Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves #Pre-Order – A Covenant of Spies by Daniel Kemp

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of Daniel Kemp’slatest book which is on pre-order for December 17th at a special price of £1.99/ $1.99. – An international spy thriller.

About A Covenant of Spies.

In 2007, intelligence operative Nikita Kudashov attempts to escape his native Russia after a series of top-secret spying operations.

Years later, Patrick West of MI6 is assigned to investigate the operations Kudashov took part in, and discovers a shocking connection between the former Soviet Union and the Foreign And Commonwealth Office.

Can West unravel the ambiguous connection – and the final clue that disguises the information Blythe-Smith never passed on to the Secret Intelligence Service?

Head over and pre-order the book for £1.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07Y1LKQMG

And for $1.99 + VAT on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y1LKQMG

Also by Daniel Kemp

One of the recent reviews for What Happened in Vienna Jack on Goodreads

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Blog Knowledge

Someone posted an article about understanding the technology needed to construct an attractive website and how to use that new-found ability to improve on what you have.

As I’m a seventy-year-old dinosaur when comes to this sort of thing I thought I would read it, absorb it and then upgrade to somewhere in the ionosphere to wait and reflect on my achievements. However, no matter how much effort I put into tutorials on the subjects of ‘plugins, widgets, etc, etc, my analytical thought process remains a crumbling, decrepit mess. I can’t do it! So why do I constantly try whenever I see these–Three Easy Steps To Heavenly Blogging thingamajigs?

I guess it’s the challenge it represents and knowing I’m going to fail before I even try has now become my inescapable nemesis that knocks on my brain and won’t go away.

When I was young the assimilation of knowledge on most subjects was a trouble-free exercise that I would breeze through whenever required. When necessary, I was able to put aside that part in order to enjoy the pleasures bestowed by the privileged place I had in the educational world of abundance of challenges. Both success and failure followed, but never did failure arise when it came to the academic qualifications that commercialism measures triumph. This technological age is not kind to me, nor will it ever be. I just wish some of the capacity for learning was still available to comprehend these puzzles.

Ah well, life is a bestselling book until it nears its end when we all know how the writer ties the compelling story together to reach his climax. Is it not fascinating how everyone’s story is so different yet its end is the same? I wish you all a scintillating life with a myriad of pages on which your life is recorded, but my advice would be to—Back it up on a hard drive.

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#Bookreview – No sex please, I’m menopausal by Stevie Turner

Roberta Writes

Book reviews

What Amazon says

After going through the menopause Lyn finds that she no longer wants sex. This is unfortunate, as her husband Neil still does. When he discards her after 35 years of marriage like an old worn out shoe, Lyn moves to Cornwall to start a new life. However, new friends are hard to find, and she feels lonely. On the spur of the moment she decides to join an online dating site, ‘MatchULike’, just for companionship. Amongst the peculiar people she meets is Peter; shy, and conscious that his ‘gentleman’s’ operation has rendered him an unattractive prospect in the marriage stakes. Lyn makes a friend of Peter, but when Neil gets to hear about the friendship he realises too late that there is more to a relationship than just sex, and he suddenly starts to appear back on the scene and wants to turn her life upside down…

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Blog Hop

This is the first time I have tried to link my blog to others and to be honest I’m not sure what I’m doing is correct, but here goes–

amazonbestseller copy.png

The topic was–

‘Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?’

I read somewhere that there are seven different types of stories:

  1. Overcoming the Monster. This type of story goes back through Beowulf to David and Goliath and surely a lot further than that. …
  2. Rebirth. A story of renewal. …
  3. Quest. …
  4. Journey and Return. …
  5. Rags to Riches. …
  6. Tragedy. …
  7. Comedy.

I believe the role of a writer is to deliver a different angle on whatever is the chosen genre. My writing would, I hope, include various bits from each of the listed seven which in itself would be far from original, but here’s where a comic would say; it’s all in the telling.

As far as–to deliver to readers what they want, this is the most difficult part and one we can never really know unless millions of copies are sold and the quantity is taken as the justification of it. Personally, I write what I want to read. I love a good mystery and being brought up around the intelligence community of the War Department in London where my father was seconded to at the end of WWII, that is what I base my storytelling on.

