Her Secret Family Means a Christmas Dilemma


Julie Simpson is finding out that Christmas invitations are even more complicated when you’re leading a secret double-life. She has two sets of parents; the ones who lovingly raised her and her recently discovered birth parents who informed her she was stolen from them when she was a baby.

To protect her mum and dad from possible prosecution and to learn the truth, she builds a secret relationship with her natural parents telling them the ‘parents’ she grew up with are both deceased. This one little lie leads to many more as Julie, with the help of her husband, John, becomes ensnared with fibs and half-truths.

Despite the intricacies of the situation where neither set of parents know about the other, Julie is coping well until she realises that both sets of parents are expecting her company on Christmas day. How can she resolve this dilemma and still keep her secrets?

Carole 6

 

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Creating a ‘Specific Friends’ List for Facebook Posts


To keep profile posts private from your other ‘friends’ eyes, you can create a ‘Specific Friend’s’ list. Here is how you do it:

FB Specific Friends

 

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A Taster


via A Taster

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MEET THE CHARACTERS FROM YOUR LAST BREATH

A unique opportunity to meet the characters from the shocking, gripping, and suspenseful thriller

‘Your Last Breath’

Your Last Breath’ is far more than just another who-done-it murder story. From the start you know who is committing themurders. What adds to the intense suspense, are all the characters involved with the victims and their own stories.

To begin with, let’s start with the serial killer’s victims. There are five in total, but two other females also came close to becoming his prey.

FIRST VICTIM -VALERIE HOLBROOK

In truth, Valerie wasn’t really a victim. Her beloved husband, Justin, had died and she was finding life a struggle without him.  She wanted to commit suicide but was afraid if she did it herself, she wouldn’t get to heaven where she was sure she’d find Justin. With this in mind, Valerie asked Raymond Lang, voted in high school ‘the most likely to be a serial killer’, to assist her.

Shy, unassuming misfit, Raymond Lang, craved becoming a famous author of murder thrillers, but suffered from writing block. To his amazement, the euphoria he felt after killing Valerie gave him the impetus to write several book chapters.

Read more about Valerie HERE in this book excerpt.

 

SECOND VICTIM – TAMMY LOGAN

Tammy was a tall, fifty-something, blond haired, blue eyed woman with a stocky build. Despite being married, she was always on the hunt for men, especially younger ones like Lang. Her husband, Eddie, was one of Lang’s friends, and certainly didn’t deserve to be cheated on.

After his experience with Valerie, Lang was looking for someone to kill, someone who wouldn’t be missed too much in this world, and Tammy fitted the bill. When she tried bullying him into having sex with her, it gave him the perfect opportunity to see if his euphoric writing spree was just a one-off, or something that could be repeated until he reaches his goal of writing the perfect crime thriller. Would killing her help cure his recurring writer’s block…?

 

THIRD VICTIM – LAURA ATKINSON

Knowing Lang was keen on her, Claudia Atkinson had been teasing him yet rebuffing him for months. The time came when he couldn’t take any more.

On the night Ray Lang was intent on killing her, Laura, her mother, unexpectedly arrived at her daughter’s house while she was out. Lang didn’t know about her impromptu visit and when he saw the lights on, he assumed Claudia had come home early and it was her taking the shower. How will he  react when he finds he’s killed the wrong woman.

Read more about Laura HERE in this book excerpt.

 

FOURTH VICTIM – AMY CHADWICK

Lang first spotted Amy in an up-market coffee shop in Westminster. It was her low buttoned, white blouse and high-cut, black skirt that initially caught his eye. He could tell by her appearance and the way she moved she was nothing more than trash with aspirations for being more. Watching her move around the room cleaning tables and flirting with the single men cemented the notion. She was perfect for what he had planned…

Read more about Amy HERE in this book excerpt.

 

FIFTH VICTIM – ANNABELLE THOMPSON

Lang found Annabelle on Facebook. She was a writer, a blogger, and a dance-costume designer. He couldn’t believe she was so gullible as to leave her computer settings easily accessible to outsiders. Finding everything about her he needed to know, even her home address, he sets about stalking her, even playing a tense game of cat and mouse as he spies on her from outside her home. Will she she him…?

Read more about Annabelle HERE in this book excerpt.

 

INTENDED THIRD VICTIM – CLAUDIA ATKINSON

See how she teased Lang, making her the obvious choice for his third victim. For a moment he regrets mistaking Claudia’s mother for her, but it was only for a brief moment…

Read more about Claudia HERE in this book excerpt

 

ALMOST FIFTH VICTIM – CINDY

See how close she came to being Lang’s fifth victim, and also what saved her…

Read more about Cindy HERE in this book excerpt.

YOUR LAST BREATH

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Meet the Characters: Almost Fifth Victim, Cindy


YOUR LAST BREATH

A virtual stranger in London, serial-killer, Raymond Lang. is delighted when he bumps into someone from his own country.

Excerpt

Cindy has a pleasant, innocent smile which seems to constantly light up her face, so much so, I have trouble looking at her gorgeous blue eyes as we talk because I‘m constantly drawn to her smile.

“So, what brings you to London from Tennessee?

“Work!” she replies, rolling her eyes as she pulls her hair back, exposing her soft pink neck. “I work for a small IT firm in Knoxville which was purchased by another firm based here in London. They flew a bunch of us over here to train us on ‘their way of doing things’. It’s so mundane; we do things almost exactly like they do. I guess they like hearing their own voices or something. Oh well, at least I get to see London finally and I’m getting paid to do it.”

“I never would have guessed you were the nerdy type. Where are your glasses and pocket protector?”

Cindy smiles while rolling her eyes. “I wear contacts, and ink pens are so last millennium! Besides, doesn’t a thirty-five-year-old woman wearing this T-shirt scream nerd?”

“First off, wow, thirty-five? I thought you looked twenty-five at the oldest; and secondly, no, if your T-shirt makes you a nerd, then I’d be a nerd myself, and I’m not a nerd!” I laugh then and Cindy laughs too.

“You sir, are full of shit but thank you, nonetheless, on the compliment about my age and yes, you are a nerd!” She takes a sip of her drink, scrunching her nose as it burns her tongue. “So what brings you to London?”

I point at my laptop and respond with a sheepish grin, “I came here to write. The story in the book I’m working on is based in London, so I came here to get some authentic inspiration from the city and its people.”

“So you’re an author? How many books have you written?”

“Actually, this is my first. The first of many, I hope.”

“That’s so neat! When you’re a bestselling author, I can tell all my friends I had coffee with you when you were still starting out.”

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be famous but, hopefully, I can get published some day.”

“Well, I’ll still be able to say I knew you when,” Cindy says checking her watch. “Oh crap, I’m going to be so very late! I was to meet a co-worker five minutes ago, to go sightseeing.” She rises from her seat.

“Well, it was great meeting you, Cindy from Tennessee. I hope you enjoy your sightseeing.”

Cindy, about to give a similar goodbye response pauses. Instead, she says, “I really don’t ever do this… but would you like to come to my hotel room for supper tonight? I have one of those rooms with a small kitchenette and was planning on making spaghetti and meatballs. There would be enough for two if you’d like to join me. I’m so used to cooking for myself and my grandma; I usually forget to cut back when I’m buying for just me.”

I give away my eagerness in the speed of my reply, “I’d love to!”

On a napkin, she writes details of where she’s staying. Then, as an afterthought, blushes and adds her cell number before handing it to me. “I put my number on there just in case something changes and you need it later.”

“Thank you, when would you like me there?”

“Sorry, let’s say around six?”

“Six it is.”

“I’ll see you then!” Cindy makes a hasty retreat to the door, giving a hurried wave as she steps outside.

I watch her leave and immediately she’s gone, I think of her invite and how it’s planted the seeds of doubt in the opinion I’d initially formed about her. She’s not as innocent as she first seems. Her offer is a little too forward for my taste, more the actions of a woman with loose morals. It’s always the same, just as I begin to think there’s a woman I can respect, she shows herself to be just like all the others. Knowing what I must do now, I begin to plan my night with her.

The timing of Cindy coming into the picture couldn’t have been more perfect. At least, if all goes well, I’ll be writing at full speed again by morning. The way I have it figured, all I need do is slip quietly into her room, hack her sexy, little body up and slip quietly back out. Her throat begged for my knife to lay it open. Her crimson blood would flow nicely down her milky-white chest. I can already see her laying there, her mouth twisted in pain. Her mouth… her smile… I can’t get it out of my mind.

I open my laptop to try and write again, but all I can see in front of me is her smile—her innocent, sweet smile. Maybe I have her all wrong; she may be different from the others after all. I stare at the screen for several more minutes, but her perfume still lingers and I can’t focus on the screen at all I can’t seem to make my mind up about her, don’t trust my own judgment. I tell myself I need this, I need to draw blood once more, and this couldn’t be more perfect.

I make up my mind, Cindy will die tonight… I will go through with this! Heaviness settles into my heart as I think about her smile again and how she must take care of her grandma. What if she’s telling the truth about that; it might not be a ruse to get me alone with her.

I’m struggling on the inside. Valerie, Tammy, Claudia, well, Claudia’s mom, and Amy were all motivated by anger, I have none towards Cindy, I don’t know how I could ever kill someone so sweet. Is she really as sweet as she seems though? She is, after all, a woman and women can’t be trusted. I bet if I push her, I’ll see her evil side. Then I’ll be doing the world a favor. All women have an evil side; the sweet side is just to draw men into their trap so they can spend the rest of their lives torturing those men. Why would Cindy be any different?

How hard could it be to draw the evil side into the light? I could use supper tonight as an opportunity to draw out Cindy’s evil side. Then I’d have no problem killing her. What if she’s real though? What if I can’t draw her out? What if there’s nothing to draw out? Is that even possible?

I close my laptop and unplug it before heading to the car. As I step outside, a happy young couple passes by and I think about being part of a couple. That could be Cindy and me. If there’s no evil to be found, I’ll follow her back to Tennessee; we’ll date, fall in love and get married. I’ve always wanted to be part of a couple and marry.

I set my laptop in the back seat and climb behind the wheel. My mind’s made up, I’m going to meet her for supper with an open mind and see what materializes. I haven’t felt this happy, this normal, in a long time. I don’t want to lose this feeling but, deep down, I know our meeting tonight would soon bring an end to it. I can’t help it! I know what I am and I know I’m no good—damaged goods. I’ll only bring pain and misery to her…

YOUR LAST BREATH

 

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An Interview with author Carole Parkes


Doug's Scribbles and Ramblings

Interviewing the Author, Carole Parkes

I was born in Liverpool, England in 1945, after the war had ended. Seventy years later, I can look back on a life that is mainly a happy one.

Carole 1Question: What is your impression of your childhood?

I had a happy childhood. When I reflect on it now, I know that was mostly due to having a really loving father. I never realized it when I was a child, but my mum suffered depression which led to often repeated bouts of crying. It was my dad who we went to whenever we needed anything. He put plasters on our cuts and grazes, rocked us on his knee while he sang a lullaby, and gave us a donkey ride up the stairs to bed. It was only in later years I began to ask why mum never cuddled us or took us to bed. Now I’m…

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Meet the Characters: Fifth Victim, Annabelle Thompson


YOUR LAST BREATH

A SHOCKING, CHILLING THRILLER

EXCERPT

Annabelle is dressed in a pair of blue denim jeans and a pink cardigan over a snug fitting white top. She’s in her early forties but looks like she’s taken care of herself. She’s very appealing to the eye. She’s even more attractive in person than in her pictures.

As she finishes her task and turns to admire her garden through the window I’m watching her from, I have to quickly duck out of sight. Annabelle and I continue this game of cat and mouse for a few hours as she goes about her chores, never suspecting I’m only a few feet away from her some of the time. I watch her put together some kind of dish, a casserole of some sort, then put it in the oven to cook. I watch her wash dishes, sort through her mail, and sweep a few floors. She dries and folds her laundry before taking it to the bedroom. When she finally settles back at her computer, I decide it’s time to take action.

She seems mild and meek, so I should be able to control her if things don’t go as planned. I still need to pull this off quickly and smoothly. I see a shovel leaning against a wheelbarrow that’s been left beside a freshly dug flower bed. A plan comes to mind, so I grab the shovel and approach the back door. Through the glass panes in the door I can plainly see into the empty kitchen. I place my knife in my waist band and dial her number once more…

***

Annabelle had just settled back at the computer when the ringing of the phone disturbs her a second time. The sooner she buys another set of telephones the better, she thinks, and then she won’t have to keep traipsing out of her study to answer it.

“Hello?” She hears that annoying automated silence again and curses the wretched sales people she believes are calling her yet again.

Again, Lang remains silent. While she’s still in the hall, he grabs the shovel and swings it hard at the door, shattering the glass which cascades noisily onto the kitchen floor. Without delay he tosses the shovel into the grass. Then immediately drawing his knife with one hand while reaching through the door with his other hand, he unlocks the door. Turning quickly he flattens his back against the outside wall. Hidden from Annabelle in this manner he waits, listening intently…

Annabelle hears the loud, shattering crash from the kitchen and freezes. Hell! That sounds like a window breaking…. Her unease turns to curiosity. Inquisitively, she takes a few strides swiftly down the hall before fear takes hold of her again and she stops. Standing just inside her kitchen, she hesitates uncertainly….

