Tag Archives: reading

The Wrong Shoes

Jerry locked the car and turned to Susie. ‘So, where are you going and when do you want to meet up?’ 

‘I’m going to look for the shoes first but don’t worry about meeting up – you’re coming with me!’ 

‘But I was going to watch a bit of the match!’ 

‘Well you’re not now, so come on. I’ve a lot to do.’ 

Jerry sighed. He had learned the hard way that arguing with his wife just didn’t work. Somehow or other, he would end up paying, and paying for her shoes was bad enough, never mind getting on the wrong side of her. He followed her out to the street. 

‘I’m not putting up with you sulking all day, Jerry!’ 

‘I’m not sulking.’ 

‘How do you expect me to concentrate if you’re sulking?’ 

‘I’m not sulking!’ Jerry envied men who could stand up for themselves. He wondered what would happen if he dared to walk away. Perhaps if he waited until she was in the shoe shop, she wouldn’t notice him slipping away? 

‘Come on, Jerry! We haven’t got all day!’ Susie pushed open the door of the nearest shoe shop. ‘Sit down there and help me choose!’ 

Jerry groaned. He knew she intended to keep him firmly in her sights. Flopping down onto the uncomfortable stool, Jerry awaited his fate.  

She arrived in the form of a helpful assistant. 

‘Good morning, Madam. How can I help you?’ 

‘Hello, I’m looking for shoes to match this dress.’ Susie scrolled through the pictures on her phone before thrusting it under the assistant’s nose. ‘That one there. I’m going out for cocktails with my husband’s boss.’ 

‘That dress is beautiful! Perfect for cocktails! Is it by that up and coming designer from Meath?’ 

‘Yes, it is! How did you know?’ Susie was impressed. 

Jerry wondered if he could take out his phone discreetly and keep up with the match live-updates. As he tried to slip it out of his pocket, a glare from Susie stopped him. With a sigh, he resigned himself to perching uncomfortably on the stool and trying to look interested. 

‘I saw it in a magazine the other day. That colour will suit you perfectly. I’d never be able to afford a dress like that.’ 

‘It was a bargain! I got a great deal on it!’ 

‘Did you? I saw it priced at five hundred euros.’ 

‘Yes, I know but it was marked down in the sale and I got it for four hundred and fifty euros!’ 

Jerry’s coughing fit momentarily distracted the two women. 

‘What’s wrong with you now, Jerry?’ 

‘How much did you pay for the dress?’ 

The women rolled their eyes and turned to a display shelf. 

‘I think those heels would suit the dress very well.’ 

Susie looked doubtful. ‘I’m not sure, perhaps that pair there?’  

‘Oh yes! They would look amazing with the new dress!’ 

Now it was Jerry’s turn to roll his eyes. 

‘Would you like to try them on?’ 

‘Yes, and maybe that pair there too.’ Susie pointed to another pair like the first pair. 

‘What size?’ 

‘Six.’ 

‘I’ll fetch them from the storeroom.’ 

As the assistant went out the back of the shop, Jerry cleared his throat. ‘Er, why can’t you try on that pair right there?’ 

Susie looked horrified. ‘Try on shoes that have been on display? Whatever are you thinking?’ 

Privately, Jerry was thinking that it would have saved a lot of time and effort but obviously, he was missing something. He decided to hold his tongue. 

The assistant reappeared with two shoe boxes. Susie sat down beside Jerry and watched almost reverently as the assistant opened the first box. Slipping off her own shoes, Susie slowly slid her left foot into the new shoe. Jerry watched as she flexed her ankle, trying to see the shoe from every angle. 

‘How does it feel? Is the size alright?’ 

Susie nodded at the assistant. ‘It’s perfect!’ 

The assistant wordlessly handed her the other shoe. 

Jerry breathed a sigh of relief. That had been much quicker and easier than he had feared. He watched as Susie slipped on the second shoe and then stood up. She stayed still for a moment or two, enjoying the look and feel of the shoes then began to walk up and down the shop, checking them out in the many strategically placed mirrors. 

‘Oh, they look wonderful!’ The assistant beamed. ‘Now, here are the others for you to try on.’ 

Susie sat down once again, pointing to another pair on the display. ‘Can you bring me those to try as well?’ 

‘No!’ 

Both women turned to look at Jerry.  

‘What’s wrong now?’ Susie glowered at her husband before turning to nod at the assistant. 

‘You said they were perfect! Why are you trying on more now?’ 

The women exchanged sympathetic glances. 

‘They are perfect but I’m not sure if they’ll go with the dress.’ Susie explained patiently before turning once more to the assistant. ‘While you’re getting those, you might as well bring out the red pair too.’ 

