Wedding Bells at Electric Eclectic

We are delighted to announce that our author C A Keith got married on Monday 24th May 2021. The wedding took place in the stunning setting of a Florida Beach.

Unfortunately, some of her family were unable to join them as they live in Canada and they are on full lockdown. However, one son, his wife, and many friends all attended the happy occasion.

Before the ceremony they went to a Puerto Rican restaurant to dine first. They picked a quiet spot on the beach and watched a spectacular almost-full moon rising to one side just as the sun was setting on the other. Her friend read out the vows, and it was just magical, she told us.

Afterwards they all went to the Pizza Parlour she runs with her son for wine and cake. Her son, his wife and a number of friends are all deaf, but that didn’t stop them, and everyone enjoying the dancing afterwards.

‘It was truly a dream come true,’ she finished. And judging by the photographs they would be worthy of any romantic novel.

We are sure you will join us in wishing Charlotte, and her new husband Wally, the very best for their new lives together as a family because she is now a mother of two young son as well.

Meanwhile, you may want to enjoy the stories Charlotte has written for Electric Eclectic books.

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.

Find Audrina on Social Media

Facebook
YouTube
Amazon
Website

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.’

The Story Behind The Dome of St Paul’s by Karen J Mossman

I was seven when Grandpa died, too young to really remember him. I was told it was partly due to the problems in his back through being in the water for so long during the war. I didn’t know what that meant and later learned it was on the beaches of Salerno and the length of time he and his comrades were standing in the sea whilst waiting to join the fight.

I looked it up and according to Wikipedia the Salerno landings took place on 3 September 1943 during the early stages of the Italian Campaign of World War II.

The operation was undertaken by General Sir Harold Alexander’s 15th Army Group (comprising of General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth Army and General Bernard Montgomery’s British Eighth Army).The main invasion landed around Salerno on the western coast at the ‘toe’ of Italy.

I admit to not knowing anything about the regiments but as soon as I read the above, Montgomery’s Eighth Army, stood out. My Dad often talked about the eighth as it was Grandpa’s regiment. He also talked about the toe of Italy and again at the time I didn’t know what that was. Now seeing it in black and white, reminds me of Dad who was fascinated with the history of war. Over the years he told me lots if stories about his father and what he endured. Being dropped off in the water at Salerno was one of them.

There was also The Battle for Monte Casino, and how Grandpa earned the honour of wearing the Canadian emblem his uniform. He and his comrades came to the rescue of Canadians being blocked in by German soldiers. He also talked about the miles and miles the armies walked during the war years.

In November 2019, author Audrina Lane invited me to a Christmas Craft and Book fair which she had organised in Hereford. That evening as we sat on her settee reflecting on the day, she spoke about her Gramps and what he did during the war and how VE Day was on the 8th May. I said how nice it would be to capture some of those stories in a book. We talked some more both liking the idea and the beginning of Victory75 was born. We then took the idea to Paul White, the founder of Electric Eclectic books, and he rounded up some authors to write stories to capture what it must have been like when the war finally ended. Several of us incorporated real war stories into our fiction and wrote dedications to those people who gave up so much so that we could live the life we do.

Before I came up with a premise for my story, I was privileged enough to see the book cover first. The Dome of St Paul’s, which played an iconic part in London’s War history by simply remaining there, and not being bombed. It gave me the inspiration for my story. Because I’d heard the tales s through my Dad, this became the starting point. Thinking I was being clever, I based it on the celebrations planned for the 8th May in London, where people originally flocked to when the announcement about the war ending came. The anthology was to be launched on that date and we would have our own celebration with the book.

My main character Jack was bang in the middle of what was to take place on the 8th May 2020. So people who read the story, would probably have seen the Queen meeting old soldiers and the parades and wreath laying. It would make it all the more real as the nation came together to remember the momentous time.

However, there was no way to predict the events that would unfold during 2020, and along with so many things, the celebrations to mark the occasion were cancelled.

The world was reeling from Corona Virus, specifically COVID-19. Over half a million people died, just like they did in the war, except this time from an invisible enemy.

You can still enjoy the stories of this special book including mine called The Dome of St Paul’s dedicated to my Grandpa, Cyril Parry from Chester. The other stories, all with a common theme will keep you entertained until the very last page.

Look out, too for Audrina’s Lane’s poignant story, where she holds her Gramps’ hand in his last hours, his war stories coming to life through a photograph album.

My Grandpa loved music and was a dedicated follower of The Salvation Army. I don’t have any photos of him in his war uniform but do have this one in his Salvation Army one along with his beloved trumpet.

Excerpt

Gran got to her feet and opened the sideboard drawer and handed me a dark blue table cloth. “This is the sea,” Grandad said. “Get your boats out too, you’ll need them for this story.” I ran into the front room and brought back several vessels, eager to know what he would tell me and what we were going to do. The table cloth was now on the table, and Grandad was setting up the soldiers.

“I was in the British 8th Army, and we were taken by boat and dropped off at Salerno. Have you heard of it?”

“No,” I replied, looking at him earnestly.

“It’s in a place called Scilly. The Canadians and American were already there and fighting the Germans on the beaches. So they dropped our regiment off in the sea under the cover of darkness. But the Germans, the canny buggers, knew we were there and took pot shots at us. We were defenceless, standing waist deep trying to get ashore and dodging the bullets at the same time.”

“Couldn’t you get back onto the boats?” I asked.

”They’d gone, lad, soon as they dropped us off, they headed back. We were abandoned us to our fate, and many men died. I thought I was going to die too, but somehow made it onto the beach which we got control of it. We helped the Americans to fight the Germans, and the battle raged for hours. We won that one, but it was at a high cost. Too many young men lost their lives.” He looked over at my Gran who was watching and listening. “We should never have been left like that.”

Karen’s Social Media Links

Facebook
Instagram
Website

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

Facebook
Website
Twitter
Instagram
MeWe
Tumblr

The Killer on the Heath – Coming Soon by Karen J Mossman

Coming soon to Electric Eclectic books is the first of a trilogy featuring Cassie Newbold, a clairvoyant and empath. The first book, this one, will be available soon for pre-order. Meanwhile, we do have some ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) to give out in exchange for a review. If you are interested, contact me here by email.

Description (subject to change)

Cassie, a clairvoyant and empath, is asked to help her brother, a detective, to find a killer. Following in the footsteps of where a woman’s body is found, Cassie sees and feels him. Imagine her shock when a few days later he walks into the café she is in. 

Waiting for Seb to arrive, and a confrontation she shouldn’t have started, the killer leaves. Despite being told not to, she follows him and almost becomes his next victim.  

At one of her clairvoyant sessions, Pedro comes looking for his missing sister, but Cassie is unable to help him and they date instead.  

When the killer is apprehended, Cassie sits in on the interview and realises that Chantelle, Pedro’s sister is also his victim. He is desperate for news, but she cannot tell him she is involved for fear of damaging their relationship. Unfortunately, Cassie hadn’t counted on his mother for doing that.  

After a startling revelation, the hunt for Chantelle becomes even more urgent. Can she read the signs presented to her, and find the place Chantelle is hidden? 

I haven’t perfected the description as yet, but this will give you a taster of what the story is about. It will change as it goes through the editing process.

Excerpt

My blood ran cold. It was the man on the heath. Older and jowlier than I had envisioned, neither had I seen his pot belly. There was a similarity to the drawing, but not enough to be a good likeness.

I shook my head in response to his question, feeling too stunned to speak. How could this be possible? Here, of all places? 

His forehead jutted out and his hair was side parted, hanging scruffily over his face. A nose that was pointed, and jowls that wobbled round his double chin. His features were more pronounced than I had described. 

Pulling out my phone, I selected my brother’s name and listened to it ringing. “Cassie,” he answered on the fourth ring. “I’m just in the middle of something—”

How could he sit there drinking coffee as if he had not a care in the world? 

“I’ve got him,” I whispered, my hand cupped over the mouthpiece, cutting him off before he hung up on me. 

“Got who?” His voice was suddenly alert.

“The man from the heath.”  

Staring at the side of his head, I could not take my eyes from him, still unable to fathom how ordinary he looked when he carried such a dark secret. I had expected him to look like the monster he was. 

Although this is, at times, a dark a story. I have also included touches of humour, like the time Cassie gets caught in a compromising position by the mother of her boyfriend. And not for the first time.

“You can stop that right now!” A shrill voice crashed into us, throwing us apart guiltily. His mother was standing in the doorway looking at us, and for a fraction of a second her eyes were on my chest. Once more she captured me in a compromising position. I felt like a child being caught doing something I shouldn’t. What is it with this woman? Couldn’t she have just waited until we returned? For pity’s sake!

Follow Karen on Social Media

Website
Instagram
Facebook

Stone Cold, a new release by Karina Kantas

Electric Eclectic books are very pleased to announce their latest released, a young adult paranormal urban fantasy story by Karina Kantas.

History REALLY comes to Life.””

— An Amazon Reviewer

YA Supernatural Thriller.

‘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.

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


Writing in Isolation

We are into the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been a tumultuous year as we adjusted to a new vocabulary; masking, social distancing, quarantine. Yes, we’ve heard those words before. We read them in books, maybe, heard them in movies or on television dramas. Now the words were a part of our daily conversations.

I have been out of my house less than twenty times in the past fourteen months. I have seen my children and grandchildren less than that.

I have learned a valuable lesson, and it came as a shock.

I’ve always been something of a loner or homebody. Many would disagree with that assessment. I like people, but I love my own space. Being stuck at home shouldn’t be a problem for me. Generally, that’s true. However, this super social distancing reached a peak a few months ago.

I’ve always committed to writing at least two thousand words a day. That’s what Stephen King does, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s certainly good enough for me.

When staying home was recommended by health officials, I believed this would afford me more time to write. I might double my daily word count. I had several unfinished works, and this would provide the ideal opportunity to whip them out.

Why, I might even finish them all before the quarantine ended!

As the weeks passed into months, I found I was writing less, not more. I would sit with my trusty laptop and read over what I had written the day before. Pages became paragraphs. I would have an idea of what I wanted to write, but I couldn’t get my motor going.

It wasn’t until last month that I realized I hadn’t written anything in over three weeks. I’d edited projects I was working on for others. But I didn’t have a word of my own to show. What was happening? Was this writers’ block?

Somewhere in my ruminations, I recalled something one of my English professors told us. He advised we carry notebooks (this is pre-tech days when pen and paper were the methods of the day) and write down bits of conversations we overheard, descriptions of people we encountered, or places we saw.

I’m a writer and much of my writing draws on outside sights and sounds. My imagination may turn everyday events and conversations into more elaborate (and often disturbing) experiences.

A writer needs a good imagination. A writer also needs to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the world outside her head. Being cut off from the sounds of busy streets, rolling waves, crunching leaves, bits of conversations, and other real-life noises removed them from my conscious and then my subconscious.

Living inside, I missed the end of one winter, the bright colors of spring, summer heat, the crispness of fall, and another winter.

I missed Valentine’s dinner at our favorite restaurant with my husband, watching my grandchildren hunt for Easter eggs in the grass that was beginning to green. There was no giggling and splashing in the backyard pool, no picnics at the lake where the sounds of motorboats cut the air, no weekend at a cabin for our anniversary.

The pumpkin farm and haunted trails never happened. No big family Thanksgiving dinner where everyone brought a dish to share. I did my Christmas shopping online without the hustle and bustle of crowds, both joyous and stressed.

I don’t know about other authors, but this writer cannot write in a vacuum. I need to smell the change in the air as seasons drift one into the other.

I need to hear snippets of conversations and build a story around an innocuous remark I overhear in the supermarket or restaurant.

