My Catchphrases

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Saturday Spotlight: Random House Blogger Brunch

Anna (Book Smugglers), Sarah (My Favourite Books), Liz (My Favourite Books), Amanda ( Floor to Ceiling Books), Sammee (I Want To Read That), Sarah (Sarah's Book Reviews), Carly (Writing from the Tub), Lauren (I was a Teenage Book Geek), Dwayne (Girls Without a Bookshelf) 
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone I meet last week. You made me feel so welcome and part of the group, I feel truly privileged to know you all.

Lyndsey (Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews), Kirsty (The Overflowing Library), Carly (Writing from the Tub), Dwayne (Girls Without a Bookshelf)
I did warn everyone before hand that I like to hug even when nervous, and yes I did get hugs from everyone THANK YOU. I will also tell you that I think I was the oldest blogger there but someone was squeeing at the books *cough* now I wonder who that was.

Everyone was so reserved when we walked in - Lauren from Random House was waiting at the door to greet us - Lyndsey from Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews followed by Kirsty from The Overflowing Library shook hands politely - what did I do - hugged her of course. How could I not [ : D ]

The Random House Team presenting Karen Mahoney with flowers
I would also like to take this opportunity to say that I was really, really, really impressed with the Random House Team their enthusiasm and complete happiness with the books was inspiring and catching. I would like to go live in their building.

As you can see from  the above photo, it was also my great honour to meet Karen Mahoney, who is very lovely and gives fabulous hugs [ : D ] The Random House Team had done a surprise book launch for Kaz for The Iron Witch (Review here) There was cake and champers and lots of hugs. Plus she signed books.

The Cake

The Queue
Kaz with a mega watt smile [ : D ]

More photos of all the wonderful bloggers there:

Sarah (My Favourite Books), Liz (My Favourite Books), Darren (Book Zone 4 Boys)
Jo (Once Upon a Bookcase), Sammee (I Want To Read That)

Lynsey Newton (Narratively Speaking) Karen Mahoney (Author)
 We actually did get to talk about some pretty terrific books coming out this year:

The Kissing Game – Aidan Chambers
Publication Date: 3 Mar 2011

United under the banner of flash fiction, this is a collection of stories, or little 'cells', complete in themselves but connected by the overarching themes of betrayal and revenge. All featuring teenagers and often with an unexpected twist, these frighteningly realistic stories will take you to the very edge and beyond.

From the master storyteller, Aidan Chambers, comes a collection of Stories of Defiance - moments in life, realizations, insights and sudden revelations - prepare to be amazed, enchanted and to gasp with shock.

The Emerald Atlas – John Stephens 
Publication Date: 14 April 2011

The first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter and His Dark Materials.

They were taken from their beds one frozen night, when the world was covered in snow. The silhouette of a tall, thin man has haunted Kate ever since.

Ten years on, Kate, Michael and Emma have grown up in a string of miserable orphanages, and all memories of their parents have faded to a blur. Arriving at Cambridge Falls, the children quickly realise there is something different about this place – and Kate feels sure she has seen the dark, crooked house before.

As they explore, they discover an old, empty leather book. The moment they touch it, an ancient magical prophecy is set irrevocably in motion, and the children are thrown into a dangerous alternate reality of dark enchantments and terrifying monsters. Only they can prevent the terrible event that will ruin Cambridge Falls – and stop the world from falling into complete devastation.

Debut novel – screenwriter – lives in same street as Brangelina – came with The Emerald Atlas notebook to create your own journey.

Long Lankin - Lindsey Barraclough
Publication Date: 7 Apr 2011

A chilling, beautiful debut novel inspired by a haunting folk song about murder, witchcraft and revenge.

Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss . . .

When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Bryers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome, and are desperate to go back to London. But Auntie Ida's life was devastated the last time two young girls were at Guerdon Hall, and now her nieces' arrival has reawaken an evil that has lain waiting for years.A haunting voice in an empty room ... A strange, scarred man lurking in the graveyard ... A mysterious warning, scrawled on the walls of the abandoned church . . . Along with Roger and Peter, two young village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries - before it is too late for Mimi.

Intensely atmospheric and truly compelling, this is a stunning debut.

There is a huge amount of buzz about this one already. I am shuffling my TBR pile.

Blood Magic – Tessa Gratton  (someone squeed at this one *tries to look innocent*)
Publication Date: 26 Apr 2011

For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood.

Violet Wings – Victoria Hanley
Publication Date: 2 Jun 2011

For Zaria Tourmaline, the three years without her mother and brother have been lonely ones, living with a cold and distant guardian while she completes her education. Just as she is ready to join the world of adult fairies and genies, she finds a spellbook written entirely in her mother’s hand. But this treasured object is not safe from a new enemy, a fairy with more power than Zaria ever dreamed existed. Only among the humans–who must never know fairies and genies exist–can Zaria hide the spellbook; but hidden magic, it turns out, can expose a fairy in ways she never thought possible.

We were shown some really gorgeous alternative covers for this one.

Where She Went – Gayle Foreman (more squeeing)
Publication Date: 28 Apr 2011

It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other. Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Killing Honour – Bali Rai
Publication Date: 2 Jun 2011

‘Honour,’ I repeated, wondering how such a small word could have caused so much trouble.When Sat's sister, Jas, is married off into the Atwal family she changes, she's quiet and distant. But Sat's too busy with his own life; his girlfriend, his friends, football . . . Then Jas disappears.According to her new husband, she's run off with another man. Her family disown her; don't seem to care if she's ever found. But Sat doesn't believe it. Something has happened to his sister and he's determined to figure out what. But his investigations take him into dark and dangerous territory . . .
A powerful, hard-hitting teen thriller on the controversial topic of honour killing, by multi-award-winning author Bali Rai.
For The Record – Ellie Irving
Publication Date: 2 Jun 2011

Debut - Luke is a gifted but awkward ten-year-old who is obsessed with The Guinness Book of Records, and is nervous about starting senior school a year early as ‘the swot with the dead Dad'. When Luke’s tiny, unique Jersey village is in danger of being bulldozed to the ground to make way for a waste incinerator plant, the only way to stop it is by putting the village on the map: by breaking 50 world records in a week. With the help of geeky adjudicator Simon and a colourful cast of oddball village characters, this is Luke’s chance to shine, to solve his mum’s relationship problems, and to face his biggest fears – with bizarre, extraordinary consequences.

I am really interested to see how this one works in the school library as The Guinness Book of World Records is the bane of my life. Kids take it out for their English lesson and then spend the hour discussing the pictures *sigh* perhaps a fictional story about the records will encourage them to read *crosses fingers*

The Devil Walks – Anne Fine
Publication Date: 7 July 2011

'The devil walks . . . But the devil can make no headway if he has no help. We must invite him in . . .'

Raised in secrecy by a mother everyone thinks has gone mad, Daniel’s only link to his past is the intricately built model of the family home – High Gates. The dolls’ house is perfect in every detail.

As Daniel is reunited with the last remaining member of his family - his ‘uncle’ Severin, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a sinister wooden doll he has found hidden in the house, he begins to suspect that this vicious, haunted puppet of a figure has a chilling influence, bringing cruelty and spite in its wake.

Now Daniel's very life is at risk as his uncle is determined to get his hands on the figure . . .

The menace builds throughout in this deliciously creepy Gothic tale. (How creepy does this one sound)

In the Sea there are Crocodiles – Fabio Geda
Publication Date: 7 Jul 2011

One night before putting him to bed, Enaiatollah’s mother tells him three things: don’t use drugs, don’t use weapons, don’t steal. The next day he wakes up to find she isn’t there. They have fled their village in Ghazni to seek safety outside Afghanistan but his mother has decided to return home to her younger children. Ten-year-old Enaiatollah is left alone in Pakistan to fend for himself.

In a book that takes a true story and shapes it into a beautiful piece of fiction, Italian novelist Fabio Geda describes Enaiatollah’s remarkable five-year journey from Afghanistan to Italy where he finally managed to claim political asylum aged fifteen. His ordeal took him through Iran, Turkey and Greece, working on building sites in order to pay people-traffickers, and enduring the physical misery of dangerous border crossings squeezed into the false bottoms of lorries or trekking across inhospitable mountains. A series of almost implausible strokes of fortune enabled him to get to Turin, find help from an Italian family and meet Fabio Geda, with whom he became friends.

The result of their friendship is this unique book in which Enaiatollah’s engaging, moving voice is brilliantly captured by Geda’s subtle and simple storytelling. In Geda’s hands, Enaiatollah’s journey becomes a universal story of stoicism in the face of fear, and the search for a place where life is liveable.

A bestseller in Italy, a beautiful, heartbreaking novel based on the true story of an Afghan boy’s journey in search of safety. True Story (I passed this one onto Clover at Fluttering Butterflies as this is more her thing than mine)

Dearly Departed – Lia Habel
Publication Date: 6 Oct 2011

From the ruins of a cataclysmic ice-age a new society has emerged, based on Victorian customs. Nora Dearly, a feisty teenage girl and apparent orphan, leaves her exclusive boarding school for the holidays to return home - only to be dragged into the night by the living dead.

Luckily for her, this particular crack unit of zombies are good guys - sent to protect her from the real nasties roaming the countryside and zeroing in on major cities to swell their ranks. Nora must find a way to defeat the evil undead with help from Bram, a noble, sweet and surprisingly hot zombie boy for whom she starts to fall...

A pacy, bloodthirsty, hugely entertaining teen zombie novel with an unconventional but tender love story at its heart. (OMG I cannot wait for this one - how fun do these zombies sound)

Baggage – Robin and Lawrence Etherington
Publication Date: 1 Sep 2011

“Baggage!" tells the tale of Randall, a happy-go-lucky but disaster-prone lost property officer working for the Tram service, deep in the heart of Triptych City. After a particularly destructive incident, his weary boss presents him with an impossible ultimatum. Either he locates the owner of the oldest item stored in the immense lost property warehouse by the end of the day, or he's out of a job. So begins an adventurous journey through a wondrous city. Randall's enquiries attract a myriad of bizarre, often amusing, and sometimes dangerous characters. Clues are uncovered where and when he least expects them, and help arrives from the strangest of quarters. But wherever Randall goes, trouble is sure to follow. Will he succeed in his impossible mission? And even if he does, just how much of the city will be left standing?

The DFC Library is a bold new collection of comic stories. Prepare to be entertained, excited, scared and thrilled by the very best artists and writers.

We also talked about other TOP SECRET projects that I can tell you I am very excited about. I know, I know you cant believe I am excited by books - well those that met me last week will be able to understand [ : D ]

Don't forget to check my IMM post tomorrow to see the mound of books I came away with. I actually only had 1 book for myself plus the review copies. The 2 older girls had 5 books each, little one had 3 beautifully illustrated picture books and the library had a whooping 20 books for which we have made the team at Random House a lovely thank you card (pic tomorrow) and my girls have written thank you cards, the oldest one has declared her love of Jacqueline Wilson in hers LOL 


  1. Looks like it was fun!
    We are big fans of The DFC library at home :0)

  2. It is so lovely to put names to faces. I would find it hard not to go and hug too. Especially when you speak so regularly. Long Lankin is calling to me. It looks fab. Enjoy your books. Can't wait to hear more tomorrow.

  3. It sounds like you had a fabulous day and you came away with some great books. I can't wait to see them in tomorrows post :D

  4. So lovely to meet you!!! And I'm so glad you had fun :) I'm a bit sad that you didn't get all the bloggers in the main photo *cough* me *cough* but that's ok ;)

    I am shuffling the TBR pile continuously LOL

  5. Great pics! Looks like so much fun!

    I can't wait to read Where She Went!

  6. Sounds like a great day. Thanks for writing it up. Some great books coming soon by the look of it!

  7. What a lovely post Em! I now also want a hug :D *grins* So glad you guys had such a great time and thanks for writing this up as it's always great to see what's going to be up and coming for this year. Some fab titles that I definitely would love to read - that's for sure!

  8. It was a great day thank you.
    The new releases this year look terrific.
    Thank you for the comments I really appreciate them

  9. That looks like it was a fab day!

  10. Wow! It looks like so much fun!

  11. What a great time you all had. Looks so much fun and yes I would be hugging everyone too. Blood Magic looks awesome, can't wait to read that. One day I hope to meet you all. xx

  12. Looks like such a fun day, I would have loved to have met you all. The girls are adorable and thank you again for my book!

  13. It was so lovely to meet you last week Emma! Such a fun event too :o) Glad you managed to get all the books home safely, I wouldn't be surprised if your arms have grown longer from all the weight you were carrying LOL

  14. Thank you all for the lovely comments. It really was a wonderful day & it is my great honour to be part of such a wonderful community :D This is why I hug everyone.
    Susan & Clover - I am hoping to make more events as it can be classed as 'work' so hopefully we will meet :D
    Sarah - my arms ached for 3 days but it was worth it to see my girls & the pupils faces :D


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