Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land published 29th January

A brilliant review of Robert Crawford's biography on T.S. Eliot was published in this Sunday's Observer ahead of the book's release this Thursday 29th January, on the 50th anniversary of the poet's death. The paper hails it "judicious, sympathetic [and] meticulous". Read the review here

Young Eliot UK cover.jpg

Published simultaneously in Britain and America to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of T. S. Eliot, this major biography traces the life of the twentieth century's most important poet from his childhood in the ragtime city of St Louis right up to the publication of his most famous poem, The Waste Land. Meticulously detailed and incisively written, Young Eliot portrays a brilliant, shy and wounded American who defied his parents' wishes and committed himself to life as an immigrant in England, authoring work astonishing in its scope and hurt. 

Quoting extensively from poetry and prose as well as drawing on new interviews, archives, and previously undisclosed memoirs, Robert Crawford shows how Eliot's background in Missouri, Massachusetts and Paris made him a lightning conductor for modernity. Most impressively, Young Eliot shows how deeply personal were the experiences underlying masterpieces from 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' to The Waste Land. T. S. Eliot wanted no biography written, but this book reveals him in all his vulnerable complexity as student and lover, stink-bomber, banker and philosopher, but most of all as an epoch-shaping poet struggling to make art among personal disasters.

Serial for Bob Woffinden's BAD SHOW ran in the Daily Mail this weekend

Serial ran in the Daily Mail this Saturday 17th January for BAD SHOW by Bob Woffinden and James Plaskett, and secured front page coverage.The book concerns the extraordinary story of Charles Ingram, the major in the British Army who won the million-pound prize on ITV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?  He was subsequently convicted on fraud charges and faced ruination after claims were made that a fellow contestant had coughed to indicate the correct answers. For the first time, Bad Show tells the extraordinary story of what actually happened that fateful night. Read the article in full here. 

The book is now available for pre-order at and will published on 29th January.

Barbara Taylor's THE LAST ASYLUM reaches Charles Taylor Prize Shortlist

We're thrilled to announce that Barbara Taylor's THE LAST ASYLUM: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times has reached the shortlist of the Charles Taylor Prize, also known as the RBC Taylor Prize. We're sure she doesn't need it but we wish her the best of luck!

A work of major substance and shocking honesty, The Last Asylum is a haunting tale of madness in the modern age. In this beautifully written memoir, Barbara Taylor uses her own harrowing experiences in psychoanalysis not only as a vehicle for personal discovery but as a prism through which to view contemporary attitudes towards mental illness. But Taylor is also a noted scholar of modern British culture and society, and her investigative powers as a historian are also on full display in this book. She explores Friern, an insane asylum first built by the Victorians where she received extensive treatment and which serves as the backdrop for her painful but revealing personal journey. Exquisitely crafted, The Last Asylumis an intellectual and stylistic tour de force. 

Buy it here!

The outstanding Romany & Tom by Ben Watt released in paperback

Ben Watt's "poignant, life-affirming work" (The FTRomany & Tom is released in paperback by Bloomsbury today. Read on to discover exactly why you should grab a copy this very minute.

Ben Watt's father, Tommy, was a working-class Glaswegian jazz musician, a politicised left-wing bandleader and a composer. His heyday in the late fifties took him into the glittering heart of London's West End, where he broadcast live with his own orchestra from the Paris Theatre and played nightly with his quintet at the the glamorous Quaglino's. Ben's mother, Romany, the daughter of a Methodist parson, schooled at Cheltenham Ladies' College, was a RADA-trained Shakespearian actress, who had triplets in her first marriage before becoming a leading showbiz columnist in the sixties and seventies. They were both divorcees from very different backgrounds who came together like colliding trains in 1957.

Both a personal journey and a portrait of his parents, Romany and Tom is a vivid story of the post-war years, ambition and stardom, family roots and secrets, life in clubs and in care homes. It is also about who we are, where we come from, and how we love and live with each other for a long time.

