And here it is, finally! I don’t think writing is ever going to make me rich, but it sure makes me happy. If you’d like to share my happiness, click on the link below and give it a try.
Ghosts on the Sand is almost ready to publish. Its been in the works for four years because its hard to be a part-time author. Do you like the book cover? I love it and I hope it’s the first of many from Kara Boulden! This book is a collection of four stories.
Ghosts on the Sand is the first story in my new collection. It’s about a young girl (Sheila) and her mother on holiday in Blackpool. They’re spending time together to heal after escaping a violent, angry man, Sheila’s dad. Things don’t work out quite as planned.
I Love you Neil is a super short story about two brothers. Can’t reveal anymore or I’d spoil the plot.
Guy at the Bar is actually the first story I wrote (in my adult years anyway), and is based on an experience I had in the King William IV pub in Brompton on Swale. I have fond memories of this pub, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a story about a nasty drunk who had no respect for women. (There is a bit of a twist of course)
Camera starts on the road from Richmond to Brompton on Swale (near the turn off to Easby Abbey). A broken down car and a camera swinging on the fence. What could go wrong? You’d be surprised. One of my hobbies is photography, but I hope I never come across a camera like this one.
I really want you to enjoy these stories, and review them on Amazon for me. I’m and “old gal” but I feel my writing career has just begun.
I lived in Brompton-on-Swale from 1967 – 1977. My teenage years were spent in this small northern village, and they were good years. I think I had my first alcoholic drink (legally) in the King Bill, which is no longer open for business. “Guy at the Bar” is inspired by events that happened in this public house. It was a scary evening for me, but I survived, and lived to tell the tale. I’m working as hard as I can (while still holding a full-time job) to get this story along with one or two others into a compilation of short stories called “Ghosts on the Sand and other Chilling Tales.” Be patient, it’s coming.
“Run while there’s still time!”
“You’ll die if you stay here.”
“Die? What are you talking about?”
“The flood, it’s coming.”
I looked around for approaching waves. “Where’s this water going to come from?”
“You’ll see soon enough. I’m heading for the hills!”
“There’s no water close enough to us to cause a flood.”
Our soon to be ex next-door neighbor, glared at me as though I was the crazy one.
“The river Swale, it’s going to wash the village away. You’ll be sorry if you stay here, mark my words.”
“Don’t listen to her Sheila,” my Mam whispered, “she’s lost her marbles. I’m glad she’s moving out.”
“I can hear what you’re saying. You think I’m not right in the head,” she persisted, “but I’m telling you, the village is doomed.”
My dad joined us
“What’s all this about a flood?” he asked, clearly irritated at the thought of having bought a house in a flood zone.
“Old Mother Shipton. She warned us. The flood is coming, I can feel it.”
My dad laughed, clearly relieved,
“For a minute I thought you were serious. Don’t worry girls; Mother Shipton is a legend in these parts. She lived in a cave in Knaresborough hundreds years ago. Many people believed she was a prophet, but others claimed she was a Witch. I’ll take you to visit the caves if you like. We’ll take a picnic and make a day of it.”
My Mam looked relieved and continued to unload the van.
I’m the one in the middle. Always ready to laugh, always ready for fun. As a kid I was ALWAYS in trouble. I turn every situation into a story.
Other than my family, the important things in my life are writing and visiting Italy. I finally realized my Italian dream and bought a house in the small village of Colledimezzo, which is in the Chieti province of Abruzzo. I’m just as pleased as punch. I have another dream to fulfill now, to make it as a writer.
I’m still working on my next book, “Ghosts on the Sand” and I have one last short story to write before it’s done. Each story is based on events in my past. “Guy at the Bar” is a tongue in cheek thriller based on a man who tried to hit on me back in the seventies while I was having a quiet drink in “The King Bill” which was a pub I frequented in Brompton-on-Swale, where I used to live. “Ghosts on the Sand” was written about five years ago and it is based on my tumultuous childhood. My dad (by blood) was a bully. Mean, lazy and extremely scary. He beat my mam regularly. I have no good memories of him. This story starts after we left him for good. It talks about a little girl who had premonitions. I do still have premonitions, very accurate ones.
There are also two very short stories in this book.They both just popped into my over active brain. “Camera” is total fiction and set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond, North Yorkshire. Its a short, fast paced thriller. My editor couldn’t stop reading it, which meant it was edited super fast. I think that’s a good thing. My final story “The Engineer” isn’t written yet, but it is set in Italy. Total fiction and a kind of black comedy.
Hoping to release this novel for public consumption before March. Can’t wait to hear what you all think.
Juliet was only fifteen the first time she saw the lady in the lake. She’s taken a short cut on her way home from theater class at school and stopped to rest under the shade of a Weeping Willow. With her back up against the trunk, she inhaled the sweet evening air.
The lake was a beautiful shade of sunset and she wished she had a camera to capture it.
At first she thought the shape in the middle of the lake was a log, but it was too tall. The lake was deep, very deep. Police divers had scoured it for a missing child a couple of years earlier and she’d heard one of them talking to her mam about it’s surprising depth.
Juliet stood up and walked to the water’s edge, hoping to get a better look. Were her eyes playing tricks with her? Clear as can be, in the middle of the lake, was a woman. She appeared to be waist deep in water, which wasn’t possible. Her face wasn’t visible because because she looked down into the water. Long black hair trailed on it’s glassy surface.
“Hey there, hello, do you need help? HELLO!”
“Shall I go for help?”
There was a boat tied up by a little jetty on the far bank, but it would take a half hour or so to get there. The woman must surely be treading water, she’d be dead by then.
What do I do? I’m not a strong swimmer, if I tried to save her I’d drown!
She looked back at the lake, the empty lake, it’s smooth surface reflected the setting sun like a mirror. There wasn’t even a ripple in the water.
The light began to fade fast and Juliet knew she wouldn’t get home before dark. She shivered, eager to be away from the lake and its secrets.
She burst through the front door of her house, happy to be enveloped in warmth and light. Her dad sat in his favorite chair, watching television, he looked up when she walked in!
“Whatever’s wrong pet? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
In 2013 I published my first novel Dead of July – Amazon. Life has kept me pretty busy since then, but I’m writing again and soon hope to release a compilation of short stories – Ghosts on the Sand and other Northern Tales. I love writing stories about the North of England, its where I was raised.
The sun slid behind a cloak of darkness while I cowered on the sand terrified and alone. A flaming ball of fire burned a path through the darkened sky tumbling towards me. Closing my eyes, I waited to die. An earth-shattering explosion rocked the beach. A volcano of hot gushing water erupted from the waves. Angry flames reached out hungrily, looking for something to devour. Strangers emerged from thin air, running towards the fire, shouting to one another in a language I didn’t understand. The watery inferno illuminated their fear stricken faces. Shadowy figures floated slowly towards the shore, bobbing up and down grotesquely in the shallow water. Trembling I closed my eyes and prayed. Was this a nightmare?
My new book is almost ready for the first round of editing. Here’s a small preview from “Ghosts on the Sand”
This story will feature in a compilation with three other short stories. I’m aiming to release it at the end of the year.
I was left alone in the darkness. Cold and exhausted I made no effort to move. If Luca materialized again I was done for! The moon had been hiding behind the clouds, but now appeared and cast a dim silvery glow on the earth. I looked around me, but there was nothing to see, no burning trees, no charred remains, nothing.
Was it a dream, a nightmare?
With the little strength I had left, I pushed myself up off the ground and onto my feet.
Something dug into the heel of my hand. I couldn’t really see what it was, but picked it up anyway. A small round shiny object glimmered in the moonlight. I smiled as shook it back and forth. It was a gypsy bell, the sort Mala wore on her skirt.
Headlights rounded the corner ahead of me. Dare I stand in the road and flag the car down? I had no idea where I was. Unable to make a decision, I watched it pass me by, tail lights disappearing in the distance.
