This is my stop during the blog tour for Bea's Witch by Daniel Ingram-Brown. Bea’s Witch is a ghostly coming of age story.
This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and runs from 21 June till 11 July. See the tour schedule here.
Don’t miss the tour wide giveaway at the bottom of this post.
The future can be rewritten.
On the eve of her twelfth birthday, Beatrice Crosse runs away from her adoptive home only to encounter the ghost of England's most famous prophetess. The witch offers her treasure, but can she be trusted? Bea must wrestle her past to discover the witch’s secret and find her way home.
There’s a burst of energy as everyone jumps up, packing their things away.
I push my work into my bag, wondering why nobody is talking about what just happened. As I stand to leave, Charlie steps in front of me, blocking my path, two Angelettes behind her. She thrusts out her hand towards me, a piece of paper in her fist. It takes me a moment to register what it is. As I do, my stomach tightens.
She steps towards me. ‘What’s this?’
‘None of your business,’ I reply. ‘It’s not yours.’
She begins to read. ‘You are invited to Bea’s Birthday Tea.’ Her voice is mocking. She smirks. ‘Aw isn’t that sweet? Little Bea’s birthday tea.’ The girls behind her giggle. ‘When is it?’ She glances at the invitation. ‘Ooh, tomorrow! How exciting.’
‘Give me that. It’s not yours! You’re not invited!’
‘Aw. And I really, really, really wanted to go too. Boo hoo.’ She sticks out her bottom lip.
‘Give it me!’ I try to snatch it, but she pulls it away, lifting it high.
I can feel my cheeks burning. ‘Where did you get it?’
‘I found it on the floor. Somebody obviously didn’t want it.’
Of course they didn’t. Why would anybody want to come to my birthday?
I realise I’m trembling. ‘Liar!’ Charlie watches me calmly, amusement in her eyes.
‘Aw is little Bea going to cry?’
My body sways, the air in me compressing. In my pocket, I feel heat sparks from the coin, fire rushing through my muscles. I lunge forward, and before I know it, I’ve slapped Charlie square across the cheek. The smack resonates from the walls. The other girls step back, shocked. Charlie’s head tilts but her feet remain planted. She freezes a moment, but then slowly turns back to face me. My palm is tingling. It feels as though I’m watching from above. A crimson bloom spreads across her cheek. My body is ready to react, ready to fight, to defend myself. Nobody breathes. Charlie’s eyes are steel. She holds me in her gaze. Coldness floods my limbs. But then, she turns and marches away. ‘Come on,’ she says, ‘I’m not wasting my time here.’
Without looking back, she leaves the classroom. The two Angelettes scamper after her, glancing back over their shoulders.
I stand, frozen.
What have I done?
The pressure behind my eyes throbs. My hand stings.
This isn’t good.
I imagine my invite on the floor, abandoned and trampled.
That’s all I am. Discarded. Nothing. A great big cross.
I imagine Poppy laughing as she drops it. "Why would I want to go to that?"
I blink, trying to hold back the tears, but I can’t. Hot wetness trickles down my cheek.
I don’t want anyone to see me like this. I can’t. They hate me as it is.
I grab my bag and run, knocking a desk as I fly from the classroom. Pushing through the crowds trying to avoid the rain, I dash out of the school, ignoring the shouts of a kid I shove out of the way. I think I hear Aisha calling me, but I keep my head down. I don’t want anybody to see me.
Why would they want to come to my birthday? Stupid!
The rain is torrential now. It stings my skin.
Past the swimming pool. Over the lights.
Storm Callum is heavy overhead. The rain mingles with my tears.
Up the High Street. Along Berry’s Passage.
My foot slips on the wet stones. It sounds like the scraping of the trapped pigeon.
A big cross.
That’s all I am.
Sodden hair whips my face. My fingers are numb.
I don’t stop running until I’m home.
You can view the book trailer here on Youtube.
Also available in audio!
About the Author
Daniel Ingram-Brown is a First Story writer-in-residence for secondary schools in Yorkshire. He has a Masters in Creative Writing and Drama in Education, and is currently studying for a PhD exploring adoption through creative writing. He is also a playwright and is Artistic Director of Suitcase and Spectacles Children's Theatre. Daniel's passion lies in writing stories which inspire readers and audiences to think and wonder. Daniel is the recipient of the Taner Baybars award for original writing in the field of science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, awarded by the Society of Authors Authors' Foundation. He lives in Yorkshire, UK.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Bea’s Witch. These are the prizes you can win:
- 1 paperback copy of Bea's Witch + vintage postcard from Mother Shipton’s Cave + book related pins (open International)
- 1 paperback copy of Bea's Witch + vintage postcard from Mother Shipton’s Cave + book related pins (UK only)
- ebook copies of all three books in the Firebird chronicles by Daniel Ingram-Brown (open International)
a Rafflecopter giveaway