It seems, things are beginning to loosen up. I’ve gotten my Covid-19 vaccinations. I will still double mask and be responsibly socially distant. But I feel safer venturing out into the world where my inspirations are waiting.

Somewhere a woman is complaining about the price of milk, a man is discussing a sporting event, teenagers are giggling at a TikTok video.

Tomorrow the sun will rise over a late winter day, and spring will beckon me to go out and play, to smell the freshness of growing grass, to see the heads of flowers forcing their way through the rich soil.

And I will once again begin to weave commonplace occurrences into tales.

In fact, I think I have an idea tickling the back of my mind now.

© Elizabeth Noreen Newton


ELECTRIC ECLECTIC BOOKS, Visit @open24 THE AMAZON STORE FOR READERS AND WRITERS

Story Behind the Story

by Karen J Mossman

What is it that makes a writer want to write a story? Where does the idea come from?

Sometimes it is a single image that will inspire them. Other times, it’s a song, or a place, or just something they overhear.

Today we are looking at Toxic as shown below. Two books, two authors and one story.

Why would you have two different books if they are one story?

I’m going to answer that question by telling you the story behind the story.


The idea came from Karina, and so I got in touch to ask her about it.

I am not a huge Science Fiction fan, but have always wanted to write about a world that lived underground. It was more dystopian story that I wanted to write.

I have never collaborated with an author and it had been a long time since I had written anything new. I’d worked with Karen J. Mossman before, as she was one of my clients at KKantas Author Assist, and I put the idea to her.


My initial thought was to write one book with both our names on the front. After the story came together we realised how much science fiction was involved as well as romance and thriller. Toxic has a lot of sub genres and will appear to most lovers of dystopian and romance.

We talked online about it as I am in Greece and she is in Wales. The first thing we needed was a brainstorming session to build a world for our characters. I set up a Zoom meeting and we spoke, wrote, and chatted for over an hour and one important thing from it. Both of us wanted something different, and we weren’t at first, sure how to reconcile it. I wanted the romance to be erotica and Karen didn’t. So this was a stumbling block and it was Karen that came up with the idea of having two books, same story, just differently written. I’ve never heard of anything like that before. So that is what we did.

I have never brainstormed with anyone before, never mind write with another author. When I spoke to Karina she mentioned that during our Zoom session, it was amazing how our story laid itself out in front of us as if was magic. We had our world, our characters, and the plot was there, and as we wrote it changed and took on a life of its own. It was a real pleasure to write and work with Karina.

We each wrote a chapter and sent it to the other to look at and add to it or change it. Not always easy when you write what you think is a good scene only to find the other has changed it. That’s why you need an author who you trust, and have respect for. Changes were never a problem because it only enhanced the story.

A hundred years ago acid rain fell to earth and the people took to living in the mountains. Over time the humans developed into Maloks, just a new name for those who lived and worked in this new environment. With a committee to govern them, life inside was never easy, as young Lexi finds out.

We knew that we couldn’t leave it there once we had finished, and Toxic 2 is currently in the process of being written. After that a third, and final novella will be penned by Karina and I, where the magic will once more take us on a journey that we are not expecting.

Toxic 2 will be out late summer or Autumn of 2021.

Meanwhile, why not choose a story to suit you.

Blurb

Lexi isn’t your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well. 

Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.

Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.

“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.

A Valentine’s Day Tale

Í ÓKUNNUGRI BORG

A strange city is a big, lonely place when you do not know your way around and you do not know a single soul who lives there.

The city seems even bigger when it is in a foreign land; the buildings, the roads are so different to that which you are familiar, as are the signs; thousands and hundreds of signs on the street, in the shop windows, the stations, on buses and lorries and hoardings.

All in a language you do not know.

This is where I am, in a strange city, in a foreign land. All those signs meant nothing to me; besides spouting my own imaginative gibberish gobbledygook, which besides entertaining my mind, said nothing constructive. 

It is a strange experience, both fascinating and frightening.

I needed to be at the public telephone box, situated near a café called ‘Rosy Lee’, in Richmond Park Gardens, a municipal park and flower garden, at eleven o’clock this morning.

She said she would ring, call me there. If I did not show up, she would understand, move on, get on with her life and put ‘us’ behind her.

But I did not want her to move on, not without me by her side.

That is why I am here, in this city. I have to say sorry, to beg for her mercy. I need to admit my foolishness. I want to tell her I still love her, love her more now than ever before.

If I miss her call, if I did not answer the telephone, I may never see her again.

This is why I am getting annoyed, frustrated and so damned worried.

.

I do not know where Richmond Park Gardens are and nobody I try to ask will stop. Most are too busy rushing to wherever they are rushing to. The few who do halt their stride take off again as soon as I speak.

No one, it seems speaks Islenska in this city and I do not speak more than a few word of English, clearly all so badly pronounced to be incomprehensible.

This scrappy bit of note paper I have in my hand, the one with the diagram, the map of how to get to the park is creased, smudged and torn. The written directions almost illegible, even if they were not I have no idea where I am, which way is north or south or which will take me towards the Richmond Park Garden.

The clock is ticking, my hopes and dreams and my future slowly evaporating before me. Still, no one gives me a second glance. No one will spare a few moments to help.

Until the young girl, I guess she is a student, takes the scrappy, ill-drawn diagram from my hand.

I speak, but she just shakes her head and shrugs. I know she is saying “I don’t understand you”. So, I spread my hands and shrug back.

We smile at each other. Understanding.

The young girl looks at the drawing, squints, looks about her, first one way and then the other. She nods and smiles. Waving her hand, she beckons me closer. Until we stand shoulder to shoulder, facing the same direction.

She then signals forward by pointing straight ahead, then left, right and so on. I nod and smile back in reply.

This is a language we both understand.

She passes me the paper back. I glance at my watch. The girl holds her hand up again, fingers spread open. ‘Five’ she is telling me, five minutes.

I shake her hand, nod… it is almost a bow. I can feel my grin stretching across my face, from ear to ear. If I hurry I can still make the park by eleven o’clock.

Hopefully.

I glance back. The girl is still standing in the same spot. She raises her hand and waves. I wonder if she knows, if she has a sense, a feeling of my anxiousness, my distress?

Maybe she knows of my love and of my fear of losing it, of losing my girl? Maybe she could feel my heart pounding, aching.

I like to think so.

I like to think she derived some satisfaction from helping a stranger in a personal crisis. I also like to think someone, sometime will smile upon her, in her hour of need.

.

I see the phone box. It is right there next to the tables and chairs of the ‘Rosy Lee’ tearooms, just as explained in the note. An English telephone box, bright red, blood red.

The red of love and life and loss.

At least it is empty. At least no one is making a call.

I glance at my watch. It is three minutes past the hour. I pray I am not too late.

I go inside. The door slowly squeals as it closes, shutting the noise and the entire world out of my life. There is now only my pounding heart, beating, pounding, counting down the moments.

All I can do is wait.

Wait for the phone to ring.

Wait to hear her voice.

I can feel tears welling in my eyes.

I wipe them away, sniffing.

The kiosk door is pulled open, arms grab me, encircling my waist.

I smell her perfume.

“Ég hélt að ég myndi koma þér á óvart,” segir hún.”

(“I thought I would surprise you,” she says.)

© Paul White 2017-2021


To read more and find out about Paul’s other books, visit his website at, http://bit.ly/paulswebsite

Or visit the Amazon store, @open24, http://bit.ly/PWopen24

If you enjoy love stories, then order ‘The Abduction of Rupert DeVille’ a fast moving, whacky, seriously tear-jerking, thrillingly funny drama.

UK – Paperback https://amzn.to/2xXGO0s

eBook, https://amzn.to/3do21B3

USA – eBook & Paperback, https://goo.gl/3iMFLZ


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