I was given the opportunity to read and review Ferryman a little while ago, I fell in love with this beautiful story instantly and have been recommending it to anyone and everyone ever since. I’m really excited and honoured to be hosting the last stop on Claire McFall’s blog tour to celebrate the release of Trespassers, the long awaited sequel to Ferryman published by KelpiesEdge. I have an exclusive extract from Trespassers to share with you all today, before I reveal all I’m going to share a little bit about Claire McFall, the brilliant author of these gorgeous books. If you haven’t read Ferryman yet, what are you waiting for?!
Claire McFall is a writer and a teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. She is the author of paranormal thriller Black Cairn Point, winner of the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017. Her debut novel Ferryman won a Scottish Children’s Book Award, and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. Her other books include dystopian thriller Bombmaker.
Trespassers, the much-anticipated sequel to Ferryman, will be published on 14th September 2017.
“Tristan Fraser?” she called again, her tone making it obvious that this wasn’t the first time she’d called him.
“That’s you!” Dylan whispered furiously.
“I know,” Tristan whispered back. While Tristan was the name he’d always chosen when taking a generic male form, he was still getting used to having a surname. “I can’t leave you.” She’d be completely helpless, her arm strength not enough to manoeuvre the heavy chair. And now he’d met some of her fellow pupils, he was loath to abandon her to their nastiness.
“You’ll be back well before lunch,” Dylan told him, pushing at him now with her hand.
“And if I’m not?”
“Tristan Fraser!” He didn’t like hearing his name in that harsh, snappish voice, and Tristan sent the woman a sharp look. It didn’t deter her. “You’re needed in the office.” She gestured at him with her hand and Tristan reluctantly stood.
“I’ll just wait here for you,” Dylan promised. “Go!”
Tristan forced himself to smile at her, then left, following docilely behind the admin woman. He still didn’t want to leave Dylan, but he had to play nice, he reminded himself. He was a teenage boy, a pupil. He had to do what he was told.
Especially because his place in Dylan’s flat was precarious at best. Joan didn’t trust him, didn’t like him – and wanted him out. He doubted Joan believed the story they’ d told her about his past. Only her need for someone to care for Dylan in her absence had convinced the woman to give him a chance. Any slip up, any tiny blemish on his record – in the flat or at school – and he was out. Tristan was resolved to give her no reason to act on her threat.
It chafed, though.
A tight feeling gripped his chest as the woman led him down the corridor. When they hit the stairwell, the feeling dropped into his gut, churning and twisting. She’ll be fine, he told himself. She’d survived this soul-rotting place for three years without him. There were no wraiths here to hurt her, no monsters to slay. The only danger was a slow, painful death through boredom. Still, when he descended one flight of stairs and then the next, the feeling only grew.
By the time he hit the ground floor, Tristan knew that it was more than simply concern for Dylan. He couldn’t breathe. His lungs were working frantically, but he was getting light-headed, feeling weak. He stumbled after the woman, using the wall for support. Every step he took, the debilitation only intensified. By the time they reached the main office, Tristan felt like he was going to die. He leaned heavily against the doorframe, knowing that if he moved, he’d fall. Shards of agony were searing up both legs.
“I just have to ask you about your doctor and emergency contact,” the admin assistant said breezily, seeming unfazed by his tardiness and his current condition.
“I don’t have a doctor yet,” Tristan forced the words out, struggling to focus through the bone-deep pain that was wracking his body. “But it’ll be the same as Dylan’s. My cousin,” he added. “The emergency contact will be the same too. Her mum, Joan McKenzie.”
“Her phone number?” she asked, a form up to her nose, eyes squinting through her glasses. “I don’t have it memorised yet – can’t you get it from Dylan’s file?” he
asked, temper colouring his own words. He couldn’t take much more of this. It felt like his organs were being crushed by steel hands, shredding them to mincemeat. He had to get back to Dylan. Now. He’d die if he didn’t get back to her.
“Very well.” The woman pursed her lips in clear dissatisfaction.
“Can I go?” Tristan managed to hold onto enough reason to remember he had to ask permission to leave. He gripped the door handle to keep his feet rooted to the spot until the woman said he could.
She sighed, rolled her eyes. “You still need to sign this.”
“Fine.” He all but fell across the room. Snatching the pen from her hand – and causing a censorious tut from her – he scrawled the signature Dylan had helped him design – and lurched away.
Run. He needed to run. And he would, if he could just make his legs work. Tristan lumbered down the corridor, bouncing from wall to wall. He slammed through the double doors guarding the stairs and used his hands to propel him upwards. With every step he took, the agony dulled, the panic diminished, until he was able to pause at the entrance to the maths corridor and collect himself. Head down, hiding his face from view, he took several deep breaths. The post-pain nausea that gripped him now was a mild irritation by comparison. He had to see Dylan with his own eyes, check she hadn’t suffered as he had.
One look at Dylan’s ashen complexion told him she’d felt it too. Worse, she hadn’t been able to hide it.
Thank you for joining me on the last day of Claire McFall’s blog tour, I hope you enjoyed the Trespassers extract. I would love to hear from you, let me know what you think in the comments!
2 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Claire McFall”
I as hooked from the start, Claire’s writing is beautiful!
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Ooh these look so good! And the covers are beautiful 😍