Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Guest Post: Bloomsbury Titles to get Excited About

Today I'm very excited to welcome the lovely Emma from Bloomsbury who is going to tell us about the titles she is most excited about publishing in the next few months.  Thanks so much for writing a guest post for me Emma!


Thanks for inviting me to do a guest post Feeling Fictional. I have to confess this is my first post on a blog EVER, so go easy on me readers.

I am a publicist at Bloomsbury Children’s Books. As part of my job I get to meet lots of amazing authors and read loads of incredible books long before they hit the bookshops. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to give you a bit of a sneak peek at a few of my favourite YA Bloomsbury books coming this autumn.

Velvet by Mary Hooper, 5th September

I’m going to go a bit gushy fangirl over Mary. In fact I will probably do that for all of the authors I mention, but I am very fond of the lovely Mary. Not only does she write the most wonderful, romantic, evocative, insightful (too many adjectives?) books, she is also great fun to hang out with. As well as work, we usually manage to gossip about handsome men, family, good books and good food when we’re on tour. She’s an absolute pleasure to be around.

Onto the book itself: Velvet is set in Victorian London at the height of the spiritualist craze. It tells the story of a young orphan girl working in a steam laundry. Struggling to earn enough to survive, she is thrilled when a client, the mysterious and glamorous medium, Madame Savoya, offers her a job in her house. Life couldn’t be more different for Velvet: she is living in comparative luxury, Madame feels more like a friend than her employer, she even trusts her to assist with the séances, and then there’s the handsome butler George . . .

But if things seem too good to be true, it’s often because they are. Soon Velvet finds herself embroiled in a kidnap plot and Madame Savoya is close to discovering the truth about the death of Velvet’s father. Velvet’s life is in jeopardy, but will she realise what’s happening in time . . .

Mary won over a lot of new fans with her last book Fallen Grace. Velvet is sure to do the same!

Mary Hooper

See Mary this autumn:

6pm, Tuesday 20th September
Just Imagine Story Centre, 64-68 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0PD
Tel 01245 267748
Tickets: £5

2pm, Sunday 25th September
Guildhall, high Street, Bath BA1 4BX
Tel: 01225 463 362
Tickets: £5

Find out more about Mary at:

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, 3rd October

Andi lives in New York and is dealing with the disintegration of her family and the guilt she feels following her younger brother’s death. Alex lives in Paris and is a maid to the royal family as the French Revolution rages. Both girls are struggling with their responsibilities and their place in the world.

When Andi is dragged to Paris by her father, their two stories collide, and Andi finds a way to reconcile herself not only to her past but also to her future.

I first read Jennifer’s Carnegie Medal winning debut, A Gathering Light, in 2003 when I was working as a bookseller in a branch of Ottakar’s (a brilliant chain of bookshops, which is sadly no more). It blew me away and is one of my all time favourite books. Fast-forward seven years and I was thrilled to discover I would be working on Jennifer’s long-awaited second book for Bloomsbury. This is a title we published in hardback last year, but it’s such a heart-breakingly wonderful book that I have to mention that the paperback edition is coming in October.

If you haven’t yet discovered Jennifer you are in for a treat. This lady writes so beautifully, even her emails have reduced me to tears (in a good way, she’s not mean or anything). Although I have been emailing Jennifer for the last year I have never met her before. So I’m very excited to tell you that Jennifer will be flying over from New York to visit the UK this October!

Jennifer Donnelly

You can catch Jennifer at:

8pm, Wednesday 5th October
Topping & Co. The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS
01225 428 111
Tickets: £6

6:30pm, Thursday 6th October
Earls High School, Furnace Lane, Halesowen, W Midlands B63 3SL
01384 818 406
Tickets: free

7pm, Friday 7th October
County Hall, Fishergate, Preston, Lancashire PR1 8XJ
01772 683 444
Tickets: £2

5pm, Saturday 8th October
Ilkley Literature Festival

11:45am, Sunday 9th October
Cheltenham Literature Festival

Find out more about Jennifer at:

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey, 3rd October

Now there’s a nasty rumour going around that paranormal romance is yesterday’s news. I beg to differ. Alyxandra Harvey’s butt-kicking vampire series, Drake Chronicles, is still going strong. No matter what the current trend, you have to read this series. If you’ve ever cheered for Buffy, drooled over a hot boy and stood by your best friend when times have got tough, you’re going to love these books.

Bleeding Hearts is the fourth of the Drake Chronicles. This time Alyxandra takes a closer look at what’s going on with Connor Drake.

Lucy’s cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult. The strict curfew that Lucy’s parents enforce is hard to respect. Surely noting really dangerous could happen in this tiny town.

When Christabel starts to notice some mysterious happenings it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn’t understand – one that seems deadly serious. When Christabel is kidnapped by the Hel-Blar vampires, Lucy and Connor finally fill her in on all the undead drama. Together that must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.

I was lucky enough to meet Alyxandra in person when she came over to the UK from her home in Canada in May. We spent a week touring in the south of England to promote Haunting Violet. Alyxandra is as smart and sassy as any of her female characters. She’s also full of fascinating historical anecdotes and I think her love of history comes through in all of her books. I have my fingers crossed that Alyxandra will be back in the UK in 2012 to promote her next stand-alone title, Stolen Away.

Alyxandra Harvey

Find out more about Alyxandra at:

Thanks for having me Feeling Fictional. If anyone wants to ask a question or just say hi, feel free to tweet me @EmmaCBradshaw


Thanks so much for the lovely guest post Emma, I'm really looking forward to reading all of these books!  Mary Hooper won a new fan in me with Fallen Grace and I can't wait to try Velvet.  I love that you get to gossip about handsome men when you're on tour with Mary - such a hard job lol.  I've not read anything by Jennifer Donnelly before but after a recommendation like that I'm going to have to pick up A Gathering Light :o) I really liked Alyxandra Harvey's Haunting Violet so and have been planning on starting her Drake Chronicles series so I'll have to try and get caught up before Bleeding Hearts comes out.

Which of these books are you most looking forward to?  If you've read anything by these authors I'd love to know what you thought of them so please leave a link to your reviews in the comments!  Don't forget to go and say hi to Emma on Twitter here


  1. I love Mary Hooper, and Revolution also looks intriguing!

  2. I have just started reading Velvet and I can't help but feel that Mary Hooper is becoming one of my favourite all time authors.

  3. Great guest post Emma! Bloomsbury always have such amazing titles coming out that we're spoilt for choice.

  4. I cant wait to read Velvet, Fallen Grace bowled me over!
    I just read the Haunting Violet too and It has made me want to read the Drake Chronicles so bad so I must get those soon too!
    And! lol, I cant wait to start A Gathering Light... or meet Jennifer (and Mary) at the upcoming events!! :D

  5. Though I usually hate Victorian--maybe unless it was done as gross as it really was--I like the spiritualist angle. I'm not sure that's one I've seen before.

    Vampires may be waning from mega status, but they will never die. We are too in tune to the mythology, such that it lodges as an archetype in out hearts and minds.

    Paranormal romance is a great poster child for fusion fiction. It will live on.

    Great first blog.

  6. Mary is a great author! I loved Fallen Grace.
    Sending love to Bloomsbury, a great publisher!

  7. @ A.J. Mullarky - I loved Fallen Grace so can't wait to read Velvet, I'm also very curious about Revolution too :o)

    @ Viv - I'm looking forward to Velvet, if it's as good as Fallen Grace Mary will be being added to my favourite authors list too!

    @ SJH - Bloomsbury definitely spoil us don't they :o)

    @ Raimy - I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't started the Drake Chronicles yet, I definitley want to after Haunting Violet! Looking forward to meeting you (and Mary of course!) at the event in a few weeks :o)

    @ Bets - I really enjoyed the spiritualist angle in Haunting Violet, it was really interesting to see the tricks of the trade used by Victorian's to "prove" there were ghosts present lol. Like you said I don't think we'll ever see the end of vampires, I still love reading anything paranormal so hope the trend continues for a long time to come :o)

    @ Books for Company - Bloomsbury publish so many good books don't they! Fallen Grace was one of my favourites of theirs & I can't wait to read Velvet



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