Being Watched – Story Snippet

I am so delighted to finally see my YA mystery book on sale on Amazon as well as other bookshop sites such as Waterstones. It feels like an age ago that I wrote it and I am excited to see people start to buy it and let me know what they think.

Today I would like to share another extract from the story and hope that it grabs your interest. Drew and Siobhan are the main characters who stumble upon a weird, old country house which then leaves a lasting impression on their lives.

Check out this little snippet:

“Man, did you have to wake me? I mean it’s not even afternoon yet,” he said, opening the door and grimacing as the sun shone in his eyes. “Come in. I reckon I have something you might wana see.”

I followed him into his living room where he quickly shoved back the curtains and slapped a book down on the table. It was a tatty looking book with old fashioned binding and that kind of been in the attic for decades dusty look.

“What is that? Looks ancient.”

“It is pretty ancient. I found it in the loft when I was looking for a set of earphones,” he said, holding up the title.

I realised that it was in fact some kind of scrap book.

“Art – photos and drawings,” he said. “It was dad’s. Since dad don’t live here no more I don’t think he will mind us looking through it.”

“Has it got pictures of his old girlfriends or is it the drawings he used for his GCSEs?”

“Nah, it’s a bit of everything. Dad was trying to be arty though. Some of these pictures were really well planned. Like this one of a squirrel perched right on the edge of a branch, with a massive storm cloud behind it. I can see why he ended up as a designer.”

I flicked through some pages and saw random sketches of wildlife and houses. His dad had written jottings by the side of every picture and you could tell that he took a lot of pride in his photographs, which were well protected by a layer of plastic stuff surrounding each page. As I fingered through them, I noticed his fascination with animals and the delicate way he framed each piece. The sketches were in pencil but the light and shade was spectacular.

“I mean… this is great and everything. But I don’t get the feeling that is all you wanted to show me,” I muttered quietly.

“You’re right,” he went on. “Let me find the page I want you to see.”

He fingered the pages carefully and soon opened up a page of photographs. There were four of them and they all seemed to be different views of the same building. I gulped as I realised that I knew exactly what he was showing and as he drew it closer to me… Well it was clear that these were slightly unusual. These pictures were of that damn house and it looked more menacing than usual. His dad had managed to capture what appeared to be hundreds of black birds all sitting on the lawn, on top of the roof, flying around in circles and generally highlighting the fact that there was the outline of an old man stood in front of the house. Although the crows were distinct, the man was just a shadow, with no features apparent. He stood with one arm bent, and the other holding a a spade.

To many, it must have just looked like a man doing his garden, but to me it looked scary. It gave me a shudder and I looked over to Max who was patiently waiting for me to freak out. I didn’t. I sat. I stared. Then I asked him to make us a drink.

One thing was for sure, that house was going to haunt my dreams for the next few weeks. I took some pictures on my phone and Max told me that he was going to ring his dad to ask what made him take those pictures. I agreed that would be a good idea. When Max made the call it went straight to voicemail and we decided to leave it until another day. The only thing we were certain of after this was that that house had a way of filling us with questions. Our pact was to find the answers, and we knew that Siobhan needed to be a part of our detective work.

Thank you for reading my extract of ‘Being Watched’ which is on sale now.




The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost – Extract

AD – This is my own publication which is currently available on Amazon. There is an Amazon link at the bottom of my blog.

Today’s Blogtober post is an extract from my debut novella, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost’ which is about three families that are turned upside down by a tragic loss. The fathers tell the start of the story and the teenagers carry it on, ten years later as they try to unpick things.


I wished he would give it a rest.

“Dadddd!” he went on.

It made me wonder why his mum never answered. I was too busy trying to get knots out of Tess’ hair.

“What’s wrong now?” I replied anxiously.

Alfie stormed in with a red face and swollen, angry cheeks.

“I can’t find my football socks anywhere!” he announced.

“Try under the bed,” I said, trying to remain calm and de-escalate his crossness.

“Ouch,” squirmed Tess softly, as I caught yet another knot.

She was always so relaxed. She never let anything get to her. She was ten times cooler than Alfie, whose hot-headedness got him into scrapes—left, right and centre.

He stormed out again and slammed the door to his room. I winced and hoped that he could find those damn socks, or we would never hear the end of it. The clock was staring at me and reminding me that we hadn’t got much time left. I went to find Michelle.

The distant noise of a bath filling, coupled with an aroma of scented steam made it obvious that she would not be coming this morning. When we woke up this morning, she told me that she had had a bad night’s sleep, and her headache was back. Women use headaches as excuses to get out of things, but this was not like her! She always liked to be involved in school-related stuff. She loved the banter between mums. Her favourite thing was pricking her ears up and listening intently for any titbits of gossip that she could soak up from the gaggle of parents, who would usually surround her on that packed and bustling playground. Maybe this time she was actually feeling a bit sick. Quickly I realised I should attend to this in a sympathetic, understanding way. After all, she had cared for me, like a private nurse, when I had man flu last Christmas.

“Are you alright?” I tried, gently.

She turned off the tap to the bath and opened the window slightly to let out some steam.

“Have fun today. I bet the assembly goes well.”

I could tell she was not feeling very well. She kept holding her head; sort of wiping her brow as she spoke. I had not seen her look like this for a long, long while. Thinking back, I should have realised that this was out of the ordinary for her. Instead of prying further, I left her to it, planting a quick kiss on her forehead and then rushing down the stairs.

Alfie and Tess soon followed, and we collected our things and burst out into the driveway, where they ran to the car; Alfie calling shotgun as usual to make sure he got to sit in the front passenger seat. I asked if he had kissed his mum, and he simply said the bathroom door was shut. Tess went on to say, “I hope Mummy gets better soon because I want to go swimming later.”

When we got Tess off to class, and I had signed Alfie in, I went to find a seat next to someone I barely knew and sent Michelle a text. Quickly I switched off the phone and tucked my coat under my chair. I gave a slight nod to Matt as he rolled in, just in time. The lights came on and that teacher did the introduction. It did not cross my mind that today was going to turn out so black and dismal and full of anger.