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A Christmas Wish – Samantha Tonge

1400 words Feel Good Fiction

Alone in the house, with husband Tony at work, Janet hears a strange noise. She creeps downstairs to find Santa in her lounge. Either she’s dreaming or it’s a burglar, right…?

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Janet turned over in bed and lazily persuaded herself that she hadn’t heard a noise. Perhaps, like the other night, she’d left the utility room open and her cat, Smudge, had escaped and was taking a tour of the house. Janet chuckled. He really was a scamp. Perhaps he had unrolled a ball of her best cashmere wool. With a yawn, she closed her eyes again. It was Christmas Eve. She really had to sleep. Tomorrow would be busy, what with Mum and Dad coming around for the day.

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A Clean Break – Samantha Tonge

1200 words Women’s Fiction

Worn down by the recession and daily grind, Ken and Linda take drastic measures. However, their new life in France isn’t all it appears to be…

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“I asked for what?” Ken put down his glass of wine and skimmed a hand over his bald head. “Poison with chips. You’ve got to pronounce it right. The French word for fish is le poisson.” From the lounger Linda squinted across at him and grinned. The midday sun reflected off the yacht-shaped pendant lying on her tanned chest. He’d bought it from the local market the week before, bartering down the trader before blowing what he’d saved on a box of croissants.

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A Lost Cause – Samantha Tonge

1700 words Feel Good / Animal Story

A home-less kitten makes house-proud Juliet realize just how much she has changed, since having children.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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‘It’s such a cliché.’ Juliet groaned. ‘Everyone told me it would happen. I insisted it wouldn’t.’ ‘What?’ asked her sister, Susan, who had called in after spending the morning on the phone to tradesmen. Her washing machine had leaked the previous evening and her laminate floor was ruined. ‘Getting broody – now that Emily is in reception year.’ Juliet placed two coffees on the kitchen table. She offered Susan a biscuit and sat down opposite her. ‘Other mums warned me that’s how I’d feel, when my youngest started school full-time.’

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A Red, Red, Rose – Samantha Tonge

Romance

Despite what their fellow students say, Alastair and Rose are just good friends – after all, a Scot and an English girl could never make the perfect couple… Or could they?

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

 

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With a grin, Alistair lightly punched Rose on the shoulder, as if he were her brother – except that he wasn’t. Quite simply, they were the best of friends. Rose tired of explaining this to her housemates, Cheryl and Susie, who regularly winked and nudged, convinced that the Scotsman and English girl made the perfect couple. ‘Glad you chose to study French, then?’ said Alistair, as Rose gave another sigh. They’d just left the university buildings and were heading towards the library. ‘Did you keep up with everything, in that lecture?’

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A Sting in the Tail – Samantha Tonge

1200 words Women’s Fiction

Devious Ruby is determined that colleague, Maria, will not get together with the new office hunk, Jack. However, a trip to the beach, where Ruby hopes to romantically ensnare him, doesn’t quite go to plan.

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Monday morning at the call centre was Ruby’s worst time of the week – until a fortnight ago, when Jack joined her team. Now she was the first into work every day, clothes carefully ironed and an extra layer of mascara applied. That particular morning, sunlight had flooded across their desk, highlighting his tousled, blonde hair. She smiled at him, but he was too busy to notice. ‘Coffee?’ she asked and stood up with her empty mug. ‘Cheers,’ said Jack and averted his gaze from the screen for a moment.

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Bluebirds of Happiness – Samantha Tonge

2700 words Feel Good Story

When Billy’s gran loses her blue budgie, the young lad is determined to cheer her up. With the help of a school project and his dad, Billy provides his gran with not one, but several bluebirds of happiness.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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On the sofa, Billy glanced sideways at his gran. They’d been chatting about their favourite quiz show on telly. He sipped his juice and gazed out at the back garden, and the oak tree at the bottom, waving in the wind. They hadn’t played cards for a while and about to ask her for a game, Billy turned back to her neat grey curls, smart blue trousers and cream blouse… Nothing about her appearance was unusual, except that the familiar cheery mouth was down-turned. The bungalow seemed so quiet without Sky.

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By My Side – Romance Collection

By My Side- cover small20 Romance Stories

Two 5* reviews on Amazon

By My Side brings you 20 of the best romantic stories from writers around the world.

Be transported to the past in the war-torn Three Months of Summer and back to the present in the gentle modern everyday situation of The Pool Doctor. Feel your heart racing through the ethical dilemmas in Would you Shoot Me? and the danger and drama of Run From the Sun.

These stories will transport you to a world of love and romance and leave you breathless. In far-away locations or in everyday situations there really is someone for everyone.

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

For other sales please use your local Amazon store HERE.

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Chasing Rainbows – Samantha Tonge

2000 words Feel Good Story

With the new baby and a young daughter  to look after, Tom and Ruby’s relationship is suffering and the strain shows. Yet after a walk out with daughter Anna, to find the end of a rainbow, Tom realizes that his wife Ruby is the ultimate treasure.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Tom helped Anna into her polka dot boots and pink anorak. Baby in her arms, his wife, Ruby, hovered a few feet away. ‘Tom, don’t be like this,’ she said, blue eyes twinkling. ‘You know I’m always right.’ ‘Not this time, love. In my humble opinion, our budget just won’t stretch to a holiday this year – especially now that we’ve got two children.’ He straightened up. ‘George needs nappies like they’re going out of fashion and the car’s hardly new. On top of daily spends, we need something in the bank, for a rainy day.’

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Cherry Blossom for Confetti – Samantha Tonge

900 words Feel Good Fiction

A night in the pub with good friend Andy, doesn’t calm Pete’s nerves about his upcoming wedding – is he about to make the biggest mistake of his life?

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Pete grinned. ‘You know my Jules. She’d never allow guests to throw something that wasn’t biodegradable. Her best mate, Lydia, has a tree in her garden and will collect a boxful of petals just before she leaves for the church.’ ‘What about rice?’ ‘Sensible as she is, my Jules is a woman, remember. Confetti – it’s pretty. Despite her protestations, she must have a secret hankering for pink.’ Both men smiled.

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Coco and Biscuits – Samantha Tonge

1600 words Feel Good / Animal Story

As a result of helping out at the local cat rescue centre, routine-loving Norah has to make some unexpected changes.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Poor Gill,’ said Norah, as she stood by the front window, which she did every evening in the summer, right on eight o’clock. Having spent the evening in the lounge, reading or listening to the radio with her husband, she would cast an eye over her favourite shrubs, check for dead heads or random branches that might need pruning. Then it was into the kitchen to fetch tea and biscuits for her and John. Any later would give her indigestion in bed, any earlier and her stomach would gurgle in the night with hunger.

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Far From the Tree – Samantha Tonge

2100 words Feel Good Fiction

A school activity session on Father’s Day makes young Tim realize he isn’t so different from his dad.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Mouth down-turned, Tim shrugged at Andy, his dad. What had been the point in even asking? As if there was any chance his parents would buy him a new souped-up phone, like that of Josh, his best friend. Just this once, Tim would have liked to keep up with his pal’s gadgets, instead of always being the last to get the latest computer game. He still hadn’t got his own laptop. Tim sighed and told himself not to act spoilt. Mum and Dad were right – “things” didn’t matter, it was what was inside that counted. Except Josh seemed to have it all and they weren’t even at High School until next year – a flat-screen telly in his room, cool computer, amazing digital camera and “smart” phone (whatever that was).

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Icing on the Cake – Samantha Tonge

1400 words Feel Good Fiction

Trevor raises one eyebrow at his pregnant daughter’s unusual “gender-reveal” party until wife, Angela, points out that he hasn’t always been such a stick-in-the-mud.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Trevor smoothed down his tie and undid his jacket buttons. It was half-past two. He sat down on the terracotta sofa. They had thirty minutes to drive to their daughter’s house, to take part in… He shook his head… A gender-reveal party. ‘Are you almost ready, love?’ he hollered. ‘No need to shout,’ said Angela and smiled as she walked into the lounge. ‘You look beautiful, Ang. I’ve always liked that green dress.’ ‘Thanks, darling. You don’t look so bad yourself.’ She glanced at her watch. ‘Shall we leave in ten minutes? I just rang Deborah – she’s running a bit late. We don’t want to get there too early in case she’s busy with last minute preparations. I offered to help, but…’

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Just Around the Corner – Samantha Tonge

1300 words Feel GoodStory

Ben makes his way to work on a grey, cloudy morning, his spirits as low as they can go. However, a day spent in the company of new colleague, Daisy, makes his return journey very different.

