Frost Hollow Hall (Faber- Oct 2013)


The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.’

It’s winter, 1881. When Tilly receives a dare to go ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall, she can’t refuse. No one goes near the place these days. Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned in the lake. His death is still shrouded in mystery.

But the dare goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks and Tilly almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful figure appears in the water and saves her life. Tilly soon realises her rescuer is Kit Barrington’s ghost. His spirit cannot rest in peace until the truth about his death is revealed. Now he needs Tilly to help him.

In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets . . .

Frost Hollow Hall is a thrilling historical fiction debut. Told in Tilly’s unique voice, it is a tale of love and loss, and how forgiveness is the key to recovery.

AwardsNorth East Book Award Winner 2013, Hillingdon Book of the Year 2014.

Longlists/shortlists/nominations:  Branford Boase Award Longlist 2014, Waterstones Book Prize Longlist 2014. Shortlisted for St Helen’s Libraries BASH Awards 2014. Red House Books Pick of the Year, Lovereading4kidsDebuts of the Month (October) and a Book of The Year 2013. And Telegraph’s Top 100 Books For Christmas 2013, Netgallery’s Top Ten Books of 2013.

The Girl Who Walked On Air (Faber- 7 August 2014)


I wasn’t a proper orphan because my mam wasn’t dead. She didn’t love me either. She left me at the circus, the way most people forget an umbrella.’

One foggy night, a baby girl is abandoned outside Chipchase’s Travelling Circus. She’s taken in and named Louie. Thirteen years later, her job is to sell tickets for the show. No one suspects she’s got a talent for anything else. But Louie’s secret hero is tightrope walker Charles Blondin. She’s hungry to perform on the high wire, and when her guardian Jasper has a terrible accident, she pleads for a chance to take his place in the ring.

Circus owner Mr Chipchase refuses point blank. Yet when a strange man in a very tall top hat turns up, Mr Chipchase suddenly changes his mind. The man comes with an offer, and secrets of his own. A thrilling chain of events lead Louie to the other side of the world. There, she attempts the most daring tightrope walk of her life.

Shortlists/ longlists/nominations: nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2015. Longlisted for the Oxfordshire Book Award, shortlisted for the Stockton Libraries Award 2016. Sunday Times Childrens’ Book of the Week (10th August 2014).  The Sunday Express’s Top 12 Summer Reads for Children, Irish Independent’s Top 6 Autumn Reads. Lovereading4kids Book of The Year.

In Darkling Wood (Faber- July 2015)

In Darkling Wood

When Alice’s brother gets a longed-for chance for a heart transplant, Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother’s house. There’s nothing good about staying with Nell, except for the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of her garden – but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace, and even finds a friend, Flo. But Flo doesn’t seem to go to the local school and no one in town has heard of a girl with that name. When Flo shows Alice the surprising secrets of Darkling Wood, Alice starts to wonder, what is real? And can she find out in time to save the wood from destruction?

Longlists/shortlists/nominations: shortlisted for the Shropshire Book Award 2016, shortlisted for the Oxfordshire Book Awards 2016, shortlisted for the Calderdale Book Award 2016, long listed for the Hounslow Junior Book Award 2016. The Bookseller’s Book of the Month for July 2015.

The Snow Sister (October- 2015 Faber)


Ever since her sister, Agnes, died, Pearl has a tradition every time it snows. She makes a person out of snow. A snow sister. It makes Christmas feel a little less lonely.

On Christmas Eve, her father receives a letter about a long-lost relative’s will. Is their luck about to change? In anticipation of a better Christmas, Pearl goes to beg credit at Mr Noble’s grocery to get ingredients for a Christmas pudding. But she is refused, and chased down the street where she is hit by a hansom cab. The snow is falling so hard that they can’t take her home. She’ll have to stay at Flintfield Manor overnight, in a haunted room… Will Pearl make it home for Christmas?

Longlists/shortlists/nominations: The Times Childrens Book of the Week (24th October 2015)

Strange Star (Faber- July 2016)

strange star

‘They were coming tonight to tell ghost stories. ‘A tale to freeze the blood,’ was the only rule.’

Switzerland, 1816. On a stormy summer night, Lord Byron and his guests are gathered round the fire. Felix, their serving boy, can’t wait to hear their creepy tales. Yet real life is about to take a chilling turn- more chilling than any tale. Frantic pounding at the front door reveals a stranger, a girl covered in the most unusual scars. She claims to be looking for her sister, supposedly snatched from England by a woman called Mary Shelley. Someone else has followed her here too, she says. And the girl is terrified…

Longlists/shortlists/nominations: The Times Childrens Book of the Week, Longlisted for the Redbridge Book Award 2017, short listed for The Salisbury Book Award 2017, the Haringey Book award 2017 and the Hounslow Book Award 2017. A Lovereading4Kids Book of the Year 2016.

47 thoughts on “Books

  1. Emma thanks for Frost Hollow which I loved readings with my 9 year old daughter, Marisa. So good to have children’s literature which credits kids with intelligence and inspires them. We can’t wait for the Girl who walked on air.

    1. Hi Marisa’s dad! ( and Marisa!)
      I’m delighted you both enjoyed Frost Hollow Hall. Thanks ever so much for the message. Hope you like The Girl Who Walked On Air too! Best wishes, Emma 🙂

  2. Hi Emma
    I am twelve years old and read frost hollow hall. It was incredible and was probably the best book I’ve ever read. I just didn’t want it to end! I am looking forward to reading the girl who walked on air,
    Thanks, Orla

    1. Hi Orla!
      thanks so much for your message. I’m really glad you liked Frost Hollow Hall. When I was writing it I didn’t want it to end, either- as an author you get very attached to your characters. By the end of it, I felt like Tilly was my best friend! I hope you’ll like The Girl Who Walked On Air just as much. Happy reading!
      Emma 🙂

  3. Dear Emma,
    I’ve just started reading the girl who walked on air. So far it’s great. It’s also sad but thrilling!! I can’t put it down!!

    1. Hi Olivia
      Thank you so much for your message- I’m so delighted you’re enjoying The Girl Who Walked On Air. Like everyone, us writers have those days where we think we’re just rubbish and no-one will ever read our books ever again! So your message today has cheered me up no end. Hope you enjoy the rest of the book and merry xmas!

  4. I have read both Frost Hollow Hall and The Girl who Walked On Air, and they are both such good books I couldn’t put them down! I love the way you write about the past, it’s such a refreshing change from other books which are all set in the present! I can really connect with your characters and am gripped by the thrilling events they go through.

    1. hello Natasha!
      Thanks for getting in touch. It’s so lovely to hear that you’ve read and enjoyed both books. Yes, I do have a bit of a ‘thing’ for historical fiction- it seems to create a stronger atmosphere, somehow. My next book ‘In Darkling Wood’ is set in modern day mostly, because I wanted to try something a bit different. Parts of it are set in 1918 though, so I couldn’t let go altogether!
      Thanks again for your kind message, Emma:)

  5. I love the book ‘frost hollow hall’ and I love going to stay near Axminster. I am 10. I Can’t wait to read your next book. Also, I would like to be a writer when I grow up . You are really good at writing! from Faye

    1. Hi Faye, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed Frost Hollow Hall. Yes, Axminster is a lovely part of the world; I work at the secondary school there. Like you, I always wanted to be a writer so writing books like Frost Hollow Hall has been a dream come true for me. Fingers crossed it’ll be your dream come true one day too! Emma 😊

  6. Hi Emma,
    Alike most of the above I have just read Frost Hollow Hall and it is now my favourite book! I would really like to read your other two books as well. I really liked all the turns and changes in the book and I love the way it was worded and put.
    I hope you write more books set in that time and that genre!
    Thanks, Mia

    1. Hi Mia
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write. It’s lovely to hear you enjoyed Frost Hollow Hall- it was my very first book to be published so in this sense it’s a bit of a favourite with me too. Very much hope you enjoy Thr Girl Who Walked On Air and In Darkling Wood too. Do let me know! All good wishes, Emma😊

  7. I just saw your beautiful books in a Twitter tweet @lunaslibrary, I adore the covers and have just been over to Amazon and ordered ‘The Snow Sister’ & ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ I cannot wait to delve into their pages.