‘Of course, Madam. What about that blue pair? Would you like to try those too?’ 

Jerry thought his brain was going to explode. He stood up to go and get some fresh air.  

‘Where are you going now?’ 

‘You’ll be here all day! I’m going to watch the end of the match. Text me when you’re finished.’ 

‘Sit down!’ Susie dismissed his outburst. ‘Oh look! These are lovely!’ She opened the second shoe box and glanced up at Jerry. ‘Sit down or you’ll distract me! Don’t you realise how important this is? I have to get the right shoes!’ 

Jerry was about to say no but the flinty look in her eyes stopped him. Deflated, he sank back heavily onto the stool. 

‘Now Madam, I also brought this black pair for you to try on. They won’t go with the dress but they are beautiful shoes.’ 

Both women ignored Jerry’s strangled gasp. 

Susie lost track of time as she slipped her feet in and out of the shoes. Jerry’s aching back found no relief as he shifted on the hard stool. He watched helplessly as pair after pair was pronounced perfect and then discarded in favour of the next pair. 

Other customers came and went and Jerry found himself wondering why only his wife seemed unable to make up her mind. The assistant was kept busy but Susie didn’t seem to notice. 

The pile of shoes around them grew steadily until Jerry thought there mustn’t be a pair left in the shop that Susie hadn’t tried on. The assistant was determined to make a sale and kept placing fresh boxes beside them in between serving the other customers. 

Finally, Susie sighed and reached for her own shoes.  

‘Well, have you decided on a pair?’ 

She looked at him in surprise. ‘This is only the first shop! You can’t expect me to make up my mind before I’ve seen everything!’ 

‘What do you mean? You’ve tried on every shoe in the shop! There’s none left to try!’ 

‘Not here, there isn’t, but there’s another shoe shop a few doors down. We’ll try there next.’ 

Jerry could almost feel the blood draining from his faced. ‘Another shop?’ 

‘Of course! You want me to be happy, don’t you?’ 

Jerry was sure the only thing he wanted just then was to go home and pour himself a large whiskey. 

‘Well? Don’t you?’ 

Suddenly, Jerry knew he had to get away. He walked quickly towards the door. He had to force himself to keep control and not run out of the shop.  

‘Where are you going?’ 

‘Home!’ 

‘What do you mean, home? Get back here this minute!’ Susie struggled to put her shoes on. 

Jerry reached the door and as he put his hand out to open it he felt as if something was pulling him backwards. 

He awoke with a start and glanced at the pillow beside him. He was alone. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he swore that he would never again complain about being single.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Letting Go

Sally yawned and stretched. Glancing at the clock she realised that she had ten minutes before the alarm. Snuggling back down, she closed her eyes and allowed the memories to wash over her. 

The nightclub had been packed and she and Julie hadn’t been able to talk over the music. Shrugging it off, they danced until their feet hurt. Julie inclined her head towards the bar and Sally nodded.  

The barman followed Julie’s pointing finger and reaching out, touched the vodka bottle. At Julie’s nod, he quickly poured shots into two glasses and placed them on the bar. Grabbing the lemonade bottle, Sally splashed a little into each glass while Julie handed over the money. 

As the girls turned from the bar with their drinks and made their way to the seating area, neither of them noticed the man leaning against the bar watching them. 

The girls had almost finished drinking when two fresh drinks appeared in front of them.  

‘Harry! I didn’t think you were coming tonight!’ Sally shouted over the music.  

‘I wasn’t, but then I thought, why not? The boss is away tomorrow so I can get away with a bit of a hangover!’ 

The girls laughed and picked up their drinks. 

‘Cheers!’ 

Conversation being almost impossible, they drank up quickly and hit the dance floor again. They had been friends since school and met up most weekends. Sally and Julie shared a flat and Harry sometimes crashed on their couch. 

The night ended and the girls got their coats while Harry waited by the door. He smiled as he saw them coming towards him but he didn’t notice the man standing just outside watching them. 

‘Who wants fries?’ 

‘Harry! You’re always thinking about food!’ 

‘I’m a growing lad!’  

After a brief trip to the burger bar, they made their way back to the flat.  

‘I thought you didn’t want fries!’ 

Julie snatched her hand away as Harry slapped at it. 

‘Ah, go on! You’ll only stink out the flat anyway!’ 

Harry laughed as he held out the fries to her. ‘What about you, Sally?’ 

She smiled and shook her head. ‘No, thanks.’ 

‘She wants more than fries off you, Harry!’ Julie teased. 

Sally blushed and turned her face away quickly. 

