The Tormenter

Short Story
By Stephanie Geary

Sitting outside the school gates, I wait nervously for Stan Foster to come out of class. My mind whirls at the prospect of seeing him, knowing what I must do. Nerves and fear play a part in making my decisions. I can see a crowd forming, they have heard about what will be happening shortly. Hands in pockets, I glance at the growing audience, knowing that I am about to be put on display and that I must perform. My hands are clammy, and I wipe them roughly down my school trousers. I pull a handful of change from my pocket and count the coins.

Not enough, I need more.

What will he say about that?

I see him making his way out of the school, a group of friends surrounding him, offering him encouragement. They all look this way, none of them wanting to admit that they play a part in this scenario. As they get closer, I feel my heart racing, adrenaline kicks in and I feel ready. My eyes never steel away from his, I stare him down and gulp down on the salty saliva building up in the back of mouth and throat. I feel nauseous, but I know that is due to the fire burning in my gut.

Racing towards Stan, I see the fear in his eyes as he sees me, his secondary school bully approaching him. He looks at me, tears ready to spill from his eyes and I feel the raw fear that comes from his every pore.

And I love it.

I wish that I didn’t! I feel the hold that I have over him and the feeling of being powerful is like a drug I can’t get enough of. I clench my fists eagerly.

My audience waits as I approach my prey; all eyes are on me. I cannot let them down.

 

20 things about me

So, I saw this on another blog post and figured I would try it myself. Not only will I be able to show you guys some other things about me, but it is good for me to write as often as I can. And seeing as I have no current blog posts to write about, I figured I would give this a go.

So here it is:-

1 – I am a Sagittarius, born in November.

2 – I am the mother of two gorgeous boys, Ethan 6 and Oliver 3. I love them more than anything else.

3 – I have been with my husband for 19 years this year and married for 12.

4 – I have a fear of canals at nighttime. I have this uncontrollable feeling that I am going to fall in and it freaks me out.

5 – I have successfully run a small photography business the past 10 years. I shot weddings, birthdays, events etc and I have a large portfolio which I will share one day in another post.

6 – I am currently signed up with slimming world. I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle and have started exercising too.

7 – I love lying on the bed in the dark and listening to songs via Spotify. It really helps to relax me.

8 – I love chick flick films; Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Never Been Kissed….I love seeing a good girly film!

9 – I have two webbed toes on each foot (the two closest to the big toe) I inherited them from my nan who had them. And my eldest son Ethan also has them.

10 – I don’t like hot drinks; tea, coffee etc.

11 – I drive a red Toyota Yaris Hybrid. It is automatic and I love it. It was my first car after passing my test in Jan 2017.

12 – I love reading books. I have not one favourite genre or author as I love so many. But it can range from Stephen King to Jodie Picoult.

13 – I love chocolate spread.

14 – I am a little kooky at times….I’m chatty and quite bubbly when you get to know me but can come across as quiet at first.

15 – I am not the most confident of people; after ridicule at School, previous jobs etc then I always feel that I’m not good enough. I am working on thinking better of myself.

16 – I lost my baby in November, 3rd child. Despite the trauma of it all, I would still like another one.

17 – I have a pet pug called Harry – We call him Harry Pugger.

18 – I love perfume; my favourite being Paco Rabbane Millions at the moment!

19 – I love watching boxsets; Gotham, Smallville, Flash, Buffy, Friends, Greys Anatomy and many more.

20 – I am currently lying in bed in just my underwear listening to my husband and boys downstairs finishing breakfast. My husband let me have a lie in and I’ve used the time to write this post 😀

And that’s it; there is more to me than this post obviously but this is just a small glimpse of me as a person 🙂

Betrayal by Martina Cole

I remember the very first Martina Cole book I read almost 12 years go. It was the thrilling, dramatic ‘Lady Killer’. After a few pages I was hooked and I read the entire book in one day. From that moment on I became a big fan of Cole’s work. I loved the diverse characters and dark themes in each and every one of her books. Not only is Martina good at creating dramatic reads; she also has a great writing style which makes reading her work effortless.

Betrayal is no different to her other books in that it is written fantastically.

The story revolves around Reeva O Hara and her colourful, charismatic family. She herself is feisty and wild, but her entire world revolves around her family; that is until she’s on one of her famous ‘benders’.

We are introduced to her children, each born to a different father but each being of a strong character. They fight one another but fight FOR one another above all else. As with most of Cole’s books we delve deep into the criminal underworld and read with wide eyed at the sinister parts and shocking descriptions. We are introduced to many great characters.

I love Reeva! She is a bit of rogue at times but she is an amazing example of a powerful woman. She would do anything for her kids.

I disliked Aiden, but I think most people would. That just shows how well a book is written when you can identify which character ‘gets your back up’. At times I wanted to hug him; other’s I wanted someone to punch him hard.

I want to write about everything that happened but I don’t want to spoil it for you guys.

All I will say is that this is a fantastic read; it is edgy, gripping and exciting. If you haven’t read Martina Cole’s stories before then look her up and give this book a go; you won’t be disappointed 🙂

I give this 5/5 🌟

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

(Spoiler free)

By Stephanie Geary

Anna and Marco from the outside appear to be the perfect couple, with a lavish house, plenty of money and a beautiful baby girl. But that is far from accurate as we read further into the story.

We start at their next door neighbours house, where a party has been organised. Almost guilt-tripped into leaving her daughter Cora at home, Anna is forced to place a fake smile as she has a rubbish time watching her husband flirt with their brash, attractive hostess and feeling like a poor mother for leaving her daughter alone at home. Although they take turns checking on her, she still feels uneasy about the entire situation. When the time comes to return home, Anna almost runs the distance back despite the copious amount of alcohol consumed as she starts to feel distaste at herself for ‘abandoning’ her child. But all her fears are realised when she discovers that her daughter has been taken from her crib.

This book is a brilliant twist and turn story which leaves you wanting more with each page. There were times that I couldn’t put the book down (which isn’t easy with two little boys constantly wanting my attention) and it drew me in from the start. There were characters who I liked and then there were the characters who I didn’t. I was a fan of poor tortured Marco, the outsider of the family who had married for love into a wealthy, judgemental unit. And I was not a fan of Anna’s ‘father’ who is what can only be described as a ‘spoilt brat’.

On finishing this book I was very happy with how it ended; the story takes you through many twists and turns and each page leaves us asking, ‘what has happened to baby Cora?’

This was an amazing book by the very talented author Shari Lapena; I look forward to reading more from her.

I would give this 4/5 ⭐️

Death of a Loved One

Silently it entered like a cold touch

Feelings awakened were too much

It hunted, it sought, it found

Dragging its prey down to the ground

We prayed for it to leave us alone

And begged it to not take what we own

In it crept and touched all of our lives

Brothers, sons, daughters and wives

The ache we feel

Is all too real

It took our loved one too quickly

The journey handled too cruelly

We didn’t have time to reminisce

We picture all the times that we will miss

We wish we could have more time

But the absence is felt with every chime

The days ahead will be rough

The pain and tears will be tough

Cruelly it entered and cruelly it left

Leaving us to wallow in feelings of bereft

Dream Wishing

Short Story
by Stephanie Geary

I smooth down the blankets which are covering me and bury my head deeper into my pillow. My body is weary, and I ache in all the places I can feel; the familiar pull of sleep is dragging me down and I consider where I want to go tonight. I wonder what I will see and who I will choose to become.

You see, I have what some would call a party trick or a gift of sorts.

I can choose what dreams I have before I go to sleep. It’s not a killer special power like invisibility or being able to fly but it is kind of cool being able to decide what I dream of whist I am in the land of nod. Some days I choose to be a famous actress and walk onto a glitzy stage to collect an award or I model the latest fashion on the catwalk. A few weeks ago, I rode a camel across the Sahara Desert before sunbathing under the hot scorching sun.

Every day I lay in my bed and focus on what I want to dream about, and I simply let myself fall asleep and welcome the new experience. I have walked amongst dinosaurs, visited historical places and drove a fast car around a figure of eight track. Each night I live out an exciting new adventure. Obviously, dreams are still tricky to keep on track and they can still get a bit random but I can at least choose the theme for my dream, even if it does lose its thread a little as it goes along.

Tonight, I have thought of something new I would like to do. Something which I would like to do more than anything else in the world.
So, I close my eyes and focus with all my might whilst my body and mind slowly slip into sleep. The darkness washes over me and I feel lighter, almost as though I am floating off the bed.

And then I see bright white light, blue sky and a long delicately placed wedding aisle set outside in a beautiful field of lavender; the aisle is decorated with strewn white roses and pretty tealights. Either side of the aisle are white wicker seats with dusty pink bows decorated on the back of each one. In the seats are guests, all talking and waiting.
They wait for me. I look down at myself and see that I am wearing a long white wedding gown, decorated with diamantes and lace. It hangs from me, leaving a trail behind. To my left is my Father; he looks at me proudly, speaking words to me, words that I can’t quite hear. It is almost like he is talking underwater. I look back towards the aisle and I see familiar people amongst the guest, the chairs have changed from wicker chairs to pews. My mother sits at the front, dabbing the corners of her eyes with a lacy handkerchief. A few seats behind her is my best friend, April. She is dressed in black as though she is attending a funeral, she too is dabbing at her eyes. I take another look down at my dress and see that it has changed slightly, the cut is different, and the sleeves are now long in length and not short. I try to see my legs but it is as though I am floating.

I look back up towards the front of the aisle and then I see him. Robert. The one and only guy I have ever loved. He is looking back at me, smiling. His dimple in his right cheek is evident now and I feel myself smiling back. His hand reaches out and he beckons me forward. I look to my left for my Dad, but he is no longer with me. I search for him amongst the people in the congregation and see him sitting beside my mother, his head down in his hands as though is grieving. Robert still has his hand outstretched, so I walk forward towards him, taking each step slowly and memorising each second. As I walk, Robert creeps ever further away without taking a step. Its as though I am walking on a travellator going in the wrong direction. I start to run as I am eager to get to Robert before I wake up. I know this is a dream and I know that this moment cannot last forever. I jump forward, launching myself at him, and Robert catches me in his arms. He looks down at me and he stares deeply into my eyes and mouths words at me, which again I cannot hear. But I know by the look in his eyes that he is saying he loves me. Suddenly I look around and we are at our reception, we are dancing to our favourite song and he holds me to him. Robert kisses me on the top of the head and I hold him to me, praying that I won’t wake up soon. We spin around the room, everything and everyone becoming non-existent. He whispers, ‘Goodbye’ into my ear and then I notice that I am dancing on my own. The room is in darkness and I am suddenly sitting in a wheelchair, my legs numb. I scream but no words come out…

…I wake suddenly and see that the sun is starting to stream in though the window. I can hear whispered words outside my door and I let the silent tears course down my cheeks. I lie waiting for someone to come in. As though she has read my mind, my mother walks in and smiles sadly when she sees that I am awake. She crosses the room and touches my hand lightly. My mother, the strong person in our family unit is struggling to speak. Her mouth moves but she appears to be finding it difficult to put a sentence together.
‘I have sad news, sweetheart. I am so sorry that I have to tell you this, but Robert’s Dad spoke to me in the corridor…they are talking about turning off his machine tomorrow…’

I close my eyes, I hear her words, but they don’t penetrate. All at once I see the events of yesterday play in rapid succession through my mind. Me and Robert in his car on the way to a concert. The other car as it collided with us. The vision of Robert half thrown out of the front screen window, staring blankly but twitching violently as his body struggles to deal with the impact. I remember the pain in my legs and the fear as I watch Robert dying in front of me. The fire crew cutting me free. The blue flashing lights. The doctors talking to my parents about my damaged spine and legs.

