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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Nurture or nature? Does anyone have any answers? #paradox #paranormal #timeslipnovels #timetravel

Louise Wise

I tend to write about lonely, could-have-psychological-problems characters who mingle with the 'normal' so my books have a dark edge, and my latest book is no different, but it has got me thinking about the human psyche and our chosen path in life.

My character starts out as a hard-nosed career woman in her late forties. She has no family other than an elderly mother. Her words 'I have no time for relationships' is true as she rushes from one business deal to the next.

Now, although this is a book plug, it has also made me think about the nurture/nature thing as my character (Julie Compton from WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP) is able to change her past by taking a different road in life, and I wonder how nurture, as opposed to nature, shapes all of us.

The protagonist from Wide Awake Asleep was shaped by her past, but as she is spirted back to her childhood she makes different choices and changes the very psyche of her being. Is that nature or nurture?

As I understand it:

Nurture = how we're brought up/outside the family influences/schools/friends/how family deal with tragedy/extreme happiness and excitement.

Nature = genes pure and simple.

If one of your parents has an illness you're more likely to get it, but if the illness is avoidable (through diet/awareness) it can be halted (type 2 diabetes for example) but if you 'catch' an avoidable illness it's back to nurture (learned habits).

I thought it was cut and dried, too. But another thing puzzles me... the little 'ticks' people have ie fiddling with your hair, that particular way you have/do things that is copied from your parents. That should be nurture/learned behaviour, surely?

OK, here's the story that got me thinking, I was visited the other day by a young relative who was brought up by her mum and never saw her dad (he died) but her mannerisms were EXACTLY the same as his. It was so startling it was uncanny.

This wasn't nurture/learned behaviour. It was passed down through genes.

How fascinating that simple gestures are passed from one generation to the next!


Find out what happens when an extraordinary event takes Julie Compton on a paranormal adventure through her past to correct a time paradox.

Amazon.UK | Amazon.com

‘Past events can be changed but one must be careful of how one does it because it’ll impact on the rest of one’s life.’—DΓ‘ire Quin, Modify your Destiny if you Must, 2003

No one saw Julie’s car leave the road, no one saw her crash into the watery ditch, no one saw the gnarled tree branch pierce through the window screen and impale her in her seat.
No one heard her screams.
Yet, this was the beginning of Julie’s life.

Julie Compton, is a forty-something woman, striving for success in a male dominated business world. She thinks she’s made it. She thinks she has it all.

Trouble is, her destiny has been travelling in the wrong direction and Julie is now forced to relive her life by occupying people’s bodies from her past in a time-travel, paranormal adventure.

For readers who enjoyed books like 'The Time Traveler's Wife' and 'The Lovely Bones'.

Excerpt from WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP – a paranormal, time travel romance.

Disorientated, I looked around at my surroundings. I had the strange feeling that I wasn’t here at all. I thought I heard a voice, and I cocked my head, but it was carried away on a gust of wind. The feeling of hands touching my body subsided and I was left in this paradox universe where I was me inside someone else’s body.

I looked down at myself and the first thing I saw was a plaid skirt, and thick tights, which sagged at the knees and ankles.

My heart began to beat in horror. No, no. Please, God, no.

My hands touched the stained cardigan over my large droopy breasts. Up further to my face…

My hands recoiled.

I felt a moustache!

I gasped in horror. I was ‘Auntie’ Iris Grimshaw!

It was bad enough being goofy Sarah Marshall, but now I had a moustache! And a bloody monobrow!

Iris began to walk, and I felt a sharp pain in my hip. I slowed, but the pain persisted. It shot down my left leg every time my foot touched the ground. No wonder the old sod was grouchy.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

An insider's perspective on the lending industry #nonfiction #banking #bankloans #businessloans

Behind the Lender's Desk
R. Randy Veillon

This book wields concise, helpful coaching nudges, as well as Veillon’s own considerable focused lending experience and insightful expertise to guide both lenders and applicants toward making better loans, learning how lending is supposed to work in today’s increasingly tough banking conditions, and why.

This edition includes a concise history of US lending that sums up the current lending conditions enders and applicants face, as well as numerous brief, easy-to-understand loan case examples with uick questions to help the reader understand what makes a business loan application bankable.

Includes a concise history of US lending conditions lenders and applicants face, as well as numerous brief, easy-to-understand loan case examples with quick questions to help the reader understand what
makes a business loan application bankable.

