Friday, 28 June 2013

Ransom Riggs - 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' Sequel Hollow City and Other News


This is an image possibly from the front cover of "Miss Peregrine's" sequel, "Hollow City," which picks up right where the first book left off, following the merry band of peculiar orphans as they travel to London in search of answers.
Who is this stern young man, and why is he lurking in this open door in a pair of the world's most high-waisted trousers? We've no idea, but you can bet the answer is something strange—in the "Miss Peregrine's" universe, it's always something weird. (Perhaps he's come in from out-of-doors to tell us that there's a hollowgast lurking in the yard.) Either way, he'll be waiting to meet you in the pages of "Hollow City" when it comes out January 2014.
Also other connected news: Fox also announced that Peregrine's Home for Peculiars will hit big screen July 31, 2015. The film, based on Ransom Riggs' debut novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, will be directed by Tim Burton from a script by X-Men: First Class writer Jane Goldman. The story follows a teenage boy who is transported to an island where he must help protect a group of orphans with special powers from creatures out to destroy them.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Book Review: The Grunts Are All at Sea by Philip Ardagh - Illustrated by Axel Scheffler


We've got something to crow about with this latest adventure from Nosy Crow - the small publisher with wings. This is the second instalment featuring The Grunts. All at Sea is contained in a lovely yellow hardback which has been exquisitely illustrated by one of the best illustrators in town - Axel Scheffler. 

This book is fantastically peppered in black and white images that are really daft. Each one captivates the reader and lends a whole new imaginative quality to the plot. Philip Ardagh is the wordsmith of this mad cap adventure; his clever word-play and his trademark whit are in abundance. This book is a wonderfully delightful story that will keep you engrossed right until to the very end.

Whether you are six or one hundred and six, this book is crying out to be read. It is recommended for readers who love the power of a great story. You will soon romp through this crazy tale packed full of silly and bizarre antics that are totally off the scale. Loaded with irony and total mayhem this is a fun story to read; it will have you laughing on a journey all the way to the sea and back.

The Grunts are on a wibbly wobbly mission to get a Person of Great Importance (or POGI) to someone called Mrs Bayliss.  Along the way they meet some mysterious villains and some very unlikely heros; each is very imaginatively written and brilliantly characterised. Speedy McGinty is my favourite character. She is a wheelchair-whizzing globe-trotter action type and, in my opinion, makes a refreshing change to other characters that I have been introduced to. 

I haven't had so much fun and enjoyment reading a book since riding an elephant backwards down the high street in my underpants. So batten down the hatches, run to a bookshop and grab yourself a copy of this book. It will not only make you smile but it will transport you to the far reaches of your imagination. You'll find fun, frolics and a crazy sea adventure ahead . . . . . . in fact what more could you every wish for?

Did I mention the Grunts game on iTunes? It is called Beard of Bees and is really quite cool if you'd like to check it out.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Book Review: Dan Smith - My Friend the Enemy + Trailer and Book Reading - Chicken House


I was really looking forward to reading this book once I knew that it was coming through the post. It's always a treat when I get books from Chicken House as I seem to love every book that I receive. In my opinion this publishing company have a great skill of picking a range of fantastic and diverse books to cater for every imaginative mind and this book is no different. 

It's a great skill when an author can write a story that provokes many thoughts from the reader - this book does it in spades. The book is set in the summer of 1941. The main character is called Peter. One day, when out playing in the woods, a German plane is shot out of the sky and comes crashing down very close to Peter. He rushes to the crash site hoping to finding something to keep but what he finds is something very different . . . . This is the start of a beautiful story that explores the friendship and the moral dilemma of helping the enemy and doing what feels right. It's told with great skill through the eyes of children within a hostile environment. 

This is a very captivating read. Whilst it is really sad in parts it is also told with an upbeat tempo. It portrays the times and spirit of that period particularly well. The attitudes and the hardships are very well depicted. They show everyone pulling together in times of need and keeping morale high. The life of making do, the lack of food and those everyday things that we now take for granted just make you think and begin to recognise what life was like at that time

The characters in the book are brilliant; I would even go on to say that they are special. It is as if the author has handpicked the key memories of children who lived through World War 2 and then captured these in his own vision. 

This is a sparkling book of friendship and adventure that will capture your heart strings and certainly take you down a turbulent path of mixed emotions. One of my favourite authors is Robert Westall who often took me down the fantastic path of WW2 gritty stories. Dan's first foray into children's literature brought back these golden times and I would really like to thank him for that. Perhaps he also enjoyed these qualities and aspects himself as a child - I believe that he also lives in the North East and might well be already acquainted with the same Robert Westall books as myself.

I would really like to see many people picking up this book and not just children. It's a book to get lost in a world which was someones reality back in the day. It may stir the emotions of people who perhaps lived through those times and, for those who are just far too young, it may help them to understand that particularly dark and bleak time. In my strong opinion, it might just make us all better people. The book is out on the 4th July so get it on your summer reading list. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Press Release: Hot Key Books - Young Writers Competition 2013


HOT KEY BOOKS YOUNG WRITERS PRIZE RETURNS FOR A SECOND YEAR  Hot Key Books is delighted to announce its Young Writers Prize – that searches for unpublished young writing talent for children from around the world - will return for a second year. Sharing a commitment to supporting authors, we are pleased to be joined by Kobo, a global leader in eReading, to honour this year’s winners and make their work available at

The Prize looks to uncover new writing talent between the ages of 18 and 25, who submit their work in either of two categories: 9-12 and young adult (for ages 13-19). Last year saw over 350 entries from writers all over the world with two winners scooping the chance to be published by Hot Key Books. Their novels, The Rig by Joe Ducie and Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle are to be released in print and digital formats this September.

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including Director of the National Literacy Trust Jonathan Douglas, Guardian Children’s Books Editor Julia Eccleshare, Kobo’s Merchandiser of Children's Books Antonia Fowler, Hot Key Books Publisher Emily Thomas, authors Fleur Hitchcock and Matt Whyman, bookseller Katie Clapham from Storytellers, Inc. and bloggers from Serendipity Reviews and We Sat Down along with consultation with school children from Globe School, London and St John’s School in Buckinghamshire.

Each winner will be given editorial support, the chance to be published by Hot Key Books with a £10,000 advance and ten shortlisted finalists will also be given a Kobo eReader. Winners will also benefit from added exposure via Kobo’s eBookstore ( and all entrants will have the opportunity to publish their work through the company’s self-publishing platform Kobo Writing Life. Through Kobo, the winners will have an opportunity to be promoted to a community of 14.5million readers from 190 countries around the world. 

Submissions of partial manuscripts will open on 20th June and close on 22nd July, with a second stage of full manuscripts in November 2013. The winners will be announced at London Book Fair 2014. Full terms and conditions and the entry form are available on

Sarah Odedina, Managing Director of Hot Key Books says: “We're delighted to be running our Young Writers Prize for the second year. It is imperative for the publishing business, and our readers, that we are constantly looking for new talent and what better way to do that than to encourage first time authors. Working with Kobo on the prize this year also indicates our absolute commitment to publish in all formats so readers can access fantastic storytelling however and wherever they choose to.”

News: Veronica Roth - E-Stories for 'Divergent' For Fans Awaiting 'Allegiant'


Divergent fans with a crush on dystopian heartthrob Four are in luck: Veronica Roth is writing four e-short stories about his history, told from his point of view. Swoon.

HarperCollins will release the first one – centring on Four (a.k.a. Tobias) at age 16 – will come out on September 24, just before the October 22 release of the hardcover of Allegiant, the final Instalment of the Divergent trilogy.

Like the other three forthcoming e-short stories, this one – called The Transfer – will be 30 pages and priced at $1.99. The others (The InitiateThe Son, and The Traitor) will come out December 17, January 21, and February 11.

“The e-shorts will address Tobias’s backstory and some of the mysterious things going on in the world before Tris chose Dauntless,” Roth said. “Together, they form a kind of Tobias-centered Divergent prequel, though there is some overlap.”


