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Angel – Hilary Halliwell

1300 words Women’s Fiction

A busy night in A&E but in the all the chaos, a calming voice, a comforting touch is never far away. Sometimes it’s hard to be heard, especially for the young the old and the fearful. Angels come in all sorts of uniforms and some even have added extras if only you look and listen, very very carefully…

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It’s busy here tonight and I’m rushed off my feet. I flit from bay to bay as Old Tom in number six cubical shouts out through the curtain, ‘Where’s me teeth, where’s me teeth? I wants me teeth I tell you…’ He never came in with any teeth bless him, but I feel so sorry for him, eighty-five years young and no one listens. ‘I’ll find them for you in a moment,’ I whisper in his ear, not sure if he hears me, but he does you know because I can tell by the twinkle in his sapphire eyes.

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At the Top of the Stairs – Hilary Halliwell

2200 words Christmas / Feel Good Fiction

We all remember Christmas Eve when we were children. The excitement, the expectation, the waiting bleary eyed for six am to arrive in the darkness to see if Father Christmas had been. We recreate these happy times for our children, but can Christmas ever be the same again when finally they fly the nest?

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As I wander through the bustling shops the sounds and smells of Christmas greet me at every turn. I’ve always loved Christmas even though sometimes I’ve had a little moan about all the work it involves. I stop at the toy department of Dewsons and look at the wonderment on the children’s faces as they queue to see Santa. My Jamie and Louise used to love the yearly trip to visit a rather reluctant and somewhat grumpy Father Christmas, who would invariably give them each the wrong present so that they’d have to swap.

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Crowning Glory – Hilary Halliwell

1700 words Feel Good Fiction

If your hair isn’t right then nothing is! Yes we’ve all said it and we’re all the same fussing and fretting about getting hair just right. But is it really that important? Friendship is, and true best friends happen by just once in a lifetime, a bit like short fringes for me…

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears

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Looking in the mirror my scissors in hand, I start to snip. I was always so fussy about my hair, and my Dad would say, ‘It’s a wonder you’ve any hair left, all the time you spend titivating it!’ But if your hair’s not right then everything feels wrong, doesn’t it? I take hold of my fringe then let it go again. I’ve always had a fear of short fringes ever since mum’s terrible mistake when I was five! My mind meanders back to my first day at infant school…

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Dream Catcher – Hilary Halliwell

2200 words Women’s Fiction

Little boxes can contain keepsakes that spark happy memories from the past. But our hearts store many more about the people we love, especially  when we have to say goodbye to them. Yes – that’s when the locks spring open and all those memories come tumbling out to comfort us.

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears

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The August sun is setting casting soft shadows about the room. It’s been a beautiful day –the saddest day of my life… The last of the mourners have left, and now, we, our little family, sit amongst plates of uneaten salmon sandwiches and best boiled-ham salad. We say nothing, the finality of it all only just beginning to sink in. This is the day I hoped would never come. I look over at my dad who sits silent in my mother’s chair. His measured face shows nothing, but quiet sad resolution as he looks out through the open French windows at mum’s pride and joy; her conservatory.

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For Love of Becky – Hilary Halliwell

2500 words Women’s Fiction

Unconditional love is what good parents give their children in bucket loads. They invest love and time  and take the rough with the smooth, and stand by their children no matter what. And adoptive parents are no different at all, in fact, most of them, build bonds stronger than any DNA dictates.

But what if something threatens that love, those ties, those strong bonds, or at least they think it does?

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I look at Becky’s shining chestnut hair that frames a freckled face and ice-blue eyes with the longest lashes I’ve ever seen. She’s seventeen now, yet it seems like only yesterday that she arrived like summer sunshine into our lives. That was the day when we found out what true happiness felt like after the too many years of waiting. *** “What, Mum – what?” She says with a cheeky grin. The grin, however, does not hide the enormity of what this day means to her, means to all of us. Now a more thoughtful smile blooms across her face, but she isn’t fooling me. She must be overwhelmed by what is about to happen, because I know I am.

