Theatrical Blog Tour: The Shows I’d Most Like to See and A Deep Dive into the DNA Of Theatrical

Hello everybody!

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Theatrical, which I really enjoyed last month, by talking about some of the plays/musicals I’d most like to see one day. I also have a list of recommendations of plays that author Maggie Harcourt loved whilst she was working on the book. Onto the post!

Continue reading “Theatrical Blog Tour: The Shows I’d Most Like to See and A Deep Dive into the DNA Of Theatrical”

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June Reviews 2018

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m going to be reviewing all the books I read in June, all of which I really enjoyed. Onto the post!


Continue reading “June Reviews 2018”

Across the Divide Blog Tour: “We Have More in Common than What Divides Us”

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m really excited to be on the blog tour for Anne Booth’s new book Across the Divide, and to share a guest post from Anne, about how we can learn empathy from fiction. Over to Anne!

‘We have more in common’

I love twitter. When I felt lonely and isolated as a carer for elderly parents, twitter was a safe place where I could meet lovely people – writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, agents – who shared my enthusiasm and passion for children’s books and illustrations. Later, through someone I chatted to about children’s books on twitter, it led to me being published, and getting my wonderful agent. Things I read on twitter every day inspire and inform me and give me ideas for new books. I find it a great ongoing source of support and information and entertainment.

But it has its dark side. When I move away from the world of children’s writing and start reading political tweets, things get much more polarised and divisive and depressing. In the children’s book world, we tend to genuinely behave as if, as Jo Cox said, ‘we have more in common than what divides us’. Because politics is so much more adversarial, nobody seems to feel safe to acknowledge the good in their political opponents, or any badness in their own party. There are so many smears and so much selective reporting, so much finger pointing and generalisations and confusion and unspoken agendas. It is so hard to get to the truth, and yet it is presented as easy to find. If you state a political or religious opinion online you run the risk of being put in a box, and also being seen as someone who puts others in boxes. It doesn’t seem to be acceptable to ask questions about things you don’t understand or change your mind about things, in other words, get educated. There is little forgiveness or giving people the benefit of the doubt or understanding that there is good and bad in everyone. This is not healthy, and against the whole spirit of education and debate, and this approach is also poisoning the world outside twitter in which our children are growing up.

In researching the world of Britain at the time of WW1 I found the same poisonous polarisation. I found, for example, that genuinely brave Emily Pankhurst was, horribly, an enthusiastic giver out of white feathers to men she considered cowards for not going to war, and she and others did not recognise their bravery. I read of families divided, smears and lies and wilfully hateful interpretations of good people’s motives.

Stories can be an antidote to this poison. In the fictional world we have the time and the safe space to explore ambiguities and mixed motives, to let people make mistakes and change opinions. In the fictional world cowards can do brave things, enemies can become friends. We can become educated and learn to empathise – we can be uncertain without being screamed at. We can learn, through fiction, how history informs our present, and I hope that ACROSS THE DIVIDE takes the reader to a beautiful place to explore difficult ideas in safety.

ACROSS THE DIVIDE by Anne Booth is out now in paperback (£6.99, Catnip Publishing). Follow Anne Booth @Bridgeanne and Catnip @catnipbooks for more information

Have you read Across the Divide? Do you plan to add it to your TBR? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

My Most Anticipated Releases of 2018 (January to April)

Hello everybody!

Welcome to day 2 of blogmas! Today, since we’ve kicked off the countdown to Christmas (related/unrelated point: I am in LOVE with my Thorntons Gruffalo advent calender this year), I thought it’d be fun to talk about some of the books I’m counting down to in the first few months of 2018. (There are a lot more, but these are my top ten! Of which 90% are MG, which isn’t really that surprising seeing I tend to love them most)

Onto the books!


The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson– I enjoyed Lisa’s debut The Goldfish Boy last year, ans I’m VERY excited for this one. If anything, it sounds even better, andif the synopsis is anything to go by I have a feeling I’ll adore Nate.


Sky Chasers by Emma Carroll
– the Queen of Historical Fiction is a fitting description of Emma Carroll. I’m head over heels with each and every one of Emma’s books (particularly the Girl Who Walked on Air, with a brave, feisty yet relatable heroine, a darling little dog and also the dreamy Gabriel Swift). This is set in France and it’s about the first hot air balloon flight, and I have no reason to believe I won’t be raving about this to anyone who’ll listen to me too.

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone
– Confession: I have only read one book by Abi Elphinstone before, The Dream Snatcher, and while I liked it (and her short story from Winter Magic) very much, I’ve just never got round to the others. I will get round to them eventually! Sky Song sounds like too good an adventure to put off though, and everyone I know who’s read it thinks it’s exceptional.


A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens
– as a longtime Murder Most Unladylike fan, I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for this book! As good as the Guggenheim Mystery was, I’m in desperate need of some Wells and Wong goodness. Also, I’m intrigued to see how Daisy and Hazel’s friendship may change when this book is set at Hazel’s home in Hong Kong (not to mention Hong Kong itself!)

Brighstorm by Vashti Hardy
– this is a debut novel, and it’s an MG adventure with a skyship and twins, which are very relevant to my interests/tastes, and I’ve heard praise from a couple of authors who’ve already received proofs. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it!

Battle of the Beetles by M.G Leonard
– I’m unbelievably excited for the conclusion to this trilogy, which I’ve been in love with since soon after Beetle Boy’s release. I adore the charcaters and the beetles, the plot and the writing style, and the villain Lucretia Cutter is so evil! These feel like modern classics, and I’m desperate to find out what the ending will be.

A Witch Alone by James Nicol
– I really liked the Apprentice Witch last year, and I’ve been waiting for ages on the sequel. I’m planning to reread to remind myself of the characters too, and I can’t wait to see what happens to Arianwyn next.

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
– this is Sophie Cameron’s debut novel and I’m looking forward to it for a number of reasons. It’s set in Edinburgh, some friends I really trust with book recommendations loved it and I’m a pretty big fan of some good magical realism.

Beyond the Odyssey by Maz Evans-
I have adored the first two installments of this series this year, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Elliot next, to see more crazy antics from the gods and to experience another rollercoaster of emotions; going from laughter to tears in very short spaces.

When the Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth
– if you’ve read basically a single other post on this blog, you will know I love Running on the Roof of the World by this author a huge amount. I cannot wait for her 2nd novel, which is set to feature a leopard!!

Thank you for reading! What’s your advent calender this year? What books are top of your wish list next year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl
Amy xxx