Just in time for spring: it’s a publishing day!

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There are some great authors celebrating their book birthdays today – just in time for spring!  Have a look at these and you may just find you want to add to your TBR shelf!


A Berlin Love Song by Sarah Matthias (YA)

Max is a German schoolboy, when he first meets Lili, a trapeze artist from a travelling circus that performs every year in Berlin.  Lili is a Romani and her life and customs are very different from those of Max and his family.  Their friendship turns into love, but love between a German and a Romani is definitely forbidden. As Max is conscripted into the SS and war tears them apart, can their love survive?  

Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, this is a love story of passion, unexpected friendship, despair, loss and hope.

Having thoroughly enjoyed a sampler of A Berlin Love Song, I can’t wait to read the novel. I love the idea of a circus as the setting for a novel – there’s something very romantic about it. And what a gorgeous cover!  Described as ‘beautifully written and meticulously researched’, this story also reflects on what has been referred to as the ‘forgotten Holocaust’ – Hitler’s persecution of the Roma people.  Forbidden love is a theme often seen in YA novels; from the extract I’ve enjoyed, A Berlin Love Song speaks with a passionate voice.

Published by Troika Books, MD Martin West says of Sarah Matthias: “Like the best writers of historical fiction, Sarah brings the past vividly to life. A celebration of the Romani way of life, and the powerful, moving story of two individuals caught up in history, this is one of the most compelling and moving stories you will read all year.”

With thanks to Troika Books for my copy of A Berlin Love Song. 

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Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl (YA)

Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce has it all: a hit reality show about her family, a mansion, adoring paparazzi, and everything else that comes with the red-carpet ride of a true LA star.  But after five seasons on ‘Rolling with the Royces’ – and OMG dealing with her narcissistic sister Porsche, a media-obsessed mother Mercedes and gambling addicted brother Maybach – Bentley wants out.  

Luckily for her, without a hook for season six, cancellation is looming and freedom is on the horizon. But as Bentley’s family starts to crumble one thing becomes startlingly clear: without the show, there is no family. Then things starts to get real.  Really real, like, not reality-show real.

Margaret Stohl is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series. She grew-up in the shadow of Hollywood so was well-placed to be inspired in all things fame and celebrity! In an age where reality TV consumes the channels, I expect this novel will be very well-received by its intended teen audience.  Out in paperback today published by Bloomsbury, Royce Rolls promises to be a “laugh-out-loud funny romp with a twist of mystery”.  With all those crazy names, I think it will be!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for my copy of Royce Rolls.

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Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas (Age 9+)

Effie Truelove is a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange. When her grandfather is brutally attacked, Effie promises to look after his magical books. But then shady book-collector Leonard Levar gets hold of them and Efiie has to embark on the most dangerous adventure of her life…

I am very excited about reading this story!  Not only are the initial pre-publication reviews impressive (‘The most exciting debut in children’s fiction since Harry Potter’ Joanne Harris; ‘An enthralling tale, set in a sprawling world that swallowed me whole’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave), the story includes evil publishers, ominous booksellers, magical worlds and secret powers. A pretty enticing combination for a book-ish person! Aimed at 9-12 year olds, this story promises to ‘remind you of the joyous power of reading and the adventures that await’.

Published in hardback today by Canongate, this is the first book for children by Scarlett Thomas, who has also written great books for adults.

With thanks to Catherine Ward for arranging my copy of Dragon’s Green

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Gaslight by Eloise Williams (Age 9+)

1899. All Nansi knows is that her mother disappeared on the day she was fished out of the docks. She can’t remember anything else. Now, with no family to turn to, she works for Sid at the Empire Theatre, sometimes legally, sometimes thieving, trying to earn enough money to hire a detective to search for her mother.

Everything changes when Constance and Violet join the theatre.  Nansi is forced to be part of Violet’s crooked psychic act.  But it’s Constance who is keeping real secrets. Nansi is about to learn that her world is even more dangerous that she realised. Can she save her mother? Can she save herself?

Gaslight is Eloise William’s second novel, aimed at 9-12 year olds.  The beautiful cover is inviting enough, but add to this the mystery, historical setting and backdrop of a theatre, it sounds fantastic.  Described as a ‘darkly delicious romp’ and ‘gorgeously raw and Dickensian’ and with a heroine who sounds suitably brave, I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy it.  Gaslight is published today by Firefly Press, who suggest that fans of Emma Carroll and Katherine Woodfine will love it!

With thanks to Firefly Press for my copy of this book.

I think I’ve got some reading to do…..!

Happy Book Birthday!

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