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Between the Covers 28/07/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

Between the Covers receives books and emails about books almost daily that involve new, werewolf-inspired erotic fiction "with a twist", so it was only a matter of time before this appeared: a new, ebook-only novel with a werehedgehog as its hero. That's right: he's like a werewolf, only … a hedgehog. Hedging His Bets is by Mina Carter and Celia Kyle and stars Honey, who runs a bar and grill, and Blake, who is a shape-shifting biker hedgehog/man. See if you get an idea from the online reader reviews: "After reading other shifter romances ... a big handsome ladies man turning into a hedgehog was somewhat beyond acceptance." "I was given a copy of this book." "This was a nice simple read … was it worth 2.99 probably not." (No need to be prickly.)


Everyone knows that publishing has a longer gestation period than, well, a royal baby, so spare a thought for those who have been waiting to push out those 8lb 6oz tomes ever since the announcement was made. According to The Bookseller there are at least two major "Royal Family" books waiting to trot down the steps of their publishers' own Lindo Wings, including The New Royal Family: William, Kate and the Next Generation by Robert Jobson and the photographer Arthur Edwards (John Blake, £12.99), which tells (surely not again?) "the true insider account of Prince William's amazing love affair with Kate Middleton", and Royal Babies: A History 1066 – 2013 by Amy Licence (Amberley, £16.99), which will be in the shops in a couple of weeks, once a photograph of the young family can be found for the front cover.


The Bookseller adds that more than 20 books about the royal baby will be published in 2013, including Mick Inkpen's Baggy Brown and the Royal Baby Book (Hodder Children's Books), Alexandra the Royal Baby Fairy by Daisy Meadows (Orchard Books), Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby by Martha Mumford and Ada Grey (Bloomsbury), and Our Royal Baby by Sue McMillan (Scholastic). Between the Covers' local babies, who are discerning literary critics, particularly like the footmen in Nicholas Allan's The Royal Nappy (Red Fox, £5.99).


Congratulations to the small independent publisher Sandstone Press, which has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for the second time in two years, this time for The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by the debut author Eve Harris. Their previous long-listing was in 2011 for Jane Rogers' The Testament of Jessie Lamb, and the publisher has gone from strength to strength since then, in partnership with Faber Factory Plus and with the support of Creative Scotland. They plan to bring forward publication of Harris's novel, about Orthodox Jewish women in London, to "the earliest possible date", and increased numbers are being rushed out.

It's also refreshing to hear an author who is clearly so surprised by her inclusion on such an auspicious list. When she heard the news, Harris said: "I am absolutely thrilled. I never imagined getting such an accolade for my first novel. After a night of thunderstorms and lightning and not too much sleep, it all feels unreal and unbelievable – but amazing."