Bringing the Harvest Home – Susan Jones
2900 words General Fiction
When the school trip descends on Southdowns Abbey, it is Brother Maurice’s turn to give them a guided tour. He’s not enthusiastic; in fact, he’s quite
overwhelmed by the idea. How on earth will he get through the day? What did a monk talk to children about, when most of his time was spent in meditation, and prayer?
He didn’t want to let the Brother’s down though, so, head high, he prepared for the day…
Early morning mist glistened across the gardens of the Abbey grounds, autumn well and truly showing its presence in the borders where chrysanthemums of gold, reds and bronze gave off that thyme scented musky fragrance that made them a favourite of Brother Maurice. A coach full of school children from Green acres Primary was due in at eleven o’clock. Today he was on the rota to show them around. Slightly nervous, this was why he’d adjusted his robe and combed his hair three times; he pulled on his moccasins and made his way across to the car park awaiting his visitors.
Came as ‘Me’, Left as ‘We’ – 21 stories to escape with
‘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.
‘Came as ‘me’, Left as ‘we’’ contains a mixture of women’s fiction, feel good stories and romance, while ‘This Land is My Land’ is more action and adventure driven 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.
To purchase this book please go HERE.
Read reviews HERE
Stories Included: Came as ‘Me’ and Left as ‘We’ – Caroline Scott Collins, Swept Away – Patsy Collins, Signwriting – Angela K Blackburn, Moving On – Jan Baynham, The Button Box – Tina K Burton, The End-of-the-pier Show – Derek Haycock, Marie’s Necklace – Annette Siketa, Nice – Judith Bruton, Coffee with Luna – Jeff Williams, Taking Time – Lilliana Rose, Losing the Past – Tricia Maw, Sam Something – Kate Blackadder, Celebrity Kennels – Gill McKinlay, Something to Move You – Alice Parrant, Pier into the Future – Susan Jones, The Decision – Patricia Fawcett, A Past Life – Susan Wright, Diamond Trail – Suzie Hindmarsh-Knights, Those Pesky Kids – Maggie Jones, The Embers of the Day – Rosemary J Kind, Amanda – Chris Cooke
Claudette the Cow’s Day Out – Susan Jones
750 words Children 7 – 11 years
When Claudette and Sandy decide to have an adventure, they take a trip to the seaside.
Once upon a time there was a cow called Claudette. She lived in a field of green clover and buttercups in South Devon, by the seaside. She had no Mum or Dad, but farmer Lockwood and his wife Jenny looked after him and kept him safe; his best friend was called Sandy. Every day she watched Sandy, going past the gate of her field, with his owner.
Fisherman’s Rest – Susan Jones
1100 words Ghost / Women’s / Humour
When six friends set out for a Christmas by the Sea, one of them has a vision. The others tell her it’s the hot toddy and the sea air, but when she finds a book on local legends in the holiday cottage, she isn’t so sure.
The December evening sun cast an orange blanket over Bayscombe harbour, illuminating fishing boats bobbing on an incoming tide. “Phew, here at last” Vivienne said, as she parked the car. “I’ve phoned the owner of the cottage, she’s going to meet us by the monument.” Charles jumped out of the car, stretching his arms above his head, looking out to sea. Vivienne sidled into his arms. “The others said they’d be here later. That must be Mrs Cuthbert, waiting for us.”
Lavender Days – Susan Jones
3000 words Women’s Fiction
Marie and Gladys are wondering what will happen to the piano when their Mum goes into the Oak Grange retirement home.
Morag Clancey stood by the huge French windows, arms folded as she looked out over the garden of her home of over thirty years. “I needed to speak to you both really, only now I’m downsizing, you’ll have to have a sort through, see if there’s anything you want; then I can phone for a skip. There’s lots I won’t need of course.” Morag pulled a duster from the pocket of her apron, where she always kept it, and flicked it across the top of the piano, before tinkling a tune on the ivory and black keys. “Have you seen Marie lately?” Gladys shuffled in her seat. “No, Mum, she’s busy now, with her bed and breakfast, I’ve been sorting the spare room out, decorating. You know how it is? I’ll give her a ring.”
