Story Book Giveaways!

Electric Eclectic novelettes are wonderful stories. So many authors with so many genres. Just take your pick.

Meanwhile some of the authors have come together to give you a very special collection of their best short stories.  And you can win them both, simply by entering the giveaway below.

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Book Excerpt: The Morning My Husband Passed

Sad days.

My Corner

Six years ago today, my husband was found dead in his room at the nursing home where he’d spent the past month. I’d been caring for him at home for six years after two strokes paralyzed his left side. He’d started going downhill, finally getting to the point where I could no longer lift him.

I’d hoped to get him into Greenhouse,, a facility where residents live in cottages holding no more than twelve occupants and each have their own room and bath,. However, there was a six-month waiting list for people on Medicaid, so he and I decided that he should move to a regular nursing home for the time being. He must have decided he couldn’t wait for greener pastures.

The following poem, from My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, talks about how I learned…

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Mother Dear

Today would have been my mum’s birthday, so I am celebrating it with a little poem.
It’s been eight years since she left and in traumatic circumstances. Any death is traumatic, but things were made more difficult because dad had died just three weeks before.

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In my book The Magic of stories, I include a couple of stories about what happened to them and how fate’s hand can sometimes be kind and cruel.

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Available for just 99p/99c

Isolation

44427376_318214552290296_6855784517664243712_n.jpgEvenings come early in October, the skies begin to dim after lunch and keep getting darker until the nightfall’s, which is around six o’clock.

It is what living so far north, on the edge of the loch entails. It is a continuous way of life, a life stretching back a thousand lifetimes and more.

It is the way of life I have chosen. I love it. The peace, the serenity, tranquillity.

Right now, I sit typing this on a manual typewriter. Two sheets of white paper separated by a single sheet of dark blue carbon paper. You may consider this outdated, outmoded, perhaps it is, but at the same time it is physically connective.

The harder I hit the keys the louder the click, or clack, and the firmer the paper is inked. The actual doing, the keystrokes, the little bell ringing as the carriage come towards the end of its travel, the satisfying ratchet noise as I depress the lever and return, ready for the next line.

I do all this while I look through the window over the waters of the loch, watching the last few seabirds heading for their nests before the darkness closes in.

My wife is at the clothesline, unpegging the washing which has been drying in the breeze blowing through the narrow passage into the loch, imparting a natural freshness no chemical scent can ever replicate.

A cast iron pan, full of rich beef and homegrown vegetables, hangs over a log fire which also warms the cottage.

Some may say we are isolated out here, that we are too far away from civilisation.

“What,” they ask, “what if something happens?”

I laugh and say, “something happens every day, it is why I choose to live here.”

It is their fears, their uncertainties they voice, not mine.

It is also their reluctance to leave things they believe they cannot live without, like electricity, computers and running water. The fact is, no one really needs those to live a happy life, a full life. On the contrary, they are, by their very nature, the things which entrap us and imprison our souls.

I would rather be chopping wood for the fire, as I did this morning, or fetching water from the well or pulling new carrots from the soil than be sat in a fumed filled city, my head rattling from the constant hubbub of noise, eating pre-packed, microwaved slop, which has been mass produced in some factory situated amongst the industrial grime of urbanimity.

Give me a direct, personal, tangible connection, a bond, a personal relationship with the creation of this story, as with the way I live.

Give me unsoiled air of wilderness, the perfume of the sea mist and these early evenings in October. Give me peace, serenity and tranquillity.

And when they ask, “what if something happens?”

I shall laugh aloud once more and say, “something happens every day, it is why I choose to live here.”

© Paul White 2017

A Stranger on the Train

By Karen J Mossman

#RT #music #shortstory

We all love stories and here is one that has never been shared before.

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Jenna heard the song on the radio and the sweet rawness of the words transported her back two years when she met a stranger on a train.

She was travelling to London to visit Aunt Ivy and running late. She pulled open a carriage door just as the whistle blew. Too late, she realised she was in a first-class compartment and there was a lone occupant inside. He looked up with surprise. “Sorry,” she said, not meaning to invade his privacy. The train lurched forward throwing her into the seat and almost into his lap. “I’m so sorry,” she said again.

He was very handsome with the deepest brown eyes she had ever seen.

“It’s okay, as you’re here,” he said. She hadn’t expected to hear an American voice in the heart of England.

Jenna sat down in the seat opposite. The train carriage was small. Outside it was hot and clammy and not a day for travelling. The open window made little difference to the humidity and trying to draw him into a conversation was proving difficult. Giving up, Jenna settled back to rest and fell asleep.

Waking up, she found the train stationery and Nino, as she later learnt, was nowhere in sight. Pulling out a magazine she read the problem page and was part way through someone’s acne breakout when he opened the door. He looked like an Adonis dressed black.

“Hi,” he drawled. “It’s so damned hot in here, I thought we could use a drink.”  He was carrying two cans of cola.

“Oh, thank you,” she said. “Just what I needed.”

“I don’t think the British have heard of air conditioning,” he said as he sat down he pulled the ring off the can.

“Well this weather is unusual,” she replied taking in his square solid chin and small nose. Those deep-set eyes set her heart racing when he looked at her.

“Sure as hell is,” he said taking a long swig.

“Are you on holiday?” she asked.

“I’m working. You?”

“I’m visiting my aunt. I erm…” For a moment she contemplated telling him and then thought, what the heck, he was just a stranger. “I’m escaping a broken romance and my aunt says she has just the remedy for a broken heart.”

For the first time Nino looked interested. “Why would anyone break your heart, honey?”

His eyes softened and the way he called her honey made her pulse quicken.

“Because Pete found someone else who was more exciting and prettier than me, the bastard. We’d only been together two years.” She shrugged. She still couldn’t believe she had meant so little to him. Feeling the familiar lump in her throat, she grinned as if she had said something funny.

“I’m sorry,” he replied sympathetically.

“So,” she said with exaggerated brightness. “My aunt is going to take me out and has promised me a good time. In fact,” she knew she was babbling now, “tomorrow she’s taking me to a concert at the Lords Hall.”

Nino raised his eyebrows, “Lord’s Hall, no kidding?”

“Yeah, you know it?”

“I’m going too.”

“Well, that’s a coincidence! I’ve never heard of the singer which isn’t surprising as my aunt has weird taste in music sometimes but hey, if it gets me out…”

“Sure does. And you never know you might enjoy it.”

“Yeah, bloody singing Eyetie who probably thinks he’s God’s gift to women.” Nino looked amused. “He’s got a foreign sounding name, so I hope he sings in English.”

“He does. His name’s Santario and he’s all right.”

“Thank goodness for that. We have front row seats, so I can hardly sneak out if he is rubbish!”

The journey flew by as they chatted, and Jenna felt a fleeting disappointment when he didn’t suggest they meet up at the concert.

***

Surprisingly, Lord’s Hall was packed. Jenna wondered how so many people had heard of him when she hadn’t.

“You’ll love him, I promise.” Aunt Ivy gushed at Jenna’s scepticism.

“Ladies and Gentlemen.” A disembodied voice announced as the show began. “Please welcome on stage Mr Nino Santario!”

The auditorium erupted into a standing applause as the singer appeared. The only person still seated and not clapping was Jenna. Shocked, she stared at the stranger from the train.

He was wearing all black again, jeans, tee-shirt and a leather jacket with tassels that swayed as he moved. He had talent and Jenna was soon up with the rest of them applauding, dancing and enjoying the performance.

Back in the present, the song on the radio ended. Jenna let the memories wash over her. After three encores, she and Aunt Ivy had been invited back stage. Everyone was vying for his attention, but he only had eyes for her.

Later they had dinner, Aunt Ivy smiled, declining his offer to join them, she had to go home and feed the cat. She didn’t have a cat. After they had eaten Nino asked if she had ever been to a casino, she hadn’t, and it was a great experience.

For his next concert, Jenna had sat in the wings and he was even better close up, especially when every time he came off stage, he kissed her!

She followed him around various interviews and photo shoots. She was even with him when he recorded the songs for his debut album.

Everyone treated him like royalty. They all believed this up-and-coming star would be the next big thing. They treated him with such reverence that even he thought he was royalty at times.

Jenna remembered one radio interview where she sat facing Nino, but behind the interviewer. She decided to give him direction

“And when did you discover you could sing?” asked the man.

Jenna rocked her arms and Nino said. “When I was a baby.”

“Really? That young?”

Jenna put her fingers to her eyes pretending to wipe away the tears and Nino said: “I used to cry in tune.”

“Really?” he said again appearing to believe every word.

Nino looked at Jenna who put her hands together in prayer.  “I used to cry in church.” She shook her head and Nino said, “I mean sing, I used to sing in church.”

The man nodded, “When you were older, of course?” She held up her fingers and Nino said, “Three, when I was three.”

They had laughed so much and as more interviews came, it got sillier. Jenna tried to put him off whenever he was trying to be too serious.

One day, things went too far, and they ordered Jenna out of the recording studio. Nino was up in arms and walked out too. Everyone was in a flurry about wasted recording time and who was footing the bill.

One night in the hotel room after they had laughed about the day’s antics, Nino said. “I love you, Jen.”

She caught her breath, “But you don’t even know me.”

“Honey, I’ve had the best time. That Pete must have been mad.” He kissed her neck and her skin turned to fire. “I knew you were different the moment you walked onto the train.”

“You mean fell on,” she laughed. “And, you didn’t really want to talk.”

His kisses travelling down her shoulders and she groaned.

“I just wanted to look at you,” he said, his hot breath caressing her.

Sighing and unable to resist him anymore, she found his mouth and drew him in.  “Oh Nino, Nino,” she cried, wanting him more than ever.

Picking her up, Nino carried her to the bed where they fell into each other’s arms. Making love to him was an amazing experience, and she didn’t know it then, but it was to be the last time.

***

Now, Jenna stared out of the kitchen window. Their relationship really had been that good. The song faded, and the DJ said, “Nino Santario there, with Broken Dreams, dedicated, he says, to a girl he loved and lost.”

Jenna’s legs went weak, as she felt for the chair. Her heart was still broken for what she’d lost. After all this time, he still loved her!

“And if you want to catch Nino, he will be in Manchester on the 8th and 9th next month. Next we have….”

“Poor Nino,” she whispered out loud. Their affair was all too brief. He had kissed her and said he would see her later. She left his hotel and never saw him again. Later she realised she hadn’t told him anything about herself. All he knew was her first name and that wasn’t even her given name.

Going into town was a daunting task. The bus driver called out her stop and she disembarked. It wasn’t difficult finding where he was staying.

“Can I help you Miss?” a voice beside her asked.

She jumped and turned to him, “Is this The Imperial?”

“It is.  Shall I escort you to reception?”

“If you don’t mind,” she said, mounting the steps with him.

“May I help you?” asked the girl at reception as Jenna approached.

“I believe Mr Santario is staying here?” Her heart was pounding making her sound breathless.

“I’m sorry but I can’t give out that information.”

“I’m an old friend of his, you see. Will you to pass this note to him? Would you do that?”

“Well I…”

“I assure you I’m not some crazy fan trying to get near him.”

“Well, all right then, but it doesn’t mean he is staying here.”

Jenna smiled. “I understand. I’ll just wait, is there a seat?”

“Yes, I’ll show you.”

Jenna waited for what seemed like an eternity, her heart thumping wildly.  She formed the words in her mind. “Aunt Ivy and I were in a car crash, she died, and it left me like this.”

Then she heard his voice call her name and could imagine his face. She picked up her white stick and went to him.

The end

 

This story is taken from Karen’s book The Magic of Stories. It contains a collection of short stories and poetry. Karen is a multi genre author and this book is divided up into different categories, from romance to paranormal, from stories in poetry to short five-line tales. The book is on special offer and you can get a copy here.

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You Time

Sometimes you read something that captures something special. I saw this on the Miraculous Smile website – which you may want to follow – and it, well, made me smile.

Today, we are all so busy doing things and back in the 90s I was sat in an office and one of the guys was just sitting their staring into space. I asked him if he was all right. Yes, he replied, I’m just gathering my thoughts and have a bit of me time. I looked at him unsure why he was doing it. He turned to me and said, we all spend a lot of spend a lot of time working, planning or just doing things. Nobody stops and takes time out any more to just be.

That resonated with and these days even more so. Everyone is always on a mission, so you should stop and do something that gives you great pleasure. Something simple as sitting listening and watching the leaves flutter in the wind.

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Be sure to follow this link and read the few special words.

via You Time

Talking Dirty

It’s so nice when someone is inspired by what you have written.
So I am reblogging Abbie’s take on this subject.

My Corner

Thanks to the Magic of Stories for inspiring this post. Karen J. Mossman talks, in a way, about creating a balance between being realistic and providing an escape for our readers.

Can you think of any scenes where people go to the bathroom? I’m going to be vain and tell you that in my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, I talk about going to the bathroom a lot. In one scene, I’m making oatmeal, and my husband Bill, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes, is sitting at the kitchen table in his wheelchair. Suddenly, he says, “Oooh, I gotta pee. Oh, it’s too late. I wet my pants.” This gives my readers an idea of what I went through as a caregiver.

What about farting? In Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, there’s…

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