New review of Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night

There’s a nice review of Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night in the latest(March) issue of the prestigious children’s literature magazine Magpies.

The review, which is by Joy Lawn, isn’t available online, but here’s a short extract:

‘…fight scenes are gripping, prolific and told with undeniable authority. They, and issues of difference and how to manage it positively, deftly propel the reader into another place and culture.’

 

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Another great interview with Simon Higgins

Story arcs, staying relevant as a writer in the digital age, repurposing stories, and more: there’s a great new interview with Simon Higgins on the VFXScience site.

Here’s a short extract:

My new novel is Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night. Just published in Australia, with foreign and movie rights still up for grabs (though not for long, I suspect). It’s a fish-out-of-water adventure tale: a shipwrecked youth from a noble English House trying to survive in war-torn feudal Japan…with a little help from his friends. Samurai action, the Japanese spirit world and a murder investigation.

You can read the whole interview here.

Interview with Simon Higgins on Kids’ Book Review

There’s a great interview with Simon Higgins, author of Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night, at the fabulous Kids’ Book Review site. Simon gets asked ‘Twelve Curly Questions’ and replies with twelve interesting answers!

Here’s a little taster:

Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
The two most unusual jobs I have ever had were: 1. Being a roaring monster in a circus ghost train (had to wear a giant rubber head and hairy suit) and, 2. Being a camel handler, helping children to climb on the camel for rides and leading the animal, for the same circus. Many years later, I rode a camel into the Egyptian desert and my guide was surprised at how familiar I was with ‘camel nature’. So, I say, everything you experience is useful. Even weird stuff!

You can read the whole interview here.

First review for Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night!

The first review of Simon Higgins’ gripping novel, Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night, has just come out, and it’s excellent! It’s published in Reading Time. Here’s an excerpt:

Simon Higgins, a former police office and private investigator specializing in murder cases, and one of the world’s best martial artists (in the sword art of Iaido), is as it happens also a novelist of meticulous and respectful detail. His new novel is set in a fanciful historical Japan, and it comes with a long glossary at the end which introduces readers to many terms that are important to Japan’s history, its culture and the popularization of art forms such as Manga and Anime.

You can read the whole thing here.

Publication day for Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night!

We are delighted to announce that today is the official publication day of our newest Eagle Books title, Simon Higgins’ fantastic adventure novel, Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night!

Beautifully-written, excitingly-paced and with a deep understanding of one of the most interesting historical periods and fascinating cultures in the world, this is a superb novel that we are very proud to publish, with its beautiful cover and internal illustrations created by Simon’s wife, artist and animator Jenny(Yuxiao) Wang.

To whet your appetite for Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night, we are thrilled to present this lively and atmospheric trailer, created by Crane Animation and scripted and narrated by Simon Higgins. Enjoy!

Cover reveal for Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night!

We are delighted to reveal the gorgeous cover of our upcoming Eagle Books release, Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night, by acclaimed author Simon Higgins, which will be released in March. This fabulous adventure novel, set in 16th century Japan, has a fabulous cover to match, as you can see! The illustrator is the very talented Jenny(Yuxiao) Wang, who as well as being a wonderful artist, is the CEO of Crane Animation in China–and also happens to be Simon’s wife! Design is by Authors’ Elves.

Below you can see the front cover, as well as the full cover, front and back.

Great review for Lighthouse at Pelican Rock on Reading Time

Illustration by Kathy Creamer, from The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock

There’s a great new review of  Stephen Hart’s The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock on the Reading Time website. Here’s a short extract:

The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock has plenty of adventure, mystery and excitement to keep older readers engaged. The author has captured the 12-year-old spirit well, making the protagonist a strong and capable girl. Hart himself is a former archaeologist and his love of history and storytelling is evident in this book. This could very well spark a project on lighthouses of Australia, archaeology and ancient stories. A fun and adventure-filled read.

You can read the whole review here.

Two excellent reviews for The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock

The reviews for Stephen Hart’s fabulous novel, just published this month with Eagle Books, have started coming in, and they’re excellent!

Here’s a short extract from a review at Kids’ Book Review:

There are many sub-stories built into a storyline that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end. Terrific characters, tension, and well-paced progress, added to lots of unexpected turn-offs through the plot, kept me longing to know what the outcome will be. Then came the completely unexpected ending!

And here is a short extract from a review at Read Plus:

Themes such as friendship, family dynamics and mystery are delved into. There are lots of smaller story lines that are interwoven in the story and it is intriguing to try and match them all together. It certainly kept me turning the pages. I would recommend this book for children 11 and up as some of the storyline can be quite complex. A welcome addition to the collection.

Read the reviews in full at the links above.

Announcing the acquisition of Julian Leatherdale’s amazing fantasy novel!

We are delighted to announce that we have acquired novelist, scriptwriter and playwright Julian Leatherdale’s first novel for children, The Phantasmic Detective Agency, via the Selwa Anthony Author Management Agency.

The Phantasmic Detective Agency is an original, inventive and gripping fantasy adventure novel for readers aged 10+, set against the backdrop of pre-Great War Europe, when the modern world is being born: gas lamps giving way to electric lighting, horse-drawn carriages to motor cars, spiritualism and superstition to technology and science. But there is always room for magic…

The Phantasmic Detective Agency will be published by Eagle Books in March 2020.

About the book:

London, Christmas Eve, 1911.The world is changing fast: giant warships, aeroplanes with bombs, spies and assassins, fear of war with Germany. The cosy lives of Lily and Leopold Keeler and their famous stage magician father Edmund Keeler are about to be torn apart by secrets, espionage and monstrous creatures from the shadows.

Trapped in their stuffy Edwardian childhoods, the Keeler siblings pine for adventure. Lily (14) dreams of being Britain’s first woman detective while Leopold, known as ‘Leo’, (15) would love to be a pilot, the newest kind of hero. They both envy their eccentric uncle Alfred, a brilliant and notorious Sherlock Holmes-like paranormal detective who uses his deductive powers and esoteric equipment to solve mysteries from the world of spirits and mythical beasts.

When their uncle’s performance of a Christmas Eve shadow-puppet play of Little Red Riding Hood unexpectedly releases the hungry spectre of the Shadow Wolf, Lily and Leo will get more adventure than they ever bargained for.

But Shadow Wolf proves to be only the first mystery in a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the Keeler family, as Lily and Leo witness their parents, Edmund and Alice, vanish for real in the middle of their latest spectacular magic act. So they turn to their eccentric uncle to keep them safe and solve the mystery of their parents’ disappearance.

From the Royal Naval dockyards of Plymouth to the bone-stacked catacombs of Paris, Uncle Alfred and his two apprentice detectives, Lily and Leo, confront eerie creatures and blood-chilling danger as they are chased by a ruthless spy-ring determined to harness the dark forces of Magick as weapons of war. As Lily struggles with her refusal to believe in shadow-wolves and ghosts and her brother Leo takes terrible risks to impress their eccentric uncle, the Keeler children find moments of great courage and inspired cleverness, as they try to solve the mysteries in Uncle Alfred’s casebook with plenty of clues and spine-tingling intrigue along the way.

About the author:

Julian Leatherdale is a novelist, scriptwriter and playwright. His theatre work includes four comedy cabarets, two musicals (Alex in Videoland and The Golem of Prague), a monologue for Breaking Bread and the black comedy The Man Who Became Santa. He wrote animation scripts for children’s TV with SquareZero, London and researched and co-wrote two Film Australia-ABC TV history documentaries The Forgotten Force and Return to Sandakan. His adult historical fiction novels are Palace of Tears (A&U, 2015 and HarperCollins Germany, 2016) and The Opal Dragonfly (A&U, 2018), with The City of Shadows (A&U) forthcoming in 2020. He lives in the Blue Mountains with his family.

The Phantasmic Detective Agency is his first children’s novel.