Brompton-on-Swale

SandraBookCoverGhostsOnTheSand

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.

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2017 Annus Mirabilis

img_0582No, I’m not learning Latin. Although if I have time, I may take Italian Lessons! For those of you who faithfully follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve been absent for a while. You could say I’m trying to get my $*%@ together again! I’ve been writing since I was in High School (and that’s a VERY long time ago), my head is full of stories, some true, some started by my late dad, and some in a back room of my brain, waiting to break free.

My absence was caused because my life has changed a little. I lost my job a couple of years ago, and my new position, with a much larger company, is much more taxing. I come home drained. I think I’ve finally gotten used to that. My health changed, fought with it for a while, but hopefully I have that under control too. Lastly my husband doesn’t travel any more, so the house is a little noisier. Now thats fixed that too. We had a small addition built, which gives me a little more privacy in my little study.

Now, I’m comfortable again and ready to hit the ground running.

I’m working on re-editing a couple of old stories, which will be released as a compilation later this year. It’ll be a cheap buy, because I want lots of folks to read it. Two of the stories were the first I ever published, and in my excitement to get them out there, I omitted making them perfect. I’m making them perfect now. (well as perfect as possible).

It feels good to be back, to be writing again!

 

Guns for Hire

1349149576_207110572717748_346456661_nI went to work the following day, but couldn’t concentrate. Dear God let me survive tonight! Honestly, I was more worried about Jack than myself. I spent my teenage years on the wrong side of the track. It’s a wonder I lived to see twenty, but I did. I talked myself out of so many bad situations I couldn’t remember them all, but Jack, well he didn’t look that strong. I left work early, we’d planned to meet Larry, the old guy from the bar, at eight o clock. I wanted to get home and have a couple of hours to myself first. I hoped to get a few words of wisdom from my gran. She had a habit of appearing when I needed her, but she’d been silent for a while now.

I looked at myself in the mirror, not sure dressing like a hooker was a good idea, but I didn’t want to stand out and the only women in a bar we were going to, were working girls. I honked the horn outside Jack’s house. He appeared immediately and we drove to the Stage Coach in silence. We walked through the door to see Larry already waiting for us at the bar. He looked me up and down as I entered, but said nothing. Jack hadn’t noticed my outfit until now. His face told me what he thought.

Larry ordered a round of drinks. He and Jack ordered a shots, I stuck with beer.

“It shouldn’t be too busy tonight, it’s the beginning of the week, but for Gods sake be careful. Be pleasant in a rough sort of way. These folks look after their own and don’t care about anyone else. Women have one use to them and one use only. Sheila, you’re with me. If you have to sit on my lap all night, do it, it’s for your own safety. Giggle a lot and kiss my cheek if you feel like it, but you’re with me. Let them think I bought you for the night.”

Jack ordered another shot, he didn’t like this one bit.

Bonnie looked concerned. I followed her as she cleared tables at the far end of the Saloon. “What do you know about this guy, Larry?” I asked.

“Larry’s a good guy, drinks too much, but he’s OK! I’m not sure if he’ll be able to protect you if things go pear-shaped though. You’re going to a rough bar on East Colfax. Even the cops leave that place alone.”

“We have to do it! We have to try to save this girl. I think we’re her only chance of a normal life.”

The door opened and four guys walked in, they were big and rough-looking, I hadn’t seen them before. Larry raised his arm when he saw them and they pulled out chairs alongside him at the bar. Bonnie went to served them and I went back to my seat.

“I brought reinforcements.” Larry said. “I thought we might need them.”

Jack swallowed another shot, I don’t think it touched the sides as it went down his throat. I smiled and stuck my hand out “I’m Sheila and I’m really glad to see you guys.”

“You don’t need to know our names, in fact its better if you don’t.”

I looked back at the four strangers. They all grinned at me, showing lots of teeth, not all of them white.

“Drinks all round.” Larry said.

Bonnie obliged, then leaned towards me and whispered in my ear. “I feel a whole lot better now.” she tilted her head towards the guy standing closest to me. He had a gun tucked in the back of his jeans.

Guns for hire, I hope they don’t have to use them!

A single black feather – An Omen?

black-feathers

Last night I tossed and turned in bed, my dreams were disturbing, frightening.

I was in St. Paul’s, a Church in a little North Yorkshire village.

Something was watching me.

When I woke up this morning, there was a single black feather on the floor beside my bed!

Should I be worried?

 

 

Dead of July

A German Ghost Story in the midst of the British Army

 

 

Ghosts and Gangsters – Almost there

The weather in Dortmund was hotter than hell. I lived in an apartment on the outskirts of the city with my husband Les, a British soldier with the Royal Army Pay Corps. We loved our home, which sprawled across the top floor of a big old building, but it had no air conditioning. Heat rises of course and by mid afternoon it was unbearable. The living room window set into the sloping roof opened to the sky and offered no relief. It allowed a slight breeze to waft through, but it was hot and filled with little particles of silver shimmering in the sunlight, courtesy of a huge chemical plant close by. In an effort to soak up the sun, I perched on the window ledge, my legs dangling below me.

 

It was quiet, as I’m sure most people stayed indoors, where it was cooler. Those brave souls who passed by and saw me on that scorching Sunday afternoon were either amused or horrified by my precarious position, as I sat half in and half out of the third floor attic window.  One or two laughed and waved, others yelled up at me with alarmed voices, perhaps thinking I was about to jump to my death.

Dead of July (Small)[4] Color 1

 

 

Yes, my book is almost done.

I have labored for three years over this one, but it was a labor of love. I had an absolute blast whilst writing it.

Watch out for Dead of July which will be released in the fall.

Ghosts and Myths around the World

It is impossible to know why some of us are open and sensitive to the mist of things that were. We see and talk to people who have passed. We have the ability to see into the future.

My ability to see the occasional ghost, and glimpse the future in dreams sometimes scares me, but it is part of who I am. I don’t choose who I see, or talk to. They choose me. I would love to talk to my mother, but she has never visited me, I wish she would.

As a child I was fascinated by Greek and Italian Gods.

The Gods of Olympus

 

 

Neptune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myths and Folklore from around the world fascinate me. As a child I would surround myself with books, becoming lost amid stories of the Titans, great Gods and the monsters they fought. Maybe my fascination is what opened the door to the other side.

I would like to use my blog to share stories from around the world. I can find these on my own, but it would be so much better if I could share real stories, passed down by generations.

Spread the word and share your folklore with me. Tell me about your ghosts, gods, spirits and trolls. Help me to share your stories.

Can you spot the Trolls?

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