Thursday, 12 December 2019

Festive Guest Post - Amy Ephron - The Other Side of the Wall - Tess & Max’s Top Ten Favorite Things about London at Christmastime


Today on Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books we have a wonderful guest post by Los Angeles based author Amy Ephron. We're going to take a winter festive walk with Max and Tess looking at their top favourite things to do in London at Christmas time.  

What would you do? 

Check out the post for inspiration and take a walk on The Other Side. If you would like to read my book review then please click the link below. Thank you for reading and have a GREAT Christmas. 
                             
                            The Other Side of the Wall by Amy Ephron
            Philomel Books | Hardcover ISBN: 9781984813275 | $16.99 |Ages 8-12
                     Mr. Ripleys Enchanted Books - BOOK REVIEW HERE
                                              
                                               ABOUT THE BOOK:
In this new adventure with Tess and Max, internationally bestselling author Amy Ephron takes readers to London at Christmastime, where a new fantastical journey awaits.

It’s Christmas break and Tess and Max are in London, staying at the posh Sanborn House with their Aunt Evie. As they wait for their parents to arrive, there is an unusual snowstorm that makes the city seem as if it's caught in a snow globe. Perfect weather for an adventure in Hyde Park. But when Max, Tess, and Aunt Evie leave to search for a cab, they find a horse and carriage and driver curiously waiting for them at the curb. And that's just the beginning...

Soon Tess is charmed by a mysterious boy named Colin who lives at the hotel all year round--on the 8th floor. But Max is sure the elevator only had 7 floors the day before. And how come everyone at the hotel seems to ignore Colin? Things seem to get stranger and stranger. There's a 1920s costume party in Colin's parents' apartment. A marble that seems to be more than it appears. And a shadow that passes mysteriously by Tess and Max's hotel window.

Tess & Max’s Top Ten Favorite Things about London at Christmastime

1. Ride the London Eye, the big Ferris wheel, and marvel at the Christmas decorations sparkling all over the city. (Hope Tess doesn’t have to rescue anyone.) 

2. Have tea at Harrods. (No Nutella, please.) 

3. Go to Hyde Park, especially if it’s lightly snowing. 

4. Watch the ceremony of the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. 

5. Shop at a bookstore and check out the mysteries as their Dad likes British mysteries. Check out the poetry section for something that would appeal to their mom. Persuade Aunt Evie that they both need new chapter books. Max might even distract Aunt Evie, while Tess buys a book about British birds and hides it in her backpack for Aunt Evie to open on Christmas, too. 

6. Go to Victoria skateboard park. Awesome 

7. Convince Aunt Evie to take a drive in the blue Bentley all the way to Hampton Court. And, once there, try to navigate their way through the maze. (Careful, you never know what’s on the other side.) 

8. Split a prime rib dinner on Sunday night at a fancy pub in London. 

9. Wander Kew Gardens at night on their amazing new dark walk and explore the “immersive light trail.” 

10. Go to Portobello Market, the outdoor antique fair, with Aunt Evie. Hope Aunt Evie magically finds another matching glass to the crystal one that was their grandmother’s. and Tess finds a snowball with a horse and driver and carriage inside and when you turn it up-side-down and turn it right again, it looks as if snowflakes are falling all around the carriage and the cobblestoned street.


                                         (Photo by Katrina Dickson)
   About the Author
Amy Ephron (www.amyephron.com) is the author of The Castle in the Mist, her first book for young readers, which was nominated for a SCIBA Award, and of Carnival Magic, a companion book. Amy has also written several adult books, including A Cup of Tea, which was an international bestseller. Her novel One Sunday Morning received the Booklist Best Fiction of the Year and Best Historical Fiction of the Year awards and was a Barnes and Noble Book Club selection. She is a contributor and contributing editor at Vogue and Vogue.com, and her work has appeared in numerous other publications. She was also the executive producer of Warner Brothers' A Little Princess. Amy lives in Los Angeles with her husband; between them, they have five children. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @amyephron.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Lyn Gardner - Rose Campion and the Christmas Mystery - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


Here we have a brilliant conclusion to the Campion series by Lyn Gardner. This fantastically thrilling finale was published in October 2019 by Nosy Crow Books. I have to say that this is my personal favourite of all three books. These could really be read in any order as you can jump in and out of any of the books and everything will still run like clockwork.  

