King William IV – Brompton-on-Swale
Every time I look at this pub it brings back warm fuzzy memories. It is the first place I legally purchased an alcoholic drink.
I remember the little group of old timers that sat in the bar every night.
I loved this place!
I remember Hen Parties (Bachelorette Parties in my current place of abode), and tinsel at Christmas.
I also remember the guy who tried to come on to me at the bar, and the landlady who let me out the back to escape him.
I embellished on this incident for my first ever short story, Guy at the Bar, and was immediately hooked on writing.
Guy at the bar can be purchased, with a collection of short stories in my eBook Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales. If you live in North Yorkshire and like quirky tales written by someone who spent their childhood in the beautiful village of Brompton on Swale, give it a try.
Ghosts on the Sand – Free
Its Easter Monday in beautiful Abruzzo. Been a busy week with not much time to write so instead I’m giving away a copy of Ghosts on the Sand, just to let you know I’m still around. Click on the link above from April 23rd to April 27th to get a free copy (kindle/electronic only).
If you enjoy a traditional ghost story, you’ll enjoy this collection. I’d appreciate a review on Amazon if you have time.
Special Offer on October 30th and 31st only.
Free for Halloween!
Mark your calendar and click the link above to get your Copy.
As a part-time independent writer, I don’t have the time (or money) for huge advertising campaigns. My day job keeps me busy and pays the bills. What I want to do more than anything else, is have people read, and hopefully enjoy my stories. I’m an old girl now and get tired a little more quickly than I used to, but I still write at every opportunity. For two days only, my latest stories will be free on Amazon. If you enjoy reading Ghosts on the Sand, please take the time to give me a review. I’d really appreciate it.
Four years ago, when I self published Dead of July, I was SO very proud of myself. I received some very honest reviews. They weren’t glowing reviews, but they weren’t bad either. They were encouraging, said I had a talent for writing. Life kept me busy for a while, but two or three weeks ago I finished my second book Ghosts on the Sandwhich is now available on Amazon. Ghosts on the Sand is a collection of short stories and already receiving great feedback. I don’t think the book will make me rich, but that’s not why I wrote it. My pleasure is writing. I have two more stories on a back burner, The Engineer, which started life as a novella, but is evolving into a novel, and aeroporto, an idea that tantalized my brain while sitting in a small airport in Pescara Italy. However, I’ve decided to put both of those on a back burner to write a sequel to Dead of July. There are things unfinished in Sheila’s life. A very evil woman lurks in the shadows, a woman who should be dead, a woman who wants revenge!
The King Bill was a friendly welcoming place where all the locals hung out. It was an old stone building with big bay windows, low ceilings, and whitewashed walls. During the cold winter months, a fire burned in the bar and another in the snug. The snug was a small room where the women would gather and enjoy catching up with the latest gossip. With its comfy chairs and carpeted floor, it was a home away from home
My disturbing encounter in the King Bill happened on a Saturday night in spring of 1975. It was almost closing time. I sat alone on a tall bar stool enjoying a quiet drink, when I heard a noise in the hallway by the front door.
“Are you all right, mate?” an unseen voice asked.
“Stupid damn doormat.”
At that point a stranger entered, brushing himself down. Based on his comment, he’d fallen as he came through the door from the street. He made himself comfortable on the stool next to mine, and ordered a pint of bitter with a whiskey chaser. Liz, the landlady and owner of the pub, was serving behind the bar, and was about to call last orders, so he was lucky to get a drink at all.
He was a tall, skinny man—gangly, almost—with a mop of unruly, dark curly hair. A pair of very thick heavy spectacles covered most of his face. The lenses magnified his eyes, making them look huge and out of proportion. He downed half of his pint in one gulp, wiped the froth from his mouth, and then drank his whiskey. He turned to me with a silly drunken smile on his face.
The nostalgic aromas were intense, his nostrils devoured them.
“I miss you Sadie, I miss you so much.”
Sammie come closer and keep me warm, I’m waiting for you.
He took another step and his knees buckled beneath him. He sunk to the ground. He was aware of hands grabbing onto him, finding a place to grip him and lift him and carry him.
Sam opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. He tried to speak, but couldn’t.
The aroma wasn’t wood smoke anymore, it was rancid, sickening. His eyelids were heavy.
Childish giggling roused him from unnatural slumber. Still unable to move anything but his eyeballs he looked around.