“Neither sentimental nor savage, yet often wise, moving and entertaining within the same paragraph, Romany and Tom is a major achievement to rival any of Watt's recordings” –  Guardian
“You know when everyone last month was going 'Ben Watt's Romany & Tom is amazing?' I've just read it. It really is” –  Caitlin Moran
Romany and Tom may be the most beguiling book you'll read all year ... He has a songwriter's gift for the deft phrase, while his powers of observation and recall are quite extraordinary ... Rather like Watt's musical compositions ... this book is at once downbeat and uplifting” –  Mail on Sunday
“A poignant, life-affirming work” –  Financial Times
“INCREDIBLE … I read it in two huge gulps. It's funny, incredibly moving, beautifully written, really thought-provoking” –  Alexis Petridis
“Forget Morrissey: Romany & Tom is the most beautiful, compelling memoir by a musician you'll read for a very long time” –  John Niven
“[An] elegantly written and clear-sighted memoir ... Romany and Tom is a tender work infused with the understanding that this is the final chapter of two rich and complex lives ... Watt's reluctance to sentimentalise the experience makes it that much more powerful, cutting to the heart of the frustrations that come with caring for one's parents who were, not long ago, just like us” –  Independent on Sunday
“It is a beautiful book, a story which will resonate with many and in many different ways. There are moments when I laughed and parts when I had to stop reading for a bit, draw breath and then continue” –  Gideon Coe, BBC 6 Music
“Watt has written about personal trauma before in his 1996 memoir Patient. This … pulses with the same combination of clarity and kindness. Unsentimental and humane” –  Telegraph
“Closely observed, brilliantly written and unsparing” –  David Hepworth
“As a DJ and one half of Everything But The Girl (with his partner Tracey Thorn), Ben Watt knows better than most the impact fame can have on identity. But in his poignant new memoir, Romany and Tom, he channels that knowledge through his parents' lives” –  Harper's Bazaar

If that was enough to whet your appetite, buy it here!

Michael Pye's THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, no. 1 in The Netherlands

We're thrilled to announce that Michael Pye's THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: HOW THE NORTH SEA MADE US WHO WE ARE is number one best-selling non-fiction title in the Netherlands. 

North Sea cover.jpg

The book is an epic adventure: from the Vikings to the Enlightenment, from barbaric outpost to global centre, it tells the amazing story of northern Europe's transformation by sea. This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money.

We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. The water was dangerous, but it was far easier than struggling over land; so it was the sea that brought people together. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information. The seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled. With them they brought new tastes and technologies - books, clothes, manners, paintings and machined. In this dazzling historical adventure, we return to a time that is largely forgotten and watch as the modern world is born. We see the spread of money and how it paved the way for science.

We see how plague terrorised even the rich and transformed daily life for the poor. We watch as the climate changed and coastlines shifted, people adapted and towns flourished. We see the arrival of the first politicians, artists, lawyers; citizens. From Viking raiders to Mongol hordes. Frisian fishermen to Hanseatic hustlers, travelling as far west as America and as far east as Byzantium, we see how the life and traffic of the seas changed everything.

Drawing on an astonishing breadth of learning and packed with human stories and revelations, this is the epic drama of how we came to be who we are. Michael Pye has written eleven previous books, translated into eleven languages, including two British bestsellers and two New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He took a First and various prizes in Modern History at Oxford, and was then for many years a highly successful journalist, columnist and broadcaster in London and New York. He now lives between London and rural Portugal. 


Buy the book here. 

Ivison, Ellen and Sedgwick on YA Book Prize Shortlist

We're overjoyed to share that three DGA authors have reached the shortlist of the YA Book Prize. THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN by Marcus Sedgwick and LOBSTERS, co-authored by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen are up for the £2000 prize to be presented at Foyles on 19th March.

Fiona Noble, children’s book previewer at The Bookseller, said: “UK YA has been a fast growing trend in the past few years, so whittling down over 90 submissions to a shortlist of just 10 felt like a daunting task. However, every title on the shortlist had a passionate Bookseller champion and a really exciting and diverse list quickly emerged. It's a list that truly demonstrates the strength and unique nature of YA writing in the UK and Ireland, from contemporary to literary fiction, dystopia to horror, written by both debut authors and established names.”
A team of 10 teen and industry judges, including author Philip Reeve, World Book Day director Kirsten Grant, and RTE broadcaster Rick O’Shea will now decide which book will be the winner.
The YA Book Prize is sponsored by Movellas.

