‘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.”
The Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize opened for submissions back in February 2020, just before Covid interrupted our lives.
The pandemic delayed the judging by a few weeks but now can now reveal the titles and authors who have made the shortlist.
The following manuscripts are now with Crimson Cloak Publishing of Missouri, USA who will be selecting the winning entry, while Electric Eclectic are choosing the two runners up.
The shortlist is as follows, (in no particular order)
Jenifer Dunkle with ‘Aunt June’
Jonathan Kovenwith ‘Below Torrential Hill’
Kaare Troelsen with ‘Equilibrium’
Philip T Stephenswith ‘Doublemint Gumshoe’
Stevie Turnerwith ‘Scam!’
Wesley Britton with ‘The Wayward Missiles – A Beta-Earth Chronicles story’
Wilma Hayeswith ‘Power of Women’
Providing we have no further setbacks, lockdowns, etc. Electric Eclectic plans to announce the winners late May 2021.
While you are awaiting the final results, why not grab yourself a copy of an Electric Eclectic book and enjoy the read; you can find Electric Eclectic books by simply entering ‘Electric Eclectic books‘ into your Amazon search bar.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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,
Deep Waters in available in both eBook format, and as an Electric Eclectic Pocketbook Paperback
“…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.
Electric Eclectic books are pleased to announce with have a new romantic story published December 2020.
Drive by is written by Audrina Lane, author of Bonfire Heart.
Cara had been writing romance since before the break-up of her relationship at college. Although only fairly successful, a chance encounter on her way home from a Book Signing was just what she needed.
Ewan had seen the blond beauty in her red Jaguar F-Type as he drove home from what had turned out to be a career changing day. He could still scarcely believe that he was the Super Bike World Champion but all that fled from his mind when he spotted her. He tried to forget her as they parted ways on the road, but it didn’t work and he had turned around hoping to chase her down. Seeing her parked in a lay-by was just the opportunity he needed to take the plunge.
However, both Cara and Ewan left their lay-by liaison only knowing each other’s first name. The next morning Cara had the advantage of seeing the sports news, but could she take the risk of getting back in touch with him? Would her fears from the past come back to haunt her? Was she just a brief distraction after an adrenaline fuelled day?
Find out how things play out between Cara and Ewan, with a little help from both of their friends Tania and Grayson.
It is just over 70 pages, so a great quick read and costs just 99p/99c
And if you want to read a review, you will find one on The Magic of Stories
November 19th is, believe it or not is World Toilet Day. Who’d have thought that was a thing?
How often do you nip to the toilet?
No, don’t answer that, it was one of those rhetorical questions. Just think about it for a moment. It’s a normal part of our day. We all talk about it to each other and it’s as natural as talking about what you are going eat.
Has it ever occurred to you that your favourite TV characters rarely goes for that natural break? Neither do the book characters. Why? How many times do you say to the person you are with, “I just got to wee.”? Or whatever terminology you use.
I read a book where the hot male lead eventually finds the female he’d been searching all day for. Does he say something worthy when he finally locates her? No, the first thing out of his mouth was: “I gotta take a piss.” He then disappears into the bathroom as she waits with bated breath for why he has come. I loved him for that. Considering this man had travelled a long way, this was likely outcome. Yet normally its a fact generally ignored. Well done to that author for bringing in a little realism.
In another book, the women is and escaping her lover’s bed went to sit on the toilet to contemplate for a while. That works. That’s normal, too.
Having thought about this, I went into overdrive as a scene played out in my mind. It went like this:
The beautiful girl lies across the bed in her bra and briefs. Her hair cascades over the side, flowing to the floor. She is waiting for her lover to return.
He opens the bathroom door, his hair falling slightly over his chiselled features. He’s wearing a white vest which is pulling taut over his ripped torso. Boxers show off his strong sturdy legs.
The toilet is still flushing behind him. He’s been in there at least five minutes. A smell follows him out…..
What? It’s natural. It’s what happens, except it doesn’t really work. It’s not necessary. It’s what our boyfriends and husbands do in real life. We want escape, not normality!
So yes, it’s okay for our characters to nip to the toilet. It’s real.
Now, I’m going take it one step further. How many times do you or someone around you fart? No, don’t answer that either.
I’ve read hundreds of books and only in one did it happen – The girl lay under a tree with her boyfriend. They were talking and laughing together. Suddenly she let out a little lady fart (is there such a thing?) And that was it. Never was it mentioned again.
Have you ever read erotica? All the wet slapping sounds make me wonder what’s the difference? Anything and everything goes these days, so it’s only a matter of time before natural functions are included.
So let’s keep our writing real and know our own boundaries. How far would you go to keep realism alive? How far does a reader expect an author to go?
I wanted to make an example and use a ‘toilet scene’ in one of my books and make it real. It isn’t crude, but everyone farts, right?
In The Ghost on the Stairs, I experimented and wrote a scary book, but I couldn’t help myself. My stories tend to be a mixture of things, just as life is. Life might be scary, but its also humorous. So my toilet scene is very funny because there is nothing better than to embarrass your main character!
Am I wicked? Yes!
When a good-looking guy walks into a café and asks for you by name, you sit up and take notice. Cassie is instantly attracted to Damien Mathers, who is also a World Super Bike Champion. He needs her help to banish a ghost. That is not what Cassie does but Damien is very persuasive!
The Ghost on the Stairs takes clairvoyant Cassie on a journey she won’t forget. It leaves her unnerved and scared—not because of it, but what it unleashes within her.
Damien doesn’t believe in the paranormal until he witnesses something he can’t explain. He is falling for Cassie but how can he love her dark side, too?
Can Cassie hold on to Damien? Can she banish the ghosts and save her relationship?