The Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize -Shortlist

The Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize opened for submissions back in February 2020, just before Covid interrupted our lives.

The pandemic delayed the judging by a few weeks but now can now reveal the titles and authors who have made the shortlist.

The following manuscripts are now with Crimson Cloak Publishing of Missouri, USA who will be selecting the winning entry, while Electric Eclectic are choosing the two runners up.

The shortlist is as follows, (in no particular order)

Jenifer Dunkle with ‘Aunt June’

Jonathan Koven with ‘Below Torrential Hill’

Kaare  Troelsen with ‘Equilibrium’

Philip T Stephens with ‘Doublemint Gumshoe’

Stevie Turner with ‘Scam!’

Wesley Britton with ‘The Wayward Missiles – A Beta-Earth Chronicles story’

Wilma Hayes with ‘Power of Women’

Providing we have no further setbacks, lockdowns, etc. Electric Eclectic plans to announce the winners late May 2021.


While you are awaiting the final results, why not grab yourself a copy of an Electric Eclectic book and enjoy the read; you can find Electric Eclectic books by simply entering ‘Electric Eclectic books‘ into your Amazon search bar.

Alternatively go to @Open24, the Amazon store for readers and writers, follow this link, http://bit.ly/EEbooksonOPEN24

Drive by written by Audrina Lane

Electric Eclectic books are pleased to announce with have a new romantic story published December 2020.

Drive by is written by Audrina Lane, author of Bonfire Heart.

Cara had been writing romance since before the break-up of her relationship at college. Although only fairly successful, a chance encounter on her way home from a Book Signing was just what she needed.

Ewan had seen the blond beauty in her red Jaguar F-Type as he drove home from what had turned out to be a career changing day. He could still scarcely believe that he was the Super Bike World Champion but all that fled from his mind when he spotted her. He tried to forget her as they parted ways on the road, but it didn’t work and he had turned around hoping to chase her down. Seeing her parked in a lay-by was just the opportunity he needed to take the plunge.

However, both Cara and Ewan left their lay-by liaison only knowing each other’s first name. The next morning Cara had the advantage of seeing the sports news, but could she take the risk of getting back in touch with him? Would her fears from the past come back to haunt her? Was she just a brief distraction after an adrenaline fuelled day? 

Find out how things play out between Cara and Ewan, with a little help from both of their friends Tania and Grayson.

It is just over 70 pages, so a great quick read and costs just 99p/99c

And if you want to read a review, you will find one on The Magic of Stories

It’s Our Birthday on the 11th November.

by Karen J. Mossman

Three years ago Paul White approached me with an idea. Why not turn our short stories into novellas and publish them as a brand?

My first love was short stories and over the years I had collected hundreds. I was never sure exactly what to do them and it never occurred to me to make ebooks. When Paul explained the concept, I jumped in with both feet, and have never looked back since.

Little by little I am expanding my shorts into a reasonable length, which generally works out at about between 7 and 10K words. Since then, I have published four novels too, and being an Indie author is sometimes lonely as you work on your own trying to sell your books in saturated market.

Now I am not alone, I am part of something; something I have grown passionate about. We are seventeen authors who all published under the Electric Eclectic brand. We work together and enjoy being part of something special.

I’m proud of my books, and proud to belong somewhere. I still have many short stories to publish. In the mean time these are my stories:

A CELEBRATION OF WORDS!

by Karen J. Mossman

Electric Eclectic is celebrating its third birthday this week. So, as an avid reader and book blogger, I have always supported my fellow writers. Plus, I love novellas. I prefer to read them than a full book.

So as a celebration of all those entertaining words, I am not only sharing the books, but sharing the reviews I did on The Magic of Stories.

The first thing that draws me to a book is the cover. So which one stands out for you? Click on it, and it will take you to the review.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Can you hear them?

Can you hear them?

A short story for Halloween 2020 from Paul White

I have a small multi-tool. It is much like a penknife; a type of ‘Swiss Army’ knife for the handyman. I keep it in a small compartment in the top draw.

That compartment is its ‘home’. When it is not in use, it is where it ‘lives’.