Lucky By Name – Susan Jones
1200 words Animal / Women’s Fiction
When a little black poodle goes missing in the middle of Coventry, her family are beside themselves with worry. Will she find her way home, or could some other fate be waiting in the city centre for her?
I never dreamed for one minute I’d be getting a puppy. She was a small bundle of black fur when Mum and Dad brought her home. When they placed her into my hands, she fitted into my palm, snuggling down, making herself comfortable. “I’m going to call her ’Lucky’, my special mascot.” “That’s a good idea.” Mum smiled. They’d been worrying about me, I could tell; ever since I fell out of that tree, knocking myself unconscious. It made me see stars.
Martha Knows Best – Susan Jones
2000 word Women’s Fiction
Martha can’t help interfering. Ramona has to listen to her mother in law moaning about the man she loves and when Doddy tells her they’re going away, she jumps at the chance of a break from the old battleaxe.
“He never was much use as a child you know.” Martha Banks clicked her knitting needles faster; she was getting on to her favourite topic. Doddy was the only son of she and the late Mr. Banks and he was her great disappointment. A fact she loved to impart whenever she could. Ramona heard drivel degrading Doddy over and over. Today the coffee morning, laid on in her own front room gave Mrs. B. fresh ears only too eager to soak up Doddy gunge. “Anyone fancy a game of bingo?”
Pier into the Future – Susan Jones
1380 word Romance
As Bianca makes her way along the promenade towards Brighton Pier, will the bright lights of the fairground and the glow of the sunset bring all she’s hoping for?
This story is available in the collection Came as ‘Me’ Left as ‘We’
Bianca could see the bright lights of the pier twinkling in the night sky. It was cold for August: she wrapped her paisley scarf over her head, and tucked it into her plum velvet jacket. Walking briskly along the promenade, she practiced what she was going to say when she got there. He would be waiting by the fairground. They had discussed it over the phone. He wanted to meet up in the same place they’d met all those years earlier, planning the future together.
Sowing Seeds – Susan Jones
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Walter is finding it hard to cope since he became widowed. The woman next door means well, but all she does is make him want to go and hide. How can he make her realise he wants to be left alone?
Choosing carefully which flowers he wanted for the summer, Walter sorted through his packets of seeds. Marigolds and sweet peas were among his favourite, and cornflowers found their way in there as well. He was well known for his colourful displays in pots and baskets. Some things, like begonias and trailing early bedding such as lobelia and petunias, he picked up from the market. But he did like to grow a few things of his own. Finishing up his morning cup of tea, he made his way to the greenhouse. Sprinkling lettuce and spring onions onto the freshly laid compost in the seed trays, he made a start.
Stardust the Racehorse – Susan Jones
1600 words Women’s Fiction
Lucy loves working at the stables where she grooms and looks after Stardust. When the day of his big race draws near, she has reason to be worried.
“Well, Stardust, I’m twenty-two now, and you’re the best person I’ve ever worked with. I do realise you’re a horse, but you understand me don’t you?” Lucy laughed as Stardust nudged her with his soft pink nose, giving a huge ‘harrumph’ in agreement. “Go on you old softie.” The horse prodded his nose at the large pocket on Lucy’s anorak. “Here you are then. Just one for the moment.” Lucy held a sugar lump on the palm of her hand. She smiled as she watched Stardust chomp it up.
Summer Sunday – Susan Jones
1800 word Women’s Fiction
A relaxing day out at the air show turns into something quite different for Bella and Paul. Blue skies, picnic at the ready, not forgetting sun hats and plenty of squash, they were in for a day to remember.
The loudspeaker crackled as the announcement bellowed around the heat haze that encompassed the leafy Warwickshire countryside. “Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look to your right, you will see the American Mustang approaching from the Leicester direction. You see that spec on the horizon, approaching over the trees? This is the plane that was used in World War two;” The break in the speaker’s voice was hard to miss. “I’d like us to have two minutes silence to remember the pilot who lost his life in action. It’s been rebuilt for your enjoyment today.” Silence, followed by gentle murmurings rippled around the crowd. Snippets could be heard, ’real plane,’ others were saying, ’the actual one.’
Text With Love – Susan Jones
1850 words Feel Good Story
Edna is reading through her text messages and has to delete some so as to make room for the latest message that’s popped into her in-box. Reluctantly she deletes the everyday messages from her family and friends and remembers fondly the events mentioned.
When she gets to read the latest one, she’s slightly disappointed, but her husband makes sure she has a birthday treat to remember.
‘Do you need anything from this end of town?’ Barry leaned across to open the glove box and put his driving glasses away. ‘I only need the bank.’ Edna shook her head, ‘No, I’ll wait here; I’ve got all we need.’ Groceries from their favourite supermarket filled the back seat of the car. ‘That lot should last us a few days.’ She gave Barry a wave when he looked back as he crossed the car park. Since Barry had taken early retirement, shopping together, then home to try the crossword in her weekly magazine had become a Thursday morning habit. Reaching for a quick peek at the stories waiting to be read, Edna flicked the pages, then decided to save them for later, as a treat with afternoon tea.
The Magic Mixture – Susan Jones
1500 words Children 7 – 11 years
Glynis and Geraint are fed up of having to work hard every day. All they want to do is go to school.
Glynis rolled out the scone mix, cut the dough into thick round wedges then placed them onto the enormous baking tray. Geraint followed her round with the pastry brush painting egg wash across the tops of the deep scones. Betty Juniper opened the gigantic aga stove and filled the oven with the hug trays of cakes. ‘Hey Glyn, where’s that barley?’ She had her head deep inside the gigantic pot stirring the brew when she heard Geraint’s muffled voice. Happy with the bubbling creamy mixture Glynis wobbled slightly on the tall stool she used to perform the daily jobs. Turning with a quick twist she pointed the wooden spoon towards the larder.
Three Little Words – Susan Jones
Suzy is in a panic! She’s lost her sparkling emerald ring. Not only that, in a few hours from now, family and friends would be arriving for the engagement party. No doubt, they’ll all want to admire the ring. How will Suzy explain the absence of her treasured possession?
‘Julie, it’s getting serious. The party will be in a couple of hours and I’ve looked everywhere. What am I going to do?’ Suzy bit on her bottom lip, trying not to cry. Difficult, considering she’d lost the engagement ring, a present from fiancé Nick only a week ago. Her best friend put the kettle on. ‘We’ll have a cup of tea and then go over all the places you’ve looked. Then we could think of more places it might be.’ ‘I’m not sure there is anywhere else, but you’re right, no point getting into a tizzy. There’s no way I can tell Nick, though. Perhaps I could wear gloves?’
Tommy’s Dragons – Susan Jones
2100 words Women’s Fiction
Gail Bolton is feeling apprehensive when she takes her son to Playschool for the first time. She soon realises that he’s more than capable of making friends, discovering strange creatures, and having more fun than she imagined.
Gail Bolton drove her estate car out of the car park at the village playschool where she’d left Tommy on his first day. She fought back tears as she made her way to the supermarket. She needed a few groceries; glad to keep busy and able to keep from worrying about her only child as he’d made his way into class with the others. Tommy was three and a half going on six. Forever asking loads of questions. Things like. “Why is the sky blue, Mum? Why do birds whistle more when it’s sunny?” Each day brought more questions. Gail felt sad and empty. Her stomach churned, wondering how he was getting on. She chided herself as she spoke out-loud.