Espionage is not the most popular theme for a book, I believe that to be sex. But even if I received a hefty advance from my publisher I could not write sex for the life of me. Well, depending on the advance, I might be able to if I had enough time for the research. I’m English and we just don’t write sex!

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The Deva Station And Kat Astrophe With a Chance Goneabegging… By Shaun Redden

A Comical Story Told In Two Parts
The First Part
Miss Kat Astrophe And Her Thomas

* * *
Any interpretation of this short story is done entirely at your own risk. I have incorporated English names into this compact chronicle to avoid disappointing those who find Russian a difficult language to pronounce.

And So We Begin
A Wild Winter’s Mid-Morning In The Reminski District, Moscow, Russia

His initial feeling of gushing pride at being selected by the captain of detectives from the final year of cadet school to accompany him to a murder scene was quickly forgotten as the ground beneath his feet both crunched in agony and screamed in pain, as by measured stride followed by measured stride, the distance between the warmth of an official car and the body of an untidily dressed man widened until at last the Police Lieutenant Colonel’s car was reached. A window of the automobile was lowered, but no invitation to share the warmth within was extended to the new recruit. Motionless he stood, unable to curb the chilling frost that rose through his leather-soled shoes and climbed his legs like Superman on steroids, soon eating at the flesh beneath his lightweight college garments. In increasing discomfort, he began his account of the scene he had just walked from.

“The body was found by a Miss Kat Astrophe. Well, sort of finding but not actually found in the sense of stumbled across. More seen as I told the station officer when I messaged him, Colonel. Of course, Lieutenant Colonel. I do know your full rank and I should have used it in my address. What’s that? Yes, I will certainly refer to you as sir if that’s what you want, Lieutenant Colonel, I mean, sir; sir. With your permission, I’ll carry on, sir?”
With a scornful frown embedded firmly on his world-weary face, the high-ranking officer looked contemptuously up at the humble cadet then ever so slowly nodded his head in a sign of approval.

“Very well, sir. When I interviewed Miss Kat Astrophe on her doorstep I discovered that she is Italian by birth which accounts for her beautiful suntanned skin. She has long jet black hair and a face to die for, oh and a voice straight from the opera as well. No doubt you may meet her, sir. What? Oh yes, the report. I hadn’t forgotten, sir. It was just that her beauty was so overwhelming, just like this cold.” He hastily cleared his drying throat and under a haze of freezing mist continued.

“She’s thirty-eight, twenty-six, thirty-six. I forgot to ask her age as I was concentrating so much on her measurements. I think I included all that in my first report. When your car arrived I thought her figure may have been the reason for your visit. My captain saw you pulling in off the road and told me to report directly to you as he had somewhere important to be. Yes, sir, he did go rather hastily. No, sir, I am not implying you would indulge in anything improper with Miss Kat because of her delectable figure. Although, I would add that I would if given the chance. Yes, sir. I agree that’s an inappropriate remark. Why did I say that? I guess because I wanted to appear as masculine as I could, sir. No, I most certainly am not suggesting that the police force that you are head of is a bunch of nancy boys as you so eloquently put it, sir. Most gracious, sir, my lord king, sir.”
Under normal circumstances, it would have been impossible to sweat in such cold conditions, but there was no normality on show in this part of Moscow.

“I’m complimenting you, sir, on your appreciation of the feminine figure.” His emitted cloud of misty breath sufficiently covered his embarrassment. However, nothing could stop his shivers. As the novice was congratulating himself on the quick-wittedness that most of the instructors at training school said he lacked, the happily ensconced superior officer flicked ash from his thick cigar that fleetingly mesmerised the cadet as it fell to the ground. But Kat would not disappear as swiftly as mere ash.

“I thought I’d leave Miss Kat’s age until this afternoon. It would make a great excuse for me to visit after you and I finish here, sir,” he said, hoping to elicit a smile from his senior officer. “What’s that, sir? Get on with it. Right, yes, I will. Where was I?”

He was standing in a small wooden thicket between the evenly fenced, newly constructed houses and a small meandering stream bubbling merrily away to his left. The shade from the trees added to the damp air from the stream gave the estate a somewhat pertinent connection to the name given to it by the building contractors: Crispy Hollow was, in the words of the man smoking the cigar— rather felicitous. If the cadet had assimilated the meaning of that word whilst enduring his education he would not have wasted time to search his mental dictionary in the hope of finding the definition that eluded him. As fast as he could he changed the subject.

“Right then, sir. As I said at the beginning of this report the body wasn’t actually discovered by Miss Kat, the woman with the body that I’m recalling as I speak in the hope that such a memory will keep me warm.” He paused, waiting for a benevolent gesture but none was forthcoming. With chattering teeth, he continued, “She did see a man but didn’t know it was a body at that stage. She thought he was up to no good, causing her to call for us. No, sir, I’m not going faint with cold. I understand, sir. Business first! No use moaning about a spot of winter. Yes, I suppose Siberia would be worse. Ahem.” He cleared his throat again. “It was the dog Thomas who first noticed the body before anyone knew it was a body. Oh no, sir, no! I’d never call you by your first name. I didn’t even know you had a first name, let alone that name was Thomas. How strange is that, it’s also the name of Kat’s dog.”

After jumping up and down a few times, frantically trying to get his blood pumping through his veins and then rubbing his hands together as though his life depended upon it, the investigating novice fetched some small sticks, which with the aid of his lighter, along with the current edition of The Police Times which Thomas the man, not Thomas the dog, generously threw at him, he made a fire and squatted before it, fantasising about the polished car door opening with a seductive Kat lying across the back seat, beckoning him to enter. An audible sigh uncontrollably escaped his lips.
At that precise moment, he caught sight of his loftier companion gaping, spellbound at the twinkling flames with wisps of smoke. Being below eye level he needed Thomas, the man, not the dog, to focus on the scene in order that Crispy Hollow could be confined to the morning memory leaving Kat Astrophe filling the imaginative cadet’s afternoon; if not her then a hot bath would not go amiss.

“Well, now, sir, back to business. It took quite some time to find the body as it was well camouflaged being clad in an overall and hat the same colour as the fencing panels. It was so good that I and the captain walked past him three times. It was only after I fetched Thomas could I find him. Thomas enthusiastically wagged his tail when he saw the body, but alas he thought the thing in our body’s hand was a bone. No, sir, it was not possible to search the man for identification. Both I and the captain thought something would break off if we did; it was that fragile. But of course, something did. Thomas jumped up before I had a chance to stop him and broke whatever it was in the man’s hand and swallowed it whole. I can’t say that in my report. Especially as your name is Thomas, sir. My station officer might think it was you who bit off whatever it was. I think it best that in the report I should change Thomas the dog’s name into another name to save any confusion with your name, Thomas.”

The shivering private prayed for a hole to appear down which he could escape, as a wide-eyed, visibly steaming, high-status officer screamed from the car. His spittle froze before it hit his face, but his acid words cut holes in his ambition. He floundered. “No, sir, I’m not being disrespectful by referring to you by your Christian name. I was about to speak of Thomas the dog.”

Another scathing attack followed his explanation raising the temperature outside the car to almost match the heat inside.

“Oh, dear! I seemed to have stepped in it again, don’t I? How on earth would I know that you’re Jewish, sir? And who on earth would have told me that a Jewish first name is not called a Christian name at all, but your patronymic name.”

As all his hopes of an early and rapid promotion vanished in the vapour that dispersed within inches of the opened window and the thought of the embarrassment he faced on his return to training school was too much to endure, he abandoned the slow deliberate approach he had adopted for one of outright attack. He stood and looked down at his opponent.

“Sir, I’m in danger of going the same way as our peeping Tom went. Yes, he died from the cold that’s eaten through my bones whilst he too was standing still as I’ve been required to do by your intransigence. To wrap this case up quickly I am prepared to say that he was peeping through a hole in Miss Kat’s fence hoping to see her undress. I remember her saying words to that effect when I saw her.”

No car door opened to dispel his severe discomfort. Nor was there a hint of termination to his suffering. With no alternative to turn to, he ploughed on.

