Excerpt No 13, ‘They Take our Children, Book One, The Truth Revealed.’

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PROLOGUE
I became interested in UFOs a few years ago after seeing strange flying objects in the sky above my home town of Wakefield, West Yorkshire. I discussed my sightings with a police officer friend, and he warned me that I would not be taken seriously if I reported it to the authorities. I was astonished when he also confided in me that he had been abducted by aliens, but was too afraid to talk openly of his experience.

I decided to do some research on the issue. I talked with more abductees, attended UFO conferences, read many books on the subject and trawled the Internet for more information. I was surprised how much I found. I had no idea where my investigations would lead, but I was totally unprepared for what I uncovered.
Sifting the genuine stories from the fake accounts was challenging. Unfortunately, this subject is often trivialised and ridiculed, and I know that some will believe ALL the accounts are phony, no matter how much compelling testimony and physical evidence can be found.

I was drawn to a series of accounts that followed the same theme. Balls of light were seen in the sky, followed by abduction to a strange place, where physical examinations were made on the abductees by alien beings. Some abductees mention a breeding programme of some kind between aliens and human beings. How can so many similar stories, from individuals around the world, be false?

The idea of a book began to take shape. I wanted to expose the facts that I had discovered, but my police officer friend had warned me that nobody would listen. So I wrote a fictional account, using details from my research. You can read the serialised excerpts from the story here.
Fact or fiction?
Urban myth or government cover-up?
You decide.

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This 13th excerpt is from a science fiction novel about alien abduction. If you would like to read the novel from the beginning, please see the previous excerpts in, ‘They Take our Children.’

The complete eBook series is available on Amazon stores worldwide priced at $0.99 US dollars or equivalent, or £0.99p in UK.

Please go to an Amazon online store to purchase this novel if you can’t wait to read the rest.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Chapter Thirteen: Courtney

Courtney was not surprised by the enthusiasm of her welcome home. She expected her father and grandparents to fuss over her. She did not expect the fierce hug she received from her mother and was shocked by the unexpected display of emotion.

‘I’m so sorry, Courtney, I’m really so very sorry.’ Helen’s voice cracked with emotion as she put her arms around Courtney and squeezed her tightly.

Courtney allowed the embrace, but held herself stiffly. This unexpected show of affection was out of character and to Courtney it seemed false. It would take more than a hug and a few tears to put right the wrongs of a lifetime. She saw the astonishment on the faces of the rest of the family and knew that she wasn’t the only one to be surprised by her mother’s actions.

Helen glanced nervously at her husband who smiled encouragingly. The awkward silence that followed was soon filled by a horde of questions. Each member of the family had something they wanted to ask Courtney. Where had she been? How come the police didn’t find her in the hut in the woods? Courtney explained that the hut was so overgrown, that it took her a few hours to find it. She spent the two nights there, venturing to the local all-night shop when she felt hungry for sandwiches and bottled water. When she ran out of money, she left the shelter and once she had walked out of the woods, it seemed foolish to stay away from home any longer. She had no money, no change of clothes, no food and nowhere else to go.

‘Tell me, Courtney,’ her grandfather asked. ‘If you had the means to support yourself, would you have come home?’

Courtney glanced around the room at the faces full of expectant hope. She looked at her feet, avoiding their eyes as she shook her head. ‘I didn’t want to face you all. I didn’t want to see Mum again.’

All eyes turned to Helen, who also studied the floor, but she took a deep breath and lifted her eyes to face her daughter.

‘I can understand why you feel like that, Courtney. I don’t blame you. I should never have said what I did. I’m truly sorry you heard me.’ She spoke with humility, her voice wavering.

Gavin reached for his wife’s hand, raising his eyebrows at Courtney, giving her a small nod of encouragement, his eyes pleading with her to accept the apology. Courtney closed her eyes, shutting out the sight of her father showing his approval of her mother. He always found excuses for her mother’s behaviour. He always found reasons for her lack of understanding, lack of time and lack of interest. Her father had always been patient with her mother, explaining her eccentricities, filling the void in Courtney’s life himself while her mother absented herself.

All the pain of abandonment was symbolised in that one gesture of her father holding her mother’s hand, while she, Courtney, was the one who had been hurt. The resentment she felt towards her mother spread to include her father and the two days away from them had not diminished the pain but had fuelled it. She filled the long hours in the hut with memories.  She dredged up all the incidents she could recall, all the times her mother had let her down and all the times her father had condoned her mother’s actions. Courtney saw both her parents in a different light and she didn’t like what she saw. She knew she should, for the sake of peace, accept the offered apology but that would not help her to understand why her mother treated her so badly and she so desperately wanted to know why.

