Saturday, 13 September 2014

Book Signing Promo - Alison Molyneux

Book Signing Event Saturday 4th October in Bedford Waterstones. Alison Molyneux, Author and Dan Mynard, Illustrator will be there to promote their two recently released books:
The Thud in the Wood
An A4 picture book for 4-6 year old children. A few brave creatures make the journey up the steep, steep path to the dark, old wood at the top of the faraway hill. Here they are greeted by Squink the squirrel who warns them of the Thud who lives in the wood. Will any of the creatures be brave enough to venture further into the wood? This wonderful picture book for young children is full of suspense. The illustrations by Dan Mynard are from original oil paintings.
StoryMeadow Books are written and published by Alison Molyneux an Early Years Teacher working in a nursery in Bedfordshire. The books contain traditional stories to share and enjoy at quiet times with 3-6 year old children. The illustrations are all created from original artwork by local artists.

Christopher and The Crab                       
This A4 picture book is suitable for children aged 4-7 years. Christopher loves his tumbledown house by the sea, but his greedy sister Clara always wishes for more. Then one day Christopher meets a magic crab and so begins a wonderful adventure. But will anything ever be the same again for Christopher and Clara? Wonderful original illustrations by Dan Mynard bring this picture book to life.


If you are interested in learning more about our picture books please email Alison Molyneux on Alison both writes her books and prepares them for print, if you are a local illustrator who would be interested in working with Alison to produce a picture book please get in touch. Also, if you have created a picture book and would like to self-publish, StoryMeadow Books can provide a formatting/self-publishing service.
Our books are available to buy direct from our website and from Amazon. We also sell books in some local outlets in North Bedfordshire. The Cowper and Newton Museum in Olney has a selection of our books for sale at present.

Friday, 12 September 2014

FF (178)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
A Great Read

Before blogging (dark times people!) how would you find out about new books or did you?Question provided by: The Pegster Reads 

My Answer: I would (and still do) go into bookshops and just browse, spending ages just looking round the shelves. I would ask my friends for recommendations. And my school librarian was always happy to share the latest releases and ideas for things I might like.

Happy Hopping and Blogging

Cover Reveal - The Soul Thief

the soul thief - front cover
The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete
Expected Release: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
When Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.
The Soul Thief - full cover
majankaAbout the Author Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her. She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in. Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Book Review - The Dying of the Light

Title: The Dying of the Light
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant (Book 9)
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Release Date: 28 Aug 2014#
ISBN-13: 978-0007489251

  The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder.
And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals… and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection.
The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive…    

My Review  
Contains Spoilers!!!  
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I am a massive Skulduggery Pleasant fan. I have been following this series for years, have met Derek Landy 5 times now, and have every single book by him signed. As you may have read last week, I was lucky enough to go to the launch party for this book in London which was incredible, so I was so excited to finally be able to read this last book.  
There were so many questions left unanswered, so many things left to figure out at the end of the 8th book, that this one had a lot to live up to.
 I can't believe this is the last book, it is all over, no more new Skulduggery. It seems weird, it's something I look forward to every year.
So here we are, on the brink of the end of the world. Valkyrie is gone, Darquesse is madly controlling those around her and spreading fear and disaster behind her. Stephanie is by Skulduggery's side, Tanith is still possessed and basically everything is in a mess.  

This book is 600 pages of awesomeness. The usual sarcastic humour is still there, the action packed adventure and jaw dropping moments.
The book has seperate stroylines running side by side through it, some told from Skulduggery's point of view, some from Darquesse, some Tanith and one told by 'Danny'. This was the most intriguing to me as he is a new character and it is told in a different perspective. Throughout I was wondering what was going on, which version of Valkyrie/Stephanie he is dealing with and basically how he got involved in it, and I have to say the mystery stayed unsolved for me until the very end. I never did manage to figure it out!
There are some truly epic moments in this book - in fact it is majorly epic but there are some moments when it is a bit slower and it makes you wonder what Derek is plotting.
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the end, it felt like a little bit of a deflation, I don't know - I think that maybe I was expecting so much that it was destined to fall flat slightly, but it was only slightly. Don't get me wrong, I still think that it is amazing but it didn't quite live up to my astronomically high expectations.
And besides there are more than enough parts to make up for it, so many heart pounding, breath-taking moments. And some truly 'Heck yeah' moments. 

This is of course a must read, if you have read this far you can't stop now. And if you haven't read this series, don't start here- go all the way back to the beginning and settle down for the adventure of a lifetime. 

I still can't believe this is the end. It feels like I am leaving my friends behind, but at least I still have them with me, and I can visit at any time.

My Rating

Monday, 8 September 2014

Cover Reveal - Untaken

I'm excited to reveal the cover for young-adult, action-adventure, science-fiction Untaken, by J. E. Anckorn, which is scheduled for release October 16th, 2014. The stunning cover was created by the talented Amy Chitulescu.

