Blog Tour: The Obsidian Pebble | Rhys A. Jones | How to Write A Spooky Story | Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on the OBSIDIAN PEBBLE blog tour for author Rhys A. Jones. 

Be inspired.

Near where I live in rural Wales is an amazingly renovated medieval house and garden. This house has more history that you can shake a stick at. It has an Elizabethan garden as well as a lake and a Queen Ann portico. But it wasn't always thus. During the war, it was a holding station for US troops, and following this became neglected and subject to architectural theft. But it has been rescued and restored and is a true wonder. And of course the rumor is that it's haunted. The claim is that a fugitive had once hidden there and spent his last frantic moments hiding there, before being captured a killed. You can read a lot more about it here.

But when we, as a family, moved to an adjoining village, the house was at its worst. Derelict and overgrown, a haven for rabbits and foxes. When my children were toddlers, we thought nothing of wandering around the paths that were still navigable and staring up at the 13 chimneys (a cause of great headache during the hearth tax years of The English civil war). It had an abandoned and spooky feel to it, though we never saw any ghosts. But perhaps something in that old building spoke to me and lodged in my brain. It was not the only inspiration for Penwurt—literally the house where strange things happen— which appears in my novel, the Obsidian Pebble, but I think it may have contributed just a little. Especially in the way that the house changed and adapted to the different centuries that rolled over it.

It was easy to believe that the house might be haunted, due to its decrepit state and the violent history of struggle associated with it. Much less so now when its freshly painted facade is viewed on a beautiful autumn afternoon in the 21st century. But we never really know what memories lurk in these old buildings. What strange energy may have soaked into the stone. Oz Chambers feels the same way about Penwurt, the house he lives in. In fact, in The Obsidian pebble, he makes an effort to find out about its secrets. But sometimes secrets are secrets for very good reasons. Digging in the dirt sometimes unearths worms that are better left in the can they came in. But if we didn't dig, there'd be far fewer stories, wouldn't there?

And then what sort of world would we live in?

11-year old Oz Chambers lives in a haunted house (Penwurt). His mother wants to move, but Oz would rather do double algebra (yuck) every day for twelve months than leave. Where others see spooky, Oz sees wonder and mystery and aching reminders of his deceased dad. When he and his friends hear ghostly footsteps in the boarded-up dorm at Halloween, it leads to an exploration of the old place's eerie reputation. In his Dad's locked study, Oz finds a parcel addressed to him and posted the day before his father died. Inside is the obsidian pebble, the link to all of Penwurt's astonishing secrets. Suddenly Oz begins to change; he goes from maths dunce to A student overnight and has to deal with suspicious teachers and jealous pupils. But the footsteps in the locked rooms don't go away and slowly, Oz begins to knit together the strands of lies and mystery that tie the obsidian pebble, his father and him together. What Oz hasn't bargained for is that he's not alone in that search for understanding and that solving Penwurt's puzzles lead to other, much darker secrets that will test his loyalty and his bravery to the limit.


Award winning author (OMG) Rhys A Jones writes fantastic, funny, scary (is this a bit too
presumptuous? By fantastic I mean fantasy, not brilliant--though I hope they are--brilliant that is), mysteries for ages 10 and up. His job is to take you where anything is possible. When he isn't writing he walks the dogs and occasionally practices medicine. He lives in an evergreen valley in West Wales with his very understanding wife.

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  1. This is such a rockin' middle grade read. Perfect for the Halloween season!

  2. Hey, OUaT team, thanks a million for letting me stop by on your blog. I'm over here in the UK, so we have a bit of a time lag, but It's terrific to be here. I've watched from afar.

  3. To the OUAT team, huge thanks for hosting me on my official release day.

  4. This sounds like a good book for a younger audience! Thanks for the giveaway!


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