‘Courtney,’ George intervened. ‘I think your mum deserves some kind of response from you, she’s told you how sorry she is. Let’s just accept the apology and put all this behind us.’

‘I’m sorry too, Pops,’ she turned glistening eyes to her grandfather. ‘But I can’t forgive and I can’t forget.’ She nodded at her mother. ‘She called me a monster. What am I supposed to think? What did you mean, Mother? What have I ever done to make you hate me so much?’

Helen crumbled, the words struck her like arrows and each seemed to find its way to her heart. Tears ran down her cheeks as she continued to stare at her daughter.

Undeterred, Courtney continued her verbal attack. She was blind to her mother’s suffering. She’d had two whole days and nights to remember every hurtful memory of the pain and the rejection she had felt throughout her life. Each opened wound added venom to her voice.

‘You were never there for me. I can’t even remember one time when you put your arms around me. Do you realise, Mother, just now was the first time I can remember that you ever held me? Most mothers are proud of their children when they achieve good marks at school. You came to my prize-giving evenings but only because Dad made you. You never even smiled when I got up to receive my prizes. I didn’t get a word of congratulations. Do you know how much you hurt me?

Every time I tried to please you, you ignored me. Why don’t you love me, Mother? Why have you always ignored me? Why does everyone stick up for you and treat you as if you were some special china doll, while I’m expected to accept the hurt time after time? Why? Why! Tell me what I’ve done!’ Courtney’s whole body leaned towards her mother, yearning desperately for some kind of explanation. She would have continued but Gavin interrupted.

‘Courtney, don’t do this.’ Gavin tried to stem the flow of words. ‘Can’t you see what you’re doing to your mother? Don’t you know how fragile her health is?’

‘I think we should let her finish, she has a lot to get off her chest.’ Janine, sitting next to Courtney on the sofa, put her arm around her niece. ‘Go on, Courtney, let it all out, you’ll feel better for it and so will your mum, eventually.’

Courtney watched her mother flinch, but knew that her auntie was right. It was time her mother faced the consequences of her uncaring attitude. She glanced at the faces of the rest of the family for some sign of encouragement to continue but all she saw were worry lines on the faces of her grandparents and father. Terry looked embarrassed, Janine was angry, her lips compressed and shoulders hunched.

Courtney now felt deflated by the interruption, her words had been harsh and she had planned even harsher ones while rehearsing her speech in isolation. Now the words in her mind were a jumble of disconnected incidents and it seemed petty and childish to list them out loud. Her mother sat quietly sobbing into her dad’s shoulder, it wasn’t how she expected her mother would react and it unsettled Courtney to see her mum so upset. Even after all she’d done and all she’d left undone, Courtney still had some feelings for her mother.

‘I’ve finished.’ Courtney hung her head. She really did not want to be the cause of so much distress. She wanted everything to be all right again and remembered her grandmother’s words, so often said in troubled times, least said, soonest mended. Courtney decided she’d said enough.

Helen continued to weep quietly in Gavin’s arms, Janine held Courtney close.  Terry, Mary and George sat in silence, until Mary went to put the kettle on.

‘Let’s all have a nice cup of tea, thing’s will look better in the morning.’ Mary said brightly, though it was still early evening.

‘Gavin,’ George coughed to clear his throat, ‘I think it might be a good time for us all to look at that suitcase again, don’t you?’

Helen looked at her father with a puzzled expression then looked at Gavin.

‘Your father showed me your case notes yesterday, from when you were ill.’ Gavin explained.

‘What case notes?’ Helen looked at her father.

Courtney sat up, interested in what her grandfather had to show them. She didn’t notice Janine shrinking back into the sofa, or Terry moving quickly to her auntie’s side.

‘Dad, what have you been up to?’ Helen’s face drained of colour and her eyes looked dark and afraid.

‘I knew one day that someone would want to know what happened to you. I didn’t know until a few years ago that it would be our Courtney.’ George looked at his granddaughter, the wonder and interest showed clearly in her face.

Courtney was intrigued. Whatever happened to her mother, it must have something to do with herself. She became afraid, thinking maybe she could become ill. Was there a secret hereditary illness in the family? She looked at her mother, seeing fear in her face but also a strange acceptance in the set of her shoulders. Courtney held her breath, waiting for the next words from her grandfather.

‘Perhaps you could tell Courtney about the lights, Janine,’ he said.

‘The lights?’ Janine asked, shakily, as colour drained from her face.

‘You remember the Christmas lights?’ George persisted. ‘It was all over the newspapers and the television. Don’t you remember your friends being interviewed on the television after our New Year’s Eve party?’

‘They were Helen’s friends, not mine.’ Janine said defensively. ‘They were so full of themselves; you’d have thought they’d been the only ones to see anything.’

‘Did you see Jodie Robson?’ Helen joined in. ‘She even put makeup on for the cameras, she looked like a clown!’

Courtney listened, fascinated by the conversation, intrigued by the closeness between her mother and auntie as they discussed their past, a closeness that had never been apparent to her until now. They shared a past that Courtney was only vaguely aware of. She’d never really thought about them growing up together, never thought of them as children. As they discussed the shared memories, Courtney watched their faces closely, seeing them as if for the first time, as people. She saw a different dimension to the two women she thought she knew so well.

The light-hearted banter about their friends diminished as George steered the conversation round to the night the lights appeared. Both women became reluctant to speak about them. Gavin took over, describing to Courtney and Terry what he had seen on the television screen at George’s home.

‘I’m sure there must be some logical explanation but I don’t know what it could be.’ Gavin finished.

‘We could go get the suitcase, everyone could watch it, then you’ll see for yourselves.’ George struggled to his feet, obviously intending to go fetch the evidence.

Mary had been listening at the door for some time and blocked her husband’s exit.

‘What’s all this!’ She squared up to him. ‘I said you weren’t to mention that suitcase. There’s been enough upset these past few days, without bringing all that rubbish here.’

‘It is not rubbish, woman!’ George made to push her gently out of his way, but she held her ground.

‘Just what do you hope to achieve with all this, George?’ Mary asked, shaking her head, her eyes looking troubled.

‘Look around you, woman!’ George said, exasperated. ‘Just you look at them all.’ He waved his arm around, indicating the gathered family. Terry sat with a protective arm around a frightened Janine. Gavin supported Helen and Courtney watched her grandparents with curiosity.

‘Our Helen is and always has been, an emotional wreck,’ George continued. ‘She’s blundered her way through life with all of us making allowances for her. You all think she’s a poor weak, delicate thing. The truth is that she’s much stronger than all of us put together. I don’t know that any one of us could have gone through what that girl did and stay sane.’

Helen looked astonished at her father’s outburst.

‘You heard those tapes, Mary. Can you honestly tell me you believe it was all her imagination?’ George asked, looking deep into his wife’s eyes.

‘But it isn’t true, you know it can’t be.’ Mary looked uncertain as she glanced at Helen.

‘It was the truth, Mum.’ Helen’s small voice cut through the tension in the room and all eyes turned to her. ‘Everything on those tapes happened.’ She turned to her sister, shaking her head, leaning back against Gavin’s shoulder. ‘I’m sorry, Janine, but it happened to you too.’

Janine sank further back into the sofa and Terry’s arm tightened around her. She shook her head vigorously. ‘No! No! You’re wrong! Nothing happened to me! Do you hear me! Nothing happened!’ Janine sobbed. ‘You were the one who was ill! I had a nightmare. I don’t even remember it now.’

‘Just because you don’t remember, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.’ George spoke softly, forcing them to quiet down to hear his soft voice. ‘Helen was so ill because she did remember. We could have put you through therapy, Janine. It was suggested at the time, especially as Helen insisted them things took you too. But it was kinder to leave you as you were. You seemed happy enough, you quickly got over it all and it seemed cruel to make you remember it. One disturbed daughter was bad enough.’

‘Where were they taken?’ Terry’s interest was clearly awakened at the words George used. ‘Our sons were taken by someone, is there some connection?’

‘The lights took us.’ Helen told Terry. ‘I don’t know if they took Chris and Sam, but I believe they did.’ She stared at Janine shaking her head as if to deny what Helen was saying. ‘Janine believes that too, but she won’t admit it. Not even to herself.’

‘It’s true, Terry.’ George kept his voice low, watching Janine’s face crumple.

‘No. Please no. Not our boys.’ Janine whispered, covering her face.

Courtney, could not understand what the adults were talking about and became more confused. Now the secret seemed to involve the whole family and judging by the reactions, it was a terrible secret. Now she wasn’t sure she wanted to hear about it. Janine and Terry were visibly shaking. Somehow their sons were linked to this secret. Her two cousins went missing before she was born. So it seemed the boys, who would by now be adults, were also involved in this mystery. Where were they? Who had taken them? What had happened to her cousins?

‘Who took our boys, George?’ Terry asked, struggling to contain his anger. ‘You’ve known all this time and said nothing!’ He jumped from the sofa and moved closer to his father-in-law. ‘Where are my sons?’ he demanded.

George backed away, holding his hands defensively in front of him. ‘I don’t know, Terry lad, none of us does.’

‘Calm down, Terry, it’s not Dad’s fault.’ Janine went to her husband, putting her arms around him. ‘No one could have stopped them. They only took back what was theirs.’ Tears rolled down her face as she looked at him, then she turned to Helen. ‘I always knew,’ she sobbed. ‘I thought if I didn’t think about it, it wouldn’t happen.’ She put her shaking fingers to her mouth. ‘You tried to make me remember, to make me look into the blackness,’ she sniffed, ‘but it was more than I could face.’ She hid her tear filled face against Terry’s shirt. He pulled her closer, stroking her back, turning his questioning face to Helen.

‘I’m sorry, Terry,’ Helen began. ‘There’s no easy way to tell you what happened to Chris and Sam.’

‘Are they dead? Do you know that much? If they are, just tell me.’ Terry asked, obviously afraid of hearing the answer, but clearly needing to know.

‘I believe they are alive.’ Helen said carefully and Terry closed his eyes and mouthed a silent, ‘thank God.’

‘I have no idea where they are, but I know who took them and I know why they took them.’ Helen glanced at her daughter, knowing her next words would shock them all. ‘I also know that they will want to take Courtney. One day they will come for her like they came for Sam and Chris.’

Courtney stared at her mother open-mouthed. This was so unreal. She looked to her father for a denial of her mother’s words, then to her grandfather. Their faces remained unreadable, but there was no denial from any of them, they believed her mother. Even Janine was sobbing harder, not even looking at her. Her grandmother stared steadfastly out of the window, seemingly trying to detach herself from the scene.

Terry came to her rescue, leaving the sobbing Janine by the window with her mother. He came to sit by Courtney and took her hand.

‘I won’t let anyone take you away from us, Courtney,’ he promised her. ‘Do you hear me?’ He turned to the rest of the family. ‘Whoever is responsible for taking my sons will not get the chance to take our Courtney.’ He pulled her into his embrace, as if his love alone would protect her.

‘You can’t stop them, Terry. You don’t know how strong they are.’ Helen’s face was pained, seeing the frightened reaction of Courtney. ‘You don’t have to fear them, Courtney, they won’t harm you.’

‘How do you know that?’ Terry asked.

‘I know.’ Helen’s face was filled with what looked like compassion.

‘Mum, you’re frightening me. Who wants to take me? Where, why, what’s it all about?’ Courtney looked from her mother to her Auntie Janine. Both women were obviously afraid of something.

Janine went to Helen and putting a hand on her sister’s shoulder, she looked at Courtney. ‘Your mum is the bravest person I know, Courtney. Now I’m going to try to be as brave as she has been. I don’t remember things like you, Helen,’ she paused and took a deep breath, ‘but I will help to back you up if I can.’ She turned to Courtney. ‘We need to tell you some things and you’re going to be shocked but you have to be brave too.’ Janine squeezed Helen’s shoulder. ‘I still don’t remember much about the lights, or about where we were taken. I remember feeling frightened but I don’t remember why.’

‘You’re lucky you don’t remember, Janine, if what Helen told me this morning is true.’ Gavin’s eyes were full of compassion. ‘I do believe you, Helen. I don’t understand, but I believe.’

‘Do you want to hear the rest?’ Helen asked Gavin.

‘I do, Mum,’ Courtney answered. ‘By the sound of it, I’m involved aren’t I?’

‘More than any one else in this room,’ George told her. ‘But we’ll get to that later.’

Courtney watched her grandfather take a seat at the table. He looked almost smug. She wondered how much he knew about the mystery. She wondered what she had started by running away. What can of worms was opening up because of what she heard her mother say about her? She couldn’t wait to find out.