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It had been that kind of week when rays of sunshine snuck through Santa beard cloud, with the promise that winter was finally moving on. Yellow daffs swayed in the breeze to the chorus of chirping, nest-building birds. The clocks had moved forward. The prospect of glove and scarf-free spring days was just around the corner. Ben whistled as he picked up his briefcase, all ready for another day at work.

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Little Silver Fish and Mr Whale – Samantha Tonge

500 words Children 3 – 7 years

Can these unlikely allies team up to save the day for each other?

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Gaily, Little Silver Fish swam through his favourite weeds, when suddenly he spotted something large, on the seabed. He raised his tail and dived down. Two sharp eyes gazed up at him.

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Looking for Clues – Samantha Tonge

3300 words Romance

When Beth goes on a twilight nature walk, tracking wildlife with friendly neighbour James, she makes an unexpected catch.

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Beth slipped on her light jacket, as the sun began its downward journey to the horizon. Even though it was longest day of the year, a chill nipped the evening air. Why had she agreed to a woodland walk, on a Friday night, after a hard week at work? Instead she could have been holed up in her cottage, listening to music with a purring Buttons on her lap. With a wry smile, she tucked black curls behind her ears and gazed across the tarmac car park at James, her neighbour. ‘Glad you accepted my invitation?’ he said and grinned. ‘You must have caught me at a weak moment.’ She grinned back. ‘I did – you’d just been complaining how rarely you go out on a Friday night, these days.’

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Luck o’ the Irish – Samantha Tonge

2800 words Feel Good Story

Jenny’s hopes of a romance with Shane are dashed, on St Patrick’s Day, until events take an unexpected turn.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Bar manager, Shane, entered the room and frowned. This made him no less attractive to Jenny, who stopped cleaning tables for a moment, to admire his striking, marine-blue eyes. When dozing off, at night, she could picture every curve, every freckle of his face. Jenny smiled at him, a familiar wave of pain squeezing her chest. Unrequited love was a cruel thing. Even if he had been interested, the bar manager strongly discouraged relationships between staff at the Rising Sun– ever since two bartenders had split up and argued in front of customers. ‘Now, how are you, this afternoon, Jenny? Looks like you’re doing a grand job,’ he said.

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Lucy Ladybird’s Disappearing Spots – Samantha Tonge

500 words Children 3 – 7 years

Can Pip Pixie solve the mystery of Lucy Ladybird’s disappearing spots?

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One Monday morning, Pip Pixie made his way to school, whistling a cheerful tune. Half-way there, he spotted his friend Lucy Ladybird. She was asleep at the foot of the great oak tree, on a comfy leaf, just in front of her little wooden front door.

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Messy Buckets – Samantha Tonge

1300 word Feel Good Romance

Widower Stan takes a shine to a lady on his morning train, convinced that she is French. Finally he plucks up the courage to talk to her and discovers they have a lot more in common they he ever suspected.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Butterflies in his stomach, Stan boarded his usual section of the morning train, loosened his collar and scanned the carriage. There she was – bobbed, silver-streaked hair straight and slick, knee-length skirt and jacket perfectly pressed. With her tidily rolled-up umbrella and manicured nails, she was sophisticated, elegant and no doubt out of his league. Yet there was something about her lopsided smile; something about the way she bit her lip when concentrating on one of her magazines. She’d brightened up his morning journey every day for the last week and this would be the last time he saw her until after the weekend.

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Midsummer Knight’s Dream – Samantha Tonge

4200 words Romance

Unlike her sister, Grace had always liked quirkier heroes, so handsome hunk Jake didn’t really fit the bill. Whereas caramel-eyed Sam sent her heart fluttering, but didn’t he have a girlfriend? If not, who was Holly?

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‘Handsome Prince Philip from “Sleeping Beauty” was my favourite,’ said Mel and with a spoon scooped up her last mouthful of cereal. Grace yawned. ‘Cheeky Peter Pan was mine – although Robin Hood was very daring. Then there was determined Pongo from 101 Dalmations…’ Mel snorted. ‘They’re all a bit quirky – what about Prince Charming from Snow White? Or muscle-bound Tarzan? Now they really were heroes.’ She grinned. ‘We certainly watched a lot of films when we were little. Remember how Gran often used to sit with us and knit at the same time?’

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Mirror Mirror – Samantha Tonge

1800 words Feel Good story

Graham is amused by his daughter’s resolution not to look in the mirror so often. Indeed, after an encounter with a young man she likes Ellie really does discover that looks are not the most important thing, after all.

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Ellie rushed downstairs, handbag swinging to and fro on her shoulder. ‘Okay, Dad, I’m ready,’ she called. ‘I was just on the phone. Molly needed some help with her homework.’ Rubbing his hands on a tea-towel, Graham walked into the hallway. ‘You? Ready? But I only said we were going out, twenty minutes ago,’ he said, eyes twinkling. ‘Normally I write off an hour – especially on a Saturday morning, when you’re on a go-slow.’ ‘Ha, ha,’ said Ellie and slipped into her leather jacket. ‘I’m not that bad. Anyway…’ She cleared her throat. ‘I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution.’

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Missing Piece of the Jigsaw – Samantha Tonge

1250 words Romance

Val’s quest to find the missing piece of a jigsaw lands her in casualty and brings her more than she’d hoped for.

This story is included in the collection By My Side 

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Val sat down at her desk and studied the last corner of the five hundred piece jigsaw. This was the life – after all, retirement was supposed to be about doing those things you’d never previously had time for. Life as a clothes shop manager had been busy, alongside bringing up Julie, alone. Val smiled at a small framed photo, sitting on the far end of the desk. A handsome man in a big-collared, Seventies shirt smiled back. Jeff had been a good husband. If only it had been the law to wear seatbelts in cars, back then.

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Mr and Mrs – Samantha Tonge

1200 words Women’s Fiction

A shopping trip tests just how well Roy knows his sceptical wife of almost 40 years, Maggie – will he impress her or confirm her doubts?

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Roy slipped into his anorak and felt his back trouser pocket. He mustn’t forget his wallet, today. What he had to buy was important. ‘Just off into town, to run a few errands,’ he called to Maggie. Maggie appeared in the hall way, old cords on, ready to go outside and weed the borders. ‘Could you pick up some bananas from the grocer’s, for lunch? What else are you getting?’ ‘Never you mind – just a few items, to prove how much I love you.’ Roy gave a wink.

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One Lump or Two? – Samantha Tonge

1600 words Feel Good Fiction

Wendy strives to impress her boss when he comes to dinner, but will inflexible husband, John, scupper her plans?

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Wendy took a deep breath and pulled off her apron. It wasn’t every day your new boss came to dinner and things weren’t running as smoothly as she had hoped. The steak and kidney pie pastry was too crumbly and she couldn’t find her favourite lipstick. John had made an effort, and even bought two candleholders to match their tablecloth. Yet as seven o’clock approached, he’d tugged continuously at the collar of his new shirt and tutted about the expensive bottle of red she’d bought. ‘What’s wrong with our usual plonk?’ he asked for the tenth time, just as the doorbell rang.

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Sisters, Sisters – Samantha Tonge

Feel Good Story

Should Gwyneth really have a drastic makeover, to look more glamorous, like her sister? Two stick insects help her decide.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Gwyneth shook her head, marvelling at how gently her granddaughter handled the stick insects. One week ago, ten year old Megan, had finally persuaded her parents to let her buy two. For months the little girl had saved, earning extra pocket money by helping her dad clean the car and doing the washing-up. ‘Go, on, Grannie, let Rose climb up you, she’s the adventurous one.’ Megan held out the spindly little beast, the least striking and smallest of the two.

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Spice Up Your Life – Samantha Tonge

3600 words Feel Good Story

Thanks to her gran, Nicky lands a job at a charity shop which adds sparkle to her career plans and offers the chance of love.

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Nicky smiled at Gran, after enjoying a large mouthful of Battenburg cake. ‘Thanks, Gran,’ she said. ‘I deserve this, after the day I’ve had. I thought GCSEs were difficult, until moving into the Sixth Form. Now the work is on a whole new level, altogether.’ She took another bite of the pink and yellow sponge and closed her eyes as, effortlessly, it dissolved in her mouth – so much for the New Year resolution which was supposed to transform her into a dynamic, attractive fashion goddess.

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