LAUNCH WEEK FOR THE POTION DIARIES!!

THE DAY IS ALMOST HERE!!

I can’t quite believe that The Potion Diaries is launching in TWO DAYS time, and the official launch party is tonight, and the blog tour is happening and OH MY it’s all exciting times.

There are *lots* of different places to find me on the inter webs this week, and here are a selection:

I love the juxtaposition with Magic Mike here ;)

I love the juxtaposition with Magic Mike here 😉

There are The Potion Diaries banners running on Sugarscape, and they’re hosting an AMAZING competition to win a ‘Make Your Own Fragrance’ day with Red Letter Days and a signed copy of the book! Enter the Sugarscape Competition here!

I wrote a piece for Foyles on “Generation HP” – the influence of JK Rowling and Harry Potter on today’s authors.

MaximumPop! has a piece about Which of Sam Kemi’s Potions do you need today?

On Bookbrunch I wrote a piece on how an Old English word inspired The Potion Diaries (it’s behind a paywall at the moment so I’ll link to it when it goes public).

There will be even more going live later this week so keep checking in.

I’m also visiting some AMAZING blogs, so check these out as the week goes by:
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If you want to buy The Potion Diaries, it’s available already (shh) over on Waterstones.com!

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Books + Froyo… it’s the Canadian launch party!

On Thursday I had the absolute time of my life at my Ottawa launch party… we had around 80 guests and sold just under that many books! There was beautiful sunshine, lots of great people, champagne and frozen yogurt!

The crowd inside Spoon! Lounge

The crowd inside Spoon! Lounge

But none of that would have happened were it not for my amazing parents, who had to plan this entire thing without having ever attended a book launch before, and with me thousands of miles away across the pond. Needless to say, they did an absolutely stupendous job and I am so thankful to them!

My parents own Canadian Rug Traders in Ottawa’s Byward Market, which has been especially decked out just for The Oathbreaker’s Shadow! In the store window was a large picture of the cover, my author photo, Sophie’s map and several awesome Oathbreaker-themed carpets that Sophie had designed especially for the book and my dad had made in India. The carpets are available for purchase at the store for $59+tax, and include a signed book! They’ve been really popular so far, and I’m not surprised… they’re totally gorgeous on their own.

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The amazing window at Canadian Rug Traders this past week

But the store wouldn’t make a great place for a party because there wasn’t enough floor space. So the brilliant owners of Spoon! Frozen Yogurt Lounge were happy to let us take over their store for a couple of hours to have the launch. It ended up being the perfect venue – plenty of space, a few table and chairs and of course – frozen yogurt! For those who haven’t been to a self-serve froyo place before, you basically get to fill up a coloured cup with delicious flavoured frozen yogurt, then get to load it up with the toppings of your choice. You then have your cup weighed and you pay by weight. For guests of the launch though, we were offering a free yogurt with a signed book purchase. It certainly went down well! As if that wasn’t enough, there were cupcakes and baklava (the ‘honey cakes’ for anyone who might have read the novel already!), and plenty of champagne (not that I got to drink any of it!)

A great spread! Plus Froyo, of course...

A great spread! Plus Froyo, of course…

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Some Canadian Rug Traders staff helping out on launch night!

It was amazing to see all the people who turned out – from my parents’ friends, loads of friends from high school (some who I hadn’t seen in 10 years!) and some awesome Ottawa book bloggers. It was amazing to meet other book lovers from this city, and since I heard that not many book events are held in Ottawa, I was glad to be able to bring a little YA book excitement to Canada’s capital city!

Some of the Ottawa blogettes with me!

Some of the Ottawa blogettes with me!

My dad introduced me to the crowd, and I managed to get through my thank yous and a reading without getting too emotional. It was especially important to me to be able to thank my parents in front of everyone.

My dad giving a speech while I look (embarrassedly) on...

My dad giving a speech while I look (embarrassedly) on…

All in all, a successful (and super fun!) launch. I already can’t wait to come back to do it all again!

3…2…1… Liftoff! The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is launched in the UK!

Well, this is going to be a VERY long and photo-filled post! That’s because I had the most incredible time launching The Oathbreaker’s Shadow at the stunning Daunt Books Marylebone last night. Thank you so much to everyone who came out!

That’s right, my book is now officially OUT in the UK. I can hardly believe it! (Obligatory buy links to hardcover and kindle editions here!)

My day started with the making of a zillion cupcake decorations! They turned out well (if I do say so myself – I might do a little ‘how to’ later), even if they did start lifting once they entered the sun-filled room at Daunts. I’m not quitting my day job (or my after day job) to become a baker just yet. The actual cupcakes came from the supremely talented Emma Louise of Sweet Little Cakery. Her blog about it is here and her website is here.

They turned out beautifully!

Homemade book cupcake decorations

Homemade book cupcake decorations

Life of a debut author, hey? Never thought I’d be doing that on my launch day, but it was actually so much fun. My mum and sister then helped me lug over 150 cupcakes to the beautiful Daunt books.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Daunt Books Marylebone, and you’re a book lover in London (or visiting London) then you must! It is so so stunning, even if I do say so myself. And even better when you see this in the window!

An Oathbreaker-filled window!

An Oathbreaker-filled window!

The wine showed up, and cupcakes were on display, and the launch kicked off!

Cupcakes on display

Cupcakes on display

I then spent most of my time dashing around the room, trying to make sure I signed for everyone! So many people from different parts of my life came together, which was wonderful to see. Special shout-out to my mum who came all the way from Canada to celebrate with me, and I was very sorry that Dad couldn’t be there too – he was definitely missed a lot.

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Check out my snazzy silver pen!

About an hour into the launch, Juliet braved the balcony with me, in true Evita-style, to make a lovely speech. I then got to say a few words of thanks to everyone, which was really nice. As I said in my speech, I could never have imagined so long ago, when I first entertained dreams of becoming a writer, that my first book launch would be anything like this. I was completely overwhelmed. And because I work in publishing, a book can sometimes be reduced to the sum of its parts: the manuscript, the cover, the AIS, the metadata, the reviews… the product, in essence. But this whole process has reminded me of something so important: that behind every published book is a writer for whom this is a dream come true. That is certainly the case for me.

Giving my speech from the balcony... not for the faint hearted!

Giving my speech from the balcony… not for the faint hearted!

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With speeches over… I could finally relax! And meet and chat with people… which is what I had wanted to do for most of the evening. One of the best pictures of the night were the four young ones who attended the launch, all sitting up on the balcony, intensely reading. Couldn’t ask for anything more as an author!

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And I also asked all my guests to sign a book for me! This ended up being one of my favourite mementos of the night – I strongly recommend it to other authors!

A book signed by the launch guests, just for me!

A book signed by the launch guests, just for me!

Then, as the bookstore closed up, we moved down to The Marylebone pub, where there was some much needed food and happy hour!

Editor, Publicist, Agent and Author - Team Oathbreaker!

Editor, Publicist, Agent and Author – Team Oathbreaker!

It was finally when we got to the pub that we managed to get a Team Oathbreaker picture! Woohoo. I’m so grateful for all the hard work these ladies have put in so far. I definitely have the best team in publishing!!

My launch was, in a nutshell, awesome. I can’t have imagined it going any better, and I’m still a bit shellshocked that so many people came out to celebrate me and Raim. It was his night too, after all!

So the book is out, the wine has all been drunk, the champagne popped and the cupcakes demolished. What now? If anyone has read and enjoyed The Oathbreaker’s Shadow, please leave a review over on Amazon or Goodreads – it would be so helpful for all those fancy Amazon algorithms and such. Plus, it would just make me happy 🙂

Or, just take a look at a few more pictures! Most of these on this page were taken by my wonderful friend Sarah, and a few from my mum, Bella and Juliet too! I was far too frantic to take pictures.

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