Suggestions and Stonking Good Stocking Gifts Inside.

Dark visions horror anthology Buy Here

I won’t lie, I may be biased slightly … because I have a flash fiction in this book. But, and the but is huge; I am very proud to be part of this Anthology. Stuffed full of stories; some you can read in a snatch, others that fill a lunch break. All will fill your thirst for the weird, the creepy and the scares. Ask your local shop to get this best-selling horror anthology in stock. Order it from the library or purchase it from Amazon. Either way, you won’t regret giving, reading or receiving this gem. Twenty-seven Authors and 34 stories to stir and startle your imagination. Ideal for the unique individual in your life. The quirky shopper that wants to be the best present giver. The toilet reader. Ideal for the Allotment snuggler; sat in solace in the shed. For the wise man (maybe three of them)😃😂 escaping the world with this book before bed.

NEWS FLASH! any moment now this book will be available in audio I will pop a link here as soon as it is live.

My next choice is this. A fantastic little piece of kit that will thrill any guitar playing person. It has to be a must for a stocking I am filling.

https://drummondandhammett.com/product/accessories/trans-amp/

screenshot_2018-12-12-11-56-09

A great place for a special gift Drummond and Hammett make some amazingly unique items; the whiskey tumblers above are only one of many hand-made items on offer.

RIGHT HERE

This Gift stop is for …

All writers and readers

or library feeders,

sketchers and scribblers

and stationary givers,

drawers and doodlers

Fiddlers and stencilers,

And collectors

Or pencilers.

A small niche company in Ireland who makes exquisit gifts one of my favorites are her hand rolled pencils Press Here to find my favorites.

Next is a doozy of a gift.

Geoff LePard’s Book

Apprenticed To My Mother

Buy Here
Geoff painted a clear picture documenting the lives of his Mother and family. Her quirks and idiosyncratic ways are brought to life with carefully chosen words. His words have you standing in the corner of the kitchen; watching her show her boys how to cook. The story is punctuated with his father’s extraordinary poetry; received by his wife throughout their lives. It paints a picture of a time past and fortitude shown. It has laugh out loud moments like the comments she made and the diplomacy she fooled you into believing she used. A cracking good tale one well worth reading. Told beautifully by a loving son, and a damned good storyteller.

The cushion in my photo is a fluke, but Geoff mentions his Mothers dabble with Beekeeping so I thought it apt in the circumstances. The cushion is mine purchased from Dunelm. A super stocking filler, even those surgical stocking wearers who we can never quite please … will wipe a tear and cast a smile at the strength and the love in this book. Three generations of my family have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. This book will Grace many a comfy seat, accompanied by a slice of perfectly baked lemon drizzle cake.

My final gift idea is time.

It doesn’t have a price-tag because it is priceless.

Offer time, Pick a date and time; time to sit, and listen. Share a cuppa with someone who is alone, share a story or two.

I owe you two babysits written in the Christmas card. To give a young couple the time, to do as they wish; time for themselves.

An invitation to supper or breakfast, sharing food is rarely about eating. Sharing food is more about your caring; you cared enough to ask, to share your time.

What are your best gift Ideas and did you enjoy mine? I love to talk, leave me the gift of a comment.

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Is This A Writer’s Affliction? Or A lack Of Conviction. Writers Block.

I have always thought …
We may have a bad day. We may have no ideas. Blank unforgiving spaces between our writer’s ears.

Maybe we are feeling low, With life to do and places to go.
So we put it off … penning I mean.
We procrastinate and are not so keen.

When we give ourselves a shake,
Stop feeling lazy; checkout of our writing break.
Pick up a pen and start again. It’s not a bore or some godless chore.

It is a gift, a time to live and work in fantasy.
For most, it would feel like ecstasy.
How many others wish they could too … if the shoe was theirs; instead of worn by you.

Writers Block … is it just a phrase?
to disguise the days we chose to Laze.

Pictures by way of Pixabay.

What do you think?

Is there truth buried in my tongue in cheek?

Or is it a contagion, a nasty communicable disease? I truly want to read your replies c’mon let me have it straight between this writers eyes. 😉😗

There Is Power In A Name.

In 1000 words (by the end of each month) using the monthly prompt word. Write a short story, no more than 1000 words. To join in, read the entries and guidelines PRESS HERE. November’s random word is Educate.

Aland worked in artificial intelligence, Luna, two days a week for an Observatory; together they taught the children. They live in a self-sufficient home in the Fens. London was fifteen, Quacey twelve, Diana eleven, Amaris ten, Jaci seven, Candara five, Auberon and Neoma are the two-year-old twins.

eco home

London’s raindrop alarm splashed his hair, with a clenched fist to hit the stop button. Last week he tried ignoring it, four drips in and a deluge of freezing water soaked him. He was not best pleased with hanging out bedclothes and remaking the bed; all before school. The schoolroom was down the back of the plot; both Aland and Luna planned the lessons, they had a nursery nurse Martha to help educate Jaci, Candra and the twins.

“Who calls their kid’s such stupid names?” Shouted London, as his fist pummelled the jute wrapped bale in the barn. “Even our bales suck.” He punched hard into the rough cloth. ” Clean this dig that,” punch swipe, his hands were hot and speckled with droplets of blood, fibres clung to the wet grazes. London pulled his forearm across his face and sniffed hard. His brows creased and mouth screwed as he looked out of the hayloft door. From his position he could see Luna, teaching Quacey Diana and Amaris about pond ecosystems; besides the duck pond. Fishing chairs and nets lay with buckets, paper and pencils; cluttering a trestle table. Dad was doing something disgusting in the reedbed across the far side. He should be revising for his exam at the college next week, instead, here he stood, sulkily watching, keeping out-of-the-way. “I won’t stand a chance, the kids who have normal names and normal lives will hate me.” Regardless of the pain, he returned to finish, his punches clean, swift and hard.

Jaci and Candra were painting a frieze with stamps made from potatoes. Martha looked in on what should have been London revising. Her call to Aland was answered swiftly, “Hi, I am sorry to have to tell you; he’s gone again.” She heard a ragged sigh, his voice flat. “Thanks, Martha, any clue? Anything at all?” She could feel the sadness in his tone, “sorry nothing.” Struggling out of his waders he swore as his sock sank in the grey sludge beside the reedbed. Throwing the waders in the old golf cart, he slumped into the driving seat and turned the key. He watched the children with Luna and smiled to himself. A Kyte caught his eye gliding, like a dart; it plummeted. That’s when he saw movement in the hayloft, relief followed by anger. Going into the barn he coughed and stamped, Aland didn’t want to surprise the boy. Soon they were eyeball to eyeball. Aland winced at the sharp hay stabbing his bare legs. “Okay, I am listening.” His lips were pursed his brow furrowed. London shook his head slowly. Aland caught sight of some blood on the boy’s sleeve, picked his arm up to look. “Better go home get that cleaned before your mother has a fit.” London jerked his hand free. He reached the tackle and hook used for lifting and lowering bales; defiantly he stared at his Dad as he abseiled from the loft.

The house was quiet with the children asleep. The only sound was the bats … and the beat of a base carried on the night’s breeze. Lights shone from the schoolroom where London revised to the background of heavy metal; minus the headphones. “That young man is pushing his luck,” Luna had to hold back from banging the mugs into the cupboard, ” Really Aland, we can’t let him get his head; we will lose him.” She dropped her face to her husband’s shoulder. Squeezing her tight his lips pressed to her ear. “We will cope, we’ll find a way to get through to him.” She turned to him, “It needs sorting before his exams … or he will fail.”

moon-animation33

London sat in the hayloft watching the Moon; tonight it was almost full. Tomorrow a red Moon would be seen from this vantage point, but the thought of sharing it with his siblings and parents made him mad. He scuffed his boot angrily filling the air with dust. London’s cough disguised the sound of weary boots treading the stairs. For the second time today, Aland faced his angry lad. “You, home, now!” London moved towards the door as his dad grabbed him, “Do not push me, use the stairs.” His shoulders slumped, eyes focused on the floor; his boots thumped the steps purposefully. The boy, closely followed by his Father; left the loft.

Luna and the children were excited, today they prepared food for a moonlit picnic. Dad set up two telescopes, one at the lake the other in the loft. He hoped that Mum’s calculations were correct and the sky clear for the show. Jaci Candra and the twins covered spheres with crumpled tissue with the help of Martha. Quacey. Diana and Amaris wrote stories and poems depicting the moon’s phases. Their fun made London angrier. With wet red cheeks, London came face to face with his father, neither of them expected the other. “You always follow me” London roared, his nose only an inch from Aland’s face. “Sneaking up, spying on every little thing.” His nostrils flared, he snatched and flinched and took off at speed. Alund followed. Twigs cracked, sweat seeped into his eyes but he knew this was crunch time; the boy mustn’t win. Aland’s chest began to tighten his legs trembled, but on he tore. At last, London fell to his knees, breath spent, shoulders twitched and drips of salty tears fell from the end of his nose. Aland flopped on his backside; breathing heavily next to him. His head back; eyes screwed and mouth gaped. Eventually, they talked.

