Showcasing the very best in literature for the young, Ravenstone is a brand new publishing imprint bringing works of quality fiction to young readers around the world.

Dedicated to works of genre-busting adventure and incisive and challenging writing, Ravenstone will publish one book a season and exists to highlight extraordinary new novels for children and young adults.

Ravenstone’s titles will be published in hardback, paperback and e-book formats in the US and the UK, allowing new generations of readers the chance to explore new worlds and new horizons.

For forthcoming advance review copies and author interviews, please contact:

PR Coordinator
press@rebellion.co.uk

Happy Halloween
The Awesome Cover Art
Greetings ghouls! Earlier this week we were lucky enough to be over at our friends Fangirlish for the cover reveal of our next book THE AWESOME by Eva Darrows, and what a cover it is. But just one dose of Eva hasn’t been enough and to prove her AWESOME credentials we’ve set her a special Halloween challenge to pick her favorite ghost…
Tis the season for ghosts, goblins, and ghoulies, and in the Halloween spirit, I'm going to talk about my favorite of the aforementioned trio: ghosts.

Eva Darrows





I love them, enough that my debut novel MARY: THE SUMMONING (released under my OTHER name Hillary Monahan) tackles the Americanized version of the Bloody Mary ghost.
I've always been afraid of spirits and likely always will be. Think about it—a werewolf you can kill with a silver bullet. A vampire, a stake and a beheading. A zombie's brains splatter nicely with a gun. But a ghost? What do you do? Pants him? Mock him? Throw stuff through him? STEAL HIS LUNCH MONEY?
Answer: Hope really hard you find the thing tying the ghost to this plane and burn it. That's . . . about it. And if that doesn’t work? Well. Sorry.


So without further ado, here is a list of Eva’s favorite ghosts from popular media.

5) The School Bus Children, TRICK 'R TREAT


The School Bus Children, TRICK 'R TREAT
I have a love of all things creepy and funny. As such, Trick 'R Treat is RIGHT up my alley. Campy, lots of good scares plus some legitimately funny moments? Yes, please. The best part of the movie is undoubtedly the sack boy, Sam, but as the viewer is never told what Sam is (though I'd venture a guess that he's the spirit of Halloween), the School Bus Children come in a close second.
A special needs bus crashes into a ravine on Halloween, the poor, costumed children all drowning to death. But all is not as it seems. Some say the driver of the bus was drunk. Others say he was paid to drive the children into the water. All the viewer knows is that going near that ravine on Halloween night is a terrible idea. When the local kids convince Rhonda, an outcast, to go trick or treating with them and visit the tragic site, we get to meet the school bus children years after their demise.
It's not pretty.

4) Kakayo, THE GRUDGE


Kakayo, THE GRUDGE
Kakayo falls in love with another man. For her betrayal, her husband murders her, the family cat, and their son Toshio. Kakayo rises from her death as an onryo, or vengeful spirit. Anyone who enters the house where she died is cursed to see her and—eventually—die.
There are a few things that make Kakayo so spectacularly creepy. The first is her appearance. Typical Japanese ghost with the white skin and the long black hair, Kakayo is often seen covered in blood. Sometimes it's hers, sometimes it's not, it's cool. She's fashionable in her blood-splattered frock. She also tends to crawl across the floor, pulling her lower half and twitching all the while. That's less cool, but okay, I'm with you Kakayo.
Then there is the noise she makes. The clicky, growling death rattle that will almost always get the hair prickling on the back of my neck and make me weep for my mommy.
Here. Have a nightmare or forty.



3) The Woman in Black, THE WOMAN IN BLACK


The Woman in Black
THE WOMAN IN BLACK is a novel from the early eighties written by Susan Hill. Gothic, moody, and wonderfully eerie, it's been turned into a movie not once but twice, the most recent version starring Harry Potter. I mean the dude that plays Harry Potter but who will always be known as Harry Potter so whatever.
A woman, Jennet, gives birth to an illegitimate child back when such things were big no-nos. Her sister adopts the boy and raises him as her own, insisting Jennet never reveal to Nathaniel his parentage. Jennet agrees and moves into her sister's house, relegated to Nathaniel's aunt instead of his mother. There's a terrible carriage accident in the marshes surrounding the house and Jennet watches helplessly as Nathaniel drowns. After Jennet's death, her ghost will only appear when a child is about to die. Sometimes, she makes a child dies. Jennet's not great people.
While I haven't seen the eighties version of the movie, I will say the 2012 version was splendidly scary with just enough jump scares and oppressive ambiance to keep me enthralled. Jennet is as terrible in the book as she is in the film, and well-earns her place on this list.

2) Tate, American Horror Story


Tate, American Horror Story
The first season of American Horror Story remains my favorite and that's all because of Tate. The viewer knows early on that Tate Langdon is dead. Tate Langdon knows Tate Langdon is dead. The people living in Tate's house? Clueless. Ben Harmon is even seeing Tate as a therapy patient after Tate's living mother hires him on. Violet Harmon makes out with Tate because apparently that's a thing people do with ghosts when they're bored.
While Tate can be charming (especially in Violet's company) and somewhat tragic, he's also manipulative and damaged. He vacillates wildly between sweet and psychotic. He's responsible for at least a few of the deaths that have occurred in the Harmon house, and when he's angered, proves utterly ruthless. Conniving, angry, broken, and lonely, Tate is so divinely flesh out and terrifying, I can't help but put him on my list.

1) Sadako/Samara, THE RING


Sadako/Samara, THE RING
There is one ghost that, no matter how many times I see her on film or the page, will send me flying through the roof. Here she is. I've listed both Sadako and Samara because the Japanese and American versions of Koji Suzuki's ghost terrify me in equal measure. White dress, black hair, and hands hanging limply from the wrists, she is one mean spirit. You can't stop her. Just when you think you've won, you haven't, the cycle of the ring never ends.

I saw the American film before I saw the Japanese film. The book came later. Samara terrified me because she was one of the few monsters that was mean JUST BECAUSE and it was done well enough I actually bought into it. There's no rhyme or reason for her atrocities beyond she was born bad. Horses kill themselves, the girl is able to project terrible visions onto X-Ray paper, she drives her mother mad with her twisted version of love.

If you explore RING backstory beyond the American film, the character is more fully fleshed out. The Japanese prequel (Ring 0) gives you a tragic backstory that, frankly, diminishes Samara's scares instead of enhances it, in my opinion. Still. I love this ghost. I will likely carry her with me through my horror career. She is the stuff of my nightmares.
Shadowboxer Review round-up

With Shadowboxer OUT NOW in the UK and out next week in America we thought now would be a perfect time to see some of the nice things people have been saying about Tricia Sullivan’s latest book…

“In this adrenaline-fueled supernatural adventure… Sullivan brings to life the beauty of Thailand and the sweat and blood of the gym, infusing them with magic and danger.” – Publishers Weekly

“Mixed martial arts, Thai legend and human trafficking come together in this gritty fantasy adventure… Jade's strength and tenacity make her an appealing protagonist—and it's refreshing to see a black Latina lead, given their rarity in fiction for teens.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Enjoyable characters with depth, interesting and unexpected plotting, terrific and knowing writing.” – Geek Syndicate

“Shadowboxer is a sumptuously layered novel with complexities that would appeal to fantasy aficionados. Never travelling the path most taken, Shadowboxer blazes its own trail.” – Marianne de Pierres’ Escape Club

“Exciting, energetic and just down right brilliant.” – Juniper’s Jungle

“Shadowboxer is compulsively readable, dragging the reader through the novel.” – Intellectus Speculativus

“Its quirky, it has some wonderful twists, a tale that was hard to put down.” Falcata Times

“Jade was my favorite part of the book though. I loved her warm relationship with her cousin, I loved her ongoing determination… [and] I loved her relationships with the other fighters.” – Library Hungry

4 stars - litpick

“If you’re looking for bloody and well written fight-scenes in your bedside reading, Shadowboxer is for you.” - Memories of Lives left behind

“Jade… sprinkle[s] just the right amount of action, humor, and heart.” – The Artolater

“The best parts of the book, aside from the lessons about strength and self-determination for girls and young women, reside in the poetic descriptions of Mya's magical realm, and the vivid visceral descriptions of Jade's training and fights.” - Steven Shaviro, GoodReads

“Simply put, I loved this book, was sorry that it ended, and would read more in a heartbeat.” – Outlaw Poet, GoodReads

“It was really great finding a book like this, something totally unique… so well done I am dying for more.” Netgalley bookseller

“A genuinely kick-ass protagonist with personality.” - Lauren Beukes, author of Broken Monsters

“If someone doesn’t turn Shadowboxer into a kickass martial arts film there’s no justice.” - Jon Courtenay Grimwood, author of the Blade trilogy

“One to look out for.” - Adrian Tchaikovsky, best-selling author of the Shadows Apt series

“Truly excellent.” – Juliet E McKenna
Advance praise for ‘Shadowboxer’
Stepping in to the ring October 2014 Shadowboxer is the new YA book from award-winning author Tricia Sullivan; celebrity, mixed-martial arts and mythical creatures combine in this masterful tale of 17 year-old cage-fighter Jade Barrera.

“Tricia Sullivan writes novels that are so entertaining they’re almost embarrassing. Seriously, when was the last time you read a really smart book that was also fun?” - Patrick Ness, author of More than This

“A genuinely kick-ass protagonist with personality.” - Lauren Beukes, author of Broken Monsters

“If someone doesn’t turn Shadowboxer into a kickass martial arts film there’s no justice.” - Jon Courtenay Grimwood, author of the Blade trilogy

“Hits like a punch to the gut.” - Marie Brennan, author of the Onyx Court series
Shadowboxer is a fast-paced, gripping contemporary dark fantasy thriller.
Everything about this book feels utterly real from the monsters out of Thai mythology to the cage fights, but especially the incandescent Jade Barrera whose passion and fury are sometimes bigger than she can control.” -Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar

“In this adrenaline-fueled supernatural adventure… Sullivan brings to life the beauty of Thailand and the sweat and blood of the gym, infusing them with magic and danger.” – Publishers Weekly

“Mixed martial arts, Thai legend and human trafficking come together in this gritty fantasy adventure… Jade's strength and tenacity make her an appealing protagonist—and it's refreshing to see a black Latina lead, given their rarity in fiction for teens.” – Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews and request the title for review on netgalley today.

Free extract download

Pre-order: UK | US
Exclusive Shadowboxer Excerpt
Thai martial arts, international crime, celebrity and mythical creatures combine in this masterful new tale of a young fighter, from award-winning author Tricia Sullivan.

Jade is a young mixed martial arts fighter. When she’s in the cage she dominates her opponents—but in real life she’s out of control. After she has a confrontation with a Hollywood martial arts star that threatens her gym’s reputation, Jade’s coach sends her to a training camp in Thailand for an attitude adjustment.
Hoping to discover herself, she instead uncovers a shocking conspiracy. In a world just beyond our own, a man is stealing the souls of children to try and live forever.

Shadowboxer by Tricia Sullivan is out October 2014, download your exclusive excerpt for free today.

Preorder your copy: UK / US
Gillian Murray Kendall at BEA
Debut YA author Gillian Murray Kendall joined the Ravenstone team last Saturday at Book Expo American, where she undertook a marathon greeting session, signing all 150 exclusive giveaway copies of The Garden of Darkness in under 25 minutes! Fans fearing for the well-being of Gillian’s hand need not worry though: Gillian’s been in touch to let us know that it is almost recovered and to thank everyone who queued up to say hello and get their hands on a copy (in particular one young fan who told her "I was reading while I was waiting in line, and this is going to be my favourite book!"). Check out some pictures of Gillian and the team in action to the left.

Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the pandemic SitkaAZ13 – or ‘The Pest’ – has killed their families, The Garden of Darkness follows the story of 15 year old cheerleader Claire and 13 year old chess club member Jem as they are thrown together; realizing that if either of them want to live to adulthood they must find a cure.

Set against a hostile landscape of rotting cities and a countryside infected by corpses and roamed by voracious diseased survivors, Jem and Claire make their bid for life and, with the group of fellow child-travellers growing, embark on a journey to find the cure. But as a shadowy adult broadcasts across the radio to all orphaned children, promising to protect and cure them, can they trust everything in this new world, or will they discover that friendship has its own kind of healing power?
The Garden of Darkness publishes summer 2014.

US/Canada: June 25th pre-order it today.
UK: July 3rd pre-order it today.


New author Gillian Murray Kendall talks books, apocalypses and who she's excited to see at this year's Book Expo America.
Here in the Raven(stone)’s nest we’re already getting really excited about the launch of The Garden of Darkness in July, from talented new novelist Gillian Murray Kendall; and with author Jane Yolen (of The Devil’s Arithmetic fame) enthusing ‘a believable post-apocalyptic world, and children reliably on their own, make this a wonderful page-turner that cannot be put down,’ can you really blame us?
Not only will Gillian be signing copies of The Garden of Darkness at Book Expo America on May 31st ahead of its publication (check out the full details below to get your hands on a copy before your friends!), but here she takes time out to talk Shakespeare, pop music references and apocalypses with us. We’re in love – read on and you will be too!

It seems fair to say that, both as an academic and now here in The Garden of Darkness, you are somewhat of an expert in post-apocalyptic literature. What is it in particular that draws you to this genre?
I’m drawn to post-apocalyptic fiction because it offers a fantasy of survival against terrible odds, a fantasy of being able to start over – and maybe this time get it right. My students and I have a penchant for the cozy catastrophe – like John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids or Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon, in which a small group of survivors band together to cobble a lost world back into existence. These books often, like Shakespearean comedies, end in marriage (or the equivalent). But the more intellectual and harder journeys are undertaken by loners – as in Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, and Dog Stars by Peter Heller. In Riddley Walker even language, 2,000 years after the apocalyptic moment, has been shaped and degraded by time and event, and we are in a world where puppet shows morph the political scene. Riddley Walker himself, seer and outcast, takes us on a hallucinatory journey in a world in the iron age but on the cusp of the age of gunpowder, where people dig in the muck for metal left behind by the past. It rains a lot. The book is a hard book. A painful book. One that brings us close to the face of darkness. The Road, however, is the darkest post-apocalyptic novel of our generation, and one that does not offer hope, but only brilliant language to set off a world where the biosphere is dead.

We’ve heard a rumour that you are keen gardener; how important was the role of nature when creating the world found in The Garden of Darkness?
I’m an ardent gardener of flowers, but my flowers are rather like the characters in The Garden of Darkness; they struggle desperately to survive. Certainly, however, the natural world is a theme in my book. In Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague (1912), I was struck by his descriptions of a lush nature – mussels as big as your head, abundant crabs – and I loved the idea of the resiliency of nature. In The Garden of Darkness, which my editor, Jon Oliver, once called “apocalyptic pastoral” I think of nature almost as another character – another survivor, but one that, with human beings largely out of the picture, quickly flourishes.

The Garden of Darkness has a very large and diverse ‘cast’ of characters, but we were particularly interested in your exploration of both gender and social stereotypes in the main characters of Claire and Jem. How important do you think confronting traditional stereotypes in YA literature is and what affect do you see this having in the wider genre community?
Gender and social stereotypes annoy me, although they are hard to break. Before the advent of SitkaAZ13, the plague in The Garden of Darkness, Clare and Jem are part of the gender-typing machine. As a cheerleader, Clare, who is so much more than a stereotype, is hemmed in by her ability to do back-flips. Jem, as a chess player, has always had to fight the nerd stereotype. In the new world, however, all bets are off. Clare and Jem must find their unencumbered selves. In so doing, they are able, finally, to find each other. YA fiction can and should have an enormous effect on social stereotypes—YA fiction can make it cool not to be cool. One of my favourite moments in TGOD is when Jem is butchering a moose, and Clare is silently wishing a few of the football players (who found chess club members nerds) could see it. And Clare, when she is attacked later in the book, overcomes her assailant with no help from Jem. Clare and Jem don’t have the luxury of allowing their lives to be passively dictated by stereotype. And this turns out to be a good thing.

Unsurprisingly for a Professor of English Literature, there are a lot of literary references throughout The Garden of Darkness – were there any books or authors in particular that you found you drew inspiration from when you were writing the novel?
As I wrote TGOD, a song from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (sung by Feste, the Fool) kept running through my head. The first stanza ends “Journeys end in lovers meeting, / Every wise man’s son doth know,” and the second stanza is

What is love? ‘Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure.
In delay there lies no plenty.
Then come and kiss me, sweet and twenty;
Youth’s a stuff will not endure. (2.3.44-52)


I quote a little bit of the song in TGOD. A carpe diem poem seems suitable for a post-apocalyptic novel. I also thought a lot about Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” (does anyone remember the group Jefferson Airplane?) and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Writing is a little bit like falling down a rabbit hole.

Without wanting to give too much away, as well as the more classical references (Shakespeare, Carroll and Tennyson, to name but a few) there also seemed to be a lot of small nods to some of the current themes in YA literature and culture – are there any authors currently writing in this genre that you are particularly excited about?
In Katniss Everdeen, Suzanne Collins has a nurturing action heroine who can take care of herself, but who can take care of others too. That’s exciting.

You’re going to be signing at Book Expo America on Saturday May 31st – apart from yourself, of course – who are you most excited about seeing at the show?
I saw that John Green, author of Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and The Fault is in Our Stars will be at the BEA. I’d love to meet him. Perhaps we will get stuck in an elevator for an hour, and I will overcome my shyness enough to talk about writing – about realism – about his thoughts on post-apocalyptic fiction – about when the darn elevator is going to be fixed.

Finally, if you had to sum up The Garden of Darkness in five words (they don’t have to be connected!) what would they be?
Plague. Survival. Betrayal. Friendship. Love.

Gillian will be signing copies of The Garden of Darkness at Book Expo America in Rebellion Publishing booth, #2752 on the floor plan, on Saturday May 31st from 11am.
The Devil's Apprentice - Out Now!
The Devil is retiring… but who’s taking over? When teenaged Pen inherits the job of caretaker for a London building with no doors and only a secret entrance from the caretaker’s lodge – which she must never use – little does she know it will lead her into unbelievable danger.

For Azmordis, also known as Satan, a spirit as old as time and as powerful as the Dark, immortality is running out.

In the house with no front door, a group of teenagers are trapped in assorted dimensions of myth and history, undergoing the trials that will shape them to step into his cloven footwear – or destroy them. assisted by only by an aspiring young chef called Gavin, and Jinx, a young witch with more face-piercing than fae-power, Pen must try to stop the Devil’s deadly game plan – before it’s too late...

"Jan Siegel is probably the best British fantasy writer working today, and The Devil's Apprentice is, true to form, a box of delights. It is entirely unmissable." - World Fantasy Award-winning author Lavie Tidhar

Available in ePub and Mobi formats, direct from our Online Store!
The Inspiration for Lupus Rex by John Carter Cash
I must give a great deal of the credit for the inspiration to write Lupus Rex to my daughter, AnnaBelle, now eleven. A few years back I was driving her to school. Every day, on our regular route we passed a large field, sown in oats. Most days there was a large red-tailed hawk perched on a high fence post, looking over the field.

“Daddy, what do hawks eat?” she innocently asked one day.

I shifted somewhat uncomfortably in my seat. “Honey, they eat mice, doves, rabbits—whatever they can catch,” I answered.

It was this simple bit of conversation which inspired me to return home that very morning and write the long form poem, really a story song, within the book.

All my life I have believed that there is far more to nature than we are aware. Perhaps the animals, birds—even the creepy crawly things, communicate in ways we can never understand. Maybe there is a conscious mind, a greater purpose to the life at work beneath the surface of our understanding… An “ORDER”.

And of course, there is the very real mystery of the crows. When I was a boy of nine I went on a family vacation with my parents, just the three of us. We went Scotland—it was cold. If I remember correctly it was January. All of the hotels we stayed at were mostly empty. I remember one morning at breakfast looking out the window to see the trees around the hotel black with hundreds of crows. They circled the building continuously, cawing angrily. The hotel manager said they came every year, that specific week—for no apparent reason. He called it “The Wedding of the Crows.”

And of course, there is the fact that a group of these raucous birds is called a “murder”. This fascinated me from an early age. The folklore around this is quite mysterious. The legend tells that a group of crows will surround one of the murder, listen to his squawking and cawing for a while, then either allow him to rejoin the group or all dive upon him and kill him.

My father, John R Cash, better known as Johnny, was much more than a musician and entertainer. He had a resounding depth of heart and understanding of nature and it’s inner workings. I grew up on a farm in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Often on cold winter’s days we would hunt rabbits, with our beagle, Gibbs. There was a thin blanket snow covering the ground that day—only three inches, but quite a bit for middle Tennessee. After hunting for over an hour with no luck we heard a great cacophony of cawing and screeching from a nearby grove of cedars.

“You hear that, son?” asked my father.

“Wow, Dad,” I said. “Those birds sound angry.”

We wound our way through the thick woods, closer and closer to the crows.

Finally, I saw their dark shapes flying back and forth within the thick evergreens. As we neared, the birds sensed or smelled us, perhaps both. They flushed in a pounding of roaring wings.

There at the base of one of the cedars lay a bloody, dead crow.

My father and I knelt down to inspect it.

“Looks like this one was found guilty, son,” he said.

True story. It is this very real memory that, among other things, gave inspiration to the story within Lupus Rex.

So though Lupus Rex is most certainly and completely a work of fantasy, perhaps reading this novel will bring to mind a deeper question: Is there a far greater depth to the mystery of nature than we can imagine?

John Carter Cash
Hernando Beach, Florida
March 2013
Lupus Rex Signing at BEA!
Lupus Rex, by the high-profile musician and writer John Carter Cash, is Ravenstone’s stunning debut title launching at Book Expo America!

Along with signings at BEA, John will be launching his first children’s novel at the Union Square store of Barnes and Noble on Saturday 1st June at 2.30pm.

Dedicating the book to his father Johnny Cash, a decade after his death, Cash has created a beautiful and haunting book for readers of all ages in the tradition of Watership Down, and The Rats of Nimh.

With touching animal characters and a magical woodland setting, with his first novel Cash shows himself to be an incredibly lyrical writer.
Cash has also taken the songs sung in the book and set them to music. The first track, The Quail Song, can be heard on Soundcloud!

Ysil and Cormo are two quail who must risk their lives when they are driven from their home by the crows when the Murder fractures over the decision of who shall rule the Tree. The disorder this brings to the region comes to the attention of the wolf Asmod and he sees an opportunity to make himself King. To restore order the quails must venture far from their home to seek an audience with a potentially dangerous ally, the hawk Pitrin. As the forest trembles with the approach of Asmod’s army, the two quail will find themselves entangled in an epic struggle, as they fight to bring peace to the Field.

With a stylish and classic cover by ‘Wicked’ series artist Douglas Smith, this tale of nature is full of strong characters and sets the bar very high for an emerging literary talent.

JOHN CARTER CASH LUPUS REX BEA SCHEDULE
Friday 31st, 3pm – signing session in Autograph Area.
Saturday 1st June, 10.45am – signing session at Rebellion Publishing booth #2748.
Saturday 1st June, 2.30pm – Lupus Rex Launch and Children’s Storytime at Barnes and Noble Union Square, 33 East 17th Street, New York.
Launch Title
The imprint’s launch title will be the beautiful debut novel Lupus Rex, by the high-profile musician and writer John Carter Cash. To be published in June 2013, Lupus Rex will have enormous appeal to children and older readers alike. This astonishing new tale is in the tradition of Watership Down, The Rats of Nimh, the Redwall series and Duncton Wood.

Isyl and Cormo are two quail who must risk their lives when they are driven from their home by the crows when the Murder fractures over the decision of who shall rule the Tree. The disorder this brings to the region comes to the attention of the wolf Asmod and he sees an opportunity to make himself King. To restore order the quails must venture far from their home to seek an audience with a potentially dangerous ally, the hawk Pitrin. As the forest trembles with the approach of Asmod’s army, the two quail will find themselves entangled in an epic struggle, as they fight to bring peace to the Field.

This is a major release from a debut imprint and Cash shows himself to be a beautiful writer in his first novel. With a stylish and classic cover by ‘Wicked’ series artist Douglas Smith, this tale of nature is full of strong characters and sets the bar very high for an emerging literary talent.

Available in ePub and Mobi formats, direct from our Online Store!