Mums Books and Stories

Happily Ever After by Marjorie Owen

I am excited that Nothing Any Good can utilized as a platform, not only for assisting writers throughout the writing process and promoting their works, but also as a platform to explore new works from up-and-coming authors. Despite what some might think, I don’t believe writing should always be done in a vacuum. Having a community with whom to share essays, short stories, and musings is a valuable commodity for writers. I’m pleased to bring you our second short story by Jesse Dee’s beloved mother, Marjorie Owen.

happily ever after

Happily Ever After

by Marjorie Owen

“And so they were married and lived happily ever after.”
The little girl gave a sigh of blissful contentment, although she must have heard the story at least a dozen times before. Then, with the eternal optimism of children she begged, “Read me one more, granny. Just one.”
Laura Clayton closed the book firmly and stood up. “No more tonight, darling. Time you were asleep. Snuggle down now, and I’ll tuck you in.” This done, she kissed her granddaughter and went to the door, turning to look fondly at the child whose eyes were already closed. She’d soon be dead to the world, Laura thought.
She hurried along to the bathroom. Extraordinary, what a mess one small person’s bath time could make. She could imagine, all too well, the familiar icy look of tight-lipped disapproval on her daughter-in-law’s face if she saw the havoc there; she could hear the impatience, “Oh, leave it to me, mother!”
This always reduced her to a fumbling, inefficient idiot, of about the same age as her own granddaughter. Tidying away the little garments, putting the soggy towels in the linen basket, cleaning the bath, mopping down the walls, and trying to dry the worst bits of the carpet, her thoughts were scurrying around for the umpteenth time. Why, oh why, had she ever been so foolish as to agree to make her home with Roy and his wife? Working furiously away, she smiled wryly and muttered half aloud, “Money, my girl! That’s the beginning and end of that one. What else?”
When her husband died so suddenly, leaving his affairs in such a muddle, and it dawned on everybody there was absolutely nothing left, what alternative was there but to accept her son’s invitation to make her home with him? A woman in her forties with no skills, no training, and no experience. There seemed no other way out. That was two months ago and how bitterly she regretted it. It would have been better to have gone into one room, tried to get some sort of unskilled job, perhaps as a charwoman. They earned enough, God knew! Some cleaner I’d have made, she thought ruefully, regarding her inexpert attempts to get the bathroom cleaned up.
The trouble was she hadn’t known her son’s wife very well beforehand. The two families lived hundreds of miles apart and on their infrequent meetings; everyone was on his or her best behaviour. Laura had decided from the day of Roy’s wedding, she’d never become an interfering mother-in-law and the best way to achieve that was to keep a respectable distance between them. She despised those mothers of only sons who refused to cut the links.
For a few days after her arrival in their home, everything had been sweetness and light. They’d given her a very nice room, there were flowers to welcome her, and Roy seemed genuinely pleased to have his mother under his roof. Her daughter-in-law, Nancy, although not effusive in her greeting, had spoken kindly enough and said she hoped Laura would be comfortable. Then came the night of the dinner party, ostensibly held for her as an introduction to their friends and Roy’s business colleagues. Laura was quite looking forward to a little gaiety; dressed and made herself up very carefully so that she should be a credit to her son and his wife.
Copyright 2012: Michael James Owen

This delightful excerpt was shared with me by Jesse Dee, who found this story (and over fifty others) in a box after her mother had passed away. Jesse Dee chose a select few to share with the world.  You can find the short story on Smashwords and follow Jesse Dee  at her blog.
Here’s the tale of her mother and how Jesse Dee happened upon the stories.

