– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Strangers Guide To Talliston’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but b
About the Author :
John Tarrow is a novelist, poet, storyteller and award-winning writer. His fascination with folk and faerie tales has taken him around the world, gathering threads of story and legend to weave into his own mythologies: his extensive studies in Lakota Sioux and Druidic traditions offer readers stories resonant with magic, folklore and the wonders of the natural world. He spent twenty-five years transforming a three-bedroom, semi-detached, excouncil house in Essex into the world-famous Talliston House and Gardens.
EXTENT: 384 pages
Experience the YA fantasy adventure novel inspired by ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’
Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man’s land, without time or place, its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes, the boy is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth’s centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs?
Crossing through diverse landscapes from Victorian Britain to fifties New Orleans, The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston is inspired by the internationally famous house and gardens dubbed ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ by the Sunday Times . It is a classic YA tale of adventure that introduces readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history. Yet beyond its fearsome huntsmen and battling magicians dwells the secret that lies within all of us – the power to live extraordinary lives.
ALL GODS’ DAY (MIDNIGHT) NO. 51 NEWTON GREEN
GREAT DUNMOW, ESSEX, UNITED KINGDOM NOW
THE BOY LIVED ALL ALONE in an old abandoned school bus in the middle of a wooded roundabout. His father had once called it the magic roundabout, but the boy didn’t know why. He wanted to believe in magic, just like his mother. But if magic did exist, it certainly didn’t exist anywhere around here.
The boy’s name was Joseph, but everyone called him Joe. Everyone meant his father and mother – and the strangers that offered them sanctuary on the road. For as long as he could remember, Joe’s parents had been on the run. Thomas and Laverna Darkin never stayed anywhere for very long, and everywhere they did, they found a safe house where they could lie low in emergencies. The bus was one of those places and where Joe had gone on the night he and his parents
were attacked. The roundabout was large and densely packed with trees so tall that travellers to the motorway or the airport or the nearby villages and towns never knew the boy and the bus were there at all. Like the wood, the bus was there long before the overpass, the roads and the tarmac that surrounded it, and now both the trees and the vehicle were intertwined. His father said the bus was hiding in plain sight, and the boy knew everything there was to know about that. He spent every day hiding in plain sight.
On the night of the attack, his father’s last words to him were, “Go, son, run! Go to the hideout and never look back. We’ll get there when we can.” Joe had done as he said, and he hadn’t seen them since. That was a very long time ago, but as he had no electricity to power anything, he didn’t know the date, and sometimes not even the day of the week. He got up when he woke and went to bed when it got too dark to see or do anything. The boy could not be certain how long he had been living rough in the bus. All summer at least. Joe spent every night fearing his parents would never come back for him.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds