Murder to a Tea by Iris Woodbury – #ASMSG #Mystery

And now for something completely different:

Murder to a Tea

MURDER TO A TEA was released today on Amazon – here’s a bit about the book:

Crystal’s dream of owning a quaint little tea shop is squashed when her assistant is murdered and her partner accused of the crime. While the police build their case, Crystal remains convinced they’ve nabbed the wrong man. Her unshakable belief in his innocence sets her on a course to solve the case – and clear his name.

But there’s more than a business venture at stake. Someone is stalking her employees, and Crystal herself is assaulted outside her restaurant doors. It seems their chocolate-box town is not as idyllic as she’d imagined.

With his razor-sharp tongue, her partner was always something of an odd-ball, but there never seemed any real harm in him.  But as she digs up more dirt, she discovers he’s not as angelic as she thought.  He has a taste for fast women, seedy bars and even has a prior arrest record.  His secret life rocks her confidence, but she stands by him throughout, following the clues wherever they might take her.

Crystal’s enquiries bring her closer to the killer. But with every step towards the truth, she unwittingly draws attention to her own vulnerability. And though her high profile involvement might clear her partner’s name, she might pay for his freedom with her life.

Murder to  Tea is a mystery novel complete at 74,000-words.

I hope you readers enjoy it!

If you do, come tell me over a cuppa or better yet, post me a lovely review on Amazon!

Thanks as always, Iris

THE BERYLLIUM CHALICE – Musa Publishing – Available Feb 28, 2014

“When sacrifice of blood is made,

Only then allegiance it will trade”
———————-

"When sacrifice of blood is made, Only then allegiance it will trade"

“When sacrifice of blood is made, Only then allegiance it will trade”

Flora, a dryad accused of murder and exiled from Mount Olympus…

Kytos, a battle-weary warrior who follows orders and believes the gods can’t be wrong…

Redwood, a fun-loving and perpetually aroused satyr…

What could these three possibly have in common? The Beryllium Chalice, the source of all life and power on Mount Olympus. With the chalice stolen from Mount Olympus by Hades, the other gods will weaken and Hades will be free to overthrow them and take control of the world. The only thing standing between the God of Death and his treacherous scheme are Flora, Kytos, and Redwood. They must band together to steal back The Beryllium Chalice and return it. In spite of their differences, can the three companions get the chalice and return it to Mount Olympus in time to save the gods and the world? – See more at: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=746#sthash.ptnzJ2SL.8AOTrFf3.dpuf

Click to buy The Beryllium Chalice

Cover Reveal – The Beryllium Chalice by Iris Woodbury

It is with great pleasure I give you the cover for my new book, The Beryllium Chalice, scheduled for release with Musa Publishing on 2/28/14.  A round of applause is needed for artist Kelly Shorten, if you please.

Beryllium Chalice

My fantasy story is set in Greece and starts on the face of Mount Olympus. The book tells the adventures of Flora, a wood dryad accused of the murder of her husband, a son of Hades.

If you love Greek monsters, and love tales like Clash of the Titans, then this is the book for you! Its an emotional and action packed roller-coaster, that I hope will have you gripping your seat from start to finish.

Links to the book will follow as soon as the story goes live. Keep watching – it’s coming soon!

Love, Iris!

Mission Accomplished – Alfie Dog Fiction # Sept AND #asmsg

I’m taking my first step from e-publishing into print. Its a teeny tiny baby step – but a step nonetheless. Alfie Dog Fiction are including one of my children’s stories in a collection aimed for the Christmas market.

Amusingly enough its called – Mission Accomplished!

It will be available both as an e-book and in paperback. I was super psyched when they asked me to be in it; at last I’m going to be able to put one of my stories on the bookshelf. How cool is that! Release dates etc. to follow.

Regards, Iris

Read It Again

Block – A Tudor Fan Thing – Free Short Story #asmsg

BLOCK

Anyone who knows me will know I’m an unabashed Tudor F-A-N-A-T-I-C. I can’t get enough of ol’ Henry and his naughty ways. Or his wives and kids.  Here’s a little piece I wrote a while back for flash fiction.  Oddly enough, a few people got the character wrong. Ha! True fans of the era will know.

 

Anne%20Boleyn%20beheaded

BLOCK

To many, it’s just a glorious morning in May. Elizabeth is not here, and she will not remember this day, yet she will never forget it. The blossom reminds me of my wedding day, but the thought brings me no comfort. Their sweet fragrance stabs at my heart for I shall never smell them again, or see such a beautiful sky, or feel the warmth of a spring sun.

 

My ladies spent hours combing my hair, making it shine. Funny. They said it was important I looked my best, and then hid it beneath a plain white bonnet. My dress is simple at least, no irony there.

 

So, I see the steps, and my legs are dull as weights as I reluctantly climb them. I mentally say goodbye to the grass as my feet leave the earth for the last time. They are waiting for me. The priest is here with his head bowed in modest piety. He knows my innocence, and I wonder which one of us he prays for. He doesn’t look me in the eye as I pray in front of him. Is that humility or fear?

 

I brush the hay from my skirt as I stand to address the people. The words come slowly, suggesting a dignity of address, though in truth I’m trying to delay the inevitable. No one listens, not really. They are waiting for the moment when my head leaves my neck. What a show. Will the executioner take it in a single stroke? Dull for them if he does; the more strikes the merrier. After all, they’ve waited this long for a performance.

 

I requested a special swordsman, and he stands there, his eyes hidden behind a mask. I don’t need to see his face. I never knew him in life and have no desire to be intimate with him at the time of my death. I look instinctively for the block, and then recall there will not be one; I couldn’t bear the thought of an axe. I saw how it cleaved the head from my brother’s neck, and later my husband’s friends. My heart bleeds for them. And for myself. They say this swordsman is good, and death will come swiftly.

 

I have nothing more to say. Though I am innocent, I kneel one last time and my hands come together in prayer. I pray to God for his mercy. My time is done.

Rumplestiltskin’s Secret #AMSG Alfie Dog Fiction Only 49p!!

Rumplestiltskin’s Secret

In the midst of famine, a strange little man offers Queen Beitiris a magical choice. ‘Sacrifice your first born or your people will starve.’  Thinking she makes an empty bargain, the queen agrees to the stranger’s terms and prosperity is returned to her people. All her prayers are answered, including her wish for a child… –

rumplestiltskin

Like many people, I enjoy an old favorite told in a new way.  Unlike the traditional tale illustrated above, my Rumplestiltskin tale depicts a powerful heroine, who’s as likely to beguile her enemies as be beguiled herself. So pop on over to Alfie Dog Fiction to check out this, along with my other children’s short stories. Click here to get to a great story, at a price both little and big pockets can afford.

Thanks and enjoy,

Iris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For My Brother, Tony – his last moments

My darling brother

My darling brother

I haven’t written here in a long while. Tragedy has stalked my family of late. A few months back I shared the passing of my mother, Joyce Molyneux. Now, sadly, at only 57, my brother Tony follows her into heaven. After three and a half years of fighting cancer, he finally succumbed to the terrible disease last week. Services are today, as I write in fact. Regrettably, I cannot return to England to be with him as the flames take him on his final journey. And as I can’t be with the ones I love, I would like to share the poem I wrote for his wife, Shirley, on the day of his passing.

LIGHT AND DARKNESS

The light fades to darkness, and the day ends.
Draw the curtains and close your eyes, for the time for sleep has come.
The night must have its hour; allow it to envelop you,
Let it take you where it will, for you must go there. You have no choice.

But as you sleep, dream of the sunshine, for that is where Tony lived,
He loved you in the one way he knew how,
Fully and completely, savoring each moment like a fine wine,
Withholding nothing; defending all, being true to himself, and those he cherished.

His life with yours entwined, and your love yielded rich fruit,
More love, more laughter, more life.
A fighter – who saw the darkness on the horizon, and yet held onto the day,
Gutsy to the end, never throwing in the towel – two fingers raised high to the fates.

Your nights feel empty now, your heart – a dull stone.
You would shut out the day time and sleep away your pain.
This will pass. Memories of lighter days will kiss the shadows,
He’s inside you now, his soul maybe sleeping, but he’s part of who you are.