So let's raise the curtains on another season at Campions' Palace of Varieties and Wonders. Set in Victorian London, a fantasy treat awaits any reader. You will instantly be re-acquainted with brilliant characters and their vibrant and lively surroundings. Full of heart, courage, and friendship which all help the characters through this dangerous adventure.

Rose Campion and her friends have more to worry about in this adventure than who'll be filling the role of Cinderella. The narrative of this book is deathly and dark. It's full of mischief due to the arrival of the Duchess, a deadly ruler of the London criminal underworld, who has just been released from prison. She has her sights set, not only on Rose but also on a priceless emerald necklace that has just arrived in the city. Meanwhile, Campions' is playing host to the mysterious hypnotist Madame de Valentina and murder is afoot as the narrative takes a disturbing turn of events. However, which characters will be affected in this story? 


This is a Christmas mystery for young and old, as the story whips up a theatrical storm. I loved every single minute of this book as it is full of song, dance, and much laughter. It's a big show stopper with a fantastic plot. This sleuthing novel will keep you guessing until the very end of the book. The timely twists and turns deserve an encore as there are many secrets to uncover. The narrative wraps up nicely pulling together all the threads from this book and the previous book nicely, which leaves you, the reader, feeling very satisfied. This is a truly lovely series that will not be easily forgotten.  


Monday, 9 December 2019

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars Final 2019/2020 + £10 Book Voucher + Mystery Book Prize

Hello Everybody. Are you ready for the final of Mr. Ripley's Book Cover Wars?
Over the last five weeks, different authors, illustrators, and publishers have battled for their book covers to be in the big final. As a result, we now have five worthy winners who have the chance to be crowned with the title 'Mr. Ripley's Enchanted book cover of the year 2019/20'. 

So without any further waiting, let the final battle of Book Cover Wars commence . . . . 

As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the opportunity to win a £10 national book voucher and a mystery book. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll below 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - VOTE HERE
  • Share on Twitter @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed) the book token/book prize. Please note that this competition is open to the UK only
  • This poll will end on 15.12.2019 at midnight UK time 
So here are the FIVE winning brilliant book covers for you to vote for.


BOOK ONE: Joan Haig - Tiger Skin Rug - Published by Cranachan Publishing (6 Feb. 2020). Book Cover Designed by Annie Glennie - VOTE HERE



BOOK TWO: Nick Tomlinson - The Ghouls of Howlfair - Published by Walker Books (3 Oct. 2019). Book Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer  - VOTE HERE



BOOK THREE: Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole An Elephant - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (9 Jan. 2020). Book Cover Illustration by David Dean  - VOTE HERE



BOOK FOUR: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold Published by Orion Children's Book (1 July 2019). Book Cover Illustration by Evan Hollingdale/Designed by Samuel Perrett - VOTE HERE



BOOK FIVE: P.G Bell - The Brain Robbery - (A Train to Impossible Places Adventure) - Published by Usborne Publishing (3 Oct 2019. Book Cover Illustration by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope and Team - VOTE HERE


Monday, 2 December 2019

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks US - December 2019

Ben Guterson (Author), Chloe Bristol (Illustrator) - The Winterhouse Mysteries - Published by Henry Holt and Co (December 31, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1250123923 - Hardback 

