Tag Archives: Violetta Antcliff

The Haunting of Wisteria Cottage….

26 Sep

Another release from GSP Author of the Week, Violetta Antcliff.

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The fact Wisteria Cottage is supposed to be haunted doesn’t deter Zoe from buying it; she doesn’t believe in ghosts. However, when she starts to experience ghostly kisses, it doesn’t take her long to change her mind. Coming to terms with the fact her ghost is there to stay, she strikes a bargain with him.

Excerpt:

 When Zoe stepped out of the bath and reached for her terry towel robe, she felt a kiss on the damp nape of her neck, but she didn’t turn round to see who had planted it because she knew no one would be there.
     This wasn’t the first time she’d experienced the sensation of ghostly kisses, but it was the first time her heart hadn’t started pounding and she hadn’t broken out in a cold sweat.
     “I don’t believe in ghosts, I don’t believe in ghosts,” she declared through clenched teeth, and patted herself dry.
     Zoe had only moved into the cottage the week previous and was still in the midst of unpacking. The electrical goods she’d bought via the internet; fridge freezer, washing machine and cooker, still hadn’t arrived. She was beginning to wonder if perhaps she wouldn’t have done better paying that little bit extra and getting them from the co-op, but money being tight every penny needed to be accounted for.
     She was newly single, and the settlement from her divorce had just come through. It hadn’t been as much as she’d hoped for, but it had been sufficient for the down payment on the cottage. She had a reasonably good job, ‘Agony Aunt’ for a well know woman’s magazine, and she wrote a weekly column for a daily paper, so she’d had no trouble getting a mortgage.
     The fact the cottage was supposed to be haunted hadn’t deterred her from going ahead and buying it; she didn’t believe in ghosts.
     The previous owners had put it on the market at a ridiculously low price hoping for a quick sale, but it had stayed on the Estate Agents books for over two years. When she’d put an offer in, it had been accepted without argument.
 
     Zoe towel dried her hair and took stock of herself in the steamy bathroom mirror. She liked what she saw: the new short hairstyle was easier to manage, and the high lights she thought were a definite improvement. She recalled her best friend Emma telling her she looked nowhere near thirty and if she had any sense, she would spend some of the divorce settlement on a new wardrobe, and start looking for a man.
     But Zoe wasn’t ready for another man; she was still smarting from the break up of her marriage to Gregory.
     The warmth in the bathroom was beginning to dissipate, and Zoe made for the bedroom.
     The door creaked when she pushed it open; the room was cold and as yet uncarpeted. She hadn’t got around to hanging curtains at the windows either, but as the cottage overlooked no other buildings they hadn’t been given priority.
     She slipped hastily into panties, bra, jeans and a top before pulling a brush through her hair and making her way downstairs.
     The sitting room was bare, apart from suitcases and luggage containing personal belongings. A cottage suite, coffee table and computer unit had been ordered from Ikea and was due to be delivered later that afternoon. She was aware it would come flat pack but she wasn’t fazed, it wouldn’t be the first time she’d put furniture together without a man’s help.
     Skirting past the cases she made her way to the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee.
     The kettle whistled plaintively as it boiled, sending a shiver down her spine She rushed to turn it off, spooned coffee into a mug and opened a tetra-pack of milk; it plopped out, thick green and sour. “How the bloody hell did that happen? It’s supposed to be long life!” She cursed out loud to the empty room, annoyed with herself for not checking the date before she’d bought it. But when she checked, she found the milk well within its Sell By date. Another unexplained mystery to add to the ones that had dogged her since moving into the cottage. 

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#WisteriaExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Haunting-Wisteria-Cottage-ebook/dp/B0042X9VV0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380213615&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Haunting+of+Wisteria+Cottage

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Irish Mouse Tales.

25 Sep

Another release from GSP Author of the Week – Violetta Anicliff.

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Michael O’Leary, a mouse with a larger than average size tail, is a story teller who can hold audiences spellbound with his tales of daring and adventure. Michael, along with his two friends Patrick and Guido, lives on a farm in a remote corner of the Emerald Isles and it is here he holds his story telling evenings. Some of his yarns arere so graphic, small rodents have been known to suffer attacks of panic, faint clear away and have to be dragged outside.

Guido, however, is a different case; his stories, although they always contain a grain of truth, need to be taken with a large pinch of salt, but they are entertaining. As for Patrick, well at times he finds it just too much trouble to compete, so he doesn’t bother.

Excerpt:

Michael O’Leary was relaxed and in an expansive mood. With his longer than average tail draped over one arm, perched nonchalantly on a bag of corn, he surveyed the motley crowd that had gathered for one of his storytelling evenings.

“Did I ever tell you about the time Patrick Shaunessy, Guido Rafferty and myself nearly met St. Peter?” he began.

For a while no one answered, then, “You did me,” piped a small vole. “You did me twice.”

Michael peered round to see where the voice came from. “Well, just youse keep quiet not to spoil the telling for the others then,” he warned. The vole scurried away into a dark corner of the barn.

“If there is any blame to be proportioned,” he continued. “Patrick Shaunessy was the instigator, therefore it’s on him I’ll be putting it.”

Patrick, whiskers flaying the air, shook his head vigorously.

“It’s not denying it that you are, is it, me old friend?” The look Michael gave the little mouse was enough to silence further protests. “After all, was it or was it not your idea that we should visit Father O’ Brien, and see if he had anything brewing?” The nod he received in answer to this question was barely discernible.

“Yes, if I remember correctly . . .” he paused for effect. “It was October, and Father O’Brien had gone away leaving his barn of a place unprotected. So, Patrick, Guido and myself decided to keep an eye on the place for the good man. Naturally we rewarded ourselves for the good deed, by sampling a few drops of spillage from his vats. Myself, I only had a wee sup. But Guido, his mother being one of those that came over on the boats, had a liking for the stuff and got legless.”

“You must admit, Michael, it was some of the best stuff that’s been brewed round here for a long time,” squeaked the unrepentant Guido, “and, if I remember correctly, your head was as thick as mine the next morning.”

Michael chose to ignore that remark and continued with the telling. “Blind drunk they were, the pair of them. I’ll admit my own vision was a bit blurred. But I was in a better state than the pair of youse. And,” he stressed, “if it hadn’t been for my clear thinking we wouldn’t be here now.”

“As I recollect, me old friend,” ventured Patrick. “It was my idea to tie the rope round Guido’s middle and drag him along behind us.”

“And was it or was it not my tail you hung on to for support?” Michael flicked the said tail angrily.

“And just whose idea was it to cut through that old Biddy’s garden, nearly getting us killed?” As Patrick grew more daring, his squeaks rose higher.

“It’s not an argument I’m looking for, me old friend,” Michael said. He could see that if he wasn’t careful, things would get out of hand, and the evening would most likely end in a free for all. “It’s just a telling of things the way I saw them.”

Patrick gave a mollified grumble. From the rest of the barn there was no sound. Those who had not heard the story before waited for its conclusion with baited breath.

“I knew we could be taking our life in our hands, taking that shortcut,” he admitted. “But things were desperate, and if it hadn’t been for Guido—” Guido tittered nervously. “—we’d have got away with it. We’d tiptoed through the cabbages, broccoli and carrots, crept along the gravel path and we were just about to pass the front door of the cottage, when Guido decided to wake up and give a rendering of O Sole Mio at the top of his voice. This set the dog barking, a wolfhound that bayed like the very hound of the Baskervilles.”

Review:

Irish Mouse Tales is a new short by Violetta Antcliff. This lovely little story was the winner of the Nottingham Short Story Competition, and in my opinion it deserved the award fully.
Irish Mouse Tales is about three Irish mice indulging in the classic Irish tradition of a story competition. There are technically three stories in one, each a little taller than the last. The characters are warm and homey. In short, though this book is quite short, it is very sweet and appropriate for children of all ages.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#IrishMExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Mouse-Tales-ebook/dp/B008R2CS4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380131697&sr=8-1&keywords=irish+mouse+tales+violetta+antcliff

Leprechaun Magic….

24 Sep

A GSP release from Author of the Week, Violetta Antcliff

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When Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein find they have an uninvited guest, they don’t know if they should make him welcome or make him leave. Mr. Goldstein is all for telling him to stay, pointing out to his wife that not everybody has a Leprechaun for a houseguest; and Joseph, their unruly eight-year-old son, meets his match when the Leprechaun uses magic to teach him a lesson.

Excerpt:

  Ruth Goldstein stood arms folded looking out of the window. She was angry, fed up with the constant battles that raged daily between her and her husband over their son. The cross words between them today had come about because she’d giving permission for the boy to see a science fiction film at the local cinema when her husband had said he couldn’t.
    Face dark as thunder, she turned to face the man she’d been married to for over ten years, walked over to where he was sitting and plonked herself down on a chair opposite him.
    “Why are you so against our Joseph going to the pictures? His pals are going, so why can’t he?” she spoke tight lipped.
Samuel Goldstein was an easy-going man, but there were times when he felt he had to put his foot down, like now.

    “Because I told him he couldn’t, that’s why,” he snapped crossly.
    “Well that’s no answer. There must be more to it than that.” Ruth wasn’t going to be put off easily, young Joseph was the love of her life and she would do anything for him. She still felt guilty when she recalled how she’d lied the day his teacher had stopped her in the street and told her that Joseph had said he was not allowed to go outside at playtime as he had a bad chest. She’d known it wasn’t true but had said it was, to keep him out of trouble, had even written a letter to confirm it.
    “If you must know, I told him he couldn’t go when it was school the next day, that’s why. That child of ours is out of control,” Samuel fought to control his anger, “I tell him he can’t do something and he turns straight to you and you say he can. And your mother’s just as bad, I stop his spending money because he back-chatted and what does she do? Gives him twice as much as he should have, that’s what.”
    “Don’t you bring my mother into this,” Ruth jumped up, charged over, and began poking him in the chest with her finger, she was cross−very cross. 
     “My mother,” she said between jabs, “would do anything for our boy. Didn’t she buy him a bike when you said he couldn’t have one?”
    My point exactly, thought Samuel, with a sigh of exasperation. He knew he couldn’t win, yet he had no idea how to solve the problem.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#LeprechaunExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Leprechaun-Magic-ebook/dp/B0042X9T12/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380051425&sr=8-1&keywords=Leprechaun+Magic+Violetta+Antcliff

NEW NEW *** The Haunting of Pandora Fox ***NEW NEW

4 Aug

Congratulations to Violetta Antcliff on her new release from GSP.

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Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.

Her book we are highlighting today is The Haunting of Pandora Fox.

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When Pandora applies for the position of companion to Lady Isobel Fitzwilliam she has no idea what she is taking on, no idea what she is letting herself in for. After only a few short months she finds herself so entangled in the ghostly goings on at the nineteenth century manor house, she finds it impossible to leave. Falling passionately in love with a man who had died long before she was born isn’t something she’d planned.

Excerpt:

Born Dora Anne Cox, in the St. Ann’s area of Nottingham to an unemployed labourer and a school dinner lady, Pandora hadn’t had the best of starts in life, but this hadn’t discouraged her. At the earliest opportunity she’d changed her name, by Deed Poll, to Pandora Fox, upped sticks and moved to London, believing like many others before her, the streets were paved with gold.

Living in a shared flat above a Kebab shop, it didn’t take her long to realise she’d only changed one back street for another; consequently, she was ready to move on again.

Pandora changed jobs as often as her boyfriends, so, when the opportunity to work as a Ladies companion dropped in her lap unexpectedly one day, she jumped at the chance.

Karen, the girl she shared a flat with, on seeing the advert in the jobs section of a newspaper one evening, said it looked too good to be true and passed the paper over for Pandora to read for herself. A quick scan was all she needed before her mind was made up. Without wasting time, she dug out her CV, updated it, with one or two additions, and posted it the next day.

Less than ten days later, she received a letter saying the position was hers if she wanted it. She never questioned why an interview wasn’t necessary, never questioned why the conditions of employment she’d insisted on—use of a car, days off, and so forth—were accepted without argument; she’d just been happy to know the job was hers if she wanted it, and she did.

As a Ladies companion, she expected and looked forward to visits to the theatre, trips abroad, all expenses paid, and a chance to mix with people her parents would have called her betters. What she didn’t realise was all these things came with a price.

Hardwick Hall lived up to Pandora’s expectations. It stood in its own grounds, with manicured lawns, rose gardens and boxed hedges. The only thing missing, as far as she could see, was peacocks.

The reception she received on her first day however, did not live up to her expectations. A female of considerable years answered the door to her persistent knocking.

“It’s the back door for servants,” she said, raking her eyes over Pandora and her suitcases. “And you’re late,” she added. “I’ve had to stay behind to show you to your room and that’s something I never do, I always make sure I’m away long before it gets dark. Today’s an exception—I couldn’t just walk out and leave my lady in the house all on her own.”

Pandora mumbled her apologies for any inconvenience she’d caused and followed on the woman’s heels through to the back of the house and up the stairs to a room that was to be hers.

“I’m off now,” the elder woman said. “Once you’ve got yourself sorted, go to the library. Lady Isobel’s expecting you, so don’t keep her waiting.”

Pandora didn’t have the chance to ask where the library was, because by the time she’d put her cases down the woman had gone.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#PandoraExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Haunting-Pandora-Fox-ebook/dp/B00DOPTAGI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375626353&sr=8-2&keywords=the+haunting+of+pandora

Irish Mouse Tails…

25 Apr

On the GSP Wee folk Promo today Irish Mouse Tales from Violetta Antcliff.

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Michael O’Leary, a mouse with a larger than average size tail, is a story teller who can hold audiences spellbound with his tales of daring and adventure. Michael, along with his two friends Patrick and Guido, lives on a farm in a remote corner of the Emerald Isles and it is here he holds his story telling evenings. Some of his yarns arere so graphic, small rodents have been known to suffer attacks of panic, faint clear away and have to be dragged outside.

Guido, however, is a different case; his stories, although they always contain a grain of truth, need to be taken with a large pinch of salt, but they are entertaining. As for Patrick, well at times he finds it just too much trouble to compete, so he doesn’t bother.

Excerpt:

Michael O’Leary was relaxed and in an expansive mood. With his longer than average tail draped over one arm, perched nonchalantly on a bag of corn, he surveyed the motley crowd that had gathered for one of his storytelling evenings.

“Did I ever tell you about the time Patrick Shaunessy, Guido Rafferty and myself nearly met St. Peter?” he began.

For a while no one answered, then, “You did me,” piped a small vole. “You did me twice.”

Michael peered round to see where the voice came from. “Well, just youse keep quiet not to spoil the telling for the others then,” he warned. The vole scurried away into a dark corner of the barn.

“If there is any blame to be proportioned,” he continued. “Patrick Shaunessy was the instigator, therefore it’s on him I’ll be putting it.”

Patrick, whiskers flaying the air, shook his head vigorously.

“It’s not denying it that you are, is it, me old friend?” The look Michael gave the little mouse was enough to silence further protests. “After all, was it or was it not your idea that we should visit Father O’ Brien, and see if he had anything brewing?” The nod he received in answer to this question was barely discernible.

“Yes, if I remember correctly . . .” he paused for effect. “It was October, and Father O’Brien had gone away leaving his barn of a place unprotected. So, Patrick, Guido and myself decided to keep an eye on the place for the good man. Naturally we rewarded ourselves for the good deed, by sampling a few drops of spillage from his vats. Myself, I only had a wee sup. But Guido, his mother being one of those that came over on the boats, had a liking for the stuff and got legless.”

“You must admit, Michael, it was some of the best stuff that’s been brewed round here for a long time,” squeaked the unrepentant Guido, “and, if I remember correctly, your head was as thick as mine the next morning.”

Michael chose to ignore that remark and continued with the telling. “Blind drunk they were, the pair of them. I’ll admit my own vision was a bit blurred. But I was in a better state than the pair of youse. And,” he stressed, “if it hadn’t been for my clear thinking we wouldn’t be here now.”

“As I recollect, me old friend,” ventured Patrick. “It was my idea to tie the rope round Guido’s middle and drag him along behind us.”

“And was it or was it not my tail you hung on to for support?” Michael flicked the said tail angrily.