Tonight your sorrow may cloak the joy you shared,
But nothing can take this from you.
For you were loved.
And you had light.

 

Its a special someone, who lives to love others.

Its a special someone, who lives to love others.

Iris Woodbury 7/9/13

CREAMY CRAZE CUSTARD

CREAMY CRAZE CUSTARD

Perky, and fit to burst, Winnie Carbuncle, Creamy Craze Custard’s new Quality Control girl stood ready for duty. Fresh faced in her shiny white uniform and white mesh hat, she almost jumped out of her regulation factory shoes. Seeing her mentor, Derek, approach, she slipped her cell phone out of sight into her uniform pocket.

“I’m so excited,” Winnie confessed to her mentor. “I hope I do well.”

“I’m sure you will.” Derek sighed and stared at her pocket. “You should know we don’t tolerate cell phones or texting during work hours. It’s company policy, total strict adherence, pain of death, that sort of thing.”

“Understood.” Winnie smiled.

As she hopped from toe to toe, Winnie tried hard to look over Derek’s shoulder to see what he was writing on his clipboard. He pulled the board to his chest to conceal it from view. Derek nodded towards a clipboard hanging on the wall by the vat. “Take that one.”

Winnie looked over the rows and columns, too excited to absorb what she read. “So,” she continued, “You’ll be looking after me for the next week?”

“Yuuuup” Derek said. “The whole week.”

Winnie looked around her. Though two vats were churning the custard, she’d seen no-one else in the building. They were alone. Derek had interviewed her earlier that morning, and explained the crew worked at different times so as not to disturb production. “It would be just a few hours each evening but you’ll find the pay is good,” he’d reassured her.

So here she was, super eager to please, hoping Derek wouldn’t regret giving her a chance.

“And the person before me; what were they like?” Winnie beamed.

“Alright I guess. He did a good job.”

“So why did he leave?”

“He died.”

“Oh.” Flushing pink, Winnie turned her attention to the clipboard. One of the boxes read taste test. “So, we actually have to taste the custard?”

“Sure. You grab a ladle, spoon a thimble full into this small plastic cup here. Use the spatula to take a sample and check it tastes okay.”

“Why?”

“We don’t want to put out salty custard, that’s why they call if Quality Control.”

“Try this one,” Derek sighed. He nodded towards the closest vat while handing her a ladle.

Winnie did as directed and sampled the custard. It tasted like, well, custard, and she didn’t quite know what to say. She didn’t want to look stupid, but felt she ought to say something. “Nice.”

“Then check the box, there.” Derek indicated the place on the form with his fingers. They moved onto the next vat.

Winnie liked this job. It seemed pretty easy and she was confident she could get the hang of it. She noticed a wheelbarrow by the side of the vat. She wondered what it was for. “So what did my predecessor die of?” she asked. She brought the next ladle of custard to her lips.

Derek waited until she swallowed before answering. “Cyanide poisoning,” he said. His eyes opened wide with approval as Winnie fell dead to the ground. “Ooops, another bad batch!” Derek said. He recovered her clipboard and replaced it on the wall. He hoisted Winnie into the wheelbarrow, and whistled as he pushed her up a ramp hidden behind the vat.

Just before her limp body disappeared into the custard forever, Derek whipped out the cell phone from her pocket.

Gloop! As the giant air-bubble popped, Winnie went under the liquid and sank to the bottom. He poured in a whole bottle of white liquid labeled formaldehyde then threw the empty bottle in after her.

Happier than he’d been all day, he almost danced back to his office, a healthy spring in his step. He hung Winnie’s cell phone like a trophy on the office board, next to fifteen other such phones, each with a single name printed underneath. Under this one, he wrote “Winnie.” He wrote the date on his clipboard and hung it by the phones. “Oh.” He’d forgotten one last thing. Derek took down Winnie’s cell phone and removed the battery from the rear, then replaced the shell back on the board. He threw the battery in the trash can which landed squarely, resonating loudly against the sides of the metal can. He raised his hands over his head like a basketball star. “Another cell phone bites the dust,” Derek shrieked to the imaginary crowd.

He left that night with a whistle on his lips, and grabbed a sign that said “out of business” which he hung happily on the factory door.

