There are those who watch in wait, for the doer to make their mistake.

The watchers eyes gleefully widen, when they see failure creeping up behind them.

Sneers and cheers in lurking, hands rubbing together until their palms are burning.

The watcher gathers the minds they’ve awoken, pointing down at the doers work convincing them it’s broken.

The doer jittered, confidence perhaps shook, from the watchers lurking in their nook.

Daggers in the doers back, wishing failure keeps its track.

Persuading others there’s no need to grow. The watcher bleating I told you so.

Yet when the doers brush their hands free from dirt, take aid to help recover from labours hurt.

Take water to help quench one’s thirst, and then a moment to study their work.

They embrace mistakes and grow from the knowledge gained, while the watchers cunningly slip away.

In lurking until the very next forever, to watch the doers undoubtable errors.

Just to say I told you so, more poison seeping into their soul.

Do not watch the doer for you’ll never know, that doing will always help you grow.

And the next time you lay down your doing tools, smile back at the watchers tower… riddled with fools.

-Xander Panteli

I am so excited to share an update on a project I have been working on.
As well as my novels and short stories, I have been crafting an educational series of books for younger children.

The series is called ‘Beautiful Garden’, a collection of fun factual books about the incredible diversity in our gardens, parks, woods and countrysides. Books about different birds, insects, wildlife, seasons and flowers to help bring to life the magic of nature.

The first series to be released will be The Bird series, with my first book already on an illustrator’s desk to help bring the magic to life. So exciting (interview with an illustrator coming soon)! But why am I doing this? Well, I have a huge passion for nature and actively encourage it into my very own garden.


There is so much we can do in the tiniest of areas that would positively impact wildlife. I believe the first step is to understand, or at least take the time to understand nature and how it helps you and everyone you know directly. Knowing a tree allows you to breathe or that bees pollinate over sixty per cent of our crops so we can eat should blow your mind. But it should also make you realise that we need nature. We need plants, insects and birds. We need to understand. And, with a bit of knowledge, you will start to see there is always something magical happening in nature.

Introducing children to this magic as early as possible and giving them as much exposure is vital in the hopes to keep a healthy balance with our ever-dwindling natural world. And where better to start than our own back gardens, windows or tiny patios. So if reading one of the books in my series makes someone want to feed a bird, plant something in a pot or stick a bulb into the ground…then that can not be a bad thing at all, can it?

And as always, thanks for reading.

Digby and Yates: The Lost Signal

Below is a little sneak peek from my Digby and Yates, short story series coming soon. Digby and Yates, are two humorous unorthodox detectives solving serious crimes. The first story in the series is called The lost Signal, and this is the crime that they need to solve.

All names, characters, incidents are nothing other than the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to any thing or one in this universe and beyond, dead, alive, buried or frozen in time is entirely coincidental.

I hope you enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading.

Prologue

Tobias Lebwaski held a coal-black briefcase in his right hand tighter than a constrictor as if his life depended on it, which it did. It was Friday 11:00 pm, and everything was running to schedule. It would always run to schedule when Tobias was on the job. It’s why the agency called him for service in the first place.

The assignment Tobias returned from before receiving the call was very different from the Swap Over he was on now. Wednesday at 11:45 pm he was lying unseen on a rooftop in the North of England staring down the scope of a suppressed sniper rifle. At 12:17 am, he fired a single bullet at a target just over six-hundred meters away in a car which had been blocked deliberately by unexpected roadworks, just how it was supposed to happen. The shot blew a hole in the drivers head large enough for Tobias to know he was D.O.I. Dead on Impact. That night Tobias slept well as he always does after every assignment.

For the past eight years, he has been married to Silvia Lebwaski. She has never asked him once what he does for a living. They have a son and daughter, Nick and Grace, and lived seven miles outside of town. Still, if you knew this about Tobias, you wouldn’t be alive long enough to repeat it, nor would you discover his address led to a cleaning cupboard in a derelict factory. Such was the backstories of the special forces.
His real name was Simon Leto, a single man who had a small flat in the city and had no time for relationships that lasted more than one night.

