The Untold Story sweepstake winners

Many thanks to everyone who sent in their names, for your enthusiasm and for your generous comments about how much you liked the series.

Some of the winners are from the Goodreads sync of this blog, and some left their comments on this blog directly. I ended up pulling out 6 names rather than 5 – well, it is Christmas.

The winners are:

Alex Roberts
Katherine McCormack
Petra Kalhotková
Kathryn Kynaston

On Goodreads:

I’ve sent emails to the winners from I’ve left comments for the winners on Goodreads – please message me there with your postal address so that I can send your copy.

With a bit of luck, and with God and the post willing, everyone might even get their copies before Christmas . . .

Untold Story giveaway!

Time for a December giveaway! Leave your name in a comment to this post, and I’ll pull five names at random to get a free signed copy of The Untold Story – or, if people prefer, another book from the series (if I have a copy).


a) All entries must be in by midnight UK time on Friday 3rd December 2021.

b) In your comment, state whether you’d like The Untold Story (I only have UK version copies, sorry) or a different book from the series – and if you’re after one that’s been published in a different language, please say which. I have some author copies…

c) After the deadline, I’ll draw the names at random, then I’ll contact people to get their physical addresses (no, I don’t have any e-copies to send out) and find out what name they’d like the book signed for.

d) Take care, stay safe, observe all COVID precautions, and have a good December.

the hours draw on apace

Less than a month to go till the UK release of THE UNTOLD STORY (the 9th December, for reference) and I’m trying to maintain a proper and dignified attitude rather than the more normal cower-under-the-desk version.

In the meantime, I attended the Thought Bubble convention in Harrogate yesterday, I’m planning to attend the Knitting and Stitching Show there this coming weekend, and I’m working on SCARLET in the background. Plus the day job. My life is a mad whirl of social frivolity. Other than that, I am a bear of very little brain – probably because of all the aforesaid.

But soon, soon . . .

Magical Library Sweepstakes – win The Untold Story!

Feeling lucky? Penguin Random House has put up a sweepstake to win copies of THE UNTOLD STORY, and also THE GOD OF LOST WORDS from A.J. Hackwith. I’m afraid it’s US residents only, but entry’s between October 4th – 17th, so if you’re interested, check it out at:

Things are okay here otherwise; the weather’s turned cold, but then again it is October, and I’m getting on with writing SCARLET. I was fascinated to discover that a term which was actually used during the French revolution was “sanguinocrates” (“aristocrats of blood”) – admittedly used in referring to the Jacobins who acquiesced in the September 1792 massacres, but I’m not going to turn down a good word like that when it’s dropped in my lap.

Take care and stay safe, all.

the Library black books

In honour of Cassandra Khaw’s birthday (awesome writer!) I did a little twitter thread giving the reasons why various commenters were currently in the Library elders’ black books for dubious/dangerous/what-the-hell conduct. (Please note that this is now over and I’m not doing any more. Sorry!)

So, to amuse you all:

“When filling the offices of politicians with tuberculous llamas, kindly do not use the Library as a convenient transit point.”

“To be fair, which of us hasn’t wanted to hand-rear their own pair of man-eating tiger cubs for that little extra bit of fluffy personal security? On this particular occasion, though, we have to point out that they did eat Kostchei’s slippers.”

“While we understand that the bribery worked perfectly, the sheer number of nunsploitation books you’ve been supplying to Lord Silver is beginning to drain the Library’s resources.”

“No, you cannot sell PDF scans of Library originals as NFTs.”

“When asked to resolve whether a particular asteroid belongs to a Fae or a dragon individual, blowing it up and declaring ‘Neither of you’ was probably the wrong answer, however morally satisfying it was and even if it did give them common cause (against you).”

“Ecological principles are to be approved. Spray-painting POLLUTER across the bonnet of a dragon king’s cherished antique Hirondel car, less so.”

“Unless you can prove it was necessary to the mission, please try to keep your hobby of ‘forcing politicians to speak the truth in public interviews via the ‘I perceive’ trick’ to a minimum.”

“However good a vocal teacher the Phantom of the Opera may be, you are not allowed to let him hide in the Library from pursuing mobs. Send him back at once.”

“The Library Cocktail Challenge is banned until further notice, and all associated documents, photocopies, recordings, tiktoks and similar are placed under security seal. (Also, will someone please bring me an aspirin. Or two.)”

“It is considered an offense against Library rules to falsely claim that a Librarian’s destination has kilts as mandatory wear for men, however much you want to see them in stockings (or yellow cross-gartered).”

“No, there is not a Mirror Library where evil versions of everyone can be found.”
“No, the fact that Kostchei has a beard doesn’t mean that he’s evil and there’s a Good Kostchei somewhere out there without a beard.”
“Kindly do not pull on Kostchei’s beard.”

“Declaring ‘One flesh, one end’ while clutching your favourite book is very dramatic and extremely touching, but should be saved for moments when you are not dangling above piranha pools.”

“Feuds with other Librarians because they stole your Black Forest Gateau may be understood – indeed, sympathised with – but cannot be officially sanctioned.”

“We have no problems with you becoming a bitcoin millionaire and crashing the world’s financial system. That’s entirely within standard operating parameters. But really, gold-plated bookcases?”

“We regretfully inform you that your proposal for an anti-dragon jellyfish-training program is not compatible with Library objectives or funds . . .”

“It’s not that it’s a bad shot – but next time, kindly take the in-crater photo of Krakatoa erupting after you’ve stolen the book, not before.”

“Research as to whether bibliophilia is an infectious disorder should not be conducted so openly. (Especially as we all know it’s true, anyhow.)”

“No, you are not going to be allowed back into the Library until they’ve found all the geese that hatched in your bedroom. Antoinette is still having nightmares.”

“How many times do we have to go through this? Calligraphy is all well and good, but slashing “L” in the shirt front of every Fae you duel is becoming rather noticeable.”

“While there is nothing which actually prohibits “Bunnicula” as your chosen Library name, we would suggest you reconsider . . .”

“We appreciate the circumstances were already awkward, but we think that playing the soundtrack from ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ during the Fae-dragon duel where you were an assigned observer was about as far from helping as possible.”

“If you have anything to do with the recent activities of the supervillain The Historian on your assigned world, who apparently kidnaps reporters to lecture them on history till they recant their more inaccurate articles . . . kindly hide the evidence.”

“Stop trying to bring biplane parts into the Library and reassembling the plane inside your bedroom. We are not interested in whether it would be a “new and innovative” solution to in-Library transport. It won’t fit.”

“Kindly bear in mind that when insulting senior Librarians in obscure languages under your breath, there is a high probability that they will understand what you’re saying . . . Of course your current assignment to the nuclear wastes of Antarctica has nothing to do with this.”

“‘Mind control by sentient cats of superhuman intelligence’ is not an acceptable excuse for failure to complete your mission. Likewise, we do not believe their ‘incredible gravity powers’ kept you pinned in your bed all day.”

“There are many places where one might seek Lothlorien. However, one should not attempt to grow one’s own version in the Library cellars.”

“While we understand and sympathise, when lecturing junior Librarians about useful equipment, ‘A really big rug to hide under’ lacks the can-do spirit we want to inspire, and is not very effective as advice. Or for hiding under.”

The Untold Story – US cover

I just wanted to share the US cover of The Untold Story (book 8):

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I’m off tomorrow to spend a week with my parents. Hopefully the journey will go smoothly, and thank goodness the current oppressive heat in the UK seems to have broken – I wouldn’t want a five-hour train journey in the temperatures we’ve been having for the last few days, whether or not the train claims to be air-conditioned.

Take care and stay safe, all.

The Dark Archive – special offer

Just a couple of updates.

The Dark Archive ebook is currently only 99p on UK Amazon. Available at – check it out while it lasts.

Otherwise I’m fine; just had my second COVID-19 jab (Moderna), and while the reaction wasn’t much fun, I’m feeling a great deal safer now. (Or at least, I will do when the 14 days post-jab is clear.) I do recommend very strongly that you all get the jab if you can (whatever variant – Moderna, A-Z, etc). It’ll make you safer, and those around you safer, and I think it’s the only way we (speaking globally) are going to get out of the current pandemic.

I’m working on Scarlet (book 1 of the Pimpernel/Vampire series) and I’ve also just received my edits for Library book 8, The Untold Story. (The preorder and cover for that is up on Amazon, too – With a bit of luck I’ll have the edits finished in a few weeks, and I can take a week off and go down to visit my parents, now that we’re all fully vaccinated. It’s been too long since I saw them.

The Burning Page – special offer

No great news this time, I’m afraid – and it’ll probably be a while before you hear anything more about Scarlet and its sequels. However, I wanted to share the news that The Burning Page ebook is currently just 99p on UK Amazon, at:

The Burning Page

In other aspects of my life, I’ve managed to update my personal tv setup so that I now have my new TV, DVD player, Netflix and Sky box all organised and working together. Now I can sit back with my knitting and sewing, and spend the rest of my life glued to the tv screen.

. . . oh, and do some writing too. In spare moments.

New trilogy – Scarlet!

I’m delighted to share that Pan Macmillan’s bought a new trilogy from me. But it’s not the Invisible Library – it involves the Scarlet Pimpernel. And vampires.

In Revolutionary France, the aristocrats are vampires – and they face the guillotine. However, the Scarlet Pimpernel, a disguised British noble, is determined to rescue them. These predators are being offered sanctuary by their aristocratic British kin, but at great cost to London’s ordinary people. Then an English maid discovers the only power that could stop them. Assuming she survives...

Full details at

(Book 8 of the Invisible Library series, The Untold Story, will be coming out later this year. And while Irene and Kai and the others are on pause, there may be more from them in the future. Even protagonists need a rest now and again . . .)

March update, and Invisible Library offer

Again, things are being quiet – work continues, writing continues, I wait for the edits on book 8, I hack away at another project (more details if that gets anywhere), and I keep my head down and wait for the vaccine. Since I’m under 50 with no significant comorbidities and I’m not a carer or on a frontline job, I’m probably going to be waiting a month or so longer. So it goes. At least there is a vaccine.

In brighter (or at least cheaper) news, THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY ebook is currently just 99p on UK Amazon. Check it out at – though I’ll entirely understand if you already have a copy…

Take care and stay safe. We’re getting there.