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Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London. The Shadow Keeper is her second book (The Dreamsnatcher was her first) and a third book will complete the Tribe's adventures in 2017. When she's not writing about Moll and Gryff, Abi volunteers for Beanstalk charity, teaches creative writing workshops in schools and travels the world looking for her next story. Her latest adventure involved living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia... You can find more about Abi at www.abielphinstone.com or follw her on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Amy Alward is a Canadian author and freelance editor who divides her time between the UK and Canada. In 2013, she was listed as one of The Bookseller's Rising Stars. Her debut fantasy adventure novel, The Oathbreaker's Shadow, was published in 2013 under the name Amy McCulloch and was longlisted for the 2014 Branford Boase Award for best UK debut children's book. Her first book written as Amy Alward, The Potion Diaries, was an international success and the second novel in the series, The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour was published in August 2016. She is currently travelling the world, researching more extraordinary settings and intriguing potions for the third book in the series. She lives life in a continual search for adventure, coffee, and really great books. Visit her at AmyAlward.co.uk or on Twitter.
Michelle Harrison is a full-time writer. She is a former bookseller and editorial assistant. Originally from Grays in Essex, she has a degree in illustration, and lives in Oxfordshire with her partner. Her debut novel The Thirteen Treasures won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize in 2009. She has since published two sequels, The Thirteen Curses and The Thirteen Secrets, as well as her teen novel Unrest.
Geraldine McCaughrean is an award-winning author who has written more than 130 books and plays for children and adults. She recently won the Whitbread Children's Book Award for the third time with Not the End of the World, and her other awards include the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Fiction Award, and the Smarties Bronze Award. She lives in Berkshire, England. Visit www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk
Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe, in December 1966. After studying journalism in Africa, she moved to London, where she was for many years golf correspondent to The Sunday Times. She is the author of several books on sports, the biography Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle, and one children's novel, The White Giraffe.
December 2016 Book of the Month I’ve always thought books were magical. It’s always a wonder that a simple combination of words can have such meaning, take us on so many adventures. This short story collection encapsulates that belief perfectly. When I saw that it was curated by Abi Elphinstone I knew that it was in good hands. Of course it was and the calibre of authors who have contributed is very high indeed. Eleven stories, wrapped up in this beautifully designed hardback edition. It felt as welcoming as a cup of sweet hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. Each story is so good that as I finished it I concluded that was my favourite and then I started another... Within these pages I travelled in time to a fair on the frozen River Thames, discovered captured snowflakes forever preserved in elvish glass, stolen voices and first loves, avalanches and underground villages hidden from the world, Nutcrackers, beautiful music, magical wishing books and so much more. Amongst the wonder and the delight there was also Snow Queens and murder mystery and people who didn’t hold the joy of winter in their hearts at all. Yet each tale left me feeling uplifted and every character still remains with me. This collection will be a treasure for any lover of stories young or old and may I suggest having a cup of hot chocolate to hand as you settle down and enter the wonderful worlds that have been created. Oh yes, books are magical indeed and this one in particular is bursting with bright, sparkling winter magic. Enjoy! ~ Shelley Fallows