Two weeks ago I needed this knife. It was not in the draw. I could not find it.

Today I was fetching another item and the knife was back in the draw, back in its small compartment. Back in its ‘home’.

This is not the first time some of my possessions have gone ‘missing’ or have moved; seemingly at will.

Sometimes things appear in my home. They may be objects I have lost, misplaced and… this is one of the strangest, items I have never purchased, ones I do not own.

Generally, these are small articles, inconsequential stuff, general household or personal belongings. The type of artefacts we all acquire during our lifetime.

I hear you saying ‘so what’? This happens to us all and you would be right, it does.

But, I ask you, how many times have you been certain the item in question was not where you left it?

I do not mean the times you may have been mistaken, but those times when you were totally and absolutely sure; times when you know your certainty is more than mere conviction?

I hear people say ‘we must have ghosts,’ or that ‘Mr Nobody’ must have moved it.

The fact is, when said and done, it is not too far from the truth. Only it was not a ‘Mr Nobody’, or a spectral entity who moved or misplaced your item.

It is something real.

Something which lives amongst us. Something which lives in all our homes, in our workplaces, our schools and colleges. Something which is with us at all times.

Even while we sleep.

Especially while we sleep.

It has been said, the best trick the Devil ever played was to make people believe he does not exist.

This is also true of the Gremlin.

I am not speaking of those cute(ish) furry characters portrayed in the film, but of the true Gremlin. Those tiny flitty little beasts.

The leathery-skinned ones with luminous green eyes and teeth like wild piranha.

I doubt if you have seen one, unless you are particularly susceptible to the spirit world, or you are a young innocent child.

Then you may have heard one scuttling under your bed, or in the closet, or outside your bedroom door in the darkness of the hallway.

You may have, on the odd occasion have glimpsed at one. That fractional shadow, the one which flicked past the corner of your eye yesterday.

The silhouette under the bathroom door, the one you see when you are home alone.

They are the Gremlin.

They watch you.

Constantly.

Hear a bang, the unexplainable crash from the room or upstairs. Like when the jar toppled over in your kitchen, or the picture fell from the wall.

All the tapping noises, those creaks and rasps you hear as you try to fall asleep at night.

What causes them?

Gremlin.

Gremlin love the night.

Gremlin love the darkness.

They are the creatures who moved your lip gloss from your handbag and hid it in the back of the bathroom cabinet.

The Gremlins took your car keys and tossed them into your sneakers, pushed them right down into the toe section so you could not find them.

The older the Gremlin get the more insidious their pranks. Messing with your machines. That is why your dishwasher rattles and your car now pulls to the left.

That accident you passed… it was no accident.

The Gremlin have been playing.

Trains crashes. Ships capsize. Planes disappear.

Gremlin.

They are in the machines. Your TV, your Vacuum cleaner, even the device your reading from now.

They are in the rear of your closet, the dark corner of your garage, and under your bed.

Turn your TV off. Turn the radio off.

Be quiet.

Be still for just a moment.

Listen… that noise… the faint noise…

Hold your breath and listen…Listen hard to the background noise, the constant drone which accompanies our lives.

Strain your ears.

You can hear it now, just there in the background… yes, that. It’s Gremlin going about their work.

Quickly look into the corner now, did you see it? In the shadow by the cabinet, shooting behind the sofa?

No?

Sneaky aren’t they.

Try again… use the corners of your eyes.

They are there. In your lounge, in your bedroom.

In the dryer, the car, your garden shed.

They are in the darkness at the top of the staircase, waiting in the loft, in the eaves of your roof.

They are watching you now, right now. Watching your every move.

Doggedly.

They are waiting for the right time, the right moment.

Trust me, I know.


Would you like to read more short stories with a little ‘spookiness’? Then download your copy of these Electric Eclectic Novella today…

North to Maynard, is a ‘ghost in the machine‘ story with and ending you will not expect. Download today.

Or how about a bit of fun?

Miriam’s Hex is a tale of greed and latent curses. This is light hearted black humor at its best.

Available to download now, or order as a Pocketbook Paperback

The Amulet is a ‘feel good’ tale of ancient magic in the modern world.

