The Electric Press Literary Insights magazine: February 2020 edition is now available online. Simply follow this link.
All Things Bookish and more…
The Electric Press Literary Insights magazine: February 2020 edition is now available online. Simply follow this link.
We are often asked ‘what is a pocketbook’, especially when at book signings or book fairs.
Quite simply, Electric Eclectic pocketbooks are paperback books, just made smaller than a standard-sized paperback, this makes them easier to read when ‘on the move’.
Pocketbooks are just 4×6″, so are easily slipped into a handbag, rucksack, or indeed, as the name suggests, a pocket, (even the back pocket of your denim jeans… hence their name).
Apart from that, they are regular paperback books, some are full-length novels, some collections of short stories, others are Novellas. All are excellent reads.
Of course, Electric Eclectic has full-size paperbacks and eBook/Kindle books too.
Below is a selection of our current pocketbooks, visit @open24, our very own Amazon store where you can see all our books in one place.
The doughnuts sizzled as Kate lowered them into the fryer. This was her favourite time of the day. The quiet time before the door sprung open and those two angelic faces stared in at her.
She’d arose long before the sun peeked its head over the horizon. Cheery happy kids would bolt downstairs as soon as they smelled frying and heard the sizzling and crackling sound as Kate place the gooey dough balls into the fryer.
Today she would attempt Boston Cream with a chocolate topping. She spoilt her kids. They got tasty fresh doughnuts in their lunchboxes and another for breakfast before they made their way to school.
It wasn’t the healthiest of meals but money was tight and doughnuts were very filling. Kate also packed their lunch boxes with fresh veg and fruits to offset the sugary fattening dessert. A sort of culinary Ying and Yang. It might not work, but it made her feel a better parent.
The girls’ daddy left home a couple of years ago. It seemed he found more thrills with his young secretary than he did with his family. They flew away to get married on some sandy beach in the south. Now, with his two new kids, he didn’t attempt to see the angelic faces he left behind.
Kate picked up the thick syringe and squeezed the cream into the cooled doughnuts. Then she piped thick gobs of chocolate across the top of each one.
Two sweet faces stood at the counter. She hadn’t noticed them coming into the kitchen, their chins resting on the hard countertop, eyes wide, and smiling from ear to ear.
“Love you Mama,” the youngest piped up.
Kate went to them and drew them close. She breathed in the love she held for her darling girls.
“Love you forever and ever sweet peas, never forget that.”
The door burst open and smashed against the counter.
Bang, bang, bang.
They never had a chance to run or hide. Their dead bodies simply slumped to the floor like a pack of rag dolls.
It was done.
The masked man scurried back through the doorway, disappearing into the dullness of the early winter’s morning.
Find C A Keith’s books on Amazon, HERE
Karen J Mossman lives on an island in the UK. Anglesey is just off the north Wales coast. She spent all of her life living in a big city where it was always busy and full of traffic. Moving to an island meant she not only lived in the countryside but also near many beaches. Life became very different, a whole new world in many ways.
On her blog, she writes about living on an island and this is one of the post, with a little more information for this blog. This post was originally shared in 2016, a few months after moving there.
On Mondays, we, that being hubby and me, try to get out and explore our new island home.
This week we went out to lunch at Red Wharf Bay, as I’d seen The Ship Inn advertised on Social Media, so we thought we would visit.
It’s an historical pub going back to 18th century. We sat outside because it was a beautiful day, not sunny, but a with a warm breeze and light coloured clouds. The food was delicious, I had a steak and onion sandwich, with chips and salad. Hubby had the same with a crab sandwich instead.
We then went a walk around, and the tide was in splashing up against the sides. The breeze had picked up and the dog loved the grassy walkways, sniffing her way through and stopping to do what dogs do. The children had gone back to school and the people walking around were our age all older. It just felt right. So peaceful and everyone smiled and acknowledged each other. In Manchester, people generally ignored each other.
Back in the car we drove over to Benllech Bay, and you’ll see from the link how beautiful the sands and beach is. The tide was right in exposing just a small patch of sand and on the promenade it splashed up against the wall. It reminded me of being a child and the excitement of getting wet when the waves spilled over us.
It’s lovely to see the water bouncing about and unfortunately dogs were not allowed on the beach until the end of September, so we watched from the promenade and said we would come back at the end of the month.
We drove over to Moelfre, a little cove with a lifeboat station. It’s winding road to the front was full of cottages and reminded me of the beauty of Cornish coastlines.
