Monday, October 19, 2020

Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2020: Max's Hallowe'en Adventure; 2. The Shadow of the Witchfinder by Wendy Leighton-Porter

A graduate of Exeter University, Wendy spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies before a change of career led her to writing children's fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, she lives with her husband and beautiful Tonkinese cat.  

Wendy's ""Shadows from the Past"" time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max, are aimed at the Middle Grade age group. This award-winning series also includes several shorter novellas that see Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo missions. Now working on the 18th book in the series, ""The Shadow of the Shifting Sands"", Wendy hopes that her love of history, myth and legend will rub off on her young readers as she takes them on a magical mystery tour through the past. 

 In his fifth solo mini-adventure, Max the talking Tonkinese cat, the feline hero of the SHADOWS FROM THE PAST series travels back in time to the mid-seventeenth century. 

He doesn’t understand how this has happened until he recognises his surroundings and realises it isn't the first time he’s been to this place. Why has he been brought to this tumbledown cottage in the middle of nowhere? All is about to be revealed…

In 17th century Essex, at a time when most people believed in witchcraft, the name Matthew Hopkins was enough to strike fear into the heart of many a woman who lived alone with only a pet cat for company… for Hopkins was the Witchfinder General.  

The 15th book in the Shadows from the Past series takes the time-travelling foursome back to the year 1646. It isn’t Max’s first visit to the village of Mistley Thorn, but this time his friends Jemima, Joe and Charlie are by his side.
Their mission is to bring an end to Hopkins’ campaign of terror. Will they succeed, or might this prove to be their most dangerous challenge yet? " 


The Shadow of the Witchfinder
Snippet 1

Max reared up on his hind legs, casting an unnaturally huge shadow behind him – it must have been a trick of the light. Perhaps that would also explain the strange halo that glimmered around its outline? Glancing over his shoulder, the sight of the spectral shape looming tall almost made Max jump out of his skin, before he realised it was his own shadow. Gosh, was that really him? How did he look so big? Max didn’t understand what came over him at that moment, but a surge of heat flooded his body, as if fire was racing through his veins, and he felt suddenly bolder. He swiped a large paw through the air, flexing his claws in a menacing gesture. A loud bang of thunder came out of nowhere and the sky darkened with the eerie half-light that comes just before a storm. Max’s coat crackled with electricity, his fur bristling as he turned back towards the crowd.



Snippet 2 

The sky was almost black now, as dark as night, the storm still raging overhead. Jemima shivered, her flesh prickling at the feeling that something strange was in the air. With Max in her arms, she and Charlie crept towards the edge of the green while everyone was busy watching the Witchfinder being manhandled in the direction of the water. They were almost at the entrance to the lane leading to the woods when someone turned and caught sight of the two children slinking away, their silhouettes spotlit by a sudden flash of lightning. 

A shout went up. ‘There they are, the boy wizard and Hopkins’ creature. They’re getting away. Stop them!’


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