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Saturday, January 30, 2016


Take a little RED MAGIC to keep out the cold:

"Why are you doing this?  I don't need a tutor; I need time to ride the manor.  I know how farm things should be.  And," she ended, meeting his eyes, "haven't I‑‑done my duty?"     
          "Splendidly." His arms crossed around her waist and touched his lips to her shoulder.  "But tutoring is not punishment.  Learning should not be confined to childhood."    
          He was so close, a bit whiskery and dusty from the road, but the smell of him, the touch of his hand, rekindled all kinds of memories, not only of the mountain, but of the tenderness between them on the morning he'd gone away.  When he came to a kiss, she let him and promptly felt a thrill at the touch of his mouth.
          "There, there, my cat woman, please stop scratching.  I was thinking about your sweet backside every other minute I was away."         
          "You must excuse me, Herr Graf," Cat muttered, head close against his great chest, "but I'm really getting cold and my arm hurts."
          "My poor Caterina," he said, shifting to a warm rubbing of her long back.  "Damn Heidelburg.  Is it deep?"       
          "Herr Goran says I'll live."      
          "Well, then, you will.  He kept telling me that last year when I thought I was dying, swelled up and covered with pus and leeches and attacked every other hour by surgeons with sharp knives." He pushed back the sleeve of the morning gown to look at her bandage again.  "We'll undo his bandage before you go to bed and I'll look at it again. I've grown to be a pretty fair surgeon myself."
          With as much dignity as she could muster, Cat started to rise. 
          "I would like another kiss before you go," Christoph said.      
          "You shouldn't have got the first!  You did--what you did--before you left and then you come back and treat me like a child !  Why do you want to waste my days so that I won't be able to ride and watch over your land as I should?"  Frustration built with every word until she shouted:  "I hate this dreary snow pile and I hate you."  
          He did not let go.  Because the hand he held was attached to her throbbing arm, she couldn't bring herself to jerk that away, either.
              "I think I'm right about bringing Stocke here and I hope that in time you will understand why.  Come on, dear little Cat.  Just for a minute pull in those claws."              
          She found herself against his chest again, cradled in his arms, her mouth repeatedly and softly kissed. 
          "I've been on fire for more of those sweets I stole on the mountain.  Why can’t you believe I'm in love with you?"      
          "Because you say it too easily." Nevertheless in the next instant she was kissing him back with answering warmth. 
          Not only did it feel good, but Cat was beginning to understand that his wanting bestowed upon her a kind of power...         
          "Our marriage is in its seventh month.  Must we go into the New Year quarreling?"   
          "Yes."  In spite of his words, in spite of the warm excitement she experienced in his arms, she still felt cross with him.          
          "By God," he chuckled softly, "the next time we see your Papa I'm going to tell him this is no red filly he's married me to, but a tough little red mule."   

~~ Juliet Waldron
Book #1 of The Magic Colours Series


Red Magic
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http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mozart Kugeln

The opener of MY MOZART as a kind of Mozart Kugeln sweetie for the Maestro's Birthday,
January 27th

"Mozart, Ich liebe dich. I love you. Love you."

"Come, Nanina Nightingale. Come and give your poor old Maestro some of your ‘specially sugary sugar."

My mouth on his‑‑the friction produced warmth and sweetness, with a decided undertone of the expensive brandy he liked, flowing from his tongue to mine. I slid my arms across the brocade of his jacket, none too clean these days, and swayed a slender dancer's body against him.

Let me assure you that my sophistication was assumed. It really doesn't matter - then, or now. I was young, foolish, and drowning in love. I was seventeen. He was thirty five.

I believed he knew everything--that he could see right through me with those bright blue eyes. He probably could. He'd been my music master--and, more--my deity, ever since I'd met him, in my ninth year...

My Mozart is available at:

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http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Most Unsuitable Beau

Another Snippet from A Master Passion.
Here, Betsy's little sister Cornelia takes up with an unsuitable beau:

Betsy was not surprised when one morning her father and young Washington retired to the study.  In the broad downstairs corridor, on her way to fetch something for Mama, she heard the rumble of her father's voice, that most authoritarian tone, and knew, without catching a word, that a suitor was being rejected.

              Soon, Papa banged his cane on the floor and ordered the carriage.  From upstairs came the sounds of bags being packed, of doors slamming, of Cornelia sobbing.  The old General accompanied the young man to the wharf and stayed until he'd seen both the unwanted suitor and his baggage on board the noon sloop to New York.  Back at the house, Cornelia wailed and smashed china, much as her eldest sister Angelica had done twenty years before.

              "I'd just as soon marry you to some unlettered frontiersman.” The General roared back. “This Mr. Morton has no idea of responsibility, has done nothing yet except peacock about upon the foolish generosity of his father! Now, Cornelia, promise me you will have nothing further to do with him ‑ either by word--or by letter."