Check out on Amazon!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Thought-provoking poetry that just might change the way you view the world #fakenews #poetry #mindcontrol @aquarianmind1


Jamell Crouthers

I’m your television, turn me on,
You know you want to watch me.

I can waste hours of your time every single day,
Instead of doing something productive for yourself.

The news you see every day is negative for a reason,
It’s not all about knowing what’s going on in your city.

It’s mind control just to remind you life is tough,
And to keep you scared and on guard for evil people all of the time.

Good news won’t get ratings so it’s all bad,
Everyone loves to see the bad things that are going on in the world.

Good news segments are at the end of the bad news reported,
And it doesn’t last long because we want you to remember all the bad news.

You guys don’t even realize we use certain flashes and motions when the news starts,
That introduction to your broadcast is to put you in a trance for what’s to come.
Scare tactics, yup it works all of the time, I’m good at it,
To have you living a life in fear regularly will suffice.

Turn to that reality TV show and watch people act ratchet,
Come on, you can do it, doesn’t it make your life seem a lot better?


Let’s go on social media and talk about it to people who don’t care,
About how stupid and ignorant people act just for a little money and fame.

Let’s watch all of these commercials with cars, jewelry and materialistic things,
Isn’t that what you want? Come on I know you do, you don't have to lie.

You’re going to plan when you’re going to get what you want,
Waiting for the next time you get paid to go waste money on something you want.

It’s not about getting things that you necessarily need,
What a boring life you’d have if you only had the things you needed.

Let’s watch TV shows and see all of the messages they send to us,
Do you see them all? Probably not but they’re in your subconscious mind.

The comedy shows that have satirical messages all of the time,
The drama shows that have hidden agendas and are written a certain way.

Most of the TV shows you watch, they have hidden messages behind them,
That eventually come to fruition in the future, you probably don’t believe me.

Jamell Crouthers is a poet and writer who writes about today's societal topics in a thought-provoking way. To get more insight on him current books head his Author Profile page on Bublish: www.bublish.com/view/author/6877               

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

It's not Halloween! Spine-tingling true stories that can't be explained #paranormal #authorsconfess #spooky

Ever have something strange happen? Something you can't explain?
These authors reveal their spooky tales...

Judy Weir's story...

All of us student nurses were set free from classes one summer afternoon. We headed to the lake. No specific plans other than to see if there might be some handsome fellas looking to hook up with a bevy of pretty girls.
We decided to swim out to a raft a few dozen yards from the dock. None of us were prepared for a swim, and we jumped in wearing our clothes. Wearing jeans, I quickly became exhausted. Too late to turn around, I panicked. When they say a drowning person can’t scream – it’s true. The terror filled me with the desperate energy to thrash, but without a moment of coherent thought. When I sank beneath the lake’s surface for the third time, I collapsed to lie on the sandy bottom. As I blacked out, I thought of my family. Then it happened. I heard a voice. 
Clearly and calmly, he said, “If you stand, you can breathe.”

I barely registered the advice. It wasn’t my first experience with the paranormal. I had never made a big deal of out-of-body experiences, visions, and contact with my guides. But something made me listen to the urging. “If you stand, you can breathe.” The tone was incredibly benevolent.
As impossible as it should be, I was able to straighten my legs and stand. Sure enough. My nose reached just above the water. With a few gasps to fill my lungs, I swam back to the shore. A few days later at the nursing school residence, I thought about confessing my foolishness to my family. I phoned. My mother listened to my confession. There was a momentary silence but then asked what day had the near drowning occurred. When I answered, I heard her voice tremble with shock.
“I heard you,” she said. “And your father and brother, they heard you. They came running to the house saying they heard you scream. Their faces were white. We heard you scream on that day at that time.” When they had calmed down, my parents believed it was just a case of missing me since I’d never been away from home before. Some ‘screams’ are heard - hundreds of miles away. - Judy Weir author of Featherstone

Juli  D. Revezzo's story...

Sometimes, my rational/skeptical self says ghosts are all just fantasy. But sometimes, I do believe otherworldly beings can "meddle in our affairs" to some extent. 

I'm not sure they can affect us the way they affect characters in stories and movies (throwing bodies around and stuff like that), but I believe they're "real" in the same way that I believe landwights, Fates, faeries and plain ole bad luck are real *innocent look*.

Some of you may remember I've mentioned this before, when my father was a little boy, he swore he lived in a haunted house. He said one day he went into his closet (this big walk in thing) and the light went out. He stepped outside to find the switch had been thrown. He turned it back on and went back inside. The light went out again. He walked out to find the switch off. Annoyed, he went downstairs and asked his brothers if they were up there mucking around with him. The boys swore up and down they had nothing to do with the light. Dad says he was so freaked he slept under his bed that night to hide from them.

Jump up 70 years and we went to New York, and dad took us to see that old house. Maybe it was his stories, but when I looked in the window, cold chills chased up and down my skin. Were there ghosts in that house? I sure think so! - Juli D. Revezzo

Louise Wise's story...

I was doing normal ‘mummy’ things, making the dinner whilst keeping an eye on my two children in the other room (3 and 5 years old). They were always fighting between themselves, but had gone quiet so I popped my head around the door to see what they were up to and saw two unknown children watching TV, and unlike my two, who seemed to hate one another, these were holding hands.

Now, my eldest is blond and the youngest is dark-haired but in this instance I saw an older DARK-haired child watching the TV with a younger BLOND boy, which was totally the wrong way round, plus they were holding hands!. The image lasted briefly, then I was ‘seeing’ my two children again and predictably the older was NOT holding hands with the younger, in fact the younger was about to wallop the older with a cushion.

I just put the vision down to ‘one of those unexplained things’ but many years later (and another two children later) I recalled this event when I walked into the room to see my two new additions watching the TV. The elder was dark-haired, the younger was blond. They were holding hands.
- Louise Wise

Bill Johnson's tale...

Years ago, I had just started chiropractic treatment, getting my spine adjusted. After several sessions, I woke from sleep and noticed about a dozen feet from my bed (I was sleeping in a large family room) a distortion in the air about the size of a baseball, a few feet off the ground. The distortion floated over to my bed and entered my spine at the base.

As the distortion slowly rose up my spine, the small muscles that connect the vertebrae started clicking rapidly in turn. I could feel each tiny muscle.

The distortion then came out of my neck and came down to my left elbow, which was being treated for tennis elbow. The muscles in my elbow twitched and released tension.

Then the distortion moved down to my wrist, which was also being treated. The distortion was larger than my wrist, and as the muscles in my wrist twitched and released tension, the bedsheet by my wrist fluttered.

All this took 3-4 minutes, then the distortion left.
- Bill Johnson

Sunday, 5 March 2017

For anyone who has suffered with #depression or #anxiety and received antidepresants, read this book! #nonfiction

Antidepressants are handed out like sweeties. Doctors are hurriedly writing prescriptions for patients to get them out of the waiting room without listening to the patients' needs--but on the other side of the coin patients are begging the doctor for a 'quick fix'.

There is no quick fix for depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses -- yup, said the M-word so rather than hurry to the GP for pills and potions, hurry to the GP for guidance on OTHER non-pill ways to get better.

Oh, and read this inspirational book! It could become your best friend.

Devil's Candy
Sam Garton

(SSRI) antidepressants medications have become the drug of choice for many across the world who suffer from such illnesses as depression and anxiety.
Science is finding that a growing number of people cannot properly metabolize these drugs.
That's when disaster strikes!

Amazon.com | Amazon.UK | Facebook 
Follow Sam Garton, just your average joe and content college student, through his presumptuous diagnosis of clinical depression, a prescription of the (SSRI) antidepressant drug, Prozac, and the behavior changes with evil thought processes that evolved into a sudden tragic/toxic event.

He welcomes you to journey with him from tragedy to recovery.

'Having survived the most vile and aggressive thoughts from within I offer tips and advice for people that may be suffering from the same effects of (SSRI) antidepressants.'

This book will give you the self-help guidance you need to overcome depression, anxiety, feelings of losing control and more.

Devil's Candy is a true story of survival from a prescription drug.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Tired of heriones with perfect figures? Check out Angela Verdenius' #books #bbw #largeladies #austrailian #bookspotlight

The main character is BBW (a big, beautiful woman) and stars in

The Wells Brothers: Aaron
Angela Verdenius

Being a whistle-blower takes guts. It can also leave you scarred.

Whistle-blower, Shea Winters bore the consequences of an act of honesty and lost her job and reputation as a nurse. Now, she makes a living conning people as a medium and psychic using her teen brother’s computer skills to help her.

Security expert and ex-cop, Aaron Wells, investigates her and becomes intrigued by her.

Now he can’t deny the attraction he feels for the pretty scammer.

But being a whistle-blower can also have dangerous consequences.

Very dangerous...

