Sunday 29 May 2011

Headline Blogger Party - 13th May 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was very excited to get to go to Headline towers for their blogger party.  Headline were the first publisher that contacted me about reviewing for them so it was so nice to finally meet Sam & Maura who I have been talking to by email & on twitter for over a year now.  Before the event I met up with Viv (Serendipity) and Michelle (Clover Hill Book Reviews) and after working out where the Headline offices were we decided to walk to Foyles for a little book shopping.  It ended up being much further than we thought it would be which didn't give us much time for browsing before we had to head back but we had a great time nattering about books as we walked!

Michelle & Viv outside of Headline Towers

We arrived back at the building along with a massive group of other bloggers (I've tried to include links to everyone at the bottom of the post but please let me know if you were there & I missed you!).  The event was held on the 16th floor and I completely missed the security guard's warning and ended up travelling in the glass elevator.  I'm sure the views were amazing but being scared of heights I spent most of my time with my head buried on Viv's shoulder and couldn't get out of there fast enough!  I was definitely more careful to pick a lift without a view on the way back down again lol.

Jenna Burtenshaw & Cathy Brett

When we arrived in the conference room we got to mingle with each other, the Headline staff and some of Headline's top authors - Cathy Brett, Jenna Burtenshaw, Jonathan L Howard, Julie Cohen, Jill MansellJulia Crouch and Geraint Anderson (also known as Cityboy).  Everyone was so friendly and it was lovely to spend time talking with them all.  I finally got to meet Laura from Book Chick City which was great, I've spent so long chatting to her on Twitter that I already felt like I knew her but it is always so nice to put faces to names.  I'd met quite a few of the other bloggers before so it was good to catch up with them & as always it was nice to see some new faces and discover some fab new blogs to follow!

Headline had created a great video showing some of their current & upcoming releases, they publish a wide range of genres from historical, women's fiction and YA through to crime and thrillers (and many more besides!).  I hadn't realised quite how many different things they had on their lists and there are definitely some books I can't wait to get my hands on!  It would take too long to list all of the books that were mentioned but here are a few of the ones I'm really excited about:

An epic, richly inventive, historically sweeping, magical romance.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...

I've had Discovery of Witches on my wish list for ages now but after hearing how enthusiastic the team were about it I know I definitely need to buy myself a copy!

Meet Jud Lester: Star agent with CRYPT, the Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team.

When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, CRYPT is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent.

Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet ... people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked - yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen.

Can Jud and Bex work out what has caused the spirits of these dangerous men to return to the streets of London before they wreak more death and destruction?

A fantastic blend of teenage spies, horror and ghost-busting for fans of Cherub and Young Bond.

Crypt sounds like it is going to be a fantastic YA read, it reminded me a little of Department 19 and even if it's only half as good it will be amazing!  Definitely one to watch out for when it's released in September.

The first in Heather Killough-Walden's fantastic new paranormal series, THE LOST ANGELS, features Uriel, the Angel of Vengeance

Four thousand years ago, four archangels were cast down to Earth in human form. God's favourites, they came to find their mates, the other half of their souls made only for them, without whom they will ever be complete.

Uriel, Gabriel, Azrael and Michael, however, were not alone. They were followed by another, determined to find the archesses for himself, and whose power cannot be underestimated. But after centuries of fruitless searching, the archangels - and their enemy - have all but given up hope.

Until one day beautiful and gifted Eleanore Granger crosses paths with Uriel, the Angel of Vengeance. And as a storm rages, outside forces conspire together, initiating an age old battle of good versus evil to win the first archess.

Now Avenger's Angel looks right up my street and I can't wait to get my hands on it!  I'm even more excited that it's the first book in a new series - the only disappointment is having to wait until November for it to be released!

Another book mentioned that I'm really looking forward to reading was called Pure and is a YA dystopian that is being released in 2012.  Headline have big plans for this one and I'm sure it's one we'll be seeing a lot of!

After watching the video it was time for a quiz masterminded by evil quiz masters Sam & Maura.  Luckily we were put into teams or I'd have completely embarrassed myself - the questions were HARD!  I was on a team with Cathy Brett, Naomi (who was interning with Headline), Darren (The Book Zone) and Matt (Teen Librarian) and I dread to think how low our score was, Matt was on a role for the science fiction questions but we left a lot of blank spaces in the other rounds.  It may have been an epic fail but our team had a lot of fun anyway :o)

After the quiz Headline let us help ourselves to the latest releases for each of the authors who were present and we were able to get our copies signed for us.  I came home with a great selection of books & I'm looking forward to reading them all, the only trouble is deciding where to start!  Here are cover images and a synopsis for each of them (information was all found on the Headline website):

Kate has escaped the clutches of the High Council and Silas has left Albion for the continent. But their lives are forever linked and as the veil weakens, causing Albion's skilled to fear for everyone's safety, Silas and Kate find themselves drawn together by the mysterious and corrupt Dalliah Grey

This is the second book in the Wintercraft series and I loved the first book (you can read my review of Wintercraft here) so I can't wait to find out what happens next!  Luckily I'd remembered to take my copy of Wintercraft with me so I was able to get them both signed by Jenna (who was absolutely lovely by the way and just how I'd imagined she would be from speaking to her on Twitter!)

You're dead Scarlett...

Previously a poor taste jibe from school frenemies, now a statement of fact.

Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself while trying to get out of a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her.

Life as a ghost is pretty dull - if only some of her friends were dead too...

I've already read this one and absolutely love all the pictures and different text effects that are used throughout the book.  Keep an eye out for my review that will be coming soon.

Johannes Cabal is back - a little older, a little wiser, but just as sharply funny, cuttingly sarcastic, and unexpectedly violent as ever.

For necromancer Johannes Cabal, dealing with devils, demons and raising the dead is pretty much par for the course. But when his attempt to steal a rare book turns sour, he is faced by a far more terrifying entity - politics. While awaiting execution for his crime, Cabal is forced to resurrect an inconveniently deceased emperor. Seizing his chance, the cunning Cabal engineers his escape, fleeing the country on a state-of-the-art flying ship. But the ship has more than a few unpleasant surprises, including an unwelcome face from the past and the small matter of some mysterious murders. Cabal may work with corpses but he has absolutely no intention of becoming one. Drawn into a deadly conspiracy, is he shuffling dangerously close to the end of his mortal coil?

I've had the first book in this series (Johannes Cabal the Necromancer) on my to read pile for a while now but after talking to Jonathan L Howard I really think I need to move it up my list, I think it's a series I'll really enjoy.

A gorgeously romantic, funny and heartbreaking read for anyone who's ever run away from home - and found their way back...

Liza Haven couldn't wait to escape the small village where she grew up with her perfect identical twin sister, Lee. Her life in LA as a stunt woman is reckless, fast and free - and that's just the way she likes it. But when a near-fatal mistake drives her home, she finds Lee gone and everyone in the village mistaking her for her twin sister. Liza has to deal with her ailing mother, the family ice cream business, and Lee's dangerously attractive boyfriend. Liza's always been the bad twin, but as she struggles to keep up the masquerade and puzzle out where her sister has gone, she realises it's not so simple. She's spent her whole life getting away with it - is it finally time to face up to who she really is and where she really belongs?

I really like the sound of this one, the idea of one twin stealing the other's identity is intriguing and I'm curious to see how it plays out.  I read Julie Cohen's book Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom last year (you can read my review here) so I'm sure I'll enjoy Getting Away With It.

The gorgeously indulgent, funny and touching new novel from the bestselling author, which reached No. 2 in the hardback bestseller charts.

When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she's ready for a new start - at work, that is. She doesn't need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company...

Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill...

I read a few of Jill Mansell's books back before I started blogging so I'm looking forward to picking up To the Moon and Back.

A dark, juicy, deliciously unsettling, read-it-in-one-sitting psychological drama.

Rose has it all - the gorgeous children, the husband, the beautiful home. But then her best friend Polly comes to stay. Very soon, Rose's cosy world starts to fall apart at the seams - her baby falls dangerously ill, her husband is distracted - is Polly behind it all? It appears that once you invite Polly into your home, it's very difficult to get her out again...

Cuckoo is a UK 2011 debut and sounds like a fantastic read, I can't wait to get started!

Cityboy is back! The bestselling author of CITYBOY, which sold over 200,000 copies, returns with an explosive, edge-of-the-seat, no-holds-barred thriller of City corruption, scams and monstrously bad behaviour.

Steve Jones, our Cityboy hero, wants out. He's looking to cash-in before the soul-stripping toil of coining it in London's financial heartland turns into a life sentence. All it will take is a handsome seven figure wedge in the bank and it's the good life for him and goodbye to the horrors of the Square Mile. Like the expert chancer he is, he sees an opportunity. Hacking into his boss's computer, he finds something that chills him to the bone. This is big time; there are bad men involved; there are millions at stake. So no change there then. But when he stumbles upon a murder and becomes the prime suspect, he has to go on the run. Together with his partner Gemma, he improvises ingenious ways of outwitting the authorities, a vicious drug cartel and even M15 in a chase that will send him half way round the world if he's going to stay alive...

Author Geraint Anderson was certainly a colourful character and I can't wait to see if this shows through in his book, I'm sure it will be an interesting read!

Cathy Brett

After getting our books signed quite a few of us headed to a local pub where we had a great time chatting.  It was lovely to see everyone in a more informal and relaxed setting and the evening flew by.  Cathy Brett is such a talented illustrator & she got her trusty pad and pencil out to draw cartoons of a few of us.  It was amazing watching her work, she was drawing so quickly and it was impressive to watch.  I took pictures of the drawings she did so have a look at the slide show below to see them & a few other pics taken in the pub.  I think this is probably the only time I'll be able to say I had my portrait drawn by a published author!  Thanks Cathy :o)

I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Headline for organising such a fantastic event and being so generous.  I really had a great time and it was lovely to meet you all!  Thanks to all of the authors too for being so gracious and happily spending time answering our questions.

Who was there:
Sam, Maura, Hannah, Claire, Helena & Naomi - Headline
Cathy Brett - website
Geraint Anderson - website
Jenna Burtenshaw - website
Jill Mansell - website
Jonathan L Howard - website
Julia Crouch - website
Julie Cohen - website
Carolyn & Laura - Book Chick City
Liz & Essjay - My Favourite Books


  1. Oh how completely FUN!!! Love this post and the pics - how awesome!!! I love blogger meet ups!

  2. I can't believe I missed this post. Just a fabulous day out.

  3. Ah, a fine reminder of a fun afternoon/evening.

  4. My post will hopefully be up soon - better late than never LOL It was a fun day, it's a shame we didn't get to chat much but there seemed to be a lot more authors and bloggers to get around this time! It was a fun afternoon though :)

  5. A fab write up of a fab event! Great pics too :-)



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