Engrossing YA -Jo Danilo’s ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’

It means so much to get a review like this after years of nagging from the little pixie of self-doubt 🙂

Sophie de Courcy and More

I have always admired this author’s writing, and I am really pleased that this novel is now available on Amazon. I only occasionally read YA, but I really enjoyed this one.

Excellent! I was really impressed.

This novel combines lively action, humour, vivid descriptions and characterisation in an expertly woven creepy supernatural adventure alternated with prosaic high school life in a small Yorkshire town.

There is a curse on a house by Tinker’s Wood, and it must begin and end with a death.
When new neighbours move next door to the protagonist Daisy May and her mother, something re-activates it from its decades long sleep.

This is a spine chilling story, and a funny and a sad one. It’s full of action and vivid descriptions, tersely recounted. I was hooked from the moment I read of foul Mr Braithwate, and his habitual saluation to all – with two fingers.

The…

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OUT NOW! ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’ (Kindle Edition)

Curtain Twitchers Cover

OUT TODAY! ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’ (Kindle version). A young adult love story with the odd ghost and some very petulant curtains.

Find it on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Hope you enjoy it – if you do, come back and let me know

For more information on The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook, head over to the book page here.

 

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook: Tip #4

curtains #4.png

‘When it Might be Time to Change your Curtains’ by Daisy May

Your own personal God of Curtain-Twitching should only provide advice on the subject of curtains. If he starts to interfere in other aspects of your life you should be wary and seek independent advice. In extreme circumstances it may be wise to change your curtains.

Standing back, I checked the mirror. I’d chosen a white. long-sleeved shirt with a conservatively-striped tank top over it, and some black cords. We always had to look smart for Gramps, Mum and I. He couldn’t abide scruffy dressing, coming from an era when people donned their best hat just to fetch the milk off the doorstep. I’d once worn jeans, and Gramps spent the entire visit looking me up and down and muttering under his breath. I wish I’d thought to tell Will. He’d probably have jeans on, and his hair would be all over the place.

I wound my own hair into a rough bun and clipped it up. With this outfit it made me look about forty. I pulled it out and stuck it in a ponytail instead. It was very hard to try and look good to both Gramps and Will at the same time. Maybe I could get away with clean trainers.

I don’t think so,” commented the god with a snort.

‘Since when are you such a fashion expert?’ I bit back, keeping my words carefully in my head. I wasn’t about to start conversing with my curtains out loud. That would be crazy.

Look at my multi-coloured spots. I am the king of fashion,” he said.

 


Taken from The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook, in which Daisy discovers the dying art of curtain-twitching is not just for old, nosy people.

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.co.uk

amazon

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.com

amazon

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook: Tip #3

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‘How to Save a Life (with just your curtains).’ by Daisy May

In a life-saving situation it is acceptable for the Curtain-Twitcher to give away their position. The person being saved will be so grateful they will forget to be suspicious.

I watched the passenger door of the red Alfa open and my archenemy, Willy McKenzie, got out. He put a hand up to smooth his unruly curls back as they blew into his eyes, and reached into the car to get his schoolbag out. I hid behind my curtain so he didn’t spot me, and grimaced at my subterfuge. It was fast becoming a record Curtain-Twitching week, and I was only a young novice. My grandma would have been proud.

As Willy McKenzie pushed the car door shut there was a sudden gust of wind. It rattled my windows and flung the trees around in the woods at the back. A movement on the McKenzie’s roof caught my attention. The wind had loosened a grey slate. It slid a few inches before coming to rest on the edge of the guttering at the front of the house, where it rocked precariously. Willy McKenzie walked towards his front door. The wind blew again.

I hammered on my window as loud as I could without breaking it. In the spilt second that followed, Willy McKenzie glanced round, I pointed frantically at the roof, he followed the direction of my finger, and the roof slate tipped and started to fall.

Willy jumped back, and the heavy slab of stone smashed into the ground just centimetres from his yellow-clad feet. If he hadn’t moved, it would have smashed directly into his head instead. Maybe it would even have killed him. People died from lesser head injuries.

It occurred to me I may have just saved the life of Willy McKenzie.

He stared blankly at the shards of slate surrounding him, then back up at my window. Smiling shakily, he gave me a small nod, but I gave him nothing in return, watching as his mother rushed up in a sudden panic. Her flowered skirts were blowing a little too high in the breeze.

I saw him tell her ‘I’m fine’, but he was looking at me the whole time. Backing away from the window, I sat on my bed feeling enormously strange. What if I hadn’t hammered on the window? What if I hadn’t been Curtain-Twitching? What if Willy McKenzie had died? Would I be happy about that?

Of course not.

But just because I wouldn’t wish him dead didn’t mean I’d suddenly forgiven him, did it?

Of course not.

Fun, isn’t it?” whispered the god.

“No, actually,” I replied, but out loud this time, and then clamped a hand over my mouth.


Taken from The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook, in which Daisy discovers the dying art of curtain-twitching is not just for old, nosy people.

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.co.uk

amazon

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.com

amazon

 

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook: Tip #2

curtains #2.png

‘The Importance of a Darkened Room’ by Daisy May

It may seem obvious but, at night, curtain-twitching should only be attempted in a darkened room. So many of us forget in our haste and are discovered.

I looked down at the tissue in my hand. It was a damp, wrinkled ball full of tears and snot, and looked exactly like I felt. I stood up to toss it into the spotty bin that matched my curtains.

My curtains.

Still here,” the God of Curtain-Twitching reminded me.

I silently protested.  “But you show me only bad things.”

I only show you what is there,” came the response, which I thought was a bit of a cop-out.

Sighing, I reached over to turn my bedside light off and headed for the window. I heard the god murmur with satisfaction.

 


Taken from The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook, in which Daisy discovers the dying art of curtain-twitching is not just for old, nosy people.

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.co.uk

amazon

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.com

amazon

 

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook: Tip #1

curtains #1

‘Selecting the Tools of the Trade’ by Daisy May

It doesn’t matter what kind of curtains you have. They don’t have to be the traditional net or lace ones. Cotton, velvet, organza, polyester, silk… all work just as well. The main thing is to actually have curtains. Blinds can be discounted immediately. They are too noisy and do not have the required elegance. Blinds do not ‘twitch’; they clatter.

Taken from The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook, in which Daisy discovers the dying art of curtain-twitching is not just for old, nosy people.

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.co.uk

amazon

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.com

amazon

 

 

INSPIRATION: The Saturday Girl

I was a Saturday Girl once. There was a small cafe in our small town, made popular by a long-running TV series. So many girls from school undertook their job-baptism of fire here, and the kitchen was a seething microcosm of alliances, hostilities and hormones, interspersed with coke floats and cheese and pickle sandwiches.

Saturday Girl

INSPIRED

They pushed me to the top of the stairs and handed me a torch.

“Go on,” said the girl called Suzanna, “They’re on the top shelf.”

I peered down. It was pitch black at the bottom. The light from the cafe filtered down, reducing with every step. I flicked the torch on and gritted my teeth.

This was clearly the beginning of some kind of war.

“Come on, new girl.”

An hour into the job and I was already losing.

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BIT BY BIT (Foxfires VI)

Foxfires

foxfires snowy moors

FOXFIRES I      FOXFIRES II    FOXFIRES III   FOXFIRES IV   FOXFIRES V

Chapter Four

Tuesday Night

“The stew’s ruined, but you should have been home a half hour ago.”

“Sorry, love.”

“Sorry, Gran.”

Emily sat near the Rayburn, the clothes on her back so warm they were almost burning her chilled skin. Her thawing fingers tingled as she dug a fork into her heaped plate. The stew wasn’t ruined. It was delicious. Grandma was full of false threats. She was incapable of handing out punishments to her loved ones. Even now, full of her own family’s betrayal, she was helping Granddad to more cabbage.

One thing Emily didn’t miss about home was her mother’s cooking. Her mother wasn’t built for cooking. She was designed for looking pretty and saying witty things, but those rare skills definitely had their place. Emily got the impression that her grandparents did not wholly approve of the match their son had made. The odd remark here and there about homemaking and ‘don’t cry over anything that can’t cry over you’. But, though the cooking hadn’t been great at home, Emily felt she hadn’t missed out on anything. The social whirl of her girlhood was something she treasured. Especially now, stuck in the middle of nowhere.

“Any news from the village? I haven’t had the time to go down for three days.” Grandma said.

It was one of her pointed ‘poor me’ remarks that generally passed uncommented, much to Grandma’s chagrin. Emily opened her mouth to tell everything and Granddad fixed her with a meaningful stare.

“Not really,” she said, and shoved another mouthful of stew in to stop any more words coming out.

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