Untaken, by Jen Anckorn - Cover 
About Untaken:

It turns out that a real alien invasion is nothing like the Sci-fi shows 14-year-old Gracie loves. Not when it’s your own family who are swallowed whole by those big silver ships. Not if it could be you next.

In her search for her family, Gracie meets Brandon, a high school dropout who would never have been caught dead hanging out with a dork like Gracie before the world ended. Gracie isn’t too crazy about Brandon either, but he has one thing she doesn’t: A plan.
Brandon’s uncle has a cabin up in Maine, and If Gracie and Brandon can survive long enough to get there they can hide out until the Space Men pack up their ships and leave.
Until the army guys come to rescue them, says Brandon. Brandon is big into army guys.

Gracie has to admit that Brandon’s Awesome Plan probably would have worked out great if wasn't for Jake.

They found 5-year-old Jake, laying half-dead under the remains of someone’s ranch house. He’s a good kid, even if he won’t-or can’t- talk.

But Jake has a secret, and when Gracie finds out what it is, the fragile new life they’ve started to forge looks set to break apart.

When the people you’ve been counting on to put the world back together start hunting you down, alien invaders are the least of your worries.

Add Untaken to your Goodreads 'to-be-read' list.


J.E. Anckorn, author, writing, 
About J. E. Anckorn:

J. E. Anckorn has been an artist and writer ever since she began to surreptitiously doodle on school supplies instead of learning about practical things, like osmosis and mathematics.

After barely surviving a freak mathematical osmosis disaster, she set out to travel the world, living in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong before returning to her native Britain- just in time to marry an American and leave for the U.S.A. She still failed to learn anything about osmosis, but did manage to cultivate an accent that is unintelligible to almost everyone. (It happened through a mysterious net movement of information from the outside environment into her brain. If only there was a word for that!)

This led to her development of a new language, based almost entirely on polite yet uncomprehending nods. In between these adventures, she has worked as a toy designer, copywriter, and freelance illustrator. She lives in Boston, with a small grumpy dog, and a large, slightly less grumpy husband.
Find J. E. Anckorn Online:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Friday, 5 September 2014

FF (177)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
The YA Buzz

Are you also a writer and what genre or did you ever consider writing?  Question provided by: The Pegster Reads 

My Answer: I have done some writing - I have written a YA fantasy novel and 4 Picture books for little kids. I also wrote a Middle Grade fantasy years ago but that needs some updating/editing.

Would love to be a published author, so do write when I have the chance, although haven't done any for a while. Got a bit of writers block. But I am determined and know I can get back into the swing. But YA Fantasy seems to be my genre!

Happy Hopping and Blogging


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Book Review - Armageddon Outta Here

Title: Armageddon Outta Here
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant (book 8.5)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 3 July 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0007559534

One AMAZING new novella.
Three GRIPPING new stories.
In the ULTIMATE story collection.
We all know that doors are for people with no imagination so smash the glass, climb through the window and enter the awesome world of Skulduggery Pleasant with this ultimate story collection.
For the first time, every Skulduggery Pleasant short story – plus The End of the World, the World Book Day novelette – is collected into one magnificent volume. But that's not all…
Written specially for this collection, there is an entirely new novella that will drag you into a nail-biting American horror story, Skulduggery-style, and three brand-spanking-new stories spanning the last 150 years. Join Gordon Edgley as he parties like it's 1985, watch Valkyrie Cain face a vampire in a fight to the death, and see the Dead Men as you've never seen them before. And then read the exclusive chapter from the final book…
Introduced by Derek, this is the hidden history of the skeleton who saves the world… and the girl who's destined to destroy it.

My Review
I got this when it first came out and got it signed by Derek at LFCC in July. But life has been crazy and I had a couple of other books I had to get through first so unfortunately this got put aside. But with the launch of Book 9 (The Dying of the Light - The FINAL book!) I knew I wanted to get stuck into this.
This is a collection of short stories - some are 4 or 5 pages and a couple of them are 20-40 pages. Some of them I had read before, such as the End of the World which came out on World Book Day a few years ago but I still re-read them and I loved them just as much.
I love collections like this, it gives you another side to the world and makes you feel more involved. My favourite story has to be the Halloween one with Gordon Edgley, he doesn't get to feature too much in the main series so it was nice to get a glimpse into his past and the story was great fun. I loved Skulduggery's sarcastic humour as usual.
For fans of the series this really is a must have, it's just as charming and breath taking as the main series and lets the world stay alive for that much longer.
It's just brilliant!

My Rating

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Requiem Ball with Derek Landy

I had the greatest night ever on Thursday night. I got invited to an exclusive party in London with Derek Landy to celebrate the launch of the FINAL Skulduggery Pleasant book.

The Requiem Ball

This was the first notice I saw about the Ball, and I knew that I had to try my hardest to win tickets. I was desperate to be there so I started to watch the blog and Facebook.

