Tag Archives: Romance

Summer Solstice Reading

Welcome to another #SundayBlogShare.

It’s not the summer solstice yet – that’s still a couple of days off. But maybe it’s time to think about what to read if the day proves hot and sunny, and no one has any energy for anything more than to take a gentle snooze and read a story in a shady corner of the garden. Or, more likely in the UK, it’s pouring with rain, the barbecue has been cancelled, and you have to stay indoors, possibly with the heating on – so why not read something, and forget about the weather?

During the past few years I have written two short stories specifically for Solstice Publishing summer solstice anthologies. A Midsummer Day’s Dream, based on Shakespeare’s play with not quite the same title, appears in the anthology Let’s Have Fun Volume three. It will also be reproduced in my collection of short, Shakespeare themed stories, Cast Off, which will be published later in the summer. That story takes place on a hot sultry day, in contrast to the torrential rain that is the back drop to my other short story, Love in Waiting.

Love in Waiting appears in the anthology, Summer Thrills Summer Chills. It is also available from Amazon books as a stand-alone e-book for around £/$1.00. Here’s a taster.

Excerpt:

Love in WaitingCaro smiled when she heard the nurse’s voice fade away as she reached the doctors’ office. She turned back to the bed. Soon there would be a large cluster of medics and nurses in the little room but, for a few precious moments, it was just her and Ian.

“I don’t believe in miracles,” she told her husband. “I can’t stand Joyce. I’m sorry the solstice has been a complete wash out for the druids. I’m worried about the blocked drain back home. My hair’s a mess and I look like an anorexic scarecrow. But speaking personally, my love, today has been worth all the worry and waiting. Today is the best day of my life.”

Blurb:

Caro’s husband has been in a coma for months after a road accident. He had always intended to read James Joyce’s Ulysses, but never found the time. In desperation Caro starts reading it aloud at his bedside. But will it be enough to bring him round?

Links:

Love in Waiting: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00ZPJZNJO 

myBook.to/LoveInWaiting

Let’s Have fun 3 anthology

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01HBU1RQM

myBook.to/LetsHaveFun3

http://www.solsticepublishing.com

solstice logo (1)

 

A short YA read for Sunday.

Happy ‘Everybody Reads YA’ #SundayBlogShare. Today I am sharing an excerpt from Sleeping First LoveBeauty. This is a short story that combines fairy tales, fantasy, hospital drama, and a teenage girl’s first feelings of love. The story can be bought as a stand alone e-book, and is also one of the stories in the anthology First Love, published by Summer Solstice.

Excerpt:

It seemed a funny idea of a quest to me, and Mum never got round to telling me this story, or teaching me to read properly. She got sick and died, and all I had left to remember her by was a head full of fairy tales and the recollection of her scent: l’air du temps, according to the label I eventually learnt to read. The scent still clung faintly to her dresses and a coat that Dad had hidden in the back of my wardrobe when Sukie moved in. Sometimes I would sit in my wardrobe and pull the door close, just to breath in the memories of a happier, safer, time.

Blurb:
sleeping beauty

Dawn has been in a coma for a year and is visited in hospital every day by her devoted father, occasionally by the ghost of her dead mother, and once by her vicious stepmother. Unable to move a muscle she monitors their coming and going and relives the events that lead to her accident. She yearns to wake up and live like a teenager again, but nothing so far has been able to rouse her from her deep, deep sleep. Then, on her fourteenth birthday she is visited by a mysterious delivery boy with a strange package.

 

Links:

First Love Anthologyhttp://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BH43NXS

 Sleeping Beauty:   http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01CKKNG7Q

myBook.to/TheSleepingBeauty

 

 

So who is this Valentine Bloke?

St Valentine – the chap responsible for expensive bouquets, sickly milk chocolate treats, bunch-of-flowerscheesy cards, and a positive smorgasbord of romance themed publications. Not to mention, sulks and hurt silences in the households where his special day has been forgotten by that ‘significant other.’

Yes, everybody knows the 14th February is Valentine’s Day. Would it surprise you to know that Valentine himself had nothing to do with the passion for protestations of romantic love on this day?

Would it surprise you further to know that  there were possibly two St Valentines? One a Roman priest turned Christian who was martyred in AD269. The other the Bishop of Terni who was also martyred. His feast day is February 14th – and that provides the likely link of the name to our celebrations in subsequent centuries.

14th February was traditionally associated with the beginning of the mating season for birds. In the middles ages it also became the day when young lovers would exchange tokens of their affection. (Well we all know about the birds and the bees and where that leads, so this link seems fairly obvious!)

Solstice Publishing, like many other publishers, produces anthologies of Valentine’s Day themed stories each year at about this time – check out their website: http://www.solsticepublishing.com for the latest one, as well as past issues. I have written stories for two of the anthologies in recent years, and these are now available as stand alone short stories. They are less fattening than chocolate, don’t fade like roses and, at under a £/$1.00, cost less than your average card. Yum.

Links:

Chains of Magic – http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00YYKOOLS  

myBook.to/ChainsOfMagic

Sleeping Beauty – http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01CKKNG7Q

myBook.to/TheSleepingBeauty

 

Happy Everybody Reads YA

Hello and welcome to another ‘Happy Everybody Reads YA’ #SundayBlogShare.

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from Chains of Magic, a short story that appears in The Food of Love – an anthology released by Solstice Publishing in time for Valentine’s Day in 2015. The Food of Love contains 10 short stories that are suitable for adult and YA readers. Moreover, each story is linked to a particular recipe – hence the title.

Excerpt:

Brabantio hesitated before entering his office. He had felt helpless to argue. DesdemonaChains of magic could be very persuasive when she wanted to be and, in truth, he really loved sticky fig pudding. He would have been lost without her to sort the dinner arrangements. But was it what his wife would have agreed to? Would she herself have sat down with a black man, however noble? And would she have allowed her unmarried daughter to sit next to one? He doubted it. Oh dear, what troubles had he unleashed upon himself? He was sure no good was going to come of such a break from custom. His daughter would be doomed to spinsterhood, and he would be the laughing stock of Venice.

Blurb:

A few years ago I started on a project to imagine the life and thoughts of some of Shakespeare’s heroines when they are off stage. This story about Desdemona’s plans to woo and win Othello through food – and anything else it takes – is part of this project.

Links:

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00YYKOOLS  

myBook.to/ChainsOfMagic

Happy Everybody Reads YA.

Welcome to another ‘Happy Everybody reads YA’ #SundayBlogShare.

Today I’m thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day and sharing an excerpt from a story in the anthology published last year by Summer Solstice called First Love. This is an anthology of stories that capture “that magic moment for a teen. The realisation that the person you’ve liked is a little more than a friend. Chance meetings. Old friendships. Even a social media post. These can all lead to that first love.”

In one of the stories, Sleeping Beauty, that first moment comes as an out of body experience!

Excerpt:

Suddenly the boy shot up and joined hands with Mum above the bed. They both smiled at sleeping beautyme.  “Good luck, my darling,” said my mother as she blew me a kiss. “See you!” said the boy, putting both thumbs in the air. Then they both faded away through the wall of the ward.  Dad shook himself as if coming out of a trance. He looked at the nurse.  “Am I dreaming, or is my daughter really back with us? And what has happened to that funny delivery boy, or whatever he was. Bursting in like that, and then just disappearing?” “It’s not a dream,” said the nurse, shaking herself too. “Just look at her cheeks—all pink and glowing, and it’s not the ventilator doing it for her any more. It must be something to do with that boy. What do you think is in the box he left?”

Links:

First Love

 

First Love contains eight short stories and is available as an e-book or a print copy.

 http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BH43NXS

Sleeping Beauty is available as a stand-alone story, but only as an e-book.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01CKKNG7Q

myBook.to/TheSleepingBeauty

Happy Everybody Reads YA

Hello and welcome to this week’s ‘Happy Everybody reads YA’ #SundayBlogShare.

This week I’m sharing an extract from my short story, A Midsummer Day’s Dream, part of the Shakespeare’s women project.

Student Mia is rehearsing a scene in the woods from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with her boyfriend and two other friends. But she finds that sun, drink, and drama don’t mix!

Excerpt:

a midsummer day's dream       Everybody poured themselves a fresh drink, and Mia, knowing that it was far from wise (not with her head for drink, not in this heat, not on a nearly empty stomach— but what the hell, suddenly it didn’t seem the day could get any worse) drank most of her glass down in one gulp. Lenny then called them to order.

In the distance, but in reality only a few feet from her, Lenny was marshalling the others into action. Mia felt thick-headed and slightly sick. If I just sit down for a minute I might feel better, she thought, and lowered herself gingerly onto the ground. As Lenny passed near her, attempting once more to persuade Helen over something or other—Mia was fast getting beyond caring—a sheet of paper fell from his trouser pocket. Mia leant forward and picked it up.  She knew at once what it was.

Links for A Midsummer Day’s Dream

myBook.to/MidsummerDaysDream

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01I0CB1WU

Or, if you want to read other stories in the Shakespeare’s women project (suitable for YA, new adult, and adult readers), try my Amazon Author pages:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00RVO1BHO

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RVO1BHO

 

 

Happy Everybody Reads YA

Welcome to my ‘Happy Everybody Reads YA’ #SundayBlogShare.

Regular readers of this blog may know that I am working my way through imagined back stories for some of the female characters in Shakespeare plays. When I have completed a round dozen, maybe I will publish an anthology. Stories are mostly suitable for YA, new adult and adult readers. Four of the stories have already been published by Solstice (See my ‘Published Work’ blog page for more details).

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from Chains of Magic in which the teenage Desdemona works on how to get Othello to fall in love with her.

Excerpt:

Othello’s stories had cast a spell on her but she was going to learn from this and use her own charms on her father to ensure the noble general was invited again. She would remind her father that the moor was destined to be of continuing service to the state so he, Brabantio, leading senator, was obliged to entertain him generously. She could organize bigger and better meals on his behalf, and could hide her curiosity behind her customary maidenly modesty whilst finding out more about the man she loved. She gasped and sat up straight in bed. Love! What was she thinking! Othello, The Moor of Venice, could have no thought of marrying her, a mere slip of a girl – and white as a lily too. Besides, she had been too shy to speak to him that evening, and would never be allowed to be alone in his company nor did she know anyone she could confide in, or use as a go-between.

Links: Chains of Magic is available as a stand alone e-book through the following links.Chains of magic

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YYKOOLS

http://amzn.com/B00YYKOOLS

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00YYKOOLS  

myBook.to/ChainsOfMagic

The story is also part of the Solstice Anthology, The Food of Love, available through my Amazon author pages.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00RVO1BHO

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RVO1BHO