Monday, February 27, 2012

Precious and the Monkeys

Today, I posted my review of Precious and the Monkeys by Alexander McCall Smith on my Euro Crime blog.

This charming story introduces a seven-ish (I think) Precious Ramotswe to younger readers whose parents are more familiar with Mma Ramotse of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.

The book's illustrations are just right and I would have loved the book to be longer...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Publishing News: Philippa Gregory

Simon and Schuster UK have revealed the following about Philippa Gregory's new YA series:

In a joint acquisition with S&S US, Simon and Schuster UK has bought world rights in four YA historical fiction novels, the first of which will be published in hardback on 24th May 2012.

... the YA series title ... [is] Order of Darkness, with the first book entitled Changeling.
In Changeling, the year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old, Luca Vero, is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom, and travel to the very frontier of good and evil. Seventeen year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse Isolde. Outside in the yard he can see a pyre being made ready to burn the guilty…

The YA novels will receive a coordinated worldwide publication in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and India, in tandem with Philippa’s adult fiction, and there will be a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign across both lists.

“I am delighted to move into a new area of writing,” said Philippa Gregory, “I know I have many young adult readers already and it will be a pleasure to write a series especially for them. Bringing history alive is a great joy and to bring it to a young generation doubly so.”

And here's the cover for Changeling:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Free e-book of Evernight by Claudia Gray

Thank to a tweet from the lovely Iffath (aka @lovereadingx) from Painting With Words I discovered that Evernight by Claudia Gray is currently free on UK Kindle. I've checked and it's also free in epub format at Kobo.

For a limited time, Claudia Gray’s star-crossed paranormal romance Evernight is available with a special sneak peek of Balthazar, the upcoming Evernight companion novel, and excerpts of the rest of the Evernight series, including Stargazer, Hourglass, and Afterlife.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Soul Fire

I'm really looking forward to this. I'm sure the cover's only gone up recently as I was looking for it the other day! I have a review of Soul Beach in draft which I'll publish when the mass market paperback is released in May but basically if you love mysteries with romance then go for it!

NB. Blurb below contains some spoilers for Soul Beach.

Kate Harrison's Soul Fire will be published on 5 July 2012 by Indigo.

Alice Forster regularly talks with her dead sister, Meggie, in the virtual world of SOUL BEACH - an online paradise where dead teenagers are held in limbo. Alice has learned that if she can solve the mystery of someone's death in the real world, then that person is released from the Beach. Meggie needs Alice to solve her murder so she can be free, but as Alice is getting closer to discovering the murderer, the murderer is getting closer to Alice! The second instalment in this utterly gripping trilogy for teens.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Published in February (2012)

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in February 2012. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list is here.

Monthly lists for 2011 can be found here.

I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing Kirsty's British Books Challenge at The Overflowing Library (please let me know of any errors or omissions).

Brodi Ashton - Everneath (2nd, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Julianna Baggott - Pure (2nd, Headline, HB)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Every Other Day (2nd, Quercus, pb)
Francesca Lia Block - The Frenzy (17th, HarperCollins Childrens Book Group, pb)
Don Calame - Beat the Band (1st, Templar, pb)
B R Collins - The Broken Road (2nd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) British Author
Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout - Paper Cuts (27th, Allison & Busby, pb)
Jo Cotterill - Sweet Hearts: Model Behaviour (2nd, Red Fox, pb) British Author
Andrea Cremer - Bloodrose (21st, ATOM, tpb)
Andrea Cremer - Wolfsbane (21st, ATOM, pb)
S D Crockett - After the Snow (2nd, Macmillan Children's Books, HB) British Author
Katie Dale - Someone Else's Life (2nd, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb) BA
James Dawson - Hollow Pike (2nd, Indigo, pb) British Author
Lauren Destefano - Fever (16th, Harper Voyager, tpb)
Lauren Destefano - Wither (16th, Harper Voyager, pb)
Matt Dickinson - Mortal Chaos (2nd, OUP Oxford, pb) British Author
Michael Grant - Bzrk (28th, Electric Monkey, HB)
S M Hall - Breaking the Circle (2nd, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, pb) BA
Cora Harrison - Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend (2nd, Macmillan, pb)
Alyxandra Harvey - Stolen Away (5th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
April Henry - Girl Stolen (2nd, Walker, pb)
Mary Hoffman - David (2nd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) British Author
Edward Hogan - Daylight Saving (2nd, Walker, pb) British Author
Syrie James & Ryan M James - Forbidden (15th, HarperCollins Childrens Book Group, pb)
Melody James - Signs of Love (2nd, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb) British Author
Robin Jarvis - Dancing Jax (2nd, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb) British Author
Robin Jarvis - Dancing Jax 2 (2nd, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, HB) British Author
Lauren Kate - Fallen in Love (2nd, Doubleday Childrens, HB)
Marilyn Kaye - Ticket to Love (2nd, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Kelly Keaton - A Beautiful Evil (2nd, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Anna Kendall - Dark Mist Rising (2nd, Indigo, pb)
Margo Lanagan - The Brides of Rollrock Island (2nd, David Fickling Books, HB)
Marie Lu - Legend (2nd, Feb, pb)
Karen Mahoney - The Wood Queen (2nd, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Courtney Allison Moulton - Angelfire (18th, HarperCollins Childrens Book Group, pb)
Robert Muchamore - The Prisoner (2nd, Hodder Children's Books, pb) British Author
Chloe Neill - Charmfall (2nd,Indigo, pb)
Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd - A Monster Calls (2nd, Walker, tpb)
Kate O'Hearn - Pegasus and the New Olympians (2nd, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
James Patterson - Witch & Wizard: The Fire (2nd, Arrow (Young), pb)
Luisa Plaja - Kiss, Date, Love, Hate (2nd, Corgi Childrens, pb) British Author
Charlie Price - Desert Angel (2nd, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Tricia Rayburn - Pulse (2nd, Faber, pb)
Gordon Reece - Mice (2nd, Macmillan Children's Books, pb) British Author
Celia Rees - This is Not Forgiveness (2nd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) British Author
Louise Rennison - A Midsummer Tights Dream (2nd, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb) British Author
Veronica Rossi - Under the Never Sky (7th, ATOM, pb)
Veronica Roth - Divergent (2nd, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Jess Rothenberg - The Catastrophic History of You and Me (2nd, Puffin, pb)
Alex Scarrow - TimeRiders: Gates of Rome (2nd, Puffin, pb) British Author
Simon Scarrow - Gladiator: Street Fighter (2nd, Puffin, pb) British Author
J D Sharpe & Charles Dickens - Oliver Twisted (6th, Electric Monkey, pb) BA
Nicky Singer - The Flask (2nd, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, HB) British Author
Maria V Snyder - Magic Study (29th, MIRA, pb)
Rachel Vincent - If I Die (3rd, Mira Ink, pb)
Elizabeth Wein - Code Name Verity (6th, Electric Monkey, pb)
Susanne Winnacker - The Other Life (1st, Usborne, pb)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ebook Bargains - Cold Kiss & Cloaked

Thanks to an email from HarperTeen, these two have gone into my virtual tbr....

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey is 99p on and 99p at Kobo.

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

Cloaked by Alex Flinn (lovely new cover) with bonus materials is 49p on and 49p at Kobo.

Happily ever after gets turned upside down in Cloaked, a fantasy by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alex Flinn that combines several classic fairy tales and spins them with a modern twist! Bonus content includes a sneak peek at the upcoming Bewitching. Kendra Hilferty, the witch that curses Kyle Kingsbury in Beastly, tells about her immortal existence—how she discovered she was a witch and the various ways she has used her powers to help people (unfortunately her attempts have often backfired!).

Cloaked welcomes readers to sunny South Beach, Florida. Too bad Johnny is stuck in the Coral Reef Grand repairing shoes. At least he can spend some time designing his own. But nothing ever happens at the Coral Reef Grand! That is, until the beautiful Princess Victoriana comes to stay. Johnny gets more than just a little eye candy when Victoriana invites him to her suite—he gets dragged into a quest for frog prince! Set loose in the Florida Keys with a magical cloak and earpiece, Johnny enlists the help of a fox named Todd. But will spells—and giants—deter his search for the frog prince? And will Johnny even want Victoriana’s promised reward?

Waterstones Children’s Book Prize - Shortlists

The shortlists for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2012 were announced yesterday. The winners of each category and the overall winner will be announced on 28 March.

From The Guardian:
The prize is voted for by booksellers and the three category winners will be pitted against each other to produce an overall winner who will win £3,000 on top of the £2,000 category prize. All the winners will be announced at a ceremony at Waterstones Piccadilly on Wednesday 28 March.

Last year's winner was Sita Brahmachari with Artichoke Hearts. Previous winners include Julia Golding, Sally Nicholls, Michelle Harrison and Katie Davies.

Picture Books

No! by Marta Alt├ęs (Child's Play)
I Don't Want to be a Pea! by Ann Bonwill & Simon Rickerty (Oxford University Press)
The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle (Templar Publishing)
A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton (Walker)
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Walker)
Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen (Jonathan Cape)

Fiction 5-12

The Windvale Sprites by Mackenzie Crook (Faber and Faber)
Muncle Trogg by Janet Foxley (Chicken House)
Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press)
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by L. Pichon (Scholastic)
Milo and the Restart Button by Alan Silberberg (Simon & Schuster)
Claude in the City by Alex T. Smith (Hodder Children's Books)


You Against Me by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books)
Being Billy by Phil Earle (Penguin)
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (Simon & Schuster)
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher (Orion)
Divergent by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Publishing Deal - Curtis Jobling

Curtis Jobling's Wereworld series is going from strength to strength with the announcement of two more books bringing it to six books so far. From Booktrade:
...Puffin's acquisition of two further fantasy novels in the 11+ Wereworld series by British author and artist Curtis Jobling. The novels are both due for publication in 2013.

The first volume in the series was published in January 2011 and shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. Its immediate success has led to Puffin moving the second volume from early 2012 to the summer of 2011, with two further volumes following in 2012. Curtis has just completed a UK publicity tour for book three, Wereworld: Shadow of the Hawk.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight by Jenny Valentine (audio book)

The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight by Jenny Valentine and read by Joe Van Moyland (4 CDs, 2011, Oakhill Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-85735-925-9)

Note: The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight is being published as The Double in the US on 21 February 2012.

Review: Sixteen-year-old "Chap" who has been living rough in London ends up at a hostel where he is identified as the missing Cassiel Roadnight. Though he looks almost identical, Chap knows he's not Cassiel but what if he became him? A loving family and home would be his, at least for a while until the real Cassiel turns up.

So, Chap claims Cassiel's life and is returned to his sister, brother and mother in a lovely cottage near Hay-on-Wye. How long can Cassiel keep the deception up and what about the effect his deception is having on his new family, in particular his sister and heavily-medicated mum?

Chap thought he was getting the perfect life but it's not long before a darkness appears. What has happened to Cassiel? What Chap discovers could destroy everything he's got and the people he's beginning to care about as well as bringing danger to himself. As Chap learns about Cassiel, we learn about Chap and how he ended up without a name or a family and on the streets.

The story goes full circle with a violent confrontation at the Hay on Fire festival, exactly two years since both Cassiel and Chap disappeared from their respective homes.

The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight is a well-written, absorbing teenage mystery with many twists and turns. It's a tense read, as Chap is always on edge, wondering when his cover will be blown. Despite "stealing" Cassiel's life, Chap is a likeable character with a solid moral compass and well-educated despite his lack of formal schooling. All the characters felt real and are well portrayed by narrator, Joe Van Moyland. The author also looks at alienation from society, not just of teenagers but adults too, as people get lost from the mainstream and the nature of family.

On a personal note, I loved the Hay-on-Wye setting as I'm a regular visitor and could imagine the scenery.

Jenny Valentine doesn't hide the fact that this story was inspired by the classic Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey and I have fond memories of watching the BBC tv series when I was (much) younger with the gorgeous Mark Greenstreet in the lead(s).