This Place. A short story for Halloween.

The seat was a fallen tree, a once-mighty oak, now moss-covered, and beginning to rot. It had lain at the top of the hill for as long as I can remember.

It was the place where I often sat in solitude, looking out across the valley to the hills, and onwards into the purple haze of beyond.

I am surprised more people do not know of this place, the place I think of as my own. Yet over the years of coming here, I have only seen a few people before today. The occasional dog walker, the tramp who wandered too far from the village, the little girl with the kite, and one or two more. I have never seen any of those people more than once. It seems that visitors to this place are far and few.

Perhaps, the problem is the woodland. To get to this clearing on the hill, one must trek through the densely wooded area, known locally as the Gallows Trees.

There are rumours abound regarding the woodland.

One such tale is the woods are so named because the town’s gallows were built from the old oaks that grow here. Like the one I often sit on. It is said the lost souls of all those hanged now wander aimlessly amongst the trees.

Another story is, years ago, a fellow called Gallow owned these woods, he was a woodsman. One day a cavalry officer rode up to the Gallow’s cottage on his charger, demanding Mr. Gallow’s surrender his daughter, so to become the officer’s wife.

Gallow’s refused, and a fight took place. As Mrs. Gallows tried to separate the fighting men; the officer sliced off her head with a mighty swing of his Sabre. Mr. Gallow retaliated by hefting his axe high into the air before bringing it down with all his might.

At that precise moment, young Annabel Gallow’s ran from the house, coming between the men. The axe cleaved Annabel’s skull in two.

Mr. Gallows was hung in the town square. His body was left dangling for a week, suspended from a frame he himself fashioned from the very oak trees of his own woodland.

Locals delight in telling this tale to outsiders, informing them Mr. Gallows ghost is constantly looking for Annabel within the woodland. On quiet, windless nights, it is said you can hear him calling her name.

“Annabel”, the air whispers, “Annabel, where are you?”

This is the story the locals tell. But others say it is not true.

One time, not so long ago, something unusual happened here.

A group of men came to this place. They carried with them an array of equipment. I heard they were called Ghost hunters, Spectral engineers, or Paranormal researchers. It really depends on who you listen to.

They were a strange lot, wandering about fixing camera points, heat sensors, movement detectors, microphones, and all sorts of gadgets throughout the woods, and around the green where the tree trunk lies.

Five day’s they stayed. Sleeping in a van, and a few oddly assorted tents at the north edge of the woods, next to what once was Black Mill Farm.

Every morning they milled about drinking coffee and checking their machines. They took turns watching the dials and screens they precariously placed on rickety trestle tables in an open-sided tent.

Nothing happened.

Nothing at all.

This is why, I supposed, they seemed somewhat dejected the morning they were leaving.

I thought I would never get another chance to see exactly what they were doing here, so that morning I walked closer, watching as they unplugged their equipment, and began to pack it away.

I was surprised how much care they took in placing their strange machines into those big black padded cases. Two men carrying them, gently lifting them, and sliding them into the van without dropping, banging, or jolting them.

So intent was I watching the men’s activities, I walked very close to their tent, much closer than I intended.

That was when everything in the tent started to buzz and beep. The men jumped, startled expressions appearing on their faces as they rushed about in excitement. I watched as they stared at the lights flickering and buzzing, pointing, and stabbing their fingers at the screens, and dials.

The men were looking up, out of the tent, in the direction I stood. I looked around and about myself, I could see nothing which would cause them so much excitement.

One man called out… ’Who are you?’

I thought he was speaking to me, so I answered him, ‘I am Annabel,’ I said.

I am surprised more people do not know of this place, the place where a once-mighty oak stood, now fallen, moss-covered, and beginning to rot, the place I think as my own.

© Paul White 2014 _ FFCO2104‎2014/U21/808


If you enjoyed reading ‘This Place‘, I am certain you would love to read my psychological suspense story, ‘Three Floors Up‘, published as an eBook/Kindle, and available from Amazon, https://amzn.to/3uZ5W0q and universally via D2D, https://books2read.com/u/mlYqN7

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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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.”


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

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


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.

Suppression… a short story.

 

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This is the shortest story from Tales of Crime & Violence, (Volume 1) which falls into the ‘Violence’ category… but not how you may initially think… which is all part of what these books are about.

Enjoy.


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Suppression

 

I pulled the car to a halt, two wheels on the grass verge and switched the engine off.

Immediately the engine died the radio seemed dreadfully loud. 

So strange the way you get used to the noise of a running engine. The way your mind cancels out the rhythmic growling.

