Fifteen-year old Grace Hamilton is used to the big city lights and noise of London, but Spike Island, a former prison and windswept piece of land off the coast of Ireland, is a world apart. And with a haunting past and dark secrets, the island is a breeding ground for lonely Grace’s blossoming magical powers, and the powerful force rising inside her, but will Grace survive the awakening?
Isle of Awakening is a supernatural YA novel that would appeal to readers who enjoy writers such as Moira Fowler-Doyle and her The Spellbook of the Lost and Found and Laurie Eve and her novel The Graces. I’m a huge fan of supernatural tales such as those above, and television programmes such as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which features a strong teenage female character struggling with her identity, and these have all played a part in influencing my style and subject matter.
I am a writer and horror blogger from Cork, and my blog was awarded a place in the Feedspot top 20 horror review blogs. I work as a training professional in a pharma company by day and masquerade as The Corpse Bride by night, the alter ego of my review site. I completed a CPD-accredited Write Story Books for Children online course and writing workshops with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Vanessa Fox O’ Loughlin and The Inspiration Project. I’m a #Writementor2019 mentee and member of Indulgeinwriting writing group. I’m an avid member of #Writerwise. I’m a regular attendee at Fiction at the Friary and I curated their Fright Fiction at the Friary event last Halloween.
This is my first novel, and it is complete at 55,000 words. Thanks for your consideration.
Isle of Awakening
An old, blue and white ferry bobbed at the bottom of the steep stone steps. With no waiting area, the passengers huddled together like cattle. Sing-song voices drifted Grace Hamilton’s way, different to the cockney hum on the streets of her home in London. They would be living on Spike Island, off the coast of Cork in Southern Ireland for the next few months, and her stomach was in knots at the thought.
A giant, shrieking seagull dove on the breeze in her direction. She ducked, nearly sending her giant suitcase tumbling into the sea below. Grace was used to being hounded by noisy street hawkers, not mutant seagulls. She looked around her at the other passengers, deep in their own conversations or thoughts. Her gaze moved from the crowd to one woman with frizzy, fair hair who stood apart from the others. She stared at Grace, her eyes focused directly on her. The woman’s mouth moved silently, as if reciting something to herself repeatedly. As her lips worked, Grace felt dizzy and lightheaded. A queer sensation ran through her and her whole body went rigid. It was as if her feet were encased in concrete blocks, and she was frozen to the spot. The woman’s gaze broke away from her and she joined the queue of people. Grace snapped back into reality, a shudder running through her body. Blood pulsed through her veins, throbbing in her wrists and neck, and she felt normal again.
What the hell was that? She had never felt like that before, so strange, as if her heart had stopped pumping blood through her body. She needed to get on the boat and away from that weirdo.
The herd of people made their way down the steep steps to board the ferry.
‘Mother, how are we going to get down with the suitcases?’ She tugged on the heavy suitcase in her hands, throwing a glance towards the Samsonite bag her mother was holding.
‘Someone will help us, of course, with your clumsiness we’d never manage. I thought you might be less awkward the older you get, but you’re fifteen now and there’s no signs of that stopping,’ her mother said, arching an eyebrow.
She passed her heavy case to Grace, leaving her to manage both cases, her jaw clenching with frustration.
Her mother flicked her sleek blonde hair before she tottered down the steps after the crowd of people in her Louboutins, clutching the small handrail. Her mother flashed a fake smile at the two men helping people to board at the bottom. ‘Would one of you gentlemen possibly be able to help me and my daughter with our bags?’
‘Of course. We’ll carry those bags down for you. Let me help you on to the boat first, Miss.’
The younger man held out his hand to steady her mother, she stepped over the ramp and on to the boat.
She didn’t even wait for her. That was so typicalof her mother.