Guest Post – Locations: Why London? by Nick Bryan


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I am a huge fan of Nick Bryan’s Hobson & Choi series and am super excited that there will be an addition of a fourth book to the series very soon!  Yay!

Hobson & Choi is a brilliant crime series that is both serious and fun all at the same time as a gruff, mostly angry man teams up with an energetic and passionate seventeen year old girl to solve the odd crimes that come to the private detective’s office!

You can find my review of the first two books here

So to celebrate I am so excited to welcome the brilliant Nick Bryan back to Tales Of Yesterday with an awesome guest post about location!


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“If we get 400 followers, John Hobson will solve that nasty wolf-murder case for free! Fight the thing himself if he has to! #HobsonVsWolf!”Angelina Choi was only trying to drum up some Twitter followers and make a good impression on her first day interning at John Hobson’s one-man detective agency.

But the campaign went viral and now they have a murder to solve, no money coming in, and an unwilling Hobson faced with battling some enormous beast.

With both follower and body counts rising, can they crack the case without offending everyone or being eaten by a huge dog?

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf is the first case starring Hobson & Choi, a bickering, mismatched detective duo for 21st century London. This book collects the debut storyline of the hit darkly comic crime web serial, extensively rewritten and improved for this definitive edition.

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“Sometimes #crime feels like the Matrix. Or the #patriarchy or #porn. It’s everywhere, even in people you trusted, and there’s so MUCH of it.”

Angelina Choi returns for her second and final week of work experience at John Hobson’s detective agency, ready for anything after their first successful murder solve.

After all that online buzz, they’re in phenomenal demand. Can Hobson & Choi solve a kidnapping, play chicken with corporate crime, beat back gentrification, save a dog from drug dealers and head off violent backlash from their last case?

Or will grim revelations about Hobson’s past leave them floundering in the chaos?

Rush Jobs collects the second major storyline in the Hobson & Choi saga, #1 on Jukepop Serials and #2 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, adding brand new chapters and scenes to the case.

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“You’ve heard of conspiracies within conspiracies? I wish conspiracies WOULD hide inside each other, instead of turning up everywhere I go.”

Angelina Choi returns for her final day of work experience at the Hobson Agency – is there a job waiting afterwards? Should she walk away for her own good?

While she mulls it over, they’re hired by the massive EastVillage shopping centre to investigate a spate of muggings. But do the management know more than they’re letting on?

As Hobson and Choi wrestle with commercialised corruption, will Angelina finally squeeze in her first date with Will the Hot Receptionist? Can anything emerge from the smoking crater of Hobson’s love life?

Trapped In The Bargain Basement plunges grimly comic London crime series Hobson & Choi to new depths, after climbing to #1 in Dark Comedy on Amazon and breaking records on Jukepop Serials.

Also included: Wuff! – The Markus Tail, a book-only bonus short story. Discover the bone-gnawingly tense origin of H&C’s furriest, friendliest character.


Locations: Why London?

The Hobson & Choi series, of course, is a darkly comic detective series that takes place in London, the massive teeming metropolis that I (and millions of other people) live in. The decision to set it there was a fairly quick and easy one, it just slotted immediately into the tone of the story and the circumstances I wanted for it.

But what exactly was that tone, what were those circumstances? Why and how did it happen? What on earth was I thinking? Good question. Let’s try and unpack.

#1 – All Human Life Is Here

A lot of these mismatched detective series (and crime stories in general) end up taking place in big cities, simply because they’re such a good source of unpleasantness and violence. They’re big, full, contain a multitude of anger, provide infinite chances for different groups of people to rub up against each other. Obviously, London provides nothing but opportunity.

Also, as someone whose book relies heavily on secret societies and evil conspiracies, it seems easier to believe they’d pass undetected in London, where we all ignore each other.

#2 – Anti-Social Media

A lot of the fundamental conflict in the first book, and flowing as an undercurrent through later ones, is Choi’s familiarity with the online world, social media and such, played against Hobson’s distrust and annoyance towards it. It’s something I see in London – not the distrust of social media, that’s everywhere, but the two sides constantly rubbing against each other, one winning and the other frustrated by that.

#3 – Ease Of Research

Not gonna lie, guys – I live here. It makes the pressure to make it seem vaguely convincing a lot easier to cope with. Many of the areas I set my scenes in are ones I’m familiar with, and if not, I can just go there.

#4 – The Gallows

I must admit, in order to write my beloved gallows humour into every situation, I need a certain degree of cynical detachment from horrible things happening. Or at least, an ability to nod at the awfulness then go back to glib normality, rather than being traumatised by it for the rest of the week. London folk seem to have mastered the art of getting back to routine after adjacent non-personal traumas.

#5 – I Just Love It, Really

I’m an enormous fan of London. As a late-in-life convert (I am from suburban Essex, do not tell anyone), I’ve really taken to the massive great big mess. Its weird mythology, cultures rubbing up against each other, the way it makes flipping between genres mid-scene seem natural because every type of story has been set here at some stage…. Yeah, I’m a big fan.

Although at some point, I really should write the Hobson & Choi Leave London book, just to see what it’s like.

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You can any of these fab books here


About Nick Bryan

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Nick Bryan is a London-based writer of genre fiction, usually with some blackly comic twist. As well as the ongoing self-published detective saga Hobson & Choi, he is also working on a novel about the real implications of deals with the devil and has stories in several anthologies.

He can primarily be found on his own website at NickBryan.com and on Twitter as @NickMB, both of which are updated with perfect and reasonable regularity.

When not reading or writing books, Nick Bryan enjoys racquet sports, comics and a nice white beer.

You can buy any of the books in this series here

Check out my review of The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf or Rush Jobs here

Or find out which character from Hobson & Choi you are here


A huge thank you to Nick Bryan for a fab guest post!

Also a huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me if I would like to invite Nick to Tales!

Have you read any of the Hobson and Choi series?  What did you think?  Are you excited for the fourth book?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading, solving crimes!

