Being Watched – Book Snippet

Happy Easter! Today is Good Friday and my newish YA mystery book has finally been discounted with 50% off. To celebrate this special offer I have included another snippet of this story of two teenagers constantly overshadowed by some watching eyes. I hope that you enjoy it and it might intrigue you enough to add it to your TBR list.

Blackbirds are sinister reminders in Being Watched.

Having got around to arranging with the applications people to delay my Uni course until the next year, I met up with Max and Siobhan at the Hub for lunch. It wouldn’t be long until we were all separated as they went off to different cities, but I had a feeling we ‘d get the chance to go and visit them both, so I wasn’t that worried. I bought them both a milkshake and Siobhan asked Max about his plan.

“It’s simple. We break in one night…”

“How though?” I piped up.

“We go on our bikes, ditch them behind the hedge that surrounds the front garden. Just in case the cameras see us, we wrap scarves around our heads…”

“Me losing my scarf is what started all of this.”

“…and I reckon I could easily pick the lock to the conservatory at the back.”

“Since when have you known how to pick locks?” Siobhan said, with a grin.

 “If not, we bash a little bit of glass away, wear gloves and make sure we don’t leave any signs that lead them to us. We know nobody actually lives there. It’s almost like a museum these days.”

The waitress dropped off the milkshakes and we all took big sips. I could feel the questions brewing.

“So how are we going to see?” she went on.

“Torches… I meant we can walk across the garden without light.”

“Moonlight only?” I said.

“Yeh, as long as we stick together and don’t knock anything over.”

Siobhan wasn’t impressed. “The place is scary as sh@#t. Are you telling me we have to walk around it in the pitch black?”

“No. Just till we get inside the building. Then we use torches,” he replied getting a bit touchy.

I knew we needed to do something. We couldn’t go on not knowing more about the place. I agreed that the time to act was now. As far as we knew, Bonita’s mum was the old man’s only child and whatever the situation was, we probably weren’t going to get another chance like this… to explore.

“Oh f*#k it. Let’s just go for it,” I said, trying to show Max that I had his back, even if I didn’t really know what I wasn’t getting myself into.

“Yeh, I’m up for anything. It’s a pretty sick idea. Just chancy,” said Siobhan, bouncing off my enthusiasm and deciding to go for the optimisation slant.

Changing subject, Max asked how I felt about my decision.

“Well, it’s done now. I doubt I’ll regret it,” I said in a matter of fact kind of way.

“I mean, I almost did the same thing. Uni is gonna break the bank for me,” said Max, frowning.

“That’s if we’re still alive by the time term starts,” Siobhan said, looking furtive.

“It’ll be fine,” I said, disguising my nerves. “We just stick together.”

“Glued man,” said Max, slapping my back. “We are glued together.”

“That sounds a bit too weird,” Siobhan sniggered.

I started to blow bubbles through the straw of the milkshake and snorted a bit as he whacked me again.

“You know it bro…and erm… sis?”

She snorted and I struggled to breath as I accidentally sucked some milkshake froth into my nostril.

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Here are the current links to Being Watched on Amazon:

UK link £1.77 on kindle

US link $2.95 on kindle

Now is the time to get in on the mystery.

Thank you so much for reading my extract. For more of my suggestions, have a look at Read, Watch and Listen. Then perhaps follow my blog for future similar content.

 

Another Book Extract

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.

Being Watched

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.

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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.

My Writing – Being Watched (Extract)

This week I want to celebrate my YA novel, which I haven’t had time to publicise. It is all about two teenagers who come across a mysterious house. They keep being drawn to it and after their first visit they constantly have a feeling of ‘being watched’.

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Extract from Chapter Seven

Sunday came and I went down to the Hub to meet Siobhan for lunch. She was already settled in and listening to music on her iPod when I sauntered in and plonked myself opposite her in one of the quaint wooden booths.

“Shall I order the usual?” she asked as she yanked one earphone out of her ear.

“Yes, two roasts please,” I said, noticing the waiter looming over us.

“Great! I need a feast today.”

I smiled at Siobhan and then decided to breach the subject and get it out of the way before our dinner came.

“So why have you not mentioned going into that garden again? Bonita was fuming about that.”

I could see that I had caught her by surprise. She thought for a moment and then began.

“I was going to tell you. But then I decided it was better to keep it to myself.”

“Right,” I said, “but we always tell each other everything.”

She turned red a little and looked away.

“This was different. I didn’t know anyone had seen me and I just wanted to try and forget about it,” she gulped, in much the same way as I usually would gulp.

“You know it’s no good keeping these things bottled up,” I said.

“Well I tried to ring you. You were working for your mum that night. I had just been totally freaked out by that dead bird and my mind was whirling. I found myself cleaning my bike and going for a ride. Before I knew it I was slowing down and staring at that bloody house. Something told me I needed to check it out again. I heard some noises, like feint bird noises.”

“You rang me to go with you?” I said awkwardly.

“Yes. But by this time I was already outside. I just had a strange feeling and decided to take the track by the side of the property. I thought I might get a different picture.”

“You wanted to take pictures?”

“No. You know what I mean. I wanted to see it from a different perspective. And when I got half way down the track I could hear the cawing of birds getting louder. Through the fence I spotted a little shed and just in front of it there must have been about a hundred black birds all making strange noises and pecking away at something littered across the grass.”

I could see that she was uncomfortable discussing this and she lowered her voice as the waiter was walking over.

He presented us with some piled high plates of chicken, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, green beans, parsnips and carrots. It was really smelling good and momentarily distracted us from the story but soon he was gone and we were back to chatting about it, almost under a cover of mystery, like two detectives quietly sharing information about a big operation.

“What was it then? What were they eating?” I said looking at my own food and salivating.

I just filled my mouth with lush roasted potatoes when she said, “Just lots of pieces of flesh. Pink flesh.”

I spat my food out again into the napkin. I could see that she was repulsed by the recollection.

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Thank you so much for reading my story extract from my new YA book. For more information about my writing, check out myAmazon Author Page. If you like short stories, perhaps consider adding my short story collections to your kindle unlimited.

For another article about a brilliant book by another author, check out Blackberry Wine Book Review.