At 10:58 pm he left The Rabbit Foots, a pub, knowing each step that would follow. He spent the last half-an-hour planning them with precision while drinking a double whisky with ice. His only distraction was from two young drunks babbling about their luck with women since The Foot became their new local. Tobias hated that kind of talk, as did Simon Leto. Hell the pair of them hated talk in general. Loose lips sink ships and knowing his newest assignment was at the wharf the words held their weight.

Friday 11:00 pm, and he was where he wanted to be, looking down Forfent Avenue holding his briefcase in his right hand. The night was cold, the mist hung, and several street lights were out of function. It was earlier that day, Brian Brown, the electrician from the electrical company who was hired to cut the wrong cable completed his part of the job. He wore persuading overalls and an  I.D card so convincing he could have fooled himself. However, special forces working for the same agency never met one another nor did they know any other job roles which may assist their own. Tobias never knew if he met a convert during his time, but he was smart enough to know when he saw the work of one.
The moonlight cast perfect shadows to navigate the street mostly unseen. 

He needed to walk shy of two-hundred-and-twenty meters to reach his drop off point by 11:02 pm. If the handover went to plan, which Tobias knew it would, Don Tugger and his crew will soon be caged like budgies. A well overdue siege, but the only man trusted to pull off the job had just become available. Tobias Lebwaski was that trust.

At 11:02 pm, he stood outside a boarded-up abandoned house. From the inside pocket of his navy suit jacket he took out a mobile phone which he would dispose of in a bin three streets away where Josh Martin, a bin man would collect the bag and throw it in his dustcart at 11:15 pm.
Tobias typed the number he memorised from his assignment details last night at the safe house and hit dial.

The explosion which followed, ending Tobias Lebwaski’s life at 11:03 pm, was heard several miles away. He was identified by the local police three days later when his right hand was discovered fused with the handle from his briefcase in a garden from the opposite street.

©Xander Panteli 2020

How it all began.

With my first novel, currently with beta readers to find if there are any major plot holes, pacing issues and no no’s, I thought now is a good time to give a quick backstory on how this novel came to be before I share all the juicy bits.

I started writing this adventure sixteen-years ago. It was a strange time in my life. I was angry, upset and had suppressed many more emotions from the passing over of a much loved one.

How I usually expressed myself was through poetry, but this time something was different.

When I eventually sat down, and those who know me are aware how difficult this is, for me to actually sit, a “What if?” question popped into my head. I assume it came from the whirlwind of emotions and experiences I was having at the time. But the question was along the lines of ‘What if A had to do B otherwise it would result in E?’ (not giving away spoilers!) And then whoosh.

I clacked away at the keyboard like Jessica Fletcher at her typewriter smashing out the next murder she wrote mystery, desperate to discover the answer to my what-if question. 

When I eventually stopped, I was blown away.

I discovered two things that day. One, I was a Pantzer, a writer who writes by the seat of their pants, but that held no interest to me at that time as I have only recently discovered that is my style. But more mind-blowing was the second thing. I had my first chapter staring back at me.

Winston was born.

So now, not only did I know how the story would end, I then knew how it all began. What I didn’t know was how my characters got to the end. Seriously, how do they? The only way to find out is to write, and I couldn’t wait.

But something got in the way. Life.

I never finished the journey, but not a day passed (maybe one or two) where I hadn’t had some thought about these characters and their journey. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to discover their journey? Or perhaps other things needed my attention than my story?

However, my mind never stopped ticking. I wrote beginnings to several other novels, a few short stories, children’s rhyming books, poems and more in-between. 

Then came the start of 2019, and four young bouncing boys later, I decided enough is enough. I’m getting older, I’m wasting time, and I have to finish a novel; at least one of them. The desire inside was burning, and so I heeded the call, again.

I put my hand into my bucket-load of stories, and before I had a chance to pull one out, Winston slapped me across the face.

I had to find out how Winston and his friends got to the end.

Every day since early January 2019 I have found time to write, even if it is only for five minutes at night after the kids are asleep, or five minutes at the crack of dawn when the kids are still sleeping. Crazy, I know however I won’t make an excuse not to write anymore, and what happened during the year which passed, I did not expect at all.

The Wand of Neverfail grew from a single novel, into an epic saga. And soon you will be able to enjoy the first novel of this story I have to tell.

Until my next update on the series, and as always, thanks for reading.