“And just whose idea was it to cut through that old Biddy’s garden, nearly getting us killed?” As Patrick grew more daring, his squeaks rose higher.

“It’s not an argument I’m looking for, me old friend,” Michael said. He could see that if he wasn’t careful, things would get out of hand, and the evening would most likely end in a free for all. “It’s just a telling of things the way I saw them.”

Patrick gave a mollified grumble. From the rest of the barn there was no sound. Those who had not heard the story before waited for its conclusion with baited breath.

“I knew we could be taking our life in our hands, taking that shortcut,” he admitted. “But things were desperate, and if it hadn’t been for Guido—” Guido tittered nervously. “—we’d have got away with it. We’d tiptoed through the cabbages, broccoli and carrots, crept along the gravel path and we were just about to pass the front door of the cottage, when Guido decided to wake up and give a rendering of O Sole Mio at the top of his voice. This set the dog barking, a wolfhound that bayed like the very hound of the Baskervilles.”

About the author:

Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.

Congratulations to Violetta for being in the 2011 Preditors and Editors top ten Short Story Category for Magic and Mayhem.

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#IrishMExc

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Mouse-Tales-ebook/dp/B008R2CS4O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1366918305&sr=1-1&keywords=irish+mouse+tales

 

The Haunting of Bramble Briar….

16 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Promo we have another release from Violetta Antcliff, The Haunting of Bramble Briar.

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On the outskirts of a picturesque village in the Yorkshire Dales stood a cottage called Bramble Briar. It was over one hundred years old and at one time the roof had been thatched; now it was slate.

Why the previous owners had replaced it was a mystery; but Bramble Briar was a house of mystery, with secrets people only whispered about in quiet corners; especially if those people were Estate Agents.

Excerpt:

A couple of weeks previous, there had been three properties on the estate agents’ books I’d been interested in: Wisteria Cottage, The Anvil in Clay Bottom and Bramble Briar on Old Church Lane. Now there were only the two; Wisteria Cottage had been sold the day prior to my visit.

The Anvil once belonged to the village blacksmith, so the estate agent informed me; hence its name. It was well-maintained and came with two outbuildings and a stable, but as I had no intentions of buying a horse, or starting a riding school, I turned down the invitation to view. It was also a tad outside of my price range.

I wasn’t short of money. I’d made some good investments over the years playing the stock markets, and luck was with me when I sponsored an unknown pop-group that turned out to be a winner, and was still paying me handsome profits.

The outdated sepia photograph in the estate agent window showed Bramble Briar, years before, with a thatched roof. Now it was slate. I’d have been much happier if the previous owners had left it as it was; slate looked so out of place on a cottage built of grey Yorkshire stone.

What I couldn’t understand was why anyone would go to all that unnecessary expense and then, so soon after, put the property back on the market. However, I was soon to learn more.

“Put that down, Missus. It’s our job not yours. That’s what you’re paying us for.”

I put down the kitchen stool I’d been carrying through to the cottage, as the furniture removal man requested; he nodded to his mate and received a sly wink in return.

“How much longer will you be?” I asked. Both men had spent more time standing around gossiping and smoking than getting on with the job, and as I was paying by the hour, I was getting impatient.

“Won’t be much longer now, will we, Bert? Mind you, we’d be done much quicker if you slipped the kettle on and made us a cuppa. Two sugars in mine, love, only one in Marlon’s. He’s on a diet.”

I knew it was no use arguing so I went indoors, unpacked the kettle and plugged it in. Minutes later I handed the steaming beverages over to the men; half an hour later, they decided to pick up where they had left off.

It wasn’t long, however, before Bert, complaining of a bad back, made himself comfy in one of my armchairs in the front garden, leaving Marlon to finish off, as he put it.

“Nice view you’ve got from ‘ere, ain’t it, Missus?” he remarked, mopping his brow with a grimy teacloth sized handkerchief.

“Yeah, better than the view from the back,” chipped in Marlon. “Bloody graveyard. ‘Ave you seen it?”

Bert hadn’t, and he was soon on his feet, going to investigate. “Did you know about this before you bought the place, Missus?” he asked upon his return.

I assured him I did and plonked myself down on the vacated chair before he had time to. He took the hint, and went back to help cart the last of the boxes from the furniture van.

“I bet nobody told you about the spooky history of Bramble Briar though, did they?” Marlon stood in front of me; arms folded, cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth.

“What history?” I asked.

“You’ll find out for yourself soon enough, just like the last lot did. And—”

I cut him off in mid-sentence with a flattened palm turned to him. I wasn’t interested. I just wanted them gone; I’d had more than enough.

“I’m just nipping inside to get my cheque book. I can see you’re nearly finished,” I said. Bert got the message, picked up the chair and with Marlon’s help, carried it into the cottage.

The cheque I made out for the exact amount, no tip included. Mumbling something definitely not complimentary when I handed it over, the men clambered into the removal van and drove off, gears grating.

I didn’t feel guilty. The day was half gone, and I had a lot to do before I could take a break. A job that should have taken the removal men no more than three hours at the most, had been dragged out to four. I was glad to see them go.

That night I slept the sleep of the dead. No sooner had my head touched the pillow than I was off, out like a light. I awoke the next day to the sound of the morning chorus, feeling refreshed and ready to start work. The sun shone, I was in a good mood and it promised to be a lovely day. What could possibly go wrong?

After a breakfast of tea toast and marmalade, I decided to take a walk in the back garden before getting dressed for the day. Apart from the graveyard and the ruins of a church, there was no other property nearby. I could have strolled outside stark naked, if I’d wanted.

I trod carefully down the overgrown, weed-covered cinder path, to the wall that separated my property from the church graveyard. Everything looked peaceful—a stone angel, hands folded in prayer, stood no more than a foot away from where I was standing. Tombstones, lichen-covered, many at sloped angles, dozed peacefully in the early morning sunlight. Feeling like an intruder, I made my way back to the cottage, but the door I had left open and unlocked was now shut tight; wouldn’t budge no matter how hard I pushed, pulled and rattled. Admitting defeat, I made my way round to the front hoping to gain entry that way. No such luck, the door was firmly bolted as I knew it would be; I was locked out and had no idea how I could get in.

I plonked down on the front doorstep and sat head-in-hands trying to find a solution to my problem. I couldn’t phone for a locksmith, as my mobile was upstairs in the bedroom on the bedside table along with my car keys. I couldn’t phone for help or drive anywhere.

Time dragged and there was nothing I could do but sit and wait. The sun had gone in and rain threatened. I was just giving up hope of anyone passing by when I heard a car coming down the lane. I dashed outside and stood arms waving, yelling, “Stop! Stop!” at the top of my voice. The vehicle slewed to one side, narrowly missing me, before coming to a halt. The driver was the village postman, looking shaken and none too happy as he walked towards me.

“What’s up?” he asked, face scowling. “Don’t you realise you could have caused a nasty accident jumping out at me like that? It’s a good job I was looking where I was going, weren’t it?”

“Yes, I really am sorry,” I smiled in way of apology. “It was the only way I could think of getting you to stop.”

“What’s up, then?” he repeated.

I explained what the trouble was and asked if he could help me in any way. It took him less than two seconds to open the back door, pressing down the latch and pushing it open with one finger. I felt like an idiot.

About the author:

Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#BrambleExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Haunting-Bramble-Briar-ebook/dp/B006GKBGUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366135242&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Haunting+of+Bramble+Briar

 

 

Jason and the Corner Shop Mystery …..

15 Apr

Another Jason release from Violetta on the GSP Wee Folk Promo: Jason and the Corner Shop Mystery

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The abrasive love-hate between siblings eventually leads to trouble when Jason and his friend Wayne, go to the rescue of the owner of the corner shop. Unable to convince relatives and friends that Mr. Kashmir Singh is in danger, they decide to take things into their own hands. The result is a hair-raising chase round a deserted airfield in a stolen co-op hearse before the kidnap plot is foiled.

Excerpt:   “Coo-eee, coo-eee.”
     Jason stopped what he was doing and on tip-toe peered over the neatly-clipped hedge to see who it was doing all the coo-eeing. He saw Tracy, his sister’s best friend racing down the street as if she was on some important mission. Jason waved, the girl smiled, slowed down and waved back.
Seconds later she was pushing open the gate, leaning on it and gasping for breath, at the same time as rubbing her side as if she had a stitch.
     “What’s all the racket about?” asked Jason watching her performance with interest.
     Tracy looked up. “Oh! It’s you,” she said sounding disappointed. “When I saw the ginger head peeping over the hedge I thought it was Alison.”
     “Well, it wasn’t, it was me.” Jason went back to what he’d been doing before he’d been interrupted.
     “Where is she?”
     “Gone and never coming back.” He wiped his nose on the back of his hand. “What do you want her for anyway?”
     “Something very very important,” she whispered mysteriously.
     “Tell me what it is, give us a sweet and I might tell you where to find her.”
     Jason knew Tracy was a softer touch that his sister. She often slipped him sweets without blackmail. All the same, he didn’t want to give information away too easily.
     “I can’t. It’s private. Anyway . . .” The girl paused. “What’re you doing?”
     “Holding a funeral,” Jason replied, putting his hands together and closing his eyes.
     “Who’s dead?”
     “My pet tarantula, he was squashed . . . by a trainer.”
     “You’re daft. For one, you haven’t got a tarantula. For two, there isn’t a grave.”
     Jason could see by the way Tracy looked at him, that she didn’t believe him.
     “Oh yes I have,” he said, turning to face her, head at an angle, eyes screwed up to keep out the sun. “It was a baby one I caught in our Gran’s outside lavvy. Its grave’s there beneath them crossed lollipop sticks,” he pointed toward a tiny mound of earth. “I buried it in one of my Dad’s empty fag packets.” Well it’s empty now, he thought, fingering the two cigarettes in his pocket he planned to throw away later.
     “If you’re not going to tell me where your sister is, will you give her a message for me?” Tracy stared at the crossed lollipop sticks.
     “I might, and then again, I might not. It just depends.”
     “On what?”
     “It just depends, that’s all.” No longer interested in why Tracy had called to see Alison, Jason spread out his arms and making the noise of an aeroplane, zoomed off ‘round the garden.

     For a few seconds, Tracy stood hands on hips watching him, then stooping down she began to pluck daisies from the lawn. These she laid gently on top of the tiny mound of earth. She was so wrapped up in what she was doing, Jason could tell she was unaware his sister was creeping up behind her.
     Tired of playing aeroplane, he crept forward and hid behind a bush so he could hear the girls talking.
     “What are you up to, Tracy Hicks?” his sister demanded.
     Tracy spun ‘round. “N-n-nuthing, nothing at all,” she stammered turning a bright scarlet.
     “Yes you are, and I can always tell when you’re lying, because your ears turn bright red.”
     “No they don’t.” Tracy’s hands shot to her ears.
     “Yes, they do. Anyway, what are we doing standing here arguing when we could be out looking for them lads?”
     “Well, just between you and me,” Tracy whispered, “it’s about the lads I called ‘round to see you.”
     “Go on ,then I’m listening, what about the lads?” Alison fished in her bright red handbag, as if nothing Tracy might have to say was of importance.
     “I’ve just seen them, that tall fair-haired lad and his pal. They were in St. John Ambulance uniforms.” A little smile played ‘round her lips, as if she was waiting for the tid-bit of information to sink in.
     Alison stopped ferreting in her handbag as suddenly as she had started. “Well, go on then,” she said.
     “That’s it. They were in St. John Ambulance uniforms.”
     For a few seconds Alison stared vacantly skyward, while Tracy beamed down on her like a giraffe.
     Jason stayed hidden, he realised that he knew the fair-haired boy they were talking about. He was thirteen, a year older than either of them, and ever since he’d moved into the area, they’d both had their eyes on him. They made endless trips to McDonalds on the off chance of bumping into him. It seemed they had no idea where he lived or what school he went to; Jason knew and he wasn’t about to tell them.
     “If you’re thinking what I’m thinking—” Alison sounded excited. “Then for once I agree with you, Trace. Come on, let’s see if we can join.”

About the author:

Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#Jason

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Corner-Mystery-Adventures-Foster-ebook/dp/B0046A9NEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366048276&sr=8-1&keywords=Jason+and+the+Corner+Shop+Mystery