Excerpt from Penelope Parker

Another short excerpt. Be aware, this is the first draft, so there may be errors!

“Can I take Hecate with me, mum? Please?” Hecate was Penelope’s beloved cat. Not much to look at, (but don’t tell her that!), she had one bent ear and one ear that looked like it had been chewed by a rat. Her eyes were slightly crossed, one was green and the other a startling sapphire blue. But Penelope loved her with all her heart. The cat always listened to her woes, and curled up next to her at night, purring softly.
Looking at her daughter’s pleading eyes, her mother didn’t have the heart to say no. Heaven knew her daughter’s life hadn’t been easy this far, and it was about to get even more difficult. When Penelope was born, her mother, although she loved her husband greatly, hoped that Penelope would be “normal”.  This hope was dashed the first time she went into the nursery and saw Penelope’s toys dancing in the air above her cradle. After her husband left, she tried valiantly to ensure that Penelope’s life was as a child’s life should be. She knew, now, that was no longer possible, so she had made the decision to write Matilda.
“All right, Penelope, you can take her. But hurry up and find her cage and get your things packed. It’s getting late.” Her heart much lighter, Penelope skipped off to do as her mother had asked.
“You know I hate confined spaces,” came a plaintive voice at her feet. Oh, yes, Hecate talked to Penelope all the time. It was another one of those things that Penelope didn’t tell her mother.
“Oh, Hec, I’m sorry! I know you don’t like it, but do you want to have to stay with Mrs. Lomax again?”
“Phfftt!” came the reply. “Absolutely not! She tries to feed me crickets, of all things! Crickets! What cat in her right mind would eat crickets?” Penelope laughed as she hugged Hecate. “Look, you be good, and I’ll see you get some sardines when we get to Aunt Matilda’s.”
“Well,” sniffed Hecate, “well, I suppose in that case, I can put up with the cage for a few hours.”
“Good girl,” said Penelope, as she finished the last of her packing.
“Hurry up, Penelope!” came her mother’s voice from downstairs. “The taxi should be here any minute.”
“Coming, mum. I’m just putting Hec in her cage.”

About Susan McCaskill

Susan (or Sue, as she prefers to be called), was born in post war England, and lived there until the age of nine, when she and her mother emigrated to Canada. Her father died when she was nine, and left a huge impression on her. Both her parents encouraged her to read, and learn. She has always believed in fairies and elves, and probably always will, and as a child, she saw things many others didn't, and as a result she was thought to be a little strange.

Sue currently lives on beautiful Vancouver Island with her husband and three demanding cats.

Although she has been in Canada for so many years, she still misses the English and Welsh countryside, and because of this, her novel is based in the ancient, picturesque town of Betws-Y-Coed.

About herself, she says:

"I think I was born a writer, and got more confidence thanks to my grade five teacher, who was wonderful, and fostered my love for writing. I didn't write for almost 40 years, because of raising kids, life happenings, the usual drama. I started again sporadically ten years ago, and finished my first Mid Grade fantasy in 2013. Currently working on book 2.

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