“Unless we cut Thomas open we will never know what it is that Thomas took from the man. It could have been an address book, a phone, a wallet, or anything. I shall simply refer to it as his whatchamacallit. Yes, sir. I was being serious. Unless we have a complete corpse the autopsy cannot be performed successfully and a coroner’s verdict cannot be guaranteed. Yes, sir, I agree,” he stuttered between the rattling of his teeth. “Your name should be omitted from the report. That’s if I still have fingers to write one.” Nothing would change this pitiless, unshakable individual. It was as though he was a throwback to the KGB of which the cadet had read. Resigned to his fate, our selfless cadet carried on courageously.

“There we have it, sir. I’ll write it up as the man who snuffed it without a whatchamacallit whilst being degenerate in the thicket and file it under death due to extraneous circumstances. What’s that, sir? No such thing? Well, there should be in my opinion.”

His haughty onlooker smiled menacingly then without a minimum of kindness raised the car window, turning up the heat as soon as it was closed. His companion slithered closer to Thomas the man, and Thomas the dog returned to his original position; snuggled tightly into Kat Astrophe’s discarded black housecoat.

As the chauffeur drove the two occupants in the official police car away from the scene, its exhaust emissions propelled the nigh frozen junior officer into the waning embers of his apology for a fire. Racked by fatigue and cold, he lay there dreaming of Kat and the catastrophe of a missing whatchamacallit hoping Thomas the dog would experience agony in its passing. As the car pulled away Italian Kat’s rhapsodic voice asked,

“What is a whatchamacallit, Thomas?” Thomas the dog passed wind and gave a small yelp as Thomas the man took hold of her soft enticing hand and started to explain.  “Allow me first to put before you an offer you can’t refuse, my dear.”

The End

However, the international saga of the deaths by extraneous circumstances did not end on fire in Moscow. Several moons were to pass before all was made known.

* * *

Part Two
The Strange Case Of Mr. Isaac Johnson

By The Same Stupid Author

Any interpretation of this short story is done entirely at your own risk.
I have attempted to translate this compact chronicle of events into British English avoiding American English as much as possible. If this transcript remains in any sort of English then it’s a miracle.
* * *
The Mid-Morning Subway Train From Union Square To Pelham Bay Park, New York

It was an unseasonably cold morning even for the city that never sleeps. Perhaps someone had forgotten to leave the heating on overnight. Okay, I will stop trying to make jokes about a serious situation that happened two days before Christmas Day. The detective was stuck with a stiff on a subway train. Yes, you’re right. It was not a normal stiff. This dead body had no obvious sign of how he died. Silently our astute detective contemplated the paper and legwork involved in a murder case compared to one of natural death and the natural death won hands down. The only thing working against that simple conclusion was the stiff’s hands. The back of his hands rested against the inside of his knees with open palms and fingers spread, suggesting he had been holding something. But what and why had they remained like that as he fell from the seating?
The police officer had tried to offload the case to Union Square District of police, but they wouldn’t take it.

“Listen, bud, just cos the corpse has a ticket from here means zilch in our book. He stopped at your end, bud. He’s yours, dude. Knock yourself out with him.”

A transit patrolman had found a witness who was now seated in the warmth of the Pelham Bay police station. Officer first-class, Frank Tuey, had taken a statement in which the woman, Miss Chance Goneabegging, had said that she and the John Doe were two of the last three passengers in that carriage. The other man she described as well built, about six feet tall, wearing a dark blue hooded overcoat, which hid his face and hair colouring. She had, however, added an ominous caveat—‘He had the look of the devil about him.’ She didn’t explain what had made her assume that. This Devil of a man had a dog. She wasn’t sure of the breed but guessed it was a Doberman, big, black with light brown patches, lean, and ferocious with teeth that sparkled under the garish carriage lights. It was the snarling of this dog that had emptied the carriage. The owner and she, along with the dead man, were the only ones the dog was unexcitable with.

She went on to say that sometime between Buhre Avenue and Pelham Bay Park she thought the dead man was stroking this dog because its head was obscured by the dead man’s coat which was open and hanging loose as he bent forward. She had no idea what caused him to fall. As to whether her dog-owning fellow passenger had seen him collapse she was unable to confirm, as shortly after his dog returned from the dead man its owner moved along the carriage, presumably to be closer to the station entrance at Pelham when the train stopped. The detective followed procedure and called for an investigative team of forensic experts to examine the scene. Whilst he waited he went to see patrolman Frank Tuey, mainly to get warm and get a coffee, but also to see the witness.

