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Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Hello, hello, hello Dear Readers! I hope the week's been great to you so far, and if not, that it takes a turn for the better before the weekend.

Today I bring you, as promised, a giveaway designed to reward those who've answered my appeal here and reviewed BAREFOOT ON THE WIND on Amazon. Thank you all so much! Each of these reviews really does make a difference to the book's 'discoverability' (apparently a real word) online and helps to boost the chances of another reader taking a chance on this weird little Feminist fairytale.

It's been tough to figure out a way to reward everyone who has reviewed so far and also encourage others to review in the future. By definition, people who have written reviews must already have gotten their hands on a copy, whether they bought it or were sent it for review (unless you borrowed it from a library, in which case *fist bump* - libraries rule and deserve our support, thank you). So offering to give away my newly received author copies felt a bit redundant.

After wracking my brains for a little while, I came up with this. If you have reviewed BAREFOOT ON THE WIND on Amazon or if you do so in the next two weeks - that's up to and including the 5th of October - then you are entitled to claim a signed bookplate and gorgeous full-colour book swag from me. If this sounds groovy to you, then get in touch via the contact form on my website here and give me your name and the address you'd like this prize to be posted to, as well as quoting the first line of the review so I know who you are. The book's only out in the UK right now, but if you're abroad and you manage to read and review it despite that then you're still very welcome to take advantage of this offer, so don't be shy!

Here's the really exciting part, though. At the end of the two week period (on the 6th of October) I will enter the names of all the reviewers into a random number generator and one lucky winner will receive a massive special prize. This prize will include, but not be limited to:
  • A signed copy of BAREFOOT ON THE WIND personalised for you with custom art by me
  • A signed copy of the first three chapters of the new fairytale retelling that I am working on right now (which, of course, is subject to change before publication!)
  • Gorgeous book swag of myriad different kinds
  • More signed bookplates for use in books you already own or may buy in the future
  • Delicious gourmet treats (don't worry, I will check in with you about preferences, allergies and intolerances before sending!)
  • And last but not least, this beautiful Sterling silver necklace, calling to mind Hana's beloved hunting bow and arrows, which she puts to such good use throughout BAREFOOT ON THE WIND:

This is pretty much the biggest and best prize I've ever managed to put together, and if I wasn't the person doing it, I think I'd very much want to be the winner. Excited? I'm excited.

Things to remember:
  1. If you've already reviewed, you're already entered, no probs.
  2. If you haven't reviewed, then you need to do so by the 5th of October. 
  3. International readers are welcomed with open arms.
  4. Winner announced on the 6th of October.
If you've already reviewed, and you'd like to claim your signed bookplate and swag, you can get in touch now and I'll send them right out, or you can wait until the giveaway period is over and if you win I'll send everything together. Either is fine with me, but remember that you will need to let me know your address before I can send anything!

Thank you all so much, again, for your support and love for this book. Read you later, muffins.

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Hello, my cupcakes - and happy Thursday. I hope the world's been treating you well so far this week. I've been a bit unwell over the past few days, hence why this post is rather short. I'm basically nipping back to make an appeal to all Dear Readers and blogger-pals. It goes a little like this:

If you've read BAREFOOT ON THE WIND - whether that's because you bought a copy or were sent one for review - and you have any thoughts or feelings about it, I would *love* it if you would head over to Amazon and post a review. 

If you've already written a review for your blog or Goodreads - and there have been some simply fantastic reviews, insightful, funny and generous - just copy and paste that. Otherwise, a line or two that sums up your feelings would be great (though don't let me stop you from going the whole hog). It doesn't have to be long. It doesn't even have to be positive, if you have a different perspective to offer. But having a number of reviews on an Amazon page really can make the world of difference to a book's sales, not just on Amazon but all over the internet and in the real world - people often flick there first before making their mind up, and if it seems that others are talking about the book, it may motivate readers to check it out now. And believe me, both I and this weirdo little Feminist story really do need that boost.

So that's my appeal: please review if you can find the time and spoons to do it.

Later on, after I've got my author copies of this book (and have a bit of my energy back) I will most likely reward reviewers by doing a giveaway of some kind, with swag and maybe other nice things. But right now I'm just asking you to do it from the goodness of your hearts if you feel that you can.

Love and snuggles to you all, my crumpets. Next week I shall be posting over on Author Allsorts about my favourite poem (which, to no one's surprise, is actually several poems) and will link across from here for ease of finding. Any questions or potential blog topics to offer? Throw them in the comments.

Read you later!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Hello, hello, hello Dear Readers! And happy Thursday to you - especially since today is September the 1st, aka the long-awaited (for me anyway) official release date for BAREFOOT ON THE WIND.

With thanks to Luna of Luna's little Library.


Yes, my precious baby, five years in the making, is out in the wild, hopefully charming people from the shelves (perhaps even in your very own local bookshop) and possibly making them cry depending on how the ending takes them. I'm super proud of this book. It feels like one of the most me-things I've written, even though several things that turned up while I was writing it took me by surprise. It has shapeshifers, curses, enchanted mazes, the undead, and FEMINISM. All that good stuff!

If you happen to see BAREFOOT ON THE WIND out and about anywhere, in a shop or a library, in the hands of someone reading on the Tube, or even in an Amazon package that you just opened, please do send me a photo. In the meantime, here are some guestposts and interviews I've been doing with lovely blogger-pals to celebrate the release (I've linked to the first two before, but I'll include them too, just in case anyone missed them):

There is a Monster in the Forest... Exploring the darker side of fairytales with Luna at Luna's Little Library.

A Question of Fairytales... Looking at what I think makes a truly great re-telling on Michelle's Tales of Yesterday Blog.

A Q&A with me...Answering some different and interesting questions with Georgia at TeenBookHoots.

And finally... Are Fairytales Feminist, which is exactly what it says on the tin, with Andrew of The PewterWolf. 

In addition, here's the Pinterest Board for this book, and the Spotify Playlist I listened to while writing it:

And some absolutely lovely reviews that offer different perspectives on the book, from Lovereading4Kids, Page to Screen Reviews, Luna's Little Library and TeenBookHoots. I'm so delighted that, so far, people seem to be 'getting' this book and reacting to it the way I'd hoped.

Happy book birthday, #BaBBook.

That's it for this week, my muffins - have a great Thursday, and I'll read you later!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Hello, hello, hello, Dear Readers! Happy Wednesday to all - I hope you're all enjoying or at least managing to survive this hot weather (I have the melanin levels of a deep sea fish so I mostly have to avoid the sun, but it still cheers me up to see blue skies).

Today I bring you a Reader Question post, hosted over on the wonderful Tales of Yesterday blog by Chelley. Click the link and head over there to read my take on what makes a great fairytale retelling. Let me know what you think either below or in Chelley's comments - and if you'd like me to answer any questions that you may have about books, reading, writing, or anything else here on the blog, that's the way to get it to me!

More posts coming up later on this week, my lovelies! Read you then.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


Hello, Dear Readers, and happy Tuesday!

A very quick post today to share a nice piece of news - you've probably already guessed it from the blog title, but you can now officially pre-order the new edition of Shadows on the Moon from Amazon here. It's also available from The Book Depository here, Waterstone's here, and from WHSmiths here.

Not only does this reissue of the title possess that gorgeous new cover with so many wonderful deails from the story, which matches the cover of Barefoot on the Wind...

But it will also contain exclusive extra content, including a short story set after the events of the novel, which I'm seeing as a kind of prologue to Yue and Otieno's story, and hoping readers will love as much as I do.

The book is out on the third of November, so I haven't seen any real copies in the flesh yet, but I think it's going to be a very lovely item indeed.

And since we're talking about real copies... look what arrived in the post last week!

Matching nail polish entirely coincidental
The very, very first advanced copy of Barefoot on the Wind! I love the brush-effect on the font so much; it looks just as beautiful on the title page as on the front cover.

This one is out on the first of September, so less than a month to go - and of course you can pre-order this one from Amazon, The Book Depository, Waterstone's and WHSmith too, if you are so moved (you'd be doing me a favour, and you might get the book a few days early, so it's win-win).

Before I go, a quick reminder that my contribution to the YAShot Blogtour is still up at the lovely Luna's blog and that the giveaway for a complete signed set of the Name of the Blade trilogy is still active, so get on that while you can.

That's all for this week, my lovelies, but next week baring unforeseen circumstances I'll be tackling a reader question with regard to fairytale retellings. Read you later!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Get a load of this sexy .gifwork by Luna! Pwoar!
Hello, hello, hello Dear Readers! Apologies for the long absence from blogging - I've been taking a break from most internet related activity (except Twitter, because I just can't quit it) for mental and physical health reasons, but I'm back today because the thrilling YA Shot is getting closer and closer, and it's my turn to contribute to the blog tour. As a quick reminder for those who didn't catch me talking about YA Shot before, it's... well, I'll just quote from the official website:
" author-run, author-led Young Adult and Middle Grade festival that raises the money and resources to run a year-long programme pairing libraries and schools for free author events to foster a love of reading, inspire a passion for writing, and encourage aspirations to careers in the Arts. We believe in equal access to books and opportunities for all – YA Shot brings UKYA and UKMG authors together to pursue that goal, supporting libraries and young people across the country. At present, we’re a not-for-profit organisation but we’re seeking to become a charity. 

YA Shot is a one-day annual festival based in the centre of Uxbridge (London). The 2016 festival will take place on Saturday 22nd October 2016. Around 70 authors are involved in a programme of workshop, panel and ‘in conversation’ events (plus book-signing sessions) in the Uxbridge Civic Centre, Waterstone’s Uxbridge and Uxbridge Library. There is also a programme of fantastic blogging and vlogging workshops. YA Shot is run in partnership with Hillingdon Borough Libraries and Waterstone’s Uxbridge."
Sounds awesome, right? That's because it IS awesome - and this year I'm taking part! I will be on a panel with Alwyn Hamilton (author of Rebel of the Sands) and chaired by Samantha Shannon (creator of the Bone Season books). The panel is titled Little Women: Fantasy, gender, power and constraint, and I am *very* *excited* because these are topics I love to rant - er - calmly and intelligently discuss with other writers. For information on this and all the other amazing panels and events, many of which I hope to be able to attend as an audience-member, check out the website now.

I already know that some Dear Readers will be there and I'm really looking forward to seeing them, along with a bunch of author-friends who I've never had the chance to meet in the flesh before, and hopefully a whole bunch of new reader-peeps who'll be attending too.

To celebrate and promote the festival, I've collaborated with one of my favourite book bloggers, Luna - of Luna's Little Library fame - to make what I hope is a really chewy, interesting and unique interview about fairytales and folklore, how they change and evolve, what they mean to us as a society, and how it all relates back to the fairytale retellings we've seen in various media, including the ones I've written - not least BAREFOOT ON THE WIND (hence the amazing graphics and .gifs from Luna).

Owned by Luna's Little Library
There's also a giveaway! The winner will receive a complete set of The Name of the Blade trilogy, signed and dedicated, with as much additional secret swag as I can stuff in the box before posting.

Owned by Luna's Little Library
The post and the giveaway are live right now, so check them out, leave a comment, enter the giveaway and share on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. Have a great day, my ducklings - read you later!
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