Wednesday, 28 May 2014

New Young Bond title and cover revealed at Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts 2014

Lights. Camera. Murder…

Shoot to Kill

New Young Bond title and cover revealed at Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts 2014

Young Bond is Back - Authors Steve Cole and Charlie Higson meet for official handover 

Today, on what would have been Ian Fleming’s 106th birthday, Penguin Random House Children’s announced Shoot to Kill as the title of the new Young Bond novel by Steve Cole.

In front of a Hay Festival audience of Bond fans young and old, Steve Cole and the first Young Bond author Charlie Higson came together to mark the official handover of the authorship. Together they unveiled a giant replica book revealing the cover of Shoot to Kill, a striking black and metallic design which gives a few hints as to what will unfold in Bond’s next adventure. 

Steve Cole says: 'As a boy I played James Bond in the playground; what a rush to be writing Bond now in the playgrounds of his youth for new generations. I am both honoured and hugely excited to be taking on Young Bond from Charlie. I am having a fantastic time shaping a new era in the life of this truly iconic character – readers can expect many firsts, surprises and dangers to come as James´s exploits continue.’

Charlie Higson says: ‘As a lifelong Bond fan, having the opportunity to write five Young Bond books and bring the most famous secret agent in the world to life for a younger generation was a total blast. Being a part of the James Bond legacy, and being allowed to play in his world, was a real honour and I know only too well what excitement is in store for Steve as he begins a new chapter for Young Bond.’  

Shoot to Kill, publishing on 6 November 2014, follows teenage James in the aftermath of his expulsion from Eton and features a cross-Atlantic adventure taking James to Hollywood, where it doesn’t take long for him to realise that something terrible is happening in Tinseltown… 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Book Review: Paul Durham - The Luck Uglies

Book review: The Luck Uglies is the first book in a fantasy adventure trilogy which will be published by HarperCollins UK, this coming July. However, if you're reading this review from the US then you're very lucky as this has already been published, but with another snazzy book cover. 

From the very first page, the words conjure up a special moment in fantasy. There is a sense that something good is going to happen. That gut feeling pulls you into the author's magical world through every word that you read, and with every page that you breath. The pages are turned more quickly as the reader hurtles along the path revealing a world full of secrets, mystery and mayhem. There are sparks of very inventive imagination that really work for me. 

Written by a debut voice, this first book promises to develop into a great trilogy. It is a middle grade adventure but I feel that everyone will love this on so many different levels. Some of the great characters feel rather real - some you will easily love whilst others you'll run screaming from, especially the Bog Noblins. However the feisty female character will leave you willing and rooting for her.

The plot is dark and twisted - it will leave you sinking in the bog on a dark and shady night. Full of great places with amazing names such as The Dead Fish Inn, which is worth a lingering visit, and The Willow's Wares which is a shopping haven for the stupid or the superstitious. The world is potentially a magical and dangerous place. Action packed, full of scary monsters and unsavoury people, this story is filled with a great dollop of horror, a dash of humour and a twirl of heroic midnight adventures 

I really loved this story; I was captivated by the quirky twists and turns. It brought me back to my childhood once again and reinforced that "the bad guys sometimes can be good guys". 

"Luck Uglies was a name whispered around the docks and the darkest taverns....." In the dark alleyways, the whisper is that this book is a cracking good read. It is definitely recommended by me.

Strange things are happening in Village Drowning. Not that there’s much eleven-year-old Rye O’Chanter hasn’t already seen. Rye has grown up on Drowning’s treacherous streets—its twisted rooftops and forgotten cemeteries are her playground. But a terrifying encounter on the night of the Black Moon has Rye half-convinced that the monstrous Bog Noblins have returned from the forest Beyond the Shale. It's the same forest that mysteriously swallowed Rye’s father soon after she was born.

Rye’s mother insists the Bog Noblins are extinct…but what if she’s wrong? There’s nobody left who can protect the village from the vile creatures. There was once—an exiled secret society so notorious that their name can’t be spoken out loud.

