The Story Behind 99th Squadron by Audrina Lane

When I first thought of the idea for doing an anthology to commemorate VE Day’s 75th Anniversary in 2020, it was the end of 2019. I was with Karen Mossman at the Christmas book and Craft fair I had organised in November and you know what it’s like when two writers get together… ideas burst into life!

At the time, my Grandad (I always called him Gramps) was still alive, still healthy and I guess me and my whole family thought that we would have him in our lives for longer. Secretly willing him to be able to get his telegram from the Queen. Time transpired against us and he went peacefully in his sleep, at home in his 100th year. He was aged 99 and 12 days. I was lucky enough to share 46 years of my life with him and during the time we had possibly only had a few conversations about the war. When I was at secondary school we had to write about what our grandparents had done during the war and my Gramps, being quite a quiet, modest man told me to talk to my Nan. Between these conversations I learnt that they had met in the RAF, my Gramps a mechanic and my Nan helped to taxi the planes onto the runway or back into the hangers. She confessed that she really wanted to be working on the parachutes as they got to keep the spare scraps of silk to turn into underwear.

I vividly remember sitting on the sofa as he got out this battered photo album and started to show my black and white photos of his time in India and then onto the Cocos Islands (also known as the Keeling Islands). It almost looked like they were having a great holiday, sitting on the beach under palm trees or swimming in the Indian Ocean. The full horror was never talked about, especially as he fought on after VE day until VJ Day on August 13th and even then he never returned home for nearly a year as transport was so sporadic and disrupted. It was only recently and watching the Stephen Spielberg series ‘The Pacific’ that I discovered the hardships of those left fighting the Japanese on these small islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Later in life I learnt more through talking with him and my Dad as he said that he was quite often chosen to accompany the RAF Officers to meetings in Great Britain which they would fly to in a small plane. A mechanic would go with them in case there was any difficulties and he remembered an occasion when they were flying in thick fog and the pilot asked if he would help to guide them down by peering through the window. He said he’d been scared that if he made a mistake then the plane would crash. On the other hand, he would have to wait while the meeting took place and spent many hours sitting in the Officer’s mess, even though it was above his rank. I wish now that I had asked him more about this period, what it was like, what it felt like, but I always thought I would have more time for that. I was and still am fascinated by the photo of the falling bomb over fields, so powerful an image as I have only ever lived through peace.

Writing the tribute story in this anthology was my acknowledgement of his sacrifice for our country today, one I knew too little about but which I am so proud. This story was hard to write as I wanted to keep certain things based on fact’s, but I never knew my Gramps’ full story. I found little online but with what I could I was able to add to the few parts of his life that I did know about. In my own words it was a story of true emotion as I let him fly free for the final time, yet still have a part of him close to me in the words of his story – 99th Squadron. A carthartic write in the middle of the turmoil of bereavement and a pandemic that can be likened to a war with an invisible enemy.

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Excerpt

‘We had a radio to keep in touch with the news and as the 8th May, 1945 dawned nothing felt any different until we all heard a shout from the NAAFI and we scrambled from our places on the sand or in the sea to find out what was happening and whether it was good news of bad. It was good, the war was over in Europe with Hitler and Germany surrendering to the Allied forces. But would it be the same for us, forgotten in the Pacific Ocean. We raised a quick glass to our boys on the Western front but then it was back to work. More screws and bolts to check and tighten before the next flight sortie took off. Then it was the long wait until they returned.

I always found that part the hardest, waiting to hear the drone of the Liberator engines returning to base. As chance would have it our bombing raids were very few as the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan and that was the beginning of the end of the Pacific war. I had been in the RAF since the start of the war so I was lucky enough to be one of the first men to start the journey home. I remembered the buzz of the plane engines as we took off, we actually had to stand until the plane was in flight and it was one of the memories I always came back to in the years since. Through the chink in the bomb doors I watched the landing strip fall away before a view of the small island, surrounded by the bright blue of the Pacific ocean. We had been such a small part of a huge operation, with so many lives lost along the way.’

Karina Kantas’s Stone Cold

We recently featured this book as a new release. Since then we have found out a little more about the writing of the story.

The main character is called Billy and she suffers from bullying during her school life. When she leaves education, a counsellor recommends she go on an archaeological dig, and this is when the story really beginnings. Billy digs up more than she bargained for and the bodies begin to pile up. Stone Cold is such riveting read, as the reader (and Billy) tries to work out what is going on.

Bullying is a very emotive subject, and the author used her own experience, to start off the story and it is something that has haunted her since she was young. So, in a way, the book is cathartic, and highlights the issue to show people they are not alone and it can happen to anyone.

