Smorgasbord Short Stories – Authors in the Sun – #WWII – Butterflies of Dunkirk by Claire Plaisted

A short story I wrote about five years ago. Enjoy and please share. Thank you.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

When I worked on radio in the south of Spain I presented and recorded four series of Authors in the Sun showcasing local writers and their short stories. I ran a series here on the blog in 2017 which was much enjoyed and showed off the skills of some amazing writers.

There have been some wonderful stories shared in  this summer’s series with the last being shared next week.

Butterflies of Dunkirk by Claire Plaisted

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

All shapes and sizes of vessels left the English ports. Any seaworthy boat went to rescue those from the French shores and the horror of the massacre on Dunkirk. The boats approached the French shoreline, horror on the faces of the captains and seamen, as they watched the slaughter continue. The boats powered ahead to rescue as many men as they could, praying for the souls of those they…

View original post 513 more words

Delta is HERE! Opinion Piece…

hands with latex gloves holding a globe with a face mask

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

 It’s been a weird 18 months to say the least with Covid coming and going and now we have Delta,  which we seem to be managing to contain, which is another win for New Zealand. We went into lockdown within 12 hours of the case been reported. At that time nobody could confirm it was Delta, though it now shows it was. Better safe than sorry. Even so, Delta took off and spread. (Confirmation came through a few hours later.)

It’s nice to be free to do what you want when you’re not in a virus war. Though we aren’t there yet, we have peaked and cases are getting lower, sadly one elderly lady died, and my condolences go to this family. It is also known this lady had other health issues. 

Most of the Delta cases are in Auckland, who are on a level 4 lockdown, meanwhile the rest are on a level 3 lockdown and looking forward to level 2. Vaccinations are up and now offered to 12 yrs upwards. It is still your choice. 

Similar to other countries, we also have a tracker, (for those with a phone) though ours isn’t the government stalking us. All information is private unless you become a contact of someone with the virus, then you are REQUESTED… to give information so the virus can be traced to keep our communities safe. If you don’t have a phone you will be requested to sign in on paper at all businesses. This will be mandatory as of the 7th Sept due to the lack of use during level one when we were all complacent and thought we were safe…humm. Masks are also Mandatory when out shopping. I rarely go out due to anxiety when wearing a mask. I tend to stay in our car. 

The rest of the world watch and thinks we’re in cages, have communism and stuff. Makes me laugh at all the fake news we hear from others. Including some of our own people. Most of us prefer to work together to rid ourselves of this virus rather than spread it. Do you want to know why?

Well, my opinion—putting it mildly, is that we have 5 million Kiwis in New Zealand. 2.7 million of those are working adults. No idea how many are front-line workers. (like my husband) Now imagine if Delta got out of control here! The country would literally shut down. No imports, exports, nobody to work the front line…It would be a bloody mess. We export food worldwide… which means you’d be without as well. One London reporter told people the only reason we lockdown is because we can afford it. NO WE CAN’T. More to the point, we can’t afford NOT TO.

Since many countries have millions of people, you don’t notice the little things. I’ve heard many say Delta isn’t as bad as people think. Once again, with a smaller population, you see things better. When we had Covid the first time, one person infected 89 people at a wedding. With Delta, so far we have over 753 people connected to ONE person who got Delta, (so far) with around 37,000 people in isolation as contacts or having been in the same locations (over 400 of them) as contacts. We have 43 in hospital and 7 in ICU. This is a lot more than last time. This isn’t much compared to some countries until you look at statistics… 

Our Delta came from New South Wales via a person coming home and in MIQ (Quarantine) They have yet to discover how it got out from there to the community. One thing I would like to know is where NSW got Delta from! Since we’re both Islands with only residents returning, it makes things—in general, easier to discover.

Our daily count is going down. Last one I saw were 20 new community cases via contacts. Here is hoping we’ll beat it again.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Authors in the Sun – #Mystery – The Coin by Rob Shackleford

I love this story from Rob. A great read for anyone.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

When I worked on radio in the south of Spain I presented and recorded four series of Authors in the Sun showcasing local writers and their short stories. I ran a series here on the blog in 2017 which was much enjoyed and showed off the skills of some amazing writers.

I would love to share your short stories here too this summer and details of how you can participate is at the end of the post.

Today Rob Shackleford, author of two time travel novels shares a story that will have you scratching your head…..

