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We are massive fans of Barrington Stoke’s amazing books, and we are also huge fans of Phil Earle’s brilliant writing, so when they got in touch to ask if we’d be able to reveal the cover to his Mind The Gap we jumped at the chance!

This stunning cover is designed by David Wardle, and we have a few words from Phil about the book (which sounds wonderful!)

“I have huge respect for fantasy writers, for their ability to transport readers into other mythical realms, but as a reader, it’s never done it for me.


I’ve always been obsessed with the stories that surround us in our everyday lives. The little nuggets of life that carry power, emotion and truth.


MIND THE GAP is something I’ve wanted to write for years, ever since I picked up a day old, free newspaper on the bus seat next to me. Hidden inside was an article that moved me as much as any novel I’ve ever read: an article that wouldn’t leave me until I turned it into a story of my own…”

If you like the cover, why not tell David and Phil on T...

As big fans of Julie Mayhew’s last novel, The Big Lie, we’re extremely excited to read her recently-released Mother Tongue! To celebrate, we have her taking on our 5-4-3-2-1 feature.

5 ~ Songs that sum up the last novel you wrote perfectly


I never start working on a book with words, always with pictures and music. These are the songs I was listening to on repeat while writing Mother Tongue…

Caught A Long Wind – Feist
(The first song I’d play when I say down at my desk each day. It got me into Dasha’s head)
Little Bird – Boris Lvov
(This short, beautiful tune is Nika’s theme)
Sha! Shtill! (L-Vis 1990 Remix) – Gucci Vump
(This song, though not Russian, is Moscow for me – big, loud and chaotic. Play this when you read the section where Dasha gets a scooter ride)
Oh Fields, My Fields – The Red Army Choir
(A traditional Russian song that reminds Dasha of home and school)
Rybka – Fabrika
(This piece of Russian pop would have been playing on the radio in 2004 – and it becomes an earworm fo...

Stewart is a thirteen-year-old prodigy, academically brilliant but socially inept, and grieving over the death of his mother. Ashley is a fourteen-year-old queen bee, ruling the school but struggling with her work – and hiding the secret that her dad split from her mother as he’d fallen for another man. When Stewart’s father and Ashley’s mother fall in love, the four of them move in together – but can these unlikely new siblings learn to tolerate each other?

I’ve been gushing about this on social media and at events a LOT since first reading it one Wednesday last November, then rereading it just two days later as I loved it so much. So of course, I’ve never actually got around to reviewing. For the few readers of this site who’ve somehow missed my dozens (maybe hundreds?) of tweets about it, this is an absolute gem. The two narrators have brilliant voices, particularly Ashley. As a former secondary school teacher, she’s right up there with Candy Harper’s wonderful Faith as one of the ch...

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