Showing posts sorted by relevance for query julie pike. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query julie pike. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, 8 July 2019

Julie Pike - The Last Spell Breather - Blog Tour (Stories that Inspired)

Welcome to the second week celebrating the brilliant publication of Julie Pike's debut book. we're delighted to be hosting the blog tour for The Last Spell Breather which is a fantastic read. I wholeheartedly recommend you spare the time to read it. This post is about the stories that might have led to inspiring this book.

If you were to write a book, blog readers, what stories might influence the novel you would write today? Have a think, it's an interesting question. If you have any thoughts and you would like to share them on Twitter then use #TheLastSpellBreather. 

I would like to thank Julie and Oxford University Press for letting Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books host a stop on this wonderful blog tour. You are always welcome here at any time. 

I hope you enjoy the post. 

I am delighted the Spell Breather blog tour has swung by Mr. Ripley’s Enchanted Books. As you’re reading this web page, you already know that for brilliant books you can’t beat a ‘word of mouth’ recommendation. Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books is a place I have discovered many great books over the years. 

The first person to recommend a book to me was my mother. She introduced me to Enid Blyton when I was six, and happily watched as I devoured as many of her magical adventures as my pocket money would allow. I wrote a sequel to Enid Blyton’s Book of Brownies, because I enjoyed the story so much I wanted to carry on the adventure. I remember writing it with a blue ballpoint pen, on lined A4 paper. When it was done, I tied the pages with grey wool, ‘borrowed’ from my mother’s knitting bag. 

When I was a young teen, Mam introduced me to Georgette Heyer. Her adventure stories were thrilling! One of my favourites is The Masqueraders, where a brother and sister, fleeing from the Jacobite rising, swap clothes and have dangerous adventures in Regency London. I adore her character Prudence, who dresses as a young buck, brazening it out, drinking and duelling. It may seem tame today, but it was written in the 1920s, and I first read it in the 1980s. I love this story. So much so I have written Georgette Heyer fanfiction. 

As an older teen, my brother introduced me to the wonderful Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. Looking back, it’s no surprise that my first novel should feature a fantasy version of a medieval healer. I didn’t realise at the time, but it’s clear to me now that all the stories I love have found their way into my ‘writer’s cauldron’. I’m sure you know what I mean. My cauldron is the place where all the stories swirl together, synthesising themselves into different shapes, ready for me to ladle out when I’m thinking up new ideas. 

Peering into my cauldron today, I can clearly see three stories that wormed their way into my imagination and wove themselves into The Last Spell Breather.



The first is a The Abhorsen Trilogy, by Garth Nix. I love everything about this story. I love its characters, its large-scale world building, and its unique ‘charter magic’. Reading this story was the first time I’d encountered a cast of creatures and characters perfectly set within their own myths and magic systems, and it lit my imagination like a firework. When I turned the last page, I wanted to carry on the adventure. 



The second is Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. When I was writing an early draft of Spell Breather, my friend Jacqui recommended this brilliant story. It reminded me that books are powerful objects. The words inside have a life of their own, and bad things happen when they’re not looked after properly. 



Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney tells a magical and medieval tale of a boy training to protect his home from witches. Witches so powerful they can outwit his every move. I love a good apprentice story. This one particularly resonates because his Mam has a dark secret. 

Putting these stories together, I can see they share a common theme. A warning about what happens when magic breaks or falls out of balance. This theme is something I wanted to explore in The Last Spell Breather and now I can see what drew me to it. 

Looking into my cauldron again, I’m wondering if every ‘original’ idea in my tale has come from other much-loved stories? Stories like, Magyk by Angie Sage, Sylvester by Georgette Heyer, Labyrinth, Dr Who, A Matter of Life and Death, and Sapphire & Steal. 

I think I’ll give my cauldron a good stir, so I can’t see the ingredients anymore. I prefer my idea ladles brimming with mixed magic. 

Writers often get asked: Where do your ideas come from? I’ve been wondering how I would answer that question. Writing this blog has given me my answer. Ideas come from all the stories that have gone before. We writers pass them on to each other in a glorious story continuum, from one cauldron to another.

If you’d like to write stories, then my advice is to ‘fill your story cauldron’. Fill it with Books, and TV and Films and Video Games – and keep stirring. That way, when you settle to write, the synthesis of all your favourite stories is guaranteed to deliver a ‘unique’ adventure, one that you want to follow and read yourself.

And then one day, YOUR story will be recommended to others. It will go on to fill their writer’s cauldron and take its place in the great continuum. 
Happy reading. Happy writing.



Julie Pike – Biography 
Julie grew up on a council estate, nestled between the forests and foothills of the Welsh Valleys. She is passionate about adventure stories, and volunteers in local schools and libraries in Dorset, helping children find stories that excite them. She is passionate about real-life adventures too, and has crawled inside the great pyramid of Giza, travelled to the peak of Kilimanjaro, and camped on the Great Wall of China in a lightning storm. Twitter: @juliepike


(The Last Spell Breather – Book Cover – illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova)

The Last Spell Breather – Synopsis 
Enter the unique world of the Spell Breathers! Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne - she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud grotesques that cover her mother’s precious spell book. When she holds the spell book over a fire, it is only meant as an empty threat – until she feels the grotesque’s tiny teeth biting into her finger and lets go. In one clumsy move, her mother’s spells are broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins . . . 

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books Book Review is HERE

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Julie Pike - The Last Spell Breather - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


This is a review of the debut book from superstar Julie Pike. The Last Spell Breather will be published this July 2019 by the lovely Oxford University Press. The beautiful book cover has been illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova. (I hope I've spelled that right?) It is absolutely stunning and will certainly attract many potential readers. This is a book that I've been looking forward to reading for some time now as it sounded magical. However, the proof is in the reading. As I hold my breath and turn the first page - what will I discover?

After the first chapter, the narrative slowly distills into a story full of spells and unique charm. Rayne and her best friend (Tom) lead you into a story packed with sparkling fantasy adventure. Every page of the book is effortlessly enjoyable. It is very easy to get lost in a magical realm that packs such a fantasy punch. It's a place that you'll just want to explore more and more, especially the GREAT LIBRARY. The imagination and the ideas used in this book are fantastic. Whilst, the magic system feels and is totally original - I loved the concept as it certainly drives the heart of the plot. However, I feel this could have been used more by extending the story to give it greater impact. 


This is a book where you can escape into an immersive world for all of the family. There is a lot for the reader to enjoy including fantastic characters and monsters: a talking fox and the very bizarre fish people. However, my personal favourites were the GROTESQUES 
with their bushy eyebrows which were brilliantly written and very amusing. There are also bouts of warm humour, smugness and a sparkling friendship full of bickering and falling out which slowly builds throughout the story. 

The more you read this story, the more the mystery unfolds. It nicely builds-up the tension with an increasing sense of danger and peril. Finally culminating with some heart-stopping, nightmarish moments that I'm sure will make you run for cover. When the last page is eventually turned and the final breath expelled, the magical fantasy encapsulates the reader forevermore. The positive ending will certainly make you want to join the characters and setting once more in another adventure. It would be lovely to see some illustrations in the next book - I feel these would really make the reading experience particularly special. A fantastic new fantasy voice in children's literature.  

Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne – she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud devils that cover her mother's precious spell book.
But it is spell breathing that keeps her village safe from the dreaded monster curse that plagues their world. It is ancient powerful magic, but as Rayne learns to her horror . . . it is also fragile.
In one clumsy move, the magic that keeps them safe is broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins . . .

Monday, 4 November 2019

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

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books is excited to be running another Book Cover Wars competition this year.  We do this is to support the unsung heroes of the children's book world - the illustrators and the creative teams behind them all. We are looking for our favourite book cover illustration. If you are returning to the site for another year, or you are new to this competition, then I send you a very warm welcome. It is FANTASTIC to have your company and support in the book cover war arena. Don't forget to 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. We are now featuring heat 2 of this competition. With 4 more weeks left, I have selected another five book covers for you to vote for. The winner from last week has now made it through to the grand final. However, you still need to decide, over the next four 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) - Illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope/Usborne - 79 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 Waterstone's Gift Voucher.  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 and 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 11.11. 2019 at Midnight UK time. 
So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:



BOOK ONE: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold - Book Cover Illustrated by Evan Hollingdale/Designed by Samuel Perrett - VOTE HERE.

BOOK TWO: Kiran Millwood Hargrave - The Deathless Girls - Book Cover

Illustrated by Olga Baumert - VOTE HERE



BOOK THREE: Martin Howard - Alfie Fleets Guide to the Universe - Book Cover Illustrated by Chris Mould - VOTE HERE



BOOK FOUR: Sophie Green - The Haunting of Peligan City: Potkin and Stubbs 2 - Book Cover Illustrated by Karl James Mountford - VOTE HERE



BOOK FIVE: Julie Pike - The Last Spell Breather - Book Cover Illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova - VOTE HERE 





Happy Voting!