Everything comes back to me and I squeeze my eyes shut, willing myself to fall back asleep so I can dream of us together again. I don’t want to live in a world where Robert isn’t here. All I have now is my pointless ability which will allow me to see him whenever I want….

…but what good is a dream if it isn’t real?

Review: The Keeper of Lost Things

written by Ruth Hogan.

isbn9781473635463-detail
When it comes to choosing my next book to read, I always without a doubt get drawn in by what it looks like. I know the old saying asks you to not judge a book by what you see, but what else do we have when we enter a book shop but to peruse what is on the shelves and I do love a pretty front cover.

And this book was no different.

I instantly loved the way the book looked, it drew me in and I read the synopsis and knew that this would be my type of book.

I wasn’t wrong.

The story introduces us to the wonderfully charming Anthony who we discover is the keeper of all lost items. We discover what makes him tick and delve deep into his character, making him all the more lovable. Everything he finds is meticulously labelled with the correct information regarding where it was found and the date. Items such as umbrella’s, teacups and lost gloves are just some of the items he finds over time, adding each one to his itinerary. He entrusts the help of his faithful friend and housekeeper, Laura to try to reintroduce lost items to their owners.

Throughout the pages we are introduced to some wonderful characters, some lovable and some not so much; each one bringing their own interesting part to this magical, mysterious and enchanting story.

The writing is beautifully put together and I lapped each page up hungrily, reading the whole book in a couple of days.  The whole story comes together beautifully and there are some lovely plot surprises as you read along. There were also some emotional parts which had me shed a tear or two.

Overall this was a really good book. The story was well paced and had a lovely engaging feel about it. I felt like I loved Anthony and Laura from the start – I enjoyed how different all of the characters were, with Sunshine forever being one of my favourite.

I would 100% recommend this book.

S x

#My2018 Fiction

Imagine if you could write a fiction story based on the next 12 months. If you could paint yourself in any situation, good or bad, would you be writing yourself into a romantic story or would you be shooting amongst the stars in sci-fi thriller?

I saw this concept mentioned on Sweek.com so I had a go at writing my own Fiction/Non Fiction story. The first part of this story is based on my previous two years, which were not my greatest if I am completely honest, but the rest is a complete work of fiction.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – #MyDreamfor2018 #Fiction #Part Non-Fiction

In 2016 I almost lost my husband, he was involved in a terrible road traffic accident with him being the innocent pedestrian who was passing by as two cars collided. The cars spun out of control and one mounted the curb, up onto the path and ran into my husband, pinning him against the wall. He was very lucky to be alive, but it was a long, hard road to recovery. He spent five months in hospital, fighting for his life and then fighting to get back up onto his feet and to home, to us.

2016 sucked!

In 2017, things were looking up. We were finally back together as a family unit. Me, my husband and our two young boys. I had returned to work and life was getting back to normal. We were happy, so we decided to increase our family and I became pregnant, expecting our third child. The days soared by until finally I was sitting waiting to be called for my 20-week scan. Our 12-week scan had gone really well, our baby was healthy, and we were looking forward to finding out whether we were having a boy or a girl.

But this year apparently wasn’t our year either. On being called into our scan and lying back for the sonographer to do her magic, I noticed the look on her face. Within minutes our entire world came crashing down.

How can life be so cruel?
This year should be different, why was our family experiencing another horrifying blow?

Our beautiful sleeping angel was born on the 13th November. We mourned, we grieved, cried and celebrated the life we had lost. How much more heart ache can one family take?

2017 sucked!

Here it is, a new year. I wanted so much more from this year. 2018! I should have welcomed a new baby; should have been knee deep in nappies and I should have been sleep deprived beyond belief!

But I wasn’t. I felt hollow, I felt numb. New Year’s Resolutions didn’t stop me from feeling so empty, but I do have to live, I had to move forward. So, I decided to do something about it. We are now almost at the end of 2018 and this year has NOT sucked!

