Out now: Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery
I’m delighted to announce that my new chapter book: Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery is now on sale worldwide.
This is the second book in my Laurella Swift adventure series. This time, beads in a shell necklace transport the south London schoolgirl to New Zealand in 1769, where she meets Nick, Captain Cook’s science-mad cabin boy, and Atarangi, an equally inquisitive Māori girl with an impish sense of humour.
The children have a shared fascination with the natural world, but when nature turns against them, Laurella must battle to save her friends before facing her own fight for survival.
Buy my new chapter book: Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery
Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery is now available in paperback and eBook formats from outlets including:
Look out for copies in your local libraries and bookshops too.
Watch me read Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery
Here’s a YouTube video of me reading the first chapter of Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery. I hope you enjoy it!
Why I wrote Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery
As some of you may know, Laurella Swift is very special to me because she is based on my daughters when they were younger.
She popped into my head one day several years ago after a conversation about favourite book characters. My daughters were complaining about the lack of leading characters that looked like them – especially in chapter books – so I started to build stories around her.
Each story develops in the same way. Items I’ve bought from charity shops help me to imagine where Laurella goes and when. I start by researching the origins of each object, for example, where they came from and the history associated with that area of the world, and gradually a story unfolds.
Laurella Swift and the Voyage of Discovery is dedicated to my Mum, so I’d like to tell you a little bit about her and how she inspired me to write this story. My Mum was called Mollie Griffiths, and she was kind, vivacious and funny. She died many years ago, but I think of her every day.
One Mother’s Day, I felt the need to go out and buy something that reminded me of her. I was looking for a small hazel shrub for the garden (because my Mum had beautiful green/hazel eyes), but I couldn’t find one anywhere. I ended up in a charity shop and was drawn to a stunning blue/green shell, which had a small sticker on it with the words ‘Paua – New Zealand’. It immediately reminded me of her, but I didn’t know why. I bought it and hurried home to see if I could find out more about the shell on the internet.
Imagine my delight when the first thing I discovered was that the Māori regard paua as treasure and associate the shell with the stars, regarding them as the symbolic eyes of ancestors that gaze down on us from the night sky. As far as I was concerned, this was a clear message from my Mum, letting me know that she was still keeping an eye on me!
As the paua shell came from a charity shop, it was the perfect ‘key’ for me to research Laurella’s second adventure, and before I knew it, I found myself in New Zealand in the 1700s! Incidentally, the shell necklace that takes Laurella back in time is real. It’s one of my favourite necklaces – and guess what, I bought it in the Isle of Wight!
Write a review
I’d love to know what you think of the story, so why not write a review. You can find links to several online review sites in my blog: Write a review and share your love of reading. Thank you!