Just a few of the excellent reviews received on Amazon for The Wells Brothers - Aaron:
Just loved this book! A very good romance, humor and suspense. Aaron and Shea are perfect for each other. Loved other characters too. And the bantering between siblings and other friends, that's so hilarious. I would love to be friends with these people.

Well folks shes done it again, this book has you pulled in with the first paragraph. There was times where I was laughing out loud, so excited I could hardly set still, and just so entranced I didn't want to put it down.

I fell in love with Angela Verdenius' stories after I read the first BBW (Big Beautiful Women) book of hers. The stories are filled with great fun banter, friends for life, Aussie customs and humor, scorching hot romance between women with curves, sass, and vigor, and alpha men who adore their women, love their curves and take protectiveness to a new level of intense.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Why do women hate other women?

The only time I read a woman's magazine is when I'm in the hairdressers, so here I am with a bunch of mags and a steaming cuppa by my side as my hair is dressed in fetching foils.

Anyway, I flip open magazine after magazine and can't help but feel that, no matter the title, they are all the same.

From Women's Own to Vogue.

All. the. same.

It's all about women being nasty about other women:
Who wore it better.
How badly celebs age.
How fat someone is (or how skinny).
Who's had what work done to their faces and bodies (and sniggering over it).
Who's marriage is breaking up (and sniggering over it).

All this in between pages of advertisements for clothes, perfumes and other 'enhancing' products.

Why are women portrayed like this? Why is it assumed we hate one another?

It isn't men making us feel like this it's other women!

Why? Why are we so hard on ourselves, ladies? If anyone has any answers do let me know!

All characters portrayed in Wise's books aren't 'strong' women.
They are just ordinary women. 
Coping with what life throws at them the best they can.

Louise Wise is a British author. She lives in the Midlands with her husband and four sons, and works as a pharmacy technician.

Her debut novel is the acclaimed sci-fi romance
EDEN, which was followed by its sequel HUNTED in 2013.

Her other works include A PROPER CHARLIE (romantic comedy), OH NO, I’VE FALLEN IN LOVE! (dark, comedy romance), and SCRUFFY TRAINERS (a collection of short stories). She has written numerous short stories for women’s magazines including Women’s Own and Take a Break.

Her latest novel, Wide Awake Asleep, was released late December 2016. In this novel, she has mixed time travel with romance and her on-going theme of solitude.

Email: wiselouise@gmail.com
Twitter: @louise_wise

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

πŸ’‹ Need a chuckle? Check out this British #romcom - A Proper Charlie. Giggles guaranteed, and only #99c! #chicklit

Charlotte (Charlie) Wallis dreams of being a journalist and being part of a family unit. Life hasn’t been easy for her—born to a junkie mother and brought up in a children’s home—she craves a family life, but her current boyfriend has palpitations at the mention of commitment, and Charlie’s beginning to believe she’s going to be the office gofer forever.

Then she hears of a possible Jack the Ripper style story, which has London in its gruesome grip. Bodies aren’t showing up even though prostitutes are going missing at a rate of one a month, and the police are stumped.

Without telling anyone, Charlie dons her best fishnet stockings and hits the streets pretending to be a prostitute in the aid of securing a story to further her career.

But seeing her new boss, Ben Middleton, kerb crawling was the last thing she expected.

Then Ben lets her into his secret, and she not only becomes part of the ‘Jack the Ripper’ story, she finds herself the starring role!

Romcom at its craziest, funniest and British-iest.

Told is varying points of view between the protagonist, Charlie, and her love interest/could-be kidnapper/boss/geek/misunderstood, Ben. He's in the wrong place at the wrong time ALL the time. And they say Charlie's a klutz.

A Proper Charlie

Amazon.UK | Amazon.com


It was when she plumped up the cushions for the fourth time that she decided she would go out and do some more research on the prostitutes.

She grinned, brightening as a plan began to formulate in her mind. ‘I’ll approach it differently this time,’ she said aloud, feeling ingenious. ‘And I’ll be a hooker for the evening. I’ll get information undercover!’

She rubbed her hands together, warming to her plan and picturing Melvin’s face when a publishing house took on her book and elevated her up the best-selling list. She would be sending Fanny to the canteen for her lunch and not vice versa; she imagined sending him for lattes and Sushi as Mr Middleton looked on in admiration.

‘Obviously, I won’t be sleeping with the clients, unless Orlando Bloom or Will Smith pulls up,’ she continued, ‘but that’s not very likely. Hell, I’d settle for anyone at this rate! Hmmm, what to wear…’ and she danced off towards her bedroom and pulled out a pair of stockings and a red garter from her drawer while humming to herself. In her enthusiasm, the dangers she might encounter were completely submerged.

Usually, makeup was just a slick of lipstick and sometimes mascara. Therefore, the hunt was on for her makeup bag, which contained cosmetics not worn since her schooldays, unless you included the hideous occasion where she embarrassed herself in front of Mr Middleton at the fancy dress party. She found it after turning her bedroom and bathroom upside down, and emptied the contents in the bathroom sink.

She picked up a red lipstick and pulled off the gold lid. Before the sensible side of her talked her out of her mad plan, she applied the lipstick to her mouth. Smacking her lips together, she looked at herself critically in the mirror. It was amazing how a little makeup changed your face.

She wiped it off and set about making up her face properly using foundation, lip liner and black kohl to line her eyes. She viewed herself in the mirror again: sparkly purple eyeshadow, pillar-box red lips and cheeks. Her makeup would match her red mini skirt and garter that she’d planned to wear.

She straightened her hair and added the blonde hair extensions she had used at the disastrous party, only this time she used all she had instead of just a few. When she’d finished, she looked like a blonde bombshell from a 1980s budget movie.

‘Goodbye Wallis,’ she told her reflection. ‘Hello Charlotte.’

Only 99p!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

An epic adventure for audiences of #YAfiction. When superheroes go bad! #fantasy #YAbooks

The Sorceress's Apprentice: Plan-B
(Elder Codex Book 1)
J.L Lahey

     Badger, an eight-year-old orphan, has spent his entire life hiding in books, reading of the heroic deeds performed by valiant knights and courageous adventurers. 
     While attempting to save the lives of his fellow orphans he manifests a magic like power.  He soon learns that using this power comes with a great risk to his own life.
     A beautiful sorceress, clad all in black, soon arrives with an offer to adopt him and teach him how to properly wield his powers.
     Once they leave, he learns that the sorceress is really the leader of a group of adventurers, and they're not the type of heroes that he has ever read about in books.  They’re the kind that steal, get drunk, rob graves, loot tombs, and shoot people in the back.  They basically only do what they need to in order to have a really good time.
     Badger is wondering what type of tale has he gotten into, because he has never read a story quite like this one.

J.L. Lahey dwells in Arizona. He is currently writing stories for the Elder Codex fantasy series, The Tails of The Nine fantasy series and a amnesic paranormal mystery set in Las Vegas.
When he is not writing, he enjoys obsessing over role-playing games, girls, renaissance festivals, on-line games, comics and riding his motorcycle in the rain. He meets weekly, with his gaming group to discus different facets of world domination.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Mix gaming, fantasy and #YA and you've got Chaos (un) Controlled. A #mustread for #gamers and #scifi lovers alike.

Chaos (un)Controlled

Self-contained Rixa Storms can’t wait to escape the pressures of her mother’s religious, controlling thumb. Fleeing to college seems to be her only escape route, until she stumbles upon an opportunity to learn a unique power in a world called University Heights.

Amazon.UK | Amazon.com

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

If you liked 'Sliding Doors' you'll love this one from Sue Shepherd! #romcom #paranormal #awesomebooks @thatsueshepherd

Love Them and Leave Them
Sometimes you have to leave the one you love … sometimes you’re the one who’s left behind.

another excellent read from Sue Shepherd

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.
Amazon.UK | Amazon.com



Ed – Six years ago
There was scarcely a moment for Ed to make his decision. Gazing wide-eyed back at him, the rabbit seemed rooted to the spot. It was directly in his line of fire, and if it didn’t move in the next five seconds, he was going to squash it flat. The rain was hammering down, the tyres of Ed’s beloved Avensis barely touching the tarmac.

Ed shouted pointlessly for the rabbit to move. It remained. Ed tooted his horn. The rabbit was oblivious to the approaching vehicle. Ed wondered if he should just hit the stupid thing? Would it damage the car? He loved this car, he’d not had it long. On the other hand, swerving to avoid the creature was surely a crazy idea, particularly in this downpour.

Only metres away, Ed couldn’t do it. Who knew what kind of sickening sound a great fat bunny like that would make on impact? Plus, he was just too worried about scratching the front of his car. With a rapid movement, Ed snatched the steering wheel to the right, his wheels narrowly avoiding the stationary animal. Sadly, those same wheels locked, sending him into a skid. Ed’s car began aquaplaning across the road. He’d made a catastrophic decision, which he regretted instantly. The rabbit, at last roused from its trance, darted its way to the safety of the grass verge, where it disappeared into a bush, to the sound of a ton of metal colliding head-on with a large oak tree.