The Luck Uglies.

Now a stranger named Harmless has stepped from the shadows, leading Rye to question everything she’s been told as she dives into Drowning’s maze of secrets, rules, and lies. What she’ll find is the truth behind Drowning’s legend of outlaws and beasts…and realize that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Kids/YA Literary Agent- Ben Illis - Spring/Summer Book Recommendations 2014

H. L Dennis - Secret Breakers: The Pirate's Sword - Published by Hodder Children's Books (1 May 2014) - Series is also Carnegie-Nominated.

Team Veritas have been searching for the truth. But sometimes the truth is hard to handle. No longer safe in England, the team from Station X must escape to the United States of America where they embark on an epic treasure hunt. It starts in New York City where they track down a precious ring once owned by a Knight of Neustria. From there, on to Washington DC to look for clues in the largest library in the world - and then a trek across the Blue Ridge Mountains in search for treasure hidden in a long forgotten cavern.

Claire Furniss - The Year of the Rat - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Books (24 April 2014) - Fantastic Read.
I always thought you'd know, somehow, if something terrible was going to happen. I thought you'd sense it, like when the air goes damp and heavy before a storm and you know you'd better hide yourself away somewhere safe until it all blows over. But it turns out it's not like that at all. There's no scary music playing in the background like in films. No warning signs. Not even a lonely magpie. One for sorrow, Mum used to say. Quick, look for another. The world can tip at any moment … a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mum dies after giving birth to her baby sister. Told across the year following her mother's death, Pearl's story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mum, but also the fact that her sister - The Rat - is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around…

Lisa Glass - Blue - Published by Quercus (5 Jun 2014)  The summeriest YA surfer chick romance you will read all year, with Zeke. Just Zeke. Everyone loves a bit of Zeke.
Surfing is sixteen-year-old Iris's world, and when the ultra-talented Zeke walks into her life, it soon becomes her passion.
Over one amazing summer, as she is drawn into his sphere, she experiences love, new friendships, but also loss, with an intensity she never dreamed of.
But is Zeke all he seems? What hides beneath his glamorous and mysterious past? When Iris decides to try for her own surfing success, just as her ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, she will test her talent, and her feelings for Zeke, to the limit.

Brian Conaghan - When Mr Dog Bites - Published by Bloomsbury Publishing (3 July 2014) Critically acclaimed, touching and hilarious.
Dylan Mint has Tourette's. His life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in - the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that seems to escape whenever he gets stressed. But a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mum, Dylan discovers that he's going to die in March. So he makes a list of things he must do before he dies: first, he wants to have real sex with gorgeous Michelle Malloy; second, he's got to find his autistic best friend Amir a new best bud; third, he's got to get his dad back home from the army so they can say goodbye properly. It's not a long list, but it's ambitious, and he doesn't have much time. Sometimes you've just got to go for it - no holding back - and see what happens . . .
This is the launch of a major new writing talent. Brian Conaghan makes you travel every step of the way in Dylan's shoes, laughing and crying - often at the same time - as Dylan faces the twists and turns of an unfair world with glorious optimism and wit.

Matt Brown - Compton Valance The Most Powerful Boy in the Universe - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (1 Jun 2014)  (Side-splittingly funny and rather stinky and gross MG humour)
When Compton Valance and his best friend Bryan Nylon discover the world's first TIME MACHINE (aka a mouldy, thirteen-week-old-cheese-and-pickled-egg sandwich), they become the most powerful boys in the universe. But how will Compton and Bryan decide to use their incredible new time-travelling powers? Will they use them for good? Will they use them for evil? Or will they just focus their efforts on perfecting a formula for the world's first pair of custard trousers? Things are about to get totally scrambled for Compton Valance.

Many thanks Ben for the interesting and varied recommendations; it looks like there's a book for everyone here. Check out Ben's online independent shop to view these titles and many more at the following link: 
For every book that you buy from Ben's shelves, hive will share a percentage of the sale with their chosen independent bookshop.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mr Ripley's Guest Post: Q&A with Steve Wells - Graphic Designer and Illustrator - Chicken House

Thanks Steve, for taking the time out to answer some questions for - Mr Ripley's Enchanted,  about you and your work. Enjoy everybody.

Q1 How did it all start? 
I have been a graphic designer for ages. As a tiny child I loved drawing, and when I discovered American comics at the age of about 9 or 10 I became a huge fan and really wanted a job drawing comics (although I don’t think my draftmanship would ever have been strong enough). That ambition drifted into graphic design (a great way of combining an interest in words and pictures). And that’s what I’ve done my whole working life.

About 10 years ago I started designing book jackets for Chicken House and it’s been a part of my working life ever since. I do about 15 a year for them, and have probably done 150 by now. 

I also do illustration and marketing design.

Q2 What Inspires you? 
When I’m working on a jacket it has to be what the author has written.

I think a book jacket has to both reflect the content or mood of the book and put that message across very speedily and dramatically. You have a fraction of a second to get someones attention, to intrigue or appeal.

It’s quite a difficult combination, you also have to make the book appealing as an object. It’s quite a hard design job – but that’s what makes it interesting. 

Q3 What are you most proud of?
About 5 years ago I started doing a bit of illustration as well as design, I did a book called Muncle Trogg which has been sold to publishers in 19 countries. That’s probably the closest thing I’ve done to my childhood ambitions. It’s also more personal than doing cover designs, it’s actually in my style. When you design a cover you are trying to serve the author’s vision (or your interpretation of that) – and you put your ego to one side, and you try to work in whatever style you think will suit.

Q4 What are the best bits of your job? 
I really like it when I think I’ve found a good idea, there is a great feeling of tension lifting. I’m self employed, so I can organise my day how I like, walking into town and looking round bookshops is part of my job!

Q5 Do you read for pleasure, if so what do you enjoy reading? 
I’m a big bibliophile and have far too many books. I love big glossy art, design and illustration books.
I read a lot of non-fiction of the Malcolm Gladwell sort. I still read the occasional graphic novel, recently I liked The Property by Rutu Modan, and am a fan of Guy Delisle. 

Q6 Who inspires you?
A short list of design heroes would include:
Paul Rand, Alexey Brodovitch, Tibor Kalman, Chip Kidd.

I like Tom Gauld, I really like Christoph Niemann, an illustrator and designer. The mid 20th century was a great period for illustration: Maurice Sendak, Ronald Searle, R.O Blechman, Saul Steinberg. Loads of others.

Q7 What is your ultimate aim? 
Well it has to be carry on making a living and doing work that my clients like! It’s a great privilege to do a job you enjoy doing, and I’d like to carry on as long as possible.

Steve Wells website can be found at He is on twitter at @stevewellsart

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Mr Ripley's Adult Book Review: Enter Wildthyme by Paul Magrs

I'd like to think that this book came from The Great Book Exchange in Darlington, but to be honest it was Oxfam in York. They are not worlds apart really, unlike the galactic voyages that take part in this little adventure. One of the main characters in the book has been around for some time, but this is the first full length appearance for them in this trans-temporal adventure. Iris Wildthyme might be familiar to some, as a character from Paul's first book, as well as appearing in the Dr Who escapades but to me, she will always be a special character in fantasy. She's the  feisty granny that you would have loved to have been related to. The gin and tonic drinking time traveller with a mysterious past.

The first part of the book is set in a dusty secondhand bookshop in Darlington. Add in to the mix a celestial red, route master double decker bus and the scene is set for a normal life, but how wrong you would be.  Undeniably, Paul has the most amazing world building skills at his finger tips in this book - the story writing is very cleverly executed. Immediately, the reader is thrown into the action with a whole host of crazy and well imagined characters.  There is Iris, as well as her sidekick (a stuffed panda) originally known as Panda who is about 10 inches high and cooks a very mean breakfast. As well as a talking vending machine called Barbra, an evil poet called Marvelle and many more crazy folk.