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Tales Q&A with Lucy Sutcliffe


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I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this brilliant memoir Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe

Girl Hearts Girl was released on the 24th June 2016 published in paperback by Scholastic and is a fab YA contemporary.

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour.

For my stop on the blog tour I have had the chance to put some questions to the lovely Lucy Sutcliffe!

There is also a tour wide giveaway at the bottom of the post!


Girl Hearts Girl

An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, from Michigan. They began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together was the first in a series of vlogs documenting their long-distance relationship. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on.


 Hi Lucy!  Thank you so much for joining me today!  I am so excited for Girl Hearts Girl!

Can you tell us a little about Girl Hearts Girl?

Girl Hearts Girl is a coming-of-age memoir which details the things I went through as I was growing up. The book is centred around my struggles with my sexuality, but I also touch upon topics such as bullying, social anxiety, and feeling like an outsider. 

Can you elaborate on which characters are based on real people?

99% of the characters in Girl Hearts Girl are real people. But a few characters here and there are an amalgamation of several different people at once! Melissa Edwards, for example. She existed, but as a character, she also represents several other crushes I had on girls over the years. 

What inspired you to write your memoir?

Oh, so many things. And so many people. But the main reason I felt inspired to write Girl Hearts Girl was because when I was growing up, no books like this existed. My only hope is that by publishing this book, a new generation of kids won’t have to worry quite so much as I did.

What was it like writing a story so close to your own experience?

A little bit terrifying, but in equal parts, utterly exhilarating. Laying out your life into chapters and sub-headings is a very surreal experience, and it’s also very therapeutic. It was hard for me to filter out the things that weren’t relevant – because to me, everything that’s ever happened to me is relevant.

What was your favourite part to write?

Weirdly, my favourite parts to write were the parts where I got to describe my home town. The concept of a “home” has always been very important to me, and Oxford has such a special place in my heart. It’s a beautiful part of the world and I love that I got to paint that picture for people.

What was your writing process like?  Did you start from the very beginning or from another point?

One afternoon, I bought a $1 notebook from Target, sat down at my desk, and literally wrote out my entire life, year by year. Planning out the chapters took weeks. It was a crazy process because I’d remember one thing and then that would spark another, and another, and another. My memory isn’t the greatest, so it was always a race to see if I could get it down in time before I forgot it again!

Did you find that you developed any writing habits whilst writing Girl Hearts Girl?  I saw in your acknowledgments that you thank your three cats.

I definitely had to get myself in the mood for writing before I did anything. In order to be productive, I shut myself away with snacks, and turned off the internet. My cats tend to follow me into any room I’m in, so I’d usually settle down at my desk and then they’d appear two minutes later and fall asleep at my feet. They kept me company all day every day, and also kept me sane! There’s something very calming about having a sleeping cat in your lap as you’re writing. 

 What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Their opinion is none of your business. And for goodness sake, stop cutting your own hair. 

We would love to know a little bit more about you!  Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Lucy Sutcliffe?

– I have a phobia of velvet. Don’t ask.

Oh I get this!  *shudders*

– More often than not, I sleep with my head under the pillow, not on top of it. 

– I cry a lot. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. Sometimes I just cry for funsies. 

– I’m an introvert who constantly craves social interaction. I know, it’s weird.

– I am constantly eating something. 

Can you tell us a little about Kaelyn? 

Kaelyn is the most hard-working person I’ve ever met. She’s fierce and proud and she eats guacamole by the bucketload. What a keeper. 

What is the most romantic thing the two of you have done?

I’ll always remember the night we rented the top floor of a hotel room in downtown Chicago and just sat on the balcony with our feet swinging over the edge, watching the sunset, drinking cheap champagne and making up stories about the people walking around below us. 

How did you feel when your video montage of your first week meeting Kaelyn and subsequent films gained such a huge following?

It was insane, and so unexpected. It was scary and most certainly intimidating, but it was also extremely liberating to have gone from a very reserved, shy, closeted girl to an out-and-proud woman with 28 million views on YouTube. I still can’t really believe it, to be honest. I’m just so happy that I’m able to help people out just by being myself.

Can you tell us a little about Arizona where you now live?  How different is it to the Oxfordshire village you grew up in?

It’s breathtaking. I live right by South Mountain, which is basically this vast heap of orange rock, smack bang in the middle of Phoenix. When my family came out to visit me a few months ago, my Dad said it reminded him of Mars. It’s worlds away from the golden cornfields of Oxfordshire, and it’s so beautiful in its own, unique way. 

Are there any Authors / books /people that inspired you?

I’m so easily inspired. Anytime I see anyone doing what they love, it inspires me. Even if it’s the cheerful barista at Starbucks, determined to put a smile on everybody’s faces as they serve up coffee. 

JK Rowling will always be my favourite and most inspirational author. I’m especially inspired by the way she managed to write Harry Potter while battling depression. That’s not an easy thing to do. 

What has been your favourite moment of being published so far?

The amazing feedback. More specifically, the messages I’m getting from people telling me my book helped them come out. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that my story has helped other people. It’s insane – in the best possible way.

 Are there any exciting plans for the rest 2016 or 2017?

Hands up who wants a Girl Hearts Girl 2?! 

*puts hand in the air!*

 What would you like your reader to take away from Girl Hearts Girl?

Embrace every single aspect of who you are, and shout about it from the rooftops. 

Thank you so much for answering all my questions Lucy!  Loved all your answers so much!

Girl Hearts GirlYou can but a copy of Girl Hearts Girl here or at your local bookshop

Or why not add it to Goodreads here


About Lucy Sutcliffe

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Co-star of the popular YouTube channel Kaelyn and Lucy which documented the long distance relationship she had with Kaelyn Petras. She and Kaelyn finally came together in August of 2014, ending the long distance element of their relationship.

