fiction and other writing

Welcome

Penny 7 I’m writing this blog to share some of my writing. You’ll find stories, poems, reviews and updates on my books. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Do leave comments and I’ll try and reply.

The Child of Time

http://mybook.to/ChildofTime

I’m thrilled that The Child of Time has won a silver award in the paranormal/suspense category of the Reader’s Choice Awards in the Connections eMagazine. It also came seventh overall. Thank you everone who voted.

Connections is a quarterly online magazine that has short stories, serials, recipes, articles about authors, new releases and much more. For authors it’s a great place to submit stories, new releases and freebies and for readers there’s a wealth of content. There were loads of excellent books amongst the finalists of the competition and I’ve printed the top ten listed in the magazine for you below. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

I’m so thrilled that my book, ‘The Child of Time’ is a finalist for the Reader’s Choice Awards with Connections eMagazine. You can vote in this competition until 23 July 2022 and you’re allowed to vote once a day.

I’d love you to vote for The Child of Time here

The Child of Time is a collection of ghost and paranormal stories, which explores the possibilities of things we may not know about our world. It’s pure escapism and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can read ir for free or you can buy the ebook from Amazon for £1.99/$2.99 – paperback for £5/$6.64.

All votes are much appreciated and there are lots of great books in different categories to vote for.

I’m so thrilled that my book, ‘The Child of Time’ is a finalist for the Reader’s Choice Awards with Connections eMagazine. Thank you to whoever nominated the book. You can vote in this competition until 23 July 2022 and you’re allowed to vote once a day.

I’d love you to vote for The Child of Time here

The Child of Time is a collection of ghost and paranormal stories, which explores the possibilities of things we may not know about our world. It’s pure escapism and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can read ir for free or you can buy the ebook from Amazon for £1.99/$2.99 – paperback for £5/$6.64.

Connections E-Magazine is a free quarterly magazine run by author Melanie P Smith and Rhoda D’Ettore. It contains articles, short stories and information about books and new releases. It’s also completely FREE. It’s a great magazine, which has lovely graphics and loads of information about books, which we all love.

If you love short stories don’t forget my other books: Lady in the Woods The Mermaid Pebble on the Beach and Missing

I’m hoping to get another book out before Christmas. There are just so many stories that need to be written and do let me know if you enjoy any of the books.

Do you like fantasy?

The Truth Finder

When I started writing this trilogy, I intended it to be a young adult novel, but analysing who reads it, it was read by all age groups. It tells the tale of Vrail in the fifth millennium. He can see what you’re thinking and as he’s left on his own at a young age he has to find his way in life.

Life is dangerous for those with special gifts, as many want to exploit them, others want Vrail to spy on their loved ones, but he has to find ways to use his gift for good.

This is a quote from one of the reviews.

“Having raised four daughters who now have teenagers of their own I am always searching for books I feel would be suitable for them. I read many and most I reject – either I think they are simple or they do not hold my attention. THE TRUTH FINDER is on my A list and highly recommended. It is thought provoking, stimulating and futuristic with enough modern touches to make it feasible. Mind reading, telepathic powers, villains, all combined into one good story that is guaranteed to keep a young mind wondering and turning the pages. Enjoyable.”

The Visualizer

The second book, The Visualizer is about Seek. She has the gift of being able to visualize objects, such as a butterfly and transform into one. She learns to do sky writing and to fly.

The world in the fifth millennium is unstable and the city of Mizair is at risk of being reclaimed by the evil Ruler Gettison. Seek tries to find a way to bring peace to the city.

This is a quote from one of the reviews.

I loved reading the Truth Finder (book 1), so when I heard about book 2 – The Visualiser, I couldn’t wait to read it. Just like the first book, I really enjoyed the second. It’s a great book with well developed characters. I particularly liked Seek. She’s a very strong character.

The Healer

The final book in the series is The Healer. Aley lives in a world that has beeen partitioned into habitable and unihabitable, but he believes that the uninhabitable part may be healing from the effects of war and pollution. He sets off to discover the truth using his healing powers along the way.

Here’s a quote from one of the reviews

The Future Earth series is a fantasy that so well-grounded it’s believable… or it is while you’re reading. “The Healer” is Aley. He ventures into the unknown world beyond the three cities most people believe are all that remain after nuclear war, and what he finds is fascinating.

Penny Luker truly “gets under the skin” of every character. There’s love, hate, fear, bravery, jealousy, generosity, corruption, friendship… and a dog called Spike.

Thank you to my lovely reviewers, Robert, Lacey and Sarah and to all the other wonderful people who have left reviews for my books. You truly brighten my day.

The Truth Finder is FREE on Monday 2.5.2022 and Tuesday 3.5.2022 You can get it here. It is also free on Kindle Unlimited. £1.99/$1.99 to buy the e-book and £8.20/$7.64 for the paperback.

You can pick up The Visualizer here. It is free on Kindle Unlimited. £1.99/$2.71 to buy the e-book and £8.20/$8.56 for the paperback.

If you’d like to read The Healer, you can find it here. It is free on Kindle Unlimited. £1.99/$2.74 to buy the e-book and £7,00/$9.62 for the paperback.

The Healer

Happy New Year

Latest release

The Child of Time is my latest release. It’s a book of gentle ghost stories and paranormal stories for you to enjoy. You can buy it here. It’s only £5.00/$6.64 for the paperback and £1.99/$2.99 for the e-book. It’s also FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

The New Year

The New Year is on its way. Are you making any new years resolutions? I don’t think I will because so many plans have been scuppered in the last two years, however, I do make a point of doing things I enjoy, every day. Just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean we should stop doing things we love.

I’ve just been for a lovely walk with my son, his wife and my grandson. Being outside always lifts my spirits and being with family is so special. For Christmas, I received many books by authors I love, so I shall be doing lots of reading, this year. (Of course I do lots of reading every year, if I’m honest.) I subscribe to Simona Scotto’s ballet warm-up classes. Now anyone who knows me, might be having a good laugh about me doing ballet at my age and size, but the beauty of these classes is, that no-one gets to see me do it, and I always feel invigorated, when I’ve done a class. I also subscribe to Raw Umber Studio’s online art classes. You can either join them live, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions, or do them at times that are convenient to you. Of course nothing beats live classes, where you get to hang out with other people in real life, but online classes can still be fun.

So many people have been ill, lost loved ones or had medical appointments delayed in the last two years and the news is extremely depressing, but there are countless wonderful workers that have kept us going through these testing times. Obviously if we can reach out and help someone then we should, but it’s important that we look after ourselves as well, so why not try to do at least one thing you enjoy, every day. That way, this time will not be wasted time.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and healthy 2022 and let me know what things you’re doing that you enjoy.

Happy 2022.

The Child of Time is a small collection of ghost and paranormal stories and is being released on Friday 17 December. There are fourteen brand new stories and three bonus stories, from earlier anthologies. If you like to read stories that explore other dimensions, pick up a copy.

It’s free if you subscribe to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited or you can buy the ebook for £1.99/$2.99 or it’s £5/$6.64 for the paperback.

The Child of Time and Lady in the Woods are great Christmas presents or stocking fillers.

The following story is one of the bonus story in The Child of Time. It was first published in the anthology, The Mermaid.

Witch Hunt

I could smell food cooking close by. My stomach responded to the aroma. After days of just water and stale biscuits, I longed for something tasty. Automatically, I walked faster. As I turned the corner, I saw an old man sitting by a fire roasting some meat; probably rabbit. He was big and bald and although his back was slightly bent, he didn’t look to be past his strength. Nervously, I walked towards him, wondering if he’d be friendly. I certainly didn’t want any trouble. He heard my footsteps and turned towards me.

‘Don’t suppose you’ve enough to share?’ I called, stopping where I was. I didn’t want to look as if I’d grab his food and run.

He looked me up and down and then smiled. ‘There’s plenty of food, if you’re on your own. Come and join me.’

I dumped my bag by the fire and sat on my black cloak. Brushing my long dark hair away from my face I let the flames warm me. It was the most wonderful feeling. Soon, the meal was ready. I cannot describe how delicious the food was. I wiped the juices away from my chin, with my hand and picked up the mug of strong black tea. It was not to my taste but I didn’t want to offend my host.

