Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Haunted by Tessa Buckley - Book Blitz


Alex doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he is about to have his beliefs challenged…

When Jimmy Devlin asks the twins to investigate the strange things that have been happening at The Priory, Alex seizes the opportunity to prove to his sister that there is no such thing as ghosts. However, it soon becomes clear that unquiet spirits are not the only problem facing the Devlin family.

Are the family servants hiding secrets? Has a valuable ring been stolen, or just mislaid? And what has happened to Jimmy’s missing elder brother, Harry? As the twins and Jimmy try to solve the many mysteries of The Priory, they discover they are dealing with a very dangerous enemy…

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 Chapter 1
It was a Thursday, halfway through the summer term. My sister Donna and I were on our way to school, and we had just been joined by Donna’s best friend Emerald. We were discussing Ghost in Residence, a television programme we had seen the evening before, in which various celebrities spent the night in a haunted building.

         “I’d love to see a real ghost!” Donna said.

         “Do you believe in ghosts, Alex?” Emerald asked. I’ve known Emerald forever, and she already knew the answer to that question, but she loves to tease me.

         “’Course not,” I said. “Nobody’s ever managed to prove scientifically that ghosts exist. When they do, I’ll believe in them.”

         “Huh!” Donna said. “Say what you like; I bet if you saw a real ghost, you’d be just as scared as anybody else.”

         We were still arguing about the existence of ghosts as we turned the final corner on the road to school. Suddenly, a long, sleek old-fashioned car purred past us and pulled up outside the entrance to the school. As we stood and stared, a kid with ginger hair got out of the car. He was wearing a Lea Green uniform. I couldn’t see his face, but something about him was familiar. He gave a brief wave to the driver, who was wearing a peaked chauffeur’s cap, before disappearing through the school gates. As the car drove off down the road, we all stared, open-mouthed.

         “What’s going on?” Donna asked. It was a good question. Most of the kids who go to Lea Green come from the nearby estate, and they walk or cycle to school. In Holcombe Bay, people who can afford cars like that don’t send their kids to Lea Green.

         Emerald giggled. “A vintage car and your own chauffeur! Perhaps he’s a prince in disguise…” 

         “Oh, ha ha,” I said. “And I suppose you’re Cinderella. Come on, let’s go and find out what’s going on.”

         By the entrance gates we met up with Ryan, who was staring in the direction where the car had disappeared. He shook his head in disbelief. “That was a Rolls Royce Silver Dawn! I wonder if Dad knows who it belongs to.” Ryan’s dad works at the Used Car Mart, so Ryan knows loads about old cars. If he thought it was a Silver Dawn, he was probably right.

         Just then the deputy head appeared and started rounding up latecomers, so we hurried inside – our first lesson was with Mr Owen, who’s a stickler for timekeeping. In the rush to reach our classroom before he did, I forgot all about the boy in the chauffeur-driven car.

         It was a warm day, and the classroom was stuffy. Biology isn’t really my thing, and after half an hour or so of listening to Mr Owen’s sing-song Welsh accent as he explained the intricacies of a plant’s reproductive system, I nearly dozed off. When the bell rang for break, it was a relief to get out of the classroom and into the fresh air. As I walked into the schoolyard with Donna and Emerald, I noticed the boy with red hair who we’d seen earlier. He was standing on his own, looking a bit lost.

         Now that we could see his face clearly, I realised I knew him. I turned to Donna. “Isn’t that Jimmy Devlin?”

         She nodded. “I remember him. He disappeared suddenly halfway through Year 6 and never came back.”

         “Didn’t his dad run the old bakery in the High Street?” Emerald asked. “The one that’s all boarded up now? So how come he’s now arriving at school in a chauffeur-driven Rolls?”

         Donna grinned. “Let’s find out, shall we? Come on!” She strode over to where the boy was standing. “Hi, Jimmy! Remember us?”

 Author Bio

Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of  Eye Spy, the first in a series of detective stories for 9-12 year olds, designed to encourage reluctant readers. The second book in the series, Haunted, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017. 

Tessa lives with her husband and a large white cat called Pippa. in a town on the Thames estuary, which inspired the seaside setting for the novels. She also writes about health and nutrition, and family history, which has been her passion for many years.

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