She graduated from Plymouth College of Art and Design in 2014 with a degree in Film Arts

She works as a freelance film editor and author. She and Kaelyn’s channel mainly focuses on advice videos for LGBT youth.

She was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire to parents Sharon and Roger Sutcliffe.

You can find out more about Lucy on her website – kaeandlucy.tumblr.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @lucyliz

Or Instagram – lucylizz

And also You Tube – www.youtube.com/c/kaelynandlucy


Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway!

3 copies of Girl Hearts Girl for 3 lucky winners!

Participants must live in UK or IRL.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour

Catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the below stops!

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Monday 18th July

So Many Books, So Little Time

Annalise Books

Tuesday 19th July

Kirstyes

George Lester

Wednesday 20th July

Laura’s Little Book Blog

Read Rant Review

Thursday 21st July

Jess Hearts Books

An Awful Lot of Reading

Friday 22nd July

Charlie in a Book

An Awfully Big Adventure

Saturday 23rd July

Big Book Project

YA Under My Skin

Sunday 24th July

The Book Moo

Tales of Yesterday

Monday 25th July

YA Yeah Yeah

Serendipity Reviews

Tuesday 26th July

Sweet Love Books

Luna’s Little Library

Wednesday 27th July

Bart’s Bookshelf & Overflowing Library

Thursday 28th July

Snuggling on the Sofa

Ali – The Dragon Slayer

The Northern Plunder


A huge huge thank you to Lucy for answering all my questions and to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for organising!

Have you read any of the Girl Hearts Girl?  What did you think?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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Tales Q&A with Faye Rogers


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Today I am honoured to bring to you a Q&A from awesome blogger and my lovely friend Faye Rogers PR extraordinaire!


Hi Faye

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I can certainly try! I live in London and like to think of myself as a very bubbly person. Energetic and passionate, and I absolutely love reading and writing. I currently work four different jobs and I love that they’re all different and interesting too!

How long have you been running your blog A Daydreamer’s Thoughts?

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I’ve been running A Daydreamer’s Thoughts for over four years now. Seems a little crazy when I think about it but I’ve loved every minute of it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

Can you tell us a bit about your PR Business?  How did it come about?

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My PR business is called Faye Rogers PR and is a service I provide for authors to help with their online publicity needs. I have helped a variety of authors in lots of different ways and also help Scholastic with some of their books too. It came about after I worked for an online publishing house which sadly went bankrupt. Because I had enjoyed the work so much, I decided to branch out and start freelancing myself. I’ve been working online PR for over two years now.

What kind of services can you offer an author looking to promote their book?

I offer a multitude of services but the most popular is the blog and review tours. This is where I help the author by contacting bloggers and organising a book tour that happens online – as opposed to the author visiting schools or shops. It can consist of author posts or reviews and is a great way to get the book noticed. I also offer long-term PR help, help getting reviews of your book, help with guest posts and interviews, social media campaigns and twitter chats.

What can an author expect to pay for a particular service?

It really depends on the type of service and the book in question but the prices range from £30 to £200. You can have a look at the prices here: www.fayerogers.co.uk/prices

Can you tell us a little about your new business venture – Forever Living?

I work with Forever Living as an independent distributor. This means that I purchase the items from Forever Living and then sell them on. The range is massive – and one of the things I love about the company. All the products are Aloe Vera based and work incredibly well too. I’m so glad that I’ve found these products as I could no longer live without them!

What made you take the step into Forever Living?

Essentially because I love working for myself. With my history of PR, I felt I wanted to branch out and do something different. I love products like it and just wanted to see if it worked out for me. I’ve loved every minute of the work and don’t regret it for a second.

What kind of products do you sell?

There are thousands of products! There are products for health, fitness, beauty, skincare, daily care, house maintenance, and even pets! There’s literally something for everyone and I just love that so much!

Where can we find out more information or place an order with you?

You can find more information and have a look at all the products here: www.livingpure247.myforever.biz. You can order the products direct from the website or for special offers like free delivery and free gifts, you can contact me here: livingpure247@gmail.com or on twitter: @livingpure247!

Have you used many of the products?   How have they worked?

I have used a lot of the products and I have yet to find fault with any of them! I use the moisturizing lotion every day as a make-up primer and my face has never been so moist. I use the propolis creme most nights and have yet to be attacked by winter eczema, I drink the aloe gel daily and that has helped with my energy levels and digestive system, I use our mascara daily and I am allergic to most mascaras! Honestly, there are so many products that use every day that this would become a very long post if I spoke about them all. But if you want to hear more, do contact me!

What has been your highlight with Forever Living so far?

The products. Honestly, they’ve been life-changing for me. I’ve also really enjoyed the freedom of the business and my wonderful team who are super supportive and lovely! I can’t wait to continue growing my own team. If you’d like to hear more about it, let me know!

Which product would you recommend the most?

All of the products above. But probably my favourite product at the moment is the Tooth Gel. I’ve always hated toothpaste, but I love the tooth gel. It has a spearmint taste rather than a strong mint taste, and it’s just a nicer feel on my teeth too. It keeps my teeth smooth almost all day which I love so much! I use it every morning and I will never change that!

Tell us 5 random facts about Faye Rogers!

  1. I’m an insomniac. It comes and goes and sometimes I sleep like a baby. Most of the time, however, I either struggle to sleep or struggle to stay asleep.
  2. I am not a morning person. Usually because I probably haven’t had enough sleep so my brain is just not ready for the day!
  3. I am a coffee addict. I try to deny it but at the moment, coffee has become my drink of choice – ooops.
  4. I love to binge watch television shows. – So I’m eternally grateful for Netflix and DVDs!
  5. I struggle to sit still. I always need to be doing something. Be it just fiddling with something in my hands or swaying from side to side. I seem to be unable to just stop.

Thanks so much for answering all of my questions Faye!


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A Daydreamer’s Thoughts was founded on September 15th 2011. It is a blog that consists of book reviews, film reviews, book articles, film articles, author interviews, guest posts, features, and memes. It is run by Faye who enjoys the task immensely and is always happy to communicate with her followers.

You can follow Faye on twitter using @daydreamin_star


I would like to say a huge big thank you to Faye for featuring on my blog today and for answering all my questions!  I am forever in awe of Faye’s amazing talent and organisation as well as being a faboulous genuine good friend also!

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Tales Q&A with Paula Rawsthorne


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I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this awesome new children’s anthology by Stories From The Edge.

Stories from the edge was released on the 18th July 2016 and features some fab UKYA authors!

A huge thank you to Katie Dale for getting in touch and for having me on this wonderful tour.

For my stop on the blog tour I have had the chance to put some questions to the lovely Paula Rawsthorne!


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A collection of gripping, thought-provoking short stories by eight award-winning UK young adult authors.From the perils of online chat rooms, doping in sport, racism and terrorism, to gender and self-esteem issues, love, life and death, Stories from The Edge isn’t afraid to ask some big questions. Sometimes frightening, often funny, always brutally honest, these stories will take you to where the shadows are darkest and the ground drops away. The question is, are you prepared to look over the edge?

Discussion Guides for exploring each of the stories are available as a free PDF download from the EDGE website. Go to: http://edgeauthors.blogspot.co.uk


Hi Paula!  I’m so happy and super excited to have you here today!

Hi Chelle, Thanks for inviting me onto ‘Tales of Yesterday’.

Can you tell us a little about the anthology Stories From The Edge?

‘Stories from The Edge’ is an anthology of gripping short stories for teenagers, written by eight award winning YA authors.

Joy Court (Chair of the CILIP Carnegie Medals) writes in the introduction to the anthology, “I guarantee these stories will leave readers gasping for more.” 

Can you tell us a little about your short story in the anthology, ‘A level Playing Field’?

‘A Level Playing Field’ is the story of seventeen-year old Alfie Pickford, who has worked hard and sacrificed so much to become an elite swimmer.  We meet Alfie as he is about to start the most important race of his life but, as we follow him length by length, we discover just how far he is willing to go to win. 

What inspired you to write this story for the anthology?

I wanted to write a very topical story involving a teenager which would lead to lively debate and make young people wonder what they would do if they were in Alfie’s shoes.  The issues involved in Alfie’s story are hitting the headlines weekly.  All the stories in the anthology, together with the discussion notes, are created to get teenagers engaged, reading and talking.

How did you become involved in the anthology?

I’m a member of the YA writers collective, ‘The Edge’.  We write sharp fiction for young adults and teens.  The eight of us have been blogging and doing school events together for five years now.  We’ve always been interested in providing a platform for readers, librarians, booksellers and bloggers to talk about YA fiction. 

During our school visits we heard time and time again from teachers and librarians that it was difficult to find engaging short stories for teenagers.  We know that the short story form fits perfectly with the fast paced life of young adults.  The Edge realised that we were in the perfect position to write relevant, intriguing stories to get teenagers reading and so our anthology was born! 

We’ve also included free to download discussion guides on The Edge website to make our topical stories easy to use in the classroom.

What research was involved to make the story about a world class swimmer authentic?

I undertook fairly extensive research because it was important for the world of the swimmer to feel authentic.  I read about the training regime of elite swimmers, the lifestyle they have to adopt to be at the top of their game.  I also read about historic and unfolding scandals in the sporting world and the pressure on elite athletes to win. I was particularly interested in reading about teenage athletes and the pressure that they have to deal with daily.

How does writing a short story for an anthology differ from writing a whole novel?  Is there a different structure?  A different editing process etc

Writing a novel is like running a marathon; it takes a long time and requires a lot of stamina.  Whilst I enjoy the challenge of writing novels I also love the short story form.  I’ve had short stories published for adults and teenagers and enjoy the satisfaction of crafting the whole world of the story in just a few pages.  With a novel I tend to work on intricate plots whilst the short story gives me the freedom to focus on a crucial point in someone’s life and capture it.  I still tend to do quite a lot of research around the subject matter of a short story (as I would with a novel) but I can get the first draft down relatively quickly and then I go back and shape and edit the tale until I’ve managed to evoke a lot by saying a little.

Which of your characters from A Level Playing Field would you most like to spend the day with?

I’d like to spend the day with Lily who is Alfie’s twin sister.  As Alfie is our narrator we only get his perspective of Lily and her behaviour.  I’d love to befriend Lily and let her talk about how Alfie’s swimming career has impacted on her life.

Have you read any of the other stories in Stories from the Edge?  Do you have a favourite?

The stories in the anthology are diverse and involve so many intriguing issues like racism, sexuality, doping in sport, terrorism, love, life and death.  Every one of the stories had me gripped; they are so well written with fantastic teenage characters.  If you forced me to highlight just one of the other stories I’d say that Bryony Pearce’s ‘Face2Face’ will be particularly useful to teachers in the classroom to explore the issue of grooming on line.

We would love to know a little bit more about you!  Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Paula Rawsthorne?

  1. I’m hopeless at gymnastics. I can’t even do a forward roll.
  2. I love to swim in lakes, ponds and rivers.
  3. I didn’t know that I was a writer until my early thirties
  4. I hired my red wedding dress (so luckily I haven’t needed it again)
  5. I can only do exercise if I’m guaranteed an alcoholic drink when I finish.

Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written?

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I wish that I’d written ‘Pigeon English’ by Stephen Kelman.  The voice of his young hero is compelling and appealing whilst the subject matter is heart-breaking and so relevant to our society.

What are you currently reading?

Henry Marsh’s ‘Do No Harm’ which is fascinating and awe- inspiring. 

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I’m also reading ‘Mumnesia’, a middle grade book by fellow Edge member Katie Dale.  It’s great fun!

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Are there any authors you would like to collaborate with?  Who?

I feel that with ‘Stories from The Edge’ I’ve fulfilled an ambition to collaborate with my fellow Edge writers.  They are all tremendous, exciting YA writers and, after having blogged and done author events with them for so long, it’s been wonderful to work on our anthology together.

When starting a new book or idea what does your writing process look like?

I try to soak up inspiration from anywhere and everywhere and, when I get an idea, I start to jot down whatever happens to come into my head.  It may be pieces of dialogue, the appearance of a character, the very end of the story, or a fully realised scene. I also embark on research to make my story feel as authentic as possible.  I just go with the flow and see if it develops into something I feel passionate about pursuing.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

It’s not particularly strange but, every morning, I walk to my local café and bring home a take-away latte.  Only then do I feel ready to get down to writing.  As my friends point out to me, it would be cheaper to buy a coffee machine, but the walk and chatting with people helps to get my creative juices going.

Are there any exciting plans for the rest 2016 or 2017?

Yes.  My third novel is written and I’ll be continuing my work with ‘First Story’ as a writer in residence in a Nottingham school as well as doing school visits here and abroad.  I’m looking forward to sharing my novels and ‘Stories from The Edge’ with students everywhere.

Thanks so much for answering all of my questions Paula!

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You can buy a copy of Stories From The Edge here

 Discussion Guides for exploring each of the stories are available as a free PDF download from the EDGE website. Go to: http://edgeauthors.blogspot.co.uk


About Paula Rawsthorne

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Paula Rawsthorne is an award-winning writer of teen fiction.  Her debut novel, The Truth about Celia Frost, has won multiple awards.  Paula’s second novel, Blood Tracks is the winner of ‘The Rib Valley Book Award 2014’. Both books are published by Usborne.

You can find out more about Paula and her books on her website – www.paularawsthorne.wordpress.com

Or why not follow her on twitter using @PaulaRawsthorne

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The Edge website

http://edgeauthors.blogspot.co.uk/


Blog Tour

You can follow the rest of this fab blog tour or catch up on posts at the following stops.

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A huge huge thank you to Paula for answering all my questions and for Katie Dale for asking me to take part!

Have you read Stories From The Edge?  What did you think?  Will you be going to grab a copy?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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Spotlight – The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena


The Couple Next Door

I was super excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for a new adult fiction thriller, The Couple Next Door which was released on the 14th July 2016 by Bantam Press!

The Couple Next Door is ‘2016’s most talked-about new thriller’ (Stylist)

PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF ALMOST ANYTHING.

‘A twisty, utterly riveting tale that will send readers on a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions. Shocking revelations kept me turning the pages like a madwoman’ TESS GERRITSEN

I’ve just started reading this book and it is very fast-paced and totally addictive.

So today in celebration I am going to shine the spotlight on the book and it’s wonderful author and I have a fab giveaway!


The Couple Next Door

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

You can buy a copy of this book here or from your local bookshop


About Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena in colour

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer an as an English teacher before turning to write fiction.  She has written two critically acclaimed literary novels.  The Couple Net Door is her suspense debut.

You can find out more about Shari on her website – www.sharilapena.com

Or why not follow Shari on twitter – @sharilapena


Giveaway

With thanks to Rebbeca at Penguin Random House I have a copy of The Couple Next Door to giveaway!

1 copy = 1 winner

Please note the book will be coming straight from the publishers so the winner will need to be happy to provide me with their address to pass on accordingly.

Ends 26/07/2016

UK only

A huge thank you to Rebecca for this fab giveaway!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour

You can follow or catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!

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Another huge thank you to Rebecca at Penguin Random House for having me on this fab blog tour and for a fab giveaway!

Happy Reading!

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Guest Post – My Five Last Reads by Sarah Baker


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I am super excited to have the lovely Sarah Baker author of the wonderful Through The Mirror Door on Tales today .

Through The Mirror Door was released on the 7th July published by Catnip Publishing and I have heard the most amazing things about this book already!

So today Sarah Baker tells us her five last reads…..


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Since the accident, Angela has been alone. When she is invited on holiday with her cousins, it is her chance to be part of a family again if she promises to behave herself. But secrets lie in the walls of the crumbling French holiday home and the forbidden rooms draw Angela in. Soon night-time footsteps, flickering candlelight and shadows in windows lead her to a boy who needs her help. To save him Angela must discover the truth about what happened in the house all those years ago . . . and face the terrible secret of her own past.


My Five Last Reads

The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin

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With a creepy gothic boarding school, a girl with unusual powers and a spine-tingling mystery, this book will keep you reading into the early hours. It’s a fantastic and genuinely scary story. I raced through it.

Captain Pug, The Dog who Sailed the Seas by Laura James

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Pug is a rather wonderful character who enjoys jam tarts for breakfast (well, who doesn’t?) and seems to find himself on adventures quite by accident. It’s a fun read with plenty of humour and gorgeous illustrations by Eglantine Ceulemans.

The Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

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Orphan Sophie Turner has just taken a job in the millinery department at Sinclair’s, a shiny new department store, but things get off to a sticky start as the priceless Clockwork Sparrow is stolen right before the grand opening, and Sophie’s the lead suspect. She must use her wits and her friends to find the real culprit, save her job and the day. Grab yourself a cup of tea and an iced bun because you’ll enjoy this adventure.

Lying about Last Summer by Sue Wallman

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This is the story of Skye who’s sent to a camp for grieving teens after losing her sister in an accident, but while she’s there she begins receiving text messages from her dead sibling. It’s a tense contemporary YA thriller that deals with bereavement in a very real and moving way. Unputdownable.

The Speed of Darkness by Catherine Fisher

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The last in the Chronoptika Quartet and I am already a big fan. This ties up each story with all the magic, beauty and wit of the other books. It’s a captivating read and a series I know I’ll return to again and again. Time travel, science, magic and myth? I can’t recommend it more highly.

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Through the Mirror Door by Sarah Baker (£6.99, Catnip)

You can buy a copy of Through The Mirror Door here or from your local bookshop


About Sarah Baker

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I’m a children’s author. My first book, Through the Mirror Door, will be published by Catnip Books on 7th July, 2016. You can find out more about it here.

