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Dark secrets, secret agents and, erm, ladybirds


New for April


Gaslight by Eloise Williams

 Cardiff 1899. All Nansi knows is that she and her mother were running away from someone, and then she was being fished out of Cardiff docks with no memory of how she got there. Now she is forced to work for Pernicious Sid at the Empire Theatre, while trying desperately to search for her vanished mother.

A darkly delicious romp through the backstreets of Victorian Cardiff. I loved it!’ Emma Carroll, author of Frost Hollow Hall, Strange Star
‘Keep an eye out for this firecracker, folks - it’s gorgeously raw, dark and Dickensian.’ Lucy Strange, author of The Secret of Nightingale Wood.
Gaslight, for 9-12s, is Eloise’s second novel for children, following her much-loved debut Elen’s Island, for 7-9 year olds. Gaslight launched to a sell-out crowd at the Cardiff Kids Lit Festival on 2 April, and Eloise had a packed launch in Waterstones Carmarthen on Saturday 8 April. 


Explore the dark side of Victorian Cardiff 

Eloise will also be in Cardiff on Saturday 22 April from 2-3pm at Waterstones Cardiff. Join Eloise on a tour of some of the hot spots from Gaslight in central Cardiff with readings and fun facts about the dark side of Victorian Cardiff.

Suitable for ages 8+ must be accompanied by an adult. Start and end point Waterstones Cardiff. Walk will be approximately 30 minutes followed by a signing with the author. Free, but limited spaces: please book with by tweeting @WaterstonesCDF or emailing:


Coming soon - Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink by Jennifer Killick


'A brilliantly bonkers, side-splitting, superhero story!' M.G. Leonard
‘A laugh-out-loud extravaganza of a read’ Booklover Jo
Alex Sparrow is a super-agent in training. He is also a human lie-detector. Working with Jess, who can communicate with animals, they must find out why their friends – and enemies – are all changing into polite and well-behaved pupils. And exactly who is behind it all. A sparkingly funny book for 8-12s by new author Jennifer Killick.
Comic debut Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink, is publishing on 1 May, with a launch in Waterstones Uxbridge on April 27th.
Alex Sparrow has been selected for the Summer Reading Challenge 2017, along with Firefly title Thimble Monkey Superstar by Jon Blake, and both are available in all good bookshops and for libraries to order now through all usual distribution channels.


Award shortlisting for Alien Rain



Congratulations to Ruth Morgan, whose wonderful futuristic novel for young teens, Alien Rain, has been shortlisted for the Wales Children’s Tir na n-Og Awards 2017.

Alien Rain sees ordinary Martian teenager Bree, selected for a mission back to Earth. Surprised by the honour Bree travels to a future Cardiff where the arcades are jungles and ghosts haunt the national museum. But mystery surrounds her mission. What are the secrets of the past, and whose side should Bree be on, Earth or Mars?
The awards are sponsored by CILIP Wales and the Welsh Books Council with the winner announced on May 11. Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council, said, ‘The titles that have reached the shortlist this year are evidence of the high standard of books for children and young people in Wales.’


Firefly author wins Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary

Congratulations to Kat Ellis for winning a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary. Kat’s stunning debut YA novel Blackfin Sky was one of Firefly’s very first titles in May 2014, while her most recent is Purge, a high-energy thriller for older teens.








Catch the Ladybirds at Hay Festival



Carnegie-longlisted author Horatio Clare will be launching the further adventures of Aubrey in Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds at the Hay Festival next month on Saturday 27 May at 4pm.
This hilarious new adventure from the star of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot (winner of the Branford Boase Award 2016) sees the young hero shrunk to the size of a coin, ride on the back of a swallow and travel the web of time and space to Europe and back, with the help of a couple of spiders. But there’s trouble waiting for him back home where the Ladybirds have flown into Rushing Wood, only to find they’re not welcome …

Book your places here.




We are thrilled that Alien Rain by Ruth Morgan has been shortlisted for the Tir na-n'Og Award, a prize for the best children's book of the year set in Wales.

As the judges say, Alien Rain is 'A science fiction novel set on Mars in the year 3016. Earth has been abandoned and the novel’s characters live in a scaled-down replica of Cardiff within a dome.' It's a hugely exciting adventure with an unforgetable heroine and everyone at Firefly is delighted to see Ruth acknowledged on the award shortlist.  Helen Jones, the Welsh Books Council's Head of Children's Books and Reading Promotion, noted, "The variety of books on this year's shortlist is really encouraging. Our aim is to foster a love of reading, from the youngest toddler to young adults."

Congratulations to Ruth and all the shortlisted authors in Welsh and English. See the full list here: