Electric Press magazine: February edition, now out.

The Electric Press Literary Insights magazine: February 2020 edition is now available online. Simply follow this link. 

https://issuu.com/electricpress/docs/epfebruary20

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What are Electric Eclectic ‘Pocketbooks’?

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.

Pocketshelf

One Winter Morning.

Flash fiction from Electric Eclectic author, C.A. Keith

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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

 

Living on an Island

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.

I couldn’t resist taking a look inside and wasn’t disappointed. There were oak beams, white washed walls, stone floors ,and wooden furniture. It was like walking back in time. Charming in every sense of the word. Follow the link above to learn more about it.

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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.

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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.

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Find out more about Karen J Mossman and her books on the Electric Eclectic website.

FREE books…

Did you know…

We have three Electric Eclectic anthologies you can read FREE of charge.

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We published this trio of ebooks to give you an opportunity to read some of our authors works, so you can get to know their writing style and narrative voice, before committing to buy their books.

We think that’s pretty fair.

The books are, Moth Balls which has five stories, Butterfly Bats with six, and Mayfly Recitals, with a massive twelve free reads.

You can find these books in the UK at Amazon UK 

In the USA, and other countries serviced by Amazon.com

The following are direct links for downloading, but these only work with Amazon UK. Use the links above for any other country

Moth Balls.                 Mayfly Recitals,               Butterfly Bats,  

Whichever links you use, you will get ebooks packed with various genres and styles to enjoy and all for FREE.

We are so good to you!

Please leave a review on Amazon for us and to help others to choose the books they would really like to read.

Thank You.

You can find ALL our Electric Eclectic books, ebooks, Paperbacks and Pocketbooks,  right HERE, wherever you are in the world.

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Rescue Me

This is a great true tale from Rick Stepp-Bolling, one of our fantastic Electric Eclectic 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

PennynRick

Rescue Me

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.

CRISIS REACH 95-02 NORTHERN PIKE

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?


 You can check out Electric Eclectic books HERE

and find out more about Rick, HERE

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The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold

The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is a collection of short stories. This is the first story in the book. We hope your enjoy it.