I decided to write a book. I poured my heart and soul into this work of fiction which has a big dollop of truth poured into it. Day and night, I wrote. My brain hurt, my eyes ached and my fingers were red raw from all the typing. I created a book. It was over 60,000 words long and I was proud of it. My husband had first read of it and he said it was good. So, I printed it all off and I proudly fiddled with the pages of my manuscript, typed correctly and with a cover sheet and a summary.

I approached publishers and my confidence dipped as one by one they turned my story down. It wasn’t what they wanted or not what they were looking for. With each rejection letter came another blow to my already faltering esteem. I asked myself whether I should give up, but then I looked back at my previous two years. I had no control over my life when those situations hit our family. And I was determined that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight!

So, when the final rejection letter came through, the fire inside me erupted. The anger from 2016 met up with the anger from 2017 and I screamed with frustration and rage! I vowed that my manuscript would be read. I knew it was good and I wanted the people who mattered to be the judges…. the readers! Not the publishers!

I wasn’t being big headed, this was me taking control.

I picked up my manuscript and drove to my local photocopying shop and waited as 50 copies were made. I kept the original copy and placed it in an envelope and posted it recorded delivery to myself, ensuring that I had proof that the manuscript was mine, to stop any attempted plagiarism. I then took each copied manuscript and wrote #SGnovel2018readme to the top right-hand corner of the cover on EACH copy. I then planted each copy into a bright pink envelope, so people could see it easily. The copied manuscripts were taken everywhere. I put one near our local burger restaurant, placed on in a shopping trolley at the local supermarket. I even sneaked one into the back of a goods wagon on its way to Ireland. Trips out with the kids had me depositing a manuscript randomly, including parks, zoos and even on a trip to London. Finally, after weeks of hiding the manuscripts around parts of the UK I was finally left with my last one in hand. I thought long and hard about what I could do with it.

Then I placed it in an envelope and using a PR address, I sent it registered first class to my favourite author, hoping that she would some how read my book. And then I waited, I made myself wait a week before I searched my hashtag online. Part of me was scared that I would find nothing…. another was excited at the possibility that I might find mentions, even if it is just one!

After a week, I sat at my computer and searched my hashtag. I searched Google, Facebook and Twitter, each search having my smile widen and widen. There were so many posts about the manuscripts being found. My heart soared, and my head was giddy with excitement. There were tweets, retweets, hashtags and photographs. Everyone was talking about my book, people were applauding the ingenious way that I had got my story out there. People were sharing they’re accounts of how they had found their copy and they were sharing them with friends and family. My hashtag was also trending on Twitter! I jumped up and down and raced around my kitchen. I knew I could do it. All I needed was to believe in myself.

That was the last day I remembered being normal. I was inundated with calls, my name was being shared, I was being discussed on television and all the companies who had originally rejected my book were now fighting to sign me.

I attended many interviews with various television, radio and newspaper companies. They all wanted to know about me, the author.

And here I am, sitting next to my favourite author on the most famous sofa on daytime television with my supportive husband watching from behind the camera. Life could not get any better. I regularly feel like I should be pinching myself!

The blonde presenter with the welcoming smile and amazing fashion sense looked me in the face and asked if I had ever imagined my life changing as I distributed my book. Thinking of my previous years and the traumatic events I went through with my family, I smiled openly and replied, ‘let’s just say, 2018 didn’t suck’.

Writing Competitions

The past few weeks of twittering, blogging and creating written pieces is really getting my love of creating stories back at the forefront of my mind. I am eager to start writing again and finally finishing a book to get it to the point where it might be publishable 🙂 – I have a ton of part written stories so my mission this year is to get them written! It doesn’t matter if they end up being awful, I’m going to do it!

Finally feeling like I have the bug back, been a while since I felt this excited about something solely for myself 😀

I have also seen a couple of writing completions which I am eager to enter, got a lot of ideas running around my little noggin and they’re all eager to get out!

Watch this space!