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks - August 2019 - Post One


John Robertson (Author), Louis Ghibault (Illustrator)The Little Town of Marrowville - Published by Puffin (1 Aug. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0241344743 - Paperback
In a town surrounded by deadly mist, and filled with oddities, two young siblings become orphans.
And that's the best thing that's happened to them all day.
Howard Howard was a Wrecker (a brute and bully by profession) who was brutal and bullish to his children - Aubrey and Aubrey's Sister. Howard Howard deserved to be turned into mince, and thanks to a mysterious duo called The Grinders, that's exactly what happened to Howard Howard. 
Hunted by the police and their father's gang of Wreckers, the siblings find some new friends to help keep them safe: a talented burglar named Charlie (who has no bones, but a great moustache) and a sword-wielding assassin named Calo (who has a sword, duh.) 
In a town already revelling in its own chaos and with new dangers around every corner, Aubrey's Sister and Aubrey stumble into a world of secrets, myths, and monsters.

Ellen Renner - Under Earth (Storm Witch) - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (1 Aug. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1788003605 - Paperback 

As the island's new Weather witch, Storm must sail with the fleet into dangerous waters. The Drowned Ones are out for revenge and the sea itself is treacherous. But it's Bellum Town that brings Storm her first real test. And where she learns that her magic could save her or it could be the end of everything... Another action-packed fantasy adventure as Storm discovers just how powerful she really is!

Julie Pike - The Last Spell Breather - Published by OUP Oxford (4 July 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0192771605 - Paperback - See Review HERE

A stunning fantasy debut, enter the unique world of the Spell Breathers. 

Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne - she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud devils that cover her mother's precious spell book. 
But it is spell breathing that keeps her village safe from the dreaded monster curse that plagues their world. It is ancient powerful magic, but as Rayne learns to her horror . . . it is also fragile. 
In one clumsy move, the magic that keeps them safe is broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins . . .

Simon Lelic - Revolution: Book 2 (The Haven) - Published by Hodder Children's Books (8 Aug. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1444947625 - Paperback

You don't know it exists, but when you have nowhere else to turn, the Haven will find you ... An adrenaline-fuelled adventure, second in the Haven series, by top thriller writer Simon Lelic. 

Our city. Our secret. Our rules. 
When pupils start going missing from a prestigious boarding school, Ollie Turner knows it's a job for the Haven. 
Below the city streets, the Haven is a sanctuary for kids run by kids. 
Ollie and the Haven's investigations team put their lives on the line, going undercover to find the missing children. But little do they realise that a deadly enemy awaits them - one with plans to destroy everything they hold dear. 
What they're saying about The Haven:

Monday, 25 November 2013

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books Cover Wars Final 2013/2014 - Plus Book Swag Competition - Angie Sage/Matt Whyman/ Sean Williams

This is the big final for the book cover wars for 2013/134 - are you ready to vote?

Over the last four weeks, different authors and illustrators and publishers have battled for their book covers to be voted into the grand final. As a result, we now have five worthy winners who now have the chance to be crowned with the title 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted book cover of the year'. So without any further waiting, let the final battle commence . . . . 

A big thanks also to everyone who has voted and left comments - around 1100 votes have been cast over the last four heats! 

As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your final favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a great prize. One signed copy of Matt Whyman's - The Savages, a signed Angie Sage promo Fyre postcard and a fantastic rare Sean Williams - Twinmaker medium adult T-shirt (kindly donated by Julie Pike) thank you very much!


If you are interested then all you need to do is:

  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll (see top right of the page)
  • Leave a comment through this post
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open Worldwide
  • This poll will end Midnight 2nd December 2013
So here are the five book covers for you to vote for:
                         

Book One: Niel Bushnell - Timesmith ( The Timesmith Chronicles) - Published by Andersen - 14, March 2014 -  Designed by James Fraser, art editor Kate Grove. 

    
Book Two: Alexander Gordon Smith - The Fury - Published by Farrar Straus Giroux - 23, July 2013 - Cover by Christian Fuenfhausen 
                      

Book Three: Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams - Terminal - Published by Chicken House - 2, May 2013 - Cover by David Wyatt 
              

Book Four: Thomas Taylor - Dan and the Caverns of Bone - Published by A&C Black Children's - 6th June 2013 - Cover by Thomas Taylor 
                     

Book Five: Ian Johnstone - The Bell Between the Worlds ( The Mirror Chronicles) - Published by HarperCollins - 6 June 2013 - Designed by Blacksheep UK. 

Let the voting commence on this years Book Cover Wars Final 2013/14. Please leave your comments on the post to win that signed book.  Also  if your really nice give us a mention use #bookcoverwars on Twitter or share on Facebook.