I used to work in film as a story editor where I did an awful lot of script and book reading (yay). I’ve also worked for Aardman Features and the Bermuda Film Festival and I’ve been a writer and blogger for vintage fashion magazines. You can read some of my pieces here.)

Once up on a time I used to review books, but now when I’m not writing, I’m usually reading.

I currently live in a book fort in London with my son.

You can find out more about about Sarah on her website – www.bysarahbaker.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @bysarahbaker


A huge huge thank you to Sarah for for such a brilliant post and to Laura at Catnip Publishing for organising!

Have you read Through The Mirror Door?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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PHBC – Twins by Caroline B Cooney


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Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s?  The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book.  There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read?  Are you new to Point Horror?  Has our opinion changed?  Are they still as good?  Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror?  Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

Join in the discussion with this months title!

Twins by Caroline B Cooney

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Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

 There is a link to a poll at the bottom of this post to vote for your next #pointhorrorbookclub read! The next book will be announced on 20th July 2016

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

I am still awaiting the answers back from Point Horror author Richie Tankersley Cusick ….. hoping to have them back ready for next month!  Last I heard she is answering all of our questions very thoroughly….eek I can’t wait!


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

Twice The Evil!

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Bear with me on this…..this book was that wacky my brain feels all jumbled!

So…..

Twins Mary Lee and Madrigal are being separated by their parents with Mary Lee being sent to boarding school miles and miles away!

What?!  Why?!

Because their parents think that they are not two individuals but an Event!  A pair merged together as one!

Whilst Mary Lee is at Boarding School they can only contact each other by letter!

That’s harsh!  Surely they can’t do that?!

Well yep they can and they did!  Madrigal then decides to break the rules and go and visit Mary Lee at her boarding school!  Mary Lee wants Madrigals life!  She wants Madrigal’s boyfriend!  She wants to be Madrigal!

And then an accident happens!

*Shocked face*  Oh No!  Please tell me it was the parents!

Erm….no!

*takes big breath*

Basically Mary Lee and Madrigal change clothing and Madrigal dressed as Mary Lee has an accident on a ski lift and dies!  Then everyone thinks Mary Lee is Madrigal (including her parents) and basically Mary Lee decides she can take on her sisters life!

You still with me?

OMG!

But taking on her sisters life comes with consequences!  She starts to realise that her sister was not the twin she thought she was.

And then there’s Jon Pear…..

The Twins

One good, one evil!

Mary Lee /ML / MreeLee aka good twin who was born twenty four minutes before Madrigal with her heavy black hair, long black eyelashes, olive skin and hazel green eyes.  Poor Mary Lee seemed to have so much love for her sister.  She had no friends, never dated and loved her twin dearly.

In fact she loved her sister too dearly which made Mary Lee a little moany groany to say the least.  We got to read Mary Lee’s every thought process and feeling and it grew a bit annoying after a while.

I did feel a little sorry for her though.  She felt totally rejected by her parents before and after the accident where Madrigal dies.  She takes on her sisters life and no one even notices!

She did get some bonus points from me though as she did kick Jon Pear into touch at the end….although it did take a lot longer than it should have for her to realise there was something not right.

And there is Madrigel / Maddy who is exactly identical in looks to Mary Lee but thinks herself far more interesting with a personality and a boyfriend (more on him later)!

She visits Mary Lee at Boarding School which we find out later she had alternative mystery motive that will remain a secret forever as basically she falls to her death off a ski lift chair before she can do anything horrible to her evil sister.

As the story progressed it turned out that she was pure evil along with her boyfriend Jon Pear…..she was out of control and Mary Lee got the punishment!

Mary Lee and Madrigal were basically what I imagine The Corrs to be behind closed doors!

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The Parents

Now we always mock the old Point Horrors for lack of parent action but in this one they were basically almost always there!

They spent all of their time making the twins match whilst they were growing up but now seemingly sick of the twins saying we instead of I or using us instead of me they decide the best thing to do is separate the twins….. you know ship off the good twin and keep the bad twin…as you do.

Twinship had gotten unhealthy apparently.  One twin had become angrier and angrier!

Lets not forget though that they were always there to give good advise to the twin they have sent 1912 miles away to boarding school….

“Try hard.  Make friends.  Stay alive”

“Don’t tell anyone you are a twin”

“No telephone.  Only write letters”

And lets not forget pretending to not recognise one twin from the other!

Best of all though they had the best excuses….

“Having twins was the mistake”

“But it we must lose a daughter, better it should be that one”

“I don’t miss her”

*shakes head*

The Love Interest

Ugh!  I guess I have to talk about this slime ball!

Grrrrrrr Jon Pear.

*shudders*

Apparently a combination of sweet and rough with big firm hands, a fine strong nose and can pull expressions like a deck of cards being shuffled.  An apparently handsome and fierce man with good clothing, great hair and yellow flecks like gold glittering in his eyes!  With his passion for rap music and obsession with wanting to become a twin he loved his car with the leather seats as soft as butter so much he basically kidnapped girls and took them to a bad part of town and then chucked them out and watched them cry.  Oh and did I forget to mention he collects and eats tears!

No joke!

He was vile and horrible and disgusting and UGH!

I hated him so much!

Also he was the reason this book took a very weird turn.

It did kind of make me laugh though when he couldn’t reverse a car without crashing …. all the loll’s and then met a icy cold bath death in the end….or did he?!

The Gang

So there was third year at boarding school friends Bianca and Mindy who seemed to be the worst people to ease Mindy Lee into Boarding School to be honest.

Scarlett who was afraid of rats and Jon Pear (rightly so) and her protective brother Van.

Now for some reason I made more notes on Van than anyone else in this book…. why couldn’t he have been the main love interest!  Why!

Van with his thick blonde silky hair, khaki pants, blue blazers, passion for water polo and who has friends named Geordie and Kip seemed like a decent Point Horror boy!  I loved his protectiveness over his sister and the fact that he was kept back in first grade and had a hyperactive personality.  I just know if he was upgraded to Point Horror boy I would have fancied him hook line and sinker!

And poor Katy!  *hugs Katy forever*.  I just wanted her to run off into the sunset with all the rats and live happily ever after!

Fashion Faux Pas

I noticed a few sign o the times fashion….

There were ski suits!  Especially darkly striking crimson and green plaid ski suits with black velvet trim and black boots like Madrigel wore.  And there’s Mary Lee’s turquoise complete with blue knitted cap of course!

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And lets not forgot later on in the book a mention of a hot pink jacket which as it’s the 90’s a pictured as a shell suit (remember them?)

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And who could forget that green barrette!

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Dialogue Disasters

“You don’t understand because you’re ordinary people….we’re not regular sisters”

You can say that again!

“For your mental health and Madrigal’s”

Hats off to Point Horror for mentioning mental health!

“Girls as beautiful and as incredibly alike as these two were not girls so much as an Event!”

*confused face*

“What you need is a boyfriend.  Just pick one!”

Yep a boyfriend solves everything in Point Horror…Madrigal should know! *coughs*

“The snow seemed to laugh”

Say what now?

“Bianca and Mindy crept into the room like great big fashionable mice”

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“How could parents not know their child!”

Reason number…oh I’ve lost count!  They are Point Horror parents okay!  There are no excuses and no rules!

“Her hair which had always had feelings prickled”

Oh tingly!

“She was as nervous as a cat on a string”

Understandably so!

“I don’t do anything I could go to jail for”

Oh Jon Pear…..really?

Body Count

3!  Yep you heard me right….I had to think back through the hazy ride this book took me on but there was in fact 3!

The evil twin Madrigel….right at the beginning of the book!

The old man that Madrigel and Jon Pear drowned in the lake!

And then it is implied that Jon Pear has been bumped off by the rest of the school at the end of the book!

I’m classing that as 3!

Is it scary?

No!  Not scary at all!  Funny and completely wacky, but not scary!

Did the best friend do it?

There was not really a mystery to this one, but effectively the bad twin and Jon Pear did it!

Although was Madrigal’s death really an accident?!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess the ski lift chair breaking on the ski slope and dropping you to your death could be classed as mild peril!

Look anything was more mild peril than driving to a bad area with rats and catching someone’s tears in this book to be honest!

Is it any good?

I have to admit I struggled a little with this one.  It was just one wacky ride and not anything up to the previous CazCoo books we have read.

I think it was the whole Jon Pear thing….it was just….. weird.  I kind of feel CazCoo went of on a tangent here to see what she could get past the Point Horror editors!  And voila Twins was published.

Final Thought

Mirror mirror on the wall….

Cover Wars

Which do you prefer?

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Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • What really happened to Madrigal on that ski lift?
  • Jon Pear – hot or rot?
  • Which part of the gang was most underused?
  • What really happened to Jon Pear?
  • Mary Lee or Madrigal….who was the best twin?

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th August 2016 !

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 20th July 2016!

And the winner was…..

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The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 20th July 2016!

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

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Guest Post – Eden Summer: By The River by Liz Flanagan


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I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful book Eden Summer by debut author the lovely Liz Flanagan .

Eden Summer was released on the 7th July published by David Fickling Books and I have heard the most amazing things about this book already!

A huge thank you to Carolyn and David Fickling Books for having me on this wonderful tour.

For my stop on the blog tour I have a wonderful video from the author herself……


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“My  mind  will  not  accept  the  possibility  that  Eden  could  be  dead,  now  or  ever.  Stopped.  The  end.  Nothing.  No.  My  best  friend  is  too  alive.  Too  everything.  She  can’t  just  disappear.  What  happens  to  all  her  Eden-­‐ness?  What  the  hell  happens  to  me,  without  her?”  

It starts like any other day for Jess – get up, draw on eyeliner, cover up tattoos and head to school. But soon it’s clear this is no ordinary day, because Jess’s best friend Eden isn’t at school…she’s gone missing. Jess knows she has to do everything in her power to try to find Eden before the unthinkable happens. So she starts to retrace their steps, looking back over the summer she and Eden have just spent together. She starts to notice new things. She starts to question everything she thought Eden’s summer had been about…A tense and thrilling journey through friendship, loss, betrayal and self discovery.

“A  powerful  exploration  of  the  extraordinary  power  of  friendship,  both  truthful  and  intense.  It’s  that  rare  and  wonderful  thing:  a  thriller  of  the  heart,  written  from  the  heart,  that  hits  home  straight  to  the  heart.”  

 -­‐  Melvin  Burgess,  Carnegie  Medal  winning  author  of  Junk

“Dazzling.  Utterly  gripping.  Writing  so  fresh  every  chapter  leaves  you  gasping  for  air  and  SO  tautly  plotted  it  hurts.  If  you’re  going  to  read  one  book  about  the  true  nature  of  friendship  let  it  be  EDEN  SUMMER.”  

-­‐  Brian  Conaghan,  Carnegie  Medal  shortlisted  author  of    When  Mr  Dog  Bites


By The River

**Just a little Spoiler Alert Warning before clicking on the clip**

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You can buy a copy of Eden Summer here or from your local book shop


About The Author

Liz Flanagan author pic Credit Sarah Mason Photography www.sarahmasonphotography.co.uk

Liz  lives  in  Hebden  Bridge  with  her  husband  and  two  daughters.  She  used  to  be Centre  Director  at  the  Ted  Hughes  Arvon  Centre,  and  previously  worked  in  children’s  book  publishing.  She’s  currently  studying  for  a  PhD  in  Creative  Writing  at  Leeds  Trinity  University.  Eden  Summer  is  inspired  by  Liz’s  own  experiences  of  loss.

You can find out more about Liz on her website www.lizflanagan.co.uk 

Or why not follow her on twitter – @lizziebooks


Blog Tour

Catch up of follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the below stops!  Eden Summer blog tour banner


A huge huge thank you to Liz for for such a videot and to Carolyn at David Fickling Books for organising!

Have you read Eden Summer?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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Guest Post – My Writing Journey by Louise Gornall


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I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful book Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornal .

Under Rose Tainted Skies was released on the 7th July published by Chicken House and I have heard the most amazing things about this book already!

A huge thank you to Nina Douglas and Chicken House for having me on this wonderful tour.

For my stop on the blog tour I have a wonderful guest post from the super lovely Louise talking about her writing journey!


Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Available in three different shades of pink (supplied at random). Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother. For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …


My Writing Journey

Good morning, guys! If you’re sitting comfortably, I’d like to tell you all a little bit about my… unconventional writing journey.

 I had only been writing a few years before I got my agent. In the interest of full disclosure, I did have a book published before Rose, but we don’t talk about that because there is a ton of smog and uncertainty surrounding my former publisher. (If you would like to read about what happened though, you can find a post about it here.)

 So, I didn’t have a manuscript ready to query, but I saw an open call on Twitter from Mandy Hubbard. Mandy wasn’t looking for a manuscript, she was looking for the right voice to write a story that she really wanted to read and try to sell. I auditioned with a 5 page sample, didn’t think anything of it at the time. Mandy was a big agent, and my writing still felt weak. A couple of months after I submitted, I was at the computer, trying to get a new book down, when I got an email. I almost fell off my chair when I saw it was from Mandy. She told me she loved the voice in my sample and then asked if I’d be up for moving on to the next round of auditions, which would mean her giving me an outline and me writing 5k. I thought about it for all of 0.5 seconds before I said, YES. HELL YES!

 I watched my inbox solidly, for about four weeks after that. It would be a week after thanksgiving when I next heard from her. And guess what? She loved my new 5k sample and asked if she could call me. Call me… as in ‘The Call’. Though, I’m naturally a pessimist, and at the time, it never occurred to me our chat would end in an offer or representation. WHICH IT DID!

 Alas, we tried real hard, but the first story I wrote didn’t sell. That hit hard because I was under the delusion that an agent automatically meant book deal. It doesn’t. Be prepared. But happily, the second book I wrote would sell in six days…and the rest, as they say, is history.

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You can buy a copy of Under Rose Tainted Skies here or from your local bookshop.


About Louise Gornall

Louise Gornall

Louise is a graduate of Garstang Community Academy, and she is currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English language and literature with special emphasis on creative writing. A YA aficionado, film nerd, identical twin, and junk food enthusiast, she’s also an avid collector of book boyfriends. Her debut novel, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, will be published in July 2016.

You can find our more about Louise on her website – www.bookishblurb.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @Rock_andor_roll


Blog Tour

Catch up of follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!

URTS blog tour


A huge huge thank you to Louise for such a fab guest post and to Nina Douglas and Chicken House for organising!

Have you read Under Rose Tainted Skies?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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Tales Post – My Favorite Feminist Icon


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I was super excited to be asked by Harriet at Penguin Random House Children’s to be part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of And I Darken by the brilliant Kiersten White!

And I Darken was released on 7th July 2016 published by Corgi Children’s and introduces protagonist Lada Dracul as a new feminist heroine and is the first in The Conqueror’s Trology.

So I have been asked to share a favorite feminist icon of my own or todays post…..


Katherine Hepburn

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“I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.”

I first discovered the wonder and grace of Katharine Hepburn when watching a 1933 version of Little Women when I was in my teens.  I cannot fully recall how I came to watch this, but I remember being fully captivated and mesmerised by her performance as Jo March and watching the awkwardness the character feels at the beginning of the adaptation gradually melt away turning Jo into a graceful young woman.  Her brilliant performance prompted me to watch some of her other films including the hilarious Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and the romantic and historical The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart.

Cate Blanchett played Katharine in The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio and her portrayal enthused me to find out more about this leading lady of Hollywood who’s career spanned more than 60 years.

 It is said that Katharine “broke the mold” for women in Hollywood where she brought a new breed of strong-willed females to the screen living ahead of her time which people say came to symbolize the “modern woman” and played a part in changing attitudes towards the female gender.  Some people say that she was a “central” influence in bringing feminist issues to the screen also, showing people a new vision of women in that era.

She was known for her fierce independence and spirited personality and was very outspoken, assertive and private.  Research has shown me that she distanced herself from the celebrity lifestyle and often shunned the Hollywood publicity machine refusing to conform to society’s expectation of women.

Katharine wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so and strongly against convention in an era of glamour and at a time when it was not proper to do so.  She made it acceptable for women in this era to wear trousers, as fans began to imitate her clothing.  In 1986 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in recognition of the influence she played in women’s fashion.

This is exactly why Katharine Hepburn is one of my favourite feminist icons.


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No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

You can buy a copy of And I Darken here or from your local book shop


About Kiersten White

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Hi! I give the most awkward hugs in the world. I also write books. I’d opt for one of my books over one of my hugs. Lucky for you, I write a lot of them.

The New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy (Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and Endlessly) is available now. Mind Games and its sequel Perfect Lies are also out, staring at you from a bookshelf. Intensely. An Egyptian mythology-based standalone, The Chaos of Stars, will keep you company on cold, dark nights. And Illusions of Fate, a dreamy historical fantasy, wants to be your new boyfriend. It’s a really good kisser.

 And I Darken, is an epic historical based on a gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler. It’s filled with love daggers, which are like love triangles only much sharper and way more likely to kill you.

You can buy any of Kiersten’s books here

You can find out more about Kierstan White on her website – www.kierstenwrites.blogspot.co.uk

Or why not follow her on twitter using @kierstenwhite


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this follow the feminists tour at the below stops!

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Have you read And I Darken?  What did you think?  Do you have a favourite feminist icon?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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