Although Stone Cold in a YA book (Young Adult), this refers to the main character’s age, and can be enjoyed by anyone older. It also recently had a new cover, which we think is very striking. You can see it at the bottom, and it was designed by the author herself.

The book is 66 pages long, so ideal to read over a weekend. If you have Prime, the paperback comes free delivery.

“A suspenseful short supernatural story that kept me hooked right up to the last page – I loved the twist at the end,” says one Amazon reviewer.

Reading of Stone Cold

The Book Video

The Reveal

It is always exciting opening a parcel, but to get a copy of your book is extra special. But even more than that, Karina is based in Grease and Amazon won’t ship her copies of her book to check out before it goes on sale. However, recently she has found that Amazon Germany, will. So, when it arrived it was something to celebrate, and here you can see the opening of it on Facebook.

Description

‘Karina draws a thin line between FACT & FICTION.’

If being bullied through every school Billy went to wasn’t enough, being attacked in her own home just pushed her over the edge.

Now severely depressed and suicidal, Billy takes matters into her own hands and sees a counsellor. After just one session, she’s now on her way to Scotland as a volunteer to help the Professor of Edinburgh university, dig and clean up an archaeological site that has just been discovered.

Although she tries to shy away from the others, not wanting them to find a reason to dislike her, she’s soon accepted as one of them. Without realising it’s happening, she becomes closer to Shane, a motocross enthusiast who has taken her under his wing.

However, whilst working at the site, Billy comes across an unusual stone. She takes it to the Professor to be looked at, but he dismisses it as a pendant probably dropped by a hiker and so threads the stone with a black leather cord and gives it back to Billy.

Only the peace they once had, the friendships they had all formed, gets tested as bodies start to pile up.

Other Electric Eclectic Books by Karina Kantas

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Ex Libris Legatum

I first published this post, or a version of it, back in 2015 on my blog, ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind‘. I share it here today because… well, read on, it is self-elucidating.


Ex Libris Legatum

As we age we amass many life skills; some taught to us by teachers, lecturers, professors, our parents and some self-learned by patient practice and repetition.

Many lessons are simply and, often unexpectedly, thrust into our consciousness by the events of living and from life itself, love, passion, loss, hurt, births, pain, grief and death.

At some point, during the period betwixt being born and gasping our last breath, we have also, hopefully, gained some wisdom.

Although, only too often, such wisdom is realised and recognised far too late in life for us to use it in any true and meaningful way for any length of time, such is the cruel nature of growing older.

However, for those who manage to avoid a premature departure from this world, those who never got hit by lightning or run over by that proverbial trolley bus, we become, in some respects, like a soggy sponge.

Yes we droop, our bodies are dragged ‘south’ by the constant pull of gravity and some people uncontrollably leak and dribble I am sure, but the analogy I was trying to draw was one of absorption and storage, the soaking-up and retention of knowledge.

I know, for a fact, I know more than I know I know, even if in that knowledge there is the realisation of knowing that one knows nothing.

With that stated clearly, I will return to the train of thought which initiated my fingers to start tapping away today; that is, within these southerly wiltings, the rather wrinkly, fading bodies which those ‘of a certain age’ seem to acquire, are still our sprightly, lively young minds which have seldom aged beyond fifteen… or maybe sixteen.

Now… these minds of ours need a little control. You see, our minds tend to fool us by considering whatever they think we, (those of us who are over 50 something) still have the physical ability to achieve such things as skateboarding, zip-lining, mountaineering and even imbibing in large quantities of alcoholic beverages and waking in the morning with a clear head… hummph… I wish.

The reason our minds ignore our creaking joints, throbbing tendons and our scar tissues, (which pull as taught as an elastic band every time we move like this… ouch… I should not have done that), is once-upon-a-time we have done all of those things; the once-upon-a-time when our mind was in its infancy and knew little of risk or fear and cared less, our mind (mostly) protected us from going too far; well far too far, too often.

It was during all those life-threatening adventures, (those naughty and dangerous liaisons, the arguments and battles, the fights and flights our immature brains took us on), we collected lots and lots of information, comprehension, realisation, skills and familiarity.

In other words, we gained awareness, understanding and experience, this is how we became educated and intelligent, this is what gives us an erudition of life.

It is what we loosely and casually refer to as wisdom and knowledge.

These are the life skills one collects in the only way possible, by living over a long period, or at least the longest period time allows our weak and feeble bodies to function.

You see, I have out-lived many thousands of others over the years I have been walking upon this earth, (which, thankfully, I can still do… unaided).