Danger, intrigue, and the power of family combine in The Winterhouse Mysteries, the fast-paced conclusion to Ben Guterson and Chloe Bristol's illustrated, enchanting Winterhouse middle-grade trilogy.
Its springtime at Winterhouse and Elizabeth is settling into the joyful chaos of her new home. But it isn’t long before she and Freddy are drawn into an ominous new mystery. Guests at the hotel start behaving oddly, and Elizabeth’s powers manifest in thrilling―sometimes frightening―new ways. As unnatural tremors shake the foundations of Winterhouse, Elizabeth hears cries for help from Gracella Winters, a villain she’d thought dead and gone for good. 
Elizabeth’s discovery of a rare book containing secrets of an ancient ritual leads to a tragic realization: someone at the hotel is trying to help Gracella rise again. Can Elizabeth and Freddy banish these threats and protect the future of Winterhouse once and for all?

Terry Lynn Johnson - Dog Driven - Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (December 3, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1328551597 - Hardback 
From the author of Ice Dogs comes a riveting adventure about a musher who sets out to prove her impaired vision won't hold her back from competing in a rigorous sled race through the Canadian wilderness. Perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen.

McKenna Barney is trying to hide her worsening eyesight and has been isolating herself for the last year. But at the request of her little sister, she signs up for a commemorative mail run race in the Canadian wilderness—a race she doesn’t know if she can even see to run. 
 
Winning would mean getting her disease—and her sister’s—national media coverage, but it would also pit McKenna and her team of eight sled dogs against racers from across the globe for three days of shifting lake ice, sudden owl attacks, snow squalls, and bitterly cold nights.

 A page-turning adventure about living with disability and surviving the wilderness, Dog Driven is the story of one girl’s self-determination and the courage it takes to trust in others.

Kate Davies - The Crims at Sea - Published by HarperCollins Children's  (December 10, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062494160 - Hardback 
The hapless Crim family sets sail on their final adventure in the zaniest installment of the Crims series, perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Caroline Carlson!
Imogen Crim has been terribly bored since she returned to Blandington. So when her nemesis-turned-best friend Ava Kruk offers to swing by the Crims’ dreadful beach vacation in Dullport and rescue her in her stolen submarine, Imogen quickly agrees. A real heist with a real villain—this is the excitement Imogen has been looking for.
But before Imogen and Ava can accomplish their mission, the entire Crim family catches up to them, dressed in their pirate-y finest. And what starts as an innocent (well, for a boat full of criminals) quest for buried treasure is about to become a stand-off with an up-and-coming super-villain called The Gull.
If Imogen has any hope of saving her family from his claws—and returning to her vacation—she’ll have to trust a Kruk with her life.


Romily Bernard - The Monster Hypothesis - Published by Disney-Hyperion (December 10, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1368028554 - Hardback 

Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one monster curse. Correction: home to 454 people, now that Kick Winter is living in the swamp Hollows with her Grandma Missouri, the town (fake) psychic. Bohring is anything but boring for Kick who has already blown a hole through the kitchen floor, befriended a chicken-eating gator, and discovered that the town's hundred-year curse is upon them.

It's the Bohring curse and all the kids are about to become monsters-or so the legend goes. People are worried-except for Kick. She knows there's a scientific explanation for everything, especially curses and monsters. But Kick is the new kid in school and she's determined to make a name for herself . . . by pretending to be psychic.

According to her calculations: one teeny-tiny life + (fake) psychic skills = popularity. But when kids start disappearing and glowing creatures start showing up, Kick's theory quickly evaporates in a puff of foul-smelling swamp gas. Can Kick use her (real) science smarts to prove the curse is a hoax? Or is it just-maybe-sort of-somehow possible the curse is here?

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

BOOK COVER WARS HEAT FIVE 2019/20 - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

Welcome to the last Heat of the Book Cover Wars. We are looking to find our favourite book cover of 2019/2020. We do this is to support the unsung heroes of the children's book world - the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #bookcoverwars. Everyone is welcome AND ENJOY. 

For any follower of this site, this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. I have selected another five book covers for you to vote from. The winner from last week has now made it through to the grand final. However, you still need to decide, over the next following weeks, which other book covers will join it and get a chance to be crowned as 'Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Winner 2019/20'.


Week One Winner: P.G Bell - The Brain Robbery - (A Train to Impossible Places Adventure) - Book Cover Illustration by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope/Usborne - 79 Votes

Week Two Winner: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold - Book Cover Illustration by Evan Hollingdale/Samuel Perrett/Orion - 111 Votes

Week Three Winner: Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole An Elephant - Book Cover Illustration by David Dean/Nosy Crow - 295 Votes


Week Four Winner: Nick Tomlinson - The Ghouls of Howlfair - Book Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer/Walker Books - 240 Votes

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules:
There will be five weekly heats (one more than normal) with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final. 


As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a prize each week. 

This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token. Please leave a comment to show your interest. Good luck all and have fun. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
  • Share on Twitter @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end on 2.12.2019 at Midnight UK time. 
So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:

BOOK ONE: Andy Briggs - CRTL+ S - Published by Orion (11 July 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Tomas Almedia - VOTE HERE


BOOK TWO: Joan Haig - Tiger Skin Rug - Published by Cranachan Publishing (6 Feb. 2020) Book Cover Designed by Annie Glennie - VOTE HERE


BOOK THREE: Emma Read - Milton the Mighty - Published by Chicken House (6 Jun. 2019) Book Cover Illustrated by Alex G Griffiths - VOTE HERE 


BOOK FOUR: A M Howell - The House of One Hundred Clocks - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (6 Feb. 2020) - Book Cover Illustrated by Saara Soderlund - VOTE HERE




BOOK FIVE: K. A. Reynolds - The Spinner of Dreams - Published by HarperCollins (27 Aug. 2019) - Book Cover Illustrated by Julia Iredale - VOTE HERE 

Monday, 25 November 2019

Danny Weston - Inchtinn: Island of Shadows - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


This is the latest book by the cheeky chap, otherwise known as, Danny Weston. Inchtinn: Island of Shadows was published back in early October 2019 by an independent publisher based at the University at Central Lancashire in Preston. This is the second book that I've read by Uclan Publishing and I have been really impressed with both books. The book cover, which is illustrated by Helen Crawford-White, has been recently paraded in Mr. Ripley's book cover wars. It is also important for me to mention that there are a couple of black and white (pastel) illustrations inside the book by Miranda Harris. These really do give a lovely bleakness quality to the story which you gaze and reflect upon.

This a brilliantly written story that captures the attention of the reader as you skip and dance across the sea to the Scottish Island of Inchtinn. On arrival, a fantastic spine-tingling plot awaits the reader on the shore of this remote Island. A mystery unfolds as Noah is forced to travel with his mum, Millicent, who is a bestselling children's author. However, she's struggling for inspiration to write a new novel but then sinister things start to stir. There's no one better than Danny Weston to whip up a creepy storm that will have you hooked and running for cover. He does this slowly and pulls the threads of the characters like puppets doing a macabre dance on the cliff's edge. Some parts of the story are slightly predictable, however, he still has that talented ability to slap you around with a surprise or two.  

The book has a natural beauty and charm about it. The harsh landscape and remoteness are magnetically woven into the story - they actually feel like characters themselves. Wild birds soar and sweep above your heads as a great sense of loss, fear and tragedy sweep through your pores. Certainly, the loss of Noah's father resonated with me and pulled on the emotional element of the story. 

A true smorgasbord of events unfold and wrap you in a shawl of darkness and brooding tension. Sinister beings and the stirrings of dark shadows all start to appear on the peripheral vision. Noah has to face unimaginable horrors and conquer his fears within this story. We are treated to a climactic and adventurous ending - it's a firecracker that will soon have you plunging into the freezing deep cold waters. 

This is an edgy and spooky story that all started out with a mere spark of an idea. However, it has now fully grown into a seismic plot. It's a truly great read to lose yourself in so, don't hesitate, buy yourself a copy today. 

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole an Elephant - Book Review (Nosy Crow) - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books



Nizrana Farook is the author of The Girl Who Stole an Elephant which is due to be published on the 9th January 2020 by Nosy Crow Books. The book cover illustration is by David Dean who had the voters support in our recent book cover wars heat. The book cover is very appealing with its great use of vivid colour - it will certainly draw readers to it from any shelf. 

This is a brilliant and thrilling middle-grade debut book that draws upon the location of the author's native home of Sri Lanka. The wild beauty of the landscape sets the story off really well. It's a dazzling and delicious tale of the exotic which captures the attention of the reader with its beauty. 

The book features a host of well-written feisty characters that inject a spark of magic. We are first introduced to Chaya, the main character, as she is running away from the Royal Palace. We soon learn that she has been involved in stealing the Queen's Jewels. Chaya is known as a loveable and spirited character with a sparkling gem for a heart, however, this venture backfires royally. This is a lovely heartfelt story built on friendship to correct wrongdoing as she finds herself on a breathtaking and uplifting adventure in the jungle with her friends and an elephant.

This story will lead you on a fast-paced journey that is fraught with danger. Chaya finds herself fleeing from the palace guards and the village that both she and her friends once lived in. Danger strikes at will and their only protection is a huge elephant and their whits. The characters will light up your heart and your soul with warmth and great dialogue. Whilst the wildness of the jungle will sweep you off your feet. It is vividly written and has a creative flair full of sights and smells that make you feel like part of the story. 
This is a glorious story about a jewel thief escaping into the jungle: a rebel, a royal revolution, a bandit and maybe even a hero. What more can you want from a narrative? This fuels an adventure of a lifetime that will be loved by everyone.  It's a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend, so pick it up and give it a read. What a cracking start to the New Year, 2020. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

BOOK COVER WARS HEAT FOUR 2019/20 - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

Welcome to Heat four of the Book Cover Wars. We are looking to find our favourite book cover of 2019/2020. We do this is to support the unsung heroes of the children's book world - the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #bookcoverwars. Everyone is welcome.

For any follower of this site, this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. I have selected another five book covers for you to vote from. The winner from last week has now made it through to the grand final. However, you still need to decide, over the next following weeks, which other book covers will join it and get a chance to be crowned as 'Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Winner 2019/20'.


Week One Winner: P.G Bell - The Brain Robbery - (A Train to Impossible Places Adventure) - Book Cover Illustration by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope/Usborne - 79 Votes

Week Two Winner: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold - Book Cover Illustration by Evan Hollingdale/Samuel Perrett/Orion - 111 Votes

Week Three Winner: Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole An Elephant - Book Cover Illustration by David Dean/Nosy Crow - 295 Votes

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules:
There will be five weekly heats (one more than normal) with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final. 


As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a prize each week. This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token. Please leave a comment to show your interest and RT (re-tweet) my pinned Tweet. Good luck all and have fun. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
  • RT /Twitter my pinned tweet at the top of @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end on 25.11.2019 at Midnight UK time. 
So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:

BOOK ONE: Struan Murray - Orphans of the Tide - Published by Puffin (20 Feb. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Manuel Šumberac - VOTE HERE


BOOK TWO: Anna Hoghton - The Mask of Aribella - Published by Chicken House (2 Jan. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Paola Escobar/Designer is Helen Crawford-White - VOTE HERE


BOOK THREE: Louie Stowell -  The Monster in the Lake - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (9 Jan. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Davide Ortu - VOTE HERE 




BOOK FOUR: Nick Tomlinson - The Ghouls of Howlfair - Published by Walker Books (3 Oct. 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer - VOTE HERE 



BOOK FIVE: Nicola Penfold - Where The World Turns Wild - Published by Stripes Publishing (6 Feb. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Kate Forrester/Designer is Sara Mognol  - VOTE HERE