I’m happy to welcome Angela Burns today. She will be giving away 5 paperbacks (no shipping restrictions) and 5 Ebooks. Please enter below.
By Angela Burns
‘Christmas Eve’ is a simple Winter Ghost Story. A tale of one woman’s redemption from immeasurable suffering, taking you on a journey to the Heights of Heaven and the Gates of Hell, exploring the intricacies of human nature and the deigns of fate through the eyes of a family left in torment following a horrendous accident.
‘Christmas Eve’ is a heart-warming read, set over the night when we all feel a little magic in the air.
Book Trailer http://youtu.be/EL59TGGUdAY
“Jo’s on the phone.”
This simple sentence pushes her headlong into the abyss of insanity, causing her to throw up as she spirals into incomprehension, not caring which of these winter ghosts she is being persecuted by.
This isn’t real. This can’t be happening!
Repeating this mantra provides no comfort as she rocks back and forth on the sofa, sobbing wildly, floods of tears burning her, her hands covering her face. She lets out an almighty scream. Her dishevelled state and pitiful wails do not attract the revellers as she stands and looks around the room.
The familiar faces of friends and family from the past, all gathered for their annual celebration of the holiday they once held dear, remain oblivious to her presence.
Brutally trembling, holding onto the furniture for support, she makes her way slowly through the room. Disjointed snatches of conversations resonate in her skull, feeding an intense headache of confusion.
Jo is on the phone…I need to talk to Jo. Am I dead? Are these ghosts? Am I the Ghost? Why can’t they see me?
She was right; they couldn’t see her or hear her–apart from one man.
He stands resolutely in the bay window of the room, by the grandiose tree, in mid-conversation with Janet’s boss and her partner, when he stops and glances at her, smiling warmly.
Nick! She shouts in her mind, unable to form the word.
She tries again to call out, but each time the syllables stifle in her throat, sentencing her to a wretched silence from which she cannot flee.
Winking at her, he returns to his previous conversation.
You were here on that night, damn you! Why can’t I remember you?
Continuing through into the entrance hall, she slowly drags her feet on the flagstones, crippled by her sickness.
I must get to the phone.
There are more people there, many more, crammed, solemn, like cattle to the slaughter. This time, however, they do not belong to her memories. None of them speak as she ambles her way through. Hunched like zombies, they study her every step as she moves pathetically amongst them.
They can see me.
Their costumes reflect the history of the life once told in this home – four hundred years of history. Mortified, she remains possessed by the miraculous chance of hearing her daughter’s beautiful voice again, and has no time to question what is
As she approaches the kitchen where the phone is kept, a cold wind brushes past her arm. Horror-struck to see her other self sweep through her as she quickly walks towards the kitchen, towards the phone, another scream begins to curdle as she realises that she shares one common denominator with the guests in the hall. They are all ghosts. The ghosts of Stonebridge Farm. It is only her determination to hear her daughter once again that chokes her cries, refocusing her.
I must … get … to that … phone.
Each weighty step exhausts her as she trudges through the walls of dead energy that surround her.
Am I dead? What the heck happened? Where’s Nick? I’m coming Jo … sweetheart … please don’t go … I’m coming.
The other Janet had already picked up the phone as she stumbles into the kitchen.
DAMN YOU, YOU SELFISH BITCH! THAT WAS MY CALL! She screams at herself in deathly silence.
Helpless and panicking, she calls wildly at the others to help her.
Please help me! HELP ME! She doesn’t know what she is doing … what she is saying! FOR GOD’S SAKE, PLEASE WON’T SOMEBODY HELP ME! I NEED TO SPEAK TO MY DAUGHTER!
The Magic of Christmas
As the holiday season bears down us all once again, I resume my crusade to define what makes Christmas magic?
I love Christmas. Always have and always will. I do, however, find myself trying to emulate the essence of Dickens, Capra and the Coca-Cola company all into one, and ask the same question I ask myself every December 1st. How can I capture the spirits of past, present and future as the ultimate gift for my family?
Is it an elusive equation studied by seasonal scholars? A sprinkling of snow, a dash of bauble, a cup of pine all mixed into a simmering, warm pot of love? Whatever the season means to you one thing is for sure, the magic it brings IS effecting. I don’t know of any other event that managed to bring two warring sides together in a moment of infamous unity. Ypres, Belgium, Christmas Eve 1914. If the Allies and the Germans manged to silence the shrilling of the shells for the sake of a greater good, then the season brings hope for us all.
It is the spirit of hope that inspired me to write ‘Christmas Eve’. Like many, I have experienced loss and tragedy. Having served as a Police Officer before retiring to my own devices, I have born witness to the hurt of others and slipped into their sadness, often unable to resolve the demon that plagues them. Through the enigmatic ‘Nick’, the stories co-protagonist, I was able to live my own dream of being the person who can offer understanding, forgiveness and ultimately redemption. His magic, the Christmas magic, was the perfect avenue for him to breathe life.
This takes me back to the elusive question, can we capture the magic of Christmas and serve it up on a plate with a glass of sherry and mince pie? For me the answer is a resounding no! Christmas is a hugely personal affair and no person will be able to dictate how or why we should celebrate the holiday. The mere fact that it’s core is so wonderfully translucent perpetuates the mysterious magic that descends every December 24th.
If one were to solve this equation and Christmas was made concrete, it would quickly become commonplace and we complacent. The image of a child watching the winter skies with glee, eager to spot a star shooting across the heavens, pulled furiously by reindeer, would fade. What would be the point? Where would the excitement and curiosity go? After all, that same child would know exactly what to expect from Christmas ‘A+B=C’
For now though, Christmas IS magical, it’s historic mystery unsolved, and the child in all of us can sleep peacefully. The magic is as strong now as it was in 1914.
HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
About the Author:
Angela Burns is a retired Police Officer, living with her partner and children in Norwich, Norfolk. Having been given the gift of time, she now writes full time, living her ambition to share the stories that have floated around her head for so long.