother’s book of spells and potions. Why had her mother hidden it? Why had she not been told of her heritage before the dreams came? Enough! Too many questions and only one way to get the answers, the time was perfect, the circle complete, the spell spoken, two more items and it would be finished. Her heart pounding, Arelle laid the long, slim crystal from East to West, the amulet laid across it from North to South. “To the 4 corners of this earth I call, let it be done!” Nothing, not a whisper of wind, just nothing, what did she do wrong?
    Then she heard it, low at first, just a thread of sound in the silence. Louder now, surrounding her, a hum of voices, then a thin line of fire around her circle. Louder still and the surrounding woods was alive with the breaking underbrush, voices, hoof beats. Then, to the north, there they were, an army and a great black stallion leading them, he stepped the stallion through the fire and entered her circle, how can that be? Arelle looked up into his face and her heart stilled, he has come for me. “I had allowed 28 years for you to be gone from me, that time is done, we will go back to our period now my most darling wife.” Orion leaned down and swept Arelle up before him and through the fire they leapt, back the time and place that was there own.

  78. Anna, at the risk of gloating - which as you know NEVAH stops me - I've read Jardine's book. Yum, yum, yum. In fact, I'd definitely take him over the Tim Tams! ;-)

    Buffie, don't work too hard!

    Oh, Maggie, I was really looking forward to you coming back to play. I thought your entries yesterday were absolutely hilarious! Very...uh, kelpful!

  79. Ooh, Gannon, now a Golden Waiter is my sorta mascot! Especially if he comes bearing margaritas!

    Wow, Becke, now I want to read the whole novel! That was bloomin' fantastic! Yay, you!

  80. Ooh, Becke, and your second one was fabulous too! Wow, how sexy was that?

    Snort to the bad karma for the Ren Faire promoter! Clearly the RECORDER Angel has him in her sights! Snort!

    Wow, Becke, that third one was great too. You are smokin' today, gal! I think you've really laid down a challenge to our writing sorority! Yay for you!

  81. Hey, Becke, what a yummy ending to Jardine's vignette. Oh, I mean, Christine's. I only have eyes for J. And so does Louisa by the sound of it! Snork!

    Kirsten, great to see you. Had to laugh - this cold weather is clearly affecting our hero's bladder in the continuations to AC's fabulous vignette! Loved all your pieces, especially the last one - that gave me goosebumps. Fantastic!

  82. Jedisakora, what fantastic continuations. Love the wolf one in particular!!! Wow, it's going to be so hard to choose a winner today! Glad it's not me doing it!

  83. Jedisakora, also wanted to say I laughed out loud when Merlin turned up! How clever is that?

    Becke, this is such a fabulous exercise in writer's voice, isn't it? So glad you're enjoying it!

  84. Thanks, Anna -- this was so much more fun that the revisions I should be working on. :-)

    I love writing exercises -- I even liked them back when I was in school. It's such a blast to just let your imagination fly without worrying about plots, internal and external conflicts and pesky things like that.

    Anna, I'm jealous that you've read Christine's book. I read the blurb so I could get a better feel for Jardine and Louisa, and now I'm really impatient for it to come out!

    You Banditas have filled a good part of my keeper bookcase, but I'm not complaining. I hope your fantastic vignettes will lure more virgin readers over to the Bandita-side!

  85. #2

    "Do not close your eyes, Louisa." The hardness in his voice caged around her, leaving her gasping for air. She would have flown but his very presence kept her rooted like the trees surrounding them. "You will look upon the foulness your cursed magic has wrought."

    "But I've no magic-" she defended, knowing full well the consequences of such accusations.

    "Enough! My wicked little witch. Enough. You will see with you own eyes." Jardine raised his hand.

    Louisa peered through the mist as it revealed her misdeeds. One and then another, and then yet another came forth. She held her breath, all the while working her jaw for coherent, but all she could was laugh.

  86. Ooh, Dianna, how clever to turn it into a time travel. And of course, she's dressed for the part, isn't she? Cool bananas!

    And wow, I wasn't seeing that as the ending. Bravo, you!!!! Fantastic!

  87. Ooh, and Dianna, I love what you did to Jardine and Louisa - loved the twist that Jardine wasn't the hero. These are awesome!

    And wow, love the wolfie stuff in Trish's bit. You really have done us proud, Dianna!

  88. Becke, you have done quite a job with these! Want to help me finish the new erotica? hmm? please??

  89. Dianna, another time travel. I'm picking up a theme here. You really write a great hero! Yumba! Thanks for taking the game and running with it!

    Becke, one of the things I find amazing about this is how strongly each individual Bandita's voice shines, even in something as short as this. You really do get a flavor of the books from the 150 words, don't you?

