Big Book Bonanza 2016

bbbcatalogueLast week I was invited to attend the Big Book Bonanza, an event co-hosted by Van Ditmar Boekenimport, a big, Dutch book supplier, and Harper Collins UK and US. It was the first time I’ve attended such an event here in the Netherlands, as usually UK/US publishers don’t give these sorts of presentations in The Netherlands and if they do, they don’t invite bloggers. However, Van Ditmar and HarperCollins are looking to change this which is why yours truly was invited. 

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Sun-soaked IJ with Amsterdam Central Station

Sun-soaked IJ with Amsterdam Central Station in the background.

So on Wednesday I took the afternoon off from work and boarded the train to Amsterdam heading to the EYE Film Museum. The weather was glorious and the location fabulous. Attendees were greeted with coffee and tea and soon enough it was time for the presentation to start.

Only thing lacking? Popcorn!

Only thing lacking? Popcorn!

The presentation consisted of a film that was part animation — as a framing mechanism, which was really cool — and part video messages of several authors and information on other books that were being published and it included a trailer for Fantastic Beasts which was really cool. Some of the authors that featured were Patricia Cornwell, Cecelia Ahern, Bernard Cornwell, Amy Schumer, and Anthony Bourdain. After the film there were some short talks by three authors who were at the event — Miranda Emmerson, Lauren Child, and Kate Medina — and Katharine McGee skyped in from the US. It was a fun presentation and Harper Collins has some awesome titles coming up. Below you’ll find the titles that caught my special attention in alphabetical order.

ceceliaahern-flawedCecelia Ahern – Flawed
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And when one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Its sequel Perfect will be out next April.

kendareblake-threedarkcrownsKendare Blake – Three Dark Crowns
Three dark queens
are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends

Three dark sisters
all fair to be seen,
two to devour
and one to be Queen

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

mirandaemmerson-misstreadwayandthefieldofstarsMiranda Emmerson – Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars
Soho, 1965.

In a tiny two-bed flat above a Turkish café on Neal Street lives Anna Treadway, a young dresser at the Galaxy Theatre.

When the American actress Iolanthe Green disappears after an evening’s performance at the Galaxy, the newspapers are wild with speculation about her fate.

But as the news grows old and the case grows colder, it seems Anna is the only person left determined to find out the truth.

Her search for the missing actress will take her into an England she did not know existed: an England of jazz clubs and prison cells, backstreet doctors and seaside ghost towns, where her carefully calibrated existence will be upended by violence but also, perhaps, by love.

For in order to uncover Iolanthe’s secrets, Anna is going to have to face up to a few of her own…

sophiehannah-closedcasketSophie Hannah – Closed Casket
“What I intend to say to you will come as a shock…”

With these words, Lady Athelinda Playford — one of the world’s most beloved children’s authors — springs a surprise on the lawyer entrusted with her will. As guests arrive for a party at her Irish mansion, Lady Playford has decided to cut off her two children without a penny . . . and leave her vast fortune to someone else: an invalid who has only weeks to live.

Among Lady Playford’s visitors are two strangers: the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited — until Poirot begins to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murder. But why does she seem so determined to provoke a killer? And why — when the crime is committed despite Poirot’s best efforts to stop it — does the identity of the victim make no sense at all?

katharinemcgee-thethousandthfloorKatharine McGee – The Thousandth Floor
Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

katemedina-firedamageKate Medina – Fire Damage
To find a killer, she must unlock a child’s terror…

The first in an exciting new crime series featuring psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn – a brilliantly complex character who struggles with a dark past of her
The girl knows,’ he whispered

Four-year-old Sami is deeply traumatized, and it’s up to psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn to unlock his terrifying memories. She needs to find out who the girl’ is but nothing can prepare her for the truth about what haunts him.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s former patient, Captain Ben Callan, is investigating the suspicious death of an officer in Afghanistan the problem is the only suspect refuses to talk.

When a dead body washes up on a Sussex beach, Jessie and Ben’s cases converge. Soon it’s clear that the mystery in Afghanistan began with a secret much closer to home. And a desperate killer will do anything to keep it buried.

laurenoliver-replicaLauren Oliver – Replica
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…

veronicaroth-carvethemarkVeronica Roth – Carve the Mark
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

After the presentations we went back to the lounge area for drinks and nibbles and the opportunity to chat with the authors and the other attendees. I had a wonderful time talking to the people from Harper Collins US and UK, who were mainly in the Sales and Marketing departments. This was fun for me, because I’m far more used to talking to editors and publicists, so it was cool to see a different side of the business. Also, special shout-out to Erwin from Dominicanen Maastricht, who hung out with me and made me feel a little less lost at the start of the event. And of course, to Karlijn from Van Ditmar, who was kind enough to invite me and was very enthusiastic about working with more bloggers.

After a wonderful afternoon, Karlijn sent me off with a goodie bag and a ton of awesome book loot (pictured below). I had a great time at my first Big Book Bonanza and I hope it was the first of many.

Loot!

Loot!

Close up of the books

Close up of the books

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