Download your copy, click here.

You are welcome to visit my website where you can find all my books, artworks & photography, http://bit.ly/paulswebsite


Pocketbooks

by Karen J Mossman

Meet our creater, Paul White. He is the mastermind behind all things Electric Eclectic.

Sometimes it is hard explaining why we need pocketbooks as not everyone likes to read on Kindle. I’ve always said you can read these books on a journey, or in a waiting room. Except, Paul has said it better than I have. With Christmas on the horizon, these make really good gifts and it is not the giving an ebook as a gift.

Now as many people are in lockdown and seeing each other is difficult. These are ideal to put in the post because they really don’t cost a lot in postage either.

As an extra bonus, Paul and I are in the UK and would be happy to send a signed copy to someone also in the UK on your behalf. All you need to do is contact us here.

Below is the list of Paul’s books as shown in the video, and my pocketbooks. If you go to Amazon and put Electric Eclectic books in the search bar, you will find a few others too.

Answering Questions

by Karen J Mossman

Ever wondered what Electric Eclectic books are? Seen the name around? Well this is an article direct from the horse’s mouth, as they say.

I write for them. I have those stories in my drawer.

Being a busy author/blogger amongst many other things, I often want to read a shorter book, and discovered new authors. I’ve then gone on to read their novels.

Elizabeth Horton Newton is a great example. Her novels are terrific, just what I love reading.

Check out this blog and do subscribe! You’ll love it!

Enter Here

Stories From the Past by Karen Mossman

In November 2019, writer Audrina Lane, and I were at her home in Ross-on -Wye, having attended a book and craft fair that she had organised. As we drank wine and chatted she mentioned that the 8th May 2020 was 75 years since VE day. I hadn’t known, and an idea formed. Why don’t we put together an Electric Eclectic Books anthology? We could ask some of our brand friends if they would be interested. We could theme all our stories to VE Day. It was something we hadn’t done before and none of our Electric Eclectic books are set in the war.

It was an interesting concept and having brought it up, I needed to go away and think about what I could write. What did I know about the war? It was mostly stories from my dad about his father’s days in Europe. He had a lot of interesting tales to tell. So I had a vague idea of weaving them into a story.

It wasn’t until I saw the cover made by Paul White, Electric Eclectic’s founder, that a title came to me. It seemed fitting that my story, The Dome of St Paul’s should be the first one in the book. It brought together the front cover and the stories inside.

My dad had long since passed away but luckily I had written down what he told me. I chose to tell a tale of a boy listening to the stories of his grandfather, which went on to influence his life. Those stories were the ones my own grandfather experienced, and with the help of Wikipedia, I was able to confirm these long ago tales really happened. It was at that point I realised I wanted to dedicate my piece to him, too. To have his name in a book for prosperity, would be a wonderful thing to do. I passed this idea onto the other writers and some were able to dedicate theirs. Audrina Lane’s story is so poignant as it tells of her grandfather’s 99th Squadron, and how she held his hand as he passed away.

The other stories are equally as compelling. Paul White told of Patricia, Annie and Jean. Three girls living through the war and the celebrations when Victory was announced. There is a secret unmentioned, that gives food for thought when days were not so liberal. Paul dedicated his to the white butterflies saying it was remarkable how thousands fluttered around. It was as if the souls of the dead soldiers had come to haunt the spot where so many fell.

Purely by co-incidence, Claire Plaisted story was entitled Butterflies of Dunkirk. It talked about the battle of Dunkirk and the souls of the men and the amazing sight of butterflies rising from the ground.

Rosemary for Remembrance by Julia Blake is a haunting story of two people caught up in the celebrations and falling in love. If you have ever read any of Julia’s novels you’ll know this was always going to be something special.

We were also honoured to have another amazing author, Jane Risdon to contribute We’ll Meet Again. Jane, who wrote Only One Woman about a rock band in the sixties, brought us this thrilling crime story set during the war. It will keep you gripped right until the end!

Finally, Audrina Lane’s 99th Squadron rounds off the book in the most perfect way.

I was thrilled to see my grandfather’s name there in black and white when I held the book in my hand. Cyril Parry of Chester was just one of the thousands who played their part, and lucky enough to come home. It occurred to me that my Uncle Derek, Dad’s brother, would love to see his Dad’s name, too. So I sent him a copy. We ended up having a long conversation about Grandpa and this is one of the most interesting things to come out of it, and I wished I’d have known, as it would have written it into the story.

When Cyril’s regiment, the 8th Army, were dropped off in the water at Saleno beach, in Italy, the American’s dragged him out. He had been in the water for so long he almost died. The first thing they did was to stick a cigarette in mouth and from that day onwards, he was a heavy smoker.

We received this wonderful review on Amazon recently. It’s so nice, I wanted to share it.

Victory75 is available on Amazon as an ebook and a paperback. Please leave us a review as it means so much to the authors to hear what their readers think.

Win a Paperback!

by Audrina Lane

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day on 15th August , I am giving away a copy of the book ‘Victory 75’ for the cost of a £1 raffle ticket.

I decided it would be great to be able to contribute another £75 to the Veterans Fund on this momentous occasion.

To enter click on this link to Facebook and comment the number you’d like. Then just send £1 to my Paypal account.

I’m hoping to do the draw on Monday 17th August in the evening.

VJ Day/Singapore surrender. A family witness.

“Lord Louis Mountbatten delivering a speech from steps of Municipal Building at the conclusion of Japanese surrender ceremonies. L to R, front row: Admiral Sir Arthur J. Power, General Sir William Slim, Mountbatten, Lt. General Raymond A.Wheeler, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park. Singapore.” Sep. 12, 1945

This year, 2020, marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2. Probably the most momentous historical occasion in living memory.

Many military and veterans’ associations and charities planned special events, shows, exhibitions and displays in remembrance of VE-day, D-Day and VJ-Day, which, due to the Coronavirus pandemic necessitated cancellation.

Every day, memories of World War 2, its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs, disappear. Yielding to the inalterable process of ageing, the men and women who fought and won the great conflict are now in their late 80s and 90s. The oldest reported, 110 and 105 respectively.

It is doubtful how many may still be with us to observe future milestone in our history of remembrance. One of the main reasons 2020 was to be a major worldwide commemorative event.

At the time I write this post, both the VE-Day and D-Day dates have passed which is one reason I write of VJ-Day.

Another reason is, my grandfather, Percy Doswell, a Royal Airforce doctor, witnessed the surrender ceremony at the Municipal Building of Singapore, headed by Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia Command, who came to Singapore to receive the formal surrender of the Japanese forces in the region from General Seishirō Itagaki on behalf of General Hisaichi Terauchi.

A photograph montage, near the end of this blog post were taken by my grandfather and have never been published or publicly displayed before.

However, let me start with a simple historical explanation for those who may not know too much regarding the ending of World War 2.

D-Day; the popular name given to the Normandy Landings, on 6 June 1944. (D-Day and H-Hour being common military terms of the period.)

This event marked the allied fightback against the Axis Powers, notably Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. It was the beginning of the end.

VE Day marks the end of World War II in Europe, (Victory in Europe, hence ‘VE’.) May 8th, 1945 the date the Allies celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Reich, formally recognising the end of the Second World War in Europe.

VJ Day signals the end of World War II in its entirety. It is when Japan finally surrendered. (Victory over Japan Day, VJ-Day, also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, or VP-Day.)

In Japan, August 15th is known as the ‘Memorial Day for the end of the war‘. 終戦記念日, Shūsen-kinenbi); the official name for the day, however, is ‘the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace.’ (戦没者を追悼し平和を祈念する日, Senbotsusha o tsuitōshi heiwa o kinensuru hi. (This official name was adopted in 1982 by an ordinance issued by the Japanese government.)

In the UK and the US, VJ Day is celebrated on different dates.

The initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made on 15 August 1945, the date the UK marks as VJ-Day each year.

However, the surrender documents were officially signed on the USS Missouri battleship on 2 September 1945, which is why America celebrates on 2 September.

Foreign minister Shigemitsu, signing Japanese surrender instrument on the battleship USS Missouri

This blog, however, concentrates on the 12 September 1945, the date the surrender instrument was signed at the Singapore Municipal Building, (now known as City Hall), simply because, (as stated above), this was the part of the war’s official ending my grandfather witnessed and of which my family have personal records.

On 12 September 1945, Supreme Allied Commander (Southeast Asia), Lord Louis Mountbatten, accompanied by the Deputy Supreme Commander Raymond Wheeler, was driven to the ceremony by a released prisoner-of-war. As the car drove by the streets, sailors and marines from the East Indies Fleet who lined the streets greeted them.

At the Municipal Building, Mountbatten was received by his Commanders-in-Chief and high-ranking Allied Officers based in Singapore. Also gathered in front of the Municipal Building were four Guards-of-Honour, from the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Indian army, and Australian paratroopers. Mountbatten led an inspection of the officers before proceeding to the chamber where the ceremony was to be held. During the inspection, a fleet band played “Rule Britannia” accompanied by the firing of a seventeen-gun salute by the Royal Artillery.

The Instrument of Surrender was signed by General Itagaki, who signed on behalf of Hisaichi Terauchi, Field Marshall Count, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Japanese Forces, Southern Region.

Terauchi was not able to attend the surrender ceremony as he fell ill due to a stroke. However, he personally surrendered to Mountbatten on 30 November 1945 in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city).

He also surrendered his two swords: a short sword forged in the 16th century and a long sword forged in the 13th century. Mountbatten later presented the short sword to King George VI.

The Japanese signed a total of 11 copies of the Instrument of Surrender; one each for the British, American, Chinese, French, Dutch, Australian, Indian and the Japanese governments; and one each for King George VI, the Supreme Commander, Mountbatten and the South East Asia Command’ records.

The ceremony was also witnessed by 400 spectators (one being my grandfather, Percy Doswell), made up of commanders and officers from the navy, army and air force, as well as senior officers from the Supreme Headquarters of the South East Asia Command, 14 leaders of the Malayan communities, the Sultan of Johore, Sir Ibrahim, and released prisoners-of-war, who were all seated behind the Allied representatives.

In the chamber, flags of Allied forces were hung and at the bases of its pillars as were one officer representing the different fighting forces; the Gurkhas, Sikhs, Australians, British airmen, Dutch, Americans, French (from the battleship Richelieu) and the 5th Indian Division.

The surrender ceremony ended with the hoisting of the Union Jack and the playing of the national anthems of all the Allied nations. The Union Jack used was the same flag which flew over the Government House before the war and which was hidden by a Malayan civil servant, Mervyn Cecil Frank Sheppard in his pillow during his captivity in the Changi Prison during the Japanese Occupation.

The official ceremony was followed by a celebration at the Padang, which included a victory parade.

A British military administration, using surrendered Japanese troops as security forces, was formed to govern the island until March 1946.

At home, in England, Prime Minister Clement Atlee‘s announcement: “The last of our enemies is laid low”.

King George VI addressed the nation from a balcony at Buckingham Palace and streets across the nation were filled with people singing, cheering, dancing in scenes which echoed the declaration of peace in Europe three months earlier.

Bonfires were lit, fireworks sent soaring into the sky and historic buildings floodlit as the whole country celebrated the news that their remaining troops would soon be returning home.

Immediately operations began to repatriate some of the 130,000 Allied prisoners held by Japanese troops in POW camps across the region. The RAF parachuted in 136 teams to negotiate the release of prisoners in Operation Mastiff.

My Grandfather, Percy Doswell. (While stationed in India.)

Sadly, the end of World War 2 did not bring the everlasting peace so many wished for, war and conflict still rage around the world to this day.

I note two books you may wish to read, the first, an anthology from the authors of Electric Eclectic, written to celebrate the 75th VE-Day anniversary, is simply called ‘Victory 75. This can be obtained in Paperback from Amazon, here, or as an eBook/Kindle, here

The second is ‘Life in the War Zone, n award winning collection of short stories classed as fiction, yet are based on true accounts given by those living in areas of conflict around the world. Paperback only. Here.