Steps of a Killer

Hampstead Heath is beautiful in the early morning sunlight. The dew sparkled on the grass giving it a magical appeal. Where I stood, the ground was elevated and I could see the city. People were waking or heading off to work. It was just a normal day for them.
For a moment, I looked over at the trees and breathed deeply. I could feel her. Exhaling, I took another breath and my feet moved in her footsteps. Briefly, my eyes closed as I advanced. This was where she was, where she walked, stumbled, and broke into a run. Her feet became mine as I moved with her towards the trees.
I entered a pathway surrounded by trees and knew beyond a doubt this is where she was killed.
My heart thumped. My breath was jagged and the adrenaline surged through my veins as I entered a pathway surrounded by trees. Beyond a doubt I knew this was where she was killed.
A sob escaped me as I became her. I could him following behind. Moving quickly, I stumbled. My head whipped around and his shadow attacked me. Crying out, I threw my arms forward hoping to knock him away. Instead we rolled together on the ground. Me and a shadow from the past.
We came to a stop having hit an obstacle. A shaft of sunlight hit the trees and a beam of light illuminated his face.
Later, I sat alone in the Dandelion café sipping my drink and staring out of the window. The high street is full of shoppers. They carried their bulging bags and have no idea a killer could be amongst them. He probably looked like an average man on his way to do his business, to the pub for a drink, or to meet friends. They don’t know what he did. Or the life he took for his personal gratification.
My fingers worked the fabric in my hand, a bit of cloth that came from an evidence bag.
I felt the girl in my core. Her hopes and dreams for a future she will never have. Poor girl. Poor, poor, girl.
Coldness enveloped me and for a second everything went silent. I took a sharp intake of breath – he was already here.
My mind returned to the café and the surrounding people come back into focus. “Excuse me? Is anyone using this chair?” My blood ran cold. It was the face of the man I grappled with in the forest.
I shook my head, too stunned to speak. He moved the chair to a different table and joined an older man. They chatted as I stared at his profile.
His forehead jutted out a little and his hair was side parted, his nose sharp and long, and he had a slight double chin.
How can he sit there looking like any normal guy?
Pulling out my phone, I selected Seb’s name and listened to it ring. Seb was my brother and a police detective.
“Cassie,” he answered.
“I’ve got him,” I stated.
“What? Where?”
“Right here. I’m looking at him.” I was staring at the side of his head, unable to take my eyes from him, unable to fathom how normal he looked when he carried such a terrible secret. I suppose I expected him to look the monster he is.
“Where Cassie? Where are you?” Seb asked.
“The Dandelion café,” I told him. A place I could often be found.
“Okay, I’m on my way.” The phone went dead. He had a habit of doing that.
The man’s companion got up, “Thanks for the coffee.” My eyes burned into the side of the killer’s head. He glanced around as he raised the cup to his mouth.
My blood boiled. How dare he just sit there and act normally. He probably thinks s no one knows what he’d done but he was wrong. I knew. I couldn’t help myself as I stood and moved over to his table to sat in the empty seat. He looked surprised amd I didn’t speak. The words were bubbling inside but I couldn’t bring myself to ytter them.
“Can I help you?” he asked sounding like a regular guy. Normal voice open expression, friendly even.
Seb would to be annoyed. He says I’m a loose cannon and unable to contain my feelings. He’s probably right. I shouldn’t be taking risks and often unable to help myself.
“I know,” I said quietly.
He stared at me, then said, “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”
I wanted to throw the fabric I still clutched at him, asking if he remembered it. Because of where it came from, I couldn’t.
“Yes, you do.” I spoke calmly. I can see it in your eyes.”
He continued to stare, and I could hear the sound of his breath. “I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“No, I haven’t. I know who you are, or rather what you are.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed. “And what’s that?”
I looked around. “Do you want me to say it out loud?”
He leaned forward and I flinched as my back pressed into the chair. In a whisper, he said, “You’re crazy, I don’t know you.”
As his breath washed over me, I suddenly realised she wasn’t the first one he’d killed.
The shock of his evil breath made me rise to my feet. I knewe then I shouldn’t confronted him. He stood up too, scraping his chair on the floor.
Glancing out of the window I urged Seb to hurry. The man gave me a hard stare and strode out the door.
Damn! I rushed after him while putting the phone to my ear pressing redial.
Seb’s voice came through and I heard he was on hands-free. His blues and twos echoed down the phone and in the distance, as he approached.
“Can you still see him?” he asked after I explained.
“No, he’s gone. Where are you?”
“Two minutes. I’ll be two minutes. Stay there,” he said urgently before hanging up.
Moving away from the doorway, I looked up and down the high street, stopping sideways to look at the reflections in the shop window hoping to spot him.
I could feel his presence.
Spinning around, he was suddenly right behind me. Something sharp pressed against my skin.
“Keep walking,” he commanded. His touch consumed me. My psyche flooded and I saw everything he had done. How those poor girls suffered! I couldn’t do anything except walk with him. I knew beyond a doubt he would plunge the knife without conscience and disappear into the crowd before I even hit the floor.
Where the hell was Seb?
He walked me into an alleyway, and out of sight behind a large dustbin.
Seb! The sirens approached.
The blade was against my throat and his other hand was pulling at my skirt and underwear.
“How did you know?” His fetid breath covered my face.
“I know everything,” I told him as the blade broke my skin. I panicked.
“You know nothing!” he hissed.
“I know if you don’t let go, that man over there will kill you,” playing my trump card at last.
He laughed, but he still checked. Seb came skidding over, grabbing him by the neck of his jacket. He threw him to the floor. With a knee in his back, Seb cuffed him.
“Are you all right?” he asked staring hard at me.
I pushed my clothes back into position and wiped the trickle of blood from my neck, Seb yelled at me again.
“Yes!” I retorted. He turned away and spoke into his radio.
People gathered, wondering what was going on. They shouted in our direction, aiming their phones. I tried to keep my face hidden. Seb yelled at them to stay back.
The man, the killer, struggled on the ground trying to break loose. Seb had trouble holding on to him. I couldn’t do anything to help as the guy swung round and pulling Seb with him. More sirens got louder as Seb fought to keep a hold on him.
Relief flooded through me as cops spilled into the alleyway. As soon as they relieved Seb of his prisoner, he strode towards me.
“You bloody fool!” he said moving my hand towards my neck and shook his head. “Get that looked at. God, Cass, what the hell were you thinking?”
“I’m sorry,” I said, feeling shaken.
The killer threw us a strange look as they carted him off. My brother, Seb, and I are used to those looks. People often look at us strangely because we look so alike.
“At least you’ve got him,” I said. as we walked back up to the road.
“Have to link him with the crime yet.”
“Him attacking me will give you time to do that.”
“Don’t tell me my job,” he snapped, and I knew I wasn’t off the hook yet. He rarely stayed mad for long.
An ambulance pulled up and I was glad to get inside, away from the curious eyes and stares. It is just a scratch and a plaster was all that was needed.
Seb drove me home and I took the tongue-lashing, as was par for the course. You see, Seb and I are twins, almost identical. Opposite genders can’t be identical and we aren’t, but we’re as much alike that as a brother and sister can be. People always look at us twice.
Seb was a seeker, which means he always finds what he’s looking for, especially when it’s me. He can zone in on where I am, so I never get lost. Seb has no psychic power, but together we work well as a team.
Want to read more?
The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is free to download from most booksellers.
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