Eventually

Ghostly-Mist-Outside-Edgewood-Plantation-Bed-and-Breakfast-Virginia

Monica stomped along the road in her expensive Italian boots. The evening hadn’t turned out as she planned.
“It’s New Years Eve and I was supposed to be enjoying myself with James. Dinner, Dancing and then…”
Things catch up with you eventually
She stopped and turned around “Who said that?”
Silence, nothing moved. “God I’m talking to myself AND hearing things. Someone is going to pay for this.”
Someone always pays eventually
“OK, not funny. I know you’re out there. Did James’s wife put you up to this? He was going to leave her anyway, nothing to do with me. He told me the marriage was over. He’d be with someone else if it wasn’t me.”

The frigid night air was still and silent. “Where the hell am I?” Nothing along the dark misty lane looked familiar.

Monica had been at the Royal Charles hotel, waiting in reception for James, her lover. A handsome and very rich business man who’d made his money in the fashion world, backing and funding new designers. She’d been seeing him for almost six months. Her goal was to entice away from his shrew of a wife and snotty nosed kids by the end of the year. It seemed to be working until tonight. Monica waited for him for over an hour. He wasn’t answering his phone so she decided to just check into the room and wait for him there.

“I’m sorry, but there must be some mistake, there isn’t a reservation under that name.”
“Alright, I’d like to reserve a room now please.” Monica said, trying not to be annoyed.
The receptionist didn’t even bother to check availability. She just shook her head. “We’ve been fully booked for months. New Years Eve is popular here. I’m sorry.”
“I’m in the middle of nowhere, what am I supposed to do?”
“If you drive down to the main road, and then head towards town, there’s a B&B on the right, just before the farm. It’s called the Charles Inn, sometimes people get the two places mixed up. Maybe your reservation is.”
“Seriously? A B&B? I highly doubt it. I didn’t drive, I took a taxi!”
The receptionist looked nervous, she didn’t want a scene on New Years Eve while dinner guests arrived. “Let me call you a taxi now.” She frowned as she dialed different cab firms.
“I can’t get anyone here until 8:30” She said apologetically.
Monica looked at her watch. “What, it’s only six o clock!”
“You could always sit in our lounge and enjoy a cocktail while you wait.”
“I don’t drink alone,” she snarled.

Monica picked up her Gucci overnight bag and headed out into the darkness. A five-minute brisk walk put her in on a narrow dark. The only thing that moved in the darkness was a damp luminous mist!

“I wish I’d had that drink now.” She said softly to herself. There was no sign of civilization along the dark country road, but Monica kept walking, what choice did she have. Taking her cell phone out of her pocket, she tried to call James again. “No signal, great!”
She saw headlights approaching and hoped it was him. No luck, the approaching car was battered red Nissan. James drove a silver Maserati. In the distance Monica saw lights, they were smudged by the mist, but she could make out a large dimly lit building. “At last, maybe this is the B&B, if it has a bar I’m going inside. To hell with everything, a drink or two would be wonderful.”

She paused for a moment when she reached the gate. There was nothing indicating this was a B&B. Music and laughter floated temptingly from the open door. Live jazz, lazy, lovely and full of promise. She was mesmerized!

“Sounds like a classy place, maybe I’ll spend the night.”
She took a compact from her purse and re-applied her lipstick. “This face needs a man to appreciate it, a man with deep pockets. I was bored with James anyway.”
Monica took a deep breath, puffed out her chest, opened her coat to show her perfect (implanted) breasts and walked to the front door.
The scene in front of her was warm, exciting, and full of promise.

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All about me!

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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.

SandraBookCoverGhostsOnTheSand

Halloween – The Scent of a Woman

lakePenny lifted her head and sniffed the air! She stood up and growled, then whimpered. Jane closed the door and came back inside.”Hey, don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere without you. Penny stood rigid, staring at the closed-door.

“You want to go for a walk? Come on the, let’s get your leash, don’t want you to get lost do we?”

Usually when the W A L K word was mentioned Penny barked, excited to be outside. Today that word terrified her, she hid under the bed.

“OK, I guess that’s a no!”

Jane poured another glass of wine and walked to the window. The view was hypnotic. Maybe I should have become a painter, or photographer. She thought to herself. Tired and frustrated she sat in front of her computer again.

The lake was still and deep, she wrote, a single canoe was moored by a boat house. The night was silent. Somewhere, deep in the forest, evil waited. It wouldn’t have to wait long.  

The words began to flow, so engrossed was she in her writing that she never heard Penny’s pathetic whining as the dog cowered beneath the bed.

An hour passed before Jane came up for air. She’d written almost a full chapter. Yes, we have liftoff!

Pleased with herself, she stood up and stretched, her creative juices flowing. All is not lost!

“Penny come on, let’s get some fresh air, you need to pee.”

Penny whimpered and backed further under the bed. She could smell danger and wanted no part of it!

“Penny what’s wrong with you?” Jane asked as she grabbed a dog treat and crouched down to coax her companion from the shadows. Dogs can be smart at times, but not when there are treats involved. Penny scuttled forward, licking her lips in anticipation. As her mouth closed on the treat, Jane grabbed her.

“Gotcha!”

With Penny tightly secured under her arm, she headed to the front door. Penny wriggled and whimpered, but Jane held her tight.

“Look, nothing out here to be scared of, it’s a beautiful night.”

She placed the dog on the porch, “Now go do what you have to do, its cold.” Penny walked back inside and poured another glass of wine, pleased with herself. Her head was full of words and evil images. She was inspired.

The cold air worked on the dogs bladder. She ran down the porch steps and sniffed until she found a place to pee. She looked into the darkness with wide eyes. Something bad was lurking, she felt it. The scent was strong, Penny whimpered, but not for long.

A huge six-fingered hand grabbed her belly, a second-hand grabbed her head. She didn’t feel the teeth sink into her back. The quick twist of hands broke her neck in seconds.

When Jane walked back onto the porch she couldn’t see her dog, but she could hear her, or so she thought.

“Penny! Penny come on, its cold out here. Don’t stray. Where are you?”

Great, just when I’m inspired!

Grabbing a flashlight from the table by the door, she pointed the beam into the darkness, towards the sound.

“Penny!”

What she heard was the sort of sound Penny made when she ate wet dog food. Oh god, she’s found a dead animal.

“Penny, put it down! Penny! Oh my god!”

The strong beam rested on a horrendously disfigured face. A pair of huge deformed hands held the remains of her pet. Blood dripped from the creature’s chin. Penny’s blood!

The grin grew wider as it took another bite before dropping the remains to the ground. He looked at Jane and sniffed. She’s woken a different type of hunger inside him. One he hadn’t felt before!

Beautiful and Haunting – Gypsy!

gypsyWednesday passed by with no sign of my mysterious fantasy man. Every time I heard someone kick-start a motorbike my heart missed a beat. It was never him though never the leather clad, cool smoking man! I bought ‘Rock On’ by David Essex, but I should have saved my money because even when I wasn’t playing it I couldn’t get the song out of my head.

Richmond fair opened on Thursday evening. The rides were much cheaper that night.  Everyone called it test pilot night. You rode cheaply, but at your own risk. I didn’t usually visit the fair on test pilot night. Not because I was afraid of dying while testing out the rides, but because I had to get up for work the following day. A night at the fair almost always involved lots of alcohol, greasy food, and a hangover. When I left work on Thursday, I bypassed Richmond Market Place altogether, not wanting to push my way through throngs of ‘test pilots’. I was almost home when I encountered the old wrinkled gypsy again.

“Hey pretty lady, buy some lucky heather.” She said in a husky voice. Her accent was deep and guttural. A true Romany maybe!

Gypsies, with their superstitions and potions, scared me so I opened my handbag and found my purse, hoping I had some change to give her. I grabbed twenty pence, which would do nicely. A cheap way to prevent being cursed!

“Here you go,” I said looking up. I stopped dead in my tracks. The old hag who sold the heather was gone and a beautiful young woman stood in front of me. Was it a trick of the light? Her black curly hair rested on her bare shoulders. Even though she stood still the bells on the bottom of her skirt jingled in the breeze. She shivered and pulled her shawl tightly around her. Her dark searching eyes focused on me. They were hypnotizing. I held out the change I’d pulled from my purse.

Looking at the hauntingly beautiful face I whispered. “For the lucky heather.”

She frowned and opened her mouth to speak. I felt her breath, it smelled like lilies and then she disappeared right in front of my eyes.

The plot thickens, disappearing man and now a gypsy! Stay tuned, my next post will be on the road from Italy. Maybe the Italian air will inspire me. Thanks for stopping by!

My first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon for 0.99.

