Welcome to my Halloween blog party! Come in… have a seat… don’t mind the cobwebs – they’re just for decoration, would you like some pumpkin pie? Or a glass of pumpkin-spiced punch? It’s all virtual but tasty, I promise! That black cat crossing your path is Shadow. Her costume is the cat burglar from Little Witches – convincing, right? I’m dressed as an Autumn Witch.
Today the Little Witches officially launch and just for Halloween there’s a 70% discount on the brand new eBook. That’s £1.53 from Amazon UK or $2.99 from Amazon US. For that price you get five stories about Dulcie and Verity, their friends and their adventures. There’s also cover artwork drawn by Dom and some smashing pumpkins by Sara.
Check out the Little Witches book page for more about the book.
The Little Witches have been celebrating Halloween by trick-or-treating around the internet and visiting various book world blogs and websites to say hello.
- They arrived early at the home of the Book Witch and got a generous review, but they’ll be back again today for an author profile piece.
- They moseyed down the internet to Girls Heart Books where they met Jo Cotteril and and added another lavish review to their loot bags.
- Loot bags bulging, they knocked on the door of Serendipity reviews and found KM Lockwood answering the door, she praised their self reliance while handing over another book review.
- Next on the trick-or-treat trip was Nicola Morgan’s blog showing off in a piece about being my first self-published book.
- Finally they arrived at Mary Hoffman’s blog where they were greeted with open arms because Mary is, of course, my mother – and has a warm welcome for all little witches and their friends.
- Update: The Witches caught Frances Hardinge on her way out the door, black coat flapping, black hat clamped to her head, but she wished us a Happy Halloween as she went flying away.
Now they’re back here for their own Halloween party!
Keep the pumpkin punch flowing, there’ll be more Halloween fun throughout the day and night on this blog post. Competitions will be announced soon!.
Update 10.30 Let the games begin: The first visitors are here – Mary brought delicious pumpkin soup and I will share my share of Sara’s pumpkin toaster pockets. Shadow is ensconced on my lap and shows not signs of moving ever. It must be time for the first competition.
This is the costume contest. To enter post a photo or a link to one in the comments. All ages eligible but the photo must be of yourself (not just harvested from the web) and you must be dressed as a witch, a ghost or a cat. Grown-ups, you can post on behalf of your little witches, ghostlings and kittens.
The prize is a physical copy of Little witches Bewitched. The proof arrived yesterday, you can see it in the photo of me at the top of this post and on the updated Little Witches book page (where you can also see me dressed as BatGirl), and today I am offering 3 copies as prizes. You’ll have to wait a little bit for the prize because they won’t be available until early December. But I will sign them to the winner – or to the person of their choice if they want to give the book away as a present.
The contest is open until 2 November, All Souls Day, (or Bexy’s Birthday as we call it in my family) to give you time to post pictures from Halloween parties on Saturday. But you can get posting now and any pictures from previous years are eligible as long as you’re the one in them. So get posting, people. Let’s see those Halloween costumes.
Update 12.30: Halloween Reads Welcome to all the new arrivals. The next contest will be coming later this afternoon. Meanwhile, who’s following #Halloweenreads on twitter? On my Halloween bookshelves are:
- A picture book for people who love black cats Slinky Malinky by Lynley Dodd
- A set of fairy stories retold and illustrated by Jan Piénkowski
- Before Harry Potter went to Hogwarts there was Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches and Mildred, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
- At about 8 years old I fell in love with Which Witch by Eva Ibbotson
- For older readers there’s the sinister Witch Child by Celia Rees
- How about Fire and Hemlock? One of Diana Wynne Jones’ best works.
What are your favourite Halloween reads?
Update 15.00 Spelling Contest: It’s now Hallowafternoon and time for the second contest. I’m beginning to think I should have had a recipe contest and asked people to send me their entries for judging. Too late now, unfortunately.
The second contest is the SPELLING CONTEST, no – not that sort of spelling. To win this contest post a spell in poem form.
This contest has a 2 November deadline as well (All Bexes Day) so you have time to create your composition. It has to be your own work – although grown ups can post on behalf of children.
Here’s one of the spells from Little Witches Bewitched. Dulcie and Verity and their friends are bored so they decide to go back in time and visit a famous playwright. With a few rhyming words, they’re on their way:
“Here’s an easy spell to rhyme,
A simple thing we need to fix.
We want to go back in time
To the year one six oh six.
So this is the spell I cast
For us to meet Shakespeare
Going back into the past
To somewhere that he’s near!”
18.00 Pumpkin contest Welcome to the new arrivals at the blog party. It’s now dark outside in Oxford and time for trick-or-treaters to trickle down the road. As I was writing this a female devil and a male Scream arrived and I distributed congratulations and celebrations. In a minute I’m going to make banana milkshakes (versions with rum for grownups) that’s not very Halloweeny, I know. But delicious, none-the-less. Next year I’ll try and have a pumpkin cocktail.
This contest is for the best pumpkin carving. The prize is a print copy of Little Witches Bewitched (please note it won’t be sent until early December) signed to you or the person of your choice.
The rules are similar to the other contests. The pumpkin must be your own work – although grown-ups can post on behalf of children. It doesn’t have to be new this year but the contest will stay open until 2 November 2013 to give you time to carve out a new one.
Don’t forget the costume contest and spell contest are still open and there’s everything to play for. Keep on partying, Halloweeners. The night’s still young. Enjoy Tim Curry singing the Halloween song. What’s your favourite Halloween music?
Update 1 November 2013 All good things must come to an end and this is the end of the blog party. But the competitions are still open until midnight on 2 November 2013 so don’t forget to enter.