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.”

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ARE YOU A DINOSAUR?

This post is from Ian Welch, an author from New Zealand, who has three books with Electric Eclectic, Chantilly Lace, Operation Debt Recovery, and Phantom Footprints.

Ian’s books are a delight to read; he has an easy style of relaxed writing, which belies the twisted plots and humorous, even comical touches running through his stories. If you’re looking for a captivating lighthearted tale, chose any of the books mentioned above, you won’t be disappointed. 


‘The times they are a-changing.’ I seem to recall that’s a line from a Bob Dillon song, not that I would class myself as a fan. But he did write some thought-provoking lyrics. Technological changes are bombarding us every day, I feel like I’m struggling to stay afloat, to keep my head above water. No sooner you master (that’s a slight exaggeration) something it becomes obsolete, out of date, redundant and a new fan-dangled newbie bursts onto the market.

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It’s not only technology that’s changing, the world is in constant turmoil. I read the first world war was given the name ‘The Great War’ and ‘The War to end all Wars.’ That worked, didn’t it? Maybe there has always been conflict throughout the globe, it’s just our reporting is so much better (and graphic). The United Nations was touted as the great hope for world peace then they shot themselves in the foot by giving the major countries the right to veto any resolution.

The latest fad is climate change. Yes, I call it a fad not that I would place myself in the climate change denier box, but we’ve seen the constant procession of protest movements (all claiming to speak for the moral majority) over the years. Remember nuclear testing, Vietnam war, Iraq, anti-apartheid, genetic modification and I read some vegans have picketed supermarket meat departments (they claim eating meat is destroying the planet). And who can forget little Greta Thunberg addressing the UN which inspired a wave of school kid protests and the climate revolutionaries who thought having sit-downs on busy roads was the way to get their message across. I must admit I’m bemused at how Greta managed to get an invite to address the UN; I’m still waiting for mine!

I prefer to not disregard; but treat with a small measure cynicism, all the doom and gloom. The pressing issue, the one question that gives me sleepless nights, that evokes an avalanche of confusing mood swings is WILL MY BELOVED FOOTY TEAM WIN ON SATURDAY?

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But the above is not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about DINOSAURS. Be patient, I’m getting there.

 WHO READS BOOKS?

 Statistics indicate females make up the majority of readers, something like 66%. From my totally unscientific observations most male readers fall into the older age bracket (no number given) but how many teenage and twenty-something-year-old boys do you know who will sit down with a good book? And many female readers also slot into the mature age bracket.

My concern is as older readers (and writers) fall off the perch will books become relegated to a historical memento, an antiquity? Are we (writers and readers) all becoming dinosaurs and facing extinction? 

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Yes, of course, there are exceptions like the Harry Potter books which are doing a great job of introducing a younger reader to the joys, the excitement of a captivating novel.

All is not lost, as a writer and a reader my mission is to write spellbinding, impossible to put down novels that leave the reader desperate for more.

For further information about the author, Ian Welch and his novels:  https://iangwelchcom.wordpress.com/


You can find all Electric Eclectic books in Amazon’s @open24 store, the store for readers and writers.

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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.

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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 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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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

 

A Flash of Horror

A Flash of Horror is a collection of short and flash fiction in the horror genre taken from Karina Kantas’s two collections, Heads & Tales & Undressed.

12 chilling and though-provoking tales that will stay with you for nights to come.
Are you ready to delve into the dark side?

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I never thought of myself a someone with a dark side.

I always thought of my flash fictions as SciFi, thriller, maybe just a little creepy. But then I was a guest on a podcast and the host made me realise a lot of what I write falls into the horror genre.

I decided to take out some of the best horror flash from my two collections ‘Heads & Tales’ and ‘Undressed’ to make this small collection for those who don’t mind not sleeping at night.

Enjoy.

An excerpt from A Flash of Horror by Karina Kantas

VIRUS

“Well, that’s it. Now we wait again,” Maria announced.

Phil watched her sit at a cluttered desk to scribble yet more failure notes. But his eyes did not linger. He scanned the laboratory. It might be the last time he’d see it. Beds lined the walls of the spacious room, all but hiding its sterile, white-tiled floor. “How long until we see results this time — if any?” he asked.

“Same as the others. Twelve hours.”

“That doesn’t give us much time to administer a vaccine.”

“No. And — yes, before you say it, you’re right — there’s no guarantee we’ll ever find an acceptable vaccine.”

On each bed lay a test subject. Even those that had succumbed remained, since the examination of their rotting bodies still offered the faint hope of a cure.

But Phil knew that the virus had won this war. There was no hope. Eight months of this, and nothing but 665. The committee was right.

Phil turned his face away from the rotting, deformed victims, and stared at his co-worker. It was time to tell her, although he knew how she’d react. Maria was obstinate — so certain she’d find a cure.

Phil walked to his colleague’s desk. Each step weighed heavily on him, like the weight they’d shouldered as a team these past few months. He rested his hand on her shoulder.