On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.
 But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn't Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015.

Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.
Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you'll give her the heebie-jeebies and she'd prefer you not to mention Christmas until at least November!
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

If you like time travel romances, check out Wide Awake Asleep #time #timetravel #backtothefuture

Fate is predetermined.
It’s a road for us mere mortals to follow until we reach our destiny. But what happens if fate makes a mistake? And that mistake snowballs and snowballs until destiny is never reached?

This is Julie’s story in a time travel saga called Wide Awake Asleep.
Julie's approaching her middle years and finally has the life she wants and worked hard for, but back in the early 1970s her fate-line snapped and plunged her into an existence that never should have been.
Her destiny is demanding to be put right.
Julie doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to be sent backwards in time to correct the broken fate-line.

Amazon.com | Amazon.UK
The end is sometimes the beginning


EXCERPT (taken from Chapter Four):

I woke with a bump; like I’d been submerged beneath water. Gasping. Breathless. The shimmering man slipped from my consciousness as I fought to hold on to him—I felt he was important but the dream disintegrated as panic overcame me.
I scrabbled around, getting my things together, knowing I had to get out of the car before it became my grave. It was still daylight. I’d missed the meeting though. Sod the meeting. I reached to grab my bag and briefcase from the footwell. My hand stopped in mid-air. A beaded yellow and red bag was in place of my Ted Baker handbag.
I took the bag anyway. I needed money to make phone calls for a recovery service and a taxi. I’d pay whoever’s bag it was back. I grabbed my briefcase and opened the car door. The car was at an angle, pointing downward, and I slipped. I had to grab the door one-handed as my feet disappeared beneath the car. But I felt strangely light; as if I could jump and easily reach the swaying trees making a canopy over the road. I threw the bag and briefcase to the top of the embankment and climbed up.
On my knees, I opened the bag, hoping to find a phone inside. There was a packet of cigarettes. Players No. 6 to be exact. I turned it over in my hands. Even as a non-smoker I knew this brand had long been replaced by something else. I dropped them in the bag, maybe whoever they belonged to was a retro smoker.
I searched further, but other than a discoloured makeup bag, an opened packet of strawberry Spangles, a pen, diary and a hideous brown purse there was nothing that I could use to help me out of my predicament.
My iPad!
I reached for my briefcase, but as I did, I realised that that too wasn’t mine. In fact it was nothing like mine. This wasn’t genuine leather, it had no long handles and it was scuffed and well-used.
Too late to register, an old Cortina wooshed past. I stood quickly, yelling and waving my hands, but it had disappeared around the bend in the road. I ran after it a few paces, but stopped, knowing it was futile.
There was nothing for it—I’d have to walk. I couldn’t be far from civilisation. This was England for goodness’ sake! I picked up the handbag and briefcase. I didn’t want whoever’s it was to say I’d stolen it. I’d have to look after it until I could return it. The garish-coloured bag went over my shoulder.
Something made me turn to look down at my poor, smashed up car. Ghost-like figures surrounded it. I couldn’t make out features, colours or anything much, just strange transparent floating shapes hovering around my car.
Fear caused me to step back. I wasn’t religious, and I disbelieved in anything hocus-pocus and was also suspicious of anyone who claimed they believed in the afterlife, but I couldn’t explain those ghostly figures as anything other than Death trying to find me. Trying to find out how I cheated it, maybe.
I closed my eyes and rocked on my feet as dizziness brushed over me. I opened them again carefully, almost afraid of what I’d see. But it was mist that was surrounding the car now.
Just mist.
‘Silly woman,’ I said, and turned to look around at my surroundings. I was on a typical narrow country road, and I was afraid I’d have a boy-racer come up behind me and finish me off. I wondered what time it was. I never wore a watch, and as my mobile was broken I didn’t know the time. I stopped and squinted up at the sun. It was high in the blue sky, but how could that be? It was January, the sun never rose much during the winter months. I looked around at the gently swaying trees—fully leaved. The field to my left was full of tall rapeseed. The yellow flowers gave off a familiar smell that reminded me of my childhood in the village before I left with my father as a teenager.
This was crazy. It’s January. I’ve not only slept through the night, but the entire winter?
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