Damn, where am I? I should have flagged it down.
Walking along the dark country road, I felt alone, but no longer afraid. Looking up at the stars I wondered what really happened after death. Were Mala and her love together now, forever? I’d never know, well maybe one day I would, but hopefully not for a long time.
Another car approached. It pulled up next to me.
“Hey there, are you alright, what are you doing in the middle of nowhere? Did your car break down?”
Bending down I peered through the open window and saw Liz, the landlady of the village pub in Brompton.
“Hey Liz, no I haven’t broken down, but I’d love a life home.”
“Oh, its you, what the heck are you doing out here? Jump in.”
I sat in the passenger seat of her sporty little MG. Before she pulled away she looked across at me.
“You look awful! Are you sure everything is OK?”
I started to laugh uncontrollably before tears gushed down my face.
“Oh no! It’s not that bloody dead guy again is it? The one you managed to pick up in my pub?”
I pulled myself together.
“No, he doesn’t bother me anymore. I managed to attract a gypsy this time. Actually, three of them, but it’s all over with now. All sorted.”
“I hope you’re right,” Liz said as she pulled away, “but I have a feeling these little adventures are going to be with you your whole life. How old are you?”
“Bloody hell, and how many dead people have you attracted, how many spirits have you sent on their way?”
I thought about it for a while before answering.
“Only two Liz, a couple are still hanging around, but they’re good company.”
If you want to read more about this budding ‘Ghost Whisperer’s’ adventures, keep following my blog. Dead of July, my first book, is currently available on Amazon for $0.99. I’m also working on two more short stories, which are both set in the North of England. One in Blackpool and the other in Brompton on Swale. Brompton is a small sleepy village in North Yorkshire. It’s the village where I spent most of my childhood. Writing is my passion and one day may become my retirement career. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Thanks for stopping by.
“We’re going to the Red Lion for a Ploughman’s, do you want to come?” Cindy asked.
“No thanks, I think I’ll grab a sandwich and find myself a seat by the river.”
She gave me an odd luck. “You okay?”
“You’ve just been a little distracted the last couple of days. If you need to talk, I’m always here you know that.”
I smiled “I have things on my mind, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet.”
“Would it have anything to do with a certain someone in a leather jacked?”Cindy asked.
“Maybe,” I said, giving nothing away. She was satisfied with my answer and left “See you later then.”
I didn’t have a book to read, and I didn’t want to sit by the river. I wanted to find the bad boy in the black leather jacket.
I walked up to the market place, which was a hive of activity now the fair was arriving. Huge lorries looked out of place in the medieval market square. It was a riot of color with the brightly painted gypsy caravans. An old woman tanned dark brown and jingling with beads swept past me. She was a familiar sight at the fair, a fortune teller and possibly a hundred years old, but fit as a fiddle. She hesitated for a moment. I shivered, a sudden chill penetrating my blouse. Nausea swept over me. I hope I’m not getting sick.
The old woman stopped again a few paces in front of me and cackled, “You’re not getting sick, you’re getting a visitor. She’s coming!”
She continued her ear piercing cackle and walked away. “You’ll see!”
“Hey wait.” She disappeared behind a huge truck. Did she read my mind? Who was coming? My imagination again? I tried to follow the old gypsy, but she was nowhere to be seen. I’d find her again, when she was open for business, she’d be more than happy to take my money.
Wandering among the throng of lively fair ground folk was uplifting. They shouted and laughed among themselves as they unloaded their equipment. I envied their freedom. The following day the trucks would be gone and the market place transformed into a gaudy playground.
There was no sign of the motorcycle, or its leather clad rider so I bought a sandwich and wandered along castle walk , where I found a bench in the sun and ate my sandwich, wishing I did have a book to read, something to occupy my mind. Maybe I should get away for the weekend. I thought of the old hag that spoke to me in the market place? What did she mean about a visitor? Probably nothing, she was here every year, charged as much as she could to tell your fortune, saying only what you wanted to hear. If she didn’t like the look of you, she’d tell you something horrific, just to scare you.