He was stunned, having to grab the top of the desk where she was seated to save himself from falling. Miss Chance Goneabegging was a looker. Tanned skin, blonde hair, blue eyes and a body that would take you to heaven and keep you there. I would certainly do that, he thought, referring to the ride to heaven. Miss Chance explained how she was on vacation in America for the Christmas and New Year holiday. She especially wanted to see the ball drop in Times Square, she said, which made our detective wince in pain. In his youth, he had been in the Square one New Year’s Eve and saw a young lady trip and fall under the ball. Not nice, he recalled but praised himself for the rhyme. What rhyme, you ask? I don’t know but he did.

After ten minutes or so of resting his weary eyes on her beautiful face, he walked her as far as the street where he made to say goodbye. Something made him stop and reconsider any bland farewell.

“Miss Goneabegging, excuse me for being slightly forward but I see you’re wearing no ring of any description. I’m wondering if you would do me the honour of having a drink with me this evening. Maybe we could meet in the bar at your hotel?” She agreed to an eight o’clock rendezvous at the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village.

* * *

On returning to the subway car he was in a happier disposition, with a warmer heart, and warmer thoughts which we will not go into, but his revived spirits did not last. The forensic pathologist was crouched above the body with another crime scene officer hovering over him. It was he who asked the detective if he had seen the powder on the victim’s face. He had not. He explained how he hadn’t wanted to get too close to the stiff before they had their way with him. It was the pathologist’s judgement that the powder was Scopolamine, known also as ‘Devil’s Breath’ and ordinarily used in small quantities as a preventative of travel sickness but in larger volumes, it was the most deadly poison on the planet.

“Do you think the train ride made him a bit nauseous, doc, and as he went to take some Scopolamine a jolt splashed it all over his face?” he asked, hoping he could write it up as a death caused by a natural jerk on a subway train.
“I can’t be sure, officer. All I can say is that with that amount on his face he’d be dead within seconds, so where did he hide the means of administration? All we found was this empty cellular phone wallet lying under his knee. We found no phone on the body to go with it.”

He held out an evidence bag of contents from what now seemed a murder victim’s pockets. The detective groaned uncontrollably as he took it, then on hearing that the post-mortem could be performed in the morning when toxicology had reported, he sat down opposite the forensic team, alternating his brooding stare from the body to the spread-out possessions in front of him.

Fighting against insanity he picked up the wallet—Isaac Johnson, 2358 Bay Avenue, Pelham Bay. He was described as a cryptologist working at IBM in Union Square. There was money inside and the usual array of credit cards. Then came the loose stuff. Car keys, house keys, safe deposit swipe card, change, and expensive-looking pen, but no notebook. Unless the notebook was the target this man was not the victim of a robbery. The only suspicious thing came down to the empty cellular phone wallet that he kept twiddling in his fingers. He checked his watch, a little before noon. He used his own cellular to call the transit police. When patrolman Frank Tuey came on the line he asked why Miss Chance was travelling to Pelham Bay. On receiving the answer that Tuey had never asked her that, he next called the Walker Hotel in Greenwich Village.

“No, I’m sorry, officer. We have no Miss Chance Goneabegging staying here. Are you sure of the surname? Only it seems a little concocted, wouldn’t you say?”

Detective Investigator first grade Peter Thomas had wondered about that, yet in spite of his own curiosity, he had relied on officer Tuey to ask the relevant questions and authenticate her name, nationality and where in New York she was staying. Although all of that would have only taken a few telephone calls, he had been overcome by her femininity.

* * *

The Following Afternoon In Captain Jack Lemington’s Office

“The post-mortem report states clearly that this is a murder inquiry, Detective. Poisoned by Devil’s Breath. And the prime suspect is where? God knows where that’s where. Wherever where is. For all we know the broad could be on a train, a boat or plane, but do not sing any song about that if you value your life. There was no third man with a dog. That took half an hour to discover by simple detective work. You’re now a traffic cop, Thomas and lucky I don’t ask for your badge. IBM does not have an office in Union Square and Isaac Johnson does not live in Pelham Bay. That took ten minutes to work out. It’s my guess the victim knew this Miss Chance Goneabegging and it was his phone she was after. You certainly let a chance go a begging, didn’t you!” He looked at Thomas and shook his head in disappointment. “Your mother would be ashamed of you. What? You didn’t know about her and me? Well, you do now. The file on this has been sent to the FBI. It includes your cock-ups.  I could have hidden them but I didn’t know where, as I told you before. Anyway, it’s their case now, son. I can’t help you from here on in. Pick a fast motorcycle in case they come after you.”

In the room even the silence was silent and the still stagnant air was frightened to move in case it caused a ripple through the energy of time.

“Yes, Peter, you heard right. I called you son, son.”

* * *

That Evening In The Federal Office Building at 26 Federal Plaza on Foley Square, New York

“I have a photo and DNA match on that Isaac Johnson guy found on the subway this morning. According to the CIA, he’s a Russian army lieutenant, last seen leaving Kabul, September 1989. Here it says; aged twenty-seven which would make him fifty-four, which is precisely what it says on this autopsy report. It’s him alright. I’ll fax it through to Langley and give them the headache.”

* * *
One Hour After The File Arrived At The CIA Headquarters

“That subway death in New York that pinged up involving the Russian spymaster and the disappeared woman is kicking up a storm in the Director’s office. It seems this Johnson guy, real name Kauli Kough, was caught up in a similar scam in Moscow two years ago and one in London, England seven months back. When we sent one of our agents to London he got confused between MI5 and a highway they have. He kept driving around and around the M25 motorway waiting for someone to wave him down. He picked one guy up who he thought was his contact only to find out he wanted a ride to Birmingham. He thought he meant Birmingham, Alabama so he shot him for being stupid and dumped his body at a service station.

“Reports on both the Moscow and London incidents place Kough with a dame called Deva Station. She’s with Mossad and would you believe listed as a friendly. The Director is on the phone to Tel Aviv now. Last I heard was— ‘clear your mess off my doorstep’ then he slammed the door closed and caught his little pinkie. Didn’t you hear his screams? London went down the damage control route. The witness who saw Kough coughing into a handkerchief given to him by Deva Station is six feet below ground and the whole team of pathologists who worked the body are hiding in a snowdrift in Canada. The witness they popped off was a single guy but those lab people were all married. There’s to be a government inquiry, however, they don’t know which government is to deal with it.

“The stiff in Moscow had the same powder on his face as on ours and the one in London. Apparently, the patrolman in Moscow was left to freeze to death thinking the powder was the frost. They found a half-written note saying a dog had taken what he called a whatchamacallit. We’ll never know what he saw and what the dog took. Come to that, what’s a whatchamacallit? He was Moscow’s man posing as a fence painter but spying on Deva Station. There was no sign of his control, a police captain, who couldn’t have shown. My inside man inside Moscow Central thinks this Deva Station woman is a Columbian man, but they drink a lot of vodkas over there and sometimes don’t know the difference between inside and inside.

“Some parts of the intelligence community in London had a theory that she was French and believed she was spraying Chanel on everyone hoping to boost French exports before that Brexit thing the Russians are running. Another part just wants to go to war with the Russians, or if there’s no backing for that then they want to invade Seychelles and occupy the islands for a couple of years whilst this all sorts itself out.

“When the Director took the call from London I was still in his office and from what I could gather he and London want to go to Columbia dig up all Borrachero trees they can find so that they can’t make any more of the stuff and sell it on. Said they want to plant them in Afghanistan and share the profits.

“The stolen phones are never likely to be recovered. All we can assume, according to our leader, is they held sensitive material and Deva Station killed Kauli Kough under Mossad’s instructions. However, it turns out Israel wants Kauli Kough’s body and to do away with the traffic cop. I heard he was worried about Christmas. We could bottle some Scopolamine and send it to him as an aftershave, or better still find Deva Station and send her.”

* * *

There was a smudged tear on the fuel tank of traffic officer Peter Thomas’s motorcycle as he wrote out his first speeding ticket as morning broke on Christmas Day. In the rear of the chauffeur driven car he had stopped, shielded by the blacked-out windows, sat the glamorous figure of Miss Deva Station aka Chance Goneabegging, but the thought of his father being Jack Lemington was too much for Peter Thomas to care and as far as Miss Deva Station was concerned she was looking out the wrong window for her Thomas, not sure where she had lost him.

Suddenly, without warning, the chauffeur grabbed hold of patrolman Thomas’s sleeve and called out in a loud voice—“Don’t ask for whom the trumpet sounds, just roll up those trousers and dance away. Just dance away those tears. Just dance away your fears. Disregard the bogeymen and learn the mandolin.”

But sadly Peter Thomas who by then was overcome with grief, never clearly heard what the driver said and never really cared. Instead of dancing he gunned his motorcycle and without looking over his shoulder, nor plucking any chords of any mandolin, pulled out in front of a fast-moving police cavalcade transporting his father to the prearranged rendezvous he had with Miss Deva Station at The Bates Hotel, Downtown. Neither he nor the intended participant in the fun and games he had in mind noticed poor Thomas laying in a flattened pose having been squashed by several cars. He was dead and nobody cared.

You can cry now.

The End

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HOJAS DE OTOÑO

PERCEPCIONES

Hojas de Otoño

La fruta ha madurado, las hojas se caen… es Otoño. No encuentro palabras que expresen la emoción que me inspira el paisaje. Son los chopos repartiendo sus corazones de oro pulido al sol, cubriendo la tierra a manos llenas. La chopera, siendo pequeña, hoy se agranda ante mis ojos. Las hojas me atraen, me hablan, me sugieren mundos multiformes, páginas en blanco por escribir, mundos multicolores, que un día lloraban con la lluvia y otros reían con los atardeceres. Hojas tan frágiles que volaban como pájaros, iban y venían entre las ramas movidas por el viento, todas antes o después, caen en silencio a la tierra. Son abanicos vivientes y el árbol no da sombra sin las hojas… Y vino el Otoño a pintarlas. Una amiga japonesa, de mis años de estudiante, me decía que la parte frontal de las hojas, es masculina y la opuesta, femenina.  Hoy las miro…

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#BadMoonRising: Through the Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle #YA #horror #supernatural

Is this for you?

Roberta Writes

Horror, supernatural and science fiction author, Teri Polen, is hosting her #BadMoonRising series of posts for the month of October. She is featuring the scary, dark or thrilling book of a different author each day. It is a great series and I was delighted to be part of it this year.

Many of you know today’s author from her children’s books (I dream of living in Chocolate Land), poetry, the book she co-authored with her mother, and extraordinary baking creations.  But did you also know she’s the author of a new young adult horror book?  Welcome Roberta (Robbie) Cheadle!

Would you rather walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight or spend the night in a haunted, abandoned house?

I would prefer to walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight. That is the witching hour and there is no telling what interesting ghosts you might meet during your stroll. Graveyards…

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“…nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again…” Ernest Hemingway on writing QUOTES FOR WRITING

I have never analysed the storytelling process before and never been asked, however, had someone sought an opinion from me I would not have thought of this– Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again–even though it’s so true.

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.
Ernest Hemingway in The Paris Review Spring 1958

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When Young

 

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When Young

I had played with love when not prepared
But luck was mine and I was spared.
Until a time when love did reach
Beyond the walls and my heart was breached.

For if you have loved as I have done
Then many hearts you may have won,
But if you’ve been loved as I have been
Then, true love, you will have seen.

© 2019 Daniel Kemp All rights reserved

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Nicola Upson: Sorry for the Dead

Auntiemwrites Crime Review-Mystery Author M K Graff

After the tremendous success of the stand-alone Stanley and Elsie, Nicola Upson’s tour de force of the artist Stanley Spencer’s complicated marriage and art from the view of his housekeeper, Elsie Munday, the author gives us the the eighth in her series the Sunday Times calls “historical fiction at its very best” featuring Josephine Tey as its main character in Sorry for the Dead.

Upson takes readers in part to Tey’s younger years, alternating with the time period associated with the majority of the previous novels in the 1930s, with a few brief forays a decade later. It is to Upson’s credit that the details for each period ring true and cement each era without confusing the reader. Indeed, the reader becomes immersed in each time frame, in its details and its mores within history.

These periods are needed to tell the story that starts in 1915, when…

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