My Brand NEW Novel

I am so proud of this, my first full novel.

This week my first ever YA mystery novel comes out and I am so excited. Following on from the short novella, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost,’ which tested out my writing skills, I am delighted to see this passion project finally come to fruition.

Since writing this book I have established my little blog and so am shamelessly promoting my story here. Why ever not? I hope that you will check out the sample and consider pre-ordering my novel. If it is not your cup of tea, then perhaps I could ask you to drop a cheeky blog comment instead.

Here goes: An Extract From ‘Being Watched’.

“We’re off to Uni mate,” he said, breaking the silent reflection.

“I know. I need to double check the results as I still can’t believe I got an A in English.”

“Wonder how everyone else did.” Max continued.

“We will have to keep our eye on their statuses. I do hope Siobhan got what she had to get in order to make it to UCL.”

“I’ve just seen Martha’s status and she didn’t quite get what she wanted but is happy with her second choice of Uni,” said Max as he scrolled through timelines and checked a multitude of social media sites.

“I have texted Siobhan but she hasn’t got round to replying yet. She might even still be in bed,” I said, knowing that we had both been up later last night and she was well known for liking a good lay in.

Max changed the subject. He had become quite fixated on one of the pictures on the wall. It hung just above the bar area and I had never noticed it before. Perhaps it just hadn’t caught my eye up until now. But it sure as hell had caught Max’s.

“That picture is creepy. I mean it just looks so dark. All the other ones are bright and colourful but that one is murky and weird. What do you think?”

I turned around and tried to focus on it, but it took a while as it seemed misty and sort of out of focus itself. I gasped as I realised that the dark building surrounded by fields and trees had that familiar shape. Those strange pointed bits on the roof meant that I immediately recognised it. I quickly found myself walking over to it for closer examination. It was odd that it seemed to bend and muddle as I approached it. It was definitely a large house in the country, but had I misread it? I took a much closer look at the driveway and was taken aback to see that two people were standing there, with their bikes strewn nearby.

“That picture is of me and Siobhan. It’s that same messed up house. It is an aerial photo of us when we went round to pick up Siob’s scarf. Come and have a look!”

Max sped over and confirmed that it did look like it could be us. We were small in the photo but the bikes looked like ours and I was clearly wearing my blue coat while Siobhan had her red jacket and she was definitely picking up the bright blue scarf at the exact moment that the photo was taken.

I saw the owner, Lilly, coming past and called out to her.

“Hey, how long have you had this picture?” I asked politely.

“Oh. This old thing. Someone donated it recently when they saw that we had a hook with no picture on. It filled a gap, that’s for sure,” she replied with her usual lovely manner.

“Do you know what it is a picture of?” Max asked.

“No idea. Just think it looks interesting and unique.”

“Kind of creepy though, don’t you reckon?” I continued.

“We like quirky. The girl who brought it in was lovely but a little peculiar. I just felt it added to the character of the place. Quite a few people have commented on how mysterious it is.”

I decided I might as well ask more about the girl.

“You didn’t know the girl? Did she have a tattoo on the back of her hand?”

“Not sure really. I just remember she had jet black hair flowing behind her back. I remember wishing my hair looked that good.”

“Thanks anyway,” Max said, tugging at me to stop interrogating the busy lady any longer.

“You’re welcome. And I trust your exams went well, given the feisty meal you just ate.”

“Yes! Brilliant!” I said as I returned to the table and finished off the potatoes, thinking carefully about the significance of what just happened. Max looked at me with frustration.

“What does all this mean? I mean this is getting out of control.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board Games Bring Back Great Memories

Collaborative Post

For me, my happiest family memories are back in the eighties playing board games on Boxing Day. On family holidays too, we would always have board games ready to pass the time during rainy afternoons or cool evenings, as we sat by open fires.

These days I don’t have many opportunities to play actual board games but I do love playing games online. These are often just as fun and very convenient as I can access them on my phone, iPad or laptop. Plus I can choose whether to use a nearby friend as an opponent or simply play against the computer.

I recently read an article which outlines why board games are considered good for your health. The piece, Top 10 Health Benefits of Board Games, suggested that these types of games are good for memory formation and seem to also apparently help reduce blood pressure as well as encouraging laughter and endorphins.

As someone who inherited high blood pressure, knowing that these kinds of activities can possibly help reduce my BP naturally, alongside the medication that I take, has made me want to play such games routinely. Whether it works or not, playing competitive thinking games does cheer me up and distract me from the stress of work.

Accessing Board Game Magic Online

Connect Four is always fun.

There is a website where you can access free online traditional games and I have been enjoying popping there to play such games as Connect Four. Ever since I was a kid, I always loved trying to find ways to get four counters in a row and block my opponent. The version of the game at https://www.calculators.org/games/board-games.php is really easy and quick to access and get into. Check it out if you like throwback games like this.

Draughts (also known as Checkers)

Another game which I used to love in the eighties was Draughts and there is a fun version of this board game also on the Calculators.org website. In America it is known as Checkers but the principle is still the same. There are so many other brilliant online games available on this particular site.

So Why Not Try An Online Board Game?

I hate paying to play games so being able to access really fun and interactive games online for free is a bonus. Of course, physical board games are also great but the website versions are ideal for travel and squeezing in between meetings or playing during lunch breaks. They are easy to use and satisfying pastimes.

Thank you so much for reading my post about gaming. I would love to hear about your favourite board games from the past or present in the comments. I can definitely recommend checking out online board games if you like the idea of reliving those nostalgic activities.