Luna watched as they walked, arms draped across shoulders; she smiled. London sat with his siblings around him. Aland tugged Luna away, hand in hand they walked with heads almost touching. London told the children how each one had been given a name specially chosen for its astrological connections. He told them how lucky they were to live there, together they watched the spectacle before them.

the names as verified in the link are:

Aland = Bright as the Sun (English/Celtic origin)

Luna = Moon

London = Fortress of the moon

Quacey = Moonlight (Scottish 0rigin)

Diane = Goddess of the moon.

Neomea = Full moon

Oberon = Large moon

Ameris = Moonchild ( Irish origin)

Candara = Glowing like the moon

jaci = Moon (American tribal origins)

The above list was compiled from various sources but most are verified in the link below.

Name Link

Does someone in your family have an unusual or meaningful name? leave me a comment I would love to talk?

Her Solitary Hike to Freedom.

My rucksack was packed tight with an arctic sleep-sack strapped on top. At low tide, I could wade out … Two months before, I had loaded the dinghy, stuffed with supplies and a two-way radio. Once there, I scrubbed until the skin on my hands became rough and the sores sticky. I pounded rugs, hung hooks for mugs and on a calendar I put a Red cross to signal the chosen day. Painting the outside left each muscle and tendon aching; at last, it was done.

Today was the day. Surprisingly It was easy to leave, I waited until I heard the rumble, saw the soft yellow glow and smelt the fuel. I could almost taste the freedom. On The table, I placed a sealed buff envelope containing a thin gold band. One single elaborately scribed word graced the front; where the address should be. I tugged hard on the handle. A slow lift of my lips and drop of my shoulders felt good … the door clicked shut. Without looking back, before posting the keys through the door I sighed. That sigh was to carry me to my long-awaited destination.

The huge pack was a weight on my shoulders, but one worth carrying. I stuck to the tree-line along the road; ducking from sight, avoiding towns and villages. I slept in barns and an old rusted lean-too; or under my tarp … laced between branches or rotting fence posts. Foil pouches of tasteless food and energy bars swallowed on the move; gave me strength. A dry heat built up where the nylon straps rubbed, but the blisters couldn’t stop me. I trudged on; never losing hope or sight of the end.

A deep intake of breath filling my lungs excited me. At last, the salty smell of the sea drowned the aches and dulled a migraine.

My head, full of fond times and good memories filled the endless stride of my journey.

Uncle Tom took me to this isolated place as a kid. He named it ‘The Retreat.’ By thirteen I knew exactly how it worked. The tides, the isolation. The best fishing spots, where to put the lobster and crab pots.

A lost teen I was … until Tom took me back to basics. If Mam thought I would fail and run home; she was disappointed. Summer, Winter and warm lilting springs were spent at the retreat. It became the only place I wanted to be. Uncle Tom had posted me the keys and owners log; six months past. In the pack was a note, with one word written in black Italic script ‘Escape.’ A stamp from the nursing home was the only identification. On that day my plans began in earnest.

Glenside nursing home called me, the day he passed; there was only me left to tell. My plans were fluid as if I was being guided, memories of conversations filled my waking; as much as they soothed my sleep.

The old map snagged on the zipper of my rucksack; as I logged another ten miles. The wind whipped and tugged It from me. Cross with myself, I crouched down to stave off the worst. My finger followed an old faint pencil line; the map reading lessons Tom gave me came in handy that day. Back on track, fed and watered I hoisted the kit over my painful shoulders. With teeth clenched, I rubbed a hand across my jaw and pushed my booted feet firmly into the sandy soil. It was two more hours of hiking before I gave in to a rest. Too dark to orientate myself and too tired to try; I kept the pack on my back, slid down a smooth trunk and tugged the tarp over my head and slept.

At dawn, a sea fret soaked the tarp but my face must have beamed. Unable to remember the last time I ached from a smile; It was such a good feeling. Even the searing pain in my body couldn’t wipe off that grin.

At a five-bar gate, my steps slowed, my eyes narrowed as I watched a farmer bringing in his herd. A fleeting nod in my direction and a frown made me wonder if he recognised me. As mad as I was for loitering it was good to know a face from the past. The last mile was tough. A steep scramble down to the pebbled cove.

There on a sandbank, half a mile out I caught sight of her. Resplendent in her best frock. Her Windows seemed to wink a greeting. A sigh left my lips my heartbeat slowed and the scent of the sea filled me. Only the cry of a Gull broke the sound of the wind. Not far now, I said in my head. Exhaustion made the wade out so much harder. Weighed down with water I had to force myself on. My legs shook uncontrollably. It took all my strength to reach the door, turn the key and enter my new home my safe place.

His car slammed to a stop, creasing the garage door and jerking him forward. Pleased he didn’t take the last drink, or he surely would have more than a bruised chest. The alcohol saved him from much of the pain as he staggered to the front door clutching his chest. “The bitch” he mumbled. “She knows to have the garage open,” His anger only grew, as he tried in vain to get his key to work. Furious, he picked up a boulder from the lawn’s edge and hurled it forward. The sound was like a bomb exploding as rock met glass. He looked around and saw the curtain twitch at number 18. He turned to face it and growled like a rabid bear as he shook his fists and screamed abuse. Swinging his arms as he turned was a bad move. His weight toppled him head first through the gaping hole. The last thing he saw was the word ‘Escaped.’

His eyes flickered and his lashes raised. Searing pain shot through him. He blinked rapidly; the tears ran down his cheeks as the room stopped turning. He could make three figures out. Two of which stepped back; as they seen him wake. “What the Fuu” he shut his mouth swiftly. “Where am I? What’s going on?” The doctor leant in with a light, looked in his eyes and the nurse checked the screen beside him. “Do you know your name?” Said the Dr While he scratched with his pen on a chart. “Yes, I am Frank … Trubshaw. ” He spat as he spoke, “What’s going on? What’s wrong with me.” The doc looked over his spectacles raising his eyebrows and nodding his head. “You sustained several injuries including a lacerated torso … glass punctured your lung. You have fractured two vertebrae, have a broken scapula and fractures in both your tibia and fibula.” The rustle as he turned the page was loud to Frank’s ears. “You received, two transfusions and were in a medically induced coma for eight days.” He gave him a moment to let it sink in, then glanced at the clock and nodded. “Frank, can you remember what happened?” Said the voice on the other side of his bed. “Two minutes sergeant no more.” The doc said sternly waving his index finger. Once cautioned the policeman continued. “Can you tell us where your wife is?” He leant in closer Frank was perspiring heavily. “Helen, where is she.” Frank frowned, his eyes bulged, a fierce pain shoot into his skull and his back arched.

On opening his eyes Frank slowly recalled the room. A nurse, Sat in a winged chair beside him; her hands curled in her lap. “Water nurse … Water please.” At the last word she shifted; looked confused, stood up and left. The door had barely closed before A doctor folowed by the nurse burst in. “Water, please, he croaked. His voice wobbled and his mouth dry. She gave him water from a pink sponge on a stick, he sucked greedily and she administered more. Again a light was flickred to and fro, the doctor scratched with his pen; charts were filled in. “Well Frank, gave us all a scare you did. We will clean you up and see where we go from there.” With that, he left the room. She worked silently, methodically trying not to make eye contact. When he needed turning a male nurse assisted but there was no conversation. Hours later, when he was clean and a bit more alert; the doctor returned. “What do you remember Frank?” He peered over his spectacles and squinted. “I was speaking to you” Frank stuttered, ” and a pain in my head …” He began to shake. “Okay, okay, try to stay calm.” When he had got his breath Frank asked; “what the hell happened?” The doc introduced himself as Dr Pearce and told him he had a bleed into his brain. “We have fitted a stent which appears to have done a decent job.” He told him tapping the side of his own head to somehow he thought it would reassure the man. “You must rest and stay calm; the next day or so will be tough, I can’t pretend otherwise. The police need to speak to you,” He held up his palm and nodded. “Not until you are stable … All in due course.”

Oblivious to the media coverage I spent my first three weeks between bed and table; eating enough to soothe me back to bed. My exterior wounds were healing nicely thanks to the abundance of salt water to bathe them and air to dry them. I soaked my feet in water drawn from the deck and warmed above the pot-bellied stove. Welts had scabbed on my shoulders enough to bear the weight of a fleece jacket. Internally I would take a lot longer to sort. It was bright and warm, the sun lured me to sit on the porch … the first day outside since arriving. While hugging a mug of hot chocolate and allowing the sun’s rays to caress my face; I heard my name. My top lip twitched and a sweat formed like pimples above it. Invisible hairs stood to attention; down my arms, back and legs. I ran. Unsure of how much time had past; I remember the door cracking, a shaft of light burning my eyes, big arms trying to pull me from the safety of the closet. My fists hit flesh my teeth sank deep, kicking and bludgeoning with all the strength I could muster. Then nothing.