              "I cannot do that." Cornelia’s dark eyes were full of fire.  All too clearly, she saw herself as a heroine of one of those popular British romances.

              "What?!"  The General banged his cane on the floor.  "Do you mean to disobey me?"

              "I cannot bind myself, Papa.  I will not promise."

              "Disobedient girl!  Great God!  What have I done to deserve this? Go to your room at once and stay there!"

              Head high, Cornelia swept up the stairs.

              "Where does she get this language?  This defiant deportment?  It's those damned novels, isn't it?  I swear to God – if I find any of that trash in found this house it shall be burnt at once."
              Betsy thought it far more likely that the two earlier elopements had been the corrupting influence. As she watched the scene from the window seat, chair back embroidery in hand, she again wondered how it was that she—Elizabeth--was the only Schuyler girl who hadn’t had to climb out of an upstairs window for a husband...  




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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hamilton's Birthday

It is usually warm--between 82 and 70--so Accuweather says--at this time of year on Nevis. It is also cloudy, as the warm air gathers around the volcanic peak which forms a watchtower on this small  island -- 36 square miles. January 11th of 2016 is the anniversary of the date of Alexander Hamilton's birthday. Our present forecast is for a.m. showers and a light east wind, followed by a partly cloudy afternoon.  I remember the cloudiness from my own long-ago January visit to Nevis; it was no sunbather's paradise, like Barbados, Grenada or Antigua, some of the other islands I spent time on. The long ago Amerindian people called Nevis Oualie, "land of sweet waters," for the excellent fresh water springs.

I wonder if Alexander was born in the morning. Many babies arrive just before dawn, after a long night of labor for the mother. As far as we know, he would have been Rachel's third and last child; she bore only sons. As fair as Hamilton was, I imagine his newborn self as quite bald and pink. Maybe, because Rachel had already had experienced childbirth before, his was a blessedly quick arrival, perhaps only of a few hours. Her female house slaves, I imagine, would have been her companions, her solace through delivery.

Perhaps there was a midwife; we don't know. Childbirth was a dangerous passage in those days, but "calling the doctor" was not so obligatory as in the 20th Century. Rachel's husband James was probably not in the house; 18th Century men left that particular "trouble" to women. The Hamiltons were still living a modestly genteel life when Alexander came into the world. His "father's affairs" had not yet completely "gone to wreck" as he would, years later, write to a Scottish Uncle, William Hamilton.

Here's a snippet from A Master Passion, a vignette from the birth of Alex and Betsy's first child:

"...When she was under covers again, Mrs. Pieterse, with a great, gap-toothed grin, laid “the cause of all this trouble” in her arms, so she could see him. There he was, her first born son, with a tattered shock of black hair, perfect tiny fingers and toes.

“Another fine grandson for the General,” said the midwife. “Just as fine, if not finer, than Mrs. Carter’s. Aren’t you pleased, Colonel?”

Alexander had just come through the door and was even now looking over the midwife’s shoulder.

“I made a boy, just as you wanted.” Betsy spoke as Hamilton, his face shining, bent down to see.

“Of course you did,” said Mrs. Schuyler. “She has always been my most obedient child, Colonel.”

Formally, Alexander lifted his Betsy’s hand and kissed it. Then, unable to stop there, he leaned to press a kiss against her sweaty forehead..."

~~Juliet Waldron

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

"...the groveling condition of a Clerk..."

The work-a-day trials of a teen-age clerk

“You goddamned puffed-up little nobody!” The planter had Alex by the shirt.

Ordinarily, he would have defended himself, but this was an important customer, so, instead, he only twisted and ducked. The ham fist struck his back, almost knocking the breath out of him as he wrenched free.

“I’ll teach you to talk back!”

It had not been because of anything, really, but simply because the fellow was in a foul mood. He’d entered the store in a rage and passed it along in the casual fashion a man might kick a cur in the street. Mr. Cruger watched from the back, but made no move to interfere.

The customer is always right. Especially this son-of-a bitch! And Cruger’s absolute indifference to right or wrong, is the best the filthy snake can do….

At quitting time, Alexander was off down the beach. He hated his life and everyone in it.

“God help me, or even the Devil.” He spoke aloud, feeling supremely daring. “When the next war comes, I shall jump ship and run straight to it.”

There was a special place to which Alexander went whenever he wanted to be alone. It was a rough trek through a forbidding grove of twisted manchineel and then up a brush-covered headland. After a slow ledge-to-ledge descent down the cliff face, he’d reach an outcrop a mere twenty feet above high tide, but hidden from anyone above.
Today, all he wanted was to stretch out, to listen to the boom of the waves. He anticipated a rare moment of fantasy, one that involved sailing away, maybe to some distant war, or maybe to America to see his friend Ned Stevens...

~~ Juliet V. Waldron
Historical novels with grit and passion
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http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)