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Granny’s Bloomers – Hilary Halliwell

900 words Women’s Fiction

Sometimes in our darkest moments when we feel all alone, memories from the past return to comfort us. People who we have loved leave indelible footprints on our hearts, and the memories of just how special they were help us cope through difficult times, until we are able to smile again.

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My lovely, Granny May, survived being bombed out twice in the war you know. Lost everything she owned she did, except for, her trusty Singer sewing machine. But like many of her generation, Granny just kept calm and carried on! Oh I wish I were more like my Granny. Seven pairs of silky pink bloomers blowing on the washing line every Monday come rain or shine – that was my Granny! As a child I’d asked why her bloomers were so big?

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Granny’s Christmas Puddings – Hilary Halliwell

2600 words Christmas / Feel Good fiction

Sometimes it’s hard to accept change, especially at times like Christmas when things have become steeped in family tradition over many years. We see motives that aren’t there. We fear that we are no longer needed. We resist change at all costs. But change can hold its own blessings…

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears 

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It’s not that, I don’t want to go to Michelle’s for Christmas, she is my daughter after all, and I’m really touched that she wants to do Christmas for us this year for a change. It’s what I’ve always dreamt of you know. It’s just, everything seems to be changing and I’m not too sure if I like it or not! I’ve always done Christmas, but not anymore it seems, oh no, not since she married Jason and moved nearer to his mum and dad, well, like I said everything is changing! Thirty-five years give or take a blink I’ve been doing Christmas since the year after Mike and I got married.

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Hope and the Snowman – Hilary Halliwell

1700 words Women’s Fiction

All parents want to make their children’s dreams come true, especially at Christmastime. But what this little girl wants you can’t buy in the shops. A snowman, maybe possible; but there’s something even more special on her list that Father Christmas may just have to work overtime to acquire.

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I’m in this place and I’m searching for him. It’s a place I don’t want to be, a place I don’t know, a lonely scary place with sand and rocks and danger – oh – so much danger! There are people here that I’ve never met never even seen before and I’m scared, though of what I’m not sure. I know in my heart that it’s only a dream but… “Mummy Mummy wake up – come on, Mummy quickly or it’ll be gone! Come and look, Mum – come on, hurry!”

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It Never Snows at Christmas – Hilary Halliwell

2500 words Christmas story

Christmas is a time for family and also for remembering happy and sad times. But what if we are separated from those we love, can it ever be the same again? It’s hard to leave a place where all our happy memories live on but sometimes a leap of faith is needed.  But what will Christmas and life be like, at the other side of the world?

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When I was a little girl I always said, I’d never marry a farmer when I grew up! Not for me the quiet of the countryside, the remoteness of the hills. No, I wanted to live in a town with a dress shop, and a cinema, and exciting things to do. I wanted my husband to have a job with regular hours and clean shoes! It never snows at Christmas! But I can remember when I was little it snowed every Christmas without fail. Well, at least a sprinkle if nothing else, and those frosts, it was like a winter-wonderland!

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Keeping Emma – Hilary Halliwell

4300 words Feel Good Fiction

Sometimes the best laid plans never come to fruition when love and caring hijacks them. But how do you turn away from a child in need when your whole life has been dedicated to making things better for children such as Emma? And after all, to see a smile on a child’s face where once there was only mistrust and fear, well, that’s worth far more than anything.

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears 

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As I sit and watch Bethany fix her sister’s wedding veil a warmth spreads through my heart. They’re sisterly closeness is wonderful to see. Downstairs, my husband John is busy rehearsing his speech, our son Jason listens patiently for the hundredth time. This house is alive with love and laughter today, a very special day as it happens, the happy ending that I hoped and prayed for, has come true. Now, that thundery night, over ten years ago seems like a lifetime away. I’m so proud watching my daughter Emma prepare for her most special of days, happy and confident and a million miles away from that scared little girl of thirteen who walked into our lives during a storm .

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Looking – Hilary Halliwell

3500 words Feel Good Fiction

Many people spend years, sometimes their entire lifetime, searching for what most people take for granted. To know who they really are.

If and when they find what they are looking for, will the experience live up to their expectations?

Being on the outside looking in, can be a scary place to be, but sometimes doors open along with hearts.

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Carefully placing the scribbled address next to me on the passenger seat, I start my car. My heart’s fluttering, my brain bursting with what-ifs; I’m trying to keep calm and failing miserably. The drive will take me to the other side of London; it’s raining and dreary, and soon it’ll be dark, and, I know I should’ve waited, collected my thoughts and been sensible, but I just can’t do sensible right now, not where this is concerned… It’s all happened so quickly; I mean, for over thirty years I’ve been looking. Now with the help of a little computer wizardry, in three short days, I’ve found her. I’ve found my birth mother and it both elates and terrifies me at the same time! I try to pull myself together.

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Love, Laughter, Tears – Hilary Halliwell

love laughter tears small40,000 words Women’s Fiction Collection

7 – 5* reviews on Amazon

An anthology of Hilary Halliwell’s heart-warming stories, to make you smile, laugh, and cry. Stories about the things that affect us all and about the people we all know. Reach out and touch Hilary’s characters, and then keep them safe in your hearts…

With the approach of the annual In Bloom competition Enid turns to desperate measures. After all, there can only be one truly worthy winner, can’t there? A stormy night, a child in desperate need, and a couple who have devoted their lives to being parents to kids just like Emma. An abusive relationship strips you of your identity, and your fear of the abuser will be the chains that keep you in your prison. But when is enough, enough. A long and happy marriage, but what happens when your man seems to have found other interests? A scantily clad female; could he be having a mid-life crisis? Your best friend faces the fight of, and for, her life. How can you show her you are there for her just like she has always been there for you?

The warmth of Hilary’s characters will wrap around your heart like a meeting with old friends, making this is a book to savour .

Liz Smith , My Weekly Fiction Editor

Paperback sales UK ONLY – the book will be sent to your Paypal address unless advised otherwise.

For overseas sales please use your local Amazon store HERE.

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My Husband’s Wedding – Hilary Halliwell

1700 words Women’s Fiction

It must be hard to watch the man you love walk up the aisle with another woman. Harder still to see your beloved child accept another mother, even if you know the woman in question is the right choice. How does it feel to stand in the shadows and only be able to watch?

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The clock radio breaks into the early morning silence and I hear her voice chime with excited chatter as the light flicks on in the bedroom. “Daddy daddy is it today? Can I wear it today, oh please daddy can I?” My how she’s grown; I’m so proud of my little girl yet my heart breaks into a million shards at the sound of her voice. I walk away from the house and the sound of happiness and past her little pink bike that sits on the patio. Past potted plants that bloom regardless of me being here, or not. No nothing’s changed – and yet everything has.

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Perfect Plié – Hilary Halliwell

3300 words Women’s Fiction

Dancing classes paid for by Grandpa, and a childish dream about becoming a prima ballerina. The tap of Madame’s stick on polished floorboards and the feel of scratchy net tutus on little legs.  Such a long time ago but dreams are reawakened when we see grandchildren chase the same stars.

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I look at the small pink ballet pumps that sit ready and waiting on the sideboard alongside my handbag and my dreams, as I remember a lifetime ago as if it were only yesterday. History about to repeat itself? Oh I do hope so, because this is a gift I so want to bestow on my darling Granddaughter. I feel butterflies invade my tummy and hear Madame Romitoff’s voice, so loud and clear in my head that she could be in the next room. The returning memory of Wednesday afternoons spent with Madame at her dancing academy makes my toes tingle and my legs twitch as the years peel away and I recall the shy little girl I used to be…

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Postcards from Dad – Hilary Halliwell

3000 words Women’s Fiction

Sometimes, very sadly the past becomes our loved ones present, as clear as if it were only yesterday, when what happened ten minutes ago is lost to them forever. Perhaps that’s the time when we need to revisit the past too, and remember with love the man or woman that they used to be…

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears

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‘You remember, Dad? When we had the house by the common – when Mum worked at the Co-op in town…?’ Dad smiled at me and nodded, but his eyes were as blank as snow. Like six inches of it had fallen overnight blocking out the bursting seedlings of remembrance… I felt myself flush, felt the all too familiar sting of tears at the back of my nose as I battled frantically to keep them from falling. I didn’t want to go upsetting him, he so looked forward to my visits. I forced a smile that he readily returned and I squeezed his hand in reassurance just like he did mine when I was a child…

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Scooby’s Ghost – Hilary Halliwell

2700 words Feel Good / Animal Story

When we lose our much beloved pet, it’s easy to think that we’ll never find that level of love or devotion or friendship, ever again. They are more than just a pet to us, they are family, part of what binds us together, makes us who we are, and, they never judge us either. Comfort is a familiar bark or mew, or paw steps on the duvet as we drift off to sleep. And when we least expect it, a  glimpse of our old friend out of the corner of an eye…

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears 

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I love the early mornings here on the edge of the forest, the quiet beauty, the animals and the peace, just me, the forest, and my thoughts. Recently though, my thoughts have been melancholy. You see, my companion for over twelve happy years is no longer here to share the early morning stillness with me. Walking at my side like the faithful friend he was, listening to my hopes and fears and just being there, never asking anything from me but love. My grip tightens around the old leather lead that’s still in my coat pocket. I know it’s silly, but I can’t bring myself to throw it out, it gives me a sort of comfort, like he’s still here with me. I knew the day would come when I’d be without him, but in the end it didn’t make saying goodbye any easier to bear!

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Sixty Reasons… – Hilary Halliwell

1400 words Women’s Fiction

When is a long time too long? And at what age are we too old to fly? The answer to the first question is today. The answer to the second question is never. Take a leap of faith, be brave and see what life has in store…

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Annie looked at the cards on the mantelshelf. Sixty – who’d have thought it, sixty years old today! She didn’t feel sixty – no – she didn’t feel any older in lots of ways, than that day when she’d walked down the aisle on her Dad’s arm all those years ago towards her handsome fiancé John standing waiting at the alter for her. She’d been an ‘older bride’ for the times. Yes, thirty years ago most of her friends had been married and had children approaching teenage by the time Annie had finally found, her Mr right and settled down to married bliss. She remembered her best friend Wendy’s shriek of delight when she’d told her all about him.

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Sticky Fingers – Hilary Halliwell

750 words Women’s Fiction

Oh the smell of that rich vanilla or chocolate cake mixture being beaten in the big earthenware bowl as granny made her delicious cakes. And the small pink finger that helped itself to a taste. Are we ever too old to resist getting sticky fingers?

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Oh the smell of that rich vanilla or chocolate cake mixture being beaten in the big earthenware bowl as granny made her delicious cakes. And the small pink finger that helped itself to a taste. Are we ever too old to resist getting sticky fingers?

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Surprise Surprise – Hilary Halliwell

2800 words Women’s Fiction

Seems to me that everyone’s husband or partner always seem to outdo our own when it comes to romantic gestures or military planned surprises.

But keep the faith ladies as real surprises always happen when you least expect them to..

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Wouldn’t it be nice, I think to myself, if just for once, someone else took the initiative and planned a surprise for me? It surely isn’t that much to ask for is it? I mean, you’re not fifty every day of the year, well are you? Bob’s outside sunning himself on the lounger as is usual these days; he’s relaxing, he says, and no doubt getting over the huge fry up that I cooked him, out of the goodness of my heart, and to the detriment of his, I shouldn’t wonder!

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The End of the Line – Hilary Halliwell

2000 words Women’s Fiction

Sometimes we can put up with the unthinkable for years. We are conditioned to believe – it’s our lot, what we deserve- and that there is nothing we can do to change our destiny. Then there is the day that dawns when suddenly anything seems possible, and from deep down inside we summon up a courage that we didn’t even know we possessed …

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears

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They hadn’t spoken in the car on the way to the station. She’d looked straight ahead seeing nothing but a replay of events the night before. Then, to try and take her mind elsewhere, she thought about what to get for supper. She’d run to the shops in her lunch break, get something special. No – what was she thinking! He parked the car then they made their way in to the bustling suburban rail station packed with early morning commuters. She knew a few people on nodding terms, but today she kept her gaze to the floor. It was easier that way, yes, always easier that way.

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The Game – Hilary Halliwell

2000 words General Fiction

Under a starry sky on a foreign field two young men meet on Christmas Eve both not sure what has brought them to this place. Missing their loved ones at home on this special night they find comfort in each other’s company many miles from home.

 

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Thud, thud, thud; it was difficult to see or think in the mist but Mitch was sure it was a sound that he knew only too well. Not the thud of shelling this time, but the thud of a football, yes; a football resounding on compacted mud perhaps twenty yards in front of him out in no man’s land. The sound transported him back to his beloved Scotland. To carefree days and his youth, which had mysteriously disappeared on the overcrowded rolling troopship that had brought him here away from everything he knew and loved to hell.

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The Garden Angel – Hilary Halliwell

2300 words Feel Good Fiction

Angels take many forms. Not all have wings, live in heaven, and dress in long robes. Why, some even live right next to you without you even knowing. It’s only grief that stops you seeing them, but once your heart starts to heal they always make themselves known to you.

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Deep in thought Sylvia looked out of the window at the snowdrops shining like rays of hope in the bleakness of the winter garden. This year though, the normally joyful sign of an imminent spring had left her as cold as the day. Spring; always her favourite season used to carry with it the promise of happy times to come, she thought sadly, but now, it would always be winter because, nothing was the same, not without Frank…

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The Last Day Out – Hilary Halliwell

2000 words Women’s Fiction

Bob and his beloved wife Eileen are what some would call creatures of habit and there is nothing wrong with that. They enjoy their happy if a bit predictable life together and have done for many years. But when change comes do they really need to alter what makes them both so happy?

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Bob looked out on the summer garden, the sapphire hues of delphinium reminding him so of his Eileen… In every perfect flower that stretched out along the towering green spikes he saw, the blueness of her eyes. It seemed a mere blink since they’d met. Oh if only I’d realised how precious time was, he thought sadly. Today, Eileen sat as usual – in her special chair. Eileen always joked that, Monty, their cat, was the only other being in the whole world she’d ever allowed to sit in her chair and, that included Bob! And Monty – huge ginger and very spoilt, always took full advantage of that fact.

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The Red Coat – Hilary Halliwell

2700 words Women’s Fiction

The battles between mother and daughter about what counts as appropriate school wear is age old. I still break out into a sweat when I remember trips to  ‘fashion’ shops with my mum. I remember too the awful school uniform that changed little between when I was a dainty five and a rather buxom fifteen! How uncool was my wardrobe?

This story is included in the collection Love, Laughter, Tears

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It’d been standard issue the first week in September ever since that first year at secondary school. The winter coat, the sensible warm and, very grey, winter coat. ‘A coat says a lot about your upbringing, you know, Janet; and a lot about your parents too!’ Mother always said that. But my Dad didn’t earn a lot of money at the paint factory, so Mum would get a never never cheque from Mrs Dickson who called every Friday evening just after dad got in with his pay packet. It helped spread the cost and, take the strain off the family budget and was always paid off in time for Christmas.

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The Ring of Confidence – Hilary Halliwell

1350 words Women’s Fiction / Humour

How do you attract the woman of your desire when the competition is so tough? But what if you can’t afford a swanky car and a fat wallet like the competition? Perhaps a personal makeover may be the answer, that and a little bit of luck on the night.

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Neville looked in the bathroom mirror and grinned as two rows of sparkling white teeth grinned back… ‘My but I’m a handsome Devil; every woman with a pulse at that over sixties Valentines dance will be putty in my hands!’ Not that Neville wanted just anyone, oh no, widow, Polly Higgenbottom, was the only woman of his dreams. ‘Go for something natural; teeth should be an understated compliment to ones face; what about these?’ The dentist had warned at the first consultation. The Dentist had held up a photo of a ‘country squire’ sort of chap with a neat set of slightly off white nashers that shone subtly from under a heavy moustached smile. Neville had studied the photo meticulously.

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