Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Tunes for Tuesday #4

Tunes for Tuesday is a feature which gives us the chance to listen to the songs which influenced authors while writing their books.
As we know, each author is different so this feature has no set rules and it's up to an author how they wish their playlist to be featured.

I'm R.J. Anderson, an author of speculative fiction for older children and teens.

This [playlist] is dedicated to links relating to my forthcoming YA paranormal thriller Ultraviolet, which will be published in the UK by Orchard Books and in the US by Carolrhoda Lab in 2011.

Here’s a sampler of the songs I listened to while writing Ultraviolet, arranged roughly in order of their place in the book’s narrative:

[As usual click song title to listen]

Ambulance by Eisley - “I need an ambulance / I took the worst of the blow…” 

Serotonin by Nine Horses - “My mind’s hallucinating lucidity / It’s over sensitized / And something’s moving on the periphery…”

Measuring Cups by Andrew Bird - “Come to the front of the class / And we’ll measure your brain / We’ll give you a complex and we’ll / give it a name…”

Another Little Hole by Aqualung - “No need to tell her / she knows that there’s another little hole in her heart / ‘Cause she feels it happen…”

Basic Space by The xx - “I’ve suffered shipwrecks / right from the start…”

Every Colour You Are by Rain Tree Crow - “Feel like crying / the joke’s gone too far / you can be anything you want / every colour you are…”

Fingers of Love by Crowded House - “Colour is its own reward / the chiming of a perfect chord…”

X and Y by Coldplay - “I dive in at the deep end / you’ve become my best friend / I want to love you but I don’t know if I can…”

Faster than Light by Neil Finn - “And praise will come to those whose kindness  leaves you without debt / and bends the shape of things that haven’t happened yet…”

Four Walls by Charlotte Martin - “Grow accustomed to the darkness / and see what you’re supposed to see…”

The Big Music by the Waterboys - “I have heard the big music / and I’ll never be the same…”

How the Day Sounds by Greg Laswell - “Thank you for opening the window / The sky is clear as my mind is now / I was a long, long way off / Join me in welcoming the sun in…”

Unfortunately I was unable to include some of the songs that most inspired me at the beginning stages of the novel, most notably Peter Himmelman’s “Synesthesia” and “Name” and Cock Robin’s “I Don’t Want To Save The World” (though the latter can be found via Deezer here).
The songs in the playlist have a lyrical as well as a musical connection to the book, but for simple mood-setting I also listened to a lot of ambient music by Talk Talk/Mark Hollis, David Sylvian, and Kevin McCormick.

Midnight Reads would like to say a massive thank you to R J Anderson for allowing her playlist to be featured this week. We were all ready looking forward to reading the book but this has made us want to read all the more.

Find out more about Ultraviolet here where you can also view the book trailer.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

For Review

Solid (Solid #1)

Shelley Workinger
July 2010
Series: Solid#1

Teens who discover they were secretly genetically altered before birth are brought together at a classified site where they forge new friendships, find love, develop "super-abilities," and even unearth a conspiracy.

WANTED:HERO Prelude to a Hero (Chronicles of a Hero)

Prelude to a Hero
Jamie Buckley
May 2011

Wendell is a young man who learns what his potential is while on a strange, enchanted world with a funny old wizard and ugly troll to mentor and guide him. Prelude to a Hero, the debut book about how Wendell came to be the one expected to save an entire world. . . by accident.


R.J. Anderson
May/June 2011

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. This is not her story. Unless you count the part where I killed her. Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori - the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

Ininite Days
Rebecca Maizel
August 2010

When Lenah Beaudonte, a 500-year-old vampire queen, wakes up a human teenager at an ultra-cliquey prep school, she must choose between embracing the humanity she’s always craved and saving her new friends from her vicious coven. The first in a sizzling new YA series.

Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?



Tom's first book is due out next week, I hope you are ready to buy!!??!! It's the funniest book I have read this year! Although I have the book, Tom was kind enough to send me this signed copy. I had no idea untill in arrived in the post this week, was so excited!! Massive thank you Tom!!

So that's what I got In My Mailbox this week, what did you get?
Happy Reading :)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

On My Wishlist #3

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It is a list of the books I want but don't yet have. The books can be old, new or forthcoming.

The Faerie Ring

The Faerie Ring
Kiki Hamilton
September 2011

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger. 
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.
Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.
Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty...


Karsten Knight
July 2011

Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Book synopsis taken fro goodreads

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Cover Reveal:~ Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I was sent this first image from Press Office, Ruth, at Walker Books, London.
I love how the cover is actually being revealed to the passing public! Awesome!!
Clockwork Prince will be publishing this December and is the second in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series set in Victorian London.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

In My Mailbox 11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.



The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction

Dark Heart Rising (Dark Heart Forever #2)

Jane and Luca's story continues ...but not quite as they had planned. When challenges and threats from the immortal world of Nissilum rip the young lovers apart, Jane is bereft. Without Luca's dancing green eyes, and gentle smile, Jane feels lost, sad and alone. But then a trip to Paris with her grandmother thrusts her in the path of the amiable Soren - a kindred spirit who may be just the distraction she needs ...Meanwhile in Nissilum, Luca struggles with the loyalties and expectations that come with being a part of the immortal world. A world that is about to be shaken at its very core: rumblings of mounting unrest are spreading, and with rumours of an angel rebellion growing no creature is safe -- especially not a mortal girl who has fallen in love with a wolf boy...

Never Bite a Boy on the First Date

Newly turned vampire Kira has earned a reputation for breaking the rules. So when a student is murdered at her high school, via fang-bite, all fingers point to Kira. But she swears she had nothing to do with it! In order to prove her innocence she has to show her family that there’s another vampire in town. She’s pretty sure it’s one of three new guys who’ve moved in recently—so she goes about dating them all. Dating three cute boys may be fun, but which one is the murdering vampire? And what if he’s the boy she’s falling for...?

For Review

Tiger's Curse (Tiger Saga, #1)

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life


Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.
Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.

So that's what I got this week, what did you get?
Happy reading!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Tunes for Tuesday #3

Tunes for Tuesday is a feature here at Midnight Reads where each week a playlist from a book we have read or want to read will be featured.

This week we are playing songs from Tom Clempson's One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite.

We loved Tom's book and you can read our book review here and don't forget to check out the interview we did with Tom here.

Over to Tom:~

Midnight Reads Playlist for ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite’ by Tom Clempson.

When Midnight Reads asked me if I had a playlist for my book ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite’, my answer was a very firm ‘yes’. Not only does my book feature quite a number of songs in it, but I also listened to lots of music to help inspire parts of the book and to help me regress back to a fifteen year old, and the school that my book is set in (my old school - now a housing estate) has spawned a number of successful musicians, including my very own folky brother (Ben Clempson) and Nizlopi (of the JCB fame).

There’s just one problem… That’s too much music for one playlist! I’ve tried chopping and changing songs, picking a few from the book, a few from inspiration and a few from the school, but that just makes for a really weird and disjointed collection of music that doesn’t really represent my book in any way!

So, for now, whilst people aren’t too familiar with the book, I think it wisest to just stick to music that best sums up ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week…’ and, if Midnight Reads would permit me, maybe I could be greedy and come back another time with an alternative playlist(?).
The playlist I’ve picked today is a collection of songs that are mentioned in the book, and songs that fit the books themes and style. So here they are:
Click on song to listen

1. It’s Growing – James Taylor You wont have to read beyond page one to find out why I picked this song. In fact you wont have to read beyond the first line. Or the first word! (James Taylor probably wouldn’t appreciate the connotations).

2. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin This one was intended to feature in the book, but due to a lack of recognisable lyrics it got replaced by Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (“Don’t Worry, About A Thing…”). This is one of the cheeriest songs ever, made all the more awesome by the fact that all the instruments are in fact Bobby McFerrin’s mouth!

3. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong Another happy song that appears in the book, during one of Jacks few carefree, laidback moments.

4. All Of These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers There is a whole chapter in the book where Jack explains his love/hate relationship with this band. He’s got soul, but he’s not a soldier.

5. Chicken Payback – The Bees If I had to pick one song to sum up ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week…’ it would probably be this. It’s fun, silly, and doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense.

6. New Born – Muse Jack also mentions this band and there’s a sequence, towards the end of the book, where the pace of this song would work so well if the book were a film.

7. Run Rabbit Run – Flanagan & Allen Another one that is mentioned in the book, which plays like a soundtrack in Jacks head. Jack is in serious danger, yet he can’t get this strange old song out of his head. This is exactly the way my own contradictory brain taunts me.

8. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Grand Central Boogie) – Gazzara This one also plays through Jacks head, during a moment of potentially cool heroism.

9. Creep – Radiohead The title of this song fits so many characters in the book, and the words of the song could be sung by Jack himself.

That’s all, thanks for listening!

Thanks so much Tom! What a mixed bag of songs! Just brilliant!!!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Ollerina Art ~ Artist Feature week 3

This is week 3 of our new artist feature here at Midnight Reads. Ollerina Art has proved very popular with our followers and viewers and don't forget you can enter here for your chance to win some of Ollerina's art.