We finished off at Cemaes Bay another really pretty harbour. We bought an ice cream and wandered down the front promenade which had been much improved over the years. They even had a bell on the beach and when the tide is in and splashes against it, it rings out. As you can see the sun came out and we walked on the beach finishing our day beautifully.
Find out more about Karen J Mossman and her books on the Electric Eclectic website.
This is a great true tale from Rick Stepp-Bolling, one of our fantastic authors.
This post proves we writers do have other areas of our lives, besides squirrelling ourselves away with a keyboard and acting like unsociable hermits.
This story is full of humour, humility and humanity
I don’t believe anyone ever wished for a duller life. Most of us hope life will dazzle us or at least exceed our expectations, not slow to a crawl in a mundane kind of ennui.
Then there’s me.
As a kid growing up in rural neighborhoods, our family adopted a variety of pets including dogs, cats, birds, and the occasional lizard. Perhaps our most exotic animal was Baron, our Great Dane, who I would ride like a small horse when I was three; and the day our resident cat had kittens in our garage, we thrilled at the sight of a mother giving birth to her young.
None of that prepared me for married life, however.
My wife’s childhood was filled with a similar assortment of pets, although beyond the dogs and cats her family’s animals also included monkeys, coatimundis, skunks, snakes, alligators and, I’m sure if they hadn’t become extinct, a unicorn or two.
So, it came as no surprise when I first started dating my wife-to-be, she lived in a trailer with her black lab, Rose and a chicken named Martha who slept on the back of her bed. Outside, her Appaloosa, Chelsea, roamed the small enclosed backyard.
This was just the beginning.
As I write these words today, our house and backyard are home to five dogs, two cats, three horses, two desert tortoises, two chickens, three fish, two recovering India Star turtles, one gecko, one bearded dragon, one blue tree monitor, over forty snakes, largely green tree and ball pythons, a rescue pig, and a mother-in-law.
This story is about Penny, the rescue pig, or to be more exact, the rescue Russian Boar.
Penny, short for Penelope, arrived at our doorstep early in February of 2010. Scott, a friend of ours from karate classes, was hunting wild boars in an area north of L.A. when he happened upon a dead sow, recently killed by a mountain lion.
Glancing around, he noticed a small tail wiggling from a rabbit hole. Upon closer inspection, the tail belonged to a day-old piglet who managed to save her life, much like Alice, down the rabbit hole.
After digging her out, Scott freed the piglet and told her to be on her way. Pigs being notoriously stubborn, flatly refused and followed Scott back to his truck. The sight of a tiny piglet following lamb-like the gun-toting hunter back to a truck usually reserved for carcasses held a certain ironic flare.
However, Scott had the last laugh.
Who better to care for a day-old piglet than the modern-day Noah family of Rick and Francie?
Upon Penny’s arrival, Francie broke out the baby bottle and proceeded to hand feed the piglet. After a few weeks, Penny fed herself but slept on the couch at night with my wife.
Growing up in a household already dominated by dogs, it wasn’t long before Penny thought of herself as canine rather than porcine; she regularly romped around the backyard, used the dog door, and ate and slept with the other dogs. Penny, like the proverbial lamb, followed Francie to school, where she played with the children and became the centre of reading and writing activities.
The trouble with pigs, of course, is they rarely stay their cute and cuddly size for long. Soon Penny had grown too big for sleeping on the couch, traipsing through the house and even using the dog door. Our dogs, and particularly our wolf hybrid, began to see Penny as something other than another playmate. She smelled differently, she barked strangely, and she ate constantly.
Probably the last straw, as far as I was concerned, occurred just after Memorial Day.
Like most holidays, stores around the country in a time-honoured tradition held huge liquor sales. As I have always had a weakness for sales, I thought it was time to stock up on my Bud Lite supply. I purchased an eighteen pack and stored it upstairs. Normally, the beer would have made it directly to the refrigerator, but the dogs begged us to take them for a walk and they also demanded that Penny be left at home this time.
Penny frequently walked with us and startled more than a few people and horses. A typical response went something like this, “Oh what a cute little PIG!!!”
Penny also became more and more distracted on her walks as she spent longer breaks rooting through grass lawns and wallowing in mud puddles. So it was we left Penny home by herself that day.
When we returned, the house smelled slightly pungent, although I must say not totally unpleasant. The closer I came to my bedroom upstairs, the stronger the aroma became. By mistake, the bedroom door had been left open, and there on the rug lay the empty remains of eighteen Bud Lite cans. Penny had torn open the box, punctured each can and guzzled the contents. Now she lay on the couch, snoring like a sotted pig.
My wife was much more philosophical about the event. “At least now you’ll have someone to drink with,” she said.
While this may have been the last straw for me, for Francie, Penny was still welcome to roam the living room, kitchen and downstairs area slipping on the Pergo floors like a girl trying out high heels for the first time.
Only after Penny destroyed much of the kitchen in search of tasty morsels and, cast a hungry eye on the snake habitats, did Francie relent and banish Penny to an outside enclosure.
Another Penny story was recently added to our growing list of “she did what?”
As I was leaving our house early one Wednesday, I noticed five police vans and several medical units exiting the freeway. I thought a drug raid may well be in progress.
When I returned home from golf, I told Francie about the sighting. She said, “Funny you should say that,” and I knew a story was unfolding.
Francie fed the dogs and let Penny roam the backyard. It was still dark out when she heard someone scraping the gate open. She rushed outside thinking Penny had pushed the gate open and was on her way to visit our neighbors.
Instead, she ran into two SWAT team policemen clothed in bulletproof vests and carrying rifles as they walked into our backyard. The first thing she thought to do was yell, “Pig!” I’m not sure that phrase was still a demeaning one for police officers, but the first policeman was almost next to Penny when she turned and saw the man coming at her.
She gave him her best snort and charged.
The two policemen made a hasty retreat out the gate as my wife assured them she would put Penny away. Later she learned they were a backup team in case our neighbor, who was receiving an arrest warrant, decided to jump the wall and make a run for it.
He said he dealt with dogs, goats, and horses, but never a 600-pound pig before. “You sure won’t get many people trying to break into your house,” he added.
Today, Penny sleeps well, eats well, and plays hard. She wallows in her specially designed mud hole, waits impatiently for the apple tree to bear fruit, and loves to have her belly rubbed.
After a few bites from her teething stage, our friends watch Penny from afar, and only Francie and I and a few dogs feel comfortable feeding and playing with our little sumo.
Whatever the future holds for Penny, we know she has enriched our lives with her will to live, her fierce loyalty, and her undying love.
Who could ask for a better teacher of life?
So, it is the question I shall answer here.
Technically, Electric Eclectic is a decentralised international co-operative alliance, managed by members in various countries around the globe, forming a strong branded synergy of collaborative association specialising in authorship, book branding, publishing, marketing and promotions.
Okay, I hear you say, but what does that all mean?
The best way for me to answer that question is to give a little history of Electric Eclectic.
A few years ago, I was browsing the net, looking for some books to read.
A simple task.
Well, no, not really. As I searched I quickly realised this was a bit of a minefield.
Not only is there a plethora of titles on major bookstores websites, but there are also books on offer, or discounted, or offering gifts, or vouchers and even a vast number available for free.
Now, while there is such an overabundance of free and heavily discounted books, why on earth would any sane minded individual want, or even consider buying a book?
Clearly, this trend of giveaways is damaging the publishing world as deforestation is killing our planet. Readers DO NOT follow reading a free book buy purchasing the authors’ other titles, they simply move onto another free book, then the next and the next and the next. (See, FREE is killing indie)
Not only do the industries own figures show only 2% of free books are ever read, but they also show 97% of those who collect free books do not make any other literary purchases.
This got me wondering.
Why, if the book is well written and entertaining, should authors be offering their books at a vastly discounted price anyway, or even trying to bribe someone by giving away goods and vouchers?
After all, these are books which they have invested a great deal of time, lest to say money, in writing and publishing. Are their efforts not worth a few pounds or do these authors know their work is of such poor quality their book would not stand up to the competition without some form of enticement to gain a sale?
I was at a craft fair not so long ago and small handmade trinkets, bracelets, necklaces and such were on sale at what I thought were very high prices, as were the greeting cards and other craft paraphernalia.
After talking with a few of the stallholders I understood the investment of money and effort they spent in producing each individual item. I then realised that £15.00 (GBP) for a handcrafter sterling silver beaded necklace (on leather) with polished semi-precious stone was indeed a very reasonable asking price.
The cost of this necklace was bought further into perspective when I realised I spent £3.50 on a paper cup half-filled with lukewarm weak coffee, a price I accepted without flinching.
I know which was the better value.
My thoughts are, if you have something of quality, especially something created with the uniqueness of original thought and conception, then you have something which, by its very nature, holds an intrinsic value which should never be diminished.
My original concept was a simple but effective one.
I knew most, if not all authors, have a vast accumulation of unused stories, part works, short unpublished tales and so forth. Mostly, these sit in a desk drawer or on a computer file gathering the dust while waiting patiently for the ‘I’ll finish that one-day’ promise to be realised.