I got an email about a competition, the Requiem Ball was to be a Masked Ball, and in order to win a ticket you had to design a mask that you could wear.
If you know anything about the world of Skulduggery Pleasant, you will know that in order to protect yourself from magic and being controlled you have to 'take a name', this taken name acts like a bubble of protection over your real name. I decided that my taken name would be Catherine (Cat) Calamity, so I made a mask shaped like a cat.

It was completely home made and I was quite proud of it. However I didn't win the competition. Luckily for me my friend Kirsty also made a mask (she makes jewellery and did a beautiful wire mask) and she did win tickets. Luckily the prize was for 2 tickets so she agreed to take me with her.

The location of the party was a secret so we eagerly awaited the tickets arrival to tell us where it was.
This was the best Birthday present ever though, my Birthday was the 29th and the Ball was to be held on the 28th! So awesome.

So we found out that the Ball was to be held in 'The Crypt' on Bleeding Heart Yard near Greville Street in Farringdon. Luckily Kirsty knew where that was and we planned our trip.
We made it there in plenty of time, dressed up and in our masks and waited to go in.

As we entered we were given Wrist Bands, one black that said 'Bad to the Bone' on it and one orange that said 'Good at Heart', and we also got a badge. The location was perfect, it was like an old converted Church, really atmospheric.
We got given drinks as we arrived (non alcoholic of course) I had Strawberry Cordial with Cola it was yummy. There were professional waiters there, mostly french and very charming handing out the drinks and also mini burgers and cones with fish pieces and chips in.

We went around the hall and took photos
The Awesome Cake - painted with the book cover

Then we got an announcement that Derek Landy was about to arrive so we all headed back outside to greet him. He pulled up in a cool car and was met with cheers, which he loved!
We then headed back inside and queued up for photos with Derek

 There was a lovely lady there doing airbrush tattoos for everyone. you could either have the Skulduggery Pleasant logo, or a Skulduggery silhouette. I got the logo on the back of my right shoulder.
Yes, those are skulls on my tights!!!
Kirsty got a Skulduggery on her wrist

At 7pm they were going to do a Live Stream to all those that couldn't be there in person. Only 120 tickets were given out so a lot of fans missed out. During the live stream Derek Landy did a talk and a quiz. The 3 contestants for his quiz were Summer, Ellen and Lucas who run the Facebook Fan Page I believe. 
It had to be interrupted at one point because the Live Stream link crashed - so many people world wide tried to log on that it broke the system. 
It was good fun, I knew about half the answers to the questions and then hearing Derek tell us about his journey with Skulduggery and what it has all come to was incredible. I am so pleased to call myself one of his 'minions' (fans), he's a really nice guy and a very talented writer and he really appreciates all of his fans and the community that has built up around the books. 

After the talk, there was dancing and we each got a slice of the cake which was delicious.
Then they set up a table outside and we all got given a FREE copy of the brand new, final book 'The Dying of the Light' and to our surprise, Derek was going to sign them!
So we joined the queue and waited to get our copies.

It was an awesome night and he wrote 'To Becky' in my book and drew a little balloon with '26' inside, as it was my Birthday, he said he wanted me to remember when I got the book. It was so cool. We also got given a poster for the new book.

We smiled and thanked Derek and the helpers then made our way back. The train journey only took an hour and went smoothly.

It really was an incredible night and I feel so fortunate that I got to be there, it was a once in a lifetime moment and I would have been devestated if I had missed it.

I now have the final book to read and I know it will be Bittersweet - totally awesome and incredible and full of everything I could ever want it to be, but it really is the end and I have to come to terms with that fact. I have been following this series for years so it will be weird not waiting for the next installment.

Look out for my review, coming soon.

And by the slimmmest chance- Derek if you ever see this, I just want to say thank you! Thank you for your amazing stories and for being such a cool guy. 
I will be seeing Derek again next weekend anyway as he is doing a book signing in my local WH Smiths so I am going to go and get books 7 and 8 signed as he didn't come round here when they were released. If I get those signed I will have a full set of signed books!!!

FF (176)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
Words I Write Crazy

Tell us about a book character you’d trade places with – Suggested by Escaping Within Pages

Sorry this post is late, but it was my Birthday yesterday so I was out for most of the day. :D

My Answer: ooh, that's a tricky one because so many of the characters and worlds are totally awesome, a lot of them are dangerous and spend their time fighting for their lives, so not sure I would want to be in that situation, but if I had to pick one I think I would have to go for Mary from 'The Secret Garden' as she gets to spend all that time in that lovely garden with lambs and deer and such. 

Happy hopping and Blogging!


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Release Day Blitz - Iron Pendulum

A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn't even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she's uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

About Megan Curd:
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college. 

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

Buy Links: Coming Soon!
Barnes and Noble: