My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

Looking for something to sink your teeth into? Need a new hero to get your pulse racing? Waiting in ‘vein’ for another Twilight book? Look no further – the Drakes have arrived . . .

Solange Drake has always known she is a vampire, but she’s not just any vampire. She is the only female vampire ever born; she is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy and become queen. The trouble is, a lot of people and vampires want to kill her because of this, and those that don’t just keep falling in love with her. To top it all off, Solange doesn’t really want to be queen and would rather concentrate on surviving the excruciating, and possibly fatal, change from human to vampire that occurs on her 16th birthday. Right now, life sucks for Solange.

Lucy is Solange’s human best friend. So when Solange is kidnapped Lucy is determined to come to the rescue with the help of Nicholas, Solange’s sexy older brother. Can Lucy save the day and resist the charms of Nicholas?

Try the prologue and first chapter here

Bloomsbury has created a Facebook fan page for ‘fang-tastic’ My Love Lies Bleeding this will be regularly updated with news, competitions and more. Access the fan page here.

Strange Angels: Betrayals by Lili St.Crow

BetrayalsPicking up immediately after Strange Angels ended, Dru is thrust into yet another dangerous situation.

Placed in a Schola for her own protection, she does not know who to trust or who is trying to kill her. The Schola is riven by factions, the Wulfen who welcome Graves, her loup-garou friend and look upon him as a prince of their kind, and the Djamphir, part-Vampires, whose disdain for the Wulfen is almost palpable. The Wulfen mistrust her and the Djamphir see her more as a tasty snack than a potential saviour.

Surrounded by secrets and lies, Dru learns that she does not know everything she thought she did, and must rely on her own instincts and skills to stay alive.

What are Christophe’s true intentions, and to whom does he owe his loyalties? Why is she being kept sequestered in a reform school for the supernatural? Who are her friends? Who is the traitor in the Order and why has she been lied to and misled? What is her full name?

We start finding answers to some of these questions in Strange Angels: Betrayals, the second book in the Strange Angels series by Lili Saintcrow.

One thing is for sure – she is not at Hogwarts, and no-one can be relied on to protect her.

Betrayals is an excellent follow up to Strange Angels, a kick-arse heroine, supernatural politics, more mystery than you can shake a stick at and just enough information is dropped during the book to make me want the third book NOW! I loved it – even more than Strange Angels, and can see this series going far

Lili Saintcrow captures the high school atmosphere and transfers it to a setting where the characters can sprout fur (natural for teens) and fngs (slightly less natural) and are expected to draw blood in their lessons. It gives new meaning to high school being a warzone.

Betrayals can be read on its own but will be more enjoyable if read in sequence.

The Making Of ‘Grandville’ And The Anthropomorphic Tradition – a talk by Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot is the award-winning creator of The Tale of One Bad Rat, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Alice in Sunderland and more recently Grandville – a graphic novel which is a Victoriana/Art Nouveau steampunk tale of murder and intrigue (with added badger). He has also illustrated many other graphic novels including Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock, Sandman, Hellblazer and Teknophage.

Mr Talbot has a talk he can give for older audiences, called ‘The Making Of ‘Grandville’ And The Anthropomorphic Tradition’.

Bryan can be contacted for more info via… bryantalbot at btinternet dot com

Free eBook offer from YA author Jonathan Zemsky

YA author and all-round excellent bloke Jonathan Zemsky has released his first novel Beyond the Shadows of Summer into the wilds as an eBook.

Download the book here: Beyond the Shadows of Summer

It is one of the first books I reviewed, you can read the review here.

Did I mention that it is free? Get downloading! It is a fantastic read and an excellent introduction to a brilliant writer!

Booktrust Teenage Prize


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is the winner of this years Teenage Book Prize.

Congratulations Mr Gaiman!

Neil Gaiman, commonly known as the ‘rock star’ of the literary world, is revealed as the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009.

His book The Graveyard Book saw off competition from five other authors including Patrick Ness who was nominated for a second year. Ness won the prize last year with The Knife of Never Letting Go.

The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens, a child abandoned in a graveyard after the vicious murder of his parents and sister by The Man Jack. Raised and educated by the ghosts that live there, Bod encounters terrible and unexpected menaces in the horror of the pit of the Sleer and the city of Ghouls. It is in the land of the living that the real danger lies as The Man Jack is determined to find Bod and finish him off.

Neil Gaiman is listed as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. He is the creator of the iconic DC comic series The Sandman, the only comic to ever make the New York Times Bestseller list.

His books have been adapted for a number of successful films, most recently the animated adventure Coraline. His screenplay Beowulf starred Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone, and his book Stardust was adapted for a film starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.

In his acceptance speech, Neil paid credit to the authors that had inspired him:

‘Sometimes when we look big, and seem to see further, it’s because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. The field of children’s literature has seen many giants, and those of us who toil in the field make our contributions using what we’ve learned from those who came first.

‘I’m proud of The Graveyard Book. But I know I got to stand on the shoulders of giants in order to write it. There were two writers of children’s fiction who influenced The Graveyard Book. Foremost, obviously, Rudyard Kipling, and his short story collection The Jungle Book; less obviously Pamela “P.L” Travers, and her Mary Poppins stories. And everyone else: the writers I learned from as a young reader, and the writers I’ve learned from as a writer: a host of other craftsmen and women I learned, or borrowed, or stole from, to build The Graveyard Book. ‘

Neil was awarded a cheque for £2,500 and a trophy at a ceremony in London at lunchtime today (Wednesday 18 November).

Judi James, Chair of Judges commented:

“The six shortlisted books for the Booktrust Teenage Prize Award 2009, were chosen by the judges, for their exceptional quality of writing and storytelling, ranging from Helen Grant’s superb first novel, to the highly acclaimed Neil Gaiman whose novel, The Graveyard Book was unanimously chosen the winner. ‘Nobody Owens’, won the hearts of all the judges, young and old as did the delightfully sinister, generous, eccentric and heart-warming characters that inhabit the old graveyard. Gaiman’s writing is gentle, fluid and humorous, and fundamentally uplifting.”

This year’s shortlist was:

Auslander by Paul Dowswell (Bloomsbury)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)

Ostrich Boy by Keith Gray (Definitions)

The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant (Puffin)

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Walker)

The Booktrust Teenage Prize was launched in 2003 to recognise and celebrate the best contemporary writing for teenagers. Booktrust administers the prize with the support of writers, publishers, teachers, parents and libraries. Publishers may enter works of fiction, including novels, collections of short stories and graphic novels, and non-fiction. The Reading Agency is promoting the Booktrust Teenage Prize in libraries across the UK primarily through coordination with public and school library services.

Previous winners include Mark Haddon for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) and Anthony McGowan for Henry Tumour (2006).

Beautiful Dead: Arizona Competition Winners

The winners of the Beautiful Dead: Arizona competition are (in no particular order):

Maxine Grant


Jenny N

Bianca Flatman

I added a fourth book (my review copy read only once and still in near perfect condition)

The winners were chosen using

RANDOM.ORG is a true random number service that generates randomness via atmospheric noise.

Do schools need libraries and librarians?

Take it away Lucy Bakewell from Hill West Primary School in Sutton Coldfield.

“Today, when schools are striving to raise standards in reading and writing, we need champions to place themselves at the heart of school strategies. Their aim – to engage pupils in and enthuse them about books.”

Am amazing article by the School Librarian of the Year 2009.

Teen Librarian Monthly: November 2009

The November edition of TLM is available to download here.

Sea Djinn by Linda Davies

Fear one thing in all that is… Fear the Djinn – The Wishmaster


In writing Sea Djinn Linda Davies has created a book that takes you inside the story and makes it real. The description of the sand, sea and surf in the opening chapter made me long for the ocean and to feel a surfboard move gliding me over the waves, it was then that I knew I was hooked that Sea Djinn had hooked me!

Set in Dubai, Sea Djinn mixes 21st century Teens with the myths and folktales of the Emirates. Finn Kennedy lives in Dubai with his aunt and cousins and attends a prestigious local school with Georgie and his friend Fred. His life is changed when he comes face to face with Triton a Djinn of the Sea. Triton tells him that his parents have been kidnapped by Hydrus – the evil sea Djinni and that he Finn is a descendant of the royal blood of Atlantis and is an important part of the fight that is brewing between the forces of Light and Darkness.

Mixing mythic encounters into contemporary life is not a new concept but Linda Davies has created something special here, adding in human greed and intrigue as well as ecological awareness into a fast-paced adventure no part of the story feels forced or false. The characters are fleshed out through the book and even the (human) villains are more than two-dimensional caricatures that often populate YA books as foils for the heroes. The twists in the story are artfully done and I did not see them coming until they were happening. The sense of the fantastic is present throughout the book but magic never comes to dominate the story instead it is the humanity of the protagonists (mortal, animal and mystical) that shines through and leads the story.

I loved it and am eagerly awaiting Fire Djinn which is due out next year.

I also learned that Djinn is plural and Djinni is the singular. They are beings of fire and not to be trifled with even if you have a hankering for some free wishes…

Crocodile Tears Launch

As all fans of the fantastic Alex Rider series written by Anthony Horowitz must now know, the newest book – Crocodile Tears was launched on Thursday the 12th November. I was privileged enough to be invited to the launch party by the always amazing people at Walker Books.

As it was a party there was cake involved…

crowds of people had been invited to celebrate (authors, publishers and even librarians)

Piles of Crocodile Tears were placed artistically around the room

There was even a pianist tickling the ivories for the evening

Our host spent the evening mingling with friends and well-wishers

Although he was not too busy to stop for some publicity shots

or to sign some of the rare copies that were given to the lucky attendees

At the end of the evening there were some very smug Librarians

including me ^_^