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.)  

Tie that author down!

Fortunately we didn’t need to. But when we spotted Talisman author Paul Murdoch heading for Waterstones in East Kilbride, we nabbed him and ‘persuaded’ him to sign a few copies for us. The ‘persuaders’ fled their seats before they could be captured on film, but we caught brief sight of one of them as he made a break…

Jacket and tie

Endless Empress author Kirkland Ciccone was the talk of Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday. His début appearance was noteworthy in itself, but something else also caught the eye. Sing along now…Where did you get that suit, where did you get that suit (and tie)?                     With such an eye-catching…

Follow Me

This cracker from great new talent Victoria Gemmell was inspired by her research into the Factory that Andy Warhol established. We suspect Follow Me will bring Victoria at lot more than 15 minutes of fame…   What is the deadly allure of the Barn? 17-year-old Kat Sullivan has been devastated by the loss of her twin sister, Abby, the…

How Kirkland describes his own books…

We spotted these and thought they were too good not to share. Kirkland’s books in Kirkland’s words…   Conjuring The Infinite ‘…an eerie creepy kooky spooky thrill ride into the darkest realms of magick…and the fractured psyche of the teenage brain, complete with raining toad and a green fur coat of wrath.’     Endless…

Talisman review

This just in from a young reviewer named Buddy. He’s been lucky enough to have had early sight of Talisman by Paul Murdoch, the 1st book in the Peck Chronicles series. ‘Oh my gosh that was the best book ever! When is the next book out??? My favourite part was when Craig [ah, sorry, we…

From Bali’s man to Talisman…

Children’s author (and sometime rock musician) Paul Murdoch is set to take readers to another world in Talisman, the first novel in his new Peck Chronicles children’s fantasy-adventure series aimed at ages 9+. It’s officially published on 4 September but the books have recently arrived from the printers, so they’re available to order now. Paul recently…

A head full of adventure/A handbag full of custard

A new blog post by Kirkland Ciccone is a moment to savour. In this latest instalment: It’s ‘Oops!’ time as 2 award-winning authors lock themselves out of a launch event… A few tasty lines from forthcoming novel North of Porter How running down a street with a rolling pin can affect your dress-sense Find out who’s creating fabulous covers for…

The Almost Animals

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be publishing this gem in October. The Almost Animals by Hugh Holman tells the tale of Angle the crocogator’s search for acceptance in Elsewhere. (Angle is the green one on the top ledge, under the WELCOME TO NOWHERE sign.) We adore this book. It’s quirky, uplifting and poignant, with that underdog-deifies-the-odds cleverness…

Is this just fantasy?

It’s a question Freddy Mercury used to ask. It’s also one that the BBC’s Nick Higham raised when interviewing Kazuo Ishiguro recently about his new novel, Buried. (You’ll find the interview at the end of this post.) And it’s a question we’ve often asked about Gillian Philip‘s Rebel Angels series – Firebrand, Bloodstone, Wolfsbane and…