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A good book, a pot of tea and some dark chocolate. Heaven! Thank you for joining my world of magical mysteries and exciting adventures. Bring your own refreshments and I’ll provide the rest.

More about me

Writer's Notebook

Read Here

The Bookshelf

"Glamour" - to enchant or bewitch - blog post image

"Glamour" - to enchant or bewitch

I occasionally post tweets that have caught my eye for those who don't use Twitter or have missed a particular tweet.  

Stories That Can Save The World - Nature - blog post image

Stories That Can Save The World - Nature

Do you support #ClimateChange? Are you worried about the extinction or species or the degradation of our countryside?  

Reading Lists - blog post image

Reading Lists

I am preparing a reading list of MG fiction in which nature, or a natural setting, is a dominant feature or character. #Lucystrange's The Secret or Nightingale Wood being the ideal. 

Llama Llama Red Pyjama - blog post image

Llama Llama Red Pyjama

My son showed me this fabulous YouTube clip of these great rappers free styling Anna Dewdney's lovely picture book Llama Llama Red Pajama. I loved it so much I had to share it with you - enjoy!  

BBC Berkshire Book Club - blog post image

BBC Berkshire Book Club

I am always delighted to be a guest on BBC Berkshire's Book Club. I can't always review children's fiction, but whenever I read something special I try to do so.  

The Parisian - blog post image

The Parisian

I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Isabella Hammad's extraordinary debut novel The Parisian last night.  

Barnes Children's Literature Festival - blog post image

Barnes Children's Literature Festival

If you can find the time, and you are in or around London, why not pay this gorgeous festival a visit. It's the world's largest dedicated children's literature festival. Details can be found here  

A Word With Jasbinder Bilan - blog post image

A Word With Jasbinder Bilan

To celebrate world book day I have an extra special guest and am thrilled to welcome the lovely Jasbinder Bilan, the 2017 winner of the prestigious Times Chicken House Prize. 

A Word With Lisa Thompson - blog post image

A Word With Lisa Thompson

I am delighted to welcome the bestselling author of The Goldfish BoyThe Light Jar and the newly launched (but not yet reviewed - I will I promise) The Day I Was Erased. Lisa joined me on the site last summer, but since she has a lovely new book out I thought I'd run her interview again while I get on with reading her latest novel!  

A word with ... - blog post image

A word with ...

What a treat to have the wonderful Eloise Williams, author of the fabulously spooky new novel Seaglass and before that Gaslight, one of my favourite books last year. Check out The Bookshelf for reviews of both books and listen carefully to Eloise's wise words below, she is a hugely gifted author and her advice to young writers is second to none, and explains a lot about why her own writing is so beautiful.   

A Word With ... - blog post image

A Word With ...

I am over the moon to welcome Mel Darbon to the site this morning. Mel is the super talented author of August's Book Of The Month, Rosie Loves Jack. You have probably heard about Mel's wonderful debut but if you've somehow missed the hullabaloo surrounding its publication, check out my review on The Bookshelf. It's currently my #1 contender for Book Of The Year  

It’s #Lyme disease awareness month! Lyme disease is increasingly common in the UK. It affects both people and animals and the earlier it’s caught, the better it can be treated. Know the signs & symptoms to look out for and talk to a doctor if in any doubt. http://Lymedisease.org

A Pinch of Magic - blog post image

A Pinch of Magic

Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse. Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.Will they be enough to break the curse? Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? ... 

Tree Pests & Diseases - blog post image

Tree Pests & Diseases

Check out the wonderful Woodland Trust's fantastic Observatree campaign. It is a tree health early warning system and harnessing the power of citizen science is critical to the project’s overall success. This is being achieved in two ways. 


The Way Past Winter - blog post image

The Way Past Winter

Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they've gone - taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back - even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way past an eternal winter. 

"The moon illuminated the yew tree's ghoulish profiles turning them into grim reapers that watched over us as we rowed."

~The Witches' Punchbowl