I’m inside the cottage, the old hag has me in her cottage.
As though reading his mind a dark figure appeared, her face was hidden in the shadows, but he could see her body, it was young and shapely.
Is this who Dirk saw in the woods? Is this the old hag playing tricks? She has us drugged.
“Yes you’re in my home, you should be thankful I have you. You fell to the ground out there. I brought you in. Saved you from the forest. I’m insulted that you call me names. Do I look like an old hag?”
I’d be safer in the forest!
“Really? It depends what you call safe?”
Sam’s eyelids were still heavy.
“Come children, give our guest some soup, he’s weak.”
The pattering of tiny feet, the scraping of a chair. The shapely figure disappeared and a deformed face bent over him. A face that looked like it had been patched together roughly from spare human parts. The ears didn’t match, the eyes were odd. If Sam could move, he’d have screamed and run. A grotesque smile twisted the drooling mouth above him. A hand that looked more like a claw held a spoon of steaming liquid. From the shadows at the far end of the cabin a voice commanded him to eat. As the steaming liquid trickled down his throat whispers invaded his ears. They floated around him, above him, beside him. The filled the dark, thick atmosphere of the cabin.
Drink your soup, let it warm your insides,
We need to fatten you up,
We’re cold and hungry we need to eat,
Any you are our special Halloween Treat!
The patchwork face above him licked its lips and drooled a little more, then grinned, revealing two rows of razor sharp teeth.
She’d just gotten to the other side of the road when she heard him call.
“Hey, you left your camera in the car.”
“What? That’s not mine.”
“It must be yours. I haven’t picked anyone else up today.” He shoved it into her hand and walked away. The leather strap felt slick, slimy, but worst of all, it felt alive. Lucy shuddered and almost dropped it.
Camera is a bonus short story in my upcoming book “Ghosts on the Sand”. Watch out for it it’s COMING SOON!
Ghosts on the Sand (Art by Kara Boulden)Strangers emerged from thin air, running toward 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 toward the shore, bobbing up and down grotesquely in the shallow water.
Trembling, I closed my eyes and prayed. Was this a nightmare?
Kara Boulden is an exceptional artist and she has agreed to produce a fabulous book cover for me. This is where we are so far. What do you think? I LOVE it.
Juggling work, home, chores and life with my next book release is tough, but I can do it.
Ghosts on the Sand (and other chilling tales) will be released late 2017 or early 2018. It will be a compilation of three or four short stories at the bargain price of $99 for the eBook.
I’m excited for you to read my next venture, and encourage feedback (good or bad), its how I become a better writer. As I head down the road to retirement I realize I’ll never truly retire, so writing will be my new and very pleasurable job.
Toodles, pop back soon!
Gasping for breath, Jake sat up. He was cold! Where am I?
“Are you okay?”
Juliet looked at him, concern in her big brown eyes.
“I must have fallen asleep. I had a weird dream.”
He put his arms around his new fiancée and hugged her close, kissing the top of her head. She smelled good. The mists of his nightmare faded as she lifted her face and kissed him again.
“What did you dream?” she asked.
“I can’t really remember, I think I was drowning!”
“Well there isn’t much chance of that happening is there”? You were the champion of the swim team in high school. No drowning for you Jake”
He smiled at her and kissed her again, pulling her close, feeling the warmth of her body close to him.
“When shall we get married. I want to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of my life.”
“Next June,” Juliet replied, “everyone loves a June wedding.”
She stood up and walked down to the lake, dipping her toes into the cool clear water. Jake shivered, but he didn’t know why. Juliet turned and reached out to him, here
come sit by the water for a while, it feels good. They sat with their toes in the water, the sunset and fading light turning the lake’s surface red.
It looks like Hell!
“I’ve never told anyone this before, but I got a bad scare down here one night. I thought I saw a lady in the middle of the lake.” Juliet said as she gazed into the distance.
“What, you mean in a boat or something?”
“No, it was weird and scary she was just hovering there. Half of her body was under the water. She had long hair. I know it was just the light playing tricks with me, but it scared the crap out of me. I thought it was a ghost.”
“Did you ever see her again?” Jake could hardly get the words out of his mouth as his dream flooded his brain. The sun was gone and the remaining light played tricks with the shadows. He began to shiver. He took hold of Juliet’s hand. It was as cold as ice. When he looked at their reflection in the still water he froze.
He was alone!