Statue of WW1 front-line aid workers, Elsie and Mairi, unveiled in Belgium

On Saturday 22nd November 2014 it was a hundred years since two British women, Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, arrived in the village of Pervyse and opened a first-aid post in the cellar of a badly-damaged house.

Elsie and Mairi gave emergency first-aid, what is now called ‘golden hour’ treatment, to soldiers before sending them to military hospitals further down the Line. They quickly became known as ‘The Angels of Pervyse.’

Elsie Knocker, 30, and Mairi Chisholm, 18, lived and worked a hundred yards from the German trenches, experiencing months of heavy bombardment and were an obvious target for snipers. Their living conditions were dreadful. For their bravery King Albert of the Belgians made them Chevaliers de l’Ordre de Leopold in January 1915.

Elsie and Mairi were the only women to work actually on the Western Front. For nearly four years they worked unpaid and received little official help. When the fighting stopped they would return to the United Kingdom to raise money in theatres and public meetings to keep their post open. Elsie and Mairi and their patients survived an arsenic gas attack in the spring of 1918. Their dog called Shot saved their lives by giving the alarm but died doing so.

Elsie and Mairi’s extraordinary courage in the saving of many soldiers’ lives is the subject of Elsie and Mairi Go To War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front by Diane Atkinson, published by Random House in 2009.

In 2013 Dr. Diane Atkinson and Mr Stefaan Vandenbussche started to raise money to commission a life-size bronze sculpture of Elsie and Mairi as a tribute to them. Stefaan is an employee of the CD&V group in the Flemish Parliament and regularly gives lectures on women in the Great War.

The eminent Belgian sculptor Josiane Vanhoutte has created this work. Elsie and Mairi and their dog, Shot, were unveiled in the garden of The Ariane Hotel, Slachthuisstraat 58, Ieper, Belgium, on Saturday 22nd November at 3pm.

This memorial reminds us of the work done by all women during the First World War, and is a tribute to the humanitarian aid workers who risk their lives to help others in contemporary war zones such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jim Crace's HARVEST longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

We're delighted to share that Jim Crace's beautiful novel, HARVEST has been longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

142 books have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English.  Nominations for the 2015 Award include 49 novels in translation with works by 37 American, 19 British, 9 Canadian, 9 Australian and 7 Italian authors. Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2015 Award was launched today by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, Patron of the Award, at a ceremony in The Dublin City Library & Archive.

The Award is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 142 books eligible for the 2015 award were nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide; noting that ‘49 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages and 29 are first novels. Readers at home and abroad will find new books and new authors on the longlist, and they can pit themselves against the international panel of judges and pick their own favourite, before the Lord Mayor announces the twentieth winner on 17th June next year’.


As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders – two men and a dangerously magnetic woman – arrives on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire.

Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it . . .

Told in Jim Crace’s hypnotic prose, Harvest evokes the tragedy of land pillaged and communities scattered, as England’s fields are irrevocably enclosed. Timeless yet singular, mythical yet deeply personal, this beautiful novel of one man and his unnamed village speaks for a way of life lost for ever.

Buy it here.

Harvest cover UK.jpg

Marcus Sedgwick's THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN on Costa Book Awards Shortlist

Congratulations to the brilliant Marcus Sedgwick whose book, THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN has reached the Costa Children's Book Awards Shortlist. The book has already received rave reviews in The Telegraph and We Love This Book and we wish him the very best of luck for when the winners are announced on 5th January 2015.


The Ghosts of Heaven can tell us a secret as old as time; you can read the four quarters of award-winning Marcus Sedgwick's mesmerising and mysterious new novel in 24 different ways.

A cleverly interlinked novel written in four parts by PRINTZ AWARD-winning author, Marcus Sedgwick, about survival and discovery, and about the effect of the spiral, a symbol that has no end, on all our lives.

The spiral has existed as long as time has existed.

It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin.

There centuries later in a pleasant green dale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch.

There on the other side of the world, where a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors they hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.

Each takes their next step in life.

None will ever go back to the same place.

And so their journeys begin...

Buy the book here.

Sharon Blackie's IF WOMEN ROSE ROOTED, LIKE TREES acquired by September Publishing

We're delighted to announce that Hannah MacDonald at September Publishing has acquired world English rights in Sharon Blackie's book IF WOMEN ROSE ROOTED, LIKE TREES. A book on Celtic women, inspired by their landscapes, mythologies and their unique heroines. 

Sharon explains, "It’s a personal journey through the unique and atmospheric landscapes of the Celtic nations, and the mythology and mindscape of its women. It offers a re-visioning of the ‘Heroine’s Journey’ for our times..."

Hannah MacDonald says, 'Our daughters need better role models, better stories to learn from. Meanwhile across the world, women are listening to deeper instincts and reconnecting with the environment, finding self-fulfillment through different priorities. This a timely book which will appeal to those interested in a New Celticism and to women searching for different routes through life, much as Women who Run With The Wolves did 30 years ago.'

Sharon Blackie trained and worked as a neuroscientist in London and Paris but, pulled by her own Celtic genes, moved first to Scotland and then to Ireland to publish and write. She is the author of an acclaimed debut novel The Long Delirious Burning Blue and she and her husband publish Earthlines - a magazine of nature writing, acclaimed by Robert Macfarlane, George Monbiot and Jay Griffiths, amongst others. Robert Macfarlane described it as 'A fine thing...a point of convergence for many thought tributaries and philosophical paths.' Visit Sharon's website, Re-enchanting The Earth and follow her on Twitter.

The title of the book comes from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:

‘If we surrendered/ to earth’s intelligence/ we could rise up rooted, like trees.’

Rhian Ivory's THE BOY WHO DREW THE FUTURE to be published by Firefly Press

We're excited to announce that Rhian Ivory's wonderful mid-grade book THE BOY WHO DREW THE FUTURE will be published by Firefly Press, with a release date of September 2015.

Follow Rhian on Twitter here to keep up to date with all her news.

Rhian Ivory author photo.jpg

Noah and Blaze live in the same village over 100 years apart.  But the two teenage boys are linked by a river and a strange gift: they both compulsively draw images they don’t understand, that later come true.  They can draw the future.

1860s - Blaze is alone after his mother’s death, dependent on the kindness of the villagers, who all distrust his gift as witchcraft but still want him to predict the future for them. When they don’t like what he draws, life gets very dangerous for him.

Now - Noah comes to the village for a new start.  His parents are desperate for him to be ‘normal’ after all the trouble they've had in the past.  He makes a friend, Beth, but as with Blaze the strangeness of his drawings start to turn people against him and things get very threatening. Will he be driven away from this new home - and from Beth?

Will both boys be destroyed by their strange gift, or can a new future be drawn?

Mirza Waheed's THE BOOK OF GOLD LEAVES attracts brilliant reviews

We were delighted to find Mirza Waheed's beautiful novel, THE BOOK OF GOLD LEAVES taking pride of place in last Wednesday's Stylist within The Style List. And they're not the only ones to championing this "dazzling and heart-breaking story set in war-torn Kashmir". 

"The effect of this tense novel is cumulative, its sense of dread rising until the nightmarish finale; a communal outpouring of grief in which Waheed locates an incredible defiance. "People are expected to be dead at night, to rise again only when the curfew ends," he writes. "But people have defied curfews before. In moments of anger, in moments of unbearable grief, or when it simply doesn't matter whether you live or not." Kashmir, a conflict remembering mostly for being forgotten, badly needs storytellers like Waheed. He writes about war with a devastating and unflinching calm, with the melancholy wisdom of someone attuned to but never hardened by its horrors."

The Guardian, Chitra Ramaswamy, 1st Nov


"...Waheed's talent also lies in the vivid, convincing detail he brings to descriptions of everyday lives, however surreal their circumstances. As in The Collaborator, the careful meshing of domestic intimacy with political events is done deftly, with integrity. Like his great-grandfather's gold painting, Waheed's work will undoubtedly endure; in this case as a haunting illustration of how, at the end of the last century, normal life became impossible for many of those who called Kashmir home."

