If you haven’t tried one of my books before, it may be worth checking out this snippet from my recent YA Mystery novel. My book extract is from Chapter Two and sets the scene for what is to come later in the story. I loved writing this story and hope to one day become a successful YA writer.
Now, I have to tell you a little more about me and my friendship group. Some people would have described me as a ‘run of the mill,’ ‘blend in the background’ average Joe. Others might have suggested I was a geek. Some even hardly recognised my being there at all. But, Siobhan was different. She was a chameleon who blended in between geeks and jocks and princesses. Living just around the corner from me in our quiet little village since we were born, we had a long history of hanging out. I remember going to the circus with her when we were really small and her holding my hand because I was scared of a clown who kept coming up to us.
“Go away!” I remember her saying, forcefully. Even then, she had my back and the same was true today. When I thought hard about it, there were very few times that I was able to prove to her that she was under my protection too. Nevertheless I was sure that one day I would be able to pay her back for always being so kind and loyal. Better friends could not be made easily.
Max, however, was my longest running friend from school. Longest running because we bumped into each other on the very first day of nursery. When I say bumped I mean literally. He was not looking where he was going and came tearing around a corner, banging straight into me and causing us both to bash heads. As a result we both gained large egg-shaped swellings on our heads and were immediately sent home. The next day we apologised to each other but he never really acknowledged that he had been the one at fault. I was over that now. After all, thirteen years of friendship had seen many more challenges. We had tried lots of hobbies together, like fishing and basketball. One day while trying to catch a pike down by the stream in the woods, he leaned back to let the wire go and it had caught itself in the skin of my ear. I had yelled at him to let go but he continued to cast the wire and yanked my ear, causing it to bleed. He had been very sorry for that and soon we both stopped trying to be fishermen, giving it up as a bad job. With basketball, we never really got a look in as the other players were taller and quicker than us, but I did enjoy the time when I threw the ball backwards over my head and knocked him clean out. I felt as though I had got my own back for previous misdemeanours and we laughed about it for days before deciding that basketball just wasn’t for us. Whatever happened though, we were always tight as friends and never really fell out with each other.
Only that morning I had been playing a shoot-em-up game with him online. We had teamed up against two opponents from Russia and beaten them hands down. Our scores were high at the moment and we needed to make sure we played daily to remain in the top one hundred. Max had texted me after, “Well done, mate. We rule!” and I had replied with a GIF of a large grizzly bear snapping a tree trunk.
He was a bit jealous that I got to spend time with Siobhan as she was his type apparently and he really wanted the guts to ask her out. I had told him that she wasn’t looking to date at the moment so he would be wasting his breath asking. He thought that maybe I wanted her to myself but that was not the case. I never saw her like that at all. If anything, I was more drawn to Martha from drama class. She was an enigma to me. But I wasn’t going to tell him that, as she was a secret crush of mine and not something I wanted to discuss with anyone, even my best friend. For now, he would just have to believe me. I was no threat when it came to Siobhan. The more I thought about it, the more I considered finding out if Siobhan liked guys like him just so I had something to report. That way I would have something to tell him to get him off my back.
As we headed towards the woods, Siobhan looked at me as if to indicate we needed a break. We pulled over by a rickety fence and leaned our bikes against it while we caught our breath. She mentioned school and the hard assignment she had for computing and so I decided to throw Max into the mix.
“You know who knows a lot about ICT. Max.”
“You think he would help me? He has never even spoken to me before,” she replied looking surprised.
“Well it is in his blood. He knows everything about computers. I’m pretty sure he would give you a hand,” I added.
“I guess there are worse people to ask for help.”
“Do you want me to ask him for you?”
She thought for a moment and then said, “Yes, ask him to text me if he is willing to dig me out of a hole.”
I did it there and then and we got back onto our bikes and raced towards the aboding trees. It was such a dark wood and the trees either side of the road seemed to join together across it, closing out the sun and creating awkward shadows across our tracks.
I stopped again to answer the phone. It was mum letting me know that she had taken dad to the doctors as his asthma had been playing up again. Mum never spoke for long so the phone call was soon over and I reassured Siobhan that this kind of thing happened with dad all the time. As mum had said, there was nothing to worry about. Closing in on the centre of the woods, it became dull and mysterious, bringing back memories of years ago exploring the trees, climbing some of them and using the twigs to make bows and arrows. To us as kids, this wood had always seemed enchanted. Magical. Full of intrigue.
We were soon out of the woods and just after it there was a large, old house, slightly set back from the road. It had caught my eye before but today it stood out quite magnificently against the backdrop of fields and trees. It seemed somehow unfriendly; all jaunty and awkward amongst the blowing trunks and waving flowers, half decapitated with leaves and petals strewn around their stark bodies. Gusts of wind were making that small stretch of hill almost impossible to pass. A car swept past us and suddenly I saw something fly off of Siobhan’s shoulders and sweep into the yard of this daunting Manor.
Thank you so much for reading my book extract. It is hard to promote a new YA book as an independent writer so I appreciate any reads or comments. If you want to find a new TV show to watch then have a look at my review of Willow on Disney Plus.