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In conjunction with Magic of Stories Karen J Mossman is pleased to present The Magic of Stories book. Forty Six stories in different formats.

The Magic of Stories cover (Jon_s MacBook Air)

Just Stories #2


In conjuction with the website Magic of Stories, author Karen J Mossman brings you this delightful collection of short stories and poetry.

Karen is a multi genre author and within these pages you’ll find forty six stories in different formats. A selection of paranormal, humour, romance, horror, science fiction and much more. Delve into these pages and get lost in a magical world.



Publication date – 20th August 2018

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Exclusive Excerpt from the humour section

The Glory of Food


I like cooking, so I cook for Brian. He enjoys it, and then I enjoy him. Can I say that? Oh well, I just did. Dr Brian was hot and likes his food hot.

“Cook me a curry,” he’d say, and I always obliged. Afterwards, Brian will oblige, too.

Sex is like cooking. Take boil for example; he brings me to the boil and calls me his little tart. Okay, so I have two hobbies and Brian is my man of the moment.

Yes, there have been a few others before him, but so what? Men have lots of conquests so why shouldn’t a woman? That doesn’t make her easy, does it? Ah, well, so what.

Things came together nicely. I’d returned from a holiday in South America, and that’s when I met Brian.

On our first date I cooked at his flat. I made him coffee and put in salt instead of sugar. Not a good start, but he forgave me, and we’ve now been together 6 months.

I try more adventurous recipes and he rewards me with more adventurous sex. It works for both of us.

Then he said he wanted someone to cook for me and it was my turn to be spoilt with good food at a restaurant. I hadn’t the heart to tell him I was feeling unwell. I was nauseous and kept excusing myself to visit the bathroom. Eventually when I returned, Brian had paid the bill, and we were on our way home.

Usually after a good meal we’d work off the calories, but I had hardly eaten anything, and Brian looked at me with concern. The following morning, the pain had subsided, but I still felt ill. I was shocked when I looked in the mirror. As I came out of the bathroom Brian did a double take. He  whisked me away with great speed.

Actually, he saved my life; his swift action caught my yellow fever in time. When I come home, I will cook him the best curry in the world. Afterwards, he said, he’d show me how to spice it up and I can’t wait for that!


The Magic of Stories

Sister Cousin

by Mary Hiland

Comedians love to build their acts on their terrible childhoods, so I would have a hard time being a comedian, because mine was almost idyllic. Although I enjoyed the benefits of being an only child, I felt I had been cheated out of three very important ingredients for a perfect young girl’s life, luxurious hair, a respectable bra size, and a sister.  I had a best friend in each stage of my childhood, but at the end of the day, they would go home to their families. In college, I chose the smallest dorm on campus, so I could have sisters without the expense and drama of a sorority.

I did, however, have a girl cousin who was about 3 years older than I and whom I idolized. She was old enough to teach me the important lessons of growing up as a girl, like how to apply lip stick, how to do the popular dances, and which words were curse words and shouldn’t be used in public. Carolyn was like a big sister to me. She had a little brother, Johnny, who was more of a pest than anything else when we were kids, and sadly, it would be half a century later at Carolyn’s funeral that I felt close enough to him to feel like he was a brother.

Each year, Carolyn, Johnny, and I spent our summer vacations at our grandmother’s house in the country in southern Indiana, and it was during those times that we bonded as siblings. Carolyn and I, both being older than Johnny, were often mean to him as kids will be, telling him it had been his turn to run to the mailbox by the side of the road the day before, when actually, he hadn’t had his turn in a week. I have many stories to tell about our adventures at Grandma’s, but for the purpose of today’s musings, I need to tell you about how Carolyn saved my life.

I need to skip ahead, through all the years of high school, marriage, child-rearing, alcoholism, recovery, nursing school, and her experiences as a hospice nurse. Carolyn and I each lived alone, after our respective divorces, she in Cincinnati, and I in Columbus. We both had careers, and were comfortable living alone, but we had agreed that when we retired, we would find a duplex and live side by side, sharing dinners when we felt like cooking, watching chick flicks together, and playing Scrabble from time to time, but we each would have our own space. Once in a while, I traveled to Cincinnati to spend a weekend with her, or she would drive to Columbus to visit me. It was during one of those visits here that her keen observation as a nurse is the reason I am alive today.

We were getting ready to go out to an upscale restaurant for dinner, and we were both scurrying back and forth from bedroom to bathroom in panties and bras, getting dolled up. On one of those trips, we crossed paths in the hallway, and she stopped me by putting her hand on my arm. what’s that dark spot on your arm?” she demanded. I heard the concern in her voice, but I brushed it off as an over protective big sister’s remark.

“Oh, it’s probably a bruise,” I said. “I’m always bumping into something or other.”

She didn’t argue with me, but she said in a very firm voice, “I want you to make an appointment with a dermatologist on Monday. I mean it.”

“OK OK,” I said. I will.” And I did.

The next day, as Carolyn drove back to Cincinnati, she heard a voice in her ear say, “Make sure Mary goes to the doctor.” She wasn’t afraid when she heard that voice. She recognized it as our Great Uncle Herman, whom she had been especially fond of, and whom she considered her guardian angel. She called me as soon as she got home. “Now don’t forget to go to the doctor.” she said again.

When I went to the dermatologist, he extracted the dark spot as if it were a mole, and I thought nothing more about it. I didn’t even call Carolyn to tell her it was just a mole. But the next day, the doctor’s assistant called to tell me I needed to come in right away. that dark spot was melanoma. At that time, I had no idea how deadly it can be. It’s the fastest spreading cancer there is.

It happened that the very next weekend, Carolyn and I were going to visit my mother, who lived near where our grandmother had lived. So I told the assistant I couldn’t make it that week. Could I come the next week? I still was ignorant about how urgent it was to take care of that dark spot.

“No,” she said, with the same firmness in her voice that Carolyn had used. “You need to get in here on Friday. The doctor has moved all his patients so he can see you immediately.” It was probably a good thing I didn’t know the reason for everybody to be so concerned, because it would have scared me to death. As it turned out, Carolyn and I stopped at the dermatologist’s on the way to Mom’s, and they excised the surrounding tissue where the dark spot had been. I had asked Carolyn to stay in the room with me to keep an eye on what they were doing, so she could describe it to me later. But I needed no description when the Novocain began to wear off, and I could feel the knife. Carolyn told me they paused for a minute to run and get more novocain from the room next door. There would be more testing of the tissue that had been removed, but on we went to Indiana. We agreed not to tell Mom. No need for her to know. I wore a long-sleeved shirt to hide the bandage, and just before we all went to sleep that night, Carolyn tiptoed into my room to check on my pain level. Always the nurse, I thought. thank God, she is always the nurse.

The melanoma had been stopped in its tracks. Because of Carolyn’s no-nonsense warning without panic or even alarm, and because of my naivete, I was never nervous or afraid. I had every confidence that this was just something I had to deal with and then go on with my life. Whenever I touch the divit in my upper arm, it renews my faith in God. Carolyn thought it was Uncle Herman’s voice she heard urging her to go with her instincts, and maybe it was, but it was the collaboration of God and Carolyn that saved my life.

Now I often hear Carolyn’s voice, but it comes out of my own mouth. We always did have the same timbre in our voices, and sometimes, when we spoke on the phone, it was like talking to myself, our voices were so similar. I’ll say something out loud when I’m alone, and it will sound just like Carolyn. “OK Carolyn,” I’ll say again out loud. “I hear you. You’ll always be with me, and you’ll always be my sister.”


About the author:

Mary Hiland, a native of Cincinnati, lives in Gahanna, Ohio with her Seeing Eye® dog, Dora. She is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in Social Work. She recently retired as Executive Director of The American Council of the Blind of Ohio. Before that, she served for over 21 years as Director of Volunteers for VOICEcorps Reading Service

Ms. Hiland has been published in Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul, Redbook magazine, Toastmaster magazine, and The Columbus Dispatch.

In 2001, Ms. Hiland carried the Olympic torch, and in 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from her local Toastmasters Club.

Ms. Hiland has two adult children and five granddaughters.

For more visit he website.

Originally posted here.



Magic of Stories Facebook Group

Did you know this website has a Facebook group?

It’s for book lovers like you. It’s like this website only different.

Readers, do you love talking about the book you’ve just read? Does it make you feel inspired? What would you have done in that situation?


Do you ever make notes on your Kindle because something touched your heart, or was just a genius phrase?

Well here is a place to share those thoughts. Sometimes in every day life, something is funny, startling, or just plain weird. Well this is the place to share it, too. It’s a place of stories.

As authors, we love telling tales.  As authors, we love talking about our books. This is not another promotional place, it’s place for telling us the story of your book. What made you write it? Where did the characters come from? Have you a juicy excerpt? Image teaser? Do you have a direct link to your website? Facebook page, group? Do you have have short story to share, a snippit, a real life story. Then this is the place.

Come and join the group and there may even be the odd game, and perhaps a giveaway. Clic this link and see why our group is different from the norm.

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A Ghost of Myself

An interesting and thoughtful story to share with you. It certainly had me thinking.


Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I pull to the side of the road. The screech of sirens and the flashing blue lights of an ambulance head towards my village. For a moment I am simply grateful that my younger son sold his motorbike, even though I know he misses it dreadfully. There were too many ditches when he was younger…

Then I wonder who needs the ambulance. Will it get there in time? Do I know them? Will they be okay?  What if I was me who had died and the ambulance was going for my body while my ghost, all unaware, still went to work…?

Now there’s a thought that comes right out of nowhere and is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks on the way to work…

How would I know? Living with the dog wouldn’t have helped, as I am convinced they can see far more than we can. Ani might…

View original post 542 more words

Jon Doe

The pain leaches into the soil with his blood as he lies silently studying the pines.  The long straight trees pierce the clouds with geometric precision.  The cold calms him; he no longer feels a need to call for help.  Studying the perfection of the moment, he dozes into a mindless peace.

Without warning, he jerks into consciousness with a brilliant electrifying pain.  Strangers loudly push and pull trying to move his body.  Terrifying sounds, he can’t comprehend.  “Stop, stop, why won’t you stop?”  He doesn’t want them to disturb the beauty of the welcoming moment.  Young men yell and slap him to stay awake.  In the confusion, he only wants to go back to the trees.  Trying to stop the rude invasion, he fights, but he doesn’t have the strength to lift his arms. As a witness to this assault on his own body, he slips back into the comfort of oblivion.

Abruptly more strangers intrude on his serenity, wrapping him in blankets and jabbing him with metal, he is amazed as they turn anguish into torture.  The people seem to be trying to help, but he wants to be alone.  His misses the perfect loving embrace of the forest.  They won’t listen. He tries to demand his wishes be respected but drifts back into silence; all dreams stripped away.

Awakening again, he hears beeping and sees the tubes and machines as an angel in light blue quietly offers ice chips.  Her touch is painful, but welcome as she moves about the bed.  He tries to speak and she comes close, putting her ear near his mouth.  She is the first to try to understand him, encouraging and tender in her intrusions. He calmly drifts back home.

The room is dark when he re-enters consciousness. The pain is his constant companion and he still can’t move.  He watches two women in the room, their motions choreographed with a shared purpose.  They attend to the body attached to his thoughts.  He asks about the angel but he can’t form the right words.  As he speaks, they accelerate into a cacophony of activity and he becomes agitated when they don’t understand.  Fade to black.

A soft yellow light enters the room and he feels the sun warm his face.  He opens his eyes to a new day as the angel appears in his room.  She brings food and disconnects some of the tubes.  His grief slips away and eagerly eats a few bites.  The pain is tolerable and he can move ever so slightly.  Peace is gone, but he is happy to be alive.  He looks directly into her caramel colored eyes and asks, “Do you have my banjo?”   Her laugh fills the room as she responds “Welcome back, nice to meet you.”

36875898_10216988361405021_360047005344464896_n Toni Kief
Author and Occasional liar


A Strange Good Bye

June 16, 2010- 9 p.m.

I sit in the back of the room, silently watching a tableau of insecurity and the desperation of everyday life.  I’m numb to the empty-headed chatter that is meant to be clever or funny but is neither.  The noise of my solitude drums out the redundancy of their forced hilarity.

Then he appears.  It is as if he just materialized, a true original, filling my isolation with outrageous possibilities.  I’ve heard his name before, but he certainly isn’t who I expect.  Not classically handsome, he looks directly into my eyes and then his intelligence and wit draws me into his world.  Within moments I am his captive as I throw away my watch and calendar.  The demands of the mundane become irrelevant as we travel to unscheduled ports.  It all happens so quickly and without fanfare, I feel I am pre-destined to follow him.  With no want to resist, I know that if asked I’ll pledge allegiance to this outsider.

He exposes the universality of human frailty as I hear his voice tell me to hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!  He allows me to travel beside him not expecting anything other than to bear witness and honor a true spirit.  I don’t know how long we were together, on a path of limitless possibilities.  The boundaries of linear time are destroyed as we journey sharing adventures enough to fill lifetimes.

And then it’s over.  I understand that everything has a beginning and end, but our time together seems so brief and then he is just gone.  I search for his name in the listings and I don’t know if it will be a week, a month or a year.  I am confident he will be back when it is least expected.  So this weekend I patiently wait secure in the knowledge that he will return, and step from the blue police box to challenge my isolation.

36875898_10216988361405021_360047005344464896_nToni Kief
Author and Late Bloomer





A Menai Strait Walk

On the 21st June we met up with some friends and parked up in Menai Bridge in Wales where I live, and walked down to the Strait, the water surrounding the island. Despite living on Anglesey for two years, we hadn’t been down this way. It was so picturesque and the houses had beautiful balconies with views over the water.

One of the biggest thrills was walking under the bridge. I had been over it many times, but never underneath.

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When the tide is in, all of this is underwater. The bridge is one of two connecting the island to North Wales. The other bridge is called The Britannia, and I’ve yet to walk under that one.

We continued down the path and came across a small garden area with standing stones. There are many standing stones on Anglesey. It seemed appropriate to be the sacrificial lamb as it was Summer Soltice after all. At least it gave everyone a laugh!

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We soon found ourselves on the Belgian Promanade, built by refugees during the war as a thank you for the town for their hospitality. If you want to read more, just follow the link.

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This led to a walk way over to an island. I could imagine it splashing up at the walls, and on a windy day if you wanted to pass through, you could easily find yourself wet.

The first thing we saw was a magnificent Yew tree. I don’t think I’ve seen one as large. It was a shame about the gardener’s van spoiling the photograph. He was strimming away at the bushes and folliage, so what should have been a peaceful area was anything but.

The island consisted of a tiny church and a graveyard. It is known as The Island Church and part of the parish of Llandysilio.

As we approached the entrance, we were again taken by the tree and its many branches. They told of all the years it had been Photo 21-06-2018, 11 10 31standing there. As we read the gravestones , it was easy to imagine how people of old would have known the tree well, and maybe they called it the tree of sorrow.

There were many graves, too many to read all of them. It made us wonder about the people who had gathered round, standing where we stood and listened to the burial ceromony. We found ourselves looking for the oldest ones and reading them out loud. Many were dated between 1700 and 1800.

Finally we went into the ancient church of St Tysilo. It was dark and cool inside making us feel inclinded to whisper. The pews were set facing the alter and a wooden organ was set to the side. I couldn’t reisit lifting the lid to press a key to hear their sound, but it wasn’t working.

As I sat in the pew at the front, I felt as if I’d gone back in time. If the walls could have talked I would have loved to relive the services of old. Beautiful wood and a tiled floor all added to the atmosphere of reverence.  Sitting in quiet contemplation (apart from the high pitch whining sound), I could almost imagine the people who filled the pews with their heads bent in prayer.

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This was the oldest gravestone was part of the floor inside the church. There were three lying next to each other. The oldest being 1696, belong to a two and half year old child.



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We made our way slowly back admiring everything and wondering about the lucky people who owned the houses overlooking the Strait. It’s likely that many of them were holiday homes where a premium rental would be involved. A three storied appartment block was in construction and that had also had great views. I’m sure they’ll sell very quickly.

Hungry, we made our way to a pub called The Liverpool Arms. It was in a back street NS off the beaten track. As I stood looking at it, I wonderED whether to go in. It would be a little gem, or a right dive. Luckily it turned out to be a gem. We enjoyed a lovely lunch. Inside was pleasent and comfortable and the service and staff were all that you would want after a long walk – apart from a large glass of white wine, which went down very well!