Did you enter the Sweet Romance Christmas Giveaway this month? The contest just closed a few hours ago – if you didn’t enter the contest in time, I’m sorry you missed it. The prizes were a bundle of 15 romance novels and short story collections as well as Amazon vouchers. My short story collection, Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves was included in the prize bundle. My collection is a mix of romance and women’s fiction, all set in Ireland, past and present. Well, the contest is over unfortunately but all the romances are still available on Amazon. I’ll give you a taster from the first story in my collection, A Link To Her Past:
“Brenda had never spent much time on her computer before her accident. But, since she twisted her ankle a couple weeks ago and had been housebound, she had been exploring its capabilities – surfing the net they called it. That’s how she had discovered that her local church had a camera filming the Mass and she could watch it. She was glad to find this link to her normal life.
She didn’t know what had prompted her to ask John whether she could see St Michael’s on her computer. When she used to visit her sister in Ballylea, she had attended the church. But she hadn’t been there since her sister moved to town.
It must be several years since I was last there, she thought, surprised.
Why had she even thought of St Michael’s? Maybe John’s questions yesterday about her First Communion had started it. His daughter would make her First Communion this Easter. She told him how she remembered kneeling at the altar rail at St Michael’s in her shiny satin dress with her best friend, Kate McCusker. The dress was handed down from an older cousin but it was nearly new and she loved it. She had smiled at the memory and John had said it was good to see her smile. Then he had searched for the church’s details and had written down the Mass times for her.
She clicked on ‘Watch Live’ and waited as a white pattern swirled around in the middle of the black screen. Suddenly an image appeared. She heard the sound of heels clicking slowly on tiles. Two elderly women shuffled stiffly up the aisle. Brenda watched the congregation filter into the church in ones and twos.
I’ve found it in time for Mass, she thought. She leaned back in her chair, pulling her laptop computer closer to her.
As people continued to file into the church Brenda’s thoughts strayed to when she was a girl attending Mass with her family. It was more than 40 years ago but she remembered it clearly. As the eldest, it fell to Brenda to help mind the younger children. While listening to the priest, she kept her eye on her siblings, glaring at them if they dared fidget or whisper. Sometimes she would steal a glance across the aisle, trying to catch Martin Corrigan looking at her. If their eyes met his face would crease into a smile before he looked away. She tried to shake off the memory. That was, indeed, a long time ago.
Brenda focussed on the computer screen again. Most of the congregation were now seated. A slim, grey haired man walked up the aisle. There was something familiar about him. She leaned forward, peering more closely at the screen. As he slid into a pew a couple rows from the altar she caught a glimpse of his face. This man was obviously older but he was very like Martin. She was nearly sure it was him.
Her forehead creased in a frown. She knew he had moved to Dublin soon after she left for Manchester. So what was he doing back in Ballylea?”