Lang hears her footsteps lightly tapping down the hall and entering the kitchen, but it’s silent after that. He grips his knife tighter and tries to control his breathing and heart rate. He wants her to come near the door—or better yet, open the door herself before he strikes. He doesn’t hear anything more for what seems like several minutes. Why is she so quiet? Did she flee to the front door? She couldn’t have, I would have heard her leave the room like I heard her enter it. No, she’s just being cautious. Be patient, she will open the door.

Quietening her breath, Annabelle nervously enters further into her kitchen and sees the smashed back-door window pane. Oh no! Thousands of glittering pieces like sparkles in sand lay randomly scattered on the floor where they’ve landed.

She panics, terrified. Her heart jumps in her chest almost reaching her throat. Glued to the spot, she’s acutely aware of her awakened nerve endings primed for flight. Is anyone there?

Holding her breath, she listens…. There’s no sound now, just the faint ticking of the wall clock. Fearfully, she looks around…. The back door, thankfully, is still closed. Looking through the broken pane to the garden beyond, she can’t see anyone. Everything outside looks quiet—seems normal, yet, someone or something has broken the glass. Carefully, trying to avoid stepping on the shimmering fragments but failing, she slowly inches closer to the door…. Is it still locked?

The faint sound of glass being ground into the hard floor disrupts Lang’s thoughts. She is there after all. His adrenaline starts pumping faster. His pounding heart makes it difficult to hear what’s happening inside the house.

He knows she’s close now; he can smell her perfume wafting through the broken window. Come on, open the door! He can feel his impatience building. He can’t wait! He grips his knife tightly and reaches for the doorknob. She’s right there, I can feel her!

Frantically checking behind her while drawing ever nearer to the back door, Annabelle feels, rather than sees, the smashed door crash violently inward with the propelling force of the intruder.

As he bursts into her house in one super-quick motion, he sees she’s only a few feet from him now. Sheer terror fills her face as he swiftly crosses the final few feet. She opens her mouth to scream, but his knife penetrates her flesh as he buries it deep in her stomach. She inhales loudly as the pain takes her breath away. Her blue eyes dart around the room before settling on his face.

Through the tortured, pained expression on her face he thinks he senses a hint of recognition in her eyes. Does she recognize me from my blog picture? Who the hell cares? Emboldened by the agony on her face he shoves her backwards across the kitchen until she comes up against the counter. He withdraws his knife then plunges it back into her body. He feels the tip hitting something hard. She’s small—her spine possibly, or it could be the counter top behind her.

Her warm blood flows slowly over his gloved hand as he draws near her to breathe her in. The smell of her perfume, her blood, and the sweet smell of her terror excites him. He withdraws the knife once again before driving it deep into her petite frame.

Her gasp is silent this time. She starts to sink as her life ebbs, so he drives his knee between her legs to hold her up and feels her blood soaking into his jeans. Gripping her hair he lifts her head and looks her in the eyes for several moments. The life is leaving them so he twists the blade to get a response. They shoot skyward then back to him—sadness and pain look back at him— and he delights in it.

Slowly, he removes the blade from her body and holds it up between them so both of them can savour it. Her dark red blood trickles down the blade, running over the hilt and onto his gloved hand. Her breathing is slow and shallow as he places the bloody knife to her throat.

Annabelle’s strength is gone, her struggles futile. She watches him as he cruelly holds the dripping, bloody knife up for her inspection, sees him devouring her terror before he menacingly moves it to her throat. Her last fading vision is of his manic eyes oddly searching hers and his look of sheer ecstasy as she feels her life drifting away….

YOUR LAST BREATH

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Meet the Characters: Fourth Victim, Amy Chadwick


YOUR LAST BREATH

A SHOCKING GRIPPING THRILLER

 

Amy and her boyfriend, Robbie Owusu, plan to blackmail the Home Secretary, Cecil Abernathy, using sexual entrapment. Robbie is an illegal immigrant and hopes to persuade the minister to give him legal resident status.

EXCERPT

Rushing from the second bedroom, where the computer is set up, back to Amy’s room, Robbie shakes his head in frustration. “Damn! The most important one doesn’t seem to be working again.”

He moves to the head of the bed and quickly re-examines the faulty camera. It’s hidden behind the dark, heavily patterned drapes covering the wall at the back of her bed. The tiny camera lens is strategically positioned in the centre of a flower, invisible even when you know it’s there.

Amy’s cornflower-blue eyes do a frustrated roll and, with a shrug of her shoulder, her demeanour changes. She’s more aggressive now. “Hurry up!”

Unperturbed by her anger, Robbie remains outwardly calm. “It’s no good, I’ll have to go back home for another camera.” His handsome, dark-skinned face creases with worry as he heads towards the bedroom door again.

“Oh Shit!” Amy’s noisy expletive matches her reddening face as her temper increases. Turning on him she unleashes her frustration, “Christ Robbie! What the hell are you playing at? You know you’re cutting it fine, don’t you? Bloody Hell! That politician bloke will be here in half an hour. He might come early and catch us. Then we’ll never get him to pay up.”

“Quit moaning! It’ll be alright. I’ll only be gone a few minutes, ten at the most. The others are working perfectly it’s just that one. Once I’ve fetched another camera, it’ll only take me a few seconds to set it up.” He strides out of the bedroom into the central hallway. “We have enough time. He’s not due until seven, and he said he might be a bit late.”

She follows him out of the bedroom. “Stop moaning? You said this would be so easy. I‘m a stupid fool for listening to you,” she retorts, her voice continuing to rise.

Pausing for a moment in the inner hallway, Robbie tries to calm her. Turning to face her, he puts his hand on her bare shoulder and tries to coax her into a better mood. “Come on, relax, I’ll be quick. We have to have that third camera working. You know what happened last time. I don’t know what went wrong, why we never got a clear view of his face, but those images showing his side profile and a few minutes of his back are useless. Unless we capture a good image of the home secretary’s face we can’t demand the price we want. Make sure you try different positions this time.”

Still irritated, Amy pushes past him into the living room. Her arms cross over her midriff accentuating her deep cleavage as she turns to watch him follow her. “Well, you’re to blame for the crap filming; it’s your job to set the cameras.” Her expression changes to one of cynicism as she continues, “I thought you knew what you were doing. Now, I have to sleep with the creep again and you… you want different positions. He’s way older than my dad and has those horrible, open ulcers on his legs. How the bloody hell do you think that makes me feel?” Her tirade ends with her shouting over the lump quickly forming in her throat.