I wondered if it was always that way, if we have the ability to disregard repetitive or intrusive sounds?

I mean, did the cavemen do such? Was there a need? Maybe during a storm or a gale, they could close their ears to the sound of the howling winds or the consistent noise of heavy rainfall, maybe?

Or it could be a newly acquired skill since… since when?

At first, I supposed it would be during the industrial revolution. The sound of looms, presses and steam engines; thumps, clashes and clanging’s, a metallic cacophony the likes of which had never been heard before.

But then, before then, there was war. Iron forges for portcullis and armour, stonemasons chasing rock into blocks for castle walls; the incessant repetitiveness of hammer, of chisel, of mallet.

Then the battle. Masses of men, horse and oxen meshing and mashing themselves into bloody quagmires of gritty bone and blood.

If ever there was a sound to blanket I believe I would choose to smother that one.

Especially after the events of this morning.

Those screams sent sensations tingling the entire length of my spine. I could not tell if they came from the nape of my neck and ran down, like a streak of lightning to the base of my back, or if they started there, at my coccyx and travelled upwards to strike my atlas bone.

You see, it was not the volume, the earth splitting frequency of those elongated screams which caused my vertebrae to quiver. It was the intensity of which they were emitted.

I actually felt them. Felt the full ferocity of their energy within every organ, every cell of my entire being.

That ferocity was only equalled by the way she fought. Limbs flailing like broken masts in a force ten gale. Vicious nails, the talons of werewolves, and sharp teeth with the uncanny ability to locate exposed skin without conscious effort, seeking to rent chunks of flesh from my arms and face.

It took me a long time to subdue her. My face was gashed, long rips of bloodied skin hung from my cheeks. My arms were cut, bitten and bruised, as was my ego.

It was during that process, while I was trying to overpower her, I could have done with the capability to eliminate noise. I am certain I could have restrained her far quicker had she not been screaming so loudly, so constantly.

Even now, as I sit in my car with the radio on, volume so low it is barely audible, I can hear her screams echoing in my ears, my bloodied hands still shake a little, the remnants of the violent trembling the episode left with me.

I know her screams shall be a sound I shall carry within my memory forever, carry to my grave.

Fortunately, before she could do further damage before she managed to totally dismember and disembowel me, other nurses came to my assistance. Together we were able to subdue and sedate her.

As I left the ward I looked to where she now lay, sedated and sleeping. She looked so calm and serene, so peaceful and content.

I cannot help but wonder what demons inhabit her tortured soul.

Tonight, I shall pray for her.

<<< >>>

You can find all three volumes of ‘Tales of Crime & Violence’ on Amazon and other good bookstores.

They are available as Paperbacks

https://mybook.to/CandVPaperV1

https://mybook.to/CandVPaperV2

https://mybook.to/CandVPaperV3

or ready to download eBooks/Kindle

https://mybook.to/CandVKindleV1

https://mybook.to/CandVKindleV2

https://mybook.to/CandVKindleV3

C&amp;Vnewpromo

The Mystery of Missing People

By Karen J Mossman

 

Like many people, I enjoy a good mystery. Stories where you need to know what happens next. Tales that pique your curiosity, and keep you turning the page to get to the end.

Over the years, I’ve found missing people intriguing. Why did they disappear in the first place? Was it an accident or something more sinister? Is there a happy ending or does it end in tragedy? Also, just as importantly, how does it effect those left behind?

Before I thought about becoming a published author, many of the stories I’d written over the years involved this mystery.

Did you know there are 300,000 people reported missing each year in the UK alone? That works out at almost 900 a day.

The first high profile case I recall was that of Lord Lucan in 1974. His wife claimed her husband had attacked her, and murdered their nanny. The police investigated but Lucan was never found and to this day it remains a mystery.  Journalist Amelia Hill wrote a fascinating article in The Guardian about a girl who became pregnant. Her boyfriend didn’t want to know, and her parents told her to get an abortion. She felt she had no option but to run away. She had her baby and said her life had been a lie ever since.

As part of my research I went onto the missing person’s website. There were many stories about people who had disappeared, and those left behind. One mum showed the bedroom of her son left just as it was in 2006 when he disappeared. The torment she must live with wondering whether he is still alive is hard to imagine.

Another high profile case was that of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared in 1985. An attractive young woman who had pencilled in her diary she was meeting a Mr Kipper. She was never seen again, her remains never found, and they didn’t trace Mr Kipper. As a result estate agents changed the way they worked and Suzy’s mother founded a Trust in the name of her daughter to deal with personal safety.

