Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Event Report: S&S Blogger Presentation Summer 2013

Simon & Schuster consistently release some of my favourite YA books and their list goes from strength to strength, particularly this year. I think they're doing a lot of exciting things at the moment and after watching a presentation about their July - December releases I'm even more convinced that S&S are right at the top of their game!

It was lovely to meet up with some of my favourite bloggers and have a chat with the gorgeous S&S publicity team - you guys rock, as always! I love heading to London for bookish events and after the snow disrupted my plans in January it was so nice to be back and see everybody.

During the presentation we were given details of a number of the books S&S are releasing over the next six months and, dear lord, you guys are in for such a treat. Almost every single book that was mentioned is one I'm hankering after and I was lucky enough to leave with a handful of proofs that I cannot wait to get started on.

I want to tell you guys about a few of the highlights so these are the books I'm most excited about:

Carnaby - Cate Sampson (04/07/2013)

Summary: Sarah aka Carnaby has a tough life, but it suddenly gets a whole lot tougher when her mother is found murdered, her sister goes into labour and her new baby nephew is threatened with being taken into care. Sarah doesn't remember finding her mother's body, but she does remember hearing about other murders on the estate where they live. Is there a connection - and can Sarah find out what is going on, without putting herself and her family in even more danger?

Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas (18/07/2013)

Summary: It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love. As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

Have A Little Faith - Candy Harper (01/08/2013)

Summary: Being fourteen is a minefield: with fashion dilemmas, teacher trauma, embarrassing parents and boy drama, Faith is just hoping to make it through Year Ten without too many disasters. But when she and her best friend Megs sign up to take part in an inter-school choir with the local boys comprehensive, Faith's life gets even more complicated… just how is she supposed to concentrate on becoming the next Cheryl Cole when she's trying to understand how teenage boys' minds work?

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider (15/08/2013)

Summary: Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he had everything to lose: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his social life. No longer part of the popular crowd, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent and determined to bring Ezra along on her crazy adventures. 

Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if his tragedy has already happened and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what will happen if misfortune strikes again?

Split Second - Sophie McKenzie (12/09/2013)

Summary: Bound together by the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, teenagers Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat appear at first to have much in common. But, as Charlie gets closer to Nat and his family, she begins to wonder if perhaps he knows more about the attack than he has let on. Split Second is an action-packed thriller that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit.

Stormbringers - Philippa Gregory (10/10/2013)

Summary: Luca Vero is a member of the secret Order of Darkness, tasked with searching out and reporting signs of the end of the world. Breaking his journey in Piccolo, he finds a place filled with superstitious fears: of the unknown, of the forces of the sea and sky, of strangers. With him are his loyal friend and servant, Frieze, and his clerk, Brother Peter, as well as the Lady Isolde and her mysterious servant-companion Ishraq.

The five of them are followed into the town by a huge children's crusade, led by a self-proclaimed saint. Its young leader promises that the sea will part before them, and allow them to walk dry-shod all the way to Jerusalem. Luca and Lady Isolde are swept up in the growing excitement; but something dangerous is brewing far out to sea...

The Trap - Andrew Fukuda (24/10/2013)

Summary: After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene's mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.

Note: This is the US cover as the UK cover hasn't yet been finalised but we saw an almost-finished version and it's brilliant!

So guys, what do you think? Pretty awesome, right? Well that's not even all of it; there are so many other fantastic titles that S&S are bringing out throughout the rest of 2013 so keep your eyes peeled! I got to hear Candy Harper and Sophie McKenzie read from their upcoming releases, which was brilliant and it's always nice to meet an author in person after reading and loving their work!

I want to say a huge thank you so the amazing girls at S&S for organising such a wonderful event and I'd better pop off now so I can get on with some reading... I have a lot to get through!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Blog Tour: Gloss - Marilyn Kaye

For me, Gloss might just be one of the most exciting releases of 2013. Set in New York in 1963, it follows four young girls who are interning at Gloss, a huge American fashion magazine. The 1960s is so rarely touched on in YA that I think it's going to be something a little bit different, which is always a good thing. Plus, fashion in YA? Yes, please.

For today's slot on her blog tour I've got the author of Gloss, Marilyn Kaye, here at Writing from the Tub to talk about fashion in the 60s and some of the looks that are central to Gloss. For some visual inspiration and to check out some of the looks head over to the Gloss Pinterest board, which you can see here.

If you enjoyed today's post make sure you head over to A Dream of Books tomorrow, when the next stop on the tour will take place.

Anyway, without further ado, let me hand you over to Marilyn:

When people think of fashion in the 1960s, there are two images that usually come to mind.  One is the look that involved miniskirts and short white go-go boots.  The other is the hippie look – long skirts, peasant blouses, beads and flowers.

But for the year in which GLOSS is set, 1963, neither of these were popular yet.  The fashion icon was the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.  She wore softly tailored feminine dresses, straight n-waist dresses called ‘shifts,’ and suits that featured short boxy jackets with big buttons and skirts that came to the middle of the knee or just below.  Pillbox hats and short gloves for day.  Evening wear was glamorous – full skirted gowns, and long gloves.  Hair was teased up softly into poufy bouffant styles.

Teens had their own special variations on the look.  They too wore dresses, and the most popular label was Villager.  A typical Villager dress was a solid color or small  print, sometimes with tucked with a tuck front, an A-line skirt, and a matching belt.  Other popular brands were Bobbie Brooks – especially their dyed-to-match skirts and cardigans – and Ladybug (every shirt came with a tiny red and black ladybug pin on the collar.)  The It-bag was by John Romain – tweed, with cordovan or navy blue leather trim, and the favored shoes for day were loafers (preferably a brand called Weejuns) with bare legs.  If the weather was too cold to go bare-legged, they wore nylon stockings held up by garter belts or girdles.  Trousers were only for play, never worn at school.

The It Bag of the 60s
Hair was teased up pageboy or flip styles – the only real difference was that in the flip style, the ends of the hair were flipped up.  And there was a shorter poufy style called a ‘bubble.’  Girls rolled their hair, sometimes nightly, with big fat bristled rollers and bobby pins and slept on it that way – unbelievably uncomfortable, but worth it to have the look.

And in the morning, once the hair was teased and arranged, it was kept in place with a heavy dose of Aqua Net hair spray, which was actually a lacquer – it would take a hurricane to push one lock out of place! 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Bookish News: Ringo Starr to Publish a Picture Book!

So if you've been hanging around on Twitter today you might have seen a pretty exciting announcement sweeping through the bookish world - Ringo Starr is going to be publishing a picture book with Simon and Schuster later this year!

Based on the Beatles song, Octopus's Garden, the picture book package sounds like one not to be missed, including a hardback and CD, which includes an audio version of the story and original tracks from Ringo. Definitely one to put on the wishlist for both Beatles and picture book fans and it's certainly one I'll be snapping up when it's released in October.

For more information I've copied the press release from Simon and Schuster below, which contains all of the details about the book's release, acquisition and a message from Ringo himself.

So, what do you think about the news? Are you excited, especially you Beatles fans out there? Do you think you'll be picking up a copy when it hits the shelves in October?

Simon and Schuster Children’s Books today announced a worldwide publication agreement with Ringo Starr for a picture book edition of his famous Beatles hit, Octopus’s Garden, 45 years after the song was first written. The book will be published as a stunning hardback edition plus CD, with audio content to include an original, previously un-heard music track from Ringo and a reading of the story.

Ben Cort, the illustrator of Aliens Love Underpants and a life-long Beatles fan, has been signed up to illustrate the book. Cort made his name with the hugely successful Underpants series written by Claire Freedman, which has sold over a million copies across 19 languages.

Ringo Starr gave the following message for fans: “It gives me great pleasure to collaborate with Ben Cort and Simon & Schuster for the further adventures of Octopus’s Garden. Peace and Love, Ringo.”

Ingrid Selberg, Children’s Publisher at Simon & Schuster UK said: “As an original Beatles fan, publishing this book is a dream come true for me. By bringing Ben Cort on board we have arranged the perfect marriage of a truly child-friendly text, based on Ringo’s popular song, with illustrations that revel in the imaginative opportunities presented by the lyrics. This is a beautiful and funny book that children, parents and grandparents will love sharing.”

Ingrid Selberg acquired World Rights from Alex Ianev, New Business Development Manager at Universal Music Publishing. Octopus’s Garden will be published in the UK on 24th October as hardback and CD, followed by a paperback edition in 2014. North American publication is scheduled for January 2014.