Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor: Exclusive excerpt and giveaway.

Thanks to Harper Collins in Ireland, I have an exclusive excerpt from Hazel Gaynor's latest novel, The Cottingley Secret, published on 7th September. There is also an amazing giveaway of an  early copy of the book and a fairy house, for one lucky winner! Just enter via rafflecopter link below. Open IRL/UK and closes on 25th August. Good luck!

Giveaway Prize

The Blurb

The New York Times bestselling author turns the clock back to a time when two young girls convinced the world that fairies really did exist…
1917: When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, announce they have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when the great novelist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, endorses the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a sensation; their discovery offering something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war.

One hundred years later When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript and a photograph in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story of the two young girls who mystified the world. As Olivia is drawn into events a century ago, she becomes aware of the past and the present intertwining, blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, will Olivia find a way to believe in herself? 

Exclusive Excerpt from The Cottingley Secret:

                   Fairies will not be rushed. I know this now; know I must
                   be patient.
                   Stiff and still in my favourite seat, formed from the
                   natural bend in the bough of a willow tree, I am wildly
                   alert, detecting every shifting shape and shadow; every
                   snap and crack of twig. I dangle my bare feet in the beck,
                   enjoying the cool rush of the water as it finds a natural
                   course between my toes. I imagine that if I sat here for
                   a hundred years, the water would smooth and round
                   them, like the pebbles I collect from the riverbed and keep
                   in my pockets.
                   In the distance I can see Mr Gardner, the man they sent
                   from London, with his round spectacles and bow tie and
                   endless questions. He peers around the trunk of an oak
                   tree, watches for a moment, and scribbles his observations
                   in his notebook. I know what he writes: remarks about
                   the weather, our precise location, the peculiar sense of
                   something different in the air.
                   Elsie stands on the riverbank beside me, her camera
                   ready. ‘Can’t you ’tice them?’ she urges. ‘Say some secret
                   I shrug. ‘They’re here, Elsie. I can feel them.’ But like
                   the soft breath of wind that brushes against my skin, the
                   things we feel cannot always be seen.

                   I know that the best time to see them is in that perfect
                   hour before sunset when the sun sinks low on the horizon
                   like a ripe peach and sends shafts of gold bursting through
                   the trees. The ‘in between’, I call it. No longer day, not
                   yet night; some other place and time when magic hangs
                   in the air and the light plays tricks on the eye. You might
                   easily miss the flash of violet and emerald, but I – according
                   to my teacher, Mrs Hogan – am ‘a curiously observant
                   child’. I see their misty forms among the flowers and leaves.
                   I know my patience will be rewarded if I watch and listen,
                   if I believe.

                  Tired of waiting, Elsie takes her camera and returns to
                  the house, where Aunt Polly is waiting to hear if we
                  managed any new photographs. The others soon follow:
                  Mr Gardner, the newspaper reporters, the ‘fairy hunters’
                  who come to snoop and trample all over the wildflowers
                  and spoil things. My little friends won’t appear just to
                  please these onlookers. They move according to the patterns
                  and rhythms of nature, not the whims of so-called experts
                  from London. Fairies, I understand. These men, I do not.
                  Glad to be alone again, I watch the pond skaters and
                  dragonflies, listen to the steady giggle of the water, sense
                  the prickle of anticipation all around me. The sun dazzles
                  on the water and I squint to shield my eyes as the heat
                  at the back of my neck makes me drowsy and tugs at my
                  eyelids, heavy with the desire to sleep.
                  I press my palms against the bark, smoothed from
                  decades of weather and countless children who have sat
                  here. How many of them have seen, I wonder? How many
                  of them have known? I wait and I wait, whispering the
                  words from my picture book: ‘“There shall be no veil
                  between them, / Though her head be old and wise. / You
                  shall know that she has seen them, / By the glory in her
                  And then . . .

                  The lightest ringing at my ears. The slightest movement
                  of fern and leaf.
                  My heart flutters. My eyes widen with excitement.
                  A flash of vibrant emerald. Another of softest
                  I lean forward. Draw in my breath. Don’t make a sound.
                  They are here.

The Cottingley Secret is published on 7th September in TPB and ebook format. You can order your copy via amazon link below:

To be in with a chance of winning an early edition of The Cottingley Secret, with a delightful and magical Irish Fairy Door (you just need to believe), just enter via rafflecopter link below:



  1. Elsie - I can't wait to meet her.

  2. Elsie Wright 😊 LOVE the sound of this book and I have fallen in love with that gorgeous cover 😍😍

  3. I've been enchanted by the true story that inspired The Cottlingley Secret for years. Looking forward to reading what Elsie captures on her little camera and the magic it plays on those around them.

  4. This sounds fun to read. Elsie is mentioned in the excerpt.

  5. Thank you for the exclusive excerpt from Hazel Gaynor's latest novel, The Cottingley Secret I just can't wait to read the book. Thanks for the chance to win an amazing giveaway.

  6. Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright have the right idea - you have to believe! :)

  7. Lovely giveaway!

  8. I would love to win this book sounds so interesting. I believe !

  9. Mr Gardner - would love to win this, thank you for the chance

  10. Love to know more about aunt Polly! Can't wait to read this book

  11. Would love to win a copy - it's about fairies!!!!!

  12. Mrs Hogan. Wonderful prize.🍀

  13. Looking forward to reading more on Hazel's story on that period as am well aware of the hoax and how some big names of the time were convinced it was true....this sounds like it is going to be truly magical


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