Thursday, 18 August 2016

Summer Price Drop Offer

There will be a special Amazon Kindle price drop promotion on the books Temptation and sequel Star Keeper commencing Monday 22nd August for SEVEN DAYS ONLY.
During this period readers will be able to purchase Kindle books for 99 pence (or equivalent in US and European currency).
I look forward to reading your reviews.
HAPPY READING!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sea Breeze - Littleborough & Shaw Magazine

My story in the August/September edition of The Littleborough & Shaw Magazines. I hope you enjoy this follow-up to the summer theme from last month.

Sea Breeze
'So, what will you have?’ The bar-tender gave me a friendly smile then looked at me as though it was more than a simple question. It floored me for a moment.
‘I’ll have a Sea Breeze.’ His eyebrow arched. I watched him mix my drink then took in my surroundings. The night air was warm and the beach before me deserted. I hadn’t noticed this small bar on the edge before. On the other side was room enough for the bar-tender and a mirrored shelf of bottles. On my side, three stools. I sat alone. I’d stopped on a whim.
‘So, I asked, what will you have?’ The bar-tender placed my drink before me then gave a quizzical look.
‘One drink will be fine for now,’ I smiled weakly, not sure what he’d meant.
‘But it’s not what you really want.’ I stopped sipping and knew I looked worried. He stared at my expression.
‘I’m only here for one night.’
The man’s smile vanished. ‘Tell me what you really want, what your heart desires.’
I stood up. ‘What do I owe you for the drink?’ I wouldn’t look at him.
‘Nothing,’ he replied. ‘But, if you want something then now is your only chance to ask. Sit and enjoy your drink and when you’re ready you can tell me.’ He turned to pick up a glass then began to polish it. I sat and picked up my drink. Now, I couldn’t take my eyes from him. For once I was dumbfounded. Then, maybe the drink gave me courage.
‘I don’t know what I want.’ And, I truly didn’t. I’d come to this place to find out. A holiday away from the drudgery was supposed to provide answers.
‘Let me make a suggestion,’ the bar-tender offered. ‘For the next 12 nights come to this place at 10pm. This will be your bar until 2am. Ask whoever stops to have a drink, what they want and it will happen when they return home. At the end of the 12 nights I will return and you must then tell me what you want.’
I couldn’t believe what he told me. ‘What if I drink your bar dry?’ The bar-tender’s smile widened.
‘You could do that but your wish won’t be granted.’ I stood then turned away to count coins in my palm. I wouldn’t leave without paying but when I turned with an outstretched hand the man and bar wasn’t there.
I returned the next night. I took my place and made myself a Sea Breeze. I needed it. My first customer arrived at 10.15pm. I stayed until 2am and then the bar disappeared around me. For 12 nights I manned the bar. I listened to people tell me their wishes which ranged from winning the lottery to just finding power or peace. Some spoke of revenge or rekindling lost love. All told me their innermost wishes while I served drinks. All were incredulous when I told them that their drinks were free and their wishes would come true. It was the former they really couldn’t believe. Some returned drunk to their hotel and villas whereas some left after their first drink. I think I heard all of mankind’s woes and expectations. For 12 nights I then asked myself what I really wanted.
At the end of the twelfth night I waited. At 2am the bar-tender appeared with two Sea Breezes. We each took a stool and stared at the space behind the bar where I had stood. ‘Well? What will you have?’
It was surreal. I pinched myself. ‘Nothing,’ I sipped my drink then looked him in the eye. ‘After 12 nights of hearing what people want then what they’d do with it I’m ready to go home.’
‘Can I interest you in a job?’ The bar-tender smiled and close-up his face suddenly seemed younger.
‘I’m more of a day person,’ I replied then smiled too. ‘Don’t you get fed-up of doing this? Do people actually get what they want?’
He looked into his glass and swirled its contents to watch its reflections change. It seemed like an age before he spoke. ‘You gave me 12 night’s holiday. That’s more than I’ve had for a centuries and, yes, people get what they want but only to a certain extent then later, they realise it wasn’t what they’d really wanted. You’re the first person to realised you are happy with what you already have.’
I stretched out my hand and he took it. I shook his. ‘Thank you for an interesting experience.’
‘And thank you. That job will be waiting for you.’
It was a good thing I’d finished my drink because my glass, the bar-tender and his bar disappeared.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Something Different for Your Weekend

To escape the gloom and doom of newsreels and if you like something "different" for your weekend then you can now read the opening to my novels Temptation and Star Keeper here...

Opening to Temptation by Denise Greenwood


Opening to Star Keeper by Denise Greenwood

I'll look forward to reading your reviews.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Summer Breeze - Littleborough & Shaw Magazine

This month's magazine story.
I carried around this idea in my notebook since last year. It came from a dream I had when longing to be on a sunny beach and listening to waves as they crashed on the sand. While writing it I found myself in a holiday mood and hoping the UK summer would be more than wet and humid. Well...you can't have everything but, you can dream. Enjoy!

Summer Breeze by Denise Greenwood, The Littleborough & Shaw Magazines

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Holiday Reading

I had a surprise recently when a feature on writing.ie was brought to my attention by a friend. I've included a link below.
Feature on writing.ie online magazine

It was then pleasing to see extra sales for my first two books Temptation and Star Keeper which are ideal reading for beach holidays and long travel treks this year. They're available as both paperback and Kindle. Bought together they cost the same as just one paperback from an airport store but their stories and characters will stay with you long after your holiday has ended.

Book One - Temptation by Denise Greenwood

Book Two - Star Keeper by Denise Greenwood. Sequel to Temptation
 

Friday, 10 June 2016

I Dare You To Sing - The Littleborough, Shaw & Crompton Magazines

My short story in the June edition.

‘I dare you to sing with them.’
‘No.’
‘Why not? You said Marilyn Manson started that way.’
‘Yeah, but I doubt he sang with a bunch of old farts.’
‘Well I dare you to.’
 
After some protest the boy accepted the challenge. Girls giggled to see him appear one Sunday morning in a long red tunic. Longing to emulate his hero, Ethan usually sang alone in his bathroom but it no longer quenched his budding ambition. The red tunic was a symbol of greater things to come. He lasted three Sundays.
Ethan was allotted a seat on a choir pew between two old women, Mrs Hardmore, a robust 82-year-old with steely pig eyes and Miss Vlees, a well-spoken spinster of 65 whose life enjoyment had been squeezed like a lemon. Mrs Jagal, a tall sallow woman with froglike eyes sat in haughty judgement behind the unsuspecting lad. Coughing, which Ethan hadn’t noticed when part of the congregation, was in full surround-sound. Lungs wheezed. A vicious rattle of phlegm increased in volume until it burst into a spluttering wet cough, uncontained by hankies. Whistling, sniffing but odours were worse, pungent muscle-rub tickled the boy’s nasal hairs. Sickly lavender perfume had a whiff of urine.
Was this how a rock star really started out? Marilyn Manson couldn’t have gone through this.
Ethan looked up towards heaven gazing in disappointment at the organ’s bronzed cylindrical pipes stretching into rafters over his head. Imprisoned by bars, the boy felt trapped between wheezing human pipes and metal.
The ladies prodded him like a prize pig at a fair. Long, harsh fingers alerted him to the next hymn number marked in a book held with tape. They also prodded him whenever he swung his legs against the bench. His Sideshow-Bob feet were too cramped in a narrow pew. Mrs Jagal bent forward to breathe a sickly odour of violets and aniseed onto the side of his neck. She rasped repeatedly: ‘Sing out! Don’t just mouth the words.’
After the third Sunday, Ethan overheard the ladies discussing him and it was a final push. Their fevered whisperings echoed in a vestry corridor.
‘Does he sing?’
‘Hard to tell, if he’s no intention of singing then why did he join?’
‘Typical of children today. No commitment. I blame the parents.’
‘If he kicks that pew one more time, I’ll pinch him so hard he’ll sing out!’
‘I was up till ten last night shortening that tunic for him. I wasn’t well enough you know!’
‘I wouldn’t have done it. In my day uniform was always too big. We had to grow into it. That boy isn’t worth it.’
Ethan’s stomach churned with humiliation which quickly turned to anger. Is this what they really think?’ He walked up to the tenor. Michael was surprised.
‘Are you okay son?’
The lad looked up with a beetroot face. ‘I’ve had enough of them.’ He gestured over his shoulder then to his surprise Michael winked as he bent down to whisper.
‘Truth is, I’ve had enough too but, hey? I’m the only one who can sing and they can’t bully me.’
 
Ethan swung his legs throughout the service not caring if they hit shins. He grabbed bony fingers by their tips as they approached his ribs from both sides. Pinching hard he ignored an unpleasant cracking of joints. Shock and pain brought on coughing fits. Miss Vlees snatched her fingers away to rub them then sang out of tune with a shrill and piercing squeak. Mrs Jagal leaned forward to intervene knowing the lad was the culprit. His timing was perfect. He threw his head back, deliberately singing loudly. The back of his head smacked into Mrs Jagal’s temple with a dull clack and she started back with both shock and pain.
After the hymn drawled to a conclusion, Ethan stood pulled his tunic over his head, scrunched it into a ball then dropped it onto his seat.  He reached into his jeans pocket, pulled out a packet of spearmint gum and threw it into Mrs Jagal’s lap.
‘Here, you need them. Your breath stinks!’
Then, Ethan scrambled over Miss Vlees not caring if his backside brushed her face, much to the astonishment of both choir and congregation. The vicar stood at the top of stone steps with his back to the choir, taken aback by an unexpected sea of open mouths in front of him. Ethan calmly walked past then the vicar jumped with surprise. Ethan sprang from the bottom step to the first pew to join his relatives who bunched-up to make room. There was no need to say anything. Ethan was glad to be back where he belonged.
Now I know why rock stars always wear black. Perhaps I should learn the guitar.