shildon redworth road & inst m&lWhen the door slammed behind my dad, my mum breathed a sigh of relief. I stood helplessly looking at her as she lay on the floor. My dad always felt like a stranger, but I loved my mum and she was hurting. She smiled weakly up at me “I’m just catching my breath, it’s going to be alright, don’t worry.”

A four-year old shouldn’t worry, but I did. I was scared my dad would come back.

“Go grab my handbag Sheila, it’s on the table.” I did as I was told. When I brought it back to her she had pushed herself into a sitting position, clearly in pain. I was happy to see there was no blood. Slowly, using the wall for support, my mum stood up, wincing in pain as she did so. With a determined look on her face, she held out her hand and said “Come on pet, let’s go.”

I took her hand and we walked out of the front door for the last time.

“Where are we going?” I asked

“Redworth Road,” she said “I have to do Mrs. Mangles hair, she’ll be expecting me.”

It was a long walk to Redworth Road. My mum clasped my hand tightly, but spoke only to answer my repeated question of”Are you alright mum.?”

“Yes pet.” she would reply, but I knew she was hurting. I crossed the fingers on my free hand and hoped my dad would NEVER hurt my mum again.

Three years later, when my nasty violent father was nothing but a bad memory, I attracted a guardian angel. She appeared to me for years, helping me when I most needed it. If only my mum had a guardian angel back then, or maybe she did!  She escaped with her life after alll. Currently I am editing a short story called ‘Girl on the Beach’ which tells you when my angel first appeared. 

My first novel ‘Dead of July’ is available by clicking on the book cover  below. This story is set in the eighties and is about a young British Army wife and the trouble she got into in Dortmund Germany, where she tangled with both the living and the dead. With the help of her Guardian Angel, she lived to tell the tale. 


Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I liked this book a lot. The mixture of supernatural with real-life danger was very well done. I’ll be looking for more books from this author.
By Leslie
Format:Kindle Edition
A fun, fiesty heroine, creepy criminals, and an even creepier paranormal twist make this book unique. It’s a fun read, partly because it takes place in Germany in the 80s and it’s interesting to learn about that time period. But mainly because it’s got so many twists and turns that you never see coming.

Sheila is a British woman in Germany who does a good deed for a stranger in trouble, and before you can say “haunted,” she’s in all kinds of unexpected trouble herself from enemies alive and . . . not so alive.

I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, all I can say is you’ll never react to the smell of cigarettes in quite the same way again!

If you read my book, please leave me a review on Amazon, they mean the world to a new writer. Thanks for stopping by.

The Girl Looking Back at ME!

I can’t remember at what age I first saw my own reflection in the mirror, can you?


What’s my first memory? It’s a very uncomfortable little girl, barely walking, dressed in a blue knitted suit. When I say suit, I mean hand knitted pants, coat, gloves and hat. I think it’s my first memory because I was so uncomfortable. It was itchy and made me cry. I can see myself now (in my mind’s eye), hanging on to my mum’s hand as I learned to walk. Yes, that’s how far back I remember.

We lived in Shildon, County Durham. Our terraced ‘two up, two down’ house overlooked the greyhound track. The front garden was pretty, thanks to the roses my mum grew.  At the back of the house was a yard. In England a yard doesn’t mean a garden, it means a nasty wet concrete yard, usually covered in moss because of the weather. It was slippery, cold and dark.

My biological father stood in that yard on occasions, challenging my brother’s, throwing a brick from hand to hand as he called their names. My mum and I huddled inside, terrified. My brothers would escape out of the front door and stay with friends until my dad went to the pub. My only living brother remembers nothing of this, strange, I do.

The back yard is where my first pet, a beautiful fluffy kitten with a pink nose, was mysteriously killed. I’ll never ever forget that.

I don’t remember looking in the mirror back then, maybe I was too afraid of what might be standing behind me if I did!

When you continue reading about me, you will realize where my stories come from, and why I have to write. Click on the book cover below to read my first novel. It’s me unleashed!!

Dead of July_Cover_in-template

Peter Pan – Why I write – 1961

I loved Peter Pan when I was a child. I loved that he could fly with Tinkerbell. I wanted to fly for as long as I can remember. Fly away to a new world. I would take my mam with me.

I have snippets of childhood memories. Not many of them are good and some of them are downright scary.

I remember my fourth birthday. We played hide and seek in the dark because my mam had no money to pay for electricity. She lit candles and made a game of it. I had a pink cake with a pink roses on the top. It looked pretty but the icing was hard. I heard someone say it was ‘old’.

I thought the cake was beautiful. My mam’s friend at the Baker’s shop down the road gave it to us.

My Gran gave me half a crown for my birthday. That was a lot of money. The coin was silver and shiny and she pressed it in my hand. My mam took it and told me she would keep it safe for me.

Just after that the lights came back on and I knew my nice shiny ‘half crown’ had been fed into the electric meter. It was okay though, it meant we could see to eat the sausage rolls and sandwiches my mam had baked. They were delicious and I didn’t want to waste a single crumb.

My brother’s were much older than I was and didn’t live at home anymore. One was in the Air Force and the other was married and living somewhere else. I hardly knew them.

We played ‘pass the parcel’ for a while, and musical chairs, and then my dad came home from the pub. He was drunk again and not in the partying mood. Stella, my mam’s friend, rounded up the kids and took them home. They all lived on our street. My dad put the TV on and sat in front of the fire. He didn’t watch the TV, but fell asleep. The TV was still on though, and he was wasting electricity that my bright shiny coin had paid for.

Half a crown

My mum looked at my dad in disgust as she ran a bath for me. Our bath was in the kitchen, we didn’t have a separate bathroom. The kitchen was a little extension in the back yard of our little two up, two down terraced house. The toilet was outside, across the yard and not a very nice place to go in the winter.

I sat in the bath while my mum cleaned the party things away, putting the left over sausage rolls and sandwiches on a plate for my dad to eat when he woke up.

My dad had forgotten it was my birthday I think.

I got dried in front of the fire and my mum hugged me tight and gave me a big kiss on the cheek. “Happy Birthday sugar” she said.

“Things will get better mam” I said “and if they don’t we will fly away like Peter Pan and Wendy”

Her eyes filled with tears and she picked me up and carried me upstairs to bed. I could have walked, I was four years old  after all, but it was nice to be carried. I loved my mam.

She took me into the big front bedroom and put me in the big double bed where I slept with her. My dad slept in another room because he snored. I lay in bed with my eyes closed, listening to my mam and dad in the room below. They were shouting at each other again. There was a bang, and then silence, other than the television. I closed my eyes and hoped I would dream about Peter Pan. I left my window open a crack so Tinkerbell could get in.

Follow me on Facebook to find out when my first full length novel ‘Dead of July’ will be released

Girl on the Beach (UK)   Girl on the Beach (US)   Guy at the Bar Amazon   Guy at the Bar Amazon UK  are my first attempt at writing. They are short stories about the very strange life of a young girl raised in the North of England.

(Preview) Dead of July My upcoming novel is about the very strange life of the same girl after she was married and whilst she was living in Germany.

Yes that strange girl turned into a slightly crazy and very eccentric writer……ME

On the buses – Sheila’s Story

My mam and I stayed with my Aunty Gwen and Uncle Bob for about a week. They were good times. Aunty Gwen made a big fuss over me and let me bake with her. Uncle Bob liked to drink beer, but it made him happy, not angry like it made my dad. My mam started to relax. We went for walks to the park and to the sweet shop, we ate ice cream every day, even 99’s with the Cadbury’s flake in them. We did all the things we weren’t able to do when my dad was around! Aunty Gwen paid for everything. My mam tried to pay, but she didn’t really have any spare money and Aunty Gwen knew that so she told her to put her money back in her pocket.

We took the bus to Etherly

Eventually we had to leave the comfort we had enjoyed with Aunty Gwen and Uncle Bob and move on to my Uncle Billie’s house. Uncle Bille was too busy to pick us up so we took the bus, it wasn’t a very long ride. Uncle Bille was always working, he had a taxi firm and a garage. My mam said he would work himself into an early grave.

I think he drove buses too because there were always buses parked outside his house. His wife Aunt Vera didn’t work so much, I think she took care of the paperwork for his garage, but she never looked well. She smoked a lot too, my mam said that’s why she wasn’t well. She coughed a lot.

Short rides on buses were fine, long ones made me sick, so I was glad when the bus pulled up outside Uncle Billie’s house. He had a nice house, it was new and my mam said it had all of the ‘mod cons’, I didn’t know what that meant, but I think it was good.

The bus driver helped my mam and I get off the bus with our bags. We still didn’t have all of our clothes with us, but we had a lot to carry. We were hoping Uncle Billie was going to make a trip back to Shildon to pick up the rest of our things.

We walked across to the front door, my mam walked briskly and I walked as slowly as I could, dreading the door opening. The door did not open. It was a frosted glass front door, divided into four panels, with little letter box right in the middle. I could see an image at the other side of the door, an image about my height. It had to be Julian. The letter box opened and a hand came out, a hand making obscene gestures.

My mam put her arm around me and hugged my tight. “It will be alright pet” she said.

The door opened and Uncle Billie stood there looking dishevelled and tired, his wild curly hair falling over his face. My mam said my Uncle Billie ate lots of burnt toast and thats what made his hair curly.  He opened the door and welcomed us. My mam loved her brother, and I knew he loved her back, and wanted to make her safe. Behind him we could see his son standing in the shadows with a smirk on his face. I hoped we wouldn’t stay there long!

To purchase my first short story ‘Girl on the Beach’ click on the links below. Available in paperback and as an ebook.

Girl on the Beach (Smashwords)

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

A Close Escape!

Here I am again with Sheila’s story. If you read the last chapter, you will remember that Sheila was at the Dog Track with her mother, and her aunt and uncle. The last person they expected to see there was her dad. He did like to bet on the greyhounds, but usually in Shildon. It was a shock to see him at this track! He had obviously planned it!

We escaped in a Morris Minor

My Dad toppled over easily (my mam later said he had a ‘skinful’), and hit the ground with a THUD!. If it had not been during the most exciting part of the race it may have caused more of a stir, but it didn’t, it went unnoticed. My mam grabbed one of my hands, and my Aunty Gwen grabbed the other and we ran. I don’t think my feet even touched the ground. I felt like I was flying through the air.

We didn’t stop until we got to my Uncle Bob’s Morris Minor. Aunty Gwen fumbled in her handbag for the keys, dropping them on the ground at first (that doesn’t just happen in the movies) and the fumbling to get the door open. She slid behind the big leather-covered steering wheel of the Morris Minor and opened the passenger side door so my mam and I could get in. “Lock the door” she yelled as she started up the car. Cars didn’t start too well in those days, and it took a couple of coughing spluttering attempts before the Morris Minor’s engine-turned over.

My mam was hugging me so tight I could hardly breathe.  I could see my dad emerging from the crowd of people, who all had their backs to us because they were watching the Greyhound‘s chase the rabbit….I started to cry. My mam hugged me even tighter. We had visions of my dad breaking the car window and dragging us out through the broken glass. No one would see or hear us scream because they were all watching the dogs, hoping to win money.

My dad got within about fifty feet of us before Aunty Gwen forced the car into first gear and we lurched forward. We stopped again, then went forward again, then stopped again. I looked over my shoulder, my Dad’s hand was on the back window of the car, and at that moment the car picked up speed, making my dad fall flat on his face behind us.

Aunty Gwen sped across the grass car park, slowing down only to exit through the gate and onto the dirt road. As we drove away, we looked across to where my dad had been, and saw he was sitting on the grass rubbing his head. It had been a close escape.

My mam looked at Aunty Gwen and said “I didn’t know you had passed your driving test Gwen”

Aunty Gwen laughed and answered “I didn’t”

Then we all laughed long and hard, and Aunty Gwen drove slowly and carefully home.

If you enjoyed this check out ‘Girl on the Beach’ available from the links below:

Girl on the Beach (Smashwords)

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)