‘Leave her alone, Julie! Come here, Sally.’ Harry held out his arm and Sally laughed and allowed him to drape it over her shoulders for the rest of the walk home. 

‘Anyone want tea?’ 

‘It’s two in the morning! We’ll be up all night, Julie and we have work tomorrow or have you forgotten?’ Sally reminded her. 

‘That’s why I prefer going out on a Saturday night. I said we should go last night!’ 

‘You said a lot of things last night but Joey managed to quieten you when he came around.’ 

Julie laughed. ‘Well. I’ll leave you two at it then. Goodnight.’  

Sally was about to make her own excuses when Harry stopped her. 

‘Sit beside me for a minute, Sal. I want to talk to you.’ 

As she sat next to him the old memories resurfaced. ‘I think I should go to bed too, Harry. It’s late.’ 

‘I won’t keep you long, I promise. I’ve been thinking. It’s a year since Rob died and I have been patient but I think it’s time to start moving on now, don’t you?’ 

Sally hung her head, allowing her hair to fall over her face. ‘It still seems like yesterday.’ 

‘I know but the last time we talked you said you would think about it.’ Harry slipped his arm around her shoulders and drew her close. He held her loosely ready to let her go if she tried to pull away. 

With a sigh, Sally allowed him to hold her. She had to admit it did feel nice to be held. She stiffened as his lips touched her cheek. 

‘Don’t worry, there’s no rush. I just need to know that I have a chance with you.’ 

Harry’s breath felt warm as he spoke against her hair. 

Sally sighed again. ‘I like being with you but I’m not sure that I feel that way about you.’ 

As his lips gently touched hers, she thought that perhaps she did feel that way about him, after all. 

Reluctantly, he sat back. ‘Off to bed now or we’ll both be late in the morning!’ 

Sally smiled and with a quick, backward glance, went into her bedroom. As she closed her curtains she thought that Harry was right. It was time to let go. She had mourned long enough. 

She didn’t notice the man across the street staring at her over his shoulder as he walked away.  

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Phew! August was Busy!

August was a very busy month. I managed to finish several projects and one big one that is nearly ready to go – more about that in a minute!

As you may remember I released Fibromyalgia, My Personal Experiences on Audible in June. This book tells a bit about my story and how I cope day by day. I keep a positive outlook and hope that this book will bring a little light to other lives.

Fibromyalgia My Personal Experiences

I am delighted to announce that I have now added two more books to the Audible catalogue with another two to follow shortly!

stress aud

A Self Help Guide to Stress Relief and Stress Management

This guide contains mini quizzes to help you figure out your stress levels and is packed with helpful suggestions to get your life back on track.

iph aud

Irish Paranormal Haunts

For Paranormal lovers! Listen to the background of some of our most exciting investigations. With details of the location histories, paranormal background and my own personal experiences this book is a must for everyone who loves the unknown.

Back to the big one!

I have written the first book in the DS Louisa Williams murder mystery series.

DS Williams is finding it hard to settle into her new job. Her boss, DI Oakes thinks that a woman couldn’t possibly do a man’s job.

As well as problems with her boss, Louisa realises that something else is going on. Could her visions be the result of an injury or is she just sensitive to the paranormal? She knows that she can’t let her boss find out about her extra sensory perception but how can she explain how she knows so much about the murders?

Two women are dead. Can Louisa’s instincts leads her to the murderer before there are any more victims?

Sign up to my newsletter now, so you don’t miss the release date! (Privacy 100% Guaranteed)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under My Life, Uncategorized

A Little bit of Nostalgia

A few friends and I were chatting about times gone by and laughing about our ‘normal’ compared to what kids today are used to.

me and Noreen

Phones I pick this item first as every kid seems to be permanently glued to theirs.

We didn’t have phones. As simple as that. We knew two neighbours who did and in an emergency my brother and I were sent to ask if we could call the doctor or ambulance. The nearest phone was five minutes walk down the road but unfortunately, it was installed in a holiday home and the owner was rarely in residence.

This meant that after checking here first, we then had to back track and walk across the fields, clambering over ditches, falling into gorse bushes, getting chased by cattle until after almost two miles of struggling, we arrived at our destination.

God help the poor ailing person at home!

We would then hand over our money and watch in fascination as the neighbour wound the handle and then shouted our business to the switch-board operator before finally being connected to the doctor.

Our neighbour would then kindly give us a cup of tea and some home-made bread and jam before sending us back to our parents.

We needed the sustenance for the return journey. If the day was very wet, we would take the easy way out and walk home by the road which added an extra mile or so to our trek.

