Guet Post – The Perfect Christmas Book by Katey Lovell


Today I finally have one of my most favourite humans ever on the blog –  the amazing and super wonderful Katey Lovell to celebrate the release of her new Christmassy romantic comedy, Joe & Clara’s Christmas Countdown!

Joe & Clara’s Christmas Countdown was released in paperback on the 30th November published by Harper Impluse and is set to get you in the Christmas mood!

“Warm and romantic, every page is sprinkled with Christmas magic”  Cressida McLaughlin, author of The Canal Boat Café

So as it’s nearly Christmas and we are looking for the perfect Christmas read to snuggle up by the fire with I asked Katey exactly how to write the perfect Christmas book…..


This Christmas she’ll give her heart to someone special…

As Christmas approaches Joe Smith knows he should be celebrating with friends and family, making the most of the season. But for Joe, Christmas only holds painful memories. Ones he can feel crushing his heart, a reminder of a time he can never forget.

Clara O’Connell loves Christmas. For her it is the most magical time of the year. And she’s determined to make Joe love it too! She knows he’s hurting, but maybe she can help to ease his pain. Her plan: One special gift every day to remind Joe just how loved he is.

But the clock is ticking. Will the Christmas magic wear off at midnight or will Clara’s Christmas countdown be the perfect gift to heal Joe’s broken heart? And in doing so, maybe she will get a gift in return…Joe’s love for Christmas and forever…?


The Perfect Christmas Book

When the wonderful Chelley invited me to guest on her blog I was thrilled – she’s such a force to be reckoned with in the publishing industry, known and loved by everyone.  However, when I asked what she wanted me to talk about and her reply was ‘how to write the perfect Christmas novel’ I could feel the imposter syndrome creeping in.  I’m very proud of my festive release Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown, but perfect?  There’s a lot of weight in that word, but I am going to share how I wrote this book, step by step.

Have a ton of ideas, reject most of them, hone the good one

As I was reaching the end of drafting my second novel, The Café in Fir Tree Park, my editor Charlotte Ledger and I were in discussions about what to do next.  I was really keen to write a festive novel and tentatively suggested my ideas.  Our favourite was based around an office secret santa, but Charlotte felt the office setting had the potential to be too dry.  I wanted charity to be a big theme in this book and after dismissing the idea of setting the book in a foodbank (although there is a scene at a foodbank in the novel) ran with it centring around a fictional Manchester youth club.

Make notes on anything and everything Christmassy

Throughout October 2016 I carried my notebook everywhere and made a ridiculous amount of notes.  I asked friends what their favourite aspects of Christmas were, queried Twitter and Facebook on what they thought were ‘musts’ for a festive read (tinsel, mulled wine and Santa, apparently) and thought about how my characters were going to develop over the course of the novel.  I also came up with a title at this point, which was eventually tweaked only slightly (when the male protagonist’s name changed).

NaNoWriMo 2016

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) takes place every November and encourages writers to draft 50,000 words in 30 days.  I still had 20,000 words left to write to complete The Café in Fir Tree Park but, knowing that it would be easier to write a Christmas novel in winter, I surrounded myself with mince pies and decided to also write the first half of the Christmas book.  By the end of the month I had ‘won NaNo’ and had the first 30,000 words of what would become Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown.

Finish the book!

This stage took a while.  I had a much-needed month away from writing over Christmas and struggled to get back into the routine of writing afterwards, especially after the tree came down and Christmas was over for the majority of people.  Thankfully I’m friends with other writers who were in the same predicament and so our fictional Christmases continued in parallel.  I finally finished the first draft in May 2017.

Edit, edit, and edit some more

Personally, I always find structural edits (big changes to plot, the order events take place in, adding in subplots or additional characters) difficult.  One change often starts off a chain and it felt at times as though the novel I’d worked so hard to build was falling like one of those tracks of dominos where you touch one and the whole lot fall down.  However, I had the experience of knowing I could edit a book because I’d done it before (twice!) and knuckled down to get stuck into polishing my Christmas book.

Next came the line edits, where as well as working on editors suggestions I was keen to inject even more festive sparkle into the book.  I wanted it to be 100% Christmassy!  This is where I developed a lot of the outdoor scenes such as the one at the skating rink and at the Christmas market, to ensure I was encapsulating the magic of the traditions of Christmas in my words.

Finally, in August 2017, it was time for the proofread – the end was in sight!  I must admit that by now I was all Christmassed out – I challenge even the most avid Christmas fanatic to feel in the mood for listening to Shakin’ Stevens in temperatures nearing 30 degrees.

Let it go

As Elsa so wisely said in the Disney hit ‘Frozen’, there comes a time where you just have to let it go.  For authors, that time is publication day, when ownership is no longer yours and your publishers, but your readers.

When Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown was released in October I was nervous – would people like the idea enough to buy it?  Thankfully, people have and I’ve been fortunate that bloggers, authors and readers have shared their kind words about the book online.

So that’s my experience of writing a Christmas book – it was jolly hard work, but worth every tinsel-filled moment.  If what you’re dreaming of this Christmas is writing a festive novel I’d encourage you to go for it, and sprinkle glitter on every single page.

You can buy a copy of Joe & Clara’s Christmas Countdown here or from your local bookshop


About Katey Lovell

Katey Lovell is the author of three commercial women’s fiction novels published by Harper Collins’ imprint HarperImpulse. Her novels are about people overcoming everyday challenges with the support of their friends, family and local community. She has also penned a series of coffee-break romances (also published by HarperImpulse) and a hot romance for Tirgearr’s City Nights series.

Originally from South Wales, Katey now lives in Sheffield with her husband and son. When she’s not writing she’ll most likely be found watching musicals, enjoying live music or reading anything and everything she can lay her hands on.

You can follow Katey on twitter – @Katey5678


A huge thank you to Katey for such a fab guest post and for sharing so much about her writing process.

Have you read Joe & Clara’s Christmas Countdown?  What did you think?  Do you read Christmas reads in the lead up to Christmas?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

 

Guest Post – Ho Ho Ho Reads by Andrew @PewterWolf


I am super honoured to have the brilliant Andrew, one of my fave bloggers and human beings, on the blog today with a Christmassy post to get us all in the Christmas mood.

Andrew was one of the first bloggers I got to know when I started out blogging and he never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Andrew blogs over at thepewterwolf.blogspot.com where he reviews books within (although not exclusively) the YA and New Adult age ranges. Andrew also writes fun, random blog posts (also known as SMILE) and music-themed blog posts. And I love the fact that he states on his blog that the “blog is not only a book reviewing site but a “Smile Blog””.  Andrew is basically all the awesomes so please do go check his blog and his twitter @PewterWolf out!

So today Andrew is sharing some of the books that are on his festive reading list….

*hands over to Andrew*


Ho Ho Ho Reads

This blog post came out of something completely un-Christmas related. I was emailing Michelle over Point Horror. I never read Point Horