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.
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.
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’d planned to have this book released by Christmas 2017. I know, it didn’t happen. I love writing so much I don’t have time to publish, and I certainly can’t afford a publisher. Oh well, when it eventually does get released later this year it’s going to be a bargain book for those of you who love England, especially the north-east. The stories packed into this book include;
Ghosts on the Sand (set in Blackpool)
Guy at the Bar (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
Camera (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
The Engineer (set in a fictitious village in County Durham)
Why are most of my stories set in the North East? Because it’s the best part of England. Northerners are genuine, down to earth and fun!
I was born in Bishop Aukland, lived in Shildon until I was 4 years old. I then fled with my mam to Etherly and Butterknowle to escape my violent dad. Mam finally found a job and house in Summerhouse, county Durham, where we lived until 1967. When she remarried we moved to Brompton-on-Swale, the village that shaped my life. Even though I live in the United States now (well until I retire to Italy), Brompton-on-Swale is on my mind a great deal. I wish I could become a famous writer. If I did I’d make sure to let everyone know where I came from. I’d tell them about that down to earth little village, where everyone knew everyone else and looked out for their neighbors. Many folks were born there and never moved away. They are the lucky ones. My wandering spirit won’t let me stay in one place too long. I pop back every now and again. Yes, it’s changed, but I still think of it as home.
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.
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!
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.