  8. Hello I heard that there was a sequel to Frost hollow hall and was wondering if it was true if not then you should write one I just want to find out about will and tilly I mean it’s kinda obvious but you know things change and I want to know about their children and life and what happens to lady barrington and Mrs jessop

    1. Hello! There isn’t a sequel to Frost Hollow Hall at the moment, though I did leave the final chapter deliberately open just in case! One day I’d very much like to write what happens next- and yes I do have a few ideas. So stay tuned! Thanks for getting in touch, very best wishes Emma :))

  9. Hi Emma, I was recommended your books by my brother, Greg, (an ex colleague of yours) and I have used Frost Hollow Hall this week to introduce my class to the genre of Mystery and Suspense. The children loved it and it has been great using something fresh, appealing and appropriate! The children have asked to borrow the book to read at home and I think this is a very big compliment from a tough set of kids!
    We would love to email you some questions if possible?
    Many thanks, Anna.

    1. Hi Anna
      Lovely to hear from you! I had a message from Greg on Facebook earlier, saying you’d been using Frost Hollow Hall. Thank you so much-really glad it worked with your class. of course you can email me questions- my email is on the contact page of the blog. Look forward to hearing from you all! Emmax

    1. Hi Elspeth, so glad to hear you enjoyed Frost Hollow Hall- as my very first book to be published I admit I’ve got a special fondness for this story too. Really hope you enjoy Letters equally! Thanks for getting in touch, all best wishes Emmax

  10. Hi Emma I have read dearly all of your books The girl who walked on air, Snow sister, Frost hollow hall, Strange star and Darkling wood! I found darkling wood in the book store and it was the best book I have ever read! I’m now looking forward to reading The lost boy! Xx

      1. Hi Lara
        Thanks for getting in touch- great to hear from you! I’m so thrilled that you’ve read every one of my books- thats impressive! You’re obviously a big reader, but then, all the best people are bookworms, aren’t they? All best wishes to you, Emma :))

  11. Hi Emma I got your book as a present and looked at it and thought errm this looks nice but now I’m reading it its the best I have letters from the lighthouse oh I do hope they find sukie when my mum says time to go to bed I’m like noooo!!! I love it way too much your my favourite author as you attract and inspire me soon much it is amazing your a credit to the writing career your my writing idol!!

    1. Hi Alice
      I’m very honoured to be your writing idol, thank you!! Its great to hear you’re enjoying ‘Letters’ so much (sorry mum!) Hopefully you’ll find out what happens to Sukie very soon, then you can have an early night to catch up on all that sleep you’ve missed!Thanks ever so for getting in touch. It’s always lovely to hear from readers who’ve liked my stories. When I’m writing them I never know for sure if anyone will enjoy them, so its always a massive relief to hear they do! Very best wishes, Emma

  12. Emma,
    I am just about to start using Letters From the Lighthouse with my Year 6s as part of our unit on World War II. I am currently half way through the book and enjoying it loads. I hope they enjoy it as much as I have.
    Jess Mann

    1. Hi Jess
      Thanks for getting in touch. Really delighted to hear you’re enjoying Letters- fingers crossed your class will too. Before then though have a wonderful half term holiday! All very best wishes Emma.

  13. Hello Emma, I am half way through reading letters to the lighthouse and it it just mesmerising. I am reading it with my class in school and am really getting into it! My favorite character is Ephraim and was wondering which one is yours?

    1. Hello Anonymous, I’m delighted that you’re enjoying the story, and Ephraim in particular. He’s named after my great-grandad, you know! Its hard to choose a favourite character but I’d probably say its Esther. Hope you enjoy the rest of he book! Emma

  14. Hello Emma
    you are the best writer in the whole world.
    Since 2017 I have read Frost Hollow Hall 5 times.
    Recently I have read Letters from the Lighthouse and In Darkling Wood and I want to read them again.
    I really want to get all your other books.
    My mum is a writer but she writes adult books so I cant read them.
    when I grow up I want to be a writer like you.
    looking forward to your next book.

    1. Hi Lily! Thanks ever so for your lovely comment- so kind of you to get in touch. I’m very glad to hear you’ve re-read your favourite stories. I do that with some books too, just in case I missed things the first time round! There’s also something really comforting about reading a book you know, isn’t there? I’m sure you’ll enjoy your mum’s books too when your ready for them. If you’d like to be a writer when you’re older then I reckon you’ve already got a head start with your mum to inspire you! Very best wishes, Emma

  15. Hello Emma,
    We love Letters from the Lighthouse, thank you for writing it. We loved all the drama and mystery so much so that we often read into our break times. We were fascinated by all the characters and their personalities, they really came alive in the book. Especially Olive and her bravery. We are now excited to read your other books.
    Please can you write a sequel, we really want to know what happens next.
    Rembrandt Learning group
    Putnoe Primary School, Bedford.

    1. Hello! Thanks so much for your message. I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed Letters. There IS a sequel, called ‘Olive’s Army’ which is set about a year after Letters finishes. You’ll find the story in ‘When We Were Warriors’ which is a collection of three inter-linked stories all set in WW2. Happy reading, and stay safe and well ! Emmax

  16. Hi Emma
    I absolutely love your book Letters from the Lighthouse! I cannot wait to start reading Olive’s Army.
    Kind regards

    1. Hello Chloe, thanks ever so for your message! Really delighted to hear you enjoyed Letters. Hope you’ll like Olive’s Army too- it was such fun to write a story with those characters again. It felt like meeting up with old friends! All best wishes to you! Emma x

  17. Hello I am Lyla,
    I really love your book letters from the lighthouse. It captures me every time with the twists and turns – so wonderful! Me and my class have been reading it as it fits right into our topic. The book has supported my understanding especially as we are in lockdown.

  18. Hi Emma! My name is Alexandra and I live in Sydney, Australia. I’ve always wanted to be an author and you are one of the writer’s that I look up to the most. The first book I read of yours was Letters from the Lighthouse and I loved it. Since then, I have read every book you’ve written in our local library about three times!

    From Alexandra

    1. Hello Alexandra! How lovely to hear from the other side of the world! I’m amazed to hear you’ve read my books about 3 times- that’s real dedication! Thank you. My family live in Australia- Byron Bay- so it particularly means a lot to hear my books are being enjoyed over there. Thanks again for your message. Wishing you a brilliant 2022! Emma

  19. Hi Emma Ma’am!

    I love your book of Frost Hollow Hall! It’s just so awesome!! For me, It’s the best book I’ve ever read. I love reading books and writing stories ; one day my mum even needed to hide all the books from me so that I don’t finish that and ask for more! Your concept in the story of Frost Hollow Hall, so mysterious and “suspenful” if it makes sense then (I know it doesn’t! 😁) and also as you covered each point and clue where Will and Tilly find out, that’s interesting! The clues were given so efficiently, one wouldn’t be able to solve it unless it’s their second time. I’ve ordered “The Letters from the Lighthouse” and can’t wait to read it…

    Before it’s time to bid A good Bye, I’d ask you a tiny tiny request… can you please please continue Frost Hollow Hall something like this..
    At the start Will gives a dare, now it’s Tilly’s turn and they fall into another Adventure coming up!
    Also, Many books and movies usually have the first part interesting and the second one boring… but do not worry I definitely don’t expect that from you, coz I know your books will be AMAZING!

    Thank you so much for this chance of writing to you… desperately await for your reply..


    1. Hello Vaishali! Many thanks for your wonderful message. It’s so lovely to hear you enjoyed Frost Hollow Hall. It’s a very special story for me, too, as its the one that made my dream come true of becoming an author. Once you’ve read Letters from the Lighthouse, you might like to know about another book of mine called When We Were Warriors, which is 3 short stories all set in WW2. The first story takes place at Frost Hollow hall (by now Tilly is an old lady and someone arrives with a very special message for her from America) and the second story is a sequel to Letters from the Lighthouse. That should keep you busy for a while!
      Really hope you enjoy these stories, and thanks again for getting in touch!
      All very best wishes

  20. Hello Emma! It’s me Alexandra (again! sorry!) I was reading A Week at World’s End today and when I had finished the story I started reading the interview at the back. In one of your answers you say that you like the editing process because it’s where you can ‘weave in the layers’. What does that mean and how do you put layers into your story?

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