Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Christmas Greetings and Music from John Howell.


A Christmas greeting and some favourite music from John Howell, from his 2015 archives.

Christmas Greetings and Music from John Howell.

We want to wish all of you Happy Holidays. It is Christmas eve at our house and the tree is all ready for Santa to finish the decorations with colorful packages. The packages will be there tomorrow providing we have all been good. I think it is a safe bet.

All the best from our house to yours.

©JohnHowell 2015

About John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a family life story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
John’s latest book Circumstances of Childhood.

About Circumstances of Childhood.

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

One of the recent reviews

Impeccable! on October 28, 2017

For me, this book is impeccable on a number of fronts… First and foremost, John Howell knows how to reach a reader’s emotions, how to build a character with whom one can really identify, how to recognize on occasion some parts of yourself, how to bring smiles, how to bring tears; Mr. Howell enlivens the pages of this book with events that make one believe he is actually re-living some of his own life.

I liked everything about this book, the football, the friendship, the treatment of death of someone close, the alleged business illegality, the blackmail… I took a break from reading a book of titillating short stories (review coming) and started “Circumstances of Childhood’ — long and short of it, I could not stop reading until late in the night (plus, I’m a slow reader because I love words and how they’re put together). I’m thinking the book touched some parts of my life, and, that made it all the more enjoyable for me… Treat yourself to a great read!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Circumstances-Childhood-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B075SKWHCR

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Circumstances-Childhood-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B075SKWHCR/

Also by John W. Howell.

Buy all of the John Cannon Series and find our more about John W. Howell: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Connect to John.

Blog/website: https://johnwhowell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HowellWave

My thanks to John for sharing his beautiful tree and one of the classic pieces of festive music… I am sure that you join me in wishing John and his family a Merry Christmas. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Short Story Festival – 9th – 12th June – The World Darkly by John W. Howell.


I am delighted to welcome John Howell to the festival with his short story The World Darkly.

The World Darkly
By John W. Howell © 2017

Frank is cycling on the beach and sees something shining in the sand. He hopes it might be of value, but is disappointed since it is only a pair of sunglasses. He gets off the bike and picks them up. He turns them over and notices they are finely made not like the usual junk people throw away. He finally opens them and on the inside of one of the ear pieces are the words The World Darkly in gold. Must be the slogan, he thinks. Frank looks around to see if anyone has noticed him pick them off the beach. There is only an old couple pretty far away walking in his direction. He wonders if they are coming back to get them. Frank is worried. He stuffs them into his parka pocket and continues the ride. Before he gets home; he is having second thoughts, and maybe he should turn the glasses into the police. He decides against it. “Finder’s keeper’s loser’s weepers;” he tells himself.

After a hot dog dinner, Frank suddenly remembers the glasses in the pocket of his parka in the closet. He gets them and puts them on in front of his mirror in his bedroom. To his surprise, he cannot see himself through the lenses and whips them off to make sure it is not he who has disappeared. This is strange; he thinks and puts the glasses on again. Although he cannot see himself, he is able to see some unusual symbols crawling around the inside of the lens. They are moving quickly, and Frank touches the top of the frame since he thinks it might be a good idea to take these things off.

As his finger meets the frame, the symbols stop moving. Removing his finger causes the symbols to begin crawling again. “I can control them,” he says. Then he repeatedly touches the frame and then not. He is convinced this is the movement that controls the movement of the symbols. He also experiments and sees that a light touch slows the symbols and a heavy touch stops them. Frank does not know what the symbols mean, but he is glad that they are under his control.

Frank takes the glasses off and reaches for his phone. His parents gave him an iPhone, so he decides he is going to look up one of the symbols on Google to see if there is an answer. He touches Safari and types in the symbol that he remembers which is a T. The answer comes back quickly that T stands for AT&T and it is the symbol for the New York Stock exchange information on the company. He sees that the stock is priced at thirty-three dollars and twenty-one cents. He does not understand any more of the information but is satisfied that the found out what the symbols mean. He will test others later, but for now, he is satisfied he has broken the code.

Frank puts the glasses back on and sees that the symbols are crawling past again. He slows them down until he comes to T once more and stops. Underneath T, there is what looks like a price and a fraction. The price below T is thirty-five and seven eights. In high school, he learned that seven eights are almost one so he is assuming the stock is priced at almost thirty-six dollars. That can’t be right, he thinks. I just looked on Google, and the price was Thirty-three dollars and twenty-one cents. Maybe these numbers on the glasses aren’t prices.

He sees a day and date in the upper right-hand corner. The day is Thursday, and the date is February fourteenth, twenty-seventeen. Frank quickly removes the glasses. Today is Wednesday, February thirteenth and he suddenly realizes these glasses are telling him information about tomorrow. He puts them back on and finds T again. “Sure enough,” he says. “This number is the price tomorrow.” He scans for more information, and in addition to stock prices, he also sees there are news headlines.

The headline jumping out at him contains the information about one winning ticket sold for the Mega Millions jackpot. Further, the story identifies the prize as five hundred million dollars. He is able to scroll down like he did with the stock symbols and comes to the winning numbers. He picks up a pencil and writes the numbers on the back of a paper bag found on his dresser; 3-4-5-18-22-31. Frank is about ready to bust knowing these are the winning numbers for tonight’s drawing. Although he doesn’t know how he has the winning numbers. He looks at his watch and knows he must hurry in order to get to the convenience store to enter the drawing. He curses taking so long to look at the glasses until so late.

He jumps into his car and heads to the convenience store cursing the whole way at the slowness of other drivers. He finally slides to a stop at the store, rushes in and grabs a ticket to fill out. “Where’s a pencil?” he says. The girl behind the counter points to one on a chain. He writes the numbers and hands the slip and a dollar to the girl.

“It is after eight o’clock. Drawings close at eight.”

“Damn. Can’t you make an exception? I will make it worth your while.”

“I’m sorry the machine locks up at eight, and no more tickets can be issued.”

“Wait,” he thinks. I can still use the glasses to score some cheap stocks next week and the Texas Lotto on Tuesday. Frank tells the girl she will be sorry when she reads about him in the newspaper. She gives him a puzzled look, and he leaves the store deep in thought. Frank is not paying attention and steps in front of a car whose driver does not see him in the glare of the lights. He is hit and rolls into the bushes in front of the store and smashes his head on the brick facade. Frank is no longer of this world

After the police and EMS leave, a car pulls up to the front of the store. The driver gets out and sees something shining in the bushes. He goes to investigate and picks up a pair of sunglasses. He looks at them and runs his finger on the gold embossed words The World Darkly on the earpiece. He looks around to see if anyone is watching and then stuffs them into his jacket pocket. He wonders if he should turn them in, but decides he should not.

“Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers,” he says. He thinks no one heard him.

©Johnwhowell 2017

About John W. Howell.

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and has a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest.

His novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon. The second, His Revenge published by Keewaydin Lane Books is now available in Paperback and Kindle formats. He has recently published the third book in the series, Our Justice.

John has a wonderful blog where he entertains with short stories and also shares the changing face of his world along the coast of Texas.

John’s books

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

My thanks to John for contributing this great story to keep you entertained while I am away.

Connect with John.

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://www.johnhowell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Authors db – http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/
Google + https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

I would be grateful if you would share John’s short story on your own networks and thank you for dropping in today. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Party – Guest John W. Howell with A Christmas Story


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I have been collecting guest posts and stories for the last few weeks and have brought them all together as part of the Smorgasbord Christmas Party. There will be humour, short stories, stories about family and friends, music, humour and some food of course. The posts are scheduled right up to Christmas, but if you would still like to promote your blog, books or other creative work there are some other opportunities to be found here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/christmas-2016-smorgasbord-promotions-blogs-books-gifts-short-stories/

For my first guest…. who better to kick the party off than author John. W. Howell whose short stories are edgy, humourous and always leave you wanting more. Here is a story that John has written especially for the Smorgasbord Christmas Party.

A Christmas Story

 by John W. Howell   ©2016 

Who’s there?”
“Where?”
“In the living room. I can hear you stomping around.”
“There’s no one here.”
“If there is no one there how come you are answering my questions?”
“Would be rude not to answer wouldn’t you say?”
“What do you want?”
“I don’t want anything. I’m Santa Claus, filling your stockings and putting gifts under your tree.”
“Come on now. There’s no such thing as Santa Claus.”
“Okay. Have it your way. I’ll need a few minutes to put all this stuff back.”
“Okay. I’m coming in there, and I’m warning you I have a gun.”
“I can always tell I’m in Texas.”
“What?”
“Nothing. Just talking to myself.”
“I’m going to turn on the light. Don’t make any moves.”
“Fine. I’m standing here as still as I can be.”
“Hey. You don’t look like Santa Claus.”
“What is Santa supposed to look like?”
“You know. Big belly, red suit, white beard, mouth drawn up in a bow.”
“Well, the PR firm was in charge of that image. I didn’t necessarily go along with it.”
“PR firm?”
“Yeah. You know those guys who give the public an image. Those Coke commercials pretty much started it all. I’m more of a Brooks Brothers type. Besides the red outfit is a bear when sliding down chimneys.”
“So you do slide down chimneys?”
“Mostly through the wall. It is much easier.”
“Wait. You can go through walls?”
“I can see you have a tough time with faith don’t you Ferd?”
“Name’s Frank. Hey, hold on. If you were Santa, you would know that.”
“Sure I would. Let’s see how many Franks would you say there are in this world. Come on Frank. Give me a break. I used “Ferd” as a term of endearment.”
“You’re confusing me.”
“Not hard to do I might add. So, should I gather up all this stuff and see you next year or what?”
“W-well. I can see some pretty nice stuff.”
“You were laid off weren’t you Frank?”
“Y-yes.”
“Don’t you think little Jimmy would like this bike?”
“S-sure. Sure he would. My wife would like that coat too.”
“So what do you say? I leave all the stuff, and you have a Merry Christmas.”
“How will I ever repay you?”
“Only one way to do that Frank.”
“How’s that? I don’t have any money.’
“Won’t take money, Frank.”
“What then.”
“Do you your best this year to foster peace on Earth and goodwill to humankind. Can you do that?”
“I-I will try very hard Santa.”
“You’re a good man, Frank. Bless you. Now where did you hide the cookies and milk?”

About John W. Howell

john-resized

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and has a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest. His novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon. The second, His Revenge published by Keewaydin Lane Books is now available in Paperback and Kindle formats. He has recently published the third book in the series, Our Justice.

my-grl-resizedhis-revenge-resized51bypm1jgll-_uy250_

Buy John’s Books: Amazon Author’s pagehttps://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

You will find some great articles and photographs on John’s website with a different perspective of the same spot each week

Connect with John.

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://www.johnhowell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Authors db – http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/
Google + https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell
Shelfari – http://www.shelfari.com/johnwhowell
Amazon Author’s page – https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Martin Sisters Publishing – Http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com

My thanks to John for writing this story especially for the blog and I hope that if you are not already connected to him that you will head over and introduce yourselves.

Lots more guests with their special contributions to come and also festive recipes and music. Thanks for dropping in and please help yourself to a mince pie.. If it is your first of the season you have to make a wish.. I hope it comes true.

mince pies