Space v hospital

In space, no-one can hear you scream. In hospital, children can’t hear their parents screaming at them to tidy their rooms. That’s why children spend more time in hospitals than in space. (Logical, Captain.)   If you haven’t already noticed it, the sign on the wall is good.

Linda Strachan on Abba

Okay, not that ABBA (though knowing Linda I’m sure the singing would be just as good as her writing – talented woman). No, this is Awfully Big Blog Adventure – where a lot of writers hang out. Here Linda muses on how the little things characters say and do can tell us so much more…

Twin Peakes?

Is it just us, or is there a certain similarity between astronaut Tim Peake and Nick Green, author of the Cat Kin trilogy? Both seem to relish jeopardy (certainly if Nick’s books are anything to go by), but only one had a tiny part in a TV drama serial as a child. We hope they’ve sent the…

Don’t say you hadn’t noticed!

Yes, it’s almost Christmas. For us, that’s as much of an excuse as we need to stare in awe at the cover of Emma Barnes‘ Wolfie. It’s not even a Christmas book, but there’s something about that snow… Emma won the Fantastic Book Awards with Wolfie. And no wonder, it’s a dream of a book.…

Bad Faith – life imitating fiction?

We’ve always loved the cover of this book – have a good look at what’s in the trees and you’ll see why. But what’s inside the cover is what really counts, and it’s one of the best dystopian novels we’ve read. The comes from the state-backed One Church that dominates politics in the book’s parallel…

Amy ♥s Kirkland’s #WeirdYA

Oh no she doesn’t! Oh yes she does! (Well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it.) And good on Amy. We love it too. We’re talking book blogger Amy Powis here. She’s listed North of Porter by The Master of Oddness, Kirkland Ciccone, in her Top 10 reads of 2015. Kirkland and Porter are up…

Glyndebourne’s NOTHING: THE OPERA trailer

A tree, some teenagers and some stuff thrown on the ground. We LOVE this trailer for Glyndebourne’s forthcoming operatic production of Janne Teller‘s awe-inspiring novel NOTHING. So simple, yet so effective. Just like the book itself. Tickets are on sale now for the performances on 25, 26 & 27 Feb. Click here to go to…

Hamley is a pog

He’s also one of our favourite aminals. Aminals are, of course, animals that derive from 2 species. Can you guess which species feature in Hamley’s phylogenetic tree. Hamley is a bundle of fun. He crashes into Hugh Holman‘s The Almost Animals like a bowling ball into skittles. Which is your favourite aminal?

Knife crime

There’s been quite a bit in the media recently about knife crime, including this BBC report and of course the tragic events at Cults Academy near Aberdeen. It’s a problem that’s not going away, despite groups like Break The Chain working hard to help turn things around. Books can’t single-handedly solve the problem. But perhaps they can be part of the…

Talisman in Primary Times

This from Mossneuk Primary School’s P7B class, writing in the new edition of Primary Times about the big launch of Paul Murdoch‘s Talisman at their school. The event included book trailers and a particularly good true story about a bear on the banks of Loch Lomond! Be sure to ask Paul to tell the tale if he comes to…

The real-life dragon that inspired DarkIsle

Meet the inspiration behind the dragon,Shona, in D A Nelson‘s DarkIsle books. The trilogy has captivated readers worldwide, but starts in Scotland (where the books are widely read in schools and elsewhere). That’s where this massive stone dragon – constructed from the remnants of a disused railway bridge – sits above the dunes in Irvine Beach Park…

‘I swear this book isn’t my autobiography’

That’s Kirkland Ciccone‘s response to this great Bookwitch review of his new YA novel North of Porter. Has the Bookwitch got Kirkland sussed? For, like her, we’ve seen Kirkland carrying just the sort of D&G bag that protagonist Porter Minter cherishes. Though we haven’t seen Kirkland doing so since he finished writing the book. Was he merely…

Follow Me recommended in Herald

Victoria Gemmell’s Follow Me has been described as ‘a striking debut young adult novel’ in The Herald/Sunday Herald by crime novelist Alex Gray in her end-of-year recommendations. It ‘has layer upon layer of mystery as a teenage girl struggles to find the truth behind her twin sister’s apparent suicide. The insight into teenage angst and…

Which is your favourite Aminal?

Today sees the publication of Hugh Holman‘s The Almost Animals. It’s a gem of a book aimed at reading age 7+ but which will delight ‘read to’ children from 5 upwards. We wonder what everyone’s favourite aminal will be. And that’s not a spelling mistake – we do mean aminal. Our particular favourite – apart from…

Tonight’s the night!

Everything’s going to be alright. Oh sorry, we’ve come over all Rod Stewart. No, tonight sees the launch of Kirkland Ciccone’s North of Porter at Waterstones in Glasgow’s Argyle St from 6.30-7.45pm. It’ll be a lot better than getting soaked at a firework display. We look forward to seeing many of you there. (Rod, you’re welcome too…

The first Penace reviews

When crime writer Michael J Malone writes a review it’s worth paying attention – he knows his stuff. And he’s just penned one here about Penance by Theresa Talbot. Don’t forget, you can read the first couple of chapters of Penance here.

Kids’ Lit Quiz

Kids’ Lit Quiz does what it says on the tin. It spans the globe and involves hundreds of schools in the UK alone. There are heats all over the country and they always include teams of authors and librarians as well as loads of pupil teams. The author teams are easy to spot: they’re the…

PENANCE – read chapters 1&2 for free

Nip over to Books From Scotland‘s Caledonia Noir issue and you’ll be able to read the first 2 chapters of Theresa Talbot‘s controversial new sociological crime novel Penance. Enjoy! And you’ll shortly be able to read an interview with Theresa, with insights into how the book came about. Watch this space!

Mossneuk Primary School launch Talisman fantasy

Pupils in P7 at South Lanarkshire’s Mossneuk Primary School last week staged a fantastic launch event for Talisman, the first book in Paul Murdoch’s Peck Chronicles fantasy series.     Paul dressed-up for the occasion – in a particularly cool T-shirt of the book. (His publisher was very jealous.)     2 impressive P7s acted as hosts, introducing the book…

And the cover for North of Porter is…

Kirkland Ciccone had a big cover reveal at 1200 today for his forthcoming 3rd novel, North of Porter. We thought we’d join in. If you’re reading this, you’ve already seen it. A belated ‘Tada!’ to you. It’s less than a month now until the book itself makes an appearance. (Oooh.) And exactly 32 days and nights until…

Mossneuk Primary pupils to launch Talisman

It’s all go at East Kilbride’s Mossneuk Primary School, where preparations are in full swing for the launch of Paul Murdoch’s 9+ fantasy novel Talisman on 6 October. Primary 7s are doing the organising – fantastic preparation for their transition to secondary school next year. And they have everything under control. Chairing, reviews, trailers, posters,…

Gotcha!

      Look what we saw for the first time today. (No, not the sun.)                     Straight out of the box…and looking good for Friday’s launch at Waterstones in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. (6.30pm, 2 Oct.)