A Reason to Celebrate!

I finished my first novel today, quite an achievement. After three long years of writing and re-writing, its done. Well almost. My manuscript is with my new editor and I’m sure I will have a few changes to make,  but I can handle that.

After re-reading my manuscript three times I am finally happy with it and that’s something to celebrate.

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Preview Dead of July

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PARTYING POLTERGEIST?

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

I found this under ‘Watercooler Stories’ at UPI.com and had to share. I made me chuckle.

 

Woman blamed party noises on ghost

HULL, England, April 9 (UPI) — Neighbors of a British woman who was evicted for ignoring a noise abatement order said she claimed the constant party sounds were caused by a “poltergeist.”

Leanne Fennell, 20, who was evicted from her Hull, England, home and ordered to pay $586.86 in fines and $793 in legal costs to the Hull City Council, told neighbors who complained about the late-night loud music that a party-loving specter was behind the noise, The Sun reported Monday.

“She told us a poltergeist would keep switching the music on really loud when she was in bed,” said a neighbor who asked not to be named. “Some of the neighbors had a terrible time. There were always bottles and bottles of wine and cider just chucked in the garden.”

“She had at least four huge bonfires to burn some of the rubbish that was in there,” the neighbor said. “Some people complained and then she was warned by the council, but she didn’t listen. Eventually, it went too far and we’d had enough.”

Hull Magistrates’ Court found Fennell guilty of four breaches of the noise abatement notice and failing to abide by another notice ordering her to remove the trash from her garden.

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Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

STOP TALKING TO ME

TRAVEL TALES AND MISHAPS

Watch out for my upcoming novel ‘Dead of July’ (Preview) Dead of July which will be released later this year. It is currently being edited. I am having so much fun with this 1982 Russian Mafia/British Military/German Ghost Story that I know you will enjoy it too. Happy Reading (and Ghost Hunting).

Fight after Death

Eileen sat on the park bench, enjoying the Spring sunshine. Daffodils bloomed by the lake, snowdrops covered the grassy slopes. It was beautiful. Daffodils and snowdrops together, what could be nicer? Forty years ago Eileen sat on the same park bench with her late husband Alec. He had proposed to her in this very spot. How nervous he had been. They were so young and in love. She missed him.

Snowdrops and Daffodils. The flowers of Spring.

Eileen basked in her memories, unaware of being watched.

The dirty demented man crouched behind the heather. He had no money and no conscience. He was addicted to alcohol and drugs and would kill for the price of a bottle of cheap whiskey. Time and circumstance had made him this way and he was beyond help.

Many thoughts raced through his addled brain. Should he sneak up on the old girl from behind and bludgeon her with a rock? He liked the thought of approaching from the front and seeing the terrified look in her eye as he struck the first blow. He enjoyed inflicting terror, it was one of his few pleasures. He looked at her again. A weak and contented old woman.  She was an easy target.

He circled around to the footpath by the lake, all the time watching to make sure they were alone.

Eileen saw him and smiled, “Good Morning, a fine day it is”

The smile left her lips when she saw the look on his face. She looked at the rock in his hand and knew running was futile. After taking a deep breath and spoke to her dead husband

“I didn’t want to meet you without saying goodbye to our bairns and the little ones, but so be it.” she said in her lovely Edinburgh accent. She closed her eyes and waited.

“Och Eileen, it’s too soon for you to die.” It was Alec’s voice.

She opened her eyes wide, startled and looked at the man who had been approaching silently. He was now looking to the sky and howling like a wolf. The murderous look in his eyes was replaced with one of fear and bewilderment. The rock, which had once been in his hand, hovered above his head menacingly. It fell on his head with such a force that it knocked him to the ground. Blood trickled down his forehead.

“Alec, you old devil” she said and laughed “Don’t hurt him, just teach him a lesson”

“No, this is too much fun.”

The attacker was now the victim. He scrambled to his feet and ran as fast as he could, dodging the rock that pursued him.

Eileen sat on the bench and smiled, enjoying the snowdrops and daffodils and the memory of her dead husband.

If you enjoyed my blog, you may also enjoy my two short stories. 

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Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

My new novel ‘Dead of July’ will be released in the fall. 

(Preview) Dead of July 

Ghost Story Reviews

As I wondered what to blog about on this sunny Sunday morning,  I looked through my files for inspiration. Look what I found. 

