Welcome to Wednesday Writers! Today’s guest author Carol Browne, from England, will be sharing a review of her newest release, An Elf’s Lament Upon Leaving, a collection of short stories and poems. Carol also has an excerpt from one of the book’s short stories. Welcome, Carol!
High praise for Carol Browne’s latest book that is a beautiful anthology of poems and short stories.
No one says it better than an Amazon reviewer who describes the book as “atmospheric”:
“The poetry is steeped in a love of nature, magic and mythology. The short stories hold interesting twists. No spoilers! The Boomerang Effect (dabbling with a love spell, Martin Nevis finds himself having second thoughts) A Force to Be Reckoned With (an outcast with thoughts of being “destined for something great” wants to join the police force) and Transformation (once bullied, Patricia attends a school reunion and emerges victorious) were my favorites.
Give this anthology collection of short stories a read, you won’t be disappointed.”
An elf laments a passing era,
But truth and beauty will survive,
For they live on in stories and verses,
And in our imaginations thrive.
Nature, nostalgia, mystery and magic,
In twisty tales and poems that rhyme,
Are here, with myth and fantasy blended,
To capture another place and time.
Here’s an excerpt from the short story The Boomerang Effect.
Martin found just the spell he needed. It was in a very old book, wedged among countless other volumes at the rear of the occult bookshop.
He pulled the book from its hiding-place. Eight Ways to Magic, proclaimed the title. The book cracked in protest, as Martin pried it open. His eyes flicked hungrily down the list of contents and widened as they reached Chapter Six – “Love Spells”.
Martin glanced warily around the shop, as though fearful of discovery, but, apart from an elderly lady squinting at a book on flower magic, he was quite alone. And the proprietor, a raw-boned man whose fuzz of grey hair ringed the summit of his skull like a helm-cloud, was engrossed in a book catalogue at the counter, his long nose like a spike of bone wearing spectacles.
Martin’s fingers fumbled their way through age-thickened pages until they reached Chapter Six. And there it was, spell number eight: How to attract the lover of your choice.
He closed the book, hugged it to his chest and made for the counter, his heart quickening with excitement.
Now, Debbie Starsmore, he thought, you shall be mine.
Leaving the shop moments later, his purchase thrust into his holdall like a guilty secret, he made for home.
Home was a grubby ground-floor flat in the cheaper part of town. Martin had lived there alone for 25 years since leaving school in the summer of ‘63 with an ‘O’ Level in Art and the complete indifference of his teachers. His parents hadn’t minded his leaving home. His mother, in fact, had been quite cheerful at the prospect of doing less laundry, while his father had wondered how many lodgers they could legally cram into Martin’s old room.
So Martin set off on his lonely journey through life.
By day, he vacantly occupied the position of sales assistant at B. Fleet Footwear, and for 25 years grew a paunch, while his hair receded vaguely towards the crown of his head. These signs of maturity never seemed to earn him the right to promotion, but Martin was content with his lot.
Little did B. Fleet know how much it suited the ageing assistant to be lowly and anonymous because, by night, Martin was a wizard.
Once upon a time a little girl wrote a poem about a flower.
Impressed, her teacher pinned it to the wall and, in doing so, showed the child which path to follow.
Over the years poems and stories flowed from her pen like magic from a wizard’s wand.
She is much older now, a little wiser too, and she lives in rural Cambridgeshire, where there are many trees to hug.
But inside her still is that little girl who loved Nature and discovered the magic of words.
She hopes to live happily ever after.