As we grew older, we moved to a house with a phone already installed! The luxury of it! Now if we were sick we could summon the doctor almost straight away!

The other use of the phone was, of course, the obligatory phone call from the latest boyfriend.

Oh, the days of sitting on the stairs in the draughty hall, whispering sweet nothings while my father shouted from the living room, ‘Don’t be on that phone all night! My family might be trying to ring!’ (This was our version of call waiting.)

And then, there were the days when you had to screw up your courage and ring your best friend (to moan about the latest boyfriend). I became quite adept at this. I quickly realised that if I waited until the start of the nine o’clock news, I would have at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted chat before my father started roaring about the cost of phone calls.

It was the same in every household and we all grew accustomed to trying to gossip over the shouting of someone’s father.

Water. These days we hear so much about saving water, paying for water, keeping our water clean. In our day it was more a case of, ‘Go and fetch some water.’

Fetching the water didn’t mean going to the tap and turning it on. Oh no! We had to pick our way over a gorse-covered hill, trying not to slip on the alternately muddy and rocky path until we reached the pool of clear water tucked under a fuchsia tree.

My brother and I were usually sent for the water. At five years old, I was too young to go on my own but I still had to carry a bucket back with me.

Me Kerry and Dad

We had to lean as far out as possible so we wouldn’t stir up mud in the shallower water as we filled our bucket.

The walk back down the hill was even more difficult now with a heavy bucket to contend with. We mustn’t spill the precious water or we’d be sent straight back to refill the bucket.

I remember the day the strange man came to walk around the field beside the house with two metal rods in his hands.

I was fascinated and followed him around for ages. Finally, he smiled and turned to my father. ‘There’s a fairly good water source here but there’s a very strong indication on the hill there.’

We all followed his pointing finger.

The drill came a few days later and suddenly we had plumbing!

Well, we had a tap in the kitchen anyway, and water for the cows but it was another while before we had a flush toilet or running water in the bathroom. Hooray! No more soaking in the old tin bath in front of the fire!

Television. Where would we be without our entertainment? Satellite, cable, digital, smart.

We had black and white.

And sometimes green (as the tube failed the picture would get progressively greener until my father announced that it was time for a replacement).

We had one channel. The six o’clock news was the ‘must see’ programme. Everybody sat down after the angelus (the angelus was a bell that was rung and broadcast to the nation at six on the dot to turn people’s thoughts to God for a whole minute and then after blessing ourselves, life would go on) and no one was allowed to speak while the news was on.

I remember when we got the second channel. RTE2. Oh, the excitement! Top of the Pops! Luckily for me, this was broadcast while my parents and brother were milking the cows and I was mostly able to watch it uninterrupted.

In the winter this became a bit trickier as the cattle were fed earlier and there was not much milking to be done but my Dad loved music and if I made him a cup of tea, he would sit and let me watch it.

Then, the most exciting thing of all happened!

My father bought a colour television!

You can not imagine my shock when I saw my younger sister watching Sesame Street and discovered that Cookie Monster was blue! Blue! I always thought he was a murky grey colour!

Music. We were lucky growing up as my parents both loved the music of the time and encouraged my brother to play guitar. He went on to become one of the best guitarists in Ireland and it was a sad day when life got in the way and he stopped playing.

We had our own way of downloading music.

We would sit for hours waiting for our favourite song to come on the radio and as soon as it was announced  – or we heard the first few bars – we would press the record and play buttons on our tape recorders and capture the magic.

Most of our recordings were accompanied by day to day noises in the background and I will never forget my brother’s recording of ‘Mull of Kintyre’ with my father’s voice, ‘Is he one of the Beatles?’ and loud shushing noises over-riding the first verse.

We were fierce high tech with our tape recorders! Previously we only had vinyl and we could not record these. Ask any kid today if they know the difference between 45 and 33 and they will look at you blankly but to us, they were the most important numbers in our lives! (For the benefit of those of you unenriched by the magic of vinyl, singles were played at 45 rpms – revolutions per minute – while albums were played at the slower speed of 33 rpms)

And then, along came the unbreakable, everlasting cd!

Now we would never have to listen to skipping, jumping or scratching ever again!

We all saved up and bought cd players and then! The Sony Walkman! I never had one of these. I worked in the local record shop by this time so I had music on tap all day. Bliss!

To my friends, the Sony Walkmans were revolutionary! Before this if we wanted to listen to music as we walked along the street, we had to carry a ‘ghetto blaster’ with us. As these were usually about two feet by one foot, you can imagine how cumbersome they were! At the time, we didn’t care, but the Sony Walkman changed all that.