‘So, why is a pretty young thing like you wandering around here, on your own, at this time of night,’ he asked.

‘I’m Topaz. I live in Bycross Mill, in the valley beyond and I’m travelling to see my grandmother. She lives in Wootten Stanley. Somehow, I seem to have taken a wrong turn and I don’t recognise the landscape. I don’t suppose you have a map.’

He took out a small map, made from a lined backed material and placed it on the ground before me. He pointed first to Bycross Mill and then to Wootten Stanley. Then, he showed me where we were. Past Wootten Stanley

‘You’re miles out of your way. It would be dangerous to travel tonight. You’d better stay here, by the fire, until the morning.’

‘So, why are you here?’ I asked.

He looked at me closely. ‘You’re looking tired,’ he said. ‘Lay down by the fire and I’ll tell you who I am.’

He looked a kind man and he’d just fed me and offered me a place to rest for the night, so I spread out my cloak and lay down. He didn’t move. The fire lent its rosy glow and I felt safe.

‘My name is Volt Hunter. I’m hunter by name and by profession. I hunt witches and deliver them to the authorities.’

Fear spread through me and chilled my bones. I sat up slowly and schooled my voice to be calm.

‘So, you believe in witches, do you? I don’t. Are you telling me you’ve actually met a real witch?’

‘Who knows?’ he smiled. ‘I get paid for delivering them to the authorities and that’s the end of my job. Do you know there’s a witch on the run from Wootten Stanley at the moment? Let me show you her poster.’

He leaned over and passed me the poster. There in front of me was a drawing of my likeness. I handed it back to him.

‘Poor woman. She’ll die a most excruciating death. I’m glad you know I’m not a witch.’

‘Now, how do I know that, Topaz?’

‘Well, it’s obvious. I approached you for food. A witch wouldn’t need to do that. A witch, if such beings exist, would be able to catch their own food; light their own fire. That’s what they do, isn’t it?’

He smiled. ‘I think you’re missing the point, dear girl. I just have to deliver someone who looks like the poster and I get paid. You’ll do, whether or not you’re a witch.’

‘So, what happens now? Do you tie me up and haul me back to the village in the middle of the night?’

‘No, Topaz. You lie down again and you’ll sleep. Your tea was drugged. You can be comfortable tonight. Tomorrow when we’re both rested, I’ll take you to the village. It can be as easy or as hard as you like.’

‘Don’t you care what they’ll do to me? And what about my grandmother? How can you condemn me to a death by drowning or by fire? Doesn’t it prey on your conscience? Do you have no concept of good and evil?’

‘Lie down NOW, Topaz. I have to eat just like the next man. I’ve never killed any woman, witch or otherwise. If you really want to know what I think, I’ll tell you.’

I lay back down on my cloak.

‘Yes, I really want to know.’

‘Obviously, there’s no such thing as witches. These poor creatures have just annoyed someone powerful, but that’s their problem, not mine. I don’t commit the murder. It’s not my responsibility. In your case, I think it’s a terrible waste to kill someone so beautiful and young, but that’s mankind for you. Now go to sleep.’

He got out a rug and lay down on the other side of the fire. Soon his snores could be heard rattling into the night. I sat up slowly and then stood up, quietly lifting my cloak from the ground. I wrapped it round myself. How lucky I had poured the tea into the ground behind me. It had smelt foul. I looked over at Volt Hunter and silently swore he would never cause another woman to die a terrifying death.

In the morning, a tiny mouse woke up on the rug by the dying fire. I was walking in the fresh sunshine, listening to the birds. I laughed at the thought of how many predators there are for mice. He would be hunted every day of his life, be it a short one or a long one.

This weekend I’m giving away my e-book, Pebble on the Beach. Why not download and enjoy some short stories with a cuppa? Pebble on the Beach contains lots of great stories.