  90. Wow, Renee, that was intriguing! I want more!!!! Thanks for playing.

  91. Helen, I've written a hot novella myself -- it's gone to the "second level" at two publishers who ultimately rejected it. Now it's gone to the next level with a third publisher.

    I love writing scenes -- now if only I could get a whole novel right, I'd be one happy camper.

    And notice how I'm still here when I should be working? One word: avoidance.

  92. Anna - That's one of the great things about the Banditas. You all write in very different styles, but you are all brilliant writers!

  93. Great job, Kirsten! Thanks for playing with us today.

  94. Finally had time to go back and read everyone else's endings. Great work Renee, Kirsten, Dianna, Jedisakora, Deb, Sandia and, of course, Helen!

    We've got some wild stories going here, wish I could read how they all end.

  95. Dianna, great job! I looooove time travels!

  96. Don't stop now, Renee! What happens next? :)

  97. Becke, best of luck with that novella. Sending lots of good vibes your way!

  98. Yay, Dianna! I adore time travels!!!

  99. Wow, am I late or what?? Welcome, Christine, Trish, Beth, and Aunt Cindy! Sorry I'm late...today was filled with bowling, catch-up errands, and volunteering. And now it's on to helping my son with a project that's due on Friday.

    All of these vignettes are wonderful!! And again, so different! When I get some free time in a bit, I'll be back to read everyone's comments. Can't wait to see what everyone has in store!!

  100. Oh, wow, I went to bed at 9 comments and wake up to over 100! Looks like everyone has been having fun:)

  101. Becke wrote: The words that came out of my mouth were more prosaic

    OMG, too funny!!

  102. Becke, there's no requirement to do it in 2 sentences. I'm loving your endings!

    Snork! Just read the ending to my vignette. Oh yes, in EVERY way. Hahaha. Poor Jardine. He is not a man to be made sport of!

  103. Hi Gannon! Lovely to see you here today:)

    PJ, I couldn't resist putting Louisa and Jardine in this vignette, particularly as there is a scene like this in my book. I had to adapt it a little, though. I'm enjoying everyone's responses. Do you think if we did this enough times we could get them to write our books for us?*G*

  104. Oooh, Kirsten, your ending to my vignette gave me shivers. I like it very much! Thanks for playing today.

  105. Jedisakora, you hit on Louisa's confusion very well. Thanks for entering!

    Ooh and I love the one about the white wolf. Great!

  106. Christine - I can hardly wait to get to know Jardine better. You can see how I'm picturing him already!

  107. Hey Dianna, WOW on the ending to #2. I never expected that to happen but it really works. Hmm, pity I've already handed the book in:)

  108. Chicken nuggets?? Snork!

    Foanna, the day you eat chicken nuggets as an appetiser is the day I'll eat my hat:)

  109. Wow, Renee, you have me dying to know what Louisa is laughing at! Don't stop there!!

  110. OMG! Look at all of these comments!! You ladies have sure been busy today. Wish I could have been here with you.

    Well, off to read the comments in between cooking supper and dealing with the kids.

  111. Christine, it's our little secret about NOT eating chicken nuggets. Whatever you do, don't tell the rooster. I mention the CN words and he'll do anything for me, even clean the bathroom!

    Becke, best of luck with the novella!

  112. Anna - Once they go out, I try to forget my completed stories and focus on the ones needing revision. I've got two that I'm working on right now. I'm eager to finish them so I can get to work on my unfinished stories. There never seems to be enough time. Of course, today has been a play day -- I need those occasionally. Thanks for the support!

  113. Super vignettes, Banditas! I love the unique twists Cindy, Beth, Christine and Trish have all put on the picture, which is certainly entrancing!

  114. Wow, so many more fantastic comments and continuations of the vignettes while I've been out this afternoon running a bazillion errands. Oh, how will we choose a winner?

  115. OMGOSH!! These continuations just keep getting better and better!

    A brawny lad in a kilt? YUMMO! Even if our heroine almost caught him in the midst of a 'nature call!' LOL!

    And Dianna, honey, you've almost got the entire novel there! WTG, Girlfriend! LOVED the time-travel twist and her black-haired blue-eyed hero searching time for her!


  116. Anna, I'm sending the Golden Waiter your way with a margarita!

  117. Ladies, that was fun but I do not know how you guys just keep turning out books. That was work!!
    What little grammar I remember (West Virginians don't do grammar as a rule.) went right out the window. I just don't know how you guys do it every day.

    Christine, if he was your hero he couldn't be my hero took, I had to find my own. LOL

  118. Dianna, I'm so glad you joined in the fun! Your endings are all wonderful *g* Love the twist of traveling back in time :-)

    Renne, love that you added magic to Louisa and Jardine's scene! There's something about that picture that seems to call for magic and mystery :-)

  119. Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...
    And Dianna, honey, you've almost got the entire novel there! WTG, Girlfriend! LOVED the time-travel twist and her black-haired blue-eyed hero searching time for her!
    What can I say Aunty, you inspired me. (Actually, I just could an ending so it played Energizer bunny and just kept going, and going, and going)

  120. Gannon, the Golden Waiter has just arrived with a strategically placed airmail sticker you know where! By the way, there was no return postage included so I'm afraid he'll just have to stay in Oz for the duration of the summer ;-)

  121. Gannon, the Golden Waiter has just arrived with a strategically placed airmail sticker you know where!

    LMAO, Anna! Careful when you remove the sticker--wouldn't want to damage anything important! *g*

  122. Oh my gosh, I love your Tim Tams ending, Sandie!!!!

  123. Wow, great job, Deb, Helen, and Becke!! You ladies are outdoing yourselves!

  124. Christine, I have to say that I love how you incorporated Jardine and Louisa into your vignette! Can't wait to read their story!!!

  125. Becke, girl, you are talented!! Keep it up!

    Love it, Kirsten and Jedi! :)

  126. Laugh? There's no laughing here, Dianna. Those are fabulous!! I love 'em!

  127. Well done, Renee! I am really enjoyong them all!

    LOL @ Gannon and Anna about the Golden Waiter!! Take good care of him and his..."sticker", Anna. ;-)

  128. “You’re early,” he said.

    ROFL Sandie!

    Great job Deb, Becke...you are fantastic!

    Oh, heck..all of them are wonderful. Today's girls will have a hard time choosing a winner!

  129. aaah, glad I left you hanging. :) I see I have a few typos. While I was typing I received a call to come get my daughter and had to leave mid-thought. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back here. I'm hoping I now have time to read them all.

    So not to confuse anyone, here is the first part Vin #2

    "Do not close your eyes, Louisa." The hardness in his voice caged around her, leaving her gasping for air. She would have flown but his very presence kept her rooted like the trees surrounding them. "You will look upon the foulness your cursed magic has wrought."

    "But I've no magic-" she defended, knowing full well the consequences of such accusations.

    "Enough! My wicked little witch. Enough. You will see with your own eyes." Jardine raised his hand.

    Louisa peered through the mist as it revealed her misdeeds. One and then another, and then yet another came forth. She held her breath, all the while working her jaw for coherent words, but all she could do was laugh.

    "Pray tell what do you find amusing, love?" His endearment brushed across her cheek and raced to her toes leaving sparks of pleasure in its wake. She sobered, halting her laughter as she looked upon Jardine's men, their heads shorn and their faces clean shaven revealing raised, red blotches.

    "Have your men broken rank and taken vows?"

    "Louisa," Jardine growled.

    She glanced at him over her shoulder. "Why have you done this to them?"

    He scrubbed a hand over his gruffy jaw. "Lice."

    Louisa turned and faced him, her fists on her hips. She narrowed her eyes. "If you'd sweep your rushes-"

    "Hush! It was not lice, but your curse that has left them itching their skin raw."

    "I did not curse them." Inhaling a deep breath, she poked her finger at his chest."I cursed you, my lord."

    "But they-"

    "I cursed you," she said poking him once again. "with the pocks for your debauchery."

    "My debauchery? But they-" He took a retreating step.

    She followed. "They are of no consequence. I do not care where they lay their heads. Nor do I care where they dip their willies. But you, my love-"

    "Louisa," he growled, raising an arrogant brow.

    "If you are to woo me for wife, you will not be doing it with your mistress on your lap, nor in your bed." She flung her hands in the air and turned on her heal, ready to flee his presence. "A pocks on your head, Jardine."

    Before she could even take a step she found herself swept up into his strong arms, pressed against the hard contours of his chest. She opened her mouth to cry out for help, but curse the bounder he covered her lips with his.

  130. Wow, these are really wonderful. Some are hilarious and some are very tantalizing. I can't wait to come back tomorrow!

  131. Thanks, Joan and Andrea! Renee (and all) -- see you here tomorrow!

  132. Ooh, Renee, that Jardine is a wild boy, isn't he? And good for Louisa for standing up to him! Snork! Well done! Glad you came back to finish it. I was wondering what happened next.

  133. Ooh, I wonder who's going to win! It's been a brilliant day!

    Don't forget to come back tomorrow for more fun!

  134. Many thanks to everyone for a fabulous day! The vignettes from Cindy, Trish, Christine and Beth were wonderful! The continuations were clever, imaginative and, in some cases, downright hilarious. You all are so wonderfully creative!

    We have four more terrific vignettes waiting in the wings for Wednesday so please come back for more laughter and fun!