Blogmas 2019 · Guest Post

Blogmas Guest Post: An Inventor’s Guide To Christmas by author Holly Rivers.

 

Blogmas Guest Post: An Inventor’s Guide To Christmas by author Holly Rivers.

Holly Rivers

About Holly Rivers and Demelza & The Spectre Detectors. 

One of my very favourite things about putting together a series of Christmas posts is inviting authors to feature on my blog. It is especially exciting, with the New Year around the corner, to invite authors whose upcoming debuts are already on my radar. Holly Rivers has been in my Twittersphere for some time and, more reccently, I was sent a proof copy of her 2020 debut. Trust me when I say you will soon hear loads of great things about Demelza & The Spectre Detectors. 

Demelza loves science and rational stuff, but she also has a very unscientific gift. She can summon ghosts. When her grandmother is kidnapped, Demelza and her friend Percy set out to solve the mystery. 

Holly has written as her protagonist, Demelza Clock herself, who has some not exactly adult-approved thoughts on how inventors can survive Christmas. The first will make you laugh into your hot chocolate … but just you wait until you get to number 10. No cheating!

Many thanks to Holly Rivers for your time and wonderful post. 

 

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An Inventor’s Guide to Christmas by Demelza Clock

Written by author Holly Rivers.

 

1. Suggesting to your teacher that baby Jesus might have appreciated a soldering iron more than Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh is not a wise move (unless you want to spend the last week of term in detention.)

 

2. If you’re running low on pocket money and haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, look to your tool-box for inspiration. Who’s Grandma wouldn’t appreciate a lovely pair of earrings made from 80mm joint connector bolts?

 

3. Christingles definitely don’t make good inventing snacks.

 

4. Forget about gold rings, maids-a-milking and partridges in pear trees, what an inventor really wants for Christmas is a Nobel prize for Physics.

 

5. Always keep your inventing apparatus close at hand on Christmas day — a good quality handsaw is the perfect tool for carving turkey that’s spent one too many hours in the oven, and an electric drill can be useful for blocking out the sound of unwanted carol singers.

 

6. Scientific studies have proven that cocoa is beneficial for the brain — so eating your body-weight in chocolate coins for breakfast every day in December is perfectly reasonable behaviour. (Dipping a mince pie in your boiled egg is equally acceptable.)

 

7. Start perfecting your fake smile in November — your’e going to need it when you receive yet another pair of socks instead of the new Super Screwdriver 700 you’ve been dropping hints about all year.

 

8. Run out of wood-glue during the festive season? Don’t worry, bread sauce works just as well.

 

9. Whatever anyone says, a lab coat is appropriate attire for going to watch The Nutcracker.

 

10. If you’re inventing on Christmas day and planning on using a blowtorch in your workshop, don’t eat too many Brussels sprouts. Gassy bottoms and open flames don’t mix.

 

Demelza & The Spectre Detectors publishes in February 2020 from Chicken House Books. RRP. £6.99.

blog tour · Middle Grade Reviews

Blog Tour: The Ghouls Of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson.

Blog Tour: The Ghouls Of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson.

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Extract:

‘The town motto?’ said Molly. ‘I think so. It’s only a short motto, but it’s in code, and to crack the code you need to understand about five different mythologies. I had to read about fifty books.’

‘So what does it mean?’

‘It means If Howlfair falls, the whole world falls.

(The Ghouls Of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson. P29.)

 

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Synopsis:

The Howlfair tourist board would like everyone to believe it is the spookiest place around, and nobody is buying it, but behind the painted boards and the funny costumes, something seriously creepy is lurking.

Molly Thompson is forever in trouble. The last thing she needs on her hands is another investigation. Then an elderly lady dies at the guest home where Molly lives, and her ghost leaves a message which Molly can’t ignore. Howlfair is in trouble from an evil which is set to rise.

Together with her friend Lowry, Molly sets out to uncover the mysteries of her local town against the backdrop of a Mayoral election. The only trouble is everyone and everything is starting to look suspicious.

A seriously spooky mystery adventure.

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Review:

Imagine a sleepy little tourist town where trouble is brewing. This setting had me hooked because it reminded me straight away of Penelope Lively’s middle-grade novels. Little places which are easy to forget, mind-numbingly boring to grow up in … and crammed with history and stories. That is what I love most about The Ghouls Of Howlfair. As well as uncovering something spooky, the main character Molly realises how rich Howlfair is in hidden legends.

I love it when mystery stories include fantasy or supernatural elements. In the past couple of years, there have been two or three stories that have done this well, and I am always excited to see a merge of genres. In Howlfair, most people think the spooky stories are past their sell-by date, but Molly is a budding historian and she knows there is truth in some of the old records.

Molly investigates everything, but she isn’t classically brave. She’s bookish and awkward and loves her cat Gabriel more than anyone in the world. I loved having a character who wasn’t an obvious hero. In real life, we all have different traits and personalities, but we are all capable of making different choices and rising to the occasion. All the characters in this story felt realistic, and this made them more memorable.

With Halloween coming up, lots of people will be looking for a scary story. This was honestly more frightening than I thought, with seriously creepy ghouls and very casual references to death and the macabre. The storyline itself is hilariously fun, and the backdrop of the sleepy town balances out the scary to make for a brilliant tale. I can see this being popular with humans, ghouls, ghosts, and monsters as Halloween approaches. Just be warned – read this with the light on!

 

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Thanks to Walker Books UK for inviting me to take part in this promotional blog tour. Opinions my own.