Stories Produced With Alfie Dog

Bridge

http://alfiedog.com/products-page/iris-woodbury/

Check me out at Alfie Dog Fiction. They’ve published three of my shorts, and carry lots of stories by amazing writers.

The scene above was sent to me by my niece, Kelly. She just visited Devon with my sister Jan, and my other lovely niece, Gems – and this piccie was taken on their travels. I wish I could’ve been with them, sounds like they had a wonderful time.

Christmas is just around the corner but the best present you ever get is the gift of family. I love mine, and give thanks for them every day, not just on the 25th. If you guys are reading this, I love you all.

Strange Objective

OBJECTIVE

The wet washcloth made the black chalkboard super shiny. The sergeant made sure not a trace of what he’d written could be seen.

“Good luck boys, I know this is a tough assignment but I trust each and every one of you will make me proud.”

The four foot soldiers crossed their camouflaged legs and stared at each other.

“Errr sergeant, I’m clear on our objective, but do we have funding for this? I mean, tax payers money and all that.”

The soldier to his right gave him a sharp kick under the table. The sergeant raised a stern eyebrow and stared hard into the foot soldiers face. “Are you questioning my authority here, rookie?”

“No sir, well, yes, I suppose…”

“Johnson is it?”

“Yes Sir.”

“If I were you son, I’d take a tip from your corporal who just kicked you and know when to shut up.”

“Yes Sir.”

“Are we clear, Johnson?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Excellent. Anyone else have any questions before you’re all dismissed?” Only the footfalls of the drill exercise beyond the wall could be heard. “Group dismissed. Rendezvous back here at twenty hundred hours.”

The four men rose and hurried from the room. A few moments later they huddled outside to discuss their mission.

“This ain’t what I signed up for,” complained the rookie. “I mean, I never would have dreamed I’d be asked to do this sort of thing.”

His more experienced corporal pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and lit up. It was his first in hours and he took a moment to suck the wonderful smoke down into his lungs. “You’ll do what you’re bloody told or answer to me,” said corporal Kensington. “That’s an order, Johnson.”

Foot soldiers Lehman and Webber had no scruples about their mission. “Fuck ‘em all I say,” said Lehman. I’d take on every last one of them.”

Webber snickered. “I don’t doubt it.”

Corporal Kensington looked up to the night sky. The sun was low on the horizon and in less than an hour it would be dark. “Right then, we have to be quick. We need a jeep, I can trust you to get that for us,” he said to Lehman.

Lehman nodded casually, twisting his lips as if he thought his task a piece of cake.

“Good. Meet you over by the gate in five.”

Lehman was as good as his word. He appeared in three minutes, and was rewarded by a stern nod from his corporal.

“Good man. Jump in everyone. We’ve no time to waste.”

In less than an hour the jeep could be heard returning to the barracks.

“Shut your mouth or there’ll be trouble,” said Kensington. His request was strange, since all of the soldiers in the jeep sat in silence, and only the whir of the engine could be heard.

The jeep was not checked at the gate but all soldiers were required to identify themselves. The four men held their breath and if the sentry had paid attention, he’d have noticed his colleagues were unnaturally stiff and not their usual jovial selves. But he didn’t pay attention, and the four passed back inside the barracks without incident.

The sun had set now, and the four men drove over to the briefing room where four figures clambered from the vehicle. A moment later the car whizzed off and under cover of darkness, they all slipped inside the dimly lit building.

Their sergeant waited by the black board, his impatient eyes betraying his desire to learn the outcome of their mission. “Corporal Kensington, make your report.”

“Mission accomplished, Sir.” Corporal Kensington stepped aside to reveal a figure concealed under a khaki blanket. He gave the figure a quick poke with his forefinger. Just as he shifted, Lehman opened the door and joined his companions.

“Sorry I’m late boys, hope I didn’t miss the show.”

“Not at all. Please dim the lights.”

Lehman did as instructed, and as he did so the mysterious figure under the blanket giggled.

“You can come out now,” ordered the sergeant, and as he spoke the blanket slid to the ground, revealing the Turkish belly dancer beneath.

Lehman pressed ‘Play’ on the stereo, and with their money still in her hand, the floor show commenced….
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