Clos de St Paul – Michael Barry
2035 words Romance
She is determined to make a go of her newly inherited Burgundy vineyard after a bruising life as a glamorous playgirl. Men are well off the agenda. But there are definite problems with Clos de St Paul. A man who is both a wine expert and seeking commitment might just be a perfect choice.
“Hi there” came a voice from the open winery door. Chrissie gasped, spilling some of the wine she was so carefully pouring into the vinometer under Michel’s critical eye. When Chrissie’s father, Julian, had died, she had decided to continue running his winemaking business in Burgundy, even though she knew nothing about wine. It would have been easy to have just sold it and carried on living her accustomed playgirl life.
Coincidence – Michael Barry
2580 Women’s Fiction
When an older couple approach Ian to ask him if he’s their son, he is staggered. A few years later, he briefly meets his seeming twin. Staggered again, he sets out to find some answers, but when he succeeds, they are so far-fetched he can only deny them totally.
An elderly couple caught his eye. They were about a hundred yards away and walking towards him. Why he should suddenly notice them, he couldn’t say. Lots of other people were walking towards him along the Promenade as well. After all, Eastbourne in summer is just the place to go if you feel like strolling along a Promenade in the sun. They were nearer now – and they were definitely looking at him. That is why he noticed them. As they came closer still, they huddled somewhat together, not quite talking to each other, but unmistakably sharing something. It chilled him in some strange, uneasy way.
Presence – Michael Barry
1500 words Humour
Stan and Elsie may lead extremely conservative lives but Stan at least has welcomed their new wide-screen, all-colour, high-definition, auto-presence, bells-and-whistles, digital TV receiver with built-in recorder with open arms. But with technology this advanced a basic fault can have unforeseen, even fatal, consequences.
This story is included in the collection This Land is My Land
The first minuscule bubbles started to break on the tremulous white surface of the milk. With a surprising deftness matured through long years of practice, Elsie swept the non-stick pan from the ceramic hob while simultaneously switching it off. She stirred the contents into the two cocoa mugs and then immediately doused the pan under the cold water tap to pre-soak the milky coat sticking to the inside. From the biscuit jar she extracted an attractive assortment, choosing carefully and making absolutely sure that she included Stan’s favourites, the crunchy ones with chocolate chips embedded in them.
The Club – Michael Barry
1280 words General Fiction
When a young man confronts his prospective father-in-law in his prestigious club seeking permission to propose to his daughter, many ears are tuned to the ensuing altercation. He is a well-known Radical separatist, the Professor, a pillar of the right-wing Irish establishment – and demands a high price for his daughter’s hand.
It was daunting even for a self-confident young man, entering the hallowed portals of the Conservative Club. This was not simply because he was not a member, but rather more importantly because he was well aware that his own politics were of a significantly different hue. He was directed to the Smoking Room and as he entered this inner sanctum, he found a number of members already entrenched. He had been here before of course, but nevertheless – it was still daunting!
This Land is My Land – 16 short reads for lazy days
‘This Land is My Land’ and ‘Came as ‘me’, Left as ‘we’’ are ‘his and hers’ holiday reads from Alfie Dog Fiction. The collections bring together some of the best short stories from 37 authors across the globe.
‘This Land is My Land’ is more action and adventure driven while ‘Came as ‘me’, Left as ‘we’’ contains a mixture of women’s fiction, feel good stories and romance, and both contain stories to leave the reader thinking. Alfie Dog Fiction’s managing director, Rosemary Kind, says “We know from our readers that they like to stock up on reading matter for their holidays and these collections offer the perfect way to do just that.”
Both collections have a truly international feel, not only through the spread of the writers but the fascinating backdrops to the stories. Within the pages the reader will travel from diamond mining in Australia to a lone tree in an African desert, from the quintessential English seaside Pier to the jungles of Malaysia and coast to coast across America.
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Reader Reviews HERE
Stories included: Winter Light – Henry Mitchell, Tiburcio’s Treasure – G. Lloyd Helm, Fordsburg Apology – Tom Rhoyd, The Sergeant Major Instructor – Martin Gosling, Presence – Michael Barry, Deadly Nightshade – Peter Lingard, The Tree – Dr. Robert Clifford, Tightrope – Michael Mohr, Rosie The Riveter – Chris Cooke, The Refugee – Stephen Rowson, Grey Matter – John Malone, Hunting at Dawn – Ian D. Smith, Under the Baobab Tree – Roger Woodcock, A Forgotten Key -Gerard Taylor Wallace, The Storekeeper’s Town – Paul Peppers, Beasties that Bite and Sting – Terence Brand