All my books are free if you subscribe to kindle unlimited, and if you don’t, they cost £1.99 or $2.99. Find out more at:

https://mybook.to/Missingshortstories

https://mybook.to/Pebble

https://mybook.to/TheMermaidShort

https://mybook.to/LadyintheWoods

Lady in the Woods was released in October this year and has some fabulous short stories. There’s two Inspector Winsford stories and my favourite, September Time, which explores the theme of ‘The grass is always greener…’ plus lots more.

If you’re struggling to buy Christmas presents, why not take a look at my books? The short stories are all under £10 or $10. That’s great value for money and hopefully something to enjoy.

Coming soon a small collection of ghost and paranormal stories.

Free Poetry

I love reading and writing poetry. I think it’s the most concise form of writing and really makes you focus your mind. I like to experiment with different forms of poetry and find that some work better than others, but most of all I like to write accessible poetry. When I read a poem I don’t want an academic exercise, trying to understand what the author meant. I want poetry that make you feel some emotion and makes you reflect about the world we live in. Most of all I try to write poetry that you will enjoy; poetry that you can dip into in those spare five minutes, but want to return to. So why not try out some of my poetry?

Nature’s Gold will be free Friday, November 5-7, 2021 on Amazon Kindle. I’ve been busy updating covers and doing small revisions.

All the books are free on Kindle Unlimited all of the time and they’re also available for only £5.00 each as paperbacks in the UK and under $7.00 in US.

Nature’s Gold

mybook.to/NatureGold

Autumn Gold

mybook.to/AutumnGold

The Shadows of Love

http://mybook.to/shadowsoflove

These little books make ideal pressies for Christmas, with pretty covers, gentle poems and of course they’re easy to post to friends.

This is a new release of short stories for adults, which includes two Inspector Winsford stories and othe crime stories; stories that are observations of people’s lives and some flash fiction. Ideal for a Christmas present and available in paperback and on kindle.

Here’s one of the short stories. Although it’s written as if it’s real life, it is of course entirely fiction, although I did go to churches with various friends, when I was a child. When writing stories you often need a starting point, which of course can be absolutely anything.

I remember, I remember

Three things happened when I was seven years old. It was a chance remark from my sister that brought back those memories.

We were talking about a child who’d gone missing from a village near where we lived.

‘Whenever a child goes missing, I always think of Sandra,’ Katy said.

‘Sandra who?’ I asked.

‘You know Sandra, from your class, who went missing. If I remember, surely you do?’

All the memories came flooding back to when I was seven. They started with the Autumn of 1959. Back then I used to make myself some breakfast and take myself off for the day. Nowadays you’d accuse a parent of being neglectful, but in those days, it was perfectly acceptable for children to be out playing and exploring on their own.

Now it so happened that both my parents were strict atheists, but my aunt and grandparents were devout Christians. I liked the idea of Christianity; of being a member of a group and having a God to call on when you’d got yourself into a mess. I used to go to church on my own and was always made welcome. Then various friends said come along with my family. One of them was Sandra Weston.

‘Meet me outside the church at nine fifteen and we’ll go and find a seat together,’ she said. Now Sandra and I were friendly but we were by no means best friends. She was nice enough with a tendency to copy others, but I thought it would be good to try out a new church with a family. I’d been to a Catholic church, a Church of England one, a Methodist one and a Baptist one. I’m not pretending that I understood any of the differences between the church disciplines. I can still see the church but I can’t remember the denomination it was.

I remember dressing carefully for Church; wearing socks without any holes, a plain skirt and a neat cardigan and I skipped happily along the mile or so of pavement until I came to the church in Oxford Lane. It was a quiet morning, but when I arrived there was literally no-one there. Had Sandra tricked me? I peeked my head around the church door and the vicar saw me.

‘Why hello there. You’re early. Did you remember to put your clock back an hour?’ he asked.

My face must have fallen. ‘Oh, don’t worry about it my dear,’ he said. ‘Come on in,’ and in I went. It was dark in the church compared to the bright daylight outside.

‘I’ll just finish putting out these hymn books and then I’ll take you through to the back and make you some orange juice,’ he smiled.

I really can’t explain why, but I suddenly thought I don’t want to be here with this creepy man. I shuddered inside with fear. You know the saying, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, well I think it really did.

‘No thanks,’ I called. ‘I’ll go and meet my friend and come back later.’ I was out of that church so quickly. I don’t know at what point I started running, but I found myself running all the way home. My parents were totally unimpressed by my little adventure.

‘I do wish you didn’t have such an overactive imagination,’ said mother.

At school on Monday, Sandra asked me why I hadn’t turned up and I made up some excuse. Later I came to regret not meeting her that week and the next Sunday I overslept.

A week later she didn’t come to school. I asked the teacher if she was ill and was told to go and sit down and not ask questions. After two weeks, I asked my mother.

‘Has Sandra moved? She doesn’t come to school any more or is she on some wonderful holiday?’ I remember that mother didn’t look me in the eyes as she told me to go away and lay the table.

The following week I was in bed, diagnosed with glandular fever. I was there forever or that’s what it felt like.

‘If you’re ill enough to be off school, you stay in bed,’ mother said. Of course, I didn’t stay in bed and I didn’t want to be at home any more than she wanted me there. At the back of my mind, I suppose I assumed that Sandra must have been off school with glandular fever, but I hardly ever thought of her again.

Now here was my sister telling me that she’d gone missing. I did some research and discovered that she’d never been found and then I remembered the creepy vicar. As a child I believed my parents when they kept on telling me I had an over large imagination, but as an adult I believe that if we take an instant fear of someone there is usually a reason. I dressed myself smartly and took myself down to the local cop shop and asked if anyone was still looking into the case of Sandra Weston.

I was called into an interview room by Detective Inspector Chester. He listened quietly to my story about my strong fear of the vicar, made a few notes, thanked me for my help and bade me good-bye.

He probably thought I was bonkers. Fancy telling a policeman that you had a bad feeling about someone when you were a child. He was right. I must put it behind me.

Three months later there was a ring on my doorbell and there was Inspector Chester. I invited him in and made him tea.

‘I looked into the background of Reverend Alan Wilson. There were quite a few outstanding complaints about him and he left the church suddenly and emigrated to Australia, so I notified the authorities over there of our interest in him.’

‘I thought you must’ve thought I was mad coming to see you,’ I blurted out.

‘Indeed no. Then I thought what if he’d tried to abuse Miss Weston and she’d struggled? What if it had all gone wrong and he’d killed her? What would he have done with her body, so I went and looked at the burial records for the church in Oxford Lane. I found there was one more grave than there was on the records.’

My blood ran cold. I knew what he was about to say.

‘I’m sorry to tell you that we exhumed the body from that grave and it was that of a child. We’re checking her dental records to see if it’s Sandra Weston, but almost certainly it is.’

‘Will Reverend Wilson be arrested in Australia?’ I asked.

‘He was taken in for questioning and put in a cell overnight. In the morning he was found dead in his cell. I don’t have the full details. You might be disappointed that he was never brought to trial or paid for his crime, but I’d like you to remember that because of you, Sandra’s parents have finally got closure and can grieve properly.’

I thanked Inspector Chester for listening to me and for all his hard work on the case.

Rest in Peace Sandra. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend.

Available books

My other short stories are:

The Mermaid

mybook.to/TheMermaidShort

Pebble on a Beach

mybook.to/Pebble

Missing

http://mybook.to/Missingshortstories

If you click on the links they should take you to Amazon UK/USA, so you can see prices for the paperbacks and e-books.

All are available on Kindle Unlimited. Hope you enjoy!

The Future Earth trilogy is complete with the release of The Healer today. Aley lives and works in Firstop village growing crops and developing plants to help feed the increasing population in the known part of the world. The rest of the world was contaminated by nuclear war and is thought to be uninhabited, but is it recovering?

In this unstable world, where resources are limited and technology is varied, there are a few with gifts. Aley can heal many illnesses, but has to keep his gift a secret to stay safe. Does he help one too many person and find himself in trouble?

You can get The Healer here.

The first book in the series is The Truth Finder and the second is The Visualizer. Both these books are free today 6 August 2021, for one day only, in e-book format.

All my books are free on Kindle Unlimited and this trilogy is also available in paperback format.

Reviews always welcome.

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