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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bella's Point Challenge

To enter the blog hop challenge by Elizabeth Seckman – here are the guidelines……..
  1. write something readers want to read. No word limit, no guidelines. Your only prompt is: The year was 1865…. (feel free to ignore the prompt, creative genius never bound by rules or prompts)
  2. Display the Bella’s Point Hop Badge (which is lovely and made by the amazing Carrie Butler of Forward Authority)
  3. Add the tour blurb and links to your post (I will email to you when you sign up)
  4. Post between July 15th and July 31st. Notify Elizabeth via email (eseckman@ymail.com) when post is live so she can inform the readers.

And here's my entry. You'll notice I had a lot of fun with this . . . too much fun.

End of Civil War. . .Lincoln assassinated. . .great robbery of Austin, Texas. . .blahblah. . .blahblah. . .blahblah. I slammed my history book shut and let my head fall down on it with a thud. Ouch! Dang, history books are hard!
Rubbing the now sore spot in the middle of my forehead—seriously, I’d die if there was a bruise there the next morning—I trudged over to my beanbag, plopped down and grabbed the new book Mom had bought for herself, BELLA’S POINT.  Mom would kill me for snatching it, but it supposedly took place somewhere around 1865, so it qualified as study material. Okay, maybe that wasn’t real history, but hey, I’d squeeze some sort of answers out of it for the next day’s test. It wasn’t like our teacher, Doc, paid attention to anything we wrote anyway.
I opened the book when someone knocked on my door. My dumb brother probably.
“Margret! Come quick!” called a girl. Okay, that was not my brother’s voice, but he was still behind it planning something. He always was. Usually, I didn’t put up with his stupid games, but anything was more exciting than the end of the Civil War and 1865.
I threw the door open. “Leave me—“
The rest stuck in my throat. In front of me stood a little girl about seven or eight years old. And she was SO cute! She wore a cream colored, poofy dress, and her hair had these super-awesome tight curls. She was probably a kid from one of my mother’s friends. I didn’t know Mom was having anyone over tonight.
“And who are you, Sweetie?”
“Ellen, your sister.” The girl’s eyebrows twitched until they settled into a scowl.
How adorable! She wanted to play house with me. I threw a glance back at the history book and decided the choice was a no-brainer. Gosh, she was cute! “Call me Rett,” I offered and poked at one of her curls. It even bounced!
She smiled, and then grabbed my hand and tugged me forward. “You must hurry! He’s arrived!”
“Okay. Okay.” Talk about a ball of energy!
I let her drag me down the hall to the stairs. At first, I jogged behind her, but as my steps slowed she really did have to tug me along. But I couldn’t help it. I mean, something was wrong with our house. It looked almost the same, but somehow more antique. The green wallpaper with red roses now had leaves on it too. And there was a new table along the wall next to Mom and Dad’s room with an old fashioned oil lamp on it. The wooden floor wasn’t quite right either, not as shiny and smooth as it should be. Mom said she wanted to do some redecorating—something about bringing back the old glance of our house. It was over 150 years old. Guess, Mom did it while I was at school. She had to hate my guts for not noticing earlier.
At the stairs, the little girl smiled at me before continuing down, and I smiled back . . . at least, until we got to the bottom of the stairs. There my smile died.
What had happened to our house? The couch, Dad’s favorite chair, the TV, the entire living room had been changed, and not for the better either. Talk about an antique store! There was a red funky, couch with wooden legs, and a pair of real hard looking chair with seats that looked like they’d been hand-stitched. Yuck! Even Mom’s taste wasn’t that bad. It was as if I’d stepped into some U.S. history museum.
“Mom?” I called, turning toward a door on the far end of the living room, which should lead to the kitchen.
“Miss Margret?”
Switching directions quick, I spun on my heel the other way. As I did so, a huge skirt floated up around me. I stared down to find myself in one of those mushroomy, silky dresses, which the women pictured in our history books supposedly used to wear around the 1860s. “What in the heck?” I reached up, rubbing my hands over my shoulders, neck and face. Everything was gone—my jeans, my favorite T-shirt, even the gauges in my ears. My fingers dug into the huge clump of hair pinned up to the back of my head, and found curls. OMG—I spent my whole last allowance getting my hair straightened, and now, I was a blasted princess doll!
The guy in front of me faked a cough and pulled into a slight bow. I didn’t see much besides the top of head and his sandy-brown hair, but he was dressed pretty snazzy (in an old-fashioned way). He wore a grey suit with long tails and held a hat in his hand. I’d only seen clothes like that in a really old family painting Grandma once showed me—I’m talking one from the 1800’s. Super old.
“May we be going?” he asked, chuckling slightly.
“Going?” I wasn’t going anywhere, not until I figured out what in the world was happening.
I tried to jerk my hand away from the little girl, but at the same time, she tugged down on it hard, pulling me down so she could whisper into my ear.
“He is handsome,” she giggled. “I want a beau like him someday.”
 “Sure, great.” I nodded quickly. Anything to make her let go of me.
As soon as her little clamps released, I stepped backwards toward the stairs. This was all going too fast—whatever it was. It was like I was stuck in some odd, historic dream. I pinched myself. Ouch! It hurt. It wasn’t supposed to hurt in dreams! I grabbed the banister next to me as the world started to spin. This was all a trip, a really weird brain trip. I had to be asleep, dreaming. It was the only explanation.
A hand pressed against my back, and instantly, the world jerked back into stability. Well, the dizzy trash stopped, but the historic thingy was still running full tilt.
“What’s going on? Where am I?” Dream--duh! I reminded myself.
A hand gripped my upper arm, and I was pulled against a warm chest. Reality slapped hard as I realized I was now in Mr. Well-Dressed-History’s arms. “Good evening, Rett.” His words were warm and familiar—comforting and addictive.
"Whoa! Do I know you?" I was sure I should, although I didn't know why. Somehow he seemed to fit into my life perfectly as if he'd always been there and always would be.
"Of course." His breath heated my skin.
Slowly, I turned toward him. His features were sharp as a knife, but there was a softness in his eyes, which let me know I was safe.
I lifted a finger and swiped back a stray hair, which dangled in  eyes. Maybe this was a dream, although something inside told me that it wasn't. Either way, I was never one to turn down an adventure, especially one as surreal as this.

And here's what Elizabeth is celebrating!!!
(gorgeous, isn't it?)

The Blurb:

Isabella Troy Stanley is a divorced, slave freeing pariah surviving in the shattered post Civil War south the only way a fallen debutante knows how. 
She heads to a Yankee prison and buys herself a husband. 

Jack Byron is the former Troy plantation stable boy and object of young Bella's affection. He rejected her then, and he's still not sold on the idea of marrying her now.  

 It’s complicated.

Though to Bella, it’s simple: make Jack love her, marry her, and live happily ever after. The plan seems to work...at least until her secret is revealed.

Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house...though all things in life are negotiable ;)

You can find her here - Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Cover art by Sprinkles on Top Studios.


  1. What a fun hop! And for a great reason, too...congrats to Elizabeth! That cover is so pretty, =3

  2. That was cute. It had a great voice, T. She was snarky.

    1. She's an awful lot like my 15 yr old. daughter ;) Yeah, snarky.

  3. Wonderful Tonja!!! I am so amazed at all the creative twists you guys have been coming up with. Wouldn't it be awesome to sneak a peek into the past like that, for real?

    1. It would be fun! And the entries are amazing. It's fun to see what everyone comes up with--all so different.

  4. Uh oh. We're all in trouble.
    Great entry, Tonja!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! For some reason, I keep thinking of yours and the rabbit during the last days :)

  5. Fun entry. I particularly like: I spent my whole last allowance getting my hair straightened, and now, I was a blasted princess doll!

  6. That was so much fun! Loved the voice.

  7. That's fantastic! I'd definitely read the full book if you ever decided to write it ;) If all your books are like this, then I'm in :D

  8. Awesome. Great take on the challenge. I want to be transported through time and live an adventure! =)

  9. Awesome way to learn history, and love, love, love, your voice.

  10. Hey, great snippet! Only you would start with that prompt and think of time travel. LOVE the last line! Wish a handsome stranger would would take me on an adventure. Sigh . . .

  11. You reminded me that I have to post my entry! Thanks. I loved your return to the Civil War era. Perfect theme for this Hop!

  12. i was analyzing your article and wondered if you had taken into consideration growing an ebook going concerning for this difficulty. Your writing would sell it sudden. you have lots of writing school. Bella Collina news


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