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TO BE CONTINUED.………..

This 13th excerpt is from a science fiction novel about alien abduction. If you would like to read the novel from the beginning, please see the previous excerpts in, ‘They Take our Children.’

The complete eBook series is available on Amazon stores worldwide. Please go to an Amazon online store to purchase this novel if you can’t wait to read the rest.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

My self-publishing journey – take two

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Call me arrogant, call me smug, or in the words of the song by Wham, “call me anything you want to baby”, but I’m the one laughing all the way to the bank!

Here is my story of raw determination in the face of repeated humiliating rejection. If I can come through this journey and emerge a winner, you can too.

I began my writing career cutting my journalistic high teeth on articles for magazines and newspapers. I was not able to give up my day job, but a small extra income was useful.

Thirty years ago I took the plunge and wrote my first novel, a science fiction, end of world scenario with a heroine playing centre stage. I submitted this work to agents, publishers, and even tried the new online eBook stores that were beginning to emerge at that time. Rejection followed rejection, and I could have easily given up, but undeterred, I put the manuscript aside and wrote another book, this time about alien abduction! (I know, I know, I can hear you laughing! But it is a good story!) I was mortified to get the exact same response from agents and publishers alike. An emphatic no!

I began to think my writing skills might not be up to scratch. I joined a local writers’ group for help and encouragement. I received both in abundance and I was brimming with newly found confidence. Following advice to write in a popular genre to persuade agents and publishers alike to take an interest in my work, I began a third novel, a romantic comedy. This time the rejections were kinder, and the manuscript passed the first post, only to fall at the first hurdle, the publisher already had a similar title ready for release.

Back to base to lick my wounds, you’d think I would be disheartened, but no! I was determined to succeed. I wrote another novel, this time a romantic wartime saga, and submitted the synopsis and first few chapters far and wide. The rejections were kind, but they were still REJECTIONS!

At this point, I did give up. After spending ten years of my life dealing with hundreds of rejections over four novels, I was thoroughly demoralised. I put my manuscripts in a dark cupboard and refused to look at them. I got on with my life, working hard at the day job, just like everyone else I knew. However, in the depths of my heart, the ambition wouldn’t lie down.

I wrote short stories and entered them into competitions. I won almost as many as I entered, third-prize, second-prize, first-prize, and commendations were dropping through my letter box frequently, and I rode the crest of this wave ecstatically. I hadn’t lost it. I could write!

About that time, my family suffered a catastrophe. My son-in-law had a car crash and suffered massive brain damage. I flew to Australia to help my daughter look after their one-year-old baby so she could be with her husband. I kept a diary of the ten weeks I spent there, and realised the account would make a good story, and one that might inspire and encourage other people who were going through a similar ordeal. Months after my return, I set about polishing and organising my scribbles into a readable format. Then I began the usual round of submissions to agents and publishers, but got the general response. No thank you, it’s not what we’re looking for.

I knew there was a market for this novel, and considered vanity publishing, but it would be more than I could afford, so I searched and searched until I found Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. I couldn’t believe what I read. For no outlay, I could publish a book and have it available to readers almost immediately!

I did more research, lots more work on the manuscript to edit and format it correctly. I made a cover in Photoshop, and submitted ‘It’s Penguin Shooting Day,’ with firmly crossed fingers.

In less than a year, I have published nearly all my work on KDP and some are also in paperback. I have written another wartime romance, and again, I am riding that wave of success. My monthly income is not to be sniffed at. I’m earning a living from my writing, and have given up the day job. It’s taken me thirty years to learn that, with self-belief and hard work, anyone can make anything happen. I did it, you could too. Although, I hope your journey won’t be as long as mine was.

Now where did I put that first novel? Maybe I can make it work for today’s market….

A novel takes flight

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At last my new release is out there.

‘A Snowdrop’s Promise’

My latest World War Two novel is now available as a Kindle eBook in Amazon stores world wide. ‘A Snowdrop’s Promise’, is a story of love, hate and tragedy, woven with secrets and embroidered with lies. Using details from my grandparent’s memories to help paint an authentic background to this fictional tale, I added historical facts, and sprinkled a few villains in for good measure.

Buy it now at any Amazon Store

Click here to buy it in UK

Click here to buy in USA

This will soon to be available on Createspace as a paperback.

As this one goes live, I’m already planning the next one, so back to the grindstone……