Two months I have been fighting my demons, first from a hospital bed now from my home; my retreat.

Frank has been charged with abuse, false imprisonment, causing mental and physical harm and multiple counts of assault and rape. I am informed he will be facing trial. Frank has been remanded in custody for the duration of his recovery in a prison hospital wing.

Luckily for me, Ben, the unsuspecting farmer who found me huddled in the closet; had recovered. He has long since forgiven me for his broken nose, bitesto his cheek and bruises. He spends time with me; on my porch, sharing memories. Memories of us as children, fishing with Uncle Tom, being scolded for fooling in the dunes, drinking milk from a bucket on the farm. One day who knows … I may find the courage to invite him inside.

Thanks to Esme Slabs who loaned the photo’s that inspired the idea. If you would like to join her Facebook bloggers promoting group click HERE And let the fun begin.

Thank you Lorna from Gin and lemonade. Home of the prompt, to be posted by Friday 9th November.

the prompt is Home go on press it to join in.Home

I share this at EsmeSalon where we can connect with new bloggers, and share our writing. We get to read and comment on other posts press “Here” to share or have a read.

Another wander down the new genre path for me so my question is did it work, was it believable ? Answer in the comments please I can’t wait to chat 😊

While We All Remember Them.

Florence wears her poppy with pride.
Bloody Mary at the ready ,
fag a dangle from painted lips,
burgeoning breasts child bearing hips.
All a wobble; she waits for the last post.
Lips a tremble; as she drinks a silent toast.

Her eyes and demeanour belie her pain the most.
An orphan of war; his body unfound.
Buried deep beneath foreign ground.
For peace he fought and lost his life,
then suicide tore away his grieving wife.

Alone, eyes all a puddle, she stands. Two minutes never brings them back. Silently clasping her shaking hands.

While, we all remember them.

Do you think my attempt is too fickle for such a poignant rememberance? Leave me a comment its good to talk.

Thanks to the artist of Florence who holds full copyright, giffy for use of tumbling animation. Both poem and poppies are my own.

Come On In Where Scare Awaits. #DarkVisionsHorrorAnthology #Book Tour.

Today, I am reviewing Dark Visions. To set the mood I prepared a spooky scene. *Whispers* Be safe, don’t go into the basement!

Keep the lights on …

*in a rough gravelled voice* Do not Answer the door …

At first glance, Dark Visions appears to be a Halloween anthology but there is so much more to this book than that. With 34 creepy stories under a spookily mysterious cover. Stories that will make wonderful gifts for any avid reader.

The Corner shop By Dan Alatorre. Feel the fog crawl up your back, hear the clop of the hooves, taste and smell the stench of urine from the alleyways. But don’t look away. It is a taste of what this book holds.

The Changeling by Christine Valentor. This one shocks from page one. Her skill to put you in the room is enviable. She writes a tale of foul and grotesque goings-on.

Geoff Le Pard, his writing style is crisp; in the voice of both his stories. What if … What if the words he chose to write came true? His dreams became scenes; in reality. This gripping short story made me scared to go to sleep; my hand trembled to pick up a pen.

It is full of bite-sized; easy to read, but hard to forget stories.

Swimming by Frank Parker.

This Is an intriguing tale written with clarity as much as mystery. Not a traditional horror more psychological. One that tells you just enough to have your mind bothered for hours.

No spoilers here, just a few words leaving the taste of fear coating your tongue. Do not be the one that’s disappointed, buy your copy before it’s too late. What! CAT got yer tongue. Waaahhhaha.

Get your spook on like I did making my pumpkins puke.

Read my debut Story contained inside this horrifying book.

‘The Documentary’

Where Red- riding- hood is more than she seems.

If you would like to hear me read my story come to the best Halloween party on Facebook where stories and horror meet. Click Here To See

Don’t go just yet, I would love to know; ‘Did you buy it? ‘Are you hoping to?’ I love to talk, please leave me something in the comments.

When you buy it, remember you’re review counts. leave one on Amazon. We will be thrilled to read it.

The Link to purchase Dark Visions is right HERE

Thank you to Anne Marie who can be found Right Here for producing the trailer.

My Super sister Anne Maxwell for painting the best wolf for my own story.

Pixabay for the cat. And myself for the other media.