WritingMarjorie Grace Patricia Bridget Owen was born on September 11th 1911 in England and endured the bombardment of World War II. She was born out-of-wedlock with an Irish Lord for a father and a Russian princess as her mother. Although her life before working is somewhat sketchy, her career, as a major London department store clothing buyer, was long and interesting. Members of the Royal family were amongst some of her more famous clients. Marjorie found time to write many short stories and four novels ranging from romance to mystery. She did not attempt to publish any of her writings. We can only surmise that she wrote for the joy and did not wish to seek out any recognition or fame.
Marjorie passed away on March 28th 2004, after a very full life, at the age of ninety-three.
Mum had told Mike that she had written a couple of stories and let him read them some years ago. She expressed no interest in having them published at that time. He was never aware of the amount that she had written until she passed away. Mike, being an only child and having no Aunts or Uncles, is the sole heir to Marjorie’s estate. He discovered the box full of Mum’s writings on clearing her flat in England and took them back to the USA.  
As an avid reader Dee (daughter-in-law) became fascinated with Mum’s stories and books. All her writings were hand written on legal size paper or note books and on both sides of the paper. Dee began reading some of the short stories (there are fifty plus).   After reading a few, she was hooked and decided to attempt, the monumental task of transcribing them to computer.   Mum’s writing was not the easiest to read, however, Dee had set herself the challenge and was going to follow through. At first, her husband, Mike assisted her with the ‘translation’ of Mum’s hand writing. At times they became frustrated with each other and Mum. After a couple of stories, Dee became the expert, reading Mum’s writing and even improving her own typing skills and speed. As yet, Dee has not completed the task, with a few more stories to go and two novels, after several years of work.

 I am excited to be able to utilize Nothing Any Good as a platform, not only for assisting writers throughout the writing process and promoting their works, but also as a platform to explore new works and first takes. Despite what some might think, I don’t believe writing should always be done in a vacuum. Having a community with whom to share essay, short stories, and musings–not only my own, but other authors as well–is a valuable commodity for writers. Here is our first short story.

An Empty Sky by Marjorie Owen

An Empty Sky

by Marjorie Owen

It’s just as well I was never one of that curious band of women known as ‘window shoppers,’ because in all the years of my first unhappy marriage I was so hard pressed for cash that ‘window shopping’ would have been just an exercise in futility and frustration. Clothing, jewellery, and their allied fripperies never interested me, and they still don’t, although my second, wonderfully happy marriage is to a man who can afford to indulge me in every whim. He, poor darling, is the one who feels the frustration–he would like nothing better than to see me spending his money much more freely than I do. His sole aim in life is to try and make up to me for all the deprivations of the foregoing years and he nearly submerges me under a constant shower of gifts. Of course I accept them most gratefully because I know they are chosen with much loving care, but I would be just as blissfully happy without them.
Which brings me to this very odd story–the story that began when he refused to buy me something I had set my heart on?
Through all the dreary years, the two things which helped to relieve the monotony and cheerlessness were music and reading; tastes, which, thank God, my dead man shares with me. So now that I have the time and the means, I love browsing amongst books and in record shops, buying all my favourites to keep forever. Our house is full of books and music, not to be used anymore as an escape from life, but as things we can enjoy together.
Apart from these joyful pursuits, I also like, from time to time, wandering around picture galleries. Not that I know anything about art or the finer points of painting–I belong to the “I-know-what-I-like” school so derided by true aficionados–but I love beauty in all its forms and if my ideas of what constitutes beauty don’t coincide with other people’s, well I can’t help that! So there I was one day, pottering about in a smallish art gallery, more to fill in some time than anything, when I saw the painting.
It was in oils, signed by a name I’d never heard of before. In the foreground was a strip of deserted beach, the tide running out to a calm grey sea, where one small boat appeared to be at anchor. The remainder of the canvas, a good half of it, was just an empty sky. The only touch of bright colour was at the top, red reflection shading into pink, of the sun hidden behind clouds. Whether it was sunrise of sunset, I couldn’t guess. And that was all. Why it fascinated me so much I’ve no idea. I only know I loved it and I stood gazing at it for about ten minutes…

This delightful excerpt was shared with me by Jesse Dee, who found this story (and over fifty others) in a box after her mother had passed away. Jesse Dee chose a select few to share with the world.  You can find the short story on Smashwords and follow Jesse Dee  at her blog.


Ladies of Class

Now Available in all formats: Ladies of Class by Marjorie Owen

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Vinspire Publishing, LLC
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Now Available in all formats: The Poison Pen by Marjorie Owen
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Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Reviews & Interview

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To Be Published April 30th 2014 by Vinspire Publishing

There’s never a dull moment for the employees of Walls Department Store in the small town of Burshill, England.  Detective Chief Inspector Richard Hayward and his wife Kate just returned from a second honeymoon in Paris, discovers that life is not going to be as quiet and easy at the station as he would like.  Once again, DCI Hayward’s expertise is called upon to solve the most heinous crimes committed in the once sleepy little town.

First Book
Old Cover


...Findon retorted, his voice a combination of shock
and anger. “It most certainly is not, sir!”
A more human note crept into his voice. “I almost
wish it was! Anyway, sir, my orders are to send a car for
you right away. Sir John is at home and would like you to
meet him there. Allowing for this perishing fog, the driver
should be with you in about ten minutes.”
Ella fidgeted about beside him. “Surely you’re not
going out now!” she remonstrated.
“Afraid I’ve got no option, luv. The Chief Constable
himself wants me right away, so it must be something
important. While I throw a few clothes on, will you be a
dear and make me a strong black coffee? That blasted
sleeping pill of yours is starting to work, and I need my
wits about me.”
                              * * * *
Richard dressed in a thick sweater and denims—
perhaps a subconscious desire to ram it home to the Chief
Constable that he was still on official sick leave. But
before he’d had time to take more than a few sips of the
scalding coffee, the police car was at the door. The fog, he
noticed with relief, was much less dense. The driver
introduced himself, and they were off to Sir John Bury’s
residence, which was about ten miles outside the town.
“Any idea what this is about?” Richard asked.
“We’ve had a murder tonight, sir. A Mrs. Laura
Clayton—very nice lady indeed. We all knew and liked
her. She did a lot of good in the town.”
“And Sir John’s interest…?”
“Well, sir, I’m sure he’d rather tell you about it
himself. But he and the murdered lady had been friends
for years. He’s pretty cut up about it, and he’ll be on our
backs—if you’ll pardon me, sir—until this gets cleared
The road dipped into a hollow where the fog still
lingered quite thickly. The driver concentrated on his
careful maneuvering, and Richard relapsed into silence,
fighting the sleepiness which was threatening to
overcome him. Trust this to happen on one of the few
occasions that he’d ever taken a sleeping tablet!

Marjorie Grace Patricia Bridget Owen.
Was born on September 11th 1911 in England and endured the bombardment of World War Two. She was born out-of-wedlock with an Irish Lord for a father and a Russian princess as her mother. Although her life before working is somewhat sketchy, her career, as a major London department store clothing buyer, was long and interesting. She found time to write many short stories and three novels ranging from romance to mystery.
She passed away on March 28th 2004, after a very full life, at the age of Ninety Three.

Check out this great review by Anne Edwards of Mystery Fiction

Review by Anne Edwards Mystery Fiction
Title: Ladies of Class
Author: Marjorie Grace Patricia Bridget Owen
Publisher: Vintage Romance
ISBN: 0-9783327-53
Genre: Mystery
This is a tale that will appeal to the English detective mystery fan. A well-liked local woman is murdered and no one can understand why. She didn't have any enemies, did she?
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Hayward, recently assigned to the district find himself charged with solving the case and much is expected of him due to his "reputation", something he sometimes regrets. As his investigation goes forth, he discovers this murder case is complicated by events from the past and present. How far back must he go?
Talented author Marjorie Grace Patricia Bridget Owen offers an original plot with an interesting cast of characters you will enjoy meeting. Their private agendas may get in the road of the investigation, but they certainly add a flavor to the story which is a comfortable blend of mystery and romance as lived by very likable ordinary people.
Recommended as a pleasant read for any mystery buff who doesn't like car chases or shoot 'em ups. I think Agatha C. would like this one. I did.
Anne K. Edwards

First Chapter - Ladies of Class

Book Launch and Signing - David, Panama

 Here is a picture of mum taken sometime in the 1940's, probably post World War 11.

Mum's Short Stories Published

An Empty Sky

  A story of love and love lost extending back in time to World War 11. A picture discovered forms many images and memories that cause pain and joy to several people. One of them may have psychic inclinations towards the picture. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’


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