Cover Reveal for Make a Wish at Christmas by Julia Williams


julia williams

We are really excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Make a Christmas Wish by Julia Williams.

Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park, she certainly wasn’t ready to actually be dead! For months now she’s floated on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.

And she’s not ready to go just yet! She’s furious about the new woman in her husband’s life and she’s worried about her beloved son who doesn’t seem to be adjusting to life without her at all.

This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?


Julia has always made up stories in her head, and until recently she thought everyone else did too. She grew up in London, one of eight children, including a twin sister. She married Dave, a dentist, in 1989, and they have four daughters. After the birth of the second Julia decided to try her hand at writing. Since then she has written 8 hugely popular novels, selling over a quarter of a million copies in the UK alone, and hitting the Sunday Times bestseller list.

Review of Dino-Dinners by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom


dino dinners

Dino-Dinners is a fascinating book about dinosaurs that has been released in association with the Natural History Museum.

It features ten different dinosaurs and shows different facts about them including what they ate, how big they were and how to pronounce their name. It’s a fantastic book and we loved the illustrations of each dinosaur. The glossary at the back was also very useful.

This is a perfect book for any young people interested in dinosaurs. We will be on the look out for the similar title about the Woolly Mammoth.

Thank you to Frances Lincoln for sending us a copy to review.

Review of The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands


The Blackthorn Key

Seventeenth century London is brought to life in this magical and mesmerising novel by debut author Kevin Sands. Christopher is an apothecary’s apprentice where his Master is Benedict Blackthorn. Christopher enjoys his work and is fascinated by the Apothecary trade. However, a shocking wave of murders brings terror to the Guild of the Apothecaries and soon it begins to strike close to home. Before long, Christopher finds himself on the run from the only place he has ever called home. With the help of his loyal friend Tom and feathered friend Bridget, it is a race against time to unravel the mysterious code that his Master left for him.Will Christopher beable to solve the mystery or will he become the next victim…

The Blackthorn Key is a real edge of your seat read and, although a middle grade title, it is one that both older and younger readers alike will love. Full of codes, secrets doors and non-stop adventure this book is full of surprises with twists and turns around every corner.

I was hooked from the very first page of this book and couldn’t put it down. It is, without doubt, one of my favourite books of 2015 and is one that I highly recommend.

5 stars

Thank you to Puffin for sending us a copy to review.

Interview with Sophy Henn – Author of Pom Pom the Champion


pom pom 2

Today, we are pleased to welcome Sophy Henn to Bookbabblers…

Please tell us a little about yourself

Well, I am a mum and a writer/illustrator of children’s books. I live in Sussex, not too far from the seaside, drink a LOT of tea and wear my new pink coat as often as possible. Previously I have worked in advertising and designed greetings cards, before I went back to school to study for an MA in Sequential Illustration, with the ultimate aim of creating picture books. I still cannot believe my luck that I actually get to do that! This year I was also lucky enough to be Official World Book Day Illustrator 2015, which has been amazing.

Please tell us about Pom Pom the Champion and your inspiration for the book

Pom Pom the Champion is my latest book and the second in the Pom Pom series. Pom Pom previously got the grumps, but now we see him embracing the concept of winning, and maybe running with it a bit too far! Pom Pom is a young panda who is experiencing and trying to work out a lot of new situations and emotions. Obviously he doesn’t always get it right, who does? I know I still get out of bed on the wrong side!

As for inspiration, I once witnessed a very cute and usually very lovely little girl stomping around furiously, and no one knew why, not even her. She was ever so angry and telling everyone to “GO AWAY”, until eventually everyone did. Then she became rather sad and a little bit worried. I found this sweet and quite funny, so I made a little comic strip about it. As that little girl is now taller than me I decided to change her into a Panda, and Pom Pom was born.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the next Pom Pom book! Pom Pom is on another voyage of self-discovery, but this time he gets a lot of help from his friends, Scout, Buddy, Baxter and Rocco. I have another book coming out in-between Pom Poms, called Pass It On, which is out in February 2016. This features human beings! Though you might spot a Pom Pom in there, I like to include characters from previous books into new ones. For example there is a Where Bear? bear in every Pom Pom.

What was your journey to publication like?

I decided I wanted to try to write and illustrate picture books when I was reading Charlie and Lola to my daughter, who is now 13! So that gives you a rough idea of how long it took from admitting this was what i wanted to do to actually doing it professionally. As I mentioned earlier I went back to school, which gave me the justification to spend time developing ideas. But I have to say once I found my ace agent, my route was a very pleasant and quite speedy one.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Write! I realise how ridiculously obvious that sounds but it’s the truth. Sometimes ideas pop out of your head fully formed and sometimes there is just the core of a idea, whichever way it happens it will probably require editing and honing, rearranging and refining. Some days it feels almost easy and others its like getting blood out of stone, but whichever day you are having, keep writing and I am almost sure that at some point something good will appear. I remember Noel Gallagher saying on Desert Island Discs that he believes songs are falling out of the sky all the time you just have to be in the right place to catch them, so he writes every day, ready to catch! I take comfort in the fact that geniuses have to work hard and consistently at it, because I know I do!

Thanks, Sophy!

Pom Pom the Champion is available to buy now.

Blog Tour: Review of Storm Horse by Nick Garlick


Storm Horse blog tour banner

Today, we are thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Storm Horse by Nick Garlick. Here is our review…

Storm Horse is a beautifully written book that follows twelve year old Flip when he moves to the remote Dutch island of Mossum. Flip’s Dad has recently passed away and his mother is missing, so he must move from Amsterdam to live on a farm on the tiny island with his Aunt, Uncle and young cousin.

Flip cannot see how he will ever adapt to his new surroundings when the events of a stormy day change his outlook on everything. A ship sinks in the harsh sea around Mossum and Flip spots a horse struggling in the waves. Risking his own life, he manages to bring the horse ashore but no one knows who it could belong to. It is decided that Flip can keep the horse if an owner cannot be found, but he must do everything himself and make sure that the horse earns it keep to. Flip is determined that the horse, which he names Storm, will stay and with the help of his young cousin Renske and the mysterious ‘ghost girl’ they must try to train him. However, there are some people, especially the Mesman brothers who don’t want Flip to succeed and will do anything to stop him.

I was fascinated by the idea of the lifeboat horses and the way of life for the people on the island. Storm Horse is a fascinating book that I did not want to put down. I would recommend it for both younger and older readers alike. I grew up reading horse stories and it is also refreshing to see a boy as the main character.

This is a really moving and compelling novel that also includes important issues such as bullying, friendship, hope and loss. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

5 stars

You can follow the blog tour tomorrow at:

Thank you to Chicken House for sending us a copy to review.

Storm Horse by Nick Garlick out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)
Find out more at


Giveaway – Win 1 of 4 copies of Pirates in Pyjamas by Caroline Crowe and Tom Knight



We are so excited to have 4 copies of Pirates in Pyjamas to giveaway. To enter, please re-tweet this post and follow us on twitter. The giveaway is open to UK residents only and closes on 28th August 2015. Good luck!

The Dead House Mirror Tour – Guest Post by Dawn Kurtagich


TheDeadHouseTour4We are thrilled to be taking part in the Mirror tour for The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. Dawn’s guest post is Carly’s top 5 book recommendations and you can read all about Kaitlin’s recommendations over at

Carly’s Top 5
Book Recommendations

1. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
before i die cover
Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out. ~ Goodreads Description

Dawn mirror tour 1

2. She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
invisible cover
The feeling that coincidences give us tells us they mean something… But what? What do they mean?

LAURETH PEAK’S father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers – a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. When he goes missing while researching coincidence for a new book, Laureth and her younger brother fly from London to New York and must unravel a series of cryptic messages to find him. The complication: Laureth is blind. Reliant on her other senses and on her brother to survive, Laureth finds that rescuing her father will take all her skill at spotting the extraordinary, and sometimes dangerous, connections in a world full of darkness. ~ Goodreads Description

Mirror tour 2

3. Spirit Fox by Mickey Zucker Reichert and Jennifer Wingert
spirit fox
Spirit Fox marks the first collaboration between bestselling fantasy writer Mickey Zucker Reichert and talented newcomer Jennifer Wingert.

It is the story of a magic-filled land at war. A mythical battle of gods and goddesses. An epic struggle that could ultimately destroy an entire civilization unless a special young woman, spirit-linked to a fox at birth, can harness the gift that runs like a wild creature trapped within her soul….

~Goodreads Description

Dawn mirror tour 3

4. The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
secrets cover
A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister’s life. ~ Goodreads Description

Dawn mirror tour 4

5. A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
ella grey cover
I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and how they died.”

Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.

~ Goodreads Description

Dawn Mirror tour 5

Interview with Caroline Crowe – Author of Pirates in Pyjamas



We are delighted to welcome Caroline Crowe to Bookbabblers today. Caroline has answereed a few questions for us about her latest book Pirates in Pyjamas

Please tell us a little about yourself

I live in Hampshire with my husband and three sons and ALOT of books. We’ve just had some building work done on our house so they were all packed away in boxes for a couple of months (the books, not my family), so it’s been lovely rediscovering them all again together. I was a newspaper journalist for 10 years, but I’ve always loved to write in rhyme. I feel so fortunate to be have been able to combine my love of writing and rhyme and children’s books in Pirates in Pyjamas. I also love salt and vinegar crisps, possibly a bit too much.

Please tell us about Pirates in Pyjamas and your inspiration for the book?

Pirates in Pyjamas was inspired a few years ago by my eldest son. He asked me one morning if pirates wore pyjamas and it struck me that that was an excellent question and a perfect opportunity for some silliness. It’s the kind of book we love to read at home – one that (hopefully) makes you laugh and has a few surprises tucked up its sleeve. Captain Grotbeard and his crew are getting ready for bed on board the Leaky Parrot, but bedtime on board a pirate ship might not be quite as you imagined it. .

How long did it take you to write and illustrate Pirates in Pyjamas?

The first draft of Pirates came quite quickly, but it took much longer to get to the final version. Ellie Farmer, my editor, and the rest of the team at Little Tiger Press were amazing and basically gave me a crash course in writing picture books. They were incredibly patient and I learned a huge amount with each draft. Pirates is illustrated by the brilliant Tom Knight. I’m amazed at the way he’s captured the text and brought it to life. His drawings have added another layer of humour to the book. The little details are amazing. I love the fact that children can listen to the story and then discover unwritten things in the pictures for themselves.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished tweaking a text for submission, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will find a home soon. Otherwise I make sure I listen very carefully to what my children have to say because they are an amazing well of inspiration. I need a spark for the next book….

What was your journey to publication like?

An education in patience! I came from an industry where you write something and it’s often published the next day. Children’s publishing is a whole different ball game. I was incredibly lucky that Clare Wallace from the Darley Anderson Children’s Agency wanted to represent me. She is amazing and puts up with my endless questions about how things work. She is also my patience role model. When I found out that someone might want to publish Pirates, I was stunned. It was an incredible feeling. The process has taken over two years, which I never expected at the outset. It can be frustrating if you’re as impatient as me, but there are so many wonderful moments along the way – signing my contract, seeing Tom’s first character roughs, holding the first set of proofs and then the book itself arriving in the post, as well as meeting so many people who are passionate about children’s books. I can’t thank everyone involved at Little Tiger and the DA Agency enough.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

I’m still very new at this game myself, but I think reading so many books with my children has been a big help. It’s the easiest and most enjoyable research I’ve ever done. I’ve also learned so much from the editing process, so I’d say grab all the feedback you can get and don’t be afraid to ask questions – everyone wants to help. And the very best of luck!

Thanks, Caroline!

Look out for our review of Pirates in Pyjamas and a giveaway coming up later this week.

Interview with Esme Kerr – Author of Mischief at Midnight


Mischief at Midnight cover

We are delighted to welcome Esme Kerr to Bookbabblers today…

Please tell us a little about yourself
Like many authors I am bad-tempered, impatient and egocentric and spend a lot of time shut away on my own, frowning over a computer. When I am working I am horrid, but when I am not working I can be perfectly nice.

Please tell us about Mischief at Midnight and your inspiration for the Knight’s Haddon series
My inspiration for the Knight’s Haddon series came from my own experience of boarding school, long ago. The main thing I remember was that there was no escape from your so-called friends, even when you hated them. But I also remember some girls who preferred school to home: they didn’t mind not escaping their friends because they were so relieved to escape their families! This is the story of Edie in The Glass Bird Girl. But in the second book, Midnight at Mischief, there is an unruly new girl in the second year called Janet and she seems unable to leave her home troubles behind her. She has been sent to boarding school because her mother is working abroad and her father is not capable of looking after her himself. Janet rebels against the school, and wants to escape by getting herself expelled, but Edie – who has been entrusted by the headmistress to keep an eye on Janet – tries to persuade her that boarding school is an escape in itself. Some readers may sympathize with Janet’s rebellious streak, for Knight’s Haddon’s rules will strike many as archaic. But they are all drawn from my own experiences of school – the drawer searches, the letters home, the shopping trips that offered a brief taste of freedom on a Saturday afternoon … after so many years the memories still remain vivid.

What are you working on now?
I’m watching the cast of Knight’s Haddon very carefully, wondering what they’ll get up to in Book 3. One of the peculiar things about writing a series is that by the second or third book the characters become so established that not even their author can control them. I know what I would like to happen in book 3, but Edie has a habit of changing the plot.

What was your journey to publication like?
I initially called the first book in the series ‘The Reluctant Agent’, which turned out to be a prophetic title as the first agent who read it turned me away. But happily the next agent I approached was much more enthusiastic – and, once I had changed the title, I was fortunate enough to be taken on by Barry Cunningham and his inspirational team at Chicken House.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
As Muriel Spark once advised an aspiring author: ‘Write Chapter One at the top of the page, and begin.’

Thanks, Esme.

Mischief at Midnight by Esme Kerr, out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)

Review of A Game for all the Family by Sophie Hannah


sophie hannah
This is another of Sophie Hannah`s exceptionally complex and riveting psychological domestic thrillers, this time concerning a high-flying television producer, Justine Merrison, her opera-singer husband Alex and their bright, outgoing thirteen-year old daughter, Ellen.

Justine has had enough of the rat-race of her London job. She and Alex have bought a mansion, Speedwell, in a village on the Dart in Devon and she wants to do NOTHING. Ellen is enrolled in the local but exclusive school, soon after which the mysteries begin. First come phone calls from an eerie-sounding female who calls Justine “Sandie”, threatening Justine and her family`s lives. Next, Ellen becomes distant from her parents, turning into a secretive girl, very possessive of a story she has to write for homework. She has made everlasting friends with a boy called George in her year, who is suddenly expelled from school. There follows a horrific story of how George`s mother, a famous Lecturer in Assyriology at the University of Exeter, will not allow George and his older sister Fleur to have any friends, no television, mobile phone, music, or even to leave the house except to go to school because she believes that her own sister Sandie is trying to kill her – because she knows who murdered their killer sister Perrine. The whole story of the reason for her fear is told through Ellen`s school story, which we read, interspersed with the efforts of Justine to unravel the series of complicated events happening in their new house. Will Justine discover the truth? She has help from Olwen, who lives in a house on the North Circular in London (a house which Justine notices on their journey to Devon) but what lengths must she go to in order to lift the clouds threatening her new life?

Sophie Hannah has the expertise to write intricately woven stories which are fantastical yet real in their telling. The reader`s attention is gripped from the outset and not released until the final outcome. An amazingly cerebral treat of a read!

Reviewed by Liz.

Thank you to Hodder for sending us a copy to review.

« Older Entries
© Bookbabblers
Powered by WordPress and Artsavius Theme
Delicious button Digg button Stumbleupon button