Our Day in Carnaby Street

London was exciting and vibrant to two young Midlands girls. Lots of places to see but for us there was only one we wanted, Carnaby Street. A perfect hot summer day, a place buzzing with excitement.

Excerpt from my memoir Shadow Across the Sun.

Shadow Across the Sun

It’s not so bad, this ride on the tube. This time of the day isn’t peak travelling time and although we are standing we are not crushed. Stations flash by, bright interludes where we stop for moments, punctuating the blackness of the tunnels, then it’s our stop and we emerge once more into the brilliance of the day.
Where to start? There is so much to see and do, but we’re not here to see the sights, we’re here to shop.
“Let’s have a coffee first shall we,” suggests Eloise, “then we can plan our day.”
That decided, we find a small café where we buy cream cakes and coffee and try to form some kind of strategy. The café, like everywhere else, is buzzing with people, some are tourists, you can tell by their accents, and some are people who work in the city going about their everyday life, dressed in smart suits, carrying newspapers and briefcases. Eloise and I decide we’ll look in as many shops as we can on our way to Carnaby Street.
Out on the pavement the atmosphere is as effervescent as an ice cream soda. I’ve never seen so many people all at once, except maybe on a crowded beach sometimes. The tramp, tramp of their footsteps is loud on the still, sultry air. Voices hum and traffic hoots. London is the most vibrant place I’ve ever visited.
We do all of the souvenir shops, buying little nic naks with union jacks on for our families, then at last we arrive in Carnaby Street. This place is pulsating! There are lots of hippy types with flowing hair and kaftans, frizzy heads with beards, people wearing huge crosses round their necks, round, John Lennon sunglasses obscuring their eyes, and Jesus sandals seem to be the almost compulsory footwear. An aura hangs over it like a haze of marijuana smoke and I’m half expecting some hippy to lean in my face and say ‘Peace man,’ but no-one does.
We wander in and out of several boutiques before finding the items that we want. I’ve spied the most gorgeous sky blue satin jacket that I absolutely must have! Eloise has chosen a white mini dress with bell shaped sleeves, and we’ve both selected cheesecloth shirts. I’m in a quandary as to what to get for Emily. Shall I get a cluster of cherries like I’m getting for myself to accessorise the jacket, or shall I get her the large satin rose? Cherries or rose? Cherries or rose? I never have been very good at making decisions. Ah! On further rummaging through the basket of cherries on the counter I spy a cluster of black ones – the ones I’ve chosen for myself are red. I’ll get these for Emily. We march out of the shop brandishing our bags, very pleased with ourselves indeed.
Checking our watches we realise we’re going to have to run for the train. We manage to hail a taxi and as we get out I most generously tell the cabbie, ‘Keep the change.’ Well it’s what you do in London isn’t it, and so what if the change is only ten pence and the cabbie looks at me incredulously in my act of generosity. Ten pence is better than a poke in the eye with a rusty needle isn’t it!
Back at the house we spread our purchases on our beds to admire them.
“I think I’ll wear my dress for dinner,” says Eloise holding it up by the shoulders.
I have to admit it is very pretty but I am more delighted with my blue satin jacket. I pin the cherries on with a loving touch; I have to get them in just the right place on the lapel. There! That looks good. I’m not going to wear it tonight, I’ll save it until we go to the pub.

http://www.sherrielowe.co.uk/shadow-across-the-sun—amazon-number-1-bestseller.php

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Across-Sun-Sherrie-Lowe-ebook/dp/B007V42ON4/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=sherrie+lowe&qid=1558178320&s=digital-text&sr=1-10

A Ghostly Excerpt from Shadow Across the Sun

Shadow Across the Sun is my first memoir of a 1960s childhood, idyllic for some years until tragedy struck in the form of breast cancer which took my mum. Grief stricken, when someone at school told me you could talk to dead people by doing a seance my ears pricked up instantly. I could talk to Mum! Talk to her I did but it wasn’t without its scary moments. Here’s a short extract from the book.

Shadow Across the Sun

We’re driving home up Ash Bank after taking some flowers to the crem. It’s late afternoon and an eerie dusk is gathering; that time of day when it’s neither dark nor light. The sky is a heavy, oppressive ochre and mournful grey clouds slide across it, moving ever so slowly in the almost non existent breeze.
I feel a chill, a tingling in my skin; cold prickles in the back of my neck making the hairs stand on end. Emily and I are in the back of the car and something draws my eyes to turn and look behind us through the window. The road is empty of cars, but there is Mum, floating along behind us. Her flowing white robes have tattered edges soiled by the grave, and the hand outstretched towards us is no longer soft and tender, but thin and bony. There is a wildness about her eyes, a hollowing out of them, the sockets large and sunken. I have a strange taste in my mouth, smell in my nostrils, the taste and smell of decay. I tear my eyes away to turn and tell Dad.
“Dad, Dad, it’s Mum!”
He raises his eyes to the rear view mirror and I turn my head to look again through the back window, but the road is empty. The apparition has gone.
We are home, back safely in the lounge, lights on, curtains drawn. There is a tap, tapping on the small window as if by bone. I dare not move the curtain to look out. I think of Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, of her ghost tapping on the window.
It is Mum, I know it is. She has followed us and now wants us to let her in. She is tapping on the window with her bony fingers. I dare not look but I have to, I must. I move the edge of the curtain and peep. There she is with sunken, expressionless eyes, long, matted hair, ragged robes. She stares back at me, her skin sallow, her mouth a gaping O, her hand raised as she continues her tap, tap, tapping.
I drop the curtain and my eyes snap open. It was a dream. Thank God it was only a dream. I can’t move, my limbs are frozen but my eyes stare through the blackness into the corners of the ceiling. I know why I’ve had this dream; it’s because of the séance and what Dad told me afterwards. I want Mum back, but my mum, the mum that I loved, not a hollow eyed ghost.
I continue to stare as if daring any apparition to appear but none does and slowly, slowly my limbs regain their movement. I stretch my legs down to the end of the bed, ease myself up on my elbows and look around the room. My eyes are becoming accustomed to the dark and I can see through the open door into the hall, lit silver by moonlight.
I sit up and carefully lift the edge of the curtain alongside my bed. My heart is racing after the dream but I have to do this to satisfy myself that there is no ghost. There’s nothing, no-one tapping and as I lift the curtain further I can see the moon, a beautiful, shiny full moon riding high in the Heavens accompanied by a dusting of stars sprinkled onto the backdrop of black night sky.
I love the moon. I love to watch it as it sails up there, bright and bold, sometimes obscured by clouds bowling across it, sometimes not, holding the stage itself in the leading role. What can it see as it watches the earth below? There are sinister tales about the moon, werewolves and things but I can’t think about them now; I don’t want anymore bad dreams.
What was it Mum used to say when I had nightmares as a child? ‘Turn over and think of fairies.’ I lie down, turn on my side and pull the covers over my head.

http://www.sherrielowe.co.uk/shadow-across-the-sun—amazon-number-1-bestseller.php

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Across-Sun-Sherrie-Lowe-ebook/dp/B007V42ON4/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=sherrie+lowe&qid=1558176969&s=digital-text&sr=1-10

The Author, The Gardener and The Woman What does – a humorous excerpt

I think we can all relate to the feeling of nervousness around someone we’re attracted to but Rokki, Tess’ niece, is overcome by attacks of clumsiness, usually inflicting some injury on the object of her desires. Here’s her first meeting with Lee.

