Archive | May 2009

Ann Stanmore – Guest Blogger

I am pleased to host Ann Stanmore, one of the delightful writers from Red River Writers Blog Tour.  I’ll let Ann tell you a little bit about herself, because she can tell it so much better than I.

I retired from my job as a buyer for smart cards two years ago after staying an extra two years. I am now 69. I am a fun loving person and my book reflects that. It was written with the hope of brightening someone’s day. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my first book and have in fact started on a second.

I am a firm believer that every cloud may not have a silver lining but certainly has a funny side.

I have always loved books and stories and used to make up my own stories to tell my children at bedtime, something my parents did for me and that inspired my love of reading and now writing.

I lead a busy life as apart from my writing, I am a Tree Warden for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, I am also secretary of the Social Club where I live, and also help at a teenage group for youngsters who would otherwise be roaming the streets.

Ann’s book is called “Well, It Was Fun…”  Available at:

Presenting Ann Stanmore

My Dad he was a lovely man, he always made me smile

He would take me on his bike, and for a little while

I’d sit upon his crossbar and keep my legs out wide

We’d look out for the policeman, is he coming up the side

 The policeman played a great big drum in the village band

He’d bang it really hard, the drumstick in his hand

If you went out Sunday morn, he always could be seen

Banging on his big old drum on the village green

Read on and you will not fail

To hear about this little tale…………….

If the weather was fine, Dad would take me out on his pushbike.

This was a real delight for me, and I would be so excited when I knew we were going out. At first we didn’t have a seat for me, so I sat on the crossbar with instructions from Dad to stick my legs out so they were away from the spokes. I understood that we were being naughty because we really should have had a seat for me, but Dad explained that there were varying degrees of naughtiness and this wasn’t one of the bad ones. However, he did tell me he would get a seat for me as soon as they had enough money for one.

It wasn’t until I was grown up that I realised the importance of these bike rides. Mum and Dad tried to take me out as much as possible because the living conditions where we were at that time were pretty appalling. We had a back yard area that was used by all the houses in the terrace and had toilets (or privvies as we called them) in a row at the end of the yard. Each house had their own but they were horrible places and had to be emptied because there was no flush toilets there then. Some people had flush toilets.  My Grandma Bramley did, and it was lovely when we went to her house to go to a nice, light and clean place where you pulled a chain and it all went away! My Grandma Ratcliffe didn’t have this luxury unfortunately, we had to go down the garden there but it was nicer than the one we had in that yard, where although each family had their own, some people would use any one.

Dad also used to take me when I was a little older, to watch Loughborough playing football on a Saturday afternoon. I loved this and sometimes, if it was crowded and I couldn’t see, Dad would lift me up on his shoulders. I didn’t really understand the rules of the game then, just knew our side had to score goals, but it was being out with my Dad that was great. The fact that we were watching Loughborough Brush was secondary!

Anyway, back to this tale. We would go out into the countryside and find a nice green area and play ball. I loved sitting there as we whizzed along the road. Dad would show me the little wild flowers and we would listen to the birds singing. It was a magical time for me and I loved every minute. Being out with my Dad was really the best thing ever. Dad always made things funny and we used to laugh a lot. He was still doing this when he was an old man in a nursing home. All the nurses used to be in stitches.

However, back to the story……Well, in the meantime, I had instructions to keep my eyes open for the village bobby. As mentioned earlier, this gentleman played in the village band in his spare time and could be seen on Sundays in the bandstand on the park playing his drum. Once he was playing in the band with his big drum out in the street. I think it was a march for something and the band was going down the high street. Anyway, he spotted Dad with me on his bike and put down his drum and chased us down the road waving his drumstick at us!! Dad would be laughing and I started to giggle. Oh my naughty Dad, how I loved you.

Actually, I found out later that Dad and the policeman were friends, but he couldn’t let Dad off without making it known he disapproved of his actions. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before I was sitting on a proper bike seat but secretly, I was a bit disappointed!  Nothing like being naughty with your Dad’s approval.

It really isn’t surprising that one of my favourite things even when I was fully grown up, married and had children of my own, was riding my bike. In fact, it was only arthritis that made me stop when I was in my forties. Something I miss. I would bike for miles and miles. There is a special kind of freedom cycling along the country roads, I never tired of it. Sometimes when I see a dad with a son or daughter cycling down the road, I remember those magical times.

See what you started Dad!!

Lots of fun was had when I learnt to ride my first bike but that’s another story in another part of this book…..

The Lone Wolf – excerpt

The Lone Wolf, first in my sci-fi series, is coming out this year from Second Wind Publishing.  He’s the hero’s first entrance to give you a little taste of what the book is like.

Slowly and with a casual air, a man entered the airlock. Nearly as tall as Marc, he was leaner of build. His curly, dark brown hair fell to his shoulders. He stood still while Rubee scanned his identification tag before releasing the force shield in front of him.

He wore a black eyepatch of his left eye and a jagged scar ran from his left temple to the corner of his lips. It was an old scar, worn and somewhat sunken. A slight stubble of beard shaded the lower half of his face, all but the scar line, which was a pale crescent in the dark.

His uncovered eye glittered black and dangerous in his ruggedly handsome face. Holding his arms from his sides, he waited as Rubee scanned him for weapons. Finding none, she gave clearance for him to pass.

He stepped forward, lighting a dark, thin object. The pungent odor of a cheroot filled the confined space. Squinting past the smoke, he gazed into Marc’s eyes. Marc’s weapon remained pointed at the other man’s head, his calm expression strangely predatory.

VanLipsig threw back his head, laughing caustically. The laugh became a long, high pitched, chilling howl. Matilda felt a shiver run through her to the very bone. She did her best not to show it, but a subtle shift of her bearing betrayed her. His gaze penetrated her soul, laying it bare, finding it wanting.

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to the lady, Marc?”


Marc hid his anger, but Matilda knew he was furious. His attitude toward VanLipsig puzzled her. They seemed to have known one another for years, parting on less than amicable terms. Though VanLipsig seemed to harbor no ill will, Marc obviously did.

“May I present myself, ma’am? I am Colonel Wilhelm VanLipsig, also known as the Lone Wolf. Perhaps you’ve heard of me?” He attempted to look humble. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” His glance flicked to her name tag and insignia, dark eye lingering hungrily on her chest. “Commander Dulac.” His mouth formed the words, enjoying the feel of the consonants on his tongue.

He waited patiently for a response. Getting none, his eye locked with hers, curious, intrigued. “Do you speak?”

Matilda studied him quizzically, raising an eyebrow. “There seemed little to say.”

Wil chuckled deep in his throat. It was the most seductively menacing sound she had ever heard.


There is a pesky vortex in my house that takes keys. It must have a really sick sense of humor, because they are always missing. It seems most fond of mens’ keys because my husband and 2 older sons can never find theirs.
Generally, the key vortex leaves mine alone. Either it can’t locate them in my purse, or it’s afraid of me. On the rare occasion that it does take my keys, it’s because one of the males has handled them. Since it has a healthy respect for my abilities, it usually gives them back without a fight.
The same cannot be said for the keys of my husband and sons. It always takes forever for them to locate their lost keys. Until I join the hunt, the keys stay missing. Sometimes all it takes is for me to say, “Have you looked in the pocket of your dirty jeans? Did you check your uniform? Could you have left them in the bathroom?” Other times, I must also join the hunt. The vortex always gives them back right away when I start looking. That’s why I suspect it’s afraid of me.
Once in awhile, my pesky vortex gets tired of hiding keys and takes my husband’s glasses instead. It’s much more clever where those are concerned. Even with me in the hunt, they aren’t always located right away. The vortex has left them in some pretty odd places. On top of the microwave, out in the garage and once in the refrigerator. One night when he was getting ready for work, his glasses were missing. Even with me in the hunt, the vortex didn’t give them back. He had to go to work without them. We didn’t find them for several days, so my husband went and got new ones.
Of course, as soon as the new glasses were in the house, the old ones showed up in a place we had already looked several times; on top of a bronze colored box on the dresser, much the same color as the glasses. Clever vortex employed camouflage that time. Now, however, the new ones have disappeared and even my excellent powers of persuasion and perception can’t locate them.
I really wish the vortex would go haunt a different household. Every time he strikes, I get blamed. I can’t imagine why when I’m the one who finds the missing objects. Does my family think I hide things for fun? I have more important things to do than hide and locate their keys. Until such time as the vortex gets tired of tormenting me, I’m stuck with him. I hope maybe when my kids move out, he’ll follow them instead of staying with me. Then again, I’ll still have my husband, so I guess I’m stuck with the vortex for life.