I've never had so much fun reading an adult novel before; this was a perfect read for me. It's so crazy and surreal that it was an absolute joy to read. The story is about an object; a glass jar filled with mysterious contents which soon form the focus of a chase. It takes then to the outlandish world of Hyspero, the throne room of the Scarlet Empress and the very brink of the strange pocket dimension called . . . . . The Obverse.

This story is an adventure of good and evil - it is a book to read with a very large gin and tonic. It's fast paced; in a blink of an eye the story moves from the mundane life in Darlington to Montmartre in Paris where an alien invasion is witnessed. Never mind being catapulted to the Hammersmith Odeon to a glam rock concert in the 1970's.  It really is a breathtaking read; a roller coaster ride of mayhem and madness.

This book is very cleverly written and highly imaginative - it is full of zany off-the-wall moments. I connected with this story through the music references as well as the ideas behind the events. I found myself deeply immersed in this adventure; it is a read that I will savour until the next instalment. Five star entertainment - looking forward to the next book very soon ....

Friday, 16 May 2014

Mr Ripley's New Children and Teen Book Book Picks - June 2014 - UK Post

Nigel McDowell - The Black North - Published by Hot Key Books - (5 Jun 2014)
The Divided Isle, once a place of peace and tranquillity, has been ravaged by war. Twins Oona and Morris live with their grandmother in a stone cottage in the quiet southern county of Drumbroken, but the threat of the Invaders of the Black North - the ravaged northern part of the island - is coming ever closer. When Morris, fighting against the Invaders, is kidnapped by one of the evil Briar Witches, Oona must journey to the unknown realms of the Black North in search of her brother. She is accompanied only by Merrigutt, a jackdaw with mysterious transformative powers, and a treasured secret possession: a small stone in the shape of a plum, but a stone that reveals truths and nightmares, and which the Invaders and their ruler, the King of the North, seek more than anything. Oona must keep the stone safe at all costs, and find her brother, before the King of the North extends his evil hold over the whole island and destroys it forever.

Amy Plum - After the End - Published by HarperTeen (5 Jun 2014) 
Juneau grew up fearing the outside world. The elders told her that beyond the borders of their land in the Alaskan wilderness, nuclear war had destroyed everything. But when Juneau returns from a hunting trip one day and discovers her people have been abducted, she sets off to find them. And leaving the boundaries for the very first time, she learns the horrifying truth: World War III never happened. Nothing was destroyed. Everything she'd ever been taught was a lie.
As Juneau comes to terms with an unfathomable deception, she is forced to survive in a completely foreign world, using only the skills and abilities she developed in the wild. But while she's struggling to rescue her friends and family, someone else is after her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about her secret past.

Curtis Jobling - Haunt - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Books (5 Jun 2014)
When Will finds himself in hospital, but unable to make anyone see or hear him, he realises that he never made it home from his first kiss with the school hottie. Knocked off his bike in a road traffic accident, Will is now officially dead - and a ghost. But somehow his best mate, Dougie, can still see him, and, what is more, increasingly Will seems bound to Dougie, going only where Dougie goes. Once they've exhausted all the comic possibilities of being invisible, they set about unravelling the mystery of Will's predicament. Is it something to do with that kiss, or the driver of the car that killed him and didn't stop? Maybe they will find an answer by investigating the rumour that there is an unhappy spirit haunting the ruins in the school grounds, and if so, why? What they discover is a long-buried mystery, which stretches its fingers right into the present…

Tim O'Rourke -  Flashes - Published by Chicken House (5 Jun 2014)
Charley has visions: flashes of things she can't explain. A girl in trouble. The sound of trains in her head. She feels certain they are clues to a crime. But no one will believe her. Until she meets Tom, a young policeman on his first case: an accidental death on railway tracks, not far from where Charley lives. Their attraction is instant, but can they discover what has happened? Accident, suicide or murder: and will it happen again?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mr Ripley's Horror Book Picks Published In June 2014 - UK Post

Will Hill - Department 19: Zero Hour - Published by HarperCollins Children's Books (5 Jun 2014)
Department 19 still stands against the darkness. But for how much longer? Book four in the explosive series from bestselling author, Will Hill.
As Dracula continues his rise, the men and women of Department 19 wait for good news. But hope is in short supply – the country is beginning to fall apart as the public comes to terms with the horror in their midst; a cure for vampirism remains years, even decades away; and their supposed ally Valentin Rusmanov has not been heard from in weeks.
Jamie Carpenter and his friends are working hard to keep the forces of evil at bay, but it is beginning to feel like a lost cause…Until familiar faces from the past bring news that could turn the tide. News that takes Matt Browning to America on a desperate search for a miracle, and sends Jamie and Larissa Kinley into the darkest corners of eastern Europe, where something old and impossibly powerful waits for them.
Something that could stop Dracula for good.
But the clock is ticking.
Night is falling. And Zero Hour is almost here…

James Dawson - Say Her Name - Published by Hot Key Books (5 Jun 2014)
Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear...But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it? Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror...five days...but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before...

Jon Mayhew - Monster Odyssey: The Wrath of the Lizard Lord (Monster Odyssey 2) -  Published by Bloomsbury Children's (5 Jun 2014)

Prince Dakkar and his mentor Count Oginski discover a plot by arch-enemy Cryptos to kill Napoleon. Arriving on their revolutionary submersible to intercept Cryptos, they glimpse a terrifying monster that seems to escape back into the bowels of the Earth. It leads them to discover an amazing underground world, and a plan more nefarious than they could ever have believed - even from Cryptos.
The stage is set for an epic showdown complete with a giant reptilian cavalry and the Battle of Waterloo, in another breathlessly paced and endlessly inventive adventure for fans of Percy Jackson.

Emerald Fennell - Shiverton Hall: The Creeper - Published by Bloomsbury Children's (5 Jun 2014)
Don't look behind you. Resist with all your power. He'll go away, perhaps, as long as you don't look.
Arthur Bannister is back for another term at Shiverton Hall, where eerie events are unfolding. First, a burned stranger shows up in the middle of the night uttering dire warnings. Then a young boy disappears, leaving behind only an ancient book as a clue. And then there's that dreadful feeling Arthur has that he's being watched . . .

Monday, 12 May 2014

Book Review: Steve Cole - Aliens Stink! - (Recommended Read May 2014)

Book Review:
Here comes another madcap adventure from Steve Cole flying high into the crazy world of Space and back. It is a mission of a rather unusual nature, if you ask me. If you carefully sniff the pages of this book you may get a faint whiff of wet fish. As one brave goldfish takes centre stage in this rather hilarious adventure that had me in stitches. 

Seriously weird stuff is happening on planet earth. Like pollution being cleaned up overnight. A sweet smell fills the air, SMELLY Vision AGAIN… Strange lights are seen in the skies. Could it be UFOs? Have aliens come to fix our world? I'm not going to tell you, you'll have to read the book….

Only one boy and his dad, and possibly his goldfish, might just save the world from DOOM. Over dramatic I know, but stay with me! Kidnapped and taken to a super-secret base, Tim soon discovers the full extent of the alien threat. Tim Goosheart, his highly intelligent friends and a babbling alien, called little G, take the battle to the aliens. Remember that goldfish? Well he also has a big part to play in this. 

This book delivers a yarn with the coolest possible intentions. The fantastic black and white embellishments by Jim Field and the great oversize character fonts will keep you focused on the plot. It is a perfect book for reluctant readers as it is so much fun. It's really fast paced with oodles of chaotic moments that everyone will love. In fact, it is a book that the family could read together as it is very interactive and engaging. Children will talk about this story long after the last page has been turned. This is Mr Ripley's recommended Younger Person read for May 2014.

Book Synopsis:
Some seriously weird stuff is happening on Planet Earth. Pollution is cleaned up overnight. A sweet smell fills the air. Strange lights are seen in the skies...Could they possibly be UFOs? Have aliens come to fix our world? Only one boy and his dad - and possibly his goldfish - know that the truth is stranger, scarier - and a whole lot smellier...Kidnapped and taken to a super-secret base, Tim discovers the full extent of the alien threat ...and the extraordinary kids fighting it. With the aid of a little huggy alien, and a depressed guard, Tim and his weird new friends take the battle to the aliens. Oh, and that goldfish has a big part to play...!

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books (8 May 2014)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mr Ripley's New Children's Fantasy Books Choices Published June 2014 - US Post Two

Heather Mackey - Dreamwood - Published Putnam Juvenile (June 12, 2014) Age 10+
Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that’s ravaging the forests of Saarthe.

Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.

John David Anderson - Minion - Published by Walden Pond Press (June 24, 2014) Age 8+
The world of superheroes he created in Sidekicked with an entirely new cast of characters in Minion, a funny and emotional companion to his first breakout tween novel—perfect for superhero fans who also love the work of bestselling authors Rick Riordan, Louis Sachar, and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Michael Morn might be a villain, but he's really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known across the country as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people, after all: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes—special devices with mysterious abilities—which they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they'd never betray each other.
But then a Super comes to town, and Michael's world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they've made for themselves. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life or to let it unravel.

Z. Fraillon - Monstrum House - Published by Hardie Grant Egmont (June 1, 2014) Age 9+
A bind-up of four Monstrum House series titles
Jasper McPhee has been expelled from schools countless times. The Monstrum House School for Troubled Children is his last chance. It looks like a normal school. All the parents who send their kids there think it's a normal school. What everyone doesn't realize is that Monstrum House is actually a place that trains kids to be monster hunters. And the monsters aren't cute and cuddly. They lurk under beds and in the school basement; some scare kids, some eat kids, and some morph them into stone. It's no use telling your parents that the school is making you catch monsters. After being expelled from schools time and time again, who would believe you?

Claudia White - Key to Kashdune - Published by MP Publishing (June 10, 2014) Age 9+
Key to Kashdune picks up the year after Aesop’s Secret ends. An earthquake in the exotic countryside of Turkey has uncovered an ancient cave full of relics of the shape-shifting Athenite people, and two present-day Athenites, Dr. Harmony Melpot and her uncle Joe Wiltshire (previously Aesop the rabbit), are eager to discover its secrets. When they meet with disaster in the form of another frightening earthquake, Melinda convinces her family to go to her friend Joe’s rescue. In the process she discovers four mysterious journals that reveal the secret to traveling by the Earth’s music. Captivated by the melodies she hears, Melinda flies off as a kestrel to the fabled island of Kashdune, rumored to be a place where Athenites and humans live together in peace. Unfortunately, the Huttons’ old nemesis Professor Horace Stumpworthy has learned of the utopian island, and he attempts to use the ancient Athenite knowledge there to exact his revenge upon the Hutton family. The Huttons, Harmony, and Joe set off after Melinda, parting a veil of magical mist that hides Kashdune from the outside world. Jake is separated from the rest of the group, but the others successfully make their way to the hidden island.

Key to Kashdune--Spring 2014

Thursday, 8 May 2014


(Last years book winner 2013 - Beasts and Gods, by Denise Mina)

Giants of the genre are pitted against each other as the longlist is announced for the tenth Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.
One of the most prestigious crime writing prizes in the country, 2014 sees past winners Lee Child, Mark Billingham and Denise Mina in the running.

Lee Child who won the Award in 2011 returns to the longlist with his 17th Jack Reacher novel, A Wanted Man. Sizing up to the phenomenal bestseller is two-time award winner, Mark Billingham for his Tom Thorne novel, The Dying Hours.

Denise Mina, who has won the past two years’ could make it a hat trick and defend her title with her brilliantly plotted The Red Road, said to rival Ian Rankin’s best. Number one bestseller Ian Rankin also represents Tartan Noir, with Standing in Another Man’s Grave, his first new Rebus novel in five years.
A new Scot is on the block to take on the old guard, Malcolm Mackay is one of just two debut authors to feature on the longlist with The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter. The first in a trilogy, it’s been praised as an intriguingly odd, remarkably original debut.

South African author Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls was a phenomenal bestseller and after being praised by Stephen King, it’s a hot contender.
Irish author Stuart Neville’s first three novels were previously longlisted for this award, and he’s back this year with his hugely gripping thriller, Ratlines. Stav Sherez is also back on the longlist with Eleven Days, his superior police procedural and sequel to A Dark Redemption.

No stranger to awards Belinda Bauer is the CWA 2010 Gold Dagger Award-winning author; her latest novel Rubbernecker has received glowing reviews.
Elly Griffiths also makes an appearance with her intriguing crime story, Dying Fall, which effortlessly brings together neo-Nazis, New Age hippies in Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Now in its tenth year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and is open to crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014. The 2014 Award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and Radio Times.

The long list, comprising 18 titles, is selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd and WHSmith.

The longlist in full:
Rubbernecker, Belinda Bauer, Transworld Publishers
The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes, HarperCollins
The Dying Hours, Mark Billingham, Little, Brown Book Group
Like This, For Ever, Sharon Bolton, Transworld Publishers
A Wanted Man Lee Child, Transworld Publishers
The Honey Guide, Richard Crompton, Orion
The Cry, Helen Fitzgerald, Faber & Faber
Dying Fall, Elly Griffiths, Quercus
Until You're Mine, Samantha Hayes, Random House
The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, Malcolm Mackay, Pan Macmillan
The Chessmen, Peter May, Quercus
I Hear The Sirens In The Street, Adrian McKinty, Profile Books
The Red Road, Denise Mina, Orion
Ratlines, Stuart Neville, Vintage, Random House
Standing in Another Man's Grave, Ian Rankin, Orion
Children of the Revolution, Peter Robinson, Hodder & Stoughton
Eleven Days, Stav Sherez, Faber & Faber
Weirdo, Cathi Unsworth, Profile Books

From 22 May to 19 June, longlisted titles will feature in a four-week campaign across all 600 WHSmith stores and 80 library services, representing a total of 1645 library branches. The longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of six titles which will be announced on 30 June.

The overall winner will be decided by a panel of Judges which this year comprises of Executive Director of T&R Theakston Ltd. and title sponsor Simon Theakston, Festival Chair Steve Mosby, Radio Times’ Alison Graham, and Head of Fiction at WHSmith, Dave Swillman, as well as members of the public. The public vote opens on 3 July and closes 15 July at

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Mr Ripley's New Children's Fantasy Books Choices Published June 2014 - US Post One

Leigh Bardugo - Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone) - Published by Henry Holt and Co. (June 17, 2014) - BOOK 3

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final instalment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

Michelle Krys - Hexed - Published by Delacorte Press (June 10, 2014)
It's Bring it On meets The Craft in this spellbinding witchy series debut.
A stolen book. A deadly plan. A destiny discovered. 

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won't stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn't want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie's world, she learns that her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn't get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that's seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she's a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie is about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

S. E Grove - The Glass Sentence - Published by Viking Juvenile (June 12, 2014) - HOT PICK 
She has only seen the world through maps. She had no idea they were so dangerous.
Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.

The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut.

Erika McGann - The Demon Notebook - Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (June 3, 2014) 
What will they do when their "harmless" curses suddenly start coming true?
Grace and her four best friends, Jenny, Rachel, Adie, and Una, are failed spell casters-and they have a notebook full of useless spells to prove it. But one night, when they use a Ouija board for the first time, they stumble upon real magical powers-and their notebook takes on a diabolical life of its own. The girls watch, helpless, as one by one, their spells start to work, moving relentlessly toward the worst one of all...Can Grace and her friends stem the wave of powerful magic before disaster strikes?