Not all cases are as high profile, and in 2012 an appeal was launched for a missing woman who had not long given birth. She was already suffering from anxiety and depression. It could have gone either way and for a few days, everyone lived in hope until they found her body.

Ben Needham was aged just 21 months when he disappeared in 1991. He was on holiday on the Greek Island of Kos with his family. He was being looking after by his grandparents at their farmhouse when he vanished. It made the news all over the world and it finally looks like the boy wandered onto a nearby building site and died as the result of an accident.

Madeline McCann is one of the most famous stories. In 2007, the four-year-old girl was abducted while on holiday with her family. She was a beautiful little thing with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She captured everyone’s hearts. Despite a massive investigation and search. The police had no viable leads and no trace of her was ever found. Twelve years on, the story still hits the headlines occasionally.

There are many more stories with no conclusions offered and it’s frustrating not to have an ending. I’ve always wondered what makes people want to disappear in the first place. What are their stories?

One day watching a television programme that searches for missing people, I had an idea for a story. What if you were the missing person, and your face suddenly appears on the screen? The secret you had been trying to keep was now out.

perf4.000x6.000.inddFinding Amanda tells the story of a girl who had problems with her brothers. She takes off to Scotland and creates a new life for herself. When she and her boyfriend are watching television, it is her face that comes up on screen and Jamie, her boyfriend is shocked by what he hears.

The people left behind don’t always know the reasons their loved ones leave. It affects them in difference ways and many suffer for years as a result. So in this story, I’ve included the bewildered family and how they dealt with her disappearance.

Some stories do not have endings and we are not always given that neatly wrapped up conclusion. With Finding Amanda I wanted to round it up and conclude it, so get your tissues ready for a sweet ending!

Why not add it to your Goodreads shelf?
Or find out more.

 

 

 

 

Readers; important dates for your diary.

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Are you planning to buy more books this year, or do you simply tend to grab one when it catches your eye?

Whichever you do, it is worth considering when to buy your books because, at certain times, authors and publishers run special promotions.

These promotions can include discounts, new releases, posting of excerpts or sample chapters, reveals of covers and a whole host of exciting stuff not usually seen at other times.

Electric Eclectic suggest the following are dates worth putting into your diary and even setting an alarm to jog your memory. (We’ll post further dates for your diary later in the year.)

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March 5

Marked in over 100 countries across the globe, World Book Day is a UNESCO initiative which aims to celebrate books and reading, especially among younger members of our societies. In the UK and Ireland, National Book Tokens are given to children so they can find books of their own choice, something to unlock the power of their minds in a way the increasing prevalence of digital screens may not provide.

For what it’s worth, World Book Day falls on the same date every year as St David’s Day, so, if you read a Welsh book on the first day of March every year, you are doing justice to two great causes!

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March 21

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity in revealing everybody in the world shares the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day also encourages the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

download

APRIL

April 1 to May 10

National Pet Month is back, and it is even better than ever, attracting thousands of animal lovers to celebrate the value of pet ownership. Every year National Pet Month brings together animal welfare charities, professional bodies, businesses, and schools to promote good pet ownership, raise funds for good causes and have fun.

We love to shout about the rewards and benefits of owning a pet whilst encouraging responsibility, increasing awareness of pet care specialists, and promoting the value of assistance and companion animals.

What has this, you may ask, got to do with books. The answer is simple, writers and authors love their pets too, so to share stories and images of them while talking a bout their books is something many do. Check out social during these dates.

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April 23

World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, worldwide celebrations take place to recognise the magical power of books; a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.

23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is the natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, first held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors, and to encouraging everyone to access books, which are the most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of humanity, space and time, as well as being a most powerful force of poverty eradication and peacebuilding.

By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. With active involvement of stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.

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MAY

May 1 to May 31

National Share A Story Month 2020

Celebrate the Power of Storytelling with National Share-a-Story Month

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups is an organisation started in the 1960s. It was created in response to parents’ desires to learn more about children’s books and how to encourage their own children to read more.

Children’s Book Groups were created in throughout the UK, the Federation served to link them together. The Federation is responsible for several initiatives including National Share-a-Story Month.

The celebration takes place annually throughout the month of May. It has proved to be an excellent way to celebrate the power of storytelling. Children and stories are brought together in a variety of events which take place across the UK.

Each year the event has a general theme, for 2020 it is Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea.

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Browse Electric Eclectic’s books, for adults and children of all ages. You can find them on our website at http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

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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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“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


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