Veronica Say's
The 10,000-word format for the prequels, which Katherine Tegen suggested, appealed to Roth. “The e-shorts are a way for me to delve into another character’s voice and personality and history, which is fun and exciting for me as a writer,” she said. “And I also wanted a way to kind of ease my way out of the series. The Divergent universe has been my world for a long time, and writing it has changed my life in pretty drastic ways. Now that the third book is nearly finished, the e-shorts are helping me to say good-bye.”

And Four – a fan favourite – makes that farewell easier. “In my mind, he has a distinct history and a complex psychology, so there’s always a lot to draw from when he’s on the page, and it’s an opportunity for me to break from Tris’s sparse, straightforward voice and try to introduce just a little bit more poetic language,” Roth said. “I also know, from many tweets and blog comments and in-person comments, that Divergent readers are interested in hearing more of his voice, which made him an obvious candidate! My readers have given me so much enthusiasm and honesty and wisdom. The opportunity to write something that I knew they wanted to read was really appealing to me.”

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mr Ripley's Children's Book Recommendation - Allen Zadoff - Boy Nobody


They needed the perfect assassin.
Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die-of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.
But when he's assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.
In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.
The explosive new thriller for fans of Jason Bourne, Robert Muchamore and Michael Grant.
Book Published by Orchard - 23 May 2013
Follow him on twitter  and check out his website here

Monday, 17 June 2013

Mr Ripley's New Children's Books - July 2013 Post Two


Steve Backshall - Ghosts of the Forest - Published by Orion Children's - 4, July 2013
Saker and Sinter have split up. Sinter is nursing in the shanties of Ho Chi Minh city. Saker is with the peace-loving Penan helping them protect the orang utans and save their own forest homes, as unscrupulous loggers wreak destruction. But they are being watched. And hunted. The Prophet has not forgiven their betrayal. Escaping the Clan takes Saker and Sinter on a deadly, dangerous journey through Vietnam, over the South China Sea back to Borneo. Deep in the jungle, they're reunited on their most daredevil and audacious mission yet, to save the endangered orang utans before they become ghosts of the forest. Beware the wooden bullet.


Juliet Marillier - Raven Flight: A Shadowfell Novel - Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - 9, July 2013
Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.

Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn's love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favour, no one knows. 


Anthony McGowan - Willard Price: Bear Adventure - Published by Puffin - 4, July 2013
Bear Adventure is the next authorised Willard Price book by award-winning author Anthony McGowan, for 8+ readers looking for action, adventure and animals!
Amazon and her cousin Frazer are members of TRACKS. Normally they protect the world's rarest animals, but their mission just got personal. Amazon's parents have been lost in a tragic plane crash - her only hope is that they are wondering the wild forests of Canada.
But they are not alone in the brutal wilderness. Two Spirit Bears, a mother and her cub, are searching for food. When a boy is attacked, these beautiful creatures become the hunted.
Can Amazon and Fraser save their family and the bears?
And what is the mysterious predator that waits for them?


Rachel Carter - Ethan's Voice - Published by Scholastic - 4, July 2013 
Perfect for fans of Mark Haddon, David Almond and Jacqueline Wilson How do you begin to tell your story when you can't speak? Ethan lives on the canal. He likes it there. He can go to the pond and catch newts and minnows. He can learn everything he needs to know from books and from his mum. No one there laughs at him because he doesn't talk. Ethan can't remember exactly when he stopped talking or why. It is only when he meets Polly, a girl who has recently moved to the canal, that he begins to wish things were different.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Solaris Books: Three Great Slices Of Fiction - Out This Summer 2013 - Adult Post


Al Ewing - The Fictional Man -  7 May 2013
The most exciting new voice in SF fiction has written a novel with enormous cross-over appeal. In an L.A. where Fictional characters are cloned into living beings, the author Niles Golan is on the verge of hitting the big-time - if he can just stay on top of reality long enough to make it.
In Hollywood, where last year’s stars are this year’s busboys, Fictionals are everywhere. Niles Golan’s therapist is a Fictional. So is his best friend. So (maybe) is the woman in the bar he can’t stop staring at. Fictionals – characters ‘translated’ into living beings for movies and TV using cloning technology – are a part of daily life in LA now. Sometimes the problem is knowing who’s real and who’s not.
Divorced, alcoholic and hanging on by a thread, Niles – author of Death By Degrees: A Kurt Power Novel and many others – has been hired to write a big-budget reboot of a classic movie. If he does this right, the studio might bring one of Niles’ own characters to life. Somewhere beneath the movie – beneath the TV show it was inspired by, the children’s book behind that and the story behind that – is the kernel of something important. If he can just hold it together long enough...

Ben Jeapes - Phoenicia's World -  30, July 2013
The debut SF novel by an amazing new name in Science Ficiton, Ben Jeapes. • A story of two brothers, two planets, and humankind's first attempt to colonise another world. • La Nueva Temporada is Earth’s only extrasolar colony – an Earth-type planet caught in the grip of a very Earth-type Ice Age. Alex Mateo wants nothing more than to stay and contribute to the terraforming of his homeworld. But tragedy strikes the colony, and to save it from starvation and collapse Alex must reluctantly entrust himself to the only starship in existence to make the long, slower than light journey back to Earth. But it is his brother Quin, who loathes La Nueva Temporada and all the people on it, who must watch his world collapse around him and become its ultimate saviour.
La Nueva Temporada is Earth’s only extrasolar colony – an Earth-type planet caught in the grip of a very Earth-type Ice Age. Alex Mateo wants nothing more than to stay and contribute to the terraforming of his homeworld. But tragedy strikes the colony, and to save it from starvation and collapse Alex must reluctantly entrust himself to Phoenicia, the only starship in existence, to make the long, slower than light journey back to Earth.• But it is his brother Quin, who loathes La Nueva Temporada and all the people on it, who must watch his world collapse around him and become its ultimate saviour.


Lou Morgan - Blood and Feathers: Rebellion - 6, July 2013
This is the thrilling follow-up to Blood and Feathers, one of the most highly-regarded debuts of 2012. The battle between the Fallen and the Angels has turned into open warfare, on the streets of London.
"This is a war. The war. There is no stopping; no getting out. You're in this - just like the rest of us - to the end." • Driven out of hell and with nothing to lose, the Fallen wage open warfare against the angels on the streets. And they're winning.• As the balance tips towards the darkness, Alice - barely recovered from her own ordeal in hell and struggling to start over - once again finds herself in the eye of the storm. But with the chaos spreading and the Archangel Michael determined to destroy Lucifer whatever the cost, is the price simply too high… and what sacrifices will Alice and the angels have to make in order to pay it? • The Fallen will rise. Trust will be betrayed. And all hell breaks loose…

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - Bloomsbury


Welcome to Scion: No Safer Place and a 'spoil' free review............

At the early age of 19, Samantha Shannon first wrote this debut book 'The Bone Season'. This is the first book as part of an ambitious seven-part series. The rights for this book have already been sold in eighteen languages with the film rights also having been optioned. There is already a great deal of interest and speculation - not only about this book but also the talented debut author herself. With such expectations, I was particularly intrigued to find out whether the hype was justifiable.

This book is an enigma. It's marketed as an adult read but actually it also reads with a Young Adult prowess. Therefore giving it that cross-over appeal. Some people might say that this falls under the New Adult genre. However, I'm not a big fan of this label. Originating from the US, in my opinion, it is another publishing gimmick. With the main characters all over the age of 18+, the nature of the content quite graphic and violent (although this is not necessarily overused) and with various curse words thrown in, I feel that this book is of a definite adult nature with a cross-over to young adult. 

Without doubt, this is one of the best debut pieces of adult fantasy literature that I have read for a long time. The book is so complex that you will have to forgive the author for the information overload at the start. In my opinion, this is necessary, as there is actually quite a lot to get your head around. It's just like turning the light on and then cranking up the dimmer switch once you do. However it's astonishingly good from this point forward.

The year is 2059. In this world there are two types of people: Clairvoyants who are made an outcast by society due to their abnormailites and the Amaurotics who are known as the non-gifted. These are people who are generally classed as normal citizens. Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

I don't want to delve too much into the story as I would like to keep this book review free from any 'spoilers' or clues. I really don't want to detract from your reading pleasure. Hence the very eager and early review - I have been so excited to shout about this book that I haven't been able to wait any longer. Especially as this book is not actually published until late August!

However, what I will say, is that the author has ventured into the dream world and pulled out an amazing read. It is absolutely breathtaking and a truly thrilling reading experience. I'm under no illusions as to the amount of t
ime probably taken to be able to pull everything together. The actual structure of the 'Seven Orders of Clairvoyance' is absolutely brilliant and a work of art in itself. 

I loved every minute of this unique fantasy epic. It is full of wild imagination, thrills, spills and graphic horror that will hit your senses like a runaway train. It has been a very long time since I have truly engaged in such a book. Samantha is definitely a talented author and one to keep an eye out for in the future. In my opinion, this story certainly lived up to the expectations. It will stay within my mind until the next book is published as part of this tantalising series.

This is a recommended summer read - just count the days until it's finally out. Bravo!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

New Children's Books - Published In July 2013 - US Post


Dan Poblocki - The Haunting Of Gabriel Ashe - Published by Scholastic Press - 30, July 2013
Has Gabriel created a monster?
Something sinister lurks in the woods outside of Slade.
Gabe has seen it, or he thinks he has - a shadow standing at the tree line, watching Gabe's house with faintly glowing eyes.

Despite Gabe's misgivings, his new friend, Seth, relishes the creepy atmosphere of the forest. It's the perfect setting for his imaginary struggle against the Hunter, a deformed child-eating creature said to leave the bones of his victims in his wake. It's just a game, but it's all a bit much for Gabe, who quickly loses interest as summer ends and the days grow shorter.

But then strange things start to happen. Frightening things. And Gabe knows it has to do with the dark figure watching him from the edge of the woods.

Is Seth out to teach Gabe a lesson? Or is the Hunter more than just a myth? Gabe isn't sure which option is more horrifying, but he's determined to learn the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.


Christine Brodien- Jones - The Glass Puzzle -Published by Delacorte Books - 9, July 2013
Eleven-year-old ZoĆ© Badger, imaginative, carefree and adventurous, lives a transient life, moving with her mother from one town to the next—except for summers, when she stays with her granddad in Tenby, Wales. But when she and her cousin Ian discover a glass puzzle that's been hidden away for decades, ancient forces are unleashed that threaten to change their safe-haven summer town in sinister ways.


James Preller - Scary Tales: Home Sweet Home - Published by Feiwel & Friends - 9, July 2013
Welcome. Have a seat. Let us tell you a story. But be warned. Home Sweet Horror isn’t just any tale. This is a Scary Tale.

Meet Liam Finn, who’s just moved into a new home with his father and sister. But this old house that seems empty, isn’t . . . Bloody Mary is here. Called back from the dead by a game, she’s just dying to talk.

Susan Fletcher - Falcon in the Glass - Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books - 9, July 2013
A boy risks his life to save some very special children in this fantasy adventure, set amidst the rich backdrop of Renaissance Venice.
In Venice in 1487, the secrets of glassblowing are guarded jealously. Renzo, a twelve-year-old laborer in a glassworks, has just a few months to prepare for a test of his abilities, and no one to teach him. If he passes, he will qualify as a skilled glassblower. If he fails, he will be expelled from the glassworks. Becoming a glassblower is his murdered father’s dying wish for him, and the means of supporting his mother and sister. But Renzo desperately needs another pair of hands to help him turn the glass as he practices at night.
One night he is disturbed by a bird—a small falcon—that seems to belong to a girl hiding in the glassworks. Soon Renzo learns about her and others like her—the bird people, who can communicate with birds and are condemned as witches. He tries to get her to help him and discovers that she comes with baggage: ten hungry bird-kenning children who desperately need his aid. Caught between devotion to his family and his art and protecting a group of outcast children, Renzo struggles for a solution that will keep everyone safe in this atmospheric adventure.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Press Release: Egmont Press Acquire New Series - Sword of Kuromori by Jason Rohan -


Egmont Press acquires major new series, Sword of Kuromori  

Egmont Press is thrilled to announce the acquisition of a major new fantasy adventure series set in modern Japan for readers of 9+. Sword of Kuromori is by debut author Jason Rohan.

Stella Paskins, Fiction Publisher at Egmont Press, pre-empted World rights in a three-book, six-figure sum deal from Anne Clark at Anne Clark Literary Agency. The first title in the series will publish in May 2014 and will be a lead title on Egmont’s list.

“I am massively excited about Sword of Kuromori,” commented Stella Paskins.  “Jason’s mix of page-turning action with smart dialogue and sparkling characters is brilliant. The fusion of hi-tech and ancient myth works really well and readers are going to devour this world of breathtaking battles and exotic monsters.”

Jason Rohan said, “As a long time admirer of Japanese culture, I’m honoured and thrilled to be bringing this rich and vibrant folklore to a wider audience. I’m also humbled by the faith that Stella and the Egmont team have placed in me by committing to three novels, and I can’t wait to see what ideas the design team come up with, given the wealth of source material.”

Jason Rohan has worked as a staff writer for Marvel Comics in New York and as an English teacher in Japan, where he lived for five years. He returned to the UK and now lives in West London with his wife and five children.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Book Review: Michaela Clarke - Tiger Thief - Nosy Crow


This is a brilliant read that hooks you from the very first page right through to the last. I was so engrossed in this story that time stopped still as I was reading. It is a great debut novel; beautifully written it leaves you with a sense of feeling that the story has been written from the heart. It is a story that has been inspired from the author's desire to write as a child. In this book she brings to life a magical world for both young and old readers. 

In response to a dream, we enjoy the journey that the author takes through the characters and the bright exotic backdrop of landscapes. She has conjured up an amazing magical tale which I'm really pleased that I had the opportunity to read. The story is set in India and draws upon the rich culture of myths, legends and the spirit world. It's based around the journey of two children who become caught in the battle between the natural world and the world of human greed.  

After travelling to the legendary city of jewels, the circus which Sharat (main character) and Emira (a majestic white tiger) belong to, are ordered to perform for the Emperor of Imperial Command. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity but when Emira mysteriously disappears in the middle of a circus act, Sharat sets off on a adventurous journey. He faces many perilous dangers and reveals interesting discoveries. The magic and intrigue will have you hooked as you turn the pages with rapid intensity.  

The book has a number of fantastic characters - some which are loveable and some which are not. The Djinni's are my particular favourites; I would have loved to have seen and read more about them in the book.  This is a great family book which is full of spirit, adventure and friendship. It is packed full of plot sequences, timely action and a rather predictable outcome. However, this can easily be forgiven as long as there is another book in the future to continue on from this one. This is a recommended read with great potential  for a sequel.... 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Bell Between Worlds - Publication Day Extracts from author Ian Johnstone ( The Mirror Chronicles)


When I was about the age of young Sylas Tate I had a thought – what if the reason we can sometimes be so doubting, so unsure of ourselves, is that we aren’t quite whole? As I got a bit older the idea started to develop: what if the other part of us had a world of its own? And what if this other world was in some ways just the same as ours but in others was utterly different, even opposite? Those thoughts stayed with me and over the years they became bolder and bigger: what might those double worlds of dual souls allow me to explore and explain? Myths and legends? Even some of our basic ideas – science, magic, the supernatural?

Eventually I had so many ideas that I knew I had to sit down and write, so I changed my own world, moving from publisher to writer, and began The Mirror Chronicles. I started by preparing the history and background of this other world and then I moved on to the first book, The Bell Between Worlds. This opening novel takes Sylas Tate into another world of possibilities, imaginings and second souls and brings him face to face with many of the questions I asked myself years before. Happily for Sylas (and for me!) he also begins to discover some of the answers.

As you will see from the length of the book I have found that there is plenty for Sylas to discover. I have written some scenes that did not make the final cut and envisaged plenty of others that I have not yet written. To give a greater insight into the trilogy I thought I would share with you two of these unpublished scenes. The first is a prologue that I have written especially for release to you, which gives a very brief introduction to the first book and a hint of its mystery and magic. The second is a scene called The Bouncing Turnip, which I had originally written for the chapter entitled “The Mutable Inn” and which gives a snapshot of some of the more playful magic of the other world. Finally, I thought it might also be good to share an extract of one of the most pivotal scenes in the book – the scene in which Sylas first hears the chime of the bell between worlds.