“Maria?” he whispered.

Her eyes shimmered. “Yes?”

Phil blinked and spoke. “The committee decided if this last trial is unsuccessful, they’ll go with 665. They’ve already begun to manufacture.”

“What? You’re joking?”

 “They say there’s no more time to be choosey. It’s 665 or total annihilation.”

“Choosey! Don’t they realise what will happen? 665 has such awful side effects.”

“Sorry. Maybe choosey was the wrong word, and yes, they know the peril. I agree with them. What other choice do we have?”

“I’d rather die.”

Phil turned and looked at the bed beside him. Clear plastic sheeting did nothing to hide its demonic deformities. IT was the only way to describe this once-person. Its new facial appearance removed any identification of what sex, race or age test subject 665 once had.

More to come…..


You can get A Flash of Horror from Amazon UK; https://amzn.to/2M3wZmp

or internationally via; http://authl.it/B07XP8C5L6 

and from Amazon’s @open24 store for readers and writers, http://bit.ly/EEbooksonOPEN24


Join the Electric Eclectic Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/ElectricEclecticBooks/


Karina Kantas is the author of the popular MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the loved romantic fantasy duology, Illusional Reality.

She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.

When Karina isn’t busy working on her next bestseller, she’s a publicist, author manager and VA. She’s also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network.

Karina writes in the genres of fantasy, MC romance, Young Adult. sci-fi, horror, thrillers and comedy, romance, PNR, dystopian and erotica.

Her inspirations are the author S.E.Hinton and the rock band, Iron Maiden.

You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, where she loves hanging out with her readers.

http://bit.ly/FBFPKK FB Author page, http://bit.ly/BLOGKK BLOG, http://bit.ly/INSTKK INSTAGRAM

Get samples from Book 1 and Book 2 of Illusional Reality duology when you sign up to my mailing list.
http://eepurl.com/daKief 

Titles

Electric Eclectic book
Toxic – dystopian Erotica

The OUTLAW series
In Times of Violence
Huntress
Lawless Justice
Road Rage

Collections
Heads & Tales
UNDRESSED

In Times of Violence Young Adult Edition / MC romance
Stone Cold / YA supernatural thriller

Illusional Reality duology
Illusional Reality / YA romantic fantasy 
The Quest/fantasy paranormal romance

Coming soon
Broken Chains (MI5/mafia  romance)
Predator (erotic horror)

A New Summer Garden

In this post, I am blowing my own trumpet… and why not? A New Summer Garden is the seventh book I have written for Electric Eclectic.

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‘A New Summer Garden’ is a crime drama; a story of cheating, of greed, of revenge and murder. (Not suitable for those under 18 years of age due to some bad language and a sex scene.)

Sam was a down and almost out with little prospect for the future when he meets Rachelle, the beautiful wife of the philanderous Peter, the kingpin of an international criminal business empire.

When Peter catches Sam ‘in flagrante’ with Rachelle, he ensures Sam’s simple life becomes uncomfortably complicated.

What happens next leads Sam down an ever-darkening pathway, where the only plausible outcome is for him to end up in prison, or dead… most probably both.


Here is a short excerpt to whet your whistle…          

I have never played poker before. The only game I played with cards was ‘Snap’ when I was a child and I usually lost then. Yet somehow, by one o’clock in the morning, there was a great pile of money in front of me, bunches of twenty and fifty-pound notes.

Things were looking good.

By three o’clock my entire wad of cash was gone. So was my original three hundred pounds stake money Peter gave me.

It had all gone tits-up.

The game was wound up at four o’clock and I was in the shit. I was left with five IOU’s, totalling five thousand seven hundred and twenty pounds. The debt belonged to the two Kosovans and the big Russian, with a few hundred owing to the three Polish fellows.

They said I had one month to come up with the cash or pay with my kneecaps.

Peter laughed aloud saying it was the best three hundred pounds investment he had made in years. In fact, he said, he often paid twice that amount to fuck one of his poxy little whores.

I knew then I had been fucked over. Again.

But this was not the end of the night. Oh no, things were to get a little more complicated than just being stitched up by a jealous husband and owing a gambling debt to a bunch of unstable, possibly ex KGB type, gangsters.

It was from this point on things began to get a little bit dark.

Very dark.

Pitch black.

You can purchase your copy of A New Summer Garden via these links,


Authors Bio.

Paul White is a prolific storyteller, a wordsmith, tale weaver and an International bestselling author.

He writes from his Yorkshire home, situated near a quiet market town in the East Ridings.

Paul has published several books, from full-length novels to short story collections, poetry, children’s books, semi-fiction, non-fiction & military social history.

He also contributes to various collective anthologies for charitable causes.

You can find more about Paul, his current works-in-progress, artworks, photography and other projects, by visiting his website. 


Electric Eclectic books are shorter works, Novelettes, designed to introduce readers to the style, narration and genres of authors they may not have read before.

You can view all Electric Eclectic’s books by visiting their Amazon page for the UK or Amazon.com

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