Then I heard the music again.
And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear?
A motorbike revved up somewhere below me! I looked down to the road by the river Swale. Nothing! I could hear the noise of an engine as it travelled along the road and cross the bridge, heading up towards Hudswell, but there was nothing to see.
I broke my sandwich into pieces and fed it to the birds. I just wasn’t hungry anymore.
Will I ever find my bad boy? Stay tuned to find out.
One of my other stories Dead of July can be purchased on Amazon for $0.99.
Lindsay couldn’t remember if they gave her something to help her sleep, or if she was so traumatized she blocked everything out, but she didn’t recall getting in the ambulance. When she opened her eyes she found herself in a hospital bed with the worried face of her mam looking down at her.
“Oh thank God. I was worried you’d never open your eyes again,” she said as she planted a kiss on Lindsay’s cheek. “I had no idea what was happening or we’d have come back sooner.”
Lindsay smiled weakly. “It wouldn’t have changed anything.”
“I spoke to Mel’s mam at the funeral, she….”
“The Funeral! I missed the funeral? How long have I been in hospital?”
“Since yesterday afternoon, the funeral was this morning.”
“I wanted to go, I wanted to say good-bye.”
“You can say goodbye any time. It was a lovely service. Reverend Stegall made it very personal, he christened her you know, back in 1959.”
“He shouldn’t be burying her yet though, she’s too young, why did this happen?”
“It’s the bloody IRA, why do they do anything?”
“It wasn’t the IRA mam, the man who did this was grief-stricken at losing his sister. Cross fire with the British Army and the IRA. He lost his mind.”
“Yes, lost his mind and killed over a hundred people.” Lindsay’s mam said bitterly.
No one spoke for a while.
“There was a policewoman at the funeral, she asked after you.”
“Barbara? She was helping me.”
“Helping you with what?”
“Don’t worry about it now, I’ll tell you another time. You wouldn’t understand.”
Her mam’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You’re not in trouble again are you? Please tell me you weren’t smoking that cannabis stuff again. Didn’t you learn your lesson last time.”
“No mam, I haven’t smoked any cannabis, I told you I’m over that.”
A nurse walked into the room, saving Lindsay from a conversation that was making her anxious rather than soothing her.
“Hi Lindsay, the doctor’s coming in to check you out, he’ll probably give you the all clear to go home.” She looked at Lindsay’s mam. “Could you leave us for a few minutes please while we examine her.”
A young Indian doctor appeared in the doorway. “How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Tired,” Lindsay replied.
“It’s shock, you have been trough a lot in the last week and sometimes, in these circumstances your brain shuts down because it can’t cope with anymore. It makes you tired. Sleep blocks out the pain. Sometimes its a good thing.”
The doctor pointed a light into Lindsay’s eyes as he spoke. He checked her pulse, put a stethoscope on her back, took her temperature and asked her questions. Lindsay answered automatically, but her attention was focused on the doorway.
“Was anyone else admitted to hospital with me, did anyone else survive?” she asked.
The nurse hung her head as she answered, “No, sorry pet, were they your friends. Two young men died at the scene. There was an explosion, they were dead before they hit the water.”
Lindsay continued to stare at the doorway where Michael stood. No one else saw him. He smiled at her. It was a beautiful smile.
“Michael, I’m sorry.” She said.
Both the doctor and the nurse followed Lindsay’s gaze, but all they saw was an empty doorway.
“We may have to keep you in for observation.” The doctor said with a worried look on his face.
“Did you find anything wrong with me?” Lindsay asked.
“Then I’m going home.”
And another short story comes to and end. My head is full of them, so pretty soon another will begin. I hope they give you some pleasure, I certainly enjoy writing them. I’ve provided a link to my first novel below. It took me a couple of years to write and perfect, but I think it was worth it. It may be the best $0.99 you’ll ever spend, who knows?