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Start reading THE SHADOW HOUR

Who are you?

The question soared across the scorched sky, spoken by a chorus of voices that seeped through the cracks in the rocks that glowed like coals, that oozed from the pulsing hot brightness of the magma inching down, down, down to swallow all life in its path.

Lava ran over Echo’s boots. She looked at her feet, dispassionate, divorced from the sight of the rubber and leather bubbling and melting. Her shoelaces caught fire, but she did not feel them burn. Soot coated her skin, clung to her hair, her eyelashes, her clothes. The blue had been burned out of the sky by the eruption, and darkness descended, called forth by a veil of ash.

Who are you?

“This isn’t real,” Echo said.

And that isn’t an answer.

This was a dream. And in this dream, she was burning. Her skin blistered in the heat. Magma rushed around her ankles. It didn’t scare her, though it had the first time she’d had this dream. And the second. And the third. But by now, she’d lived through this scenario so many times, it was beginning to feel routine. All she had to do was endure it. Soon enough, she would wake up. She could do that. If there was anything at which Echo excelled, it was surviving.

She ignored the question—she’d yet to answer it in any of her dreams—and looked toward the gaping maw of the volcano. She stood at its base, watching it belch fire and smoke and ash into the heavens. Screams rose from the village below. That was the worst part. She could ignore her burning body, but she could never tune out the screams. Every night, without fail, from the first night. The night she had opened a door into the world and let the firebird enter. She could feel it now, its wings fluttering inside her as if testing the limits of its mortal cage.

Every night, the same question was posed to her, asked by a speaker with a thousand voices ringing as one: Who are you?

I am Echo, she thought. She didn’t speak the words aloud. She knew the answer wasn’t correct. Or perhaps the answer was simply not complete.

Lava crawled up her legs, past her knees, her thighs, her waist, consuming her inch by inch. In seconds, or perhaps minutes—time was so hard to track in dreams—it would rush into her mouth, her nostrils. It would seal her eyes shut. Soon, her entire body would be trapped on the side of the

mountain, glued to the spot like a fly in amber.

All she had to do was survive. Dying in dreams wasn’t the worst part. Waking from them with more questions than answers was. This was her fault. The eruption. The fire bursting from the earth. The darkness eating the sky. The screams of people caught in the middle of a cosmic dance that had begun eons before they’d been born. Soon, Echo would wake up and start a new day. But soon never felt soon enough when she was trapped in this dream.

Who are you? The question was clear, even over the anguished wails of the people below.

I am their end, Echo thought. I am their destruction. I couldn’t shield them from something I caused. I opened a door I shouldn’t have opened and now I don’t know what to do about it. I am alone in this.

Then the voices asked, as they did whenever she dared consider her solitude:  Are you?

Echo had opened a door to let the firebird in. But she couldn’t help wondering what she’d let out.

- An extract from The Shadow Hour by @melissa-grey - our Book of the Month

Posted on Saturday, July 16th 2016


Brilliant, magical The Shadow Hour is out now, and star author Melissa Grey has created this nail art tutorial to celebrate. 

In this spirit, we’re asking you to show us your Shadow Hour nails for the chance to win this great Nails Inc set plus a copy of both brilliant books.


Just send us a photo of your Melissa-Grey-inspired nail art via Tumblr, Facebook, TwitterInstagram or email (we’re at atom@littlebrown.co.uk) by end of July, tagging #TheShadowHour. We’ll announce the winner on our Tumblr - happy painting!


1            This is a competition for one person to win paperback copies of The Girl at Midnight and The Shadow Hour, plus the Nails Inc set shown above. To enter, please send us a photo of your nail art, as above.

2.            The winner will be selected from the entries received in accordance with these terms and conditions by a member of the Atom team, whose decision will be final.

3.           The winner may see their entry posted on the Atom or Little, Brown Book Group (hereinafter the ’Company’) website and on other websites and social media accounts.

4.            There is no purchase necessary to enter.

5.            The competition opens at 11:00 am GMT on Friday 15 July 2016 and closes at 11:59 pm GMT on Sunday 31 July 2016. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates will not be eligible for entry into the competition.

6.            The competition is open to anyone in the UK except employees of the Company, their families, or anyone professionally connected to the competition either themselves or through their families

7.            Only one entry per person allowed. Second or subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.

8.            The Company is not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.

9.            The Company reserves the right to alter the prizes or cancel the prize draw without notice.  No cash alternatives to prizes will be provided.

10.          The winner’s image will be published on the Atom channels in August 2016.

11.          The Company will make available the name and county of the winner to anyone who requests this information by writing to the following address: Marketing Department, Little, Brown Book Group, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DZ.

12.          The email addresses of entrants may be shared with companies within the Hachette group of companies but will not be shared with other companies outside the Hachette group.  It will be used by the Hachette companies to send you news about books, products and   promotions.  You will be given the option of opting out in those emails if you don’t want to receive any further news.

13.          By entering the competition you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

14.          This competition is being organised by Little, Brown Book Group, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DZ.

15.          These terms and conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

Posted on Friday, July 15th 2016


The Shadow Hour is out today and @atombooks put together this fab graphic based on a nail art tutorial I created! Atom will be running a nail competition soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Here’s the text, in case it’s hard to read: 

The Shadow Hour Nail Art Tutorial - Inspired by the Ala (and accented by shadow dust!)


Base coat

Matte top coat

White polish

Black polish

Black glitter polish

Thin detail brush



1. On top of a dry base coat, apply 2 coats of black polish on

every nail but your ring finger.

2. Apply 2 coats of white polish to your ring finger/accent nail.

3. Let it dry completely! Absolutely, positively bone dry. If it’s not,

the tape in the next step will peel it off.

3. When your nails are as dry as the Sahara, cut thin strips of

tape and stick them together in a V/chevron shape. Stick on all

your black nails with the point of the V facing away from your


4. Apply a single layer of the matte top coat over the tape. While

still wet, carefully peel off the tape.

5. Using your detail brush, draw a V within the glossy chevron,

dividing it into two. You can do this part with tape as well if you

want. If you use tape, make sure the polish is COMPLETELY


6. With the black glitter, paint atop your white accent nail. To

ensure even distribution of glitter, you can dot the brush over the

nail instead of swiping it.

7. Seal in your glittery accent nail with matte top coat.

Posted on Tuesday, July 12th 2016

Reblogged from Melissa Grey

“ Book Maaaaiiilll!! 💌📚 Okay so I’ve got in my hands an actual proof of #TheShadowHour one of my most anticipated books of the year and I cannot even! I completely loved the first book and it holds a special place in my heart because...


Book Maaaaiiilll!! 💌📚 Okay so I’ve got in my hands an actual proof of #TheShadowHour one of my most anticipated books of the year and I cannot even! I completely loved the first book and it holds a special place in my heart because it helped me through a rough time last year and I cannot wait to see what happens next and the cover is gorgeous! Thank you SO much @atombooks !

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th 2016

Reblogged from Reality's A Bore