They’re now standing in the open-plan living space and suddenly, Amy catches sight of the wall clock in the kitchen area. “Shit! Look at the time!” The lump recedes as she gives Robbie a shove, further displaying her anger, and virtually pushes him out the front door. “You’d better be quick, and you’d better get your damn equipment working. Do you hear me Robbie?” she shouts to his retreating back.

“Yelling at me isn’t going to help matters; you know I don’t handle stress well. I can’t perform when you’re screaming at me like a crazy bitch.” He climbs in his car, shuts his door, and revs the engine which almost, but not quite, drowns out Amy’s next put-down remark.

“Trust me; I know that all too well.”

Winding his window down, he lowers his voice and tries to make her see sense. “If you want this to work out, you’d better calm down.”

When Robbie drives off, Amy storms inside, obviously still mad. She’s about to leave the front door ajar to speed Robbie’s return. Robbie always manages to get his key stuck in the lock somehow, and she needs him to hurry when he comes back. The front door opens straight into the living room and if the light is on, anyone watching in the dark street can easily see the door is open, so she turns off the light. She’s noticed someone skulking about in a nearby empty house over the past couple of weeks and doesn’t want to take any chances.

Scantily dressed in her basque and tiny briefs, she feels the wintry cold from outside striking her skin and has second thoughts about the open door. She closes it as far as she can without locking it. Then shivering, she goes back into the draught-free bedroom and settles on the bed to await Robbie’s return.

**RL**

I watch as the argument carries from the bedroom, then out of my sight through the house to the front door and then on into the yard. I make it to the corner of the house in time to hear the man say, “If you want this to work, you’d better calm yourself down.” Then, he backs onto the street and drives off in the direction he came from earlier while Amy disappears back into the house. I return to the bedroom window just in time to see her throw herself onto the bed. Seizing my opportunity, I make my way to her front door. Looks like a lover’s quarrel. Maybe you should have taken me up on my offer earlier.

***

 In the temporary solitude of her bedroom, Amy thinks about her impending dalliance. The person they are preparing to blackmail is the Home Secretary, Cecil Abernathy, no less. He’s part of an elite circle, only one step below the prime minister, so he’s quite a prize.

This will be the third time she’ll be having sex with him. As soon as she told Robbie about him coming on to her in Mario’s patisserie, where she works, he’s encouraged her to play along with it. At Robbie’s request, she flirts with him a little bit more every time he comes in for his morning coffee. Abernathy eventually succumbed to her charms, arranging for them to go to a hotel the first time they had sex. Robbie was over the moon about it which is unusual for him. He’s normally jealous if he finds her flirting with the customers.

The first time he came in, she’d recognized him straight away by his thinning white hair, unmistakable goatee beard, and his large hooked nose. She likes to know who comes into the patisserie, so she keeps up with who’s who on the political scene. She has no idea how old he is but he’s obviously much too old for her. Amy thinks he only goes out for his coffee because he’s trying to avoid a particular person in the House of Commons. He did tell her that once although he didn’t say who the person was. Abernathy seems to like his own company best, apart from the ladies of course. Robbie said she just needs to encourage him more and he’ll make a fool of himself with her. Well, he’s taken the bait. Now, they need just one more time and then they can put the squeeze on him.

Robbie has more to gain from this little escapade than she has. Even though they’ll equally share the blackmail profit, what Robbie wants most is a legal right to stay in this country. He’s North African, a student who came to Britain to attend university. When he collected his degree he simply decided not to go back. Now he lives here in this country as an illegal immigrant. He aims to make the politician do something about his residency status, and with Amy’s help he knows how he can do it.

Staring blankly at the bedroom ceiling, Amy recalls how a couple of years ago, the papers carried a story about Cecil Abernathy. They were hinting at his probable affairs. It wasn’t open slander, just a subtle suggestion that he may have had an affair with a certain lady. Now, they’re about to trap him enjoying illicit sex, and he’ll have to pay dearly to wriggle out of this mess. Before they can do anything though, it’s imperative they get the cameras right so they capture full frontal face shots. With success in reach, she fervently hopes Abernathy won’t be early tonight.

**RL**

 I reach the front door and it’s not locked. It squeaks softly as I gently push it open and try to survey the interior. It’s dark and quiet so I step inside knife at the ready. I carefully close and lock the door behind me, so Amy and I won’t be disturbed. A light can be seen coming from a room ahead of me on the left, beyond the living room I’m standing in. I make my way towards it quietly. I’m almost to her room when the sound of a car slowing down startles me. I turn to look towards the front window and knock an empty glass off a low table beside me. I freeze, listening intently until I hear the car stop at another house.

***

Amy can’t wait to get her hands on the blackmail money and get out of this rented old hovel. She’s done her best to make it more habitable, like those drapes covering the cracks in the wall above her bed, but nothing she does ever really looks right. Deep in these thoughts she hears someone enter the front door.

That’s funny; it’s only a couple of minutes since Robbie left…. Surely he’s not back already.

Next, she hears the distinct squeak of the loose floorboard in her dark living room and the sound of something hitting the floor. Taken aback, she jumps off the bed quickly causing the springs to protest with a give-away boing.

Who’s there? Oh God! Please don’t let it be the politician; we’re not ready for him yet.

YOUR LAST BREATH

 

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Meet the Characters: Intended Third Victim, Claudia Atkinson


YOUR LAST BREATH

Three months into my new life in London, the older couple in the adjoining house next door moved out, and my undoing moved in. Her name was Claudia Atkinson, and she was one of the most stunning women I’d ever seen. She had long, red hair which she normally kept back in a ponytail, but when she let it down she took my breath away. She had beautiful, light-blue eyes, a narrow but perfect nose, pink, utterly kissable lips, and a body every man wanted.

Before I could stop myself, I was in love with Claudia. I thought she felt the same about me, at least, until Geoffrey started coming around. Claudia quit hanging out with me altogether and spent all her time with her new man. After only a few weeks he moved in. It was torture to see those two so happy together, hugging, kissing and then disappearing into her bedroom for the night.

I sat in my darkened car and watched them together night after night. Evil thoughts started creeping back into my head, quiet at first, then growing in volume. I tried to ignore them but they wouldn’t go away. I blamed Claudia for those thoughts because she’d turned my happy life in London into a hellish nightmare. I loved her yet I hated her. The conflicting emotions brought confusion to my mind again and that’s when my need for blood really took root and started growing. The need became uncontrollable after I caught her alone once and asked what happened to ‘us’. She claimed there never was an ‘us’, we were just friends. I was more like a brother to her than a boyfriend.

I remained calm as she walked away, but inside I was devastated. My heart broke… a brother? She saw me as a brother? It took a few days before anger settled in overtaking and smothering any love I felt for her. I no longer saw any reason to fight who I was. My belief that every woman was an evil, hateful bitch returned twice as strong. I began to fantasize about killing each and every woman I saw. I found it difficult to sleep and I had no appetite. There was only one thing left I could do. It was half past three on yet another sleepless night when I gave in, and reopened my story. I thought if I wrote about killing her, put my murderous thoughts down in words, it might help get this feeling out of my system. I managed to write a few pages but the familiar unrest was still there. I felt like I was shaking, almost vibrating, like a junky craving a fix. My brain went fuzzy like there was a sheer, gray curtain between me and my thoughts. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pierce the curtain to let the words flow forth. Up until then, I’d only found one way to drop the curtain…

While part of me still didn’t want to resort to those measures again, my anger for Claudia was making it near impossible to restrain myself. Afraid of what would happen if I couldn’t resolve this dilemma, I decided to try my blog for inspiration. I wrote a post on my website saying how I had writer’s block, and asking if anyone could help me visualize the murder scenes.

Slowly, day by day, my readers offered up ideas. I tried imagining each of them in my head so I could write about them, but nothing convincing came. I thanked them all for their help but sank deeper into my thoughts. As the curtain became denser, I felt like a failure. I tried to ignore my story again, write something different, but I couldn’t even write about a normal, everyday experience. Like an impotent man in the bedroom I’d become useless at the keyboard. Still I kept trying.

Christmas came and I was alone in a foreign country, homesick, and desperate for some kind of female interaction. Unable to find any, I sat in my backyard wrapped up like I was on a North Pole expedition, drinking beer and watching Geoffrey and Claudia enjoying their holidays together. New Year’s Eve was my breaking point. I was five beers into a twelve pack and watching the show next door like normal, still hoping I’d witness them break up. They seemed different as they cleared the table of their dishes. They were smiling and touching more than normal. It wasn’t long until they were kissing, and I expected them to head for the bedroom but, this time, they stripped down right there in the kitchen.

I sat stunned as I watched Claudia lay back onto the table, but it was watching Geoffrey pound away at her that made my anger grow with each passing minute. When I’d decided it couldn’t get any worse, he let Claudia up so he could bend her over the table and come at her from behind. I stood there freezing in my backyard, watching Claudia’s naked body bounce with each thrust from her lover. Her eyes were closed as she enjoyed the pleasure Geoffrey gave her, and when she opened them she was looking right at me. I’d thought I was well hidden under a sheet of tarp I’d rigged up, but I could have sworn she was smirking like she knew I was watching. Looking right at me, she smiled.

She was doing this to hurt me, I knew she was. She knew how I craved to be the one inside her. She wanted me to see how happy she was, see what I couldn’t have. My temper boiled over. I wanted to barge in and kill them both. It was that moment I decided Claudia Atkinson was going to die….

When I sneaked into her house, I thought it was Claudia in the shower. It never occurred to me that her mother may be paying her a visit. In the end it didn’t matter. Her mother’s death inspired me to complete several more chapters of my novel.

YOUR LAST BREATH

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Meet the Characters: Third Victim, Laura Atkinson


YOUR LAST BREATH

A SHOCKING, GRIPPING THRILLER

 

After fleeing to London, I found myself living next door to Claudia Atkinson. She was stunning and we became firm friends. I wanted more than just friendship, but Claudia started dating Geoffrey. Knowing I covertly watched her, she flaunted their lovemaking in front of me, teasing and humiliating me until I could bear it no longer. I wanted her dead!

EXCERPT

On the second of January, I did some shopping and found myself a knife; not just any knife though, it had to be a Bowie knife. I had one as a teenager and I loved it. This one, different from my first one but just as sturdy, had a nine-inch silver blade with a two-inch sharpened curve cut into the back at the tip for faster and easier penetration of the flesh. The sharpened edge curved out from the handle then back up towards the tip, making the blade appear to be fat in the middle. A curved guard separated the blade from the wooden handle which fitted nicely into my hand. I knew it would make easy work of Claudia’s firm, young body.

Setting my plan in motion, I’d pretended to be her friend again. We weren’t able to talk much in the cold, dreary weather, but I finally learned Geoffrey would be out of town the coming weekend, leaving Claudia home alone. She’d planned to go out dancing with some friends that Saturday night, kind of a girl’s night out thing. I knew from past experience, she and her friends usually stayed out until two am on the weekends, plenty of time for me to slip in and surprise her when she got home.

That Saturday morning found me as nervous as I’d been when I was sitting outside Tammy’s house. I paced the house most of the day, checking the clock constantly. I examined my knife probably twenty times; making sure it was still sharp. As the sun went down so did my nerves. By ten pm I was calm and relaxed. Around eleven, I slipped from my backyard into hers and used the key she kept hidden under a flower-pot to let myself in…

Her kitchen was mainly unlit except for a small pool of light under a wall cabinet. I boldly checked out the room using the point of my knife to open cupboard doors. I jabbed a new bag of sugar, allowing the sweet, white grains to flow onto the counter below.

I made my way into her dark living room and was surprised to see two packed bags standing by the couch. Claudia hadn’t mentioned a trip… I heard running water so I left the living room to investigate. There was a light on in her bathroom which faced the front of the house like mine. I headed towards it. Is she home already? I hadn’t seen her come home. Maybe she changed her mind and never went out tonight. That makes sense if she was planning a trip in the morning.

The bathroom door handle made a slight squeak as I turned it with my gloved hand, but the hinges were quiet as I slowly opened the door enough to peek in the steam filled room. I saw the shower with its translucent curtain to my left, and behind the curtain stood the naked redhead. Her head was tilted back under the flowing water of the shower head, so I used the opportunity to slip quietly into the room and close the door.

She paused, momentarily, and looked my way, but my dark clothes blended in with the grey wallpaper and the clothes which hung on hooks behind the door. She resumed rinsing her hair.

I watched as she turned and ran her hands over every voluptuous curve, rinsing the soap from every crack and crevice. I stared intently as she ran her hand between those shapely thighs and I felt myself swelling up and pressing hard against my jeans as she bent over and caressed her calves. She straightened up turning her back to me, so I quickly moved to within a foot of the plastic curtain.

Up close and naked with the curtain between us, she looked larger than I thought she would, but she still looked great. Slowly, she swiveled around until her face was under the water, and continued around until we were practically face to face. Through the curtain, I saw her eyes open as they came out from the spray. She saw me standing there and screamed.…

I stifled her scream by shoving my blade through the thin plastic curtain and into the soft, yielding flesh of her stomach. The pain overwhelmed her. She inhaled a moan and fell back against the far shower wall pulling the curtain loose from a few of the rings above. Blood flowed from the opening I’d made in her and streaked down the wet curtain. I twisted and lifted the large blade so it tore upward through more flesh. Gasping for breath, she tried in vain to remove my knife from her body. Her wet hands slipped repeatedly on the plastic as she tried to push the invading object from her body. She finally gave up and consented to my invasion of her anatomy. I smiled, pulling the curtain the rest of the way down so Claudia could see who was doing this to her.

As the wet plastic fell around my arm, I was alarmed to see it wasn’t Claudia my knife was buried in.… In front of me was an older version of Claudia looking at me with pain and terror in her eyes.

It was her mother!

YOUR LAST BREATH

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Meet the Characters: Tammy Logan, the Second Murder Victim


YOUR LAST BREATH

A SHOCKING, GRIPPING THRILLER

 Please be aware, explicit sexual language is contained in the following excerpt.

The more I refused Tammy’s advances, the more of a challenge I became to her. The last time she came on to me, she wasn’t taking no for an answer. I was picking up some ceiling tiles and light fixtures we needed from a dimly lit, back room of her store when the room darkened even more. Someone was standing in the doorway behind me, blocking light from the store.

I knew by her alluring perfume it was Tammy. Before I could turn around, she was pressing her large chest into my back as one of her large, burly hands caressed my crotch, causing me to become slightly aroused.

“Quit fighting me, Ray! You know you want to screw me. I can feel it in my hand how much you want to be in me.”

“Tammy, please!” I said, trying to wriggle from her grasp, but she had me pinned tight against a stack of drywall mud buckets.

“Please…? Please what, Ray? Please right now…? I’m game if you are!”

I managed to turn around which put us face to face. She used her large breasts to keep me off balance while she continued to caress my swelling cock. “No, please stop! You’re a married woman… Eddie doesn’t deserve this…. I won’t do this to him.”

“To hell with Eddie, he’s a doofus who’s never home. I have needs.” She squeezed me painfully.

“Well, find someone else for those needs. I won’t do it,” I said, trying to turn away from her without pissing her off. It didn’t work.

Her playful look was replaced by anger. “I’m not asking any longer, I’m telling you. Get those jeans off and let’s go.” She squeezed even tighter. My eyes were teary from the pain as she twisted and tortured my junk. Right then, all I wanted to do was pound her face into a bloody pulp and slit her throat. I realized this large, ugly woman was nothing more than a bully. In severe pain and anger, I made a decision. “OK, but not here!”

“Well, where then?” She released her grip slightly.

“How about your place, Saturday night, say around nine?

Tammy gave up her hold on me. “Eddie won’t be back off the road until way after that, so that works. I’ll see you at nine, then. Remember, you’d better not stand me up. If you do, the next time I see you I’ll squeeze those things until they pop. Got it?”

I looked at her with disgust and replied, “Got it!”

There won’t be a next time I thought as she left me alone to nurse my throbbing balls. I was curious to see if killing someone else would inspire my writing—like it had when I’d killed Valerie—but until that moment with Tammy, I was hesitant to consider it seriously. The thought I might kill someone who didn’t deserve it bothered me, but after Tammy threatened me like that, I knew she was deserving of death…

#thriller

YOUR LAST BREATH

 

 

 

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Meet the Characters: First murder Victim, Valerie Holbrook,


YOUR LAST BREATH

A shocking, gripping thriller.

Meet first victim VALERIE, well, not really a victim since she asked Raymond Lang to help her commit suicide. She wanted to be with her beloved husband in heaven, but feared she wouldn’t get there if she did it herself.

He tried to talk her out of it, told her how he’d always loved her even though she’d never given him a chance.

EXCERPT

You still think you’re the one for me, don’t you?”

“It could happen! Eventually, you could grow to love me, like I do you, if you just give yourself the time to find out.”

A strange look came over Valerie’s face, I could see anger but there was something else. It was like an idea came to her. I was confused by what I saw.

“I guess I didn’t make myself clear in high school. You… and… I… will… never… happen,” Valerie said, pausing for emphasis on each word.

Those words sliced through my heart like a razor. “Why not, can you answer me that? Or are you just saying it because you’re grieving your dear, dead Justin?”

“I’ll tell you why not, it’s because you’re an unattractive, college dropout loser with no future and no skills. You’ll work at your pathetic hardware store job for the rest of your life and whoever you marry, if you ever marry, will have to support you and your dreams—no, fantasy—of becoming a writer. I want a man, a real man, one who’ll support me, one with a real job and a real future. I had that man in Justin. I loved him, he loved me, but now he’s gone and all I’m left with are the likes of you panting after me. No thanks, I’d rather die!”

I’ve heard of people ‘snapping’ before. I thought it was just a metaphor, but as she was spewing those venomous words at me I literally heard a snapping sound in my head. I never heard a word she said. I could see her lips moving, but the words never pierced my ear drum. Instead of seeing those tempting, delicate lips I so desperately needed to kiss, all I wanted now was to shut them up.

I just stared at her with a hate I didn’t know I could feel for another human being. I wanted to wrap my hands around her beautiful, white neck and squeeze until the life left her sexy, young body.

#thriller

YOUR LAST BREATH

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Basic Plots: Quest


I didn’t really believe in the idea of only having a limited number of story plots, seven in this case, but my thriller, ‘YOUR LAST BREATH’, certainly falls into the quest category.

My main character is trying to achieve his goal of becoming an author. He wants to write suspenseful crime thrillers, but every time he tries to write about the horrific murder scenes necessary for his plot, his mind goes blank. A chance meeting with old flame, Valerie, changes all that. She wants to commit suicide. Fearing she’ll end up in hell if she does it and not in heaven where she imagines her beloved husband has recently gone, she pleads with our would-be writer to help her.

Reluctantly, he agrees, but after a harsh exchange of words with her, the deed is accomplished. He accidentally breathes in the dying woman’s last breath, and on returning home discovers his writer’s block has disappeared. Now he can write his murder scenes with a clarity previously unknown to him.

