Tag Archives: Extract

BLOG TOUR: The Dragon in the Bookshop by Ewa Jozefkowicz

The Dragon in the Bookshop is a beautifully told story by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize shortlisted author,  Ewa Jozefkowicz, published by Zephr. I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour celebrating the publication of the book, and sharing a short guest post by the author with an exclusive extract.

The Dragon in the Bookshop by Ewa Jozefkowicz

Inside the pages of a Polish legend, a hungry dragon stirs…The town of Krakow is in danger! Konrad and Maya’s quest to rewrite the ending of the legend and save the townspeople leads them on a magical adventure that sizzles with myth, mystery, dragons and dinosaurs. Will they find the right words and the power of stories to heal broken hearts?

Moving and magical, this wonderful adventure will captivate readers everywhere, and demonstrates the power of stories to bring hope and healing. We will all experience grief at some point in our lives, and stories like this that raise awareness are just what is needed to bring empathy and understanding.

Polish author Ewa Jozefkowicz’s Dad was a bookseller who inspired her love of reading and storytelling. He died when Ewa was a teenager and she became selectively mute in response to her grief. The Dragon in the Bookshop is Ewa’s exploration of the bereavement she experienced as a child and a tribute to the memory of her Dad. In her role working for a school support service, Ewa has experienced first-hand the life-affirming work of charity Grief Encounter (www.griefencounter.org.uk) who support children and young people who have experienced the death of someone close to them – this is one child in every UK classroom by the time they reach 16 years old.

Grief Encounter did not exist when Ewa lost her dad. Ewa and Zephyr are partnering with Grief Encounter to raise awareness of the charity and the book will help promote their work. As a charity, Grief Encounter work closely with individuals, families, schools and professionals to offer a way through the anxiety, fear and isolation so often caused by the grief of losing someone close.

I am really pleased to welcome author Ewa to the blog today with a guest post and an extract from the story. Welcome to the blog Ewa!

“The Dragon in the Bookshop is a story about grief, hope, the healing power of nature, and the realisation that the people we love are never truly gone. They’re in so many elements of what we do every day – in the things we say, the decisions we make, even the books we read. The main character in the story is Kon, who stops speaking after his dad’s death and is struggling at school. But things begin to change when he meets Maya on the beach that he used to explore with Dad. Later, they go to visit his Dad’s bookshop together, and get whisked away on a magical adventure through one of the books that Kon used to enjoy reading with him.

Below is an extract from the story, which describes the moment in which they find themselves in the bookshop, before strange things begin to happen.”

Being in the bookshop with Maya was fun. I was rediscovering the magic that Dad always spoke about.

“What’s this one?” she asked, pulling out a book from the middle of the pile, “Look at it – it’s beautiful.”

She handed it to me and I ran my fingers over the silky green cover. It shimmered in the light. And then my heart stopped. There were tiny footprints embossed in gold round the edge of it, shaped just like the print that I’d found. I turned the book over and checked the spine, but there was no title. It was obvious that the book wasn’t new, like all the others in this bookshop. In fact, it looked very old. When I dared to open the cover, I found thinned, yellow paper and a sweet, musty smell.

I flipped over to the title page and there I saw a picture of the dragon. It was so detailed and intricate that you could see every muscle in its body. Just looking at its eyes made my stomach suddenly heavy with fear. It wasn’t just any dragon – it was the one from Vavel Castle. The legend that Dad had always read to me. He must have somehow found a special edition. Maybe he’d been waiting to give it to me for my birthday.

I turned the pages greedily, recognising every word of the story, but seeing it somehow in a new light. Maybe it was something about the illustrations at the end of every paragraph, or the strange print that looked like old fashioned writing. I had a peculiar sense that the light around me was changing as I read, but all I knew is that I desperately wanted to get to the end.

“Konrad?” It was Maya’s voice but at the same time it didn’t sound like her at all. It wasn’t cheerful and carefree. It was small and shaky and scared.

I glanced up. She was still there next to me. I was still standing holding a book. There were still shelves of other books around us and a wooden floor beneath our feet, but we weren’t in Dad’s bookshop anymore. We were somewhere else entirely.

Find out more here readzephyr.com/books/9781801109185 .

Grief Encounter provide immediate support with a FREEPHONE Grieftalk helpline 0808 802 0111 open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, a live chat via their website or support by emailing grieftalk@griefencounter.org.uk.

With thanks to Fritha and the team at Zephr for inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Follow the rest of the tour here:

BLOG TOUR: Viper’s Daughter by Michelle Paver

Viper's Daughter Blog Tour BannerIt is hugely exciting to be hosting today’s stop on the Viper Daughter’s blog tour, the brand new story in the Wolf Brother series by award-winning author Michelle Paver published by Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus. Today I’m sharing an exclusive extract from the book to give you a glimpse into the story!

Viper’s Daughter is the seventh book in the series which began with the award-winning and million-copy selling title, Wolf Brother. The story continues the adventures of a fantastic cast of characters against the backdrop of the Stone-Age complete with ancient clans, mystic magic and woolly mammoths! Constantly in demand in the school libraries I worked in, I can imagine a whole legion of fans will be delighted to see Torak, Renn and Wolf in print again. Not only this, but readers will also be excited to hear that Wolf Brother is to be made into a T.V series too – see here for more details.

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For two summers, Torak and Renn have been living in the Forest with their faithful pack-brother, Wolf. But their happiness is shattered when Renn realises Torak is in danger – and she’s the threat….

Returning to the ancient Stone-Age world that is Torak, Renn and Wolf’s home, you can almost hear the calls of the wild, feel the ice-cold wintry landscapes and taste the danger! Introducing faces old and new, adventure quickly takes over as Renn disappears and Torak finds himself in a race against all manner of evils to find her. Torak and Wolf’s powerful bond has never been more needed and they are tested to the limit. Renn must master her Magecraft and battle her own demons – as well as a few real ones, in order to survive.  The world conjured creates a powerful image of clan life and what living in those ancient times might have been like – from what they wore, to what they ate and their belief in folklore and magic.  References to previous events and characters and the use of descriptive terminology add to the authenticity – and give you a very good excuse to read the whole series again! Weaving an enthralling narrative, full of thrills and heart-stopping action, Viper’s Daughter transports you to a place where the bonds of friendship are key to survival and life can change on the tip of an arrow!

Read the extract below for an insight into this gripping adventure:

Viper’s Daughter by Michelle Paver – An Extract

Strangers meeting Dark saw an odd-looking boy with long white hair  and  eyes  like  a  sky  full  of  snow.  They mistook his gentleness for weakness, but soon realised their error. He’d been born without colour and abandoned by his father when he was eight. For seven winters he’d survived on his own in the Mountains, his only companions a white raven he’d rescued from crows, and his sister’s ghost. Two summers ago the Raven Clan had taken him in and made him their Mage.  He was  still  getting  used  to  living  with people in the Forest, and sometimes he went off for a few days alone to clear his head.

Torak flung  away  the  stick  and  glared  at  the  fire.  ‘Tell me why she left.’

With his knife Dark speared a salmon eye and offered it. Torak scowled, so Dark ate it himself. ‘She said things kept happening that she couldn’t explain.’

‘What things?’

‘A spring-trap she forgot to warn you about. And that time she nearly shot you when you were hunting.’

‘Those were accidents.’

‘She didn’t think so. She said, “There’s something inside me that wants to hurt Torak.”’

‘What? Renn would never hurt me!’

‘I know. But she’s terrified that she might. She said she has to find out what it is and make it stop. She thinks – ’ his voice dropped – ‘it might have something to do with her mother.’

The birch trees  whispered  in  alarm.  The white raven  crested her head-feathers and croaked. Torak met Dark’s eyes. ‘But the Viper Mage is dead.’

‘I know, but that’s what Renn told me.’

Torak rubbed his hand across his mouth. ‘And you’ve no idea where she’s gone?’

‘She said the signs all point one way but she wouldn’t say where. I’ve been seeing signs too. And just now my drum told me something weird: The demon that is not demon—’

‘I don’t have time for Mage’s riddles.’

‘And I keep seeing tusks.’ He pointed at a tree where he’d left a small slate weasel as an offering. Shadows of twigs had given it horns. ‘I see them in clouds, in eddies in the river: huge twisted tusks, much bigger than a boar’s—’

‘I don’t care about tusks, I need to find Renn!’

‘But, Torak, they’re linked! The tusks have something to do with her, I can feel it.’

‘Do a finding charm, do it now.’

‘She doesn’t  want  you  to  find  her.  That’s why she left without telling you, because you’d insist on going too and she couldn’t take that risk!’

‘Just do the charm!’

Dark opened his mouth – then shut it. ‘I don’t need to. Look at the sky.’

Above their heads the First Tree glowed luminous green. Its shimmering branches held  the  moon  and  the  stars,  and its unseen roots trapped demons in the Otherworld. Torak felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. The First Tree shone brightest on dark winter nights and rarely showed itself in summer. It had appeared for a reason. He saw from Dark’s rapt expression that he thought so too.As  they  watched,  the  green  lights  faded  till  all  that  remained  was  a  single  shining  bough  arching  like  a  vast  arrow across the deep blue sky.

‘North,’ said Torak. ‘It’s telling us she’s gone north.’

‘A long way north.’

Torak glanced at him. ‘You don’t mean the Far North?  She’d never try that on her own.’

‘Even further. I can feel it.’

‘But what could be further than the Far North?’

Ark cawed a greeting, and they saw Fin-Kedinn at the edge of the glade. Leaning on  his  staff,  the  Leader  of  the  Raven  Clan  limped  towards  them.  Silver glinted  in  his  dark-red  hair  and his short straight beard. Firelight carved his features in shadow and flame.

‘Beyond the Far North,’ he said, ‘is the Edge of the World.’

Viper’s Daughter by Michelle Paver is out now, published by Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus, priced £12.99 in hardback. 

Find out more at  www.wolfbrother.com. With thanks to Zephyr for sending me this book to review and inviting me to participate in the blog tour! Check out the rest of the tour here:

Viper's Daughter Blog Tour Banner

BLOG TOUR: The New Boy by Paula Rawsthorne

If you’re looking for a gripping read with a storyline that will keep you on tenterhooks, then look no further than The New Boy by Paula Rawsthorne, published last week by Scholastic.  Paula Rawsthorne is an award winning author of YA novels and passionate about enthusing teenagers to get reading. She is writer-in-residence in a secondary school for charity First Story.

With believable characters, endearing friendships and a very scary and utterly disturbing bad guy, The New Boy is a real page-turner. And today on my stop of the blog tour for this great new YA novel, you can have a sneak peek of the story!


The New Boy by Paula Rawsthorne 

New boy jack is clever, handsome and popular. At first Zoe is immune to his charms, but she soon falls under his spell. As their romance grows, disturbing events arise – and Zoe doesn’t know who or what to believe. Until she discovers a secret so shocking it will leave her fighting for her life…

Described as a Black Mirror-esque, The New Boy is a psychological thriller exploring ina totally unique way the facades people create for themselves and how social media and our disregard for privacy can have a devastating impact on our lives. Alongside this narrative is a quite touching picture of a group of teens navigating their way through college, expressing themselves and finding their personalities.  With intriguing cover art rather brilliantly reflecting the intriguing plot, The New Boy will keep you hooked right until the totally shocking reveal!  I read this book in one sitting.  To give you a taster, here’s an exclusive extract……

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Find out more at www.firststory.org.uk/writers-schools/paula-rawsthorne/ and follow Paula on Twitter 

With thanks to Scholastic for sending me this book to review. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour:

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