Alex Bell – The Haunting

alexbell-thehauntingSome curses grow stronger with time…

People say that all Cornish inns are haunted, but the Waterwitch’s history is particularly chilling. Built from the salvaged timber of a cursed ship, the guest house’s dark secrets go further back than anyone can remember.

Emma is permanently confined to a wheelchair after an accident at the Waterwitch which took place when she was ten. Seven years later, she decides to return to the place where the awful event occurred. But the ancient inn still has its ghosts, and one particular spirit is more vengeful than ever…

A chilling new title in the Red Eye horror series from the author of Frozen Charlotte.

Last year Stripes Publishing launched a new series called Red Eye. The books published in this series were all YA horror novels and while I loved some of them more than others, overall the series had a successful launch year in my opinion. One of my favourites in the series last year was Alex Bell’s Frozen Charlotte, so I was quite excited to get stuck into her latest offering, The Haunting. Set in Cornwall and featuring a purportedly haunted inn, Bell captured my attention with the setting alone, but it was further piqued by the fact that one of its main characters is in a wheelchair, as I’ve been wanting to read more books featuring disabled characters as part of my more diverse reading diet.  Read More …

Bryony Pearce – Phoenix Burning

bryonypearce-phoenixburningAs they sail the junk-filled seas, the crew of the Phoenix have just one thing on their mind — the search for the island where they can settle. But their ship is missing a crucial component, so when Ayla appears from enemy ship the Banshee offering to cut a deal, they accept.

Toby and Ayla must infiltrate a sect of sun worshippers, steal the parts they need and get out. But once they’re inside the cult it becomes clear that the price of failure is high … and leaving is far from easy.

Their only chance of survival is to work together. But can Toby trust Ayla?

Phoenix Burning is the second entry in Bryony Pearce’s Phoenix duology, following after last year’s Phoenix Rising. I really enjoyed Phoenix Rising and I remained firmly #BansheeCrew after finishing it, much to my own surprise really. As such I was really looking forward to Phoenix Burning to see whether what came next would change my stance and of course to see what would be next for Toby and Ayla.  Read More …

Guest Post: Bryony Pearce on Anti-heroism in the Phoenix Series [Blog Tour]

bryonypearce-phoenixburningToday I’m welcoming Bryony Pearce back to the blog with a guest post that is part of her tour for her latest novel Phoenix Burning. Last year I really enjoyed the first book in the Phoenix duology, Phoenix Rising, and I was really looking forward to the sequel. I finished the book this morning and it was awesome, so look for a review later today. In the interview I did with Bryony last year she mentioned she wrote about pirates because she loves a good anti-hero and it made me wonder about the anti-hero in the Phoenix series. I asked Bryony whether she could elaborate a little on that and the post below was the result. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Read More …

Author Query – Lou Morgan

redeyeIn the run up to Halloween, Stripes Publishing is celebrating the conclusion of their first year of the Red Eye series with a blog tour. I’ve read and enjoyed all of the Red Eye books this year and I was really stoked to get the chance to interview the wonderful Lou Morgan. I adored Lou’s first series Blood and Feathers from Solaris and her Red Eye title Sleepless was my favourite of the run. And in addition to being a fabulous writer, she’s also just a really good egg, so it is always great to have her visit A Fantastical Librarian. If you haven’t checked out Sleepless or the other Red Eye titles I highly recommend you do so. In the meantime, enjoy this interview!  Read More …

Author Query – Tom Becker

tombecker-darkroomThis morning I posted my review for Tom Becker’s latest novel Dark Room. While I had a big problem with one element of the book, overall I had a great time reading this creepy murder mystery. I was really pleased to be able to ask Tom some questions about the book, its setting and its take on social media. I hope you enjoy Tom’s answer as much as I did.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Tom Becker?

Tom Becker is the pen name of Tom Beckerlegge, who is the same person except with a slightly sillier surname. I grew up in a Lancashire market town and now live in London, which makes me sound more like Dick Whittington than I actually am. I used to be young but now there is grey in my hair and I don’t recognize the songs I hear on the radio. I’ve been writing children’s books since 2007 – Dark Room is my first YA book, but hopefully not my last.  Read More …

Tom Becker – Dark Room

tombecker-darkroomWhen Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood…  

Stripes Publishing took on YA horror this year with their new series Red Eye, which has resulted in four very entertaining books so far this year. Tom Becker’s Dark Room is the fifth, and last for this year, and it adds to the series with a great murder mystery, which I enjoyed very much, though I did have a big problem with its villain. As a warning, I won’t be able to discuss what made the antagonist so problematic for me without giving away their identity. So I will warn you now there will be a massive spoiler and before I head into my discussion of the murderer, I will give another spoiler warning. So if you don’t want to know, you’ll know when to stop reading.  Read More …

Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: YA September

2015Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. YA books have become a steady part of my reading diet. Some of my favourite authors are writing for this age group and there are just so many great titles out there. Consequently, I’ve had to spread my YA picks over three posts. September is such a huge month, it got an entire post to itself! For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  Read More …

Bryony Pearce – Phoenix Rising

bryonypearce-phoenixrisingSail. Salvage. Survive. 

Toby’s father is a wanted man. For as long as Toby can remember, they’ve been on the run. The Phoenix has become their home, their backyard the junk-filled seas surrounding it. 

The crew of the Banshee lives for hunting down the Phoenix and now they’re closing in. Ayla has spent her whole life fighting – preparing for the moment when the Banshee will face its ultimate enemy. 

But Toby doesn’t want to run any more and Ayla is his only hope. Can he turn an old feud into a new alliance? 

The future is in their hands. 

Bryony Pearce’s last book, The Weight of Souls was one I enjoyed tremendously, so I was looking forward to reading her next book. What made Phoenix Rising even more interesting was that it is a departure from what Pearce has written previously; both Angel’s Fury and The Weight of Souls were supernatural YA stories, where Phoenix Rising is very much a dystopian narrative. The future Pearce evokes for us is bleak and its causes are frighteningly plausible.  Read More …

Author Query – Bryony Pearce

bryonypearce-phoenixrisingI’m really happy to be able to bring you this interview with Bryony Pearce today as part of the blog tour for her latest novel Phoenix Rising. I loved her previous book The Weight of Souls and when I saw the new one was about dystopian junk pirates I was all in for this one too. It did seem like a bit of a new direction for Bryony, so I was curious to ask her about that and whether she considered Phoenix Rising a climate change fiction novel. I hope you enjoy the interview. Don’t forget to check back for a review later today. Oh and #BansheeCrew all the way!

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Bryony Pearce?

Hi there. Well I’m a writer addicted to penning stories for teenagers that I would like to read myself. I’m also a mum with two children, a 6 year old boy and a 9 year old girl. I love to read, watch films and, if I ever get the time, to go to the theatre. My favourite TV shows are Game of Thrones and Firefly. I go to the gym when I have to, diet when I need to and stare out of the window daydreaming when all else fails.  Read More …

Graham Marks – Bad Bones [Blog Tour]

grahammarks-badbonesSome things are best left buried. Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave.

Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…

Graham Marks’ Bad Bones is the fourth book in Stripes Publishing’s Red Eye series. I’ve enjoyed the series so far, so I was looking forward to the next instalment. Unlike the previous books, Bad Bones is set in the US, in LA to be exact, which makes for an interesting change of location and possible sets of problems. But while Bad Bones was a fun read, I was a bit disappointed by the narrative and the ending in particular.  Read More …