Now, we could listen to music privately through our headphones (no ear buds for us!) as we walked along. We could even hang the Walkman off our belts so we didn’t need to carry it!

Me and Dad

The cd sound was so much better than the tape! We began to really appreciate music at last.

Oh, yes, and we were disgusted when we found out that cds don’t last forever either, And that they can skip, jump and scratch too.

It’s fun looking back. It makes us realise just how far we have come.

We have gained so much but perhaps we have also lost a little of the magic too.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under My Life, Uncategorized

The Start of it All

People often ask me how I first got started on my writing. Well, the truth is, I have always loved reading and writing. There was no particular starting point.

If I had to pinpoint a time, I suppose it was when I saw an advertisement for a creative writing course in my local town.

I jumped at the chance and couldn’t wait for the evening of the first class. The excitement! The joy! The anticipation!

I remember walking into the building and looking for directions to the room. I could feel fluttering in my stomach but I was still excited.

I walked up the stairs and there, in front of me, was the door.

As I reached for the handle, the first doubts began to creep into my mind. What was I doing here? I was no writer! Yes, I loved to put my thoughts down on paper but that was a far cry from being a writer!

I took a deep breath and opened the door.

Ellen, the tutor greeted me enthusiastically and before I knew it, I was sitting among the other students waiting to find out what it was all about.

To my delight, a neighbour of mine came into the room to join the class. At least I knew someone!

By the end of that first class I had already learned some valuable lessons.

Ellen brushed aside my insecurities and made me feel that, yes! I could do this!

As I listened to the first assignment, I suddenly realised that I knew exactly what I wanted to write and I couldn’t wait to get home and begin.

Within a few short weeks, we had become a team, sharing thoughts and ideas while being guided by Ellen’s expertise.

I grew to love hearing her read our assignments and the constructive advice that followed.

That class taught me to discipline myself. To sit and write. To just do it no matter how little time I thought I had. To enjoy it and look to forward to it.

Every week I turned in a new assignment – short stories – and every week I left with a better grasp of how to craft them.

Towards the end of the course, we held a public reading of our works which included a wonderful short play written by one of the students. Carol has since gone on to be a regular contributor to local newspapers and her pieces are well-written and fresh – a joy to read.

I also made a wonderful friend – Ruth, my neighbour. All these years later and I still remember her wonderfully quirky sense of humour which came through so clearly in her writing.

She has a passion for animals and rescued cats ad kittens long before people were aware of the problem. Her calm gentleness and quick laugh are some of the things that still inspire me whenever I sit down to write.

Most of us were in class simply for the love of writing but a few of us have taken it a step further.

Wherever it has led, I still think of that creative writing class as the time in my life when I realised that to succeed, you first have to try.

My Books

My Paranormal Blog

Follow me on Facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Blah Blah Blah

Been feeling a bit “Blah” lately – probably because of a reaction to the flu jab – so been finding it hard to concentrate.

Started plotting a new novel but it’s not coming together yet – I’ve never actually tried plotting one before – perhaps try again in a week or two.

Did some marketing but lack of funds kind of limits that! Still, did the usual social media whirl etc.

Started a Thunderclap for “A Little Book of Horror” – due for release October 12th

Pre-order Here or Support Thunderclap Here (it’s FREE)

Finally sent off an assignment for a course I’m doing.

Still feeling “Blah”.

Opened up new novel file – I’m twenty thousand words into a new historical romance – and a couple of hours and two thousand words later, I’m not feeling “Blah” any more!

The secret?

Just do it!

Stop procrastinating and just make an effort. It will come. Give it the right time and place and anything can be accomplished!

Must get back to the novel now!

#amwriting #histfic #romance

2016-05-16-22-29-54

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Hot News for Fiction Lovers

With so many great fiction books available where do you begin? How do you select your next great read?

  • Do you pick from authors you already know?
  • Do you subscribe to book marketing emails?
  • Have you joined readers groups on sites like Goodreads?
  • Do you prefer to read recommendations from friends?

Just how to you go about finding some of the amazing reads out there?

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Amazon’s Most Wished For list

Barnes and Noble Recommends list

Goodreads Fiction Books lists

Other places to search:

  • Facebook – search readers or writers groups.
  • Twitter – search using  #amreading, #readers, #greatreads and try any other relevant hashtags you can find.
  • Pinterest – search books and follow author boards. Pin books you might like to come back to at a later date.
  • Instagram – many authors are now using this platform but also if readers love a book they will post here.

There are many more ways to get connected to your next fantastic book. Try them all and if you have any great ideas make sure you share them in the comments!

Connect with me:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon

Email

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction