Sunday, 20 March 2016

Scholastic's #BloggersBookFeast 2016

So yesterday was a little manic.

I say that with love, but it was manic. I woke up early (other half decided to do overtime and Bagheera demanded hugs). Then I got scared because my Twitter @ reply box was filled. Did something awful happen?! WAS I HACKED IN THE NIGHT?! No, Friday's #UKYAChat was talking book bloggers and bloggers and people were being kind about this blog. THIS BLOG GOT LOVE!!! Yes, I have moments when I don't think my blog is good/smart/funny/savvy enough but reading your tweets were lovely so thank you.

Sidetracked there. So, because of the joys of trains, drove to London and got tube. Only to have maintenance work on the tube. DAMN IT, LONDON! LET ME LOVE YOU!!!!

But, somehow, from pure stubbornness and me head banging to my iPod, I got to Scholastic! And I met fellow bloggers and vloggers who I haven't seen since last year and discovered some new bloggers/vloggers that I am now following on Twitter!

After being moved into a boardroom and grabbing tea and coffee (I drunk 1 coffee and 2 teas while I was there. Publishing peeps know how to look after us!), Scholastic got excited and the lovely hosts (there were a few so sorry if I forget names but Lucy, David, and Rachel are names I remember!) got excited and started to wet our reading appetites with books that will be coming out in the next few months (Just you're aware, I'm not going to mention them all, but am going to mention a few that I think you need to get on your radar [aka Books I want to read THIS VERY SECOND!])

The first needs no introductions. The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury is the sequel/companion novel to The Sin Eater's Daughter, the fastest selling debut novel of last year (go Mel!). I haven't read this series (I apologised to Mel about this so she doesn't break bones!) and I have no idea why as this series sounds right up my street! In The Sleeping Prince, Errin knows the tale of the Sleeping Prince. Every hundred years, he awakes and wrecks horror and bloodshed. But what if he was real... what will Errin do then?

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine is a dark reimagining of Snow White. Inspired by the movie Snow White and the Huntsman (where CJ was hugely disappointed over Snow's character - SOMEONE ELSE WHO UNDERSTANDS MY REACTIONS TO THIS MOVIE!), CJ decided to rewrite the tale where two strong, complex and total badass characters go head-to-head in epic fashion. No dwarves in this retelling, oh no! We have seven dragons! SEVEN DRAGONS!!! I LOVE DRAGONS!!! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THAT?!

If I didn't mention The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, I think you guys would attack me! The fourth and final book in the Raven Boys series, this promises to be an epic conclusion. As I haven't read Raven Boys (or Sinner. And Scorpia Races), I need to get my rear in gear and play catch up!

Defender of the Realm is a rumoured 3 book series from the BAFTA & Emmy nominated writing duo, Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler. Alfie just wants to be a normal teenager. Not to much to ask, right? Expect, he's not. His dad is the king of the United Kingdom so normal doesn't exist. But when his father dies, he has to learn quickly not only how to be king but Defender of the Realm, a superhero who has to protect the world from monsters, villains and goodness knows what else! Fans of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and superhero movies might want to keep eyes peeled on this one...

There's a load of debut novels are coming out this year, but the one I think you guys NEED to get on your radar is Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman. Compared to 13 Reasons Why and We Were Liars (I need no more selling. I am SOLD on this!), the story follows our main character, Skye, who goes to camp to cope with her grief. And she seems to be coping. Until the text messages from her sister start. Which are impossible, as her sister died last year in a swimming pool. Suspect everyone, trust no one...

After the book talk, some of the authors chatted about their books. Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler made us laugh, as did Beth Garrod (another debut author who's novel, Super Awkward, which promises to make us laugh and cringe in equal measures), while Sue Wallman made us all a bit teary-eyed (she made one of the Scholastic crew cry over what inspired her to write Lying About Last Summer).

After this, we had a talk where authors, editors and designers chatted about writing, editing and designing book covers. Authors (this included all mentioned above & Eve Ainsworth, author of 7 Days and Crush) talked about writing, how they cope with the pressure of fans (we're a scary bunch!) and advice they would give to themselves in terms of writing and being published.

Editors then chatted about editing and how they edit manuscripts, while designers talked about how they design the covers for each book. One of these was the new Hunger Games covers - the "Flaming" Editions. One design of these wasn't accepted as it didn't feel like the right covers for the UK audience but was picked up by Scholastic in Australia (and when I tweeted pics of these, they got a lot of love!)

And after this, we had a Hunger Games mastermind quiz. Which was hard. Very hard. And someone, my team was joint second! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!

And that was it. With tote bags full of books (we book bloggers/vloggers are vultures! Never say "Here are some free books", publishers. We will take them all and leave that room gutted!), back onto the tube that dislike me. But on the plus side, I saw my grandparents for a quick cup of tea and my grandparents are cool so it was worth it!

My thanks goes to Scholastic. Thank you for hosting this lovely event and thank you for inviting me!

And now, I have a tiny surprise for you. I am hosting a tiny #BloggersBookFeast contest. I managed (without anyone at Scholastic noticing) to grab a few extra copies of a few titles (one of which has been signed! GO AUTHOR/AUTHORS!) and one of you guys is going to win them. These are delicious books and I hope you love them.

Oh, you want to know what they are? Nope. Let's keep that as a surprise for the winner, shall we?


  1. Great post. Gutted I couldn't be's days like this that I wish I lived closer to London.

    Thank you for the giveaway!!!

  2. Sounds like a fab event! I'm glad you had such a brilliant day & thanks for holding the giveaway :-)

  3. Love the post! Lying about last summer sounds great.