Anthology Count Down

April 13, 2015 in Reviews by Irulan Horner

So it’s been nine months of meticulous planning and in exactly one month’s time our Beautiful Lies anthology will be  officially launched. This is the showcase for 19 writers who’ve just completed their MA in Writing for Young People. 19 hopeful dreamers who want to share their stories with the rest of the world.

When I took on the role of co-editor little did I know what I was about to embark on. It did however come with a warning from our predecessor, ‘It will be a lot of hard word’. Val – you were so right! There were days, where I’d worked my day job of a full eight-hour-day plus commute, then tackled four hours of anthology related emails to reassure the nervous, fend off unwanted opinions and placate the irritated, that I wondered why I was doing this. Next week I get to hold the culmination of all our hard work, the physical book itself, and I can’t wait. Read the rest of this entry →

Book review, The Marshalling of Angelique’s Geese by Rowena House, in War Girls from Andersen Press

June 6, 2014 in Reviews by Irulan Horner

World War I, France, 1916

After the death of her father, 14-year-old Angelique Lacroix wants to keep her family farm just as it is until her brother, Pascal, returns from fighting at the front. However when her mother falls sick, Angelique has no choice but to ask Uncle Gustav for help.

When he finally arrives things begin to look up, until the army requisition their only cow and Angelique finds out her father left them up to the hilt in debt. Without the money to pay off the bailiffs, they face losing the farm and Angelique must embark on a difficult and dangerous journey to save it. Read the rest of this entry →

Book Review — The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones, completed by Ursula Jones

May 6, 2014 in Reviews by Irulan Horner

Diana Wynne Jones sadly died before she could complete this book and her sister Ursula Jones took up the mantle. There was no ending for the manuscript and no clue in Diana’s notes as to how the tale was meant to turn out. Ursula, no stranger to writing for children herself, went for it and completed the story with a dramatic flourish.

Twelve-year-old Aileen and her aunt Beck, the Wise Woman of Skarr, are sent off on a quest to break the spell keeping the Island of Logra hidden from the rest of the Islands of Chaldea. Their task is to breach the magical barrier and rescue the long-lost prince Alasdair and his bard Gareth, Aileen’s father. But first they must enlist the aid of one person from each of the four islands to help them with their seemingly impossible task.
Read the rest of this entry →