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A Pirate's Promise

Rachael Lindsay

Mysterious footprints in the sand. A fallen map.
Who has been visiting a secret sea-cave and what has been their business?
Hobnail and her friends, Warty Toad and Snidey Slug, have a problem. They do not want uninvited guests - especially when they are sometimes strangely invisible.
But Marnie McPhee and her loyal pi-rat, Romany Ratticus, have made a promise.
A promise to drowned shipmates.
More trouble comes Hobnail's way when Liar-nel, the Leaf Man, discovers pirate pretties are being stowed away in the Dark Hole. She will have to act quickly if she is to outsmart him and help Marnie to keep her promise.
Because a pirate's promise is never broken.

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As a child, growing up in Cheshire, I was an avid reader. J. M. Barrie was my hero but I also revelled in J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, C. S. Lewis and A. A Milne. I loved Kipling's asides to his audience (dearly beloved), the landscape of Narnia, and nonsense poetry. My young mind was full of mythical creatures and places; I still have my copy of The Sentimental Dragon by Grace Cox-Ife, pages now falling from their binding and signed at the front in my childish hand.
I spent many happy weeks in Switzerland when I was young, as my father worked there for periods of time. Those breath-taking mountains, lakes and waterfalls joined forces with the fjords and forests of Norway, creating a backdrop to much of my writing. Who could not be inspired by all of these influences?
As a result of my happy experiences in both real life and fantasy, I always wanted to write stories, from about five or six years old. Of course, I had to be a serious grown-up for a while - teaching all ages from four to fifty-four year olds, earning money and bringing my two wonderful children into the world - but then I decided the time was right for me. And my stories.
Now I use my background in education to inspire children in schools up and down the country. Their enthusiasm, as they listen to and read my books, is a constant delight to me. They begin to write with greater imagination and flair.
I see parts of my young self in them.