Category Archives: Libraryland

Netgalley: The Bookbinder’s Daughter

Netgalley Reviewers – delighted to tell you that my new Jessica Thorne book, The Bookbinder’s Daughter, is up on Netgalley today. Click here to request a copy for review.

A magical library. A broken family. A dangerous secret.

It also features a magic if slightly demonic cat called Titivillus and is inspired by all things #Libraryland. Come and explore the enchanted world of the #AyredaleSpecialCollection

The Bookbinder’s Daughter will be released on the 20th September.


Frantic editing cave post – in which I made a library-related mistake

I am back in the editing cave.


I know, I haven’t been out of it much of late. That’s what happens when you have two books due and are writing two more. So editing cave.

Unfortunately, I made the fatal mistake of going to the library with my kids today. One we don’t usually go to. Why a fatal mistake you ask? Because, I answer, pulling at my hair like a maniac, I found books… 3 books!.. that I have been dying to read.

Ash by James Herbert (I adored the previous David Ash books and didn’t know about this one until quite recently so am super psyched)

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper. (I mean come ON. SUSAN COOPER!)

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (because I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while and it ticks all the right boxes for me)

Soooooo I am making a deal with myself. For every chapter I get through on the edits (for which I have a deadline and I’ve kind of worked this out so bear with me*) I can read. I have three weeks. I have three books. The more chapters I get through and the shinier it becomes I can read more of the books. The lovely shiny books.

And this isn’t even taking into account that I got The Gutter Bookshop in Dalkey to order Liz de Jager’s Banished for me and it’s due in next week.  Squee.

Cue hysterical laughter. And editing. And hopefully reading!


Oh and in a little bit of other news, my steamy paranormal romance The Mirror of Her Power is due out in April. It is so not YA, but it is fab and lovely. Edits for that are done. Yay! Thanks to my awesome editor Dayna!


*I haven’t really worked any of this out at all. But anyway…

Roll on 2014

So in the midst of all the writing, and the watching of Doctor Who and Sherlock, 2014 arrived.

I’m pretty excited about 2014, as my new YA series starts this year with A Crack in Everything coming out in the autumn. I am working away on the sequel at the moment A Hollow in the Hills and it’s starting to come together (slowly… see above re Doctor Who and Sherlock).

And there will be some more news soon. Oh yes there will.

In the meantime, here is an interview I did with Deirdre from Dublin City Libraries in which I talk about libraries, writing, favorite authors & books and pretty much whatever else crosses my mind. As usual. 😀


Prague, Churches & Libraries

Back home again after my library conference in Prague which went very well. Although I do appear to be the one person to visit Prague and come away without seeing the Charles Bridge or the Astronomical clock. But hey, there are at least two reasons to go back. Actually I have LOTS of reasons to go back. And being that we were there as a group of specialist librarians on tour (as it were – herding cats), we got to see some rather special stuff at a lot closer range than many people would. Things like this:

Continue reading Prague, Churches & Libraries

Snapshots in a library

Thought I would share two pretty images I came across today – just small examples of the wonderful detials you can find in old books. The initials are illustrated with different animals (S=snake, P=Pig, C=Crane) but for the letter I the illustator added imaginary creatures – in these cases a multi-headed dragon and a griffin.

The imaginary has as much a place in our daily lives as anything else.  And since this book is from the 1630s, it has done for a very long time.

To my mind it always has and always will.

Since I’m working on my magical library book, I’m half expecting them to jump off the page and fly away. I’m very lucky to have such inspiration close at hand.

Ticking over & the Tyranny of Story

Well, recovery is one thing, but the website is all recovered from the nasty hacking (that was my most unfun thing possibly forever and totally ruined my watching of Endeavour, not to mention a couple weeks afterwards) and I’ve been something of a naughty author not updating my blog very much. Alternately, I’ve been a very good writer because I have been writing. Continue reading Ticking over & the Tyranny of Story

When in Rome

As some of you know when I was in Rome for a library conference in January, we were lucky enough to visit the Vatican library. It’s an incredible place. Of course, photos and videos were right out for us, lowly librarians that we were. So too was seeing the treasures!

But one of the group sent me a link this morning to a video report done for 60 minutes on the Vatican Library so I thought I’d share. It really captures something of the place, its history, its (often bizare) accessions – Henry VIII’s love letters to Anne Boelyn for example, and the breathtakingly beautiful Salon Sistino (pic above). It also shows us the behind the scenes work of the conservators, and the amazing things they do to preserve the most fragile of documents for the future. I can never praise this sort of work highly enough.

There’s an additional video where Morley Safer gets the same tour of the Salon Sistino as we did, but I will never forget seeing an elderly librarian of my group standing there, with his mouth wide open and head tilted right back as he stared in wonder at the ceiling like a small boy.

The extras are well worth looking at as well – the treasures oh, the shiny treasures… – and an explanation of why the library is closed to the public. And of course, if the library was burning down, what would the experts save??? 😉