The Coin
By Rob Shackleford

When I was a kid, things weren’t as structured at school as they are now. Then, children would either walk or ride a bicycle to school and, rather than being met by crowds of paranoid parents carefully scrutinising the surroundings for paedophiles, at the ring of the school…

View original post 2,348 more words

Podcast Trial with Anchor. #Learning #Podcast

Learning how to use Anchor & WordPress together… This is the result. Let me know what you think…

Plaisted Publishing

View original post

A New Cousin and Book Two of Enchantments

I’m glad you enjoyed the last sample from a story…I am still writing. It will be called ‘Love Reunited.’ Though it is a love story with a HEA, it is also a murder mystery story which I hope you’ll enjoy. The little girl is unharmed and you even get a lesson in Family History Research (another of my hobbies and jobs). I may let you see more of the story, however this post is about a new contact who is a cousin and happened to read one of my books called ‘Enchantments – The Beginning.’

Enchantments is a fast-paced YA fantasy book introducing you to eight characters, their animals and trainers. I wrote this back in 2016 and published it in 2017. Each character has an animal which gives them energy boosts to help save the human world from the Shadows. Seven of the eight are Bul’ith, which is revealed to them in their 18th year. When they turn 21, they meet their animal and train. The animals are: Wolf, Cheetah, Falcon, Komodo Dragon, Bear, Anaconda and a Wild Boar. The 8th Bul’ith is missing, and a human takes his place without an animal.

The new cousin enjoyed the read, she asked for more. I convinced my muse to give it a go and we now have nearly 4k of a new story. I’ve put a bit below and a picture of Briar, one of the Bul’ith.

Mending Briar – Draft

Far from the battle in the city of Chantari, the young Destinies were training for the ultimate battle.

Kendrall appeared at the edge of the training square, his eyes anxiously watching the combatants engage with swords, daggers and pure animal strength. Twisting and turning, they laughed jubilantly when they outdid their betrothed.

Qwaun appeared at his side, his arms crossed over his chest.

“They’re doing well.”

“Aye, though we will need to intensify the training,” sighed Kendrall.

“Why?”

“The Shadows attacked several hours ago.”

“How the hell did…”

“Possible it’s something to do with the small amount of animal power they got from Briar. We’re yet to find out.”

“Tis a pity we can’t get Briar’s gem back.”

“None have survived entering the shadow realm,” he winced, seeing Ruben hit the stony ground hard, rolling to the side, so the sword missed his stomach. His right hand reached out, yanking Briar’s foot off the ground. She moved into a tumble, arching over Ruben and standing up on the other side with a huge smile.

“They are good together, though the bruising can be quite bad for both of them.”

“Tis a pity we can’t do…” he trailed off. “I’m going to the library,” Kendrall disappeared.

“What the…”

Joz found Kendrall with his head buried in a pile of old scroll, muttering as his finger moved through a list.

“What are you doing, Kendrall,” she touched his shoulder making him jump.

“Argh. Searching for strong small mammals.”

“Whatever for? Aren’t you meant to be…”

“It may help,” he muttered.

“Help what?”

“Win the war,” he glanced at her with a smile. “I’ll let you know when I know.”

“Don’t forget to talk to Mistress before you do anything…”

“You know I will, Joz. Stop worrying.”

“The trouble you get into,” she murmured, walking away.

Kendrall wasn’t listening, he’d gone back to studying the list writing down names of different mammals and a couple of insects.

“So many creatures,” he sighed.

“What are you looking for, Kendrall,” said Mistress.

“I suppose Joz told you I was up to no good,” he scowled.

“Not at all. I always know when you are in Chantari,” she laughed. “Remember, I do rule here. Now tell me your idea and what it is you want. I may be able to help.”

“Briar,” he sat up, indicating his boss to sit down. “I know she can’t have energy from Dulcie due to the missing gem and her now being human. The pain would be to much for her to handle.”

“Correct, along with the scaring which could damage her strength.”

“What if we can find a small mammal or insect who has an abundance of energy and strength who could do the same job as the falcon but with less danger and scarring?”

“She can’t keep the energy inside her without the gem.”

“What if she can keep…” he bit his lip.

“Keep?”

“An insect inside her to boost her energy.”

“Eww. I can’t see her accepting, let alone getting it to work. Let me talk to the Soul Keeper and see what he says.”

“I’ll keep looking. I’m sure there must have been more than one instance when the Shadows got lucky.”

“Talk to Joz, you know she has inherited knowledge and a deep understanding of our history. Get past your pain and be honourable to her, Kendrall. It’s time to live again. Way past time,” she shimmered from view, leaving Kendrall gaping at where she’d stood wondering what she knew.

“I know you…” her voice whispered.

“I’m not ready,” he muttered.

“You never will be unless you take your life in your hands and free yourself from your mistakes.”

“Fine,” he grumbled. Standing up he went in search of Joz—the love of his life.

Joz was writing on a scroll, her scripture perfect as she caught the history of this generation’s training and battle. Hearing footsteps, she looked over her shoulder and smiled at Kendrall’s glowering face.

“I do hope you’re going to cheer up, Kendrall.”

He swooped her into his arms, kissing her hard, making her gasp when he released her. Eyes wide, her hand trembling, touching her lips.

“W-what was…”

“I love you, Joz. Will you be mine?”

“Will you stop messing about, Kendrall. It’s not fair how you blow hot and cold all the time,” she glared.

Kendrall looked down at the marble floor, biting his bottom lip. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I really do want you to be mine,” he muttered, slowly lifting his face until they were looking at each other. “I had things I needed to sort out. The way things are going they’ll never get sorted. I need you to be mine.”

“I’ll think about it!” she replied. “What else did you want?”

“Mistress said you could assist with some history of our battles and the humans who’ve fought with us.”

“We’ve only had one,” she frowned.

“Can you dig deeper. Mistress is sure there are more.”

“Did you find what you were looking for earlier?”

“I’m trying to find a way to give Briar more power without weakening her with scarring. I thought a small creature with a lot of power might help.”

“She would still need a gem.”

“That’s what the Mistress said. She’s gone to talk with the Soul Keeper to see if anything can be done, if we find anything.”

“Come with me. I have a list of trainees from the last thousand years. Perhaps we can see any changes.”

“I don’t recall any. I’ve been training Bul’ith for a few thousand years now.”

“This is why we will look at the scrolls. Nobody can expect you to remember every trainee, Kendrall.”

“You remember…”

“Which is why I’m the librarian,” she smiled. “Even then, I don’t always have full recall. Remember, I only took over seven hundred years ago.”

“So young,” he chuckled, making her blush.

“I maybe young compared to you, Kendrall, however, I have more knowledge than you,” she tapped her head.

They headed down a brightly lit hallway. The marble floor changed to wood; the hallway became gloomy the further they walked. Joz stopped outside a large carved wooden door with an intricate lock. Pressing her finger against the lock, the cogs and wheels began to move until the lock clicked open.

“Wow.”

“You need to stay here. Do not enter or you may regret it,” she said. “I’ll be back shortly.”

“Why?”

“You’re not a librarian. To much knowledge can kill those who aren’t trained in the process of storage.”

Kendrall leant back against the wall opposite the open doors watching Joz enter and disappear. He raised his right eyebrow in surprise, crossing his arms and ankles he waited and waited… It seemed like an eternity was passing when Joz stepped out again, locking the doors behind her.

“Did you find what I need?”

“Fingers crossed this will answer your questions.” She cradled a thick scroll and set off back for the reading area where the light was bright. “Come on. I thought you were in a hurry!”

Briar 01

Itchy Writing Fingers are Back!

Well, it’s been six or more months since I have done any serious writing, and though that time has been busy with clients and live in general, it’s good to be back and writing. What a really wanted was to finish a few of the draft manuscripts I already started, however, the muse wants new work and that work is a LGBT story called ‘Reunited with Love’ It’s about two men who were once friends (yeah one of those) with a mystery right in the middle.

You will learn about Family History Research along the way. I’m hoping it will be a cool read.

Nyne Tatterdell, now a widower, married while still at University in Southern England. He took his husband’s surname, and they had a daughter. Carly is a grown up four-year-old who everyone adores with long black-brown curly hair, she takes after her papa, Jed.

Drayton Keller, who returns home to help his sister, is an old school friend of Nyne’s. The last time they saw each other, they’d fallen out. Meeting again would end up with them both thinking about the past and looking to their future. Dray is a genealogist and ghostwriter, who helps others with their family memoirs. During the first week home, he has a meeting with the head of English at the local high school to set up research classes for the English students.

In the murky darkness, something lurks…

MUSE

I can honestly Say I do not know where the muse is going with this. I’m just following along for the ride. Here is hoping it will be a good story and below is an extract with Nyne and his daughter Carly.

ENJOY THE READ

Smiling, he drove home, changing into jeans and a shirt before walking to the primary school to which the daycare centre was attached. Standing with the other parents, he waited for the love of his life. Carly stood out with her black curls and huge smiling face. The bell rang, and the silence filled with the screams and laughter of young children as they hurried to their parents.

“Daddy,” Carly jumped into his arms, kissing his cheek. “Loves you.”

“Loves you too, Carly.”

“I’m hungry.”

“You’re always hungry,” he laughed. “Did you eat all your lunch?” She nodded. “How about we go to Roses Corner Shop for a fruit smoothie?”

“Yes, please,” she smiled, sliding down her dad’s body until her little feet hit the pavement. “Any flavour?”

“As long as it has three fruits in it,” he chuckled.”

“No fair,” she frowned, tapping her right foot on the ground.

“If you’re good for the rest of the week, maybe… we can get a chocolate flavour at the weekend.”

“Fine,” she grumbled, taking his hand, hopping and skipping alongside him.

“What sort of day did you have?”

“Good. We did painting, some reading and…” she twirled around… “played in the playground. How was your day, Daddy?”

“About the same, sweetheart, though I was teaching English to teenagers,” he smiled. “I’m not sure how much they learnt.”

“Learning is fun.”

“I’ll remind you you said that when you’re at high school,” he laughed.

Arriving at the shop, he opened the door; the bell tinkled as they entered. Carly rushed to a booth by the window. She loved to people watch for some reason, sometimes making up stories.

“What flavour do you want?”

“Choco…” she giggled. “Berry and banana, please.”

Nyne crossed to the counter, ordering their drinks and a chocolate chip cookie each. He sat back down with his daughter watching her draw with her finger on the table.

“What do you want for dinner tonight?”

“Can you cook Lasagne? I miss Papa’s…” she bit her lip. “Please,” she muttered, staring at her dad.

“I miss him too, Carly. You can talk about Papa whenever you need, sweetheart. He was a much better cook than me. I can try and make his Lasagne. Perhaps it will go better if you help me like you used to help him.”

“I’d like that, Daddy,” she smiled up at him. Their drinks and cookies appeared in front of them as if by magic. Carly grinned, “you got cookies too. Thank you,” she fluttered her eyelashes, making him chuckle.

“She has you wound around her little finger, Mr Tatterdell,” laughed Rose, the owner of the shop.

“I’m sure she does, though as long as she is kind and helpful, I can’t go far wrong with her.”

“True enough.”

“Daddy, what are your students learning in English Class?”

“They will be learning about their family history.”

“What’s family history?”

“It’s about who we are, where we come from, What your culture and heritage… big words for a little girl like you,” he chuckled.

“Where do I come from?” she glanced up at him. In the background, he heard Rose giggle.

“A small village called Bracklesham Beach in West Sussex, way down South.”

“It sounds a long way.”

“It is. It was lovely living by the beach,” he sighed.

“Why do we live here then?”

“Papa and I got jobs here after we finished University. I grew up here. Remember Nana and Pop live here too.”

“Oh yes. When can we go and see them again?”

“Over the weekend if you like. Now finish your drink and cookie; we need to go to the grocery store.”

“All gone,” she slurped the remainder up the straw, burping quietly, wiped her face and jumped off her seat, the cookie in her hand. “Ready, Daddy.”

“Speedy Miss Carly,” he moved to the counter, paying their bill. Taking Carly’s hand, they left, heading towards home to get the car.

Funny portrait of an incredibly beautiful curly haired little girl eating watermelon, healthy fruit snack, adorable toddler child with curly hair playing in a sunny garden on a hot summer day

Funny portrait of an incredibly beautiful little girl eating watermelon, healthy fruit snack, adorable toddler child with curly hair

 

Updating an Ebook is Harder than I Thought

Wow. Never knew this… I always thought you could download the update…obviously, some aren’t there… more work for the author… 😦

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

One of the good things about self-publishing in ebook form with Amazon KDP is you can correct typos and other errors easily. Make the changes in your base document, upload it to KDP, press Publish and you’re done, right?

Yes and no.

Readers who buy your book after you publish the corrected version will get that version. But what about everyone who pre-ordered it or bought it before you discovered those pesky typos? You’ve assumed the corrected version will be automatically delivered to their reading devices, right?

Probably not.

One of the authors whose blog I follow recently published an updated and corrected version of an ebook. Being aware of this, I was eager to reread the book in its new form. When I checked my Kindle library (note: I don’t own a Kindle reader; I read Kindle books on a tablet using the Kindle app), I found only the…

View original post 403 more words

Where it all Started – first posted Christmas Eve 2013

One thing I can tell you, is this book still isn’t published and still needs a good edit. It also isn’t written in Regency Speak, though is historically correct… after all, I love history or wouldn’t be doing family history research.

Where it all started.

 
Generally I’m known as a Family History Researcher or Amateur Genealogist when one day rather depressed and bored with waiting for information to make a Family History Book I opened a word document and started typing while chatting to friends on Facebook. This was in the NZ winter of 2011.
 
Send us your first chapter they all said, oh my why did I tell them I was doing this, after all it wasn’t something I was going to publish or anything.  Well I sent the small amount I have written which was around 2 chapters. All I heard from them an hour later.  We want more, are you going to add a sex scene.  OMG what was I to do, I was sitting here 12,000 miles from my friends blushing to the roots of my hair.  More and a sex scene, lordy I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there.

“If I put in a sex scene then I’m going to blame both of you,” I told them much to their amusement.

“I’ve gone red at just the thought,” Making them laugh harder, of course this was all via chat.
 
The story is based in Late Regency England in a small Gloucestershire village called Ashlston as well as in London.  It focus’s on a young man called Gregory Appleton and his young playmate Matilda Crosswick.  As many would guess they grew up fell in love which was thwarted by their parents. In the course of 10 years a mystery unfolds, this becomes the item bringing them back together.  The mystery unfolds with many twists and turns and family connections.
 
As for the sex scenes, yes I put some in and yes I still blame my friends.  This book is yet to be published though due to the flow of my novels I have quite a number of various genre’s to finish.
 
Sending this on to one of my friends in the UK started me off on a steep learning curve.  How to write.  The story though good and flowing lacking a few important principles like good description, First or Third Person never mind word errors.  A big thanks to Tina who made me look and think hard about what I wanted and what I needed. My skills are strengthening and sharpening rather well, though I knew at that stage I still had a long way to go.
 
More about Tina and what she taught me next time. 🙂
 
As I update these learning curve stories, there will be the odd image here and there.

Who needs a DROP BEAR when you have a DROP CAT…

IMG_20200917_102630

Seperator plain

A DROP CAT!  

Yep. It seems to be one of Nero’s favourite things to do, along with racing about the house playing, especially now his friend (GINGE) isn’t welcome. His friend sprayed our indoor mat. We’re not impressed.  Anyway back to the DROP CAT.

Most people know about the DROP BEAR story and the laughter behind it. Well Nero is a DROP CAT. He doesn’t just walk all over you to get cuddles and loves, he literally DROPS on you, most times when I’m in bed and I get a mouth full of fur. After all there is no warning. One moment he is standing on you the next he’s collapsed across you shoulder and chest, usually his back to you and if he wants a tummy rub, then he’ll roll… and you’re spitting fur.

This morning my hubby and Nero were staring at me, both smiling…I do wish I had a camera, they were gorgeous, especially Nero when he rolled on his back for a tummy rub with his cute little paws in the air and pleading expression.

Whatever will he get up to next. I’m not sure. I suppose we’ll find out in due course. As long as he doesn’t bring a mouse or a bird home, then I’m happy. I remember my first cat (SMUDGE) used to catch birds and butterflies. Luckily we always managed to get them off her.

Until next time… Be safe 

New festive fictional story: ‘The Trial of Santa Claus’ by Stewart Bint – part one

Part one of ‘The Trial of Santa Claus’ by Stewart Bint… 🙂

Hinckley Free Press

Stewart Bint | Guest Contributor | 5 December 2020

Over the next three weeks, The Hinckley Free Press will be serialising a Christmas story by local published author Stewart Bint.

Stewart is a Leicestershire-based novelist, magazine columnist, and Public Relations writer who has penned an exclusive Christmas story to bring some Christmas cheer to readers of The Hinckley Free Press this holiday season.

This marks the first instalment of the story, titled ‘The Trial of Santa Claus’.

Santa Claus behind bars

Entirety of part one

Now, I’d always thought of Santa Claus as a kindly old man who loved children. So, it came as a shock to find he was appearing in court. And the charges fair made me gasp: cruelty to children, they were. Who’d have believed it?

Looking back almost 12 months to that amazing day when I sat in on Santa Claus’s trial, I can see it…

View original post 958 more words