– ‘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 ‘Haunted’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of Eye Spy, the first in a series of detective stories for 9-12 year olds, designed to encourage reluctant readers. The second book in the series, Haunted, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017.
Tessa lives with her husband and a large white cat called Pippa. in a town on the Thames estuary, which inspired the seaside setting for the novels. She also writes about health and nutrition, and family history, which has been her passion for many years.
Alex doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he is about to have his beliefs challenged…
When Jimmy Devlin asks the twins to investigate the strange things that have been happening at The Priory, Alex seizes the opportunity to prove to his sister that there is no such thing as ghosts. However, it soon becomes clear that unquiet spirits are not the only problem facing the Devlin family.
Are the family servants hiding secrets? Has a valuable ring been stolen, or just mislaid? And what has happened to Jimmy’s missing elder brother, Harry? As the twins and Jimmy try to solve the many mysteries of The Priory, they discover they are dealing with a very dangerous enemy…
Teen detectives Alex and Donna are investigating the spooky goings-on at the old priory where their friend, Jimmy Devlin, lives. Here they are waiting for all the adults to leave the house so that they can search the cellar, where the sound of a crying child has been heard.
We shut the door of the office behind us and hurried down the corridor to the hall, where Jimmy put his finger to his lips. “Shhh,” he said. “We need to make sure there’s nobody left around.” We all stood still for a moment and listened, but apart from the soft whirr of the dishwasher in the kitchen, the house was silent. We were on our own at last.
The cellar door was in a corner, underneath the staircase. It looked incredibly old, and was made of thick planks of wood fixed together with metal straps. Jimmy fitted different keys into the keyhole, one after another, trying to find the right one. Whilst he was fiddling around, I had the strange sensation that we were being watched. I told myself that was daft, because we were the only people left in the house, but I still felt uneasy. Then, as Jimmy tried the last key, we heard the lock turn. “Bingo!” he said as the door swung slowly open, revealing a flight of worn stone steps disappearing into inky darkness.
Nobody wanted to be first to go down the steps into the place where all the strange sounds had come from a few days before. Donna broke the silence. “What we need is some light. It’s only scary because it’s so dark.” She fumbled around inside the door and eventually found a light switch. She was right: once the room below was lit up, I couldn’t believe we’d all made such a fuss about going down there. I was about to pull the door shut behind us (just in case anyone returned and caught us snooping), when Jimmy grabbed my arm. “Don’t do that! You can only unlock it from the hall side. We don’t want to get locked in.” He picked up a massive iron doorstop that was lying nearby and positioned it so the door couldn’t quite shut. Then we made our way carefully down the uneven steps.
Immediately in front of us, various pieces of old furniture were lying around. Behind them was a load of metal racks that looked as if they contained Mr Devlin’s collection of vintage wines. The stone walls and stone paving slabs looked very old, and there was a vaulted stone ceiling, like you see in old churches.
Donna shivered. “It’s a bit chilly down here, isn’t it?”
That was an understatement. The hall we had just left was warm from all the sunlight pouring in through the big windows, but in the cellar it was cold enough to have been a winter’s night. “That doesn’t mean anything,” I said, trying to reassure myself. “Cellars are always cold, because they don’t get any sunlight.”
Whilst we were talking, Jimmy was investigating the bottles on the racks. “I never realised Dad had so much wine. Some of these bottles look really old. The labels are so faded you can hardly read them.”
“Never mind that!” Donna said. “We’re supposed to be ghost-hunting, remember? Alex, see if you can get a reading on the EMF meter.”
I got out my phone and switched on the app. Just as I was checking the reading, which was normal, I felt something brush against the back of my leg. I was so startled, I cried out. Donna laughed. “Don’t be silly, Alex! It’s only Boss Cat! He must have found the open door and followed us down here. Fancy being frightened of a cat!”
I felt stupid for over-reacting. Boss Cat pricked up his ears and ran off towards the other end of the cellar, which was shrouded in darkness. I guessed he was earning his keep by trying to catch some rats. I started to move around the cellar, taking EMF readings as I went. Jimmy was still hovering near the wine racks, and Donna had joined him. Then, as I approached the bottom of the stairs, the temperature suddenly went from cold to icy, and the readings on the meter spiked. Jimmy held up a dusty bottle. “Hey, Alex, look at this!” he said, just as there was an ear-splitting yowl. The cat leapt down off the top of the wine rack, knocking the bottle out of Jimmy’s hands as he went, and shot off up the stairs and out of the cellar like a bolt from a crossbow. There was the sound of breaking glass as the bottle hit the floor, then the light went out and the room was plunged into darkness.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds