Emma Carroll

All posts tagged Emma Carroll

Frost Hollow Hall – Emma Carroll

Published January 2, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

‘The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.’

Tilly’s heart sinks. Will’s at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.

Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington’s ghost.

Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets . . .

‘Frost Hollow Hall’ is a thrilling historical fiction debut. Told in Tilly’s unique voice, it is a tale of love and loss, and how forgiveness is the key to recovery.

What did I think?:

Emma Carroll’s debut novel came highly recommended to me by my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads and after reading the beautiful synopsis, I was certain I was going to enjoy it. Well – I did more than that, in fact I LOVED it. Set in the 1800’s the author transports us to a world rich in detail, with a protagonist that will instantly win your heart and tells a story that will both chill and excite in equal measure. It begins in a cold February where our heroine Tilly Higgins and her friend Will Potter are on their way to the big house on the estate, Frost Hollow Hall where ten years ago, a horrifying tragedy occurred and led to the heir, a young boy called Kit Barrington, drowning as he fell through the ice while skating there. Now Tilly has been dared by Will to skate on that very same ice and she is not the kind of girl to shy away at a dare, especially from Will who half the girls in the village are in love with.

Then something terrible and wonderful happens. The ice breaks and Tilly soon slips through and it seems certain she too will succumb to its icy depths until a hazy figure appears to her underneath the ice and pushes her back up. This boy also appears to her in her dreams and she understands it to be the spirit of Kit Barrington who seems desperate for her to uncover the secrets behind his death. Compassionate Tilly knows she has to help him and despite the problems in her own family she manages to get a post as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. With the help of Will, she starts to uncover the mysteries at the big house that Kit appears to be pushing her to reveal. There are certainly odd goings-on afoot, with poltergeist pottery that crashes around by itself, terrified staff, a housekeeper that seems to know a lot more than she is letting on, seances and Lady Barrington herself, wild with grief. Secrets are unearthed that will rock Tilly’s world indefinitely and teach her a whole lot about family, friendship, love, absolution, letting go and moving on.

This is such a beautiful book and a superior piece of writing that I will be eternally grateful that I’ve read it. The characters are all phenomenal and we see the growth of every single one throughout the novel but I had a special soft spot for Tilly, a normal, independent and loving girl that although she has problems of her own delights in being able to help other people. I also enjoyed her relationship with Will and how it developed through the novel and even Will himself becomes a much bigger person than what he first appeared to be directly through his experiences with Tilly. For anyone who is not sure about YA, please don’t let the genre put you off – this is a fantastic ghostly story that can be read and enjoyed by a wide variety of ages and, of course, it’s a perfect tale for this time of year. Curl up with Frost Hollow Hall, a blanket, a cup of tea (or other tipple!) and be prepared to be transported into a Victorian masterpiece that will grip you until the final page.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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December 2015 – Chrissi Cupboard Month #4

Published December 19, 2015 by bibliobeth

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It’s December. And that means…. (drumroll please) it’s Chrissi Cupboard Month!

My lovely sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads gives me books on a regular basis, and as she reads at the speed of light I have had to acquire a cupboard in my bedroom purely for her books. Unfortunately, with all my other books and huge TBR pile, I’m not getting through them as fast as I’d like so I would like to dedicate the month of December to reading books purely from the Chrissi Cupboard. I will obviously be reading my short story every week and our Kid-Lit and Banned books for the month of December, but I’m hoping the majority of books will be from this cupboard. Here are the first ten I am planning to read and review:

Asking For It – Louise O’Neill

The Kiss Of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) – Mary E. Pearson

Prisoner Of Night And Fog (Prisoner Of Night And Fog #1) – Anne Blankman

Double Cross (Noughts & Crosses #4) – Malorie Blackman

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) – Lauren DeStefano

In Darkling Wood – Emma Carroll

The Impossible Knife Of Memory – Laurie Halse Anderson

The Good Girl – Mary Kubica

Pointe – Brandy Colbert

Queen Of Shadows (Throne Of Glass #4) – Sarah J. Maas

As usual, I’m carrying on with a couple of series, finishing one (the Malorie Blackman) and starting others! My other Chrissi Cupboard Months so far have been pretty strong but I think this one is the strongest yet. I’m most excited for Asking For It and carrying on the Throne of Glass series as I’m absolutely smitten with it, but I have a funny feeling that I’m going to enjoy the Mary E. Pearson book a lot more than expected from what Chrissi has been gushing about it. She knows my tastes pretty well and I trust her judgement! I’ve also loved what I’ve read from Emma Carroll so far (review for Frost Hollow Hall and The Girl Who Walked On Air coming soon) so I’m very excited to read In Darkling Wood. A brilliant month ahead, wouldn’t you agree?

YA SHOT – 28th October 2015, Uxbridge, London

Published October 21, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

YA Shot is a one day event for young adult and middle grade fiction in London where seventy-one authors will participate in talks and book signings. It has all been organised by the lovely Alexia Casale, author of The Bone Dragon and House of Windows who decided on a YA Shot five-word “ethos,” that it should be generous, passionate, inclusive, challenging and fun and she has put together a fabulous programme that is sure to excite anyone who is enthusiastic about young adult fiction.

Tell us more?:

The event in partnership with Hillingdon Borough Libraries and Waterstones Uxbridge will host various “panel” and “in conversation” talks throughout the day at different sites all within easy walking distance of each other. There will also be an opportunity to attend workshop events hosted by bloggers and vloggers active in the UK at the moment.

What kind of talks?:

There are so many talks planned that look so interesting! I will be trying to attend as many as possible (that is, until I have to go host one of the workshops with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads in the afternoon!)

The ones I’d love to go to include:

11.30am – 12.30pm Playing with Time: Historical fiction and historical settings – Chaired by Natasha Farrant with Lucy Coats, Rhian Ivory and Alison Rattle

12.45pm – 1.45pm Crime and Punishment: Fictional wrongdoing and human rights – Chaired by Laura Jarratt with Cat Clarke, Keren David and Emma Haughton

2pm – 3pm Trigger Warning: Exploring sensitive issues in ethical ways – Chaired by Alexia Casale with Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne and Louisa Reid

12.45pm – 1.45pm Treasured Land: Nature as a character and concern in YA – Chaired by Piers Torday with Lisa Heathfield and Anna McKerrow

4.40pm – 5.40pm Tragedy! Tackling sadness in fiction for younger teens – Chaired by Candy Gorlay with Jane Elson and Aoife Walsh [MG event, suitable for children aged 7-11 as well as adults]

Aagh, I can already see I’ve got a clash and am going to have to think carefully about which talk I want to go to! This is only a small sample of what’s on offer and I can honestly say I think there’s something for everyone.

Don’t forget the workshops as well! Chrissi Reads and I are hosting one at 3:45 pm about How To Get Started With Blogging. If you’re new to the blogging world or already have your own blog but want to know a bit more about getting things going, please come along and we shall try our best to make it worth your while. We’ve also got Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies and a member of the Bookish Brits who will be talking about group projects and reading challenges, Benjamin of Tomes who will show you how to get started with vlogging, Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa and Daphne of Winged Reviews who will show you how to develop your brand and increase your followers and Jim from Ya Ya Yeah and Wei Ming Kam of Rare, Medium, Well Done who will discuss diversity in literature. To name a few!

Which authors are going to be there?:

I’m just going to throw a few names out there:

Alexia Casale (obviously)

Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild series

Jane Elson, author of A Room Full of Chocolate and How To Fly With Broken Wings

C J Daughtery, author of The Night School series

Tanya Byrne, author of Heart-Shaped Bruise and Follow Me Down

Emma Carroll, author of Frost Hollow Hall and The Girl Who Walked On Air

Holly Bourne, author of Soulmates and Am I Normal Yet?

Cat Clarke, author of Undone and The Lost And The Found

James Dawson, author of This Book Is Gay and All Of The Above

And that’s just a few of them.

Where can I buy tickets?:

Tickets are still available from the YA Shot website. Online orders will close at 6pm on Tuesday 27th October but there may be some available on the door on Wednesday 28th October.

Any more information?:

Please see the official YA Shot website which will tell you everything else you need to know. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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