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Warning, Shameless Plug ahoy! The Necklace of Harmony – an excerpt!

 One of the fun things about being a writer is responding to a challenge. This book is full of the results of such challenges…

From the wedding celebrations of Greek Deities, to mermaids, ghosts and superheroes, a whole gamut of creatures await your eager eyes. 

Just to whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from one of the stories…

Breaking the spell

Picture prompts are always fun to write from. They set the scene right away and allow your imagination full sway over the story. One contest run by Camera Obscura Journal uses pictures to great effect; they give you two pictures joined by a bridge and invite you to write a story to “Bridge The Gap” between the two pictures.

“Breaking the Spell” was written in response to one of Camera Obscura Journal’s picture prompts. There were three pictures – a lighthouse, a group of odd-shaped pastel coloured houses and the white van driving through a seaside town. If at all possible, it would be helpful if you included the picture prompt here.

The story is a simple one and it was fairly easy to write, not so easy to edit because I wanted to have a disjointed, ghostly feel to the piece. I like to think I I succeeded.

* * *


A golden knife pierces through the dark chocolate cake of the sky. Blake watches it rotate above her. She has one foot trapped in a gap between the stones of the causeway. The ancient stones stretch between the town and the lighthouse, uncovered by the tide only twice a day.

Water splashes around Blake’s ankles; an obvious sign of the incoming tide. She ignores it, knowing she cannot get free.

The golden blade of light sweeps across the water, illuminating yellow and peach buildings on the shoreline. Windows shattered by winter storms; flimsy mildewed curtains flap in the gentle breeze. Autumn leaves fall from the decorative trees around the buildings, litter the mouldy carpets and rodent-munched sofas.

Luke stands looking out of one such window, watching the lighthouse flash. As one beam flows past, he sees in afterimage, the girl standing in the water watching the lighthouse too. The tide is up to her knees, yet she doesn’t move.

He longs to be able to run out and save her.

Nevertheless, he can’t.

From the lighthouse, an old man looks down at the girl in the water and the boy at the window. He’s spent fifty years watching them every night, yearning to see a happy conclusion. He won’t.

His time is at an end. They are coming to automate the Lighthouse tomorrow and that will signal the death knell of the small town on the headland. He wishes that he could save it.

During the day, the breeze caresses the last few people to tread the streets of the town. They cast poignant looks, first out at the lighthouse, then across the sandy beach, to the derelict holiday village with its strange looking apartment buildings.

Gulls cry with mournful voices as the last of the Fishing Boats return. The fishermen unload. Some of the passers by look down at the boats with questions in their eyes and the fishermen answer, shaking their heads.

No fish; their livelihood has moved on and they must follow.

A small white van slips through the streets. It crosses the causeway and a man in a red coverall gets out. He greets the old lighthouse keeper with a cheery smile that the heavyhearted old man cannot return.

He works swiftly, aware that he only has a few hours to get the job done. Finally, as the sun sets and the dusk gathers, he flips a switch in a large glass-fronted cabinet, shuts and locks it.

The little white van returns the way it came and the old man eyes the cabinet with disgust. Tonight is his last night; tomorrow he must leave. He drags himself up the long winding stairs one last time to watch, wait, and hope.

Hope that the girl makes it across the causeway in time; hope that the boy greets her on the other side.

Hope that he will not see the girl drown again; hope that the boy will not jump from the cliff once more.

The moon shines out its silvery light, making the lighthouse beam dull in comparison. A full moon with a halo of blue from high ice clouds applies a magical glow to everything its light touches.

Luke stands watching the lighthouse beam flash past. He follows the path he has followed every night for fifty years. Down the cliff to the beach, across the soft sands and up the hill. An unseen barrier stops him from entering the town; it pushes him back and away from his destination.

Blake runs down the rocky path from the lighthouse to the causeway. She is happy, eager to see the boy she loves, the one she met while he was on holiday.

She will meet him on the other end of the causeway and they will run away from everything to be married…

* * *

I hope that you enjoyed that. I’m sorry that I cut it off in the middle, but to see how the story ends, why not pick up a copy of the book?

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

(Also available on Amazon DE, IT and FR)

And for a limited time only, you can get 50% off the cost of a copy at  by typing in this coupon code – VZ29Y – at the checkout.

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