Sunday, 31 May 2020

10 Characters Share Their Personality

Ten wonderful characters have stopped by at PB HQ to share their personalities, as they settle in their favourite chair, please help yourself to a drink. There’s most “tipple of choice” at the bar, then make yourself comfortable and meet some, good, bad and … well you decide, characters.

Q. How would you describe yourself?
Are you a happy go lucky person, a control freak, a devious person, an emotional person, love helping others, gets a thrill out of outsmarting your fellow colleagues… or are you something else? Do reveal…!

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians from To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead

I am Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians. My father, Alfred the Great, often went to war and I saw what that did to my mother, cowing her with worry. Still, I didn’t think the Viking wars would affect my prospects and I used to be full of hope. I admit to being judgmental about my husband and his countrymen, but I learned some harsh lessons, realising I needed to grow up and stop feeling sorry for myself. I know the importance of duty and when self-doubt threatens, I lift my chin and try to rise to the challenge. I have a temper and throw things when I’m angry, but that has been helpful at times. I am fiercely loyal, and not afraid to take advice. Sometimes I lean too heavily on others; I’ve loved deeply, and suffered losses, but at the end of it all, I have no regrets.

Isy Forrester from In Too Deep by Elly Redding

I thought I had my life all sorted out; move to London with the man I love, and study law.  Only things didn’t quite turn out like that.  Suddenly, I was alone in a City I didn’t know.  I had to be strong, resourceful, and carry on regardless. 
But now I’m back in Devon, where it all started. My beloved father is poorly, and the questions I’ve tried so hard to bury, have returned, like an ever-spinning wheel.  Why did Jack send me away 6 years earlier?  Why do I still love him?  And how can I help?  Can I really solve the mystery of his past? Only things don’t go according to plan.  They never do with me, but I’m tenacious too. Only this time, I know I have to be careful, because I can’t afford to make the same mistake twice.  Not when it comes to matters of the heart.

Twitter: @ellyredding
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John Milburn from Children from Sinai by Shelley Clarke

My name is John Milburn, I was a Computer Science lecturer at Cambridge University. I enjoyed my work and was happy living a routine life being a good husband and father to twin daughters. Orphaned as a young child, I was raised by my aunt. Family is the most important thing to me.

I used to be more outgoing and a bit reckless in my youth but over the years became a bit staid.  Then the strange dreams started, and I discovered secrets from my parents’ past that put my family in danger and posed questions as to who I really was. We became caught up in a prophecy that was to change our lives and the world we knew. As events unfolded, I forgot about the modest, scared and confused person I was and the old daredevil in me surfaced. I suppose you could say I became a reluctant hero.

Captain Jesamiah from, Sea Witch series by Helen Hollick

Good day, Ma’am, Captain Jesamiah Acorne at your service. [Removes three-cornered hat, sweeps an elegant bow]. Me? I’m kindness itself, always happy to help... [a female voice calls from the background...] What? er... m’wife says I must be truthful, otherwise personal bits of m’self might shrivel up and drop off! [shudders] Well, I used to be a pirate back in the early 1700s – now, I do a bit of trading (legal) and a bit of smuggling [chuckles], I enjoy outsmarting the Revenue... landing a cargo beneath their very noses!

I’d lay my life down for m’ wife, although she insists she can look after herself. Daft wench. Governor Rogers of the Bahamas is under the misapprehension that I work for him as a spy. It’s a misunderstanding I’m still trying to put right...

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The Potential for Love - Arabella Malvin Speaks by Catherine Kullmann

I am no simpering miss. I do not relish flattery; my husband need not worship at my feet, nor will I kneel at his. I do not want a fashionable marriage where we live largely separate lives. We must be friends as well as lovers. After we are wed, he will not spend all his time at his clubs and other lounges, but will continue to seek me out and enjoy my company. We shall still dance and ride together but also value quiet evenings talking about everything and nothing, able to engage in friendly dispute where we benefit from the other’s opinions. Above all, he will respect me and ignore the rights the law accords him. We will cherish each other and our children, standing together in good times and in bad, each ready to support the other in a true and loving partnership. Do I ask too much?

You can find out more about my search for the right husband in Catherine Kullmann’s new novel The Potential for Love
If you want to know more about Catherine and her other books, please consult her website

Mary Mercer, the mother-in-law of my main character Sir Francis Berkeley in Allegiance of Blood by Mark Turnbull

"How shall I describe myself? I am naught more than a god-fearing woman who doth love her family. An Irishwoman I shall always be, despite residing in England. If you further pressed me on discourse about my own character, I will reluctantly admit to being of a modest disposition. I am a wise judge in all matters and my opinions are oft proven most correct, therefore some do not hearken to me at their peril – namely my son-in-law, Sir Francis Berkeley. A lady of refined habits, methinks, and one who takes action, rather than dwelling upon thought or word. Of calm temperament, too, except when it comes to my aforementioned priggish son-in-law and his misguided support of King Charles. This is civil war. He doth not understand the peril such allegiance brings to my beloved stepdaughter and grandson, but I will take whatever action necessary to protect them both."

Jane Smith of Buried Treasure by Gilli Allan

I’ve been called prickly, a control freak, that I constantly need to prove myself.  It’s a defense mechanism I suppose. I grew up in the shadow of my brainy sister. I didn’t even try to compete, leaving school and getting a job as soon I could. But I was far too young and impressionable. When the boss took an interest in me, I was triumphant.  Handsomer, more charismatic and richer than my sister’s partner, he’d chosen ME!  It took a long time to realise the relationship was damaging, stripping me of confidence and self-esteem.
It’s taken a while. I may still be thin-skinned and easily undermined, but I’ve rebuilt myself.  I’m my own boss. The ‘Events’ career I’m developing has taken me to an elite university. In this environment my fragile certainties are under threat.  I‘m not stupid!  Beware anyone who looks down on me, who tries to patronize or underestimate me! 

Hassan from, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room, and also Seaview Terrace by Kate Rigby.

You would have me reveal? Me, a man of mystery!  You will hear me talk about myself in the third person, Hassan is, he was, he will be. He can be the party animal with lavishness and hilarity but beware the black dog when it comes.  Then he will draw the curtains and banish you from his room. Then how does he recover the buoyancy? 

Oh but he does. Just don’t ask him about loss and his favourite daughter arriving in his dreams.

People they love me anyway, and sometimes they hate me more.  They hate my flash cars and wealth but I have this dark thought of an ageing man, losing it all, homeless, drawn, you not recognising him and saying but surely this cannot be the Great Hassan?  For it is precarious, it could all come tumbling down like the card towers, all that was built – gone, kaput.

Daphne from Strays and Relations by Dizzy Greenfield

My name is Daphne. They used to describe me as steady and dependable, irreplaceable, but lately they don’t even bother to keep their voices down. Apparently, now I’m unreliable, temperamental and replaceable.

 I’ve always tried to keep my family warm and well-fed, but I’ve got old – and they can’t seem to make allowances. Only yesterday she said that I have trouble controlling my internal thermometer. And he said that I’m becoming a danger!

I suppose I have become more bad-tempered over the years. It was never so much fun round here after our child grew up and left– and then the ginger cat that used to clamber up of an evening went too.  I used to love it when all the lambs came in to keep warm and safe. I find it difficult to function as I used to, and today I found out my worst fears are about to happen.  I’m being replaced by a younger model.  A shiny new Aga, called Olivia.

I hate her already. I haven’t met her yet –and don’t want to – but I’ve heard all about her perfectly working thermostat and her lack of dents or scratches. What’s more, she’s arriving with a free set of saucepans AND A TEA TOWEL

And how do you compete with that!