I am glad I saw the sunrise this morning, the sad thing is so many did not.

Many of those who never got to see the sunlight today are friends and family, many older than I, many younger. Worst of all, some had only minutes of life with which we could chart their age.

The fact is the number of people who are older than I is quickly diminishing.

Now my mourning’s are frequently for those of my generation, a generation who should use their life skills and knowledge to help and nurture those who are young enough and fortunate enough to have minds which believes it is protected by an invincible body, such as our own did all those years past.

All we have learned of life and living; those births we have witnessed, our loves, both lost and lasting. The passionate moments, some intimate, comprised of twisting limbs and thrusting loins, others of the soul; music, art, theatre, dreams and scenes, vistas of natural beauty. The recollection of our times of loss, of hurt, of feeling pain; both physical and of the heart, not forgetting the grief and deaths.

This is our accumulated wisdom.

This is what we should share, what we should endeavour to teach our children, our children’s children and their children.

‘Ahh’, I hear you say, but children do not listen, do not take heed, so it is best to leave them to find their way.

I do not disagree.

However, (which is a nicer way to say but because there is always a ‘but’.)

If we share our knowledge, leave it somewhere future generations can discover it,  they can learn, or at least be guided by that which we have spent a lifetime accumulating.

This is why I believe I have a duty to leave my thoughts behind when I have gone when I have shuffled from off my mortal coil.

This is why I choose to write.

Woven within the lines of my fiction and on the pages of my fantasies are the truths of life and the facts of living. All the wisdom and knowledge I accrued during my lifetime.

The words within my books and short stories are my bequest to the world, to a future I cannot be a part of, at least in person.

I chose to be a writer, not for monetary wealth or recognition, but to leave a legacy beyond simplistic values.

My wish is my words are read by the generations yet to come.

Maybe then my life will not have been lived in vain.

Ex Libris legatum

© Paul White 2021


You can find my books, including my Electric Eclectic books, on my web page, here.

Some of my Electric Eclectic books

New from Electric Eclectic books for 2021

Deep Waters is the latest Electric Eclectic book, and the first new release of 2021.

For Deep Waters, Paul White has taken a totally different approach from his last offering, the superb, gritty and surprising crime drama, A New Summer Garden‘.

With Deep Waters, we follow the main character, Gary, as he struggles to come to terms with the death of his beloved wife.

After a failed suicide attempt, Gary take himself off to an isolated island, far away from the distractions of daily life and the people he knows, as kind and as helpful as they try to be.

This touching and emotional tale allows privileged insight into Gary’s mind as he stumbles onward through life and unveils an understanding of why he chose this island to execute his last wishes.

Electric Press magazine says,

“Paul White uses his protagonist, Gary, as a device to explore the depths and fragility of the human psyche.

I doubt if you can read this book without shedding a tear, or two… or more.”

Deep Waters in available in both eBook format, and as an Electric Eclectic Pocketbook Paperback

EXCERPT:

“…My first thought, rather obviously, was to name the boat Francis, after my deceased wife, bless her soul.

But then, I felt it was not the right thing to do. Francis had never been here, never been to the island. Neither of us knew this place existed before, before… now, which was part of the reason I came here. To get away from those haunting memories, as callous as it may seem.

You see, that is what life is all about, the memories. The memories of shared experience. The things you do with family, mum, dad, siblings. The adventures with friends and, of course, all the things you do, all the places you go, all the battles you fight and all the little victories you celebrate with your lover, your soulmate, the one you wish to grow old with.

Francis was my soulmate. It was the memories we shared from the life we were building together which haunted me now.

Don’t get me wrong. I did not want to forget. I do not want to erase them from my mind, but neither did I want to be reminded of every detail each time I walked into a room or got onto the boat.

I want to remember Francis when I want to recall her voice or touch or tell a story about her antics. I want to remember her on my terms, not as just some random flashback.

So, no. I could not call the boat Francis…”

Amazon UK  https://amzn.to/2WocchI

Amazon. com USA  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QVL3PYV

For all other orders (eBook only) https://books2read.com/Deep-Waters

Peter Peter comes to Electric Eclectic… but not as you know him…

Peter Peter Pumkin Eater, the new book from Michael J Elliott is now avavilible as an Elerctric Eclectic ebook, ready for you to download now.

BUT WAIT…

Don’t confuse this version of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater with those cosy, friendly children’s tales or light-hearted ghostly fables… Michael J Elliott is, after all, known as ‘The Horror Bloke’ and even though this is not a horror story in the truest of senses, it is one of dastardly murder.

About Michael J Elliott’s Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater…

Peter Gord is a simple man with simple tastes. He loves cooking and baking, window shopping for bakeware and kitchen appliances and checking out the latest cookbooks.

Unemployed Peter enjoys these things in between doing the housework.

Peter’s greatest pleasure is fantasizing about murdering his wife Delores.

Brash, overbearing Delores takes every opportunity to belittle Peter.

In his mind, Peter gets his revenge by slashing her throat or baking ground glass into her cookies.

When Peter finally gets a job with a local charity helping the poor and homeless, his fantasies become darker and more brutal.

Of course, he wouldn’t really act on them.. Would he?

You can download your copy of Peter Peter Pumkin Eater right now by following either of these links, Enjoy.

USA https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Pumpkin-Eater-Michael-Elliott-ebook/dp/B078L783LM#ace-2333354231

UK https://amzn.to/3hIqwKD


Michael J Elliott

Michael J Elliott lives in a bayside suburb in the State of Victoria, Australia.

Michael J Elliott was writing stories since his early schooldays and was described by his school principal as “A new Alfred Hitchcock”. He is known in literary circles as ‘The Horror Bloke’.

Michael continued his love of writing in high school, acted in films for Media Studies, which he went on to study at college, along with writing film scripts and radio adverts.

He is a member of a community social theatre and writes many of the sketches and routines are were performed. His comedy work has appeared on television.

Michael is the commissioned illustrator of the children’s book series, ‘Girlies Adventureswritten by Claire Plaisted.

You can find out more about Michael by taking a look at his YouTube Channel, Dark Realms Diaries, a channel for horror and thriller fans, which features Myths, Legends and trivia from dark side of the world surrounding us.

Don’t forget, grab a copy of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater today and enjoy the tale… if you dare. Just click below.

Do You Know What an Indie Author is?

by Karen J Mossman

I’m sure you do, and we all take it for granted everyone else does too. But this isn’t the case. Not long ago, I gave a talk to a group of ladies and asked them the same question, already knowing what their answer would be. Imagine my surprise when most said they didn’t. I spend my life in two different worlds, the online one, and the actual world.

In the latter, people are impressed you are a writer. They will happily buy a paperback and are interested in what you as an author have to say. In the online world, readers are very different, they download books and not interested in paperbacks. Neither are they impressed by you being a writer because almost everyone is. You are not unique; you are just one of many.

For those reasons, I believe we should treat the two worlds differently.

We need to address the question about Indie authors and once I explained to the group what an Indie author was, the next question became, “How do we find them?”

If you think about it, there is no central point; nothing on Amazon that says this book is published by an independent author, so what would you do?

Well, send them to Amazon and put Electric Eclectic Books in the search bar. It also works on Google and on Goodreads, too.

Launched in November 2017 by author Paul White, the brand has grown and grown. It originally started out as offering novelettes to find your new favourite author but now offers full novels too.

There are a lot of choices with Electric Eclectic and a lot of talented Indie authors just waiting to be discovered!

Paul White also wrote an interesting blog article about Indie and Readers. Head over and give it a read.

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Where did Wally Twitchett come from?

The following article is from a wonderful author whom I am lucky to count amongst my friends.

Julia Blake is warm-hearted, funny and straight-talking; her words dance across the page, keeping you entertainingly captivated from start to finish.

In this guest post for Electric Eclectic, Julia addresses a question many authors are asked.

Author Julia Blake

One of the questions readers ask me the most is, where do you get your ideas from? The honest answer is most of the time I have absolutely no idea. I’ll be going about my daily life and suddenly a scene, or a name, or a scrap of dialogue will float into my brain. For a few days, weeks, months or even years, it will simply sit there, putting out little tendrils of ideas that twist and grow and take root in my imagination, until suddenly, bam, I have a complete plot in my head, fully formed, as if from nowhere.

Occasionally though, I can pinpoint the exact moment when a book was conceived and can say “there, that was when it all started.” It was like that for The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~ my most popular book to date. Over a decade ago I was at a family party. It was one of those parties where ages ranged from babes in arms up to great-grandfathers ensconced in the corner with a glass of sherry. It was getting late, the party was winding down, parents of very young children had taken them home and I was sitting on a chair sharing the dregs of a bottle of wine with my brother. Behind us, a group of elderly gentlemen were reminiscing about the good old days. Only half-listening, my attention was abruptly grabbed when one of them came out with the best line ever. Leaning towards the other gents, he enquired…

“Whatever happened, to old Wally Twitchett?”

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Wally Twitchett? What an amazing name. My imagination started humming. By the time I went to bed that night I could “see” Wally in my mind right down to his patched but clean clothes, his beak of a nose and protruding Adam’s apple. I could imagine him rattling around the village where he lived on his old boneshaker bike, because, of course, he had to live in a village. An old, isolated, insular village in a forgotten corner of Britain. A village that appears suspended in time and peopled with quirky characters all with names as odd and memorable as Wally’s. Maybe, the residents of this village never leave, ever. My, that is interesting. Why do they never leave? Because the village is slap bang next to a big old creepy forest with something evil at its core that’s placed a curse on the village and its people. Ooh, a curse! I love it. What type of curse? And so on…

You can see from this process how one simple name can spark a chain reaction in an author’s brain, where one idea tumbles onto the next and the next and so on until the whole plot lies before you. Rather like those domino effects where one tap sends the first domino falling onto the next and it’s only when the whole lot has fallen the picture is revealed.

I wrote the book.

Over a decade later, I published it.

To my joy, others loved the village and its characters as much as I did, and even though Wally ended up a minor character, he still finally found his voice in my story.

A sweet postscript to this story happened last year. I work part-time for a mattress and bed retailer and was one day putting through an order for a lovely young girl and her husband. They wanted to finance the purchase so in the course of completing the form I asked her for her maiden name. Twitchett, she replied.

I stared at her in disbelief.

“No relation to Wally Twitchett?” I tentatively enquired.

“Oh yes,” she replied, he was my great-uncle.

I couldn’t help the smile of disbelief that spread over my face and explained to her the significance of that name. Intrigued, she ordered the book there and then, wanting to share it with the rest of her family. It is touching to think that even though the real Wally Twitchett died childless many years ago, some small part of him will live on forever in The Forest.

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https://amzn.to/2umhHDc

“I met a man made of leaves, with roots for hair, who looked at me with eyes that burnt like fire.”

An impenetrable forest that denies entry to all but a select few. A strange and isolated village, whose residents never leave. A curse that reappears every generation, leaving death and despair in its wake.

What is lurking at the heart of the Forest?

When the White Hind of legend is seen, the villagers know three of its young people will be left dead, victims of a triangle of love, murder and suicide. This time, Sally, Jack and Reuben have been selected, and it’s their turn to be tormented by long-buried jealousies, aroused by the dark entity existing within its shadowy glades. Only by confronting the Forest’s secrets, can they hope to break the curse and change their destinies – if they have the courage.

Keeper of secrets. Taker of souls. Defender of innocence. Existing on the very edge of believing, there is the Forest.

This is its story


Love reading, find Electric Eclectic books on Amazon’s @open24, the store for bookworms, readers and writers.

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My Poem for Valentine’s Day

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It depends on which cards land, ‘cos the devils in the deal,

The King and Queen of Hearts are what you wish to feel,

So, pick them up, fan them out, take a look and see,

There’s the Jack of Clubs, his grinning back with glee,

And sitting just behind him is the ace of spades, bad luck,

Like the hand life’s dealt you; they don’t give a flying fuck.

 

The King and Queen will only be in your nightly dreams

And the Heart you so desire is much father than it seems.

“I’ll raise you ten,” he says, with an evil sneer,

You want to tear his face off, rip it from ear to ear,

Your watch your last silver dollar as it rattles into the pot

That’s it, your all up, it’s the last you’ve got.

 

Just one slender chance, you willingly embrace

Because nothing can now fill what is an empty space.

And nothing will leave you just about level,

Until you sell your vacant soul to Beelzebub the Devil.

You lose again, just like every fucking day,

So get up from the table, again you walk away.

 

Tomorrow is Valentines, a day of true romance,

When lovers reveal their passions, hoping for a chance.

Where wine and chocolates and bouquets of red flowers bloom,

And a thousand pairs of feet scuttle off to some hotel bedroom.

Where the lost and lonely sit and weep, in darkened empty homes

And stare at the blank glass screens of their silent mobile phones.

 

Where your life’s gambles lay in ruins upon the green baize

And those who’ve lost wander the streets in a lonesome daze.

When love is some distant recall which is hard to find,

Something fleeting, passing, just escaping your mind,

Where the fallen Jack of Hearts lays upon the floor

With one arm raised, finger-pointing, showing you the door.

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© Paul White 2015

Hey, why not check out ‘Teardrops and White Doves’ a collection of my poetry. Available in a fully illustrated, full colour, Hardcover book direct from my printers, or as a standard Paperback from Amazon

Dovescoll

 

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

EPCoverFebruary20

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