The Hot Key Blogger Brunch: What's coming in 2015!

On the 18th of April, I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Hot Key Books Blogger Brunch. There was absolutely no way that I was going to miss that! It was based at their offices and luckily that's only a twenty five minute train journey from my house, but I'd probably have gone even if it was the other side of the country. I adore Hot Key Books and they publish some amazing books, I couldn't wait to go and find out what they had coming up in 2015.

Photo by Zarina
I arrived nice and early and got to mingle with a few bloggers. I was attending by myself so felt a tiny bit shy and nervous*, but tried my best to make conversation with the lovely bloggers there. It was nice to meet so many wonderful people, especially when we all share a love of books. I tried to take some pictures of the event but I've been having a lot of issues with my camera recently, so most of mine came out really blurry. Luckily the wonderful Zarina over at Page to Stage Reviews has been kind enough to let me use a few of the ones she took at the event! Thank you, Zarina, you're a life saver!

*And by a little bit, I mean cripplingly shy! I am far too socially awkward and fail at small talk. 

Then we got taken through from reception into the main office, where we were presented with yummy breakfast food and drink. Here we had time to mingle and talk to everyone, have some munchies before heading into the boardroom. I have to say it, the Hot Key offices are absolutely stunning and I never wanted to leave. The walls were covered in gorgeous posters of some of their book covers, then they had shelves filled with wonderful books that I've either read and loved, or I am desperate to read.

Photo by Zarina
First up was James Dawson, who had a lot of wonderful things to say about blogger. He was there to talk about his new book All of the Above, which is due out 3rd September. His titles before this have all had a horror element to them, but this book moves away from that. It's a teen love story that sees a seventeen-year-old girl move from Bradford to Devon, where she has the chance to start over. She falls in love with a guy named Nico. But then has to deal with the fact she starting to fall in love with the charismatic Penny. It's a mix of prose and poetry and it sounds awesome!

The wonderful staff at Hot Key came next, talking about all the exciting titles they have coming up in 2015. But I am going to showcase those ones at the end, so it's time to move on to the next author that was there to talk about there latest releases. And that was Lydia Syson, who has a new book coming out on the 7th May and that is Liberty's Fire.

Syson sold it to me with one sentence, she told us to think 'Les Mis forty years on' and that was me sold. Give me the book, let me devour it and let me love it! The book is set in Paris, in 1871 and the rich have gotten richer, whilst the poor have only got poorer. Change is needed and it seems like a new revolution may be coming. This book follows Zephryine, a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself being lured in by new government and all it is promising the people. But Zephryine finds herself falling in love with violinist Anatole, and seeing the reality of revolution. This is going to be a marvellous historical fiction and I plan to get to this very soon.

Photo by Zarina

Next up was Jess Vallance, whose debut novel Birdy is coming out July 2nd. This sounds like a very dark and creepy read, the perfect thing for anyone who loved Dangerous Girls. This is a story about a friendship that takes a dark and twisted turn. Frances Bird has always been a loner, but when she's tasked with taking the new girl, Alberta, under her wing she finds herself a friend. But things start to get complicated when Bert tries to make new friends and do things without Frances. I am excited to see what twists, turns and shocks this dark read has in store for me. I am beyond excited to get to this one, it's one gorgeous book!

Photo by Zarina
Hayley Long was next and she had two books to talk about. I just have to say this now, Hayley Long is absolutely hilarious. That woman had the whole room cracking up laughing, she was just one of the funniest women I have ever met.
She read from her non-fiction book, Being a Girl - that's out June 4th - and her chapter on periods is just completely on point. Hot Key Books need to hurry up and get her to record an audio book for that, I need that in my life as soon as. She also has a fiction book, Sophie Someone, coming in September, which sees a fourteen-year-old girl realise that everything she had ever thought to be true about her life isn't. It also sees Hayley Long give Sophie her very own language, which adds a whole element to the story. I've already read this one, and Being a Girl, and I thoroughly enjoyed both.

Julie Mayhew came next and she was there to talk about a book that I am so excited to read and can't believe I actually have an ARC of. It's called The Big Lie , it's out August 27th, and it is set in a present day UK, but in a modern day UK if the Nazis had won World War II. Now that's a pretty scary thought, but an absolutely fascinating one too and something I am eager to read. Jessika is a girl that does all she can to follow orders and impress the adults around her. But her best friend Clementine doesn't feel the same and she isn't afraid to show it. But when people begin to notice, Jessika realises she may have to give up the life she has known if she is going to protect her friend.
Photo by Zarina
Last up was Laura Dockrill, who was there to talk about her upcoming book Lorali, which will be in stores on 2nd July. Laura read a passage from the book and she had us all in fits of giggles as she read from a blog post from the book, where a girl talks through what she believed to be the stages one needs to take to become a mermaid. I just could not stop laughing. Her impression of a blogger and then of a siren just had me in absolute hysterics. I mean, how could you not laugh at 'Sirens - fuck me, I'm gonna eat you!'. Has there ever been a more accurate description of a siren before. I think not! Lorali is a book that I am going to get to asap. It has mermaids, romance, fit pirates, bloggers. What more could you want?