Doreen from The Birthday Card and Sometimes It Happens… by Pauline Barclay

Blimey, what am I like? What a question. My girl would say I’m a pain in the butt, but she’s seventeen, enough said! I guess I’m fairly easy going. I try to take life with a smile and a giggle. I’m up for a laugh with the best of them and don’t shy away from letting my hair down and having a good time. This said, I’m not naïve enough to know that people see my as dizzy and common. And, I don’t miss how those in the office and warehouse, where I work as a cleaner, look down their beaks at me. It hurts, though I hide it well. Sometimes things happen that you could never imagine and it did after one of my visits to Mr Greedy’s corner shop.  It changed a lot of people’s thoughts about me. The funny thing is, I aint changed one bit, still dizzy. love having a laugh and common!

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Twitter @paulinembarclay

What an eclectic mix of characters, I have enjoyed meeting all of them and learning about their varying personalities. I hope you have too and that you will delve further into their lives to learn their story and what made them who they are.

Thank you to all the wonderful authors who took the time to join in the fun and a special thank you to you for stopping by.

Have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.



Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Our Rainbow

Our Rainbow
Written by Pauline Barclay and inspired by true events.

Who would have thought what eight weeks would bring? Nothing in our imagination could have thought any of this could happen or what we were about to face. Nothing could have prepared our family for what was about to happen.

Stay at home, the headlines flash. The radio and television never stop reminding us and then of course Social Media plays its part in telling us we must stay home. I understand. My dad is a doctor, who better to remind our family about what has happened to our world. We are a normal family with four beautiful children who have more energy than a crowd at the FA cup final. We have issues and areas of our lives that often need help. One of our sons, from time to time, needs special help, but we still see ourselves as normal. We are happy, full of optimism and we are surrounded by a wonderful extended family who help and care.

Lock down is announced and not only must we stay at home, but our extended family can no longer visit and, equally as upsetting, we can’t visit them. Three of our four children now have home schooling, the baby is still running around playing with her toys and totally happy that her brothers and sister are home all day.  And, like every home in the country we have to try and find a routine and a way of life to get through however long lock down will last. Our home has become, a school room, an office, a playroom, a playground, a cinema and much more. Who would have thought these small four walls would have to encompass so much, but if we thought having to cope with lock down was tough, our real nightmare was about to begin.

At the same time as lock down was announced we learnt that the lady of our home was diagnosed with cancer. My beautiful partner and mother of four gorgeous children was ill. The next few weeks would test us, but with lock down we would be taken to the wire.  Within days of diagnosis began intense chemotherapy, followed by surgery, quickly followed by the start of another long program of chemo. Our home, normally, filled with happiness, laughter and family chaos, was trying to cope. Tears from children who didn’t and couldn’t understand how sick mummy was. Home schooling became difficult and at times impossible. Our son who needs a little help, found the lack of routine and his mummy needing to leave the home for hospital appointments too much to deal with. Before lock down, my dad, a doctor, decided he would stay with us for a few days. I will never be able to thank enough Gods for him staying back then, because of lock down he has remained and without him being with us, we would never have got this far. Lock down means we can’t have our family come and help us, we are muddling through. Cooking has become something that we share as best we can, the children get involved as they know daddy is not a cook good or otherwise, but so far we have not starved. We are doing our very best and our children still laugh and smile and play happily together. Their energy never ceases to amaze me. We have moments of tears and questions and more so when mummy is so very sick after her chemo session. Yet despite all this she finds the strength to cuddle them, tell them how much she loves them and that she will be well again soon. We know it will end and our beautiful lady of the house will recover. We know it will take a long time for her to regain full strength, but she will. The lock down will end, eventually, and life will carry on. Families will once again be together and our own rainbow’s colours will shine brighter and more vibrant because we are a family; a beautiful family that fights and we will come through all of this.


I saw this on Social Media, sadly there is no name attributed to it, but it says so much.
Please read…


I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.

For some that live alone they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.

With the weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.

For some not getting on with Family domestic abuse is rife...we never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.

Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal.

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.

We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.

Realize that and be kind.

Unknown author

If anyone knows who the author is, please let me know and their name can be added… thank you.

Pauline x

Monday, 4 May 2020

A Fun Day at the Beach

With over a 190 direct hits on his short story, A Journey into the Amazon, Leighton returns with another wonderful, imaginative story, A Fun Day at the Beach. So grab your bucket and spade and settle down on the sand and join Leighton and his brother in their latest adventure…

A Fun Day at the Beach
By Leighton age 9

"Are we nearly there yet," I shouted excitedly, it felt like we had been in the car for ages. It’s always me that has to sit next to my little sister. Roo is 3 and she always falls asleep in the car, but always has to hold my hand and she snores very loudly.
"Five more minutes," Daddy said looking in the rear view mirror at us. As Daddy answered me, my mummy woke up. My Mummy is like Roo and always falls asleep in the car too. At last, we made it to the big carpark and we saw the sea, I was getting excited.

"Everyone out," Daddy shouted as we all jumped out of the car. I was extra prepared this morning and already had my black and red swimming shorts on. We walked onto the beach and our first job was to find a good spot. We like to go next to the lifeguard station as it is a big cabin and is easy to see, which means we can always find our way back to Mummy and Daddy when we go off to play.
When we have the perfect spot we get all our things out ready for a day at the beach. We have food, bodyboards, buckets and spades. Mummy and Daddy tell us the rules about the beach and how to stay safe and then we go off and start our adventure.
Teddy and I pick up our bodyboards and run towards the sea, this is the start of our adventure. Body boarding is so much fun, but the sea is rough today. We bob up and down in the water splashing each other and playing. When I look up I can’t see Mummy or Daddy anymore and the lifeguard cabin seems so far away. "Teddy we are going to get lost,” I shout." Let’s swim to shore and start heading back." Teddy shouted back, “Ok.” So we kicked and splashed and headed back to the beach. When we got to the beach we heard a strange noise. Right in front of us was a pirate digging in the sand. We knew he was a pirate because he had long curly hair and a big gold earring in his ear. I had seen a picture of a pirate, like this one, in a book I had read. "What are you doing?" I asked the pirate. He looked up and saw us watching him "Ahoy boy,’ he chuckled, “I’m just digging here, " he replied "Digging for what?" Teddy asked him. The pirate looked around and whispered, "For treasure, what else?" I started to get excited, a real life pirate digging for treasure "Can we help ?" I asked quickly. The pirate threw us a couple of spades and we started to dig too.
It felt like we were digging forever when suddenly my spade hit something hard. The pirate and Teddy came rushing over. “What have we here then?” the pirate asked bending down and looking at where my spade was. Together we pulled a big chest out of the sand and tugged it open. Inside the chest was a bright red football. The pirate lifted it out of the chest and then threw it down on the sand and began to cry. The pirate was not happy with a ball for treasure. “Best you take it,” he moaned and gave us the ball.

“Time for me to go,” the pirate said and he walked away. Teddy and I waved him off and watched as he climbed aboard his ship with big sails. Holding the ball, we watched the pirate's ship sail away. My tummy started rumbling so we thought it was time to head back to Mummy and Daddy.
Teddy and I ran across the sand heading towards the lifeguard cabin and soon enough we saw Mummy, Daddy and Roo. "Is it lunchtime yet," we both cried. “Come and sit down,” Daddy said as Mummy placed containers down with lots of sandwiches in. I could see my favourite ones too, sausages. We quickly ate our lunch, Teddy and I were starving.  Lunch over, we had time to play with our new red ball. We spent all afternoon playing and soon enough it was time to go home. We all got back into the car and again Mummy and Roo fell asleep for the whole journey.
I had such a great day at the beach and who would have believed we met a pirate!
The End.