The Financial Times  Alice Albinia  24th October 


Buy the book here.

Reviews: Alison Light COMMON PEOPLE


‘Light writes beautifully. With such colour and with perception and lyricism she clads the past….Common People is part memoir, part thrilling social history of the England of the Industrial Revolution, but above all a work of quiet poetry and insight into human behaviour. It is full of wisdom.’ - Melanie Reid, The Times Book of the Week


‘This book is a substantial achievement: its combination of scholarship and intelligence is, you may well think, the best monument you could have to all those she has rescued from time’s oblivion.’

- Gillian Tindall, Financial Times


‘[A] short and beautifully written meditation on family and mobility.’ - Roger Clarke, the Independent


‘Intellectually sound and relevant…a refreshingly modern way of thinking about our past.’ – New Statesman


‘Light [is skilled] in probing dark corners of her ancestry and exposing their historical meaning…packed with humanity’ – John Carey, Sunday Times


‘Exquisite…Barely a page goes by without something fascinating on it, betraying Light’s skill in winkling out the most relevant or moving aspects of her antecedents’ lives, which echo through the generations.’Lesley McDowell, the Independent


‘An exploration of an English family tree the like of which has never been made before’ - Claire Tomalin


‘A remarkable achievement and should become a classic, a worthy successor to E.P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class.  It is full of humanity.' - Margaret Drabble


‘Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, Alison Light makes her family speak for England.’ - Jerry White, author of London in the Eighteenth Century



The Observer, 19th October 2014

Ben Highmore

Alison Light's evocatively written Common People may well inaugurate a new genre of non-fiction: public family history. Today the internet and regional record offices around the country are buzzing with people tracing their genealogies, looking up long-dead ancestors. The vast majority of this work is kept in the family or posted online for millions of us to ignore. Light offers another path: family history not as a catalogue of names, dates, occupations and events, but as a generational history of interconnected people, where the historian's task is to get a sense of how a life was made and what it felt like to make it that way. This isn't history from below so much as history from inside, to use the author's neat phrasing. 

It begins with Light's father dying of cancer and the author trying to find the resting place of his mother who had been buried in a common grave when she was 38 and when the author's father was just four years old. What follows is part detective story, part Dickensian saga, part labour history. Light's forebears are Baptists and bricklayers, servants and sailors, small-scale manufacturers and factory workers. Money comes and goes: mostly it goes. Destitution and the workhouse are always on the edge of people's lives; for many they are at the centre. Light's ancestors aren't labourers eking out a living in the same village for generations; they traipse thousands of miles to try to better their situation. 

Common People is family history where the figures are embedded in a landscape made up of building sites and lodging houses, where the pub acts as a labour exchange, and where family stories weave myths out of disappointments. It's a thrilling and unnerving read and shows us how skilled craftsmen and women were given the historical role of the working poor, not because their skills weren't needed, but because of the precariousness of their employment. 

Katie Green shortlisted for the British Comic Awards

We're thrilled to tell you that Katie Green has been shortlisted for Best Book at the British Comic Awards 2014. 

Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She’d sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she’d have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.

Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.

Buy the book  here

Buy the book here

Maya Gabrielle to be published by Chicken House & Scholastic

Chicken House Publishing Ltd is delighted to announce the joint acquisition with Scholastic Inc in the USA of World Rights for Maya Gabrielle’s Battle of the Beetles Trilogy in an pre-empt with Kirsty Mclachlan of David Godwin Associates. MD Barry Cunningham said today

‘Introduced to us by Imogen Cooper’s Golden Egg Academy and Kirsty McLachlan – I was immediately captivated by this astonishing middle grade tale of beetles and boys – with clever girls and quite, quite dire villains. I was lucky enough to work with Roald Dahl – and Beetles conjured up for me his tough and resourceful characters, and his rather unsettling and funny physical comedy!  Of course Maya has her own outstanding style too – and we can’t wait to begin publishing this extraordinary tale of entomological excitements in Spring 2016 and it will be a highlight of our Bologna rights season’.


Maya Gabrielle is  a Digital Media Producer at London’s National Theatre, and prior to the NT worked at the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. 

Alison Light's COMMON PEOPLE reaches Samuel Johnson Shortlist

Our heartiest congratulations to Alison Light whose beautiful book, COMMON PEOPLE, has reached the Samuel Johnson Prize shortlist! 

Buy the book   here.

Buy the book here.

Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Needlemakers, sailors, servants, bricklayers - how is the historian to understand the lives of those forbears who left few traces except the barest record: no diaries, letters, or possessions, and sometimes not even a grave? Or the suffering of those individuals deemed paupers, like her great-grandmother, born in the workhouse and dying in an asylum? Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were - but ultimately it reflects on history itself and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them. 

The winner will be announced on 4th November.

Read further in The Independent 

The Hindu Prize shortlist announced

We're pleased to reveal that DGA author, Deepti Kapoor, has reached the shortlist of The Hindu Prize for fiction 2014, with her novel A BAD CHARACTER. See the announcement here. Brilliant news! Buy the book here.

Deepti Kapoor: A Bad Character The simplistic title belies a deeper query into the nature of 'badness' which should be distinguished from villainy or wickedness. The story revolves around the narrator, a young woman recelling in the free spirit of cosmopolitan Delhi, experimenting with books, romance, clothes, food, people, drugs, and much else. Into this youthful scenario comes Prince Charming in wolf's clothing, quite reversing the formula of seduction. Entry to this unknown and challenging world upsets many assumptions of polite society and there's the catch. Told in racy language, the headlong plunge into metropolitan madness captures every nerve with excitement.

Happy Publication Day to Nikki Gemmell

Random House Australia publishes Nikki Gemmell's new children's book, The Icicle Illuminarium today. The story of the four Caddy siblings, Aussie bush kids who've wound up in England, carry's on from The Kensington Reptilarium, the first in the series. 

The mysterious Lady Adora has a plan for the Caddy kids, but it doesn't involve chocolate and games...

Kick, Bert, Scuff and Pin are rejoicing - Dad's been found! But he's ill from his wartime experiences, and he's sent away to recover. Then a hing from the butler sends their hearts racing. Could their mother be alive too?

The four siblings begin a wild goose chase to search for clues. But it all goes terribly, horribly wrong when they're kidnapped. They're imprisoned in The Icicle Illuminarium - the coldest, loneliest and most falling-down mansion in England.

Luckily, there might be a secret friend or two to be found in this odd place. Can Bucket, their loyal dingo dog, help Uncle Basti to find the - before Lady Adora can set her plans in motion?

Another feel-good tale about four fearless Aussie bush kids who won't take no for an answer - and certainly can't be cooped up for long, even if their captors think they can!

Follow N. J. Gemmell on Twitter @nikkigemmell

The Telegraph's 30 Best YA Books of 2014 announced

... and three books from DGA authors are on the list. Many congratulations!


Marcus Sedgwick The Ghosts of Heaven (Indigo)

The Ghosts of Heaven can tell us a secret as old as time; you can read the four quarters of award-winning Marcus Sedgwick's mesmerising and mysterious new novel in 24 different ways.

A cleverly interlinked novel written in four parts by PRINTZ AWARD-winning author, Marcus Sedgwick, about survival and discovery, and about the effect of the spiral, a symbol that has no end, on all our lives.

The spiral has existed as long as time has existed.

It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin.

There centuries later in a pleasant green dale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch.

There on the other side of the world, where a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors they hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.

Each takes their next step in life.

None will ever go back to the same place.

And so their journeys begin...

Buy Here 

Released on 2nd October 2014



Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison Lobsters (Chicken House)

Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster.

But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins forever to find happiness. 

But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love. 

Buy here


Lucy Inglis City of Halves (Chicken House)

Do take a look at the rest of the list here.

In an unseen world hidden within modern London, girls are disappearing.

Sixteen-year-old Lily was meant to be next, but she’s saved by a stranger: a half-human boy with gold-flecked eyes.

Regan is from an unseen world hidden within our own, where legendary creatures hide in plain sight.

But now both worlds are under threat, and Lily and Regan must race to find the girls, and save their divided city.

Buy here