The Author new poster

The garden gate opened and in walked Rokki, Tess’s niece and she cast her eyes round the garden before opening the back door, then Kacey heard the sound of voices but they were too far away for her to hear what was said.
“Wow he’s fit!” Rokki was saying to Tess. “Who is he?” She gazed lustfully through the kitchen window as Tess washed the potatoes to bake for lunch.
“I take it you mean the younger one. It’s Lee, Billy’s son, helping his dad out.” Lee was the image of Billy, showing what Billy must have looked like in his youth and she could appreciate Rokki’s interest, she’d be interested herself if she were ten years younger, in Billy that was.
“Has he been here before?”
“Sometimes, it depends on his college timetable. He usually comes in the holidays.”
“Why haven’t I seen him then?”
“You just mustn’t have been here when he was. Anyway, never mind Lee, how did it go with Mike? Oh, before you tell me, are you staying for lunch? I’ll put you a potato in if you are.”
Rokki looked at the four potatoes in the glass ovenproof dish, rapidly assessing the situation and decided yes please, she would, she’d be able to see more of the gorgeous Lee if she had lunch with him.
“Are you off today?” asked Tess.
Rokki shook her head. “No but it’s one of those stupid days when I have a lesson from nine to ten in the morning and don’t have another til three so I’ve got all this time to kill. I’d thought I’d come over and give you an update.”
“I’m looking forward to hearing it. When you’ve told me I’ll make us all a coffee and you can go and take the men theirs.”
“Woo hoo, what a good idea!”
“So go on then, what happened with Mike? Is he speaking to you or did he blow you out?”
“Well,” Rokki warmed to her tale, “I didn’t see him til yesterday, I wondered if he was avoiding me, and we came face to face as I was going out of the refectory and he was going in. I went hot all over – my face must have been crimson – and I just muttered ‘Hi.’ He answered me and looked a little wary – bet he was glad we were well away from the stairs! I sort of stuttered and stammered something like, ‘I’m really sorry about your lip. How is it?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, it’s OK. ‘Was it really bad?’ I asked. ‘Did you have to have stitches?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, a couple, but it was OK.’ It was still bruised but the swelling had gone down. Don’t think he’ll be kissing anyone for a while though, least of all me.”
“You never know. What happened then?”
“He just said, ‘Well see you,’ and walked off with his mates. I didn’t get the feeling he wanted to linger round me for long.”
“Oh that’s a shame but never mind, onward and upward. I’ll go and make the coffee and you can take it out to Lee.”
Rokki took a mirror out of her bag and inspected her reflection. She bared her teeth making sure there were no bits of food stuck there; she didn’t want to make a fool of herself when she took the coffees out, she’d done more than enough of that with Mike, she didn’t want a second shot at it with Lee. She added a touch more lipgloss and ran her fingers through her hair to make it look fuller and more bouncy as Tess set the two mugs of coffee and a plate of biscuits on a tray.
“There you are, go and take that to them.”
Rokki took the tray, heart hammering like a blacksmith on an anvil and Tess opened her the door.
Rokki took careful steps across the patio, up the first step to the lawn, then the second. She looked up, lips poised to shout, ‘Coffee boys,’ and that was her fatal mistake, losing her concentration. She tripped on the top step and the word that came out was an involuntary ‘Oh!’ bringing both Billy’s and Lee’s heads up from what they were doing to see Rokki, stumbling at a headlong gallop across the lawn in an effort to steady herself, knees knocking, feet crossing, hands holding up the tray like a trophy, in a balancing act to rival any circus performer with spinning plates, and the coffee a swirling tempest sloshing around in the mugs.
Lee ran across the lawn to rescue the tray just in time before the whole lot descended to the ground, and Rokki managed to regain her balance without scalding either herself or Lee.
“Oh I’m… I’m so sorry,” she stammered. “I was coming to bring you a drink. You must think I’m such a dork. I’m Rokki by the way, Tess’s niece.”
Lee’s amusement lit up his honey coloured eyes, so like his father’s but he kept any hysterical laughter well and truly in its place.
“I’m Lee, Billy’s son, and no I don’t think you’re a dork, anyone can trip. Good thing I was around to catch the tray.” He allowed himself a wry grin.
“Yes um… well, enjoy your drink,” and she turned and headed back to the house with as much dignity as she could muster, cheeks flaming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3z8dGAWsKY&feature=youtu.be

Whisper To Me by Sherrie Lowe @SherrieLowe2 #review

Me and My Books

I am delighted to be sharing my review of Whisper To Me by Sherrie Lowe. I saw this book during a recent Blog Tour and entered a giveaway, I was lucky to be one of the fortunate recipients of an e-copy. To be honest, the synopsis for this book caught my eye so I would have brought it even if I hadn’t won a copy.

I must also mention the fabulous cover, I love fuschias and when I visit my mum I seem to bring back more cuttings of them. The cover ties very nicely to the story inside.

So let’s have a look and see what it all about…

A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix. 

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die. 

She does…

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Critiques and Opinions

Following my recent blog tour, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I’d like to thank all the bloggers who took part and welcomed me onto their blogs. I appreciate the time you took on my behalf, and to Rachel at Rach RandomResources @rararesources for organizing it. There were some lovely reviews and some of you have very attractive blogs.

That brings me onto critiques and opinions. They’re something we all have to face as authors and they are often quite difficult to accept. Those wonderful reviews whose glow we bask in really lift our day but that one negative comment festers and makes us question our abilities. We all know why we write the way we do, why we choose our particular genre, how much of ourselves comes through in the writing etc, but everyone is different and just as we all feel drawn to different people – or not – so it is with writing. Our stories won’t appeal to everyone; what pleases one irritates another.

I’m not much of an actor so there is a lot of me in my books and my author voice. I’m not confrontational unless crossed, then I can give as good as I get. I generally like a peaceful, quiet life but that doesn’t make for a good story in either fiction or memoir. As far as memoir goes I’ve had plenty of struggles: loss, relationships, ill health, and in fiction I’ve given them to my characters, but I’m wary about inflicting misfortune upon them as so many times with aspects of my stories life has mirrored art.

Whether it be reading or writing my own particular preference is for a lighthearted easy read with dashes of humour and a hint of the supernatural. I wouldn’t purposely choose graphic horror, violence or sex; I’m a gentle person, I like gentle stories, even the crimes in my books have been gentle, if you can call a crime that; maybe less savage would be a better description. I don’t do blood and gore or Christian Grey, my love scenes have to mean something, they are sensual not steamy, so if this is the style of story you like mine might seem a bit quiet; I like a conversational tone and a family saga. I think my stories fit the cuppa and a cake book, something to curl up on the sofa with beside a roaring fire on a winter’s day or lie beside the pool in the hot sun in summer. They won’t scare you witless but I hope they’ll keep you wondering and feeling a kinship to the characters within the pages.

N.B. I am in the process of reformatting all of my earlier books. I have only just discovered The Book Khaleesi who have formatted the three books featured below and I am going through my others one at a time so it will take a while; I hope you will bear with me.

http://www.sherrielowe.co.uk/

#BlogTour #Review – Whisper To Me by Sherrie Low @SherrieLow2 @rararesources #WhisperToMe #Giveaway

Lovely review, thank you so much!

Nemesis Blog

whisper to me[7513]reviewGood Morning Everyone!,

Welcome to Monday 😦 On my blog today I have a review for the blog tour of Sherrie Low’s, Whisper To Me. There is a Giveaway so make sure you keep scrolling for the chance to win a kindle version of the book!

lineThe Blurbwhisper to me ebook complete[7515]A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.

linePurchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whisper-Me-Sherrie-Lowe-ebook/dp/B07HVYHD4Y/

https://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Me-Sherrie-Lowe-ebook/dp/B07HVYHD4Y/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/901558

lineAuthor Biowhisper to me - profile[7512]I am a divorced mum of two adult sons and nana to three grandchildren, soon to be four. I’ve always had a notion to write but didn’t…

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Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe @SherrieLowe2 #BlogTour #AuthorInterview @rararesources

My thanks to Kerry for featuring me on her blog and taking part in my blog tour, also for the lovely introduction!

Chat About Books

I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of Sherrie Lowe’s Whisper To Me blog tour! Sherrie is a local-to-me author who I have had the pleasure of meeting, on more than one occasion, at the 6×6 Reading Café event which takes place every three months. Sherrie’s books are firmly on my TBR list, so watch this space for my reviews. In the meantime I have a lovely interview with the lady herself to share with you all…..

whisper to me banner

Interview with Sherrie Lowe…..

whisper to me author

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

Hello, I’m Sherrie Lowe, that is my author name. I am a divorced mum of two adult sons, Nana to three lovely grandchildren, soon to be four and I’ve suffered from M.E/C.F.S since I was 40 which forced me to give up the job that I loved, learning support assistant in a…

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Whisper To Me by Sherrie Lowe #Blogtour #Review #Giveaway

I’m so grateful for this lovely review for Whisper to Me! Glad that the story came across well.

Wrong side of forty

Synopsis

A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.

Letitia – Tish –Stanyermakes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.

My Review

I’d like to thank Rachels random resources and Sherrie Lowe for inviting me onto this wonderful blog tour.

Whisper to me is almost like two books in one and this really worked, a dual personality in one book!

The story opens as Theo and Tish drive home after a celebratory meal for their 14th wedding anniversary. The weather is dark and stormy, the perfect atmosphere for when Tish delivers her psychotic feelings regarding…

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Author’s Voice

What are the first things to attract about a book? It has to be title, cover then the blurb but as soon as you open that first page it is the author’s voice. It is of course the narrative for the book, the storytelling but I feel so much of the author’s personality comes through in their ‘author voice.’

What is the magic formula? I don’t think there’s an answer to that. I think it’s something akin to how we choose friends, just that connection that comes from a gut reaction. Perhaps something to do with the flow of the words, the humour, the likeness to real life or maybe just something that resonates with your own life, you feel some kind of affinity with that particular author, that ‘voice’ speaks to you. I’m always drawn to a conversational tone, also something that makes me laugh. What I don’t like is a flat monotone, like a boring lecture.

I have got to know so many wonderful indie authors through social media and I think the beauty of this that you don’t get with a traditionally published, well known author is the friendship that develops between us all, the support for each other as we each try to promote our books and build our own brand, and the diversity into genres we might not have read had we not seen the author’s name on an almost daily basis and come to know and chat to them online, another aspect of hearing their voice.

If the author’s voice doesn’t lift off the page and come to life it’s like being stuck with the boring person at a party whom you can’t get away from. The advantage of a book though is that you can close it and leave it on the shelf.

http://www.sherrielowe.co.uk/

 

Here is my interview with Sherrie Lowe

Here is my interview with Fiona McVie. What an attractive blog she has. Thank you for inviting me Fiona.

authorsinterviews

Fiona: Tell us your name. What is your age?

 Sherrie: My real name is Cheryl Warrillow but I write under the pseudonym of Sherrie Lowe. And I’m 63 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

 Sherrie: Staffordshire UK.

Fiona: Tell us a little about your life, education, family etc.

 Sherrie: I’m a divorced mum of two sons with three lovely grandchildren, soon to be four. I left school before sitting GCEs as they were then and worked in retail until I had my children. I then did several years voluntary work in their school which led me to take a child care course, subsequently leading to my career in education. That was short lived as I became ill with M.E/C.F.S when I was 40 and newly divorced, absolutely devastating. Not only because I had to provide a living for myself and the boys but because I loved…

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