Unfortunately, his new-found ability doesn’t last long and in a few days he’s back to struggling. Was it a fluke? Did actually committing the crime give him the ability to write about those gruesome scenes? There was only one way to find out…

The seven basic plots are given in detail below by STACI TROILO

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today we’re going to discuss our fifth of the Seven Basic Plots as defined by Christopher Booker. If you’ve missed the others, you can find them here: Rebirth, Tragedy, Comedy, and Voyage and Return.

Today’s post covers the basic plot type: Quest.

The Quest is a familiar plot type. It shows our hero (and friends) taking a journey to a far-off place in order to achieve an object or a goal. There must be many dangers along the way (it wouldn’t be much of a quest if the goal was easy to attain), but ultimately, victory is achieved.

The Quest, unlike the Voyage and Return, always ends with the hero achieving his goal, even if it takes the scope of several books or movies to do so. (It’s worth noting that achieving a goal DOES NOT necessarily equate to a happy, or…

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YOUR LAST BREATH – Blackmail Excerpt


 

YOUR LAST BREATH – Blackmail excerpt.

Rushing from the second bedroom, where the computer is set up, back to Amy’s room, Robbie shakes his head in frustration. “Damn! The most important one doesn’t seem to be working again.”

He moves to the head of the bed and quickly re-examines the faulty camera. It’s hidden behind the dark, heavily patterned drapes covering the wall at the back of her bed. The tiny camera lens is strategically positioned in the centre of a flower, invisible even when you know it’s there.

Amy’s cornflower-blue eyes do a frustrated roll and, with a shrug of her shoulder, her demeanour changes. She’s more aggressive now. “Hurry up!”

Unperturbed by her anger, Robbie remains outwardly calm. “It’s no good, I’ll have to go back home for another camera.” His handsome, dark-skinned face creases with worry as he heads towards the bedroom door again.

“Oh Shit!” Amy’s noisy expletive matches her reddening face as her temper increases. Turning on him she unleashes her frustration, “Christ Robbie! What the hell are you playing at? You know you’re cutting it fine, don’t you? Bloody Hell! That politician bloke will be here in half an hour. He might come early and catch us. Then we’ll never get him to pay up.”

“Quit moaning! It’ll be alright. I’ll only be gone a few minutes, ten at the most. The others are working perfectly it’s just that one. Once I’ve fetched another camera, it’ll only take me a few seconds to set it up.” He strides out of the bedroom into the central hallway. “We have enough time. He’s not due until seven, and he said he might be a bit late.”

She follows him out of the bedroom. “Stop moaning? You said this would be so easy. I‘m a stupid fool for listening to you,” she retorts, her voice continuing to rise.

Pausing for a moment in the inner hallway, Robbie tries to calm her. Turning to face her, he puts his hand on her bare shoulder and tries to coax her into a better mood. “Come on, relax, I’ll be quick. We have to have that third camera working. You know what happened last time. I don’t know what went wrong, why we never got a clear view of his face, but those images showing his side profile and a few minutes of his back are useless. Unless we capture a good image of the home secretary’s face we can’t demand the price we want. Make sure you try different positions this time.”

Still irritated, Amy pushes past him into the living room. Her arms cross over her midriff emphasising her deep cleavage as she turns to watch him follow her. “Well, you’re to blame for the crap filming; it’s your job to set the cameras.” Her expression changes to one of cynicism as she continues, “I thought you knew what you were doing. Now, I have to sleep with the creep again and you… you want different positions. He’s way older than my dad and has those horrible, open ulcers on his legs. How the bloody hell do you think that makes me feel?”

Her tirade ends with her shouting over the lump quickly forming in her throat. They’re now standing in the open-plan living space and suddenly, Amy catches sight of the wall clock in the kitchen area. “Shit! Look at the time!” The lump recedes as she gives Robbie a shove, further displaying her anger, and virtually pushes him out the front door. “You’d better be quick, and you’d better get your damn equipment working. Do you hear me Robbie?” she shouts to his retreating back.

“Yelling at me isn’t going to help matters; you know I don’t handle stress well. I can’t perform when you’re screaming at me like a crazy bitch.” He climbs in his car, shuts his door, and revs the engine which almost, but not quite, drowns out Amy’s next put-down remark.

“Trust me; I know that all too well.”

Winding his window down, he lowers his voice and tries to make her see sense. “If you want this to work out, you’d better calm down.”

When Robbie drives off, Amy storms inside, obviously still mad. She’s about to leave the front door ajar to speed Robbie’s return. Robbie always manages to get his key stuck in the lock somehow, and she needs him to hurry when he comes back. The front door opens straight into the living room and if the light is on, anyone watching in the dark street can easily see the door is open, so she turns off the light. She’s noticed someone skulking about in a nearby empty house over the past couple of weeks and doesn’t want to take any chances.

Scantily dressed in her basque and tiny briefs, she feels the wintry cold from outside striking her skin and also has second thoughts about the open door. She closes it as far as she can without locking it. Then shivering, she goes back into the draught-free bedroom and settles on the bed to await Robbie’s return.

**RL**

I watch as the argument carries from the bedroom, then out of my sight through the house to the front door and then on into the yard. I make it to the corner of the house in time to hear the man say, “If you want this to work, you’d better calm yourself down.” Then, he backs onto the street and drives off in the direction he came from earlier while Amy disappears back into the house. I return to the bedroom window just in time to see her throw herself onto the bed. Seizing my opportunity, I make my way to her front door. Looks like a lover’s quarrel. Maybe you should have taken me up on my offer earlier.

***

 In the temporary solitude of her bedroom, Amy thinks about her impending dalliance. The person they are preparing to blackmail is the Home Secretary, Cecil Abernathy, no less. He’s part of an elite circle, only one step below the prime minister, so he’s quite a prize.

This will be the third time she’ll be having sex with him. As soon as she told Robbie about him coming on to her in Mario’s patisserie, where she works, he’s encouraged her to play along with it. At Robbie’s request, she flirts with him a little bit more every time he comes in for his morning coffee. Abernathy eventually succumbed to her charms, arranging for them to go to a hotel the first time they had sex. Robbie was over the moon about it which is unusual for him. He’s normally jealous if he finds her flirting with the customers.

The first time he came in, she’d recognized him straight away by his thinning white hair, unmistakable goatee beard, and his large hooked nose. She likes to know who comes into the patisserie, so she keeps up with who’s who on the political scene. She has no idea how old he is but he’s obviously much too old for her. Amy thinks he only goes out for his coffee because he’s trying to avoid a particular person in the House of Commons. He did tell her that once although he didn’t say who the person was. Abernathy seems to like his own company best, apart from the ladies of course. Robbie said she just needs to encourage him more and he’ll make a fool of himself with her. Well, he’s taken the bait. Now, they need just one more time and then they can put the squeeze on him.

Robbie has more to gain from this little escapade than she has. Even though they’ll equally share the blackmail profit, what Robbie wants most is a legal right to stay in this country. He’s North African, a student who came to Britain to attend university. When he collected his degree he simply decided not to go back. Now he lives here in this country as an illegal immigrant. He aims to make the politician do something about his residency status, and with Amy’s help he knows how he can do it.

Staring blankly at the bedroom ceiling, Amy recalls how a couple of years ago, the papers carried a story about Cecil Abernathy. They were hinting at his probable affairs. It wasn’t open slander, just a subtle suggestion that he may have had an affair with a certain lady. Now, they’re about to trap him enjoying illicit sex, and he’ll have to pay dearly to wriggle out of this mess. Before they can do anything though, it’s imperative they get the cameras right so they capture full frontal face shots. With success in reach, she fervently hopes Abernathy won’t be early tonight.

**RL**

 I reach the front door and it’s not locked. It squeaks softly as I gently push it open and try to survey the interior. It’s dark and quiet so I step inside knife at the ready. I carefully close and lock the door behind me, so Amy and I won’t be disturbed. A light can be seen coming from a room ahead of me on the left, beyond the living room I’m standing in. I make my way towards it quietly. I’m almost to her room when the sound of a car slowing down startles me. I turn to look towards the front window and knock an empty glass off a low table beside me. I freeze, listening intently until I hear the car stop at another house.

***

Amy can’t wait to get her hands on the blackmail money and get out of this rented old hovel. She’s done her best to make it more liveable, like those drapes covering the cracks in the wall above her bed, but nothing she does ever really looks right. Deep in these thoughts she hears someone enter the front door.

That’s funny; it’s only a couple of minutes since Robbie left…. Surely he’s not back already.

Next she hears the squeak of the loose floorboard in her dark living room and the sound of something hitting the floor. Taken aback, she jumps off the bed quickly causing the springs to protest with a give-away boing. Who’s there? Oh God! Please don’t let it be the politician; we’re not ready for him yet.

Available in your country from Amazon in Kindle or paperback format, and also FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited

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Do Competitions Necessarily Show the Cream of the Book Crop?


Success as an author seems to depend on how much money you can spend on promoting yourself. EVEN ENTRY TO BOOK COMPETITIONS REQUIRES A FEE.
In the first book competition I’ve ever entered, I was given a date for my book’s cover to appear so others could vote on it. The organisers also sent me an invitation to accept a price reduced service. When I didn’t take up the reduced offer, my book’s cover was no longer eligible for the competition.
I have very limited funds. I’m over 70 and don’t even have my own pension (I receive a basic amount from the state which is deducted from my husband’s state pension. Therefore, most competitions and other publicity opportunities open to authors are unavailable to me.
So Readers, please be aware that books which do not carry a coveted ‘WINNER OF – SOME COMPETITION’ banner, aren’t necessarily inferior to those that do carry those banners. It may just be that the author can’t afford to promote their books in that way. it would be wonderful if you could give all indie authors a fair chance regardless of them having no awards. True indie authors who have to do everything themselves because they can’t afford to pay someone else to do it, probably work twice as hard as an author who uses author services, especially if they are striving to make their books the best.
JUDGE FOR YOURSELF
You can read the first few chapters of my psychological thriller ‘TISSUE OF LIES’ FREE on my Amazon book page. Just click on the ‘LOOK INSIDE’ feature at the top of the book image.
You can also read the first few chapters of my co-authored dark thriller ‘YOUR LAST BREATH’ FREE by clicking on the ‘LOOK INSIDE’ feature.
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The Time of Your Life – A Poem


Oh How Quick Poem

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Father’s Day Memories of My Dad


What can I say about my lovely caring father? I have nothing but praise for him.  He died aged ninety-seven and was until the very last, the most gentle, kindest, and loving man I know, except maybe for my husband of fifty three years who comes in extremely close.

I have few memories of life when I was very young.  I remember my dad making a doll’s pram for me out of old crisp tins.  Money must have been short at the time and at least the improvised pram stopped me crying.  Also I remember him whitening my sandals for Easter Sunday and the Whit bank holiday so I’d have smart shoes to go with my new dress.

Although my mother worked full time from the time I was three, I never lacked nurturing as my father supplied all the love and care I needed when mum was at work. My strongest recollection of those early years is of him rocking me to sleep every night while mother was out working in the cinema.  To the tune of  “Lily Marlene” he’d sing “Be-a-bye-a-bo-ee, be-a-bye-a-bo.  I can hear it still.  It’s such a strong loving memory of him.  Then, when my eyes were almost closing, he’d give me a piggy back up the stairs to bed and tuck me in.

Although these are my early memories of him, he didn’t change at all as my two brothers and I grew into teenagers. Dad was always the one we went to with a grazed knee or cut finger. He was the one who tended our wounds and gave us advice. It wasn’t that mum didn’t love us, she suffered with depression and always seemed too busy to see to us. In those days there were very few labour saving gadgets. The washing of clothes was done by hand in the large stone kitchen sink using pans of boiled water. She also worked full-time.

If we had done something wrong, dad would gently explain why it was wrong, and how we could have done it differently. He never shouted or became angry, even though I know there were times when we deserved far more than his patience.

He was born on the sixth June 1918 in Liverpool, and lived most of his life in that city. When I married and moved away from Liverpool, my mum and dad came to live near me. With our support, they managed in their own home until they were both in their nineties but, eventually, in 2009, they had to go into a retirement home. Luckily, we found one that would take them both and they lived there until 2012 when they died.

I will raise a glass to my dad this father’s day. I’m so glad I was lucky enough to have such a wonderful man for my dad.

 

My mum and dad’s 75th Wedding Anniversary

My mum gives her view of my dad, George William Smith, in her autobiography. You can read the first few chapters free on Amazon in the ‘Look Inside’ feature of her book.

https://buff.ly/2z26dG1

WiganPierCoverSmall

Contributed by Carole Parkes, author of ‘Tissue of Lies’ and ‘Your Last Breath’.

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This Makes Me Laugh


Eye-say! have you seen Eye-do?

My acrylic painting called ‘Eye-see’ always makes me smile, especially when I turn it around and It then becomes ”Eye-do’. It looks like two people in old-fashioned swimming costumes.

Original acrylic painting. I called this ‘Eye-say’.

 

Eye-do is Eye-say in portrait form. This made me giggle!

 

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If You Weren’t Here – Poem


If you Weren't Here

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Romance

Posted in #Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments