Mossman Coincidences – You Tube

by Karen J Mossman

I do like true stories and decided that I would do an impromptu one on my You Tube channel.

It tells the story of whether my son is the last in the line of the Mossman name. Many years ago, I did some research to find out whether this was true or not. In doing so, I came across a couple of interesting coincidences.

Below are the photographs that accompany the video.

James Mossman - b 1837

James Mossman
b c1835 in Maybole, Scotland

Jim & Sarah Mossman and 3 of their children. Emigrated to Austrailia

Jim Mossman, son of James
b Manchester c1876

Robert Mossman 4

Robert, son of James
b Manchester c1884

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.06.51

Harry, son of James
b Manchester c1881

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.07.17

Cyril, Harry’s son
b Manchester 1918

           Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.11.43


Harry’s children
Cyril, Arthur and Betty
Only Betty survived.

Jack in his army days

Jack, Robert’s son
b1910 Manchester

Scan 19 (3)

Jon, son of Jack

Is Ian the only Mossman linked to James? You will have to watch the video to find out!

Have you found out anything from your own family that surprised you? I’d love to know.

The Secret

By Karen J Mossman

I thought I would share an extract from my 70s love story.

Kerry meets biker Tommy and her world changes as she falls in love. But there is one thing he must not find out, the one thing she keeps a secret – the abuse.  In the 70s, secrets things like that stayed behind closed doors.

Yes, it is a dark story, but it is also one of courage. I have also included humour, because life is like that. Even at the darkest of times, we can still find something to make us smile. And with that in mind, I have chosen this example.


“This is where I work,” Tommy said, as we entered a joiner’s workshop. I could see half-built furniture with lots of wood shavings on the floor and various types of cutting equipment. We walked over to one half built piece of furniture.

“This is mine,” he said. “I’m working on it at the moment.” It was wardrobe, and it hadn’t got any doors.

“How on earth do you make these?” I asked running my finger through a pattern in the wood.

“With this, it’s called a router.” He held up some kind of tool. “Just look inside here,” he said, indicating inside of the wardrobe.

I peered behind where the door would be, and saw he’d scraped TS 74 in the wood. “Oh yeah.”

“We all like to mark them somewhere. So should you ever buy a wardrobe,  take a look inside, it might be one of mine.”

I grinned. “You’ll be famous.”

He laughed. “Come on, we’ll go into the tea room.”

We went up some stairs and into a big kitchen. There was a table in the centre and on it were mugs and some still contained tea that had gone cold and congealed. I pulled a face.

“I know,” he said as if reading my mind. “We’re a mucky lot.” He began clearing it piling it into a dirty looking sink. Kitchen cupboards snaked around the sides of the room, both on the wall and beneath the counters. Some of the doors didn’t appear to fit properly and some didn’t even have doors. There was a fridge, but there was also a bottle of milk standing on the top, its contents half empty and I just had the feeling I wouldn’t want to drink it. In fact, everything looked grubby.

“I would offer you a brew…”

I laughed, “Not a chance, some of those cups look like they’ve never been washed.”

“Come over here,” he said, standing by the table.

“Why?” I asked a little dubiously.

“I want you to lie on it.”

I frowned, “Why?”

He looked at me with mischievous eyes and my pulse quickened. “I want to draw you.”

Draw me? I didn’t expect that. Was I disappointed? Did I think he was going to make mad passionate love to me right there on that table top? I managed to giggle and stood on the chair, then onto the table and lay down, feeling a bit silly. I let him maneuver me into position and felt even sillier.

“Relax, Kerry.”

“Do you know how hard this table is?”

He pulled out a chair and sat down a little way from the me. Producing a sketchpad from somewhere, he began to draw.

“Well, this is nice,” I said, feeling the back of my head on the edge of the table as I peered at the ceiling and my hair hung down towards the floor.

“You’ve no idea,” he said, glancing up at me and then down to the sketchpad as his pencil moving quickly.

“Hmm, I wonder what’s for tea tonight. Wood chips? Or wardrobe sausage?” I pondered.

“Keep still.”

“I am still; in fact, I’m so still you can hardly tell I’m breathing.”

“Your mouth is moving.”

“Can you draw an open mouth?” I puckered it.

“Not in the way you mean, shut up a minute.”

I mentally counted to 60 and then said, “My back is aching.”

“Okay,” he said, standing up and snapping the pad closed. “Finished.”

“Can I see it?”

“No, you can’t, I need to finish it first.”

“I thought you just said you’d finished.”

“Hmm,” I loved the rumble sound his voice made. “These are just the bare bones,” he said with a grin. “I’ve to fill it in yet.”

“God!” I huffed, feigning annoyance. “I’ve been called many things, but bare bones!”

He swatted my bum with his hand. “You’ll see it, eventually.”

We were laughing as we made our way back outside to his bike. Is this too soon to fall in love? Because I was falling right over!

The Bronte Museum

by Karen J Mossman

In the 1990s, I visited the Bronte museum in Howarth, Yorkshire. This is the article I wrote about it back then.

It was late afternoon on a dark cold November day. Leaden clouds filled the sky and a damp mist settled over the streets. I was visiting relatives in Keighley and took time out to visit The Bronte Museum.

A flock of crows gathered in the trees squawking noisily making me shiver. Pausing, I glanced along the cobbled street towards the church with its silent and damp graveyard. The headstones were lopsided and some were flat as I wandered amongst them reading inscriptions. Many of them had faded with age.

I pulled my coat further around me and turned back to The Parsonage, the name of the house the Bronte family had lived. It was a splendid Georgian house built from local stone in 1778.

Photo 15-06-2017-9

The Reverend Patrick BRONTE arrived in Haworth, Yorkshire in 1820. He brought his wife, his only son, Branwell, and his five daughters, Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. The two eldest girls died in childhood, not long after their mother had also passed away. The four remaining children had vivid imaginations and from an early age wrote stories together.

Photo 15-06-2017-7

As a writer, it was easy to see where they drew their inspiration. The ride through Haworth left me with a lonely feeling. The large dark stone of cottages bore witness to how life once was. The damp atmosphere and the smell of moss only added to the bleak but beautiful landscape. It was certainly an ideal setting for the imagination to take hold.

Branwell found moderate success as a painter and some of his painting and drawings are hung in the museum. Charlotte’s most famous novel was Jane Eyre and Emily wrote the equally famous Wuthering Heights. The lesser known Anne penned Agnes Grey.

The museum has hundreds of visitors every year and is as atmospheric as the village itself. On this cold November day, there were just one or two people venturing into the house.

I was handed a leaflet, which guided me through the rooms numerically. The smell of beeswax and wood gave it an immediate warm feeling. Mr Bronte’s study, where he did much of his parish work, looked as if he had nipped out and return any minute to pick up his pen.

Having visited the dining room, the kitchen and a further study, I ventured up to the first floor. I had been instructed to look for the clock on the stairs, which was regularly serviced by the neighbour of my relatives.

Photo 15-06-2017

The clock was a long cased grandfather clock set in a recess on the stairwell. It had a highly polished case, Roman numerals and a picture above the face. “A fine clock,” the neighbour had said. “Be sure to stop and look at it.” Apparently, Mr Bronte wound each evening as he made his way to bed.

Unfortunately, the museum was closing at 4.30 and I found myself a little hurried to look at everything. I did manage to see the clothes the sisters wore and amazed at how petite they were. I also saw the little books they put together as children and gazed at Branwell’s paintings with fascination.

By complete contrast, I visited again one summer’s day in June 2017. So much had changed, not least the atmosphere. Sometime after my original visit, the museum had a lottery donation and built a large annex which acted as gift shop and entrance. Upstairs the museum had also been extended to show more works of the family, paintings, and furniture.

Admittance was £8.25 per person and that gave you free entry over 12 months, although it was unlikely we would make use of it.

The hundreds of visitors each year I mentioned in the first article or seemed to have descended on the same day. I jostled to get into the rooms and up the stairs. I didn’t smell the beeswax this time. The rooms I could get into were very interesting, although I didn’t get a chance to read the information boards.

I enjoyed Bramwell’s bedroom as there was so much to look at. The bed had been arranged as if he was still there and the drawings over the hearth were really good.

The gift shop was full of everything you can imagine Bronte related, – even items that were just printed with the Bronte name, including tea bags and shortbread. There were books galore. Most places have these of shops and it is probably where they make the most money, which will go to its upkeep. I couldn’t help but feel the place had lost some of its initial charms, but I suppose everything has to move forward.

Afterward, we strolled into the village of Howarth and this had all the charm it ever had. A pretty place with his dark stone buildings and cobbled streets.

The old churchyard was lovely, although I didn’t venture through it his time.

Here are a few of the photographs I took as we walked through the village. I hope you enjoy them.


MoS News

April 17I just wanted to tell you about The Magic of Stories sister site. It is called Karen’s Book Buzz Blog. On it, I review all of the books I have read and also feature books I think a reader would like. So if you enjoy reading and enjoy books, I recommend that you subscribe by email and then each time I post it will go straight to your inbox

I also want to let you know about the Magic of Stories Newsletter. It goes out once a month and updates you my writing news, new books by other authors and I sometimes feature book trailers. These are just like film trailers and have spurred me on in the past to buy a book. You will also get exclusives here and  I have an ongoing serial on Wattpad about a medium who ends up getting into all sorts of trouble at times. All and more just for newsletter subscribers.

Anyone who subscribes gets a free book – The Magic of Stories book, plus, and exclusive to this post, leave your home address on the form and  I’ll post you a personal letter and some free gifts. So mention where you came from to be sure of getting yours.

Do you write stories? If so, I am looking for Flash Fiction. Pop over and have a look at the requirements and if you have something suitable, I have openings for August onwards. I would love to feature you.

Join me on Social Media



The Truth Will Out – a thriller
The Secret – romantic suspense
Joanna’s Journey – romantic suspense
The Missing – themed short story collection
Behind the Music – themed short story collection
Heroes – themed short story collection

Also, find me on eBay where I sell little curiosities as well as books.



Readers Review Room

What an honour this was and what a fabulous place the Reader’s Review Room is. Whether you are an author or a reader, this place is for you. I love it!

Anita's Haven

Congratulations to Traci Sanders on pushing forward with theReaders Review Room!I’ve found many wonderful #books there and am proud to be included in the #reviewers’ team! So happy to say that the #readers/reviewers at RRR are volunteers of all ages who get to read vetted books for no charge and write honest reviews.

Thinking of applying?Email form

The exclusive newsletter is out. Congrats to Karen J. Mossman, author of the month, and to all the reviewers who volunteer their time to support authors write more books and excel!

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Summer of Love

by Jane Risdon


Summer of love

They swayed barefoot in time to the hypnotic music of Jefferson Airplane, multi-coloured kaftans flapping in the breeze, their hands high above their heads, eyes closed; the air thick with the sweet fragrance of weed. All around couples lay on the grass embracing, smoking or just chilling in the hot summer sunshine. Babies slept and small children ran about, giggling, naked, just as drunk as everyone else on the joy of love and life.

The Love-In had been almost spontaneous, a version of Haight Ashbury under the huge shadows of Stonehenge, they’d come from everywhere; by transit vans covered in psychedelic art, by converted Bedford coaches, by motor-bikes with sidecars and on foot. Somehow the word had spread and hundreds of Flower People were now mingling with bewildered Druids all waiting for that moment tomorrow morning; the Summer Solstice.

Smiling girls, the waft of musk heavy upon them, moved amongst them handing out flowers and beads, eyes glassy, skin tanned and glowing with youth. Bare-chested, long-haired, bronzed and beautiful twenty-something Greek Gods moved in and out of the gathering, girls watching their every move hungrily, hoping to catch their attention and perhaps share some ‘Free Love,’ later. The air was thick with expectation, excitement and love.

Several groups had arrived earlier, setting up their gear near the silent stones under the keen gaze of near-naked young girls, their interest having little to do with music they would hear later. The same girls had been busy writing their lip-stick messages over the group vans, invitations and declarations of undying love. The hopefuls were eyed with disinterest by the musicians, splifs hanging from their lips as they went about their tasks. All were ripe for the picking, it didn’t matter which they ended up with; there were plenty to go round.

Scott McKenzie told them ‘to be sure to wear flowers in their hair,’ his vocals floating across the almost silent masses. Someone had managed to set up a PA earlier and a Phillips Record Player strained against the drone of a passing aeroplane, high above in the clear blue sky, sunshine bouncing off its wings. San Francisco was in their thoughts, their hearts, and the words of the John Phillips’ song was their anthem, soon voices lifted and joined in with the chorus. Couples embraced, their bodies moulding into one as they swayed gently.

Later, when the groups had finished playing night came, camp fires were lighted and a hush blanketed the faithful and the Hippies, anticipation filled the chilled air. Some slept but most sat chatting quietly, waiting. Soon it would be time.

They rose as one, Druids and Hippies as the sun came up and consumed the spaces with its light. Druids performed their rituals, watched in respectful silence until it was over. A huge roar rose. Dancing, singing, laughter was everywhere. The ‘Summer of Love,’ began again, music filled the fragrant air once more; all was peace and love.

Feeling Groovy

(c) Jane Risdon 2013

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