The Spirit Trap

January 11, 2015
Votes: 1
Audience Young Adult
Word Count 60-80k (average/short)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Published Through John Hunt Publishing
Displayed & sold at Waterstones
Distributed by Orca

Author’s Summary


The spirit trap is a time-slip adventure that follows fourteen-year-old Tatiana as she tries to find and release the ghost of her ancestor, Isabella, who died during the French Revolution. When Isabella’s portrait along with her recently deceased grandmother’s ashes arrive in England, Tatiana is tormented by supernatural occurrences. Hoping to rid herself of the unwelcome ghostly attentions she seeks help from her cousin Marcus, and tells him of a puzzling dream in which she’s told she has to rescue her mum. This turns out not to be her present day mum, but Isabella, her mother during a previous incarnation.


When Tatiana plays the piano disturbing things begin to happen, seemingly emanating from either the portrait hanging on the wall behind her, or the ashes in a silver cup on the mantelpiece. At the playing of the melody from a French folk song a small package containing a lock of Isabella’s hair falls from the back of her portrait. This provides Tatiana with a link to Isabella, and is instrumental in triggering flashbacks to 18c Revolutionary France, and to her life as Lisette.

The haunting becomes ever more persistent and frightening, until she’s confronted by a ghostly boy with no front teeth.

It soon becomes apparent that in order to be free of the boy, she has to find and release Isabella, which although a seemingly impossible task, she is determined to achieve. Tatiana persuades Marcus to help her and he agrees to spend the Christmas holidays with her at her grandfather’s apartment in Paris.


In France Marcus and Tatiana begin searching for Isabella’s ghost. They search cemeteries, Revolutionary sites and the Catacombs where they have a terrifying encounter with other ghosts, but not hers. Things start to look up when they are given her grandmother Natasha’s notebooks. These include cryptic references to Isabella, leading them to suspect her grandmother knew that Isabella was trapped before she died. Consequently the children are desperate to visit the old family chateau, but due to a long-lasting family feud, her grandfather refuses to take them. However after a dream in which her grandmother asks Tatiana to tell him something that only she could have known, he changes his mind.


Once at the chateau Tatiana experiences increasing bouts of déjà vue, including recall of the days before the Revolution and the time when the chateau was ransacked during the Terror. She also meets Louis, the eighteen-year-old son of the house with whom she becomes smitten. This causes Marcus, who himself has a crush on her, great angst.

They enlist the help of the sceptical Louis, who, arranges for them to return to the chateau when his parents are away and her mother and grandfather are busy. A blizzard forces them to stay, giving them the opportunity of visiting the maze in the garden in the moonlight and again the following day. They suspect Isabella is there, and finally, much to their surprise, and his, it is Louis who unwittingly frees her.

Short Description

A time-slip tale, part ghost story, part romance as two cousins, Tatiana and Marcus set out to discover the fate of an ancestor killed during the terror of the French Revolution. Their search leads them to a French Chateau, a snow-bound labyrinth and the Paris catacombs.


Inspirational and intriguing

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Community Endorsements


" A haunting tale that will grip the older reader as well as the young adult. It carries you through the different timeframes with elegant ease. Fascinating. Well written and mind opening. Such a refreshing change from vampires." Judy Hall, author of The Crystal Bibles.

– posted by Veryan Williams-Wynn    

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