After all the authors had spoke about their upcoming releases, it was time to mingle again. An opportunity to grab the books you couldn't wait to read. A time to eat some more yummy food, have a drink and talk books. I got my books signed by the authors and had a fun time talking to them all. I'm horribly shy, so I have to admit to being beyond excited that they were serving prosecco. I'd rather be the more drunker me who makes up for being shy by never shutting up, then the sober me who says nothing at all!

Photo by Zarina
I had an absolutely lovely time getting to talk to everyone. The wonderful people at Hot Key couldn't have been more friendly and inviting if they tried. I loved watching them talk about the upcoming titles and see them get excited about them. Livs talking about the Irenmonger series was one of my highlights of the day, her excitement about it was contagious. Jen was willing to talk to me in depth about Piccadilly Press and the titles they offer, ones that are just want I am looking for at the moment to go in our books for assisted learners at the new library I manage. It was wonderful to meet Sanne, Rosi and Monique as well - nice to finally put a face to the name on the bottom of the Hot Key emails! - and they were all so lovely.

I had a wonderful time and didn't want to leave, I could have sat and talked books all night. It's days like that that make me certain that I would truly be happy in publishing. It's something that I am so passionate about and, even though I love libraries, it would be something I could put all my love, enthusiasm and hard work into. It's something I honestly want to work towards, but feel maybe I am getting too old and not qualified enough, But who knows!

Now time for more books! Here's some amazing titles coming from Hot Key Books this year.

Outcaste by Ellen Renner (Tribute #2)

This is the sequel to Tribute and Hot Key suggests that if you're a fan of Philip Pullman then you will love this. I adore Philip Pullman, so they didn't really have to tell me any more but everything they did sold me on it more. It has strong female characters, mages, spies, romance and action. And it's a fantasy series. YES, GIMME!
Out 7th May.

The Wondrous and the Wicked by Page Morgan (The Dispossessed #3)

This is the third book in a series, one I haven't read yet but plan to. The series involves the Underworld, demons and gargoyles. And the gargoyles get the same treatment in this that vampires got in Twilight, they're all strangely attractive for some reason. This is dark in some places and has a historical backdrop, set in Paris. The first book is The Beautiful and the Cursed and the sequel was The Lovely and the Lost.
Out 7th May.

Trollhunters by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus 

This is Guillermo Del Tor's first YA read and how could I not want to read that. It's said to be perfect for fans of Pan's Labyrinth. It's set in California, where children are going missing and only Jim seems to believe that trolls are to blame.
Out 30th June.

Clariel by Garth Nix (Abhorsen #4)

The prequel to the Old Kingdom trilogy is finally coming out in glorious, gorgeous paperback. The cover is absolutely stunning! It's a book that you could read as a standalone, if you didn't want to read the original trilogy. But I read the trilogy and really enjoyed it, so I am really looking forward to this one.
Paperback releases in June.

To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix

This is a short story collection and includes an new Old Kingdom novella!
Out 9th June.

The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner

This first released in hardback back in January, and I've reviewed it already - which you can find here if you're interested in finding out more.
Paperback releases in August.

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle & Sarah Mlynowksi

This one sounds amazing, and I might just be saying that because E. Lockhart is a part of it. What can I say, I am desperate for more from her. Each author writes the POV of a character, Jess the opinionated Christian, Vicks the cool, calm one and Mel the newcomer. This involves a road trip, and I can't help but be drawn to road trip books.
Paperback released 4th June.

Almost Grace by Rosie Rowell

This is a coming of age novel set in contemporary South Africa, and that was all I needed to know. I actually can't think of one book I've read that has been set there. The boyfriend was born and raised over in South Africa and it sounds beautiful, I'd love to see what the author does with the setting in this.
Out 4th June.

Only We Know by Simon Packham 

I really can't wait for this one to release, it sounds so good! There's not even a synopsis for it on Goodreads yet, which is a little annoying. But, from what we were told on the day, it has a mystery element to it. Lauren moves away from her home town and is able to get a new start for herself. She starts to receive anonymous notes and we learn that something is being hidden about her past. I am intrigued!
Out 4th June.

Paperweight by Meg Haston

Stevie is trying to come to terms with her brothers death, whilst coping with an eating disorder and being shipped off to a health centre for women. The chapters are in days. Sounds emotional and amazing.
Out 2nd July. 

