The Polar Bear Explorers Club

Due to juggling Real Life stuff (see post below) I seem to have neglected to update my website with some really exciting new book news. I’ve written a middle-grade fantasy novel called The Polar Bear Explorers Club, which has been acquired by Faber in a three book deal. Hurrah! The first one will be published in the UK in November next year and I absolutely can’t wait as this is a book I just loved writing. More details on my agent’s site here.

The Polar Bear Explorers Club

Stella Starflake Pearl lives with her explorer father, Felix, alongside her pet polar bear, Gruff, a menagerie of pygmy dinosaurs and her trusty unicorn, Magic. Ever since Stella was a small child, Felix has gone away on expeditions to faraway lands, and returned with fascinating curiosities and incredible tales. Stella has always enjoyed his stories, but now she’s ready to start having a few adventures of her own.

She finally convinces Felix to take her with him on his next journey, and the expedition duly embarks with its supplies of wolves, sleds, unicorns, iced gems and expedition-strength moustache wax. But once their ship
reaches the snowy Icelands, Stella and the other three junior explorers find themselves separated from the rest of their expedition.

Setting out together into the frozen unknown, they must keep all their wits about them if they are to come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, carnivorous cabbages – and live to tell the tale.

The Haunting Artwork

Following on from the gorgeous Frozen Charlotte art I received a while back, here is some equally wonderful artwork inspired by The Haunting, by Edie Morris.

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Seeing your characters brought to life is the coollest thing ever, and I love this image of Shell being haunted by all her birds. Thank you so much for sending this my way, Edie!

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Frozen Charlotte Art

Frozen Charlotte picture by Lucy Treleaven

I was absolutely delighted to receive this beautiful Frozen Charlotte art from 14-year-old Lucy Treleaven earlier in the week. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw but, sadly, it is not one of my talents. Sometimes even my smiley faces end up looking a bit deranged. But I really admire artists and, for a writer, there’s no greater thrill than seeing your characters brought to life. I recognised Lilias, Cameron, Sophie, Piper and Rebecca straight away – they all look spookily similar to the way I see them in my head, and it was like saying hello to old friends again. So a big thank you to Lucy for producing such a great little piece of art, and for letting me see it. It really did make my day.

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The Haunting

I’ve had a few emails/tweets etc recently from people wanting to know when my next horror book comes out so I’m really pleased to be able to finally share this beautiful cover for my new Red Eye novel, The Haunting:

The Haunting

I am SOOOO happy with this artwork! In fact, I love it even more than the cover for Frozen Charlotte. I don’t want to give too much away, but the girl in the image is one of the main characters in the book, and she is haunted by birds …

The book is scheduled to come out February 2016 and I really hope that it will appeal to fans of Frozen Charlotte. Here’s the blurb:

People say that all Cornish inns are haunted, but the Waterwitch’s history is particularly chilling. Built from the salvaged timber of a cursed ship, the guest house’s dark secrets go further back than anyone can remember.

Emma is permanently confined to a wheelchair after an accident at the Waterwitch which took place when she was ten. Seven years later, she decides to return to the place where the awful even occurred. But the ancient inn still has its ghosts, and one particular spirit is more vengeful than ever …

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Tales from the Vatican Vaults

Tales from the Vatican Vaults

 

My short story, The Confession, was published earlier in the week in this new anthology from Constable and Robinson:

A captivating collection of original science fiction and fantasy stories based on the same alternate world premise: a collection of documents that have been suppressed by the Vatican and hidden away for years, in some cases centuries, are revealed when the vaults are thrown open by a reforming pope.

In this alternate reality, Pope John Paul (I) does not die a month after his accession in 1978; instead he lives on for over 30 years to become the most reforming pope of all time. In addition to relaxing the rules on birth control and priestly celibacy he also opens up the most secret parts of the Vatican Library to scholars . . .

In the Vatican’s deepest vaults, documents are discovered which shed new light on world history, containing information which, if true, would cause many parts of accepted history to have to be rewritten. These include not just the undercover involvement of the Catholic Church in world affairs, but documented accounts of what really happened in historical conundrums, the real lives of saints and popes, miracles, magic, angels and even alien encounters.

My story is set in 1889, and concerns the real identity of Jack the Ripper. Warning: expect a certain amount of gory unpleasantness.

Interestingly, family tree research shows I might be distantly related to Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes, via my great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Eddowes, who was also from Wolverhampton . . .

 

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