We love Ollerina's work and we have more to show you this week.

You can learn more about artist Karen Hurd here in the interview she did with us in week 2 of the artist feature.

In My Mailbox #10

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

For Review

Title: Blood
Author: K J Wignall
Published: September 2011
By: EgmontUSA

Title: Between
Author: Jessica Warman
Published: October 2011
By: Egmont


Title: Mortal Kiss
Author: Alice Moss
Published: January 2011
By: Bantam Children

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
 Published: March 2011
By: HarperCollins

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

Title: Skulduggery Pleasant
Author: Derek Landy
By: HarperCollins

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes.

Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.

Just had to show off the new paperback of The Passage by Justin Cronin. It's had a lot of hype and I can't wait to read it! And lovers of this can look forward too not only another two books but The Passage is to be released as a film!

The Passage:

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

                                 Blood: Book One of the Mercian Trilogy         
               Between    Between

* Covers for Blood and Between.

So that is what I got this week. Sorry I'm a day late!
What did you get this week?

In Faye McCarron’s sleepy New England town of Winter Mill, the snow has arrived a little ahead of season—September, to be exact. But Faye and her best friend Liz are too busy reporting for the school paper to give the sudden chill much thought, especially with two new boys, Lucas and Finn, heating things up. Mercy Morrow, a wealthy heiress, has baffled the community by moving into a remote old mansion in the woods, bringing her charismatic son Lucas with her. And while Finn may be a member of the Black Dogs, a motorcycle gang taking over the streets, Faye can’t help but be intruiged by his gruff, dangerous allure.

Soon, Faye and Liz realize that romance may be the least of their worries. A dead body has turned up in the woods, the Black Dogs are on the prowl, and the snow just won’t stop falling. As the temperature drops and Halloween approaches, the girls must discover the dark and menacing secret at the heart of Winter Mill—before it’s too late.

Only the good die young. Right? Elizabeth Valchar has it all: friends, money, beauty, a cute boyfriend and assured popularity. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she is found drowned next to her parents' boat. Everyone thinks it was a tragic accident - teens drinking on a boat, a misstep leading to a watery death. But Liz is still here after death, and she doesn't know why. There are gaps in her memory. Her only company Alex, a boy killed by a car a year earlier, Liz sets out to piece together her life. But their small coastal town is hiding many secrets - about families, boyfriends and friendship. Plus, Alex hates Liz for being mean when they were alive. Was she as squeaky clean as she thinks she was? Could it be that she herself is hiding the biggest secret of all? Can Liz discover the truth? And if she does, who can she tell? An engrossing, compelling thriller that peels back the layers of small-town life to expose true, ugly, cruel human nature.

"I do not remember being bitten. I wish I did, for then I would know the creature who did this to me and I would have a purpose, to track him down and repay him for the poisoned gift he gave me." Back in the 13th Century, Will was destined to be Earl of Mercia.  He never lived to inherit his title, struck down by a strange illness and buried beneath the city walls.  But Will was not dead, and only now, seven lonely centuries later, does he begin to understand that there was a reason for all of this, that he has a destiny.  To find it though, he will need help, and as ever, he will need blood.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Tiger's Curse Trailer

Tiger's Curse by Coleen Houck is finally coming to the UK!! Published later this month, by Hodder & Stoughton, this is one I've been waiting for! And I'm even happier that the second instalment, Tiger's Quest, is due to be released in June.
I can't wait to get my hands on this book!!

‘Twilight meets Ringling Bros…Houck has an excellent sense of story and paints a vivid picture.’ LA Times

‘Full of danger, dash, allegory, and love under the banana tree.’  Kirkus Reviews

‘I found myself cheering, squealing and biting my nails…it was magical.’ Becca Fitzpatrick, author of Hush, Hush

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Author Interview ~ Mike Wells

Author Mike Wells answers questions about his short story 'Wild Child'. We thought Wild Child was a great action-packed little read, click here to see what else we had to say.

Mike asked if he could produce a video interview for us here at Midnight Reads and we loved the idea!!
Keep your eye out at the end of the interview it made us laugh and question where the idea for Wild Child really came from!?!

To learn more about author Mike Wells and Wild Child you can visit him at:~

To get your own copy of Wild Child you can buy at:~

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Tunes for Tuesday #2

Tunes for Tuesday is a feature here at Midnight Reads where each week a playlist from a book we have read or want to read will be featured.

This week we are playing songs from Josephine Angelini's STARCROSSED which we love here at Midnight Reads!!


Tear You Apart ~ She Wants Revenge

Pretty much sums up Lucas and Helen's first meeting in the hallway at school!

Heartbeats ~ Jose Gonzales

This song inspired the scene between Helen and Lucas after they fall out of the sky. Especially the line "two hearts in one body".

After Helen and Lucas blow up the air mattress, when he goes up to the roof to sleep alone she can hear him moving around up there...yowza. 

Starlight ~ Muse

Helen's first flying lesson with Lucas. So joyous!

Mistaken For Strangers ~ The National

This song feels to me like how Helen feels walking through the dry lands and the "graveyard of love". It's like she's lost and totally alone, even a little manic.

Hey ~ The Pixies

I had this song on when I wrote the bit about Lucas calling to Helen down the hallway at school when she has been avoiding him. I had Lucas shout "Hey!" just like the first word of the song.

She's My Baby ~ Mazzy Star

I wrote the scene of Lucas walking around in the storm for Helen, while I was listening to this. The heavy beat is a little like the sound of his feet thumpig the ground in "super-massive state".

Cycling Trivialities ~ Jose Gonzales

I listened to this song on repeat when I wrote the action sequence at the end between Hector and Creon, and then the following scene between Hector and Lucas on the steps of the library.

All I Need ~ Radiohead

The very last page of the book! This is what I listened to when I was picturing Lucas sitting on Helen's window's walk, watching the sun come up.

Midnight Reads would like to to thank Josephine Angelini for sharing her playlist with us along with the reasons behind her song choices and how they influenced STARCROSSED!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Artist Feature ~ Ollerina Art ~ Interview & Giveaway

Hi Karen thank you for stopping by the blog to answer questions about Ollerina Art.
Let's get started :)

How long have you been working as an artist?

I've been doing art all my life but after graduating from art school I tried various things from painting commissions to making children's clothes. It's taken me a while to focus but I've been working on Ollerina Art for seven years.

Where did you study?

I studied fine art at The Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury and later did a Masters in Communication Design at The Manchester Metropolitan University.

You have said that your son influenced your robot images, do family and friends often influence your art?

Yes my son did influence my robot picture. He has the best imagination I've ever come across and I am stockpiling sheets of paper with ideas he's come up with for future work, things like The Penguin Inventor making an army of friendly robot penguin helpers! So watch this space.

My partner is also an artist and I am always interrupting his TV to ask about lighting or make him draw on my work if I'm having trouble. I've got a lot of friends who are artists too including my brother so I'm surrounded by it which I love. I'll pretty much get ideas from anyone though, you never know what someone will say to conjure up an image!

Dark Fairy and Soft Silence seem really popular (I have these two, I love them) which you produced for Rebel Books. I know you had a brief of 'dark fairy' to follow but did anything else influence these images?

For Dark Fairy and Soft Silence I got a brief and a sample image of the kind of thing they were after.

I usually do image searches on the Internet for example 'Dark Fairy' to see what comes up and I collect several images to provide inspiration, one could be the colours I want another could be some butterfly wings etc...

Which books have you produced art for?

I haven't produced any images for any other books though it was an aspiration to produce a children's picture book that created Ollerina Art. Ollerina was and still is a character I invented. It's no longer a picture book and will probably take me another ten years to get right but it keeps me entertained.

What is a typical working day for you?

My typical working day starts when the kids go to bed and ends when my eyes start to close. I guess it will be like this until my youngest starts school. Though I do have a friend who sets her alarm for 2am and works through the night to the sound of night time radio until the kids wake up. I'm not sure I have this in me but it's something to think about.

Who is your favourite artist?

I don't have a single favourite artist because there are just too many out there but a current favourite of mine is Camilla d'Errico. My latest inspiration book purchases include Duddle's The Pirate Cruncher. Enrique Fernandez's L'ile Sans Sourire. And The Art of Kung Fu Panda. I am also a huge fan of Disney but I get a lot of my inspiration from artists from The Golden Age of illustration approx 1900-1930. These include artists like Arthur Rackham, Harry Rountree, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Hilda Cowham and tons more who's illustration skills are just awesome.

Can you share with us what you are working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on some self initiated images, a Halloween picture with trick or treat pixies and a giant spider! An Alice in Wonderland illustration and a more design based image with a branch full of wood spirits (spirited away style).

Thank you for stopping by the blog today to answer questions about your art work. We are looking forward to seeing your new work!

And now for the giveaway!!
Karen has kindly sent several pieces of art work to us here at Midnight Reads for you too try and win. As much as we would have loved to keep it all ourselves we have split the art work up to have a first a second prize:~

1st Prize:~

2nd Prize:~

Giveaway Rules

To enter just leave a comment below and please state your country.

Only one entry per person.

You DO NOT have to follow Midnight Reads to enter.

The 1st prize will only go to a UK address due to postage costs.

The 2nd prize will only go to an overseas address, we didn't want to leave you out!

To allow this to happen we will develop our own number system and winners will be picked at random.
If nobody overseas enters the 2nd prize will go to a UK winner.
Winners will have a week to reply before another winner is chosen.

Giveaway closes 31st May.

Feel free to let others know about this giveaway but please note that only your comment below counts as an entry for your chance to win the giveaway.

Giveaway is now over! CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

In My Mailbox 9

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday over at The Story Siren. A great meme which allows bloggers to share what they receive/buy/borrow each week.

For Review

Title: The Alchemist and the Angel
Author: Joanne Owen
This edition published: 2011
By: Orion

Everything changes for orphaned Jan when his beloved uncle, Gustav—anatomist, natural scientist and aspiring alchemist—enlists his help in a quest to create a life-generating serum. To test the serum, they must follow a set of ancient instructions and play a dangerous game of bringing the inanimate to life. . . . When Gustav dies suddenly, it’s up to Jan to continue his work—little does he know that his beautiful, calculating aunt dreams of using the serum for her own purposes—eternal life.

Under the facade of her grief, she convinces Jan they must move from Vienna to Prague, and when she mysteriously disappears, Jan searches for her. In the plague-ridden ghettos and the court of the mad Emperor Rudolf, he must pit his wits against an extraordinary cast of characters and events. His only ally is Zuzana, a girl with secrets of her own.

Set against the vivid backdrop of 16th century Prague and the equally breathtaking Vienna, a magical, historical adventure.

A Monster Calls

Title: A Monster Calls
Autor: Patrick Ness
From an original idea by: Siobhan Dowd
Published: May 2011
By: Walker Books

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Published: July 2011
By: Simon and Schuster

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.



Title: Ballad
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
This edition published: May 2011
By: Scholastic

In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians. James' musical talent attracts Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together unexpectedly leads to mutual admiration and love. Haunted by fiery visions of death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soul-scorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.

Bite Club (Morganville Vampires)
Title: Bite Club
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: May 2011
By: Allison & Busby

Morganville, Texas, is a quiet college town where humans and vampires live in relative peace. But lately a great deal of blood is being spilled - not in a feeding frenzy, but for someone's twisted idea of entertainment.
After discovering that vampires populate Morganville - and surviving a number of adventures with her new night-dwelling friends - college student Claire Danvers has come to realise that for the most part, the undead just want to live their lives.
But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.
There's a new extreme sport being broadcast over the Internet: bare-knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against one another - or, worse, against humans. Tracking the signal leads Claire - accompanied by a loyal group of friends and frenemies - to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville. And if they want to survive, they'll have to do a lot more than fight...

Title: Ghost Town
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: October 2010
By: Allison & Busby

I just had to but this when I saw that there was no title or design. If only it was signed :)

The fragile peace between humans and vampires in Morganville is in trouble, and when Claire takes drastic action, she's put under serious pressure to re-establish the barriers that keep the town residents inside, and wipe the memories of those who leave. But working with her half-crazy vampire boss Myrnin means that things don't always turn out as planned ... and as the people of Morganville begin acting strangely, Claire and her friends must solve the mystery and try to put things right. But one by one, her allies are turning on her ... even the ones she trusts most.

So that's what I got In My Mailbox, what did you get in yours?

Happy reading!!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

On My Wishlist 2

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It is a list of the books I want but don't yet have. The books can be old, new or forthcoming.

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: January 2011
By: HarperTeen

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2)

Title: Supernaturally
Author: Kiersten White
Published: July 2011
By: HarperTeen

A lot has changed in the six months since Evie escaped from the International Paranormal Containment Agency with her shape-shifter boyfriend, Lend. She finally has the blissfully normal life she’s always dreamed of, including:
1) A real live high school
2) A perfectly ordinary after-school job
3) Her very own locker (and by the way, rusted metal is every bit as awesome as she imagined)

But Evie’s not-so-normal past keeps creeping up on her...and things get pretty complicated when you factor in:
1) A centuries-old, seriously decaying vampire stalker
2) A crazy faerie ex-boyfriend who is the perpetual bearer of really bad news
3) A major battle brewing between the faerie courts where the prize in question happens to be...Evie herself.

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)

Title: Beautiful Chaos
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published: October 2011
By: Little Brown

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
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