Thursday, 19 July 2012

Press Release: Will Hill Signs New Book Deal With HarperCollins

HarperCollins signs three more books from Department 19 author Will Hill
HarperCollins is delighted to be continuing its relationship with YA author Will Hill by acquiring three new titles. Fiction Editorial Director Nick Lake secured UK & Commonwealth rights to two final books in the Department 19 series, plus one untitled YA novel. The deal was concluded by Nick and Charlie Campbell at Ed Victor Ltd.

First launched by HarperCollins in 2011, Department 19 was the number one bestselling YA hardback debut of the year and the series has acquired more than 7,000 fans on Facebook ( The books have also enjoyed sales success as ebooks, with Department 19: The Rising becoming HarperCollins' bestselling children's ebook launch in April. Hill’s writing has also been acclaimed in the press. "High action, fast plot, original and gripping, this is vampire writing without the sparkle – but with lots of blood!" said the Sun, while the Telegraph pronounced that, “Bram Stoker can stop turning in his grave: his 21st-century legacy extends beyond Twilight.”

Nick Lake said: "Will Hill is an incredible talent and we’re tremendously excited to have these new books to look forward to. With The Rising, he achieved that rare feat - a sequel that is richer and more gripping than its predecessor - and the strength of his writing is certain to garner him many, many more fans over the coming years."
Will himself said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have signed with HarperCollins for three more novels - the experience of publishing the Department 19 books with them has been an absolute pleasure. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with my amazing editor Nick and the fantastic sales, marketing and publicity teams, and I'm so thrilled that the Department 19 series will finish where it started; on the best list in the business."

About Will:
Before quitting his job in publishing to write Department 19, Will Hill worked as a bartender, a bookseller and a door-to-door charity worker. He grew up in the north-east of England, is scared of spiders, and is a big fan of cats. He lives in east London with his girlfriend.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Andy Briggs - The Jungle Warrior Blog Tour

Welcome to the very first stop of Andy's Blog Tour and to Andy's post. Although, technically, this post hasn't actually been written by Andy, but you'll understand more once you read on. Excitingly this first post swings us into my 500th blog post, so I hope that you'll go bananas and enjoy this jungle treat. Just remember that you'll need to take the jungle climb each day to a new post. If you're feeling brave you might like to look down and admire the breathtaking view . . . . . Happy touring! 

Here we go! The launch of TARZAN: THE JUNGLE WARRIOR blog tour. However, author Andy Briggs was unable to write this blog due to... unforeseen circumstances, so I have been asked to step in. 

I know Andy Briggs had planned a psychological evaluation of the inner working of Tarzan, how a child, raised by wild gorillas coped when he was introduced to civilization. But I didn’t have a clue where to start. Luckily I found an audio file that had been left on Andy’s computer, so I have transcribed it for you now. It turns out that it’s a conversation with Tarzan and the author.

Sounds of parrots cawing from the trees, the gentle patter of rain on the jungle canopy above, and the constant chittering of a billion unseen insects.

ANDY: So, I’m here with Tarzan...

TARZAN: Me Tarzan.

ANDY: Um, yes... you are Tarzan. Quite right. So... (the sound of index cards being switched through so he can find the first question).  You have had an exciting life, what does it mean to be Lord of the Jungle?

The soft crunch of leaves as Tarzan gently leaps from the boulder he was perched on and circles interviewer. The faint sound of sniffing...

TARZAN: You smell strange...

ANDY: Ah, yes... that’s Lynx for you. So, Lord of the Jungle...?

TARZAN: It is good for Tarzan to be lord of all this. Tarzan keep family safe. The jungle a dangerous place, especially for the weak. Like you.

ANDY: That’s nice. (shifts uncomfortably) So you were raised in the wild and forced to eat raw meat. Surely that’s disgusting?

TARZAN: Flesh taste good. You ruin meat by burning! You are stupid to do this.

ANDY: OK, OK... calm down. I only asked... how about... um, Jane. She’s lovely, right? I mean you and her...

A deep guttural rumbling drowns the interviewer out.

ANDY: Ah, OK then. How about... (rapidly flicking through question cards) Um... what was it like to be raised by wild apes?

TARZAN: Apes teach Tarzan that jungle gives life to the world.

ANDY: Ah, you mean through photosynthesis releasing oxygen to the planet....?


ANDY: Ahem. I wish you would stop glaring at me like that... So in your new book, Tarzan: The Jungle Warrior, you are faced with your greatest opponent yet, Nikola Rokoff. How did you two get along?

TARZAN: Rokoff take Karnath! Rokoff must pay the price of Tarzan’s wrath. He will be hunted to the ends of the world!! 

Sound of index cards being furiously knocked from interviewer’s hand.
ANDY: And now you’ve thrown my questions everywhere... (muttering: talk about anger management...) So, um, what is it like being in your own book?

TARZAN: Tarzan no prisoner in book! No page strong enough to hold him! Tarzan real! Tarzan change the world!

ANDY: Indeed. Mr. Burroughs wrote 26 books about you and I am about to embark on my third, which I can exclusively announce is entitled: TARZAN: THE S--

TARZAN: You chatter like Manu!

ANDY: I do? Er... do you enjoy the jungle? I believe in Jungle Warrior you leave all of this behind and enter the city for the first time...

TARZAN: Cities are dangerous places. Wild and untamed...

ANDY: Deep... mmm... deep... I suppose with your primitive understanding of the world you --

TARZAN: You make fun of Tarzan?

ANDY: Huh? No, not at all... um, you can put that stick down. You don’t need - AAAARRRGH!! NO!! NO!!


The sound of screaming recedes with breaking branches and the recording abruptly ends.
TARZAN: THE JUNGLE WARRIOR is out now, published by Faber.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Guest Post: Allan Jones - Codename QuickSilver - Blog Tour


When I first discussed with the publisher the idea of a new spy series aimed at boys, they wanted the hero to be special. Not just special as in brave and bold and honest and trustworthy and good in a tight corner. They wanted something a bit extra. Something extraordinary.

I was first introduced to the world of Parkour and Free-Running when I went to the cinema to see the James Bond movie Casino Royale. I expect a lot of people had the same experience of stunned disbelief, amazement and pure excitement as Sebastien Foucan, playing the role of Mollaka, ran and jumped across the building site with Bond in hot pursuit. Since then, the stunts and disciplines of Free-Running and Parkour have appeared much more frequently, and there are now plenty of YouTube videos and online groups discussing this topic.

The word Parkour comes originally from the French: ‘parcours du combatant’ which is the way of training military personnel by giving them obstacle courses to get across. So, Parkour’s main object was to get across tricky terrain as quickly as possible using whatever methods got the job done. Being able to run fast was an obvious advantage, but to do it well you needed a quick eye and a high level of gymnastic and athletic ability. And a very speedy brain. You have to be able to think five or ten moves ahead – to see obstacles and instantly to be able to figure out how to get over, under or through them at the highest possible speed.

And you have to have the courage and the training to know what your body is capable of. In Parkour, you don’t always get the chance of a second attempt. For instance, if you’re involved in a rooftop chase, you have to be able to judge the distance between buildings. If you jump, will you make it to the other side? If not, what can you do instead? 

The most important basics of Parkour and Free-Running are expert jumping and landing techniques and the use of the roll on landing to protect the spine from jarring and to keep the momentum of your run going. But highly developed gymnastic and athletic skills are also vital if you’re not going to do yourself some serious damage. This is a discipline that demands hard work and training –and a sharp enough brain to know your own limits and not take unnecessary risks. This isn’t Jackass TV – it’s the absolute opposite.

Parkour evolved into Free Running in London about 2003. It used Parkour as a foundation but added new levels of acrobatics and focused on elements such as the cat crawl and the pop vault and the dash bomb. While these new techniques don’t necessarily help you get from point A to point Z as quickly as possible, they are great at confusing and bewildering anyone trying to chase you.

So, when the publishers told me that the hero of Codename Quicksilver should have some special abilities, Parkour and Free Running were the first things that popped into my mind. And then something else occurred to me – something to make Agent Quicksilver even more extraordinary... But you’ll have to read the books to learn what that is.

When Zak Archer accidentally witnesses a murder he immediately finds himself in the firing line. Now some very dangerous people want him dead and he is on the run.

Luckily, running is something Zak is good at. In fact, when he's 'in the zone' he can run faster, jump further and fly higher than should be humanly possible. But will those skills be enough to save him? What exactly is the truth behind his friend's death? And in a world of spies, secrets and lies - who can he trust?

Zak's training is cut short when he is sent on his first mission. The King of Montevisto and his family have been threatened and the secret services believe the attack will take place on the family's forthcoming visit to the UK. It's vital that the trip goes smoothly and Zak is in charge of protecting the king's son. He soon finds he needs all his training and talents to outwit the enemy and save lives. 

Thanks Allan for such a great post. This is one that will surely entice some of you blog readers to grab this action packed book and give it a read. Published 5th July 2012 by Orion Children's.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Jim Eldrige - The Invisible Assassin: The Malichea Quest - Guest Review

book cover of 

The Invisible Assassin 

 (Malichea Quest, book 1)


Jim Eldridge

  • Paperback: 272 pages
      • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (12 April 2012)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 1408817195
      • Book Review by Christopher Todd (Twitter @campertodd) 

      The Invisible Assassin is a book in which a new press officer (Jake Wells) is sent to cover a meaningless story, but an incident leaves a construction worker dead and covered in a strange fungus, Jake realises there is much more to the story. His life on the line, he and his ex-girlfriend try and solve the puzzle about what killed the man and why the Government are trying to cover it up.

       At first glance, this book did not seem to be one that I would generally enjoy reading since the book cover just had two people on a motorbike. I didn’t really know what to expect, but after finishing it I was proved quite wrong indeed. From start to finish I was enticed to keep reading. It didn’t take loads of pages to get into it, in fact from the first couple of pages I was already trying to solve the puzzles, which I just couldn’t do! Therefore, I had to keep reading and every time I kept getting closer there were more twists and turns to grab the reader’s attention.

       It’s like a mash up of The Da Vinci Code, the way that the secret organisations keep trying to keep the secrets quiet, whilst some try to expose the truth. However, the book comes together giving a sense of mystery and a sense of action.

       The Invisible Assassin is the first, within a series of books, from The Malichea Quest series. From the look of the very first one, I hope that the rest of the series live up to the potential of a great teen thriller like this one.

    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    Mr Ripley's Children's New Book Picks: July 2012

    book cover of 

The Wishing Spell 

 (Land of Stories, book 1)


Chris Colfer
    Chris Colfer - The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell - Published by Atom - 17 July 2012 

    Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change....

    Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Connor leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

    But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

    book cover of 

Deep Oblivion 

 (Mortal Chaos, book 2)


Matt Dickinson
    Matt Dickinson - Mortal Chaos: Deep Oblivion - Published by OUP Oxford - 5 July 2012
    Butterfly effect: The scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. Hannah, homeless and on the run. Gwen and Tehpoe, kidnapped by violent rebels. Todd and Isabella, threatened by piranha attack. Wai Yan, hunted by a cruel dictator. Stian Olberg, fighting to save his vessel from imminent destruction. For them, and many others, things will never be the same again. Some will live. Many will die. All are connected. The action is non-stop in this tense and compelling adventure.

    book cover of 


 (Frogspell, book 3)


C J Busby
    C . J  Busby & David Wyatt - Icespell (Frogspell) - Published by Templar Publishing - 1 July 2012
    Join Max and Olivia for more magical thrills, spills and spells in their third hilarious adventure. Max and Olivia are loving life in Camelot - not only is Max having magic lessons with the great wizard Merlin, Olivia is finally in training for the Squire's Challenge. But disaster strikes when Camelot is frozen inside a magical mountain of ice and it's all Max's fault! Can he and Olivia rescue Arthur and Merlin from their icy prison before evil Lady Morgana gets to Camelot and seals their doom?

    book cover of 

The Doom Rider 


David Gatward
    David Gatward - Doom Rider - Published by Hodder Children's - 5 July 2012 
    Seth Crow has lived a thousand lives, and in each one he's been murdered before he turns thirteen.
    And now he's being hunted again. But this time it's different.
    Enter Lily, who tells him of his fate: Seth is CONQUEST. The first of the four riders of the Apocalypse. And people want him dead, before he can fulfil his destiny.
    Seth's only hope lies in finding the other riders - Strife, Famine and Death.
    Together, the fate of the world lies in their hands ...

    Grymm by Keith Austin
    Keith Austin - GRYMM - Published by Red Fox - 5 July 2012
    Something stirred in the gravelly yard beneath their window . . . A soft slippery nuzzle, the sort of sounds you'd expect a pig to make with its snout in a trough . . .

    The small mining town of Grymm perched on the very edge of the Great Desert is the kind of town you leave - but when Dad gets a three-month contract in the mine there, Mina and Jacob, unwilling stepbrother and sister, are reluctantly arriving.

    From a grotesque letting agent who seems to want to eat their baby brother, a cafe owner whose milkshakes contain actual maggots and the horribly creepy butcher, baker and candlestick-maker, Mina and Jacob soon realize that nothing in Grymm is what is appears to be.

    And then things get seriously weird when their baby brother disappears - and no one seems to even notice! In Grymm, your worst nightmares really do come true . . .