I launched my first short story a little over a year ago. I was proud of my book, but also a little naive. This modest short story could have been better edited, but I was still learning the ropes. Editing is the MOST important part of being a writer, I know that now. 

Below are just a few of the wonderful reviews I received on Amazon. I thank these lovely readers for taking the time to write these reviews. Their kind words gave me encouragement and I am now in the process of having my first full length novel ‘Dead of July’ professionally edited.  It will be released later this year.

The following reviews were kindly written about my first short story ‘Girl on the Beach’

1.     This is a pleasant journey through a few ordinary days with a not-so-ordinary 7-year-old girl. It starts with an unusual incident she has on a beach during her last day of summer vacation, and you spend the rest of the book waiting for the other shoe to drop. When it does, towards the end, you won’t necessarily be surprised but it is very well done and will leave you feeling satisfied with the hour you’ve spent listening to her tell you her tale.

M. Weisbeck – Blackhawk

2.     A good story, told very well. Sort of a ghost story, without being macabre or creepy. As another reviewer mentioned, you can see early on what’s going to happen, but you don’t mind because it is so well-crafted and paints such a vivid picture of the author’s childhood. I highly recommend it.

(Buglady)

3.     I really enjoyed this story, its supernatural feel, its sense of mood and foreboding, and I loved this special little girl who broke my heart. I really felt I got to know Sheila, everything about her, and I found her charming and endearing. The author completely put me into the mindset of this seven-year-old child. And several times, Sheila actually had me tearing up. I knew what she would soon be facing, and it’s always heartbreaking to see a small child face tragedy.

This story is written in such a gentle and natural way, every word smoothly and easily flowing to the next, never sounding forced or hurried. With well-chosen words, this author made me a picture of summer and sand and of a little girl so happy on her holiday. The author then breaks this idyll with feelings of dread, juxtaposing the brightness of summer with the dark foreboding of death.

Told in first-person from Sheila’s point of view, this story is well-written and thoughtful, with the author showing and never telling the story, allowing the reader to experience all that Sheila feels. And you will feel many different emotions, from sadness to happiness, from dread to hope. Even suspecting the outcome of the story, I still felt the chilling beauty of it.

S. Richards – Deep South

4.     This is a very short book and it isn’t so complicated you won’t be able to pick it up and put it down frequently without losing track of what is going on in the story. I wouldn’t call it a thriller or a mystery or a horror story, I am not sure what genre this has been placed in but it’s just a nice little story.

I think what I enjoyed most about it was that it was written from the point of view of the little girl. I enjoyed seeing things through her eyes. It was descriptive and simple but effective.

SurprisingWoman Utah

5.     This short little book was very enjoyable. A seven-year old girl narrates the story of her vacation to Blackpool. The Amazon book summary may give you a different impression. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a tragedy that was dark and depressing or a mystery… It deals a bit with the subject of death and souls, but I viewed that as a secondary storyline. The main part was more a story of a young Irish girl and her mother during a brief part of her life. It has parts that were touching and others that were funny. All told, the author allows you a glimpse into her life, both her joys and her difficulties. 

One review gave it 1 star saying it was too easy to figure out what was going on. I don’t think this book is meant to be a mystery. I recommend reading it for the story and let it unfold naturally.

Kindle Reader 7

6.     This was a book that I couldn’t put down. It kept me in suspense. I loved the main character and the supporting characters as well. I guess the little girl had a special gift and she could see deceased people and have premonitions. I really enjoyed it!

Nicole

7.     I really liked this story. It was well written and even though I knew pretty early on what was going to happen, I still couldn’t put it down.

Steph

8.     This was a well written short read. With the author’s power of description, I felt as if I was there. Good characters, good atmosphere and just the right length. If you want a well written short read, I recommend this.

Lucy PA

Below are links to my two short stories as well as previews. You can also  Follow me on Facebook  for updates.

(Preview) Dead of July

(Preview) Girl on the Beach

(Preview) Guy at the Bar

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

Bargain Books!

While I work on my novel I am selling my Novella’s for 99 cents each. They are my first attempts in the writing world and although a little rough around the edges, they are an entertaining read and a practice run for my ‘German Ghost Story’ which will be released late 2011 or early 2012. I need to find a title and perfect the ending before finishing this but,  I am posting snippets of this story on my blog so keep checking in.

These Novella’s got my writing career started and one day I will look back at them and smile. I hope they make you smile too!