Foulsham by Edward Carey (Iremonger #2)

I think Livs excitement for this series managed to sell it to everyone in the room. I am going to be devouring book one as soon as I can, then it's on to book two.
Paperback releases 2nd July.

The Good Girls by Sara Shepard (The Perfectionists #2)

I recently read and really enjoyed The Perfectionists, which is the first book in the series, and it has me itching to get my hands on book two. In the first book, Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie and Parker all have a reason to hate Nolan Hotchkiss, so much so that they even discuss the way they would kill him if they could. It's all talk, of course. That is until Nolan Hotchkiss turns up dead, in the way they had discussed. Book one ends without the girls solving the crime, so I am desperate to get to book two and see what happens next.
Out 2nd July.

As Black as Ebony by Salla Simukka (Lumikki Andersson #3)

This is the third book in a YA crime series that take place in Finland. There are two more books in the series: As Red as Blood and As White as Snow. I read book one and really loved it, mostly because of how great a character Lumikki Andersson is.

Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall

This book is set in Scotland and has a supernatural mystery element to it. This one sounds really good and I am very desperate to get my hands on it. Heather goes on a group camping trip with her boyfriend, Dougie, and his friends. Then it skips forward a year, where Heather has scars and Dougie is still in a coma and a mystery surrounding what really happened.
Out 6th August 

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

This was pitched as a The Breakfast Club meets Sherlock and what could be better than that? This sounds like a fun crime novel. Zoe moves and meets Digby, who ropes her into helping him track down a kidnapper. Really does sound like it's going to be a fun read. I snagged an ARC and can't wait to read it.
Out 4th August

Cloud 9 by Alex Campbell

Hope runs a blog, where she promotes and endorses Leata, a pill that takes the edge off. Tom has never taken the pill, none of his family has - they're happy enough without it. But when his journalist father dies under mysterious circumstances
Out 3rd September
When I Was Me by Hilary Freeman

This is a darker read and contains many twists! Ella wakes up one morning to find she's not herself and no one else seems to realise anything is wrong. This seems very Never Never to me, and that sounds good to me! GIMME!
Out 3rd September

Here's a few that don't have any covers. You can check up more about them on Goodreads, just follow the links.

Monsters by Emerald Fennell - 3rd September

Counting Stars by Keris Stainton - 3rd September
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly - 27th October

And these were all the pretties that ended up coming home with me. I'm slowly making my way through them. 6 down so far and I enjoyed every single one! 


  1. Wow, this sounded like a fantastic event! Thank you for the recap, I have some new books to look into now!

    1. They have so many amazing ones coming out and I have read and loved quite a few of them already.

  2. Wow, this sounded like a fantastic event! Thank you for the recap, I have some new books to look into now!

  3. I've heard so much about this! It looks like it was completely amazing.

  4. I've never heard of this event before but it sounds great! I think Salla Simukka was at my school once but we weren't able to go to the event because we had to write some exams...

  5. Wow what fun! Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

  6. Sounds like you had a really great time there! I have never heard of this event before myself, but I know this publisher did We Were Liars by Emily Lockhart, and personally I love that read. As well as that, I think it is also so cool to meet up with great bloggers like that ^^ So many great books to take home DD:

    1. I had such a great time at the event and really loved it. I enjoy there books and they publish some fantastic YA.

  7. Omg, my tbr just EXPLODED right now.x D These all sounds so incredible and soooo cool you got to hear all the authors and meet Hot Keys peoples. ^-^ Ultimate dream right there. And I totally hear ya on the mingling! *shudders* But books make it worthwhile, eh?! xD

    1. They all sound so good too. The event was amazing and I loved every minute of it.

  8. WHOA all those books, all those authors....must have been heaven!!!!!!

  9. I love the title: Hot Key Books. And how much fun you had there.

  10. I'm socially awkward too. But I didn't use to be. As I went through my 20's it just kind of got worse. Oh well, that's what online friends are for. Lol!
    This seems like such a brilliant time! It definitely sounds like you had an absolute blast learning about our favourite thing, books.
    I would love to get into publishing too. I wish that was something I realized when I was college age. Now I feel far to old and grown up to go back to school. *sigh* :P
    Can't wait to read all your reviews!
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

    1. It was such a wonderful event and I absolutely loved it.

  11. Thanks for sharing such a lovely event recap for us, it was definitely interesting hearing about what each author talked about and their upcoming books. Black Cairn Point, Paperweight and Birdy sounds absolutely up my alley! I loved Dangerous Girls. Excellent haul as well Charnell!

    1. I absolutely loved it and it's given me so many great books to look forward to.

  12. Wow! What an awesome haul! I am so jealous!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. I will be trying to get through them all for quite some time now.


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