I thought, why not encourage my fellow authors to dust off these neglected, forgotten, orphaned stories and publish them as short works, as eBook Novelettes to introduce readers to their writing style.
As I am a firm believer people do not value-free, as it holds no value whatsoever, my idea was to price these Novelettes at a simple 1.00 price, be it Pounds, Dollars or Euros.
By giving each of these books a light edit, a uniform format, and a consistent cover design we were able to create a brand image, bolstered by the edition of the Electric Eclectic logo.
These books, our Electric Eclectic Novelettes, would give readers a low-cost opportunity to sample the works of all our Electric Eclectic authors and, once they found the authors whose writing style and narration they enjoyed, they could then purchase the author’s main books knowing they were getting a quality read they would thoroughly enjoy and not be taking a chance on an ‘unknown’ writer.
For our Electric Eclectic authors, they would earn a small royalty on the sale of a story which would, in all probability, still be languishing in a dead file and have the chance of gaining new fans and followers.
I do not know of any other marketing programme which pays an author to promote their own books.
By having all our author’s books sharing a common brand, Electric Eclectic, gave us all a far higher prominence in bookstores, such as Amazon and, of course whenever any of our books were promoted the brand was promoted too.
This way, each author is also helping their fellow Electric Eclectic authors showcase their works along with their own.
Since then Electric Eclectic has somewhat evolved.
We now offer far more than just our original Kindle Novelettes, although they are still a major part of our library. Electric Eclectic now have paperbacks (novels and short story collections) and are currently introducing a smaller version paperback, called pocketbooks; these are still complete, whole books, but are printed in a smaller size to make them easier for carrying, whether commuting or travelling on vacation.
All this is a boon for readers of Electric Eclectic books, they now have a much wider choice of formats in which to enjoy our author’s books and, as we are frequently introducing new authors to the Electric Eclectic fold, there are new books and stories to discover.
Electric Eclectic has grown far beyond its original concept and is firmly focused on developing the emerging new independent authored publishing market, a ground shift environment for future generations of writers.
Electric Eclectic boasts its own Amazon store, a YouTube channel, online magazines and catalogues, marketing services, Author Assist services, blogging networks and an influential social media presence across and beyond the major platforms, using core and micro-social influencers to reach both broad and niche market demographic targets.
Visit and browse, https://electriceclecticsblog.wordpress.com/
Become an Electric Eclectic author.
Each year Electric Eclectic welcomes a small number of authors to our ranks. This year is no different.
To join us, email: EEbookbranding@mail.com
I hope the above answers your question about Electric Eclectic, of course, should you have more questions or need clarification about anything Electric Eclectic, please contact us.
Founder, Electric Eclectic.
Hands behind her back, the zipper hisses as a snake disturbed. Black gown slithering to the floor; a crumpled heap of diamantes and silk.
No more the filaments of fabric obscuring flesh blemished from the harshness of years.
Sitting at her dresser she stares into the mirror.
Green flecked eyes reflecting paradoxical enigmas; Alice looking through the glass.
A thousand personas. Fractured self-refracted by perception. Splintered shards of being, gathered within feeble parchment.
Each is distinct; each is separate yet conjoined.
She wipes away the waxen red of her lips. Fullness fading; now smudges of sallow cracked pink, pastel shadows echo a thousand falsehoods spoken.
Fake eyelashes flutter, black spiders spiralling earthwards. Dead expectations. Used. Discarded.
Cotton wool pads smear shimmering sparkles of promises lost away from tired eyes.
Colours of dreams imagined, merge into streaks of disarray as hope and prospect mingle, as indistinct as soft falsehoods once whispered with bated breath.
Cleanser washes the city dirt, the dry cream and cracking powder from skin too long expose to fret and frown. Crow’s feet creep, long tendrils reaching out towards throbbing temples of greying hair.
Solitaire earrings, diamonds of love, earlier given, long past. Another life, still worn in optimistic anticipation that futures destiny may yet smile once more, gently set upon the shelf, a symbol of remembrance and hope alike.
Both to be cherished.
Now naked faced, laid bare, open, soul exposed. Shadows of age, ravages of time, wisps of days past disclosed. The harsh light revealing honesty.
Nothing now hidden, concealed, camouflaged.
Life exposed, fortitude eternal.
© Paul White 2015
Find Paul’s Electric Eclectic books on @open24 by Amazon
Visit Electric Eclectic’s blog, https://electriceclecticsblog.wordpress.com/
Browse Paul’s website, https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white
Often people ask how writers find the ideas for stories.
The answer is not a difficult one; it only takes a few overheard words from a conversation, a comment, an image on the news, hearing a song’s lyric or even watching the antics of people interacting, say with children, or arguing; perhaps meeting, or saying goodbye, at a railway station or airport.
Such moments stimulate the writer, wake up their ‘muse’, cause a string of possibilities run amok, often uncontrollably, through the author’s mind. Thus, sowing of the seeds of literary creativity.
This morning, I returned to the river to take further photographs. This time from the opposite side of the bridge from where I took the shots from two days ago. A short walk from where I parked my car, I came across a child’s rocking horse washed onto the shore.
This bright blue plastic object looked incongruous in such stark, open, natural surroundings. To me, the rocking horse appeared sad and forlorn, rather than bright and joyful as I imagined it should. I could not help myself but capture an image or two of the toy.
As I took the pictures my mind began racing, conjuring up a thousand and one possibilities of why, where and how the horse became washed up here. About whom owned it, the family, the child, the situation which led to the toy being lost or disposed of. Was it to hide a secret, as a punishment, cover up a crime, or lost in a storm, washed overboard from a family sailing trip that turned to disaster?
I intend to write my story of this little blue rocking horse at some point in the future.
Maybe you will take up my challenge and write your own story?
Then, please share it with us so we can post it on the Electric Eclectic blog? https://electriceclecticsblog.wordpress.com/
Email your ‘Blue Rocking Horse story’ to, TheElectricpress@mail.com
Check out ‘Tales of Crime and Violence’, a three-volume collection of short stories by Paul White.
Available as paperbacks or Electric Eclectic eBooks/Kindle on Amazon and all good online bookstores
I‘m not a fan of horror or paranormal. I get spooked easily and have a very active imagination. As I teenager I would be plagued by nightmares for weeks. As I grew up I knew to stay away from anything like that. Recently, I was watching Gogglebox, a TV programme that features people watching television, their reactions and discussions. It showed them watching The Haunting of Hill House. It was terrifying and I only saw bits of it!
There are lots of scary and horror books on the market, and plenty of people who love a good horror film. Why would a perfectly sensible and normal human being enjoy being scared? If that’s you, perhaps you could comment below and tell me what it does for you. I would really like to know!
I once wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street and it was about a girl dealing with her mum who suffers from dementia. It’s heart-breaking seeing someone you love forgetting things, and not recognising you.
My Nana showed signs of it for years before we recognised what was happening. We thought she was just a bit batty. Because Nana was always a little eccentric, forever the joker, and kept us entertained with her antics. I remember the turning point when we finally knew something had changed. She was getting out of the car one day, and struggled, stumbling a little. We laughed, as we normally did, and instead of making a joke about it, she asked if we were laughing at her.
My Auntie Mavis took her in when she could no longer care for herself. She looked after her for years and it became more and more difficult. Being a carer is very much in the media spotlight now but back in the eighties, we didn’t understand what it really meant and all that Mavis did. Occasionally stories came back through mum after her phone calls to her sister. Nana had blurted out swear words or refused to get dressed. It was a very difficult time. Eventually Mavis had no choice but to let her go into hospital and by this time Nana had stopped talking altogether.
My sister and I went to visit. She was no longer the Nana we knew. She was just a shell of a person. She had no idea who we were, and I don’t think she knew where she was either. It was the strangest thing because although she looked like Nana, she had the same face and body, the Nana who was funny, who never stopped talking, and yet the woman in front of us stared at us with blank eyes. It was heart-breaking, it really was.
I wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street, dementia was the main topic. Only, something happened as I was writing, my pen took on a life of its own. It was supposed to tell the story of Jen, who felt tremendous guilt having to put her mum in a home. Instead it introduced the ghosts of all the people who had lived in the family home before them. It brought in a twin twin sister with problems of her own. Their mum could never accept that her daughter saw things and was was the undoing of her.
This turned out to be the first of paranormal stories that I suddenly found I loved writing.
It features in The Magic of Stories is a collection of short stories, articles, poetry, flash fiction, and shorts.
I found my pen wandered in all sorts of directions as I wrote, and this book turned into an eclectic collection of different genres. Like Embers of Webster Street, many of the stories were taken from real life situations.
You know the saying you shouldn’t tell a writer your secrets? Well, I used something my sister told me. When I showed it her she loved it saying she hadn’t expected me to turn a serious situation into something very humorous story!
One more thing, before I sign off. There is a another short story book offered for free by author Karina Kantas, should you choose to buy this book. You will find the details in the introduction. Two for the price of one!