C. J. Haslam is Chief Travel Writer at The Sunday Times. He lives in Cambridge with his family. This is his first book for children.
Set in Cornwall, this darkly comic adventure starts innocently with twelve-year-old Orla and her family on holiday. However things rapidly take a spooky turn when she discovers a glowing necklace in some woods and soon she's embroiled with witches, pirates and a mysterious curse that only Orla, with the help of her trusty dog Dave, can break. Think Famous Five with a twist * The Good Wide Wed * This is a beautifully written tale of an adventurous and unstoppable young girl and her pet dog. * Parent Talk * Orla and the Serpent's Curse, by the first-time children's author CJ Haslam, is a welcome breath of fresh air ...] We pause to admire every view - but the action whips on, resulting in a wonderfully suspenseful debut that will lift the spirits of any child cooped up at home. -- Emily Bearn * The Telegraph * A rollicking adventure of witches and pellers and pirates and betrayal all set in a vividly painted Cornwall rich with language and landscape. Brilliant to see an historical novel with a contemporary setting, that incorporates folklore, history, mystery, adventure and family - and with the biggest hearted dog ever - the utterly selfless - Dave. * Fleur Hitchcock * It was a real treat to get lost in this sprawling adventure full of magic, pirates, witches and a most heroic Jack Russell. Orla and the Serpent's Curse is packed full of adventure, mystery, humour and thrills... All shot through with lots of wonderful witchy magic - this is rich storytelling sure to appeal to fans of Catherine Doyle's magical Storm Keepers series or Robin Stevens' brilliant mysteries. * James Nicol *