I very much hope you enjoy these scenes, and the novel, and the trilogy to come. With best wishes, Ian Johnstone

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Mr Ripley's New Children's Books: Published In July 2013 - UK Post One


Jon Robinson - Nowhere Book One - Published by Puffin - 4, July 2013
Nowhere is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller by debut author Jon Robinson.
'No one's coming for us.
Not our families, not the police.
No one.'
Alyn, Jes, Ryan and Elsa are Nowhere.
A concrete cube in the middle of a dense forest.
Imprisoned inside are one hundred teenagers from all over the country.
They're all criminals. But none of them remember committing any crimes.
Who has put them there. What do their captors want?
And how will they ever break free . . . ?
***an intensely gripping conspiracy thriller for 11+ readers***
*** a phenomenal debut novel, for readers who love Jason Bourne and Alex Scarrow***


Sarwat Chadda - Ash Mistry: The World of Darkness - Published by HarperCollins - 4, July 2013
Ash Mistry is in a world of pain. A parallel world in fact, where another version of him seems to be living his life, and the evil Lord Savage – now all-powerful and adored by the nation – is about to carry out a terrible plan.
Worse still, Ash’s superpowers, invested in him by the Death Goddess Kali, seem no longer to be working.
Without Kali, can Ash defeat Savage and save the world?


S. J. Kincaid - Vortex (Insignia Trilogy) - Published by Hot Key Books - 4, July 2013
Now in his second year as a superhuman cadet-in-training, Tom's been promoted to a mid-level member of the elite training corps known as Camelot Company, or CamCo. As training intensifies and the moment arrives to impress the multinational corporations who will make or break the cadets' careers, Tom finds himself drawn into a power struggle that's more dramatic - and with far higher stakes - than anything he ever imagined. There are nefarious new enemies to outwit, old friendships that take on new faces, a romance that Tom is encouraged to betray, and an increasing desire on Tom's behalf to demand nothing less than 'justice for all' - even if he sabotages his own future in the process. But what will his idealism cost? Filled with camaraderie, wit, action and intelligence, the second book in S. J. Kincaid's futuristic trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty and friendship.


Chris Priestley - New World - (Reissue) - Published by Corgi - 31, July 2013
New World is a wonderfully atmospheric and exciting historical adventure about an Elizabethan voyage of discovery to the New World. The story revolves around a fourteen-year-old orphan, Kit, who, attempting to escape his life of petty crime on the streets of London, boards a ship bound for Virginia and, together with other colonists, helps establish a colony at Roanoke.

As winter sets in and the colonists struggle to survive, Kit's past comes back to haunt him when an enemy suddenly reveals himself.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Press Release: Sarah J Mass - Crown of Midnight - Throne of Glass


By Sarah J Mass
Publication Date: 15th August 2013 Paperback Original and Ebook Price: £6.99
Throne of Glass was a #1 eBook bestseller and one of the top three YA debuts of 2012. It has sold in 13 languages and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Teen Book of the Year. Crown of Midnight is the much anticipated sequel from the incredibly talented Sarah J Maas.

A deal always comes at a price, and assassin Celaena Sardothien has made a deal with the very man who took away everything she loved . . . Can she live with that?

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. Though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Action-packed, heart-wrenching, fantastically addictive and not to be missed!

Maas began to develop the world of Throne of Glass on at the age of 16 and soon received tens of thousands of views. Ten years later, in 2012, her novel was published for the first time. Maas is a Disney fan and it was while listening to the Cinderella score that the original idea for the series came to her – what if Cinderella was fleeing from the ball because she’d done something really bad, what if she was an assassin and had tried to kill the prince? Over the ten years she worked on the story it has evolved into an epic fantasy rather than a Cinderella retelling, but the books are peppered with references to everyone’s favourite fairytale.

Sarah J Maas is originally from New York and currently lives in the Californian desert. Look out for more from Sarah in 2014.