My Books For Your Reading Pleasure

My Books For Your Reading Pleasure
Proud Indie Author

Friday, November 9, 2012

Four's a Crowd .. a teen novel by Maria Bradley

Hi Audrey,

My first book arrived today and will be available to buy soon on Amazon. I have
attached excerpts from the book, the cover graphic and a photo of myself in
the hope that I can still post it on your blog.

I wasn't really sure of the right excerpts to give you so please put on what you see fit.
I decided on when the three first met and an excerpt from an entity the teenagers
encountered in the story.

Thanks so much for even considering my book to be part of your blog.

Kind regards
Maria Bradley.

FOUR’S A CROWD by Maria Bradley

Excerpt from Chapter One 

The strangest thing was happening to Jack, an unfamiliar bubble rose from his stomach to his mouth and he started to laugh. The man’s accent was upper class, like he'd just arrived from an English tea party and his tone implied that Jack was responsible for the condition he found himself in now. This, coupled with the old donkey jacket he was wearing, his hair on end and the newspaper stuck to his sweating skin was hilarious to Jack.  

 ‘You're like, the poshest person that I've ever met in the gutter!’ 

 ’I young man, am a...?’ the stranger couldn’t continue with his retort as he had just caught sight of himself in the water and as he tried to stand, he too felt the rise of laughter bubble in his throat and join with Jack's. As it subsided, he held out his hand,

 ‘My name is Chairman and I'm delighted to meet you sir.’ 

 ’Oh eh I’m Jack’ 

 Jack didn’t return the handshake; there was usually a price to pay when someone was being nice to him. Chairman squinted at Jack, a question in his eyes,

 ‘Have we met?’

Excerpt from Chapter two 

One day, as they were scouring the canal bank for papers, rags or anything at all they might find useful they heard an altercation. 

 ‘Get your bloody hands off me you perv', I'll get my da on you so I will and he'll break your legs, I'm telling ya!!’ 

Chairman and Jack ran towards the voice and into the wooded area to find a young girl fighting off a full grown man as he attempted to drag her further away from the road. Jack was frozen, not so, Chairman as he pulled his coat off and took the stance of a Ninja Warrior. The man, nonplussed by their sudden appearance was open mouthed as he received a swift kick to the back of his knees from his captive and a karate chop to the neck from Chairman. As he fell back, Jack found his courage and picked up a branch, ran to him and proceeded to beat him about the head with it. The man crawled away in defeat shouting oaths to all three of them. After catching her breath the young girl turned to her rescuers,

‘Sweet Jaysus that was brilliant, you're like Jackie Chan and that other fella!  I thought my number was up, t’ank you, t’ank you so much!!’ 

‘I'm Sky Finnegan I t’ink, I mean I'm Sky sumat’, I'm not really sure who my da is but I'm damn sure it wasn’t him!’ She pointed in the direction of her attackers escape. She was flushed red with relief and receiving no reply from her new Knights without armour, she continued talking until finally it was Jack that found his voice first.  

‘Who was that man?’  

‘So you can speak, I was beginning to t’ink you were foreign or just dumb! I told you, I dunno who he is, he was hanging round our camp and followed me when I came here to collect me 'erbs and stuff for the market. Who are you two then?’ 

Jack had exhausted his own social skills with the one sentence and he turned to Chairman to take over. Chairman, uncharacteristically silent, was still staring into space desperately trying to catch the vague memory hovering in his mind. 

‘I know Karate’ he announced, almost to himself; ‘how do I know Karate?’ 

‘Sweet Jaysus fella, you talk like the ruddy queen!’ answered Sky and exploded into laughter. Chairman snapped out of his memory, focused on Sky and in his most charming manner said, 

‘I’m absolutely positive that I am related to that fine lady, as I am positive that you yourself must be a princess!’ 

He bowed, picked up her right hand and dropped a light kiss on the back of it as if she was indeed royalty. ‘Cut the crap Mr,’ Sky giggled ‘I’m more likely related to those ducks than I am to royalty!’

Excerpt from chapter Nine 

Jack, by now, was sliding along the laminate floor like a snake, obviously in pursuit of something she still couldn’t see.  There was nothing she could do but stay quiet and wait.

Jack had a very different view.  From the second he reached the bottom of the stairs he saw a mass of silvery black smoke moving slowly around the room like a living shadow.  It had no determinable shape as it slithered and slid round every object in the room. 

There was a strange smell he could only compare to singed clothes or burnt wood.  It was part of the shadow and tainted everywhere it touched. There was emptiness, loss and evil weighing down Jack's heart as he felt the aura radiating from the shadow. It was all he could do, not to turn tail and run. But no, there was Sky to worry about so he continued to crawl underneath it as it glided over his head towards the computer.

Whatever it was seemed only aware of the objects it was examining and Jack was able to slide under the computer table unnoticed. 

The computer suddenly switched on and Jack heard Sky gasp behind him. What to do?  He couldn’t hit a shadow over the head with a baseball bat now could he? It had no head!

He could hear the keyboard being pressed and knew he had to do something before it accessed Jeannie's private documents. She may have sent all the information they had given Barbara Edmundson to her own computer.  

He banged underneath the table as hard as as he could hoping the shock would make the thing shoot off through the wall or something. The typing stopped but that was all. He remained still for a second, uncertain what to do next.  Dare he get up and see if it was gone?  No, it was still there, he could feel it.  He wrinkled his nose, the whole room smelt like the stale, charred aroma of the day after bonfire night. He slowly edged his way upwards until he could see over the computer table.  It was there, spread over the keys like an oil slick but it wasn’t moving.



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