The Otherwhere Emporium: Read an Extract

The Otherwhere EmporiumThe Nowhere Emporium has returned.

In the following extract, Daniel Holmes, the owner of the Emporium, has just finished writing a new entry in the Book of Wonders. But something is not right…

Return to a world where imagination is power and anything is possible in the finale of the multi-award-winning Nowhere Emporium trilogy.

Storytelling genius; a fantastical, fitting finale to a trilogy I want to climb inside the covers of and never leave. Ross MacKenzie’s magical touch makes you believe in the impossible where endless imagination and wonder permeate so perfectly through his pages.
— Scott Evans, The Reader Teacher

‘The shop is right up there with Ollivanders as a magical place that readers will want to explore again and again.’
The Guardian

Sneak Peek

You can watch author Ross MacKenzie read an extract from The Otherwhere Emporium, or keep scrolling to read it yourself!

A Strange Occurrence

Daniel put down his pen and sat back in his chair, the fire spitting in the darkened shop, its flames reflecting in the many treasures so tightly packed into the place. He picked up the Book of Wonders and admired his work, the detail and description. This… this would be one of his finest Wonders yet. All that was left to do – the final part of the process – was to close the book. When that happened, when those pages touched, the magic would be complete. The Wonder would appear somewhere in the great Carnival of Wonders behind the red curtain by Daniel’s desk.

Scanning the work one more time, he gave a nod of satisfaction and closed the book with a snap.

He waited.

He sat forward.

He stared at the book through narrowed eyes. His heart had begun to pick up pace, and the feeling that something was wrong sat heavy and cold in his belly. Still clutching the Book of Wonders, he shot to his feet and wheeled away through the curtain.

“Daniel!”

“Hello, Mr Holmes!”

“Good day, Daniel! All set for opening time?”

“Master Holmes! When you have a moment, I’d like to talk to you about my Wonder. I think we could do with a few more elephants…”

These were the voices of the Emporium staff, all of them characters written in the Book of Wonders, brought to life inside the Emporium by the powerful magic of Daniel’s imagination. Normally, Daniel would have greeted each of them in turn, taken time to answer their questions and hear what they had to say, but today he rushed past, ignoring their calls, not seeing the puzzled looks on their faces as he went by.

At last, after goodness knows how long hurrying through the great tent city that comprised the Carnival of Wonders, between tents as tall as ten-storey buildings and tents as small as phone boxes, all under an impossible twilight sky, Daniel came around a corner and skidded to a halt on the dry summer grass.

His arms dropped to his sides, his right hand still gripping the book. His head tilted slightly to the left as his eyes surveyed the scene.

There, between two enormous tents – one of rich purple silk, the other of gold and black velvet– was the new Wonder. The new tent, however, was not shining and splendid as newly born Wonders usually were. It was small and plain and lopsided. It looked sad.

Daniel moved slowly towards the tent. When he reached the curtained entrance, he stopped and touched the worn canvas. Holding his breath, Daniel brushed the curtain aside and entered.

He should have been standing in a vast plain during the Cretaceous period, surrounded by huge, plant-eating dinosaurs.

Instead, he found himself in a bare, cold attic room. Cobweb strands hung from the ceiling and coated the small window. The floorboards were warped and dusty and creaking. The flowery, faded wallpaper was peeling from the walls. There was no furniture,  no boxes or shelves. Nothing.

The only feature was a door in the far wall of the room.

Daniel’s eyes scanned the door. There was nothing special about it. It was, by the look of it, a normal door – the sort you might find in any house. And yet it made him uneasy. This whole room made him uneasy.

He turned to leave.

Then he stopped and spun around.

Had he just heard…?

Was someone behind that door?

Daniel stood still as death, listening, waiting. No sound came. No movement. He edged across the room. When he reached the door, he realised that he was clutching the Book of Wonders tight to his chest, the way a child hugs a security blanket or a soft toy.

He stood inches from the door, so close that his nose was almost touching it, and he listened.

Still nothing.

He could not shake the feeling, though, that there was someone on the other side.

“Hello?” Daniel’s voice sounded strange to him, shaky and hesitant. “Is someone there?”

No reply.

Daniel reached out a trembling hand, and wrapped his fingers around the door handle.

Also by Ross MacKenzie:

The Nowhere Emporium The Elsewhere Emporium Shadowsmith

Features for Teachers: The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle

Are you looking for rewarding reading resources that your pupils will relish? Then why not try this great resource pack for The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson?

The learning resource pack has been created by author Victoria Williamson, who has many years experience teaching children around the world, and includes:

  • Empathy, identity and diversity activities
  • Refugee activities
  • Literacy and English activities
  • Expressive arts activities
  • Science and technology activities
  • And more!

The pack is designed to cover a range of Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, with fun and interesting activities that can be adapted for a wide range of abilities.

With this pack, your pupils can:

  • Explore the world and words of The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle
  • Get to know the characters of Reema and Caylin and learn about their very different backgrounds and experiences
  • Write, draw and create a variety of projects based on the book

Victoria Williamson is available for school visits. Visit her website to find out more!

Did you know you can get funding for author visits with the Live Literature funding scheme? Find out how to apply via the Scottish Book Trust. 


More about The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle

She is the Fox Girl.
I am the White Gazelle.
Together we can outrun anything.

Reema feels completely lost. She’ll never call this strange country, with its grey skies and boring food, home. Syria is her home and it’s a million miles away.

Caylin feels completely alone. She’s looking after her useless mum, stealing from other kids so she can eat. She can’t tell anyone, they’ll only let her down.

The refugee and the bully — Reema and Caylin can’t imagine being friends, until a shared secret brings them together.

A beautiful story singing with love and hope
– Sarah Driver, author of the Huntress series.

We can offer special deals on class sets. If you’d like more information, please get in touch.

To find out the latest Kelpies news, follow us on Twitter! Or, you can sign up to our dedicated mailing list for teachers and librarians.

Would you like a Learning Resource Pack for another Kelpies book? Do you have a resource pack you’d like to share? Please let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

Also by Victoria Williamson

Jamie Lee wants to be normal. But his ADHD makes him feel like his brain is full of butterflies.
Elin Watts wants to be perfect. If she can be, surely her dad will come home.

When Jamie and Elin’s families join, chaos and order collide. But perhaps they have something in common. Maybe there’s no such thing as normal, or perfect. Maybe being yourself is more than enough.

Ruby McCracken’s Guide to Christmas

Vronsky, Ruby's familiar, getting into the Christmas spiritHi guys, Ruby McCracken here. As I get ready to spend another Christmas in the Ordinary World, I thought I’d explain some of the weird Ord customs to help any visiting witches. (And if you haven’t already, you can read my more general Guide to the Ord World here!)

Christmas Decorations

Tarantula TreeOrds do have Christmas trees, and they’re ALMOST the same as the ones back home in Hexadonia. The big difference is that instead of a tarantula, they put a star on top. Who knew?

And they put up what they call Christmas stockings, only the ones here aren’t smelly. They don’t seem to know that it’s best to use gym socks that have been worn continuously for at least eight days.

They have mistletoe here, too, but instead of tweaking someone’s nose under it, you’re supposed to – actually, I can’t say it. It’s too gross.

Christmas Dinner

OK, Ord Christmas cake is actually disgusting. They don’t use dried gnats and chopped earthworms like you’re supposed to, they put in raisins and currants and… BLECH.

Pigs in blankets are delicious though. Those Ords can get SOMETHING right at least…

Christmas in Hexadonia

Jingle BatsYou know what? Writing this is making me homesick for Christmas in Hexadonia. It’s my fourth favourite holiday (after Halloween, Feline Familiar Liberation Day and The Western Hexadonian Archipelagic Independence Day).

I have so many happy memories of singing Christmas carols with my friends. My favourites are “The Holly and the Poison Ivy”, “Jingle Bats”, and “The 12 Spells of Christmas”.

On snowy days, we would go outside and build snow trolls until my parents would call us in for dinner. The meal would always begin with Christmas creakers – you have to listen carefully to hear the C-R-E-A-K-I-N-G sound they make when you pull them.

Well, I’ve got to run now, because my dad’s calling me. He wants me to be a guinea pig for one of the new hair sculptures he’s creating for the salon where he works. It’s a Christmas-themed one, but to be honest, I really don’t see how he’ll fit all eight reindeer on my head…


About the Book

Ruby McCracken: Tragic Without MagicRuby McCracken’s life is OVER. Her parents have forced her to move to the Ordinary World and that means – new home, new school and worst of all, no magic! Seriously?! A witch without magic? That’s LITERALLY tragic.

Ruby has to leave behind her broomstick (and walk everywhere – YUCK!) and her friends (no more watching Hex Factor together on a Saturday night). She’s absolutely STARVING with no snack spell, and there’s no way to get revenge on the mean girls at her boring new school without a good curse.

Despite her best witching efforts, the Ordinary World remains tragically magic-deprived, until Ruby receives a mysterious hext that seems to offer an answer. That is, if she can figure out what it means and, more importantly, who sent it.

Packed with great humour, loveable characters and witty banter, Ruby McCracken: Tragic Without Magic is perfect for fans of Witchworld and The Worst Witch.

Winner of the Kelpies Prize 2016. Find out about the all-new Kelpies Prize here!