Hester Fiesta Party Planner Extraordinaire (and Moynie, That’s Me) is a 13K chapter book with series potential, appealing to 7-9 year old readers who feel they have out-grown Rainbow Fairies but still can’t resist the lure of magic and mayhem with wings attached.

When Moynie finds out that BFF Hester really HAS found a fairy in a ketchup bottle, life on Carnival Street is never the same again. The fairy has been cursed so that anyone who mentions it’s their birthday has to say IT’S THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER or they’re all fairy dust (The Magic Master has been after that pesky fairy for 346 years and is not about to give up anytime soon).  Unfortunately, it’s Lady Bagnall who announces she’s sixty today and she HATES parties. Hester & Moynie plan a street party beyond anyone’s wildest dreams but will it be enough? Join Moynie in a story that celebrates kindness, friendship and partying in an EXPLOSIVE way.

My 4000 word storyBeardunzelwas anthologised by Bloomsbury in 2018 in ONCE UPON A FAIRYTALE. I have been shortlisted for The East Anglian Book Awards for my Middle Grade fiction and my YA novel Letting Go of Joshua G received an Honourable Mention in UV2018. I’ve taught English in high schools for twenty years and spend any spare time polishing my manuscripts.

 

Chapter One

Hedgehogs, Hamsters and Hester’s Big News

 

Hester’s found a real live fairy in a ketchup bottle.

That’s what she says.

Last summer she said she found a nest of baby hedgehogs in her garden. All she’d done was paint a bunch of hairbrushes dark brown and put them under a bush. Okay, she had piled a load of dead leaves on them but I knew it was a trick.

Hester is always doing things like that, particularly in the summer holidays. She gets bored in the summer holidays because her mum is at work all day.

Anyway, today is Tuesday and I’ve just had peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast when it’s BANG! BANG! BANG! on the front door.

When I let Hester in, she runs straight up to my room.

“You’ll never guess!” she shouts, using my bed as a trampoline. Her long ginger hair ripples out in big ginger waves on an enormous ginger sea.

“I’ll never guess what?” I ask, picking up the pieces of puzzle that are flying around the room in a puzzle-storm.

“You’ll never guess what happened just now.”

I’m always the one who has to guess. If I don’t, Hester goes off in a strop.

“What?” I ask.

“Go on, guess!”

I’m on the bed and every time Hester bounces, I rise up in the air. But my hair doesn’t spread out in a fan like Hester’s does. It’s short and it’s brown and it sort of sits on my head like Playmobil hair.

“You gave back those sweets you stole from my brother and blamed on me?”

“No.”

Bounce… bounce… bounce…

“You found Hack-Man the hamster?”

(Hack-Man escaped a year ago and went and hid under the bath. We set a trap by the hole with chunks of chocolate. The chocolate mysteriously disappeared with no sign of Hack-Man. Hester said he must have got stuck down the pipes. I didn’t believe that either.)

“No!”

Bounce… bounce… bounce…

Hester’s grin gets bigger. Her bounces go higher and higher. Her eyes shine like fresh conkers.

I have one last go at guessing what happened to her this morning.

“Dr Who’s Tardis landed in your sitting room.”

She stops.

She pulls back my ginger duvet (it started out bright orange but faded in the wash) and gets into my bed. This is another thing she always does, particularly when she wants me to listen very carefully.

“No,” she says and her face is bursting with a secret that wants to come out. “I found a fairy in the ketchup bottle I just bought from the chip shop.”

“The Happy Plaice chip shop?”

She nods.

I blink twice but I don’t say anything.

“Wait, Moynie,” she insists. “I saw the little fairy face staring out at me.”

I still don’t say anything. Half of me wants to believe her. Half of me thinks this is a trick. And half of me wishes I’d had chips for breakfast instead of peanut butter sandwiches.

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me,” says Hester, “so you’ve got to come and see for yourself. RIGHT NOW.”

She leaps out of bed, grabs my hand and drags me out the door.