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The Hairy Hand by Robin Bennett - Book Tour

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The Hairy Hand

A scary adventure for 8 -12 year olds, full of jokes, magical familiars and a Dickensian cast. When Septimus inherits a magical, treasure-finding Hairy Hand from his uncle, life suddenly becomes a lot more exciting - and dangerous!

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When Sept brings home a Hairy Hand he has inherited from his uncle his parents are not impressed. However, when the Hand demonstrates an extraordinary ability to point out treasure, they change their mind. This makes them rich, so they hire some bodyguards ...

The Visigoths were a terrible, frightening bunch. There were ten of them, all brothers, and they came from a huge forest that carpeted the tall mountains on the northern shore of the Insidesea.
Their names were: Herringmouth, Codeye, Ruddgruel, Spikepuffer, Carpsniff, Doompike, Toadlick, Bonytongue, Daggertooth and Troutsnout, and they all looked exactly alike. So alike, in fact, that it was impossible to tell one from the other, especially when they wore their helmets – the ones with a huge horn in the middle – something they did practically all the time, even when they were in bed fast asleep.
People shrank away in fear as they travelled through the towns of the Insidesea. The Visigoths carried evil-looking swords with jagged edges and rusty blades and they would chant songs about all the nasty things they liked to do to other people who weren’t Visigoths.
One thing Sept had learned when travelling by himself through the Thorny Desert and beyond, was that travelling quietly was the best way to avoid trouble. Unfortunately, with their Visigoth bodyguard, this was impossible.

One the first day, Troutsnout stole a honeycombe from a bear. The bear, who was very fond of honey and pretty sure it didn’t like Visigoths, chased Troutsnout for a very long time then gobbled him up. All the brothers found were his helmet and one of his hobnail boots covered in bear spit.
Two days later, Daggertooth got stuck in quicksand. Sept thought that his brothers would rush to help him. Not a bit of it. Instead they stood at a safe distance, took out their lunch and settled down to watch. After five minutes, Sept couldn’t stand by any longer.
‘Um, aren’t you going to do something to save him?’ he asked.
Herringmouth (or it might have been Ruddgruel or perhaps even Spikepuffer) didn’t bother turn around ‘Nope.’
‘But he’ll drown in that quicksand if you don’t.’
‘Hur, hur … yurse.’
Sept looked over at Daggertooth who, to be fair, didn’t seem that upset by the fact that the sucking mud was now up to his middle. He looked over at his brothers. ‘Help?’ he said without much conviction.
Sept looked at the eight remaining Visigoths. ‘Funny,’ remarked one.
‘Glug,’ remarked another.
‘Oh for goodness sake,’ said Sept and he threw Daggertooth a rope.
If the Visigoth was grateful for being saved he didn’t show it. In fact everyone seemed quite cross with Sept for spoiling their fun. As far as Sept was concerned, this was just more proof, if any were needed, that most grown-ups he had ever met were bonkers. That night, Daggertooth slipped off, leaving a note to say he missed his own forest and that he’d gone home to sulk.
And that was just the start of it. Just as they were leaving the forest, and getting to the Torny Desert, Doompike and Toadlick went to a nearby river to wash their socks and were swept away never to be seen again.
Two days later Bonytongue ran away when he was chased by a snake.
Then Spikepuffer and Carpsniff, ate some funny-looking toadstools that they found one morning. Whatever was in the toadstools did not agree with Visogoths. Within a few minutes Carpsniff blew up into an almost completely round human being, then he erupted into large blue spots making him look just like a giant beach ball. His brothers had fun rolling him around for a bit, until Plog insisted that they get going and leave him behind. As for Spikepuffer, he seemed fine until later that day when he suddenly decided he was a chicken and had to be sent away to find a vet.
Codeye fell in love with a camel, then ran off with some Sand Pirates who owned it.
Poor old Ruddgruel had the worse time of all. As they were sitting down to dinner one evening, he sat on a cactus. Jumping up, he stubbed his toe on a rock, which made him hop around on one leg howling, until he put his other in the hot stew they had made. The pot got stuck on his foot and so he fell over in to the fire, which set his hair alight. Hopping from one foot to the other, with thorns still sticking out of his bottom, and his hair on fire, he ran around in circles until Sept threw a bucket of water over him. Unfortunately, Sept had no idea that Ruddgruel was terrified of water, so, although his hair was no longer on fire, this seemed to make things a lot worse.
Ruddgruel screamed, ran into his tent for safety, knocking himself out on one of the posts, as the canvas collapsed on top of him.  He came too almost immediately, jumped up and panicked. ‘I’ve gone blind!’ he wailed and he ran off into the night still wearing the tent on his head.
And that was the last they saw of him.
Herringmouth watched all this in silence, then seemed to come to a decision.
The next day, he told Plog and Sept he was retiring.

Author Bio
Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children, adults, and everything in between. Listed in the Who’s Who of British Business Excellence at 29, his 2016 documentary "Fantastic Britain", about the British obsession with fantasy and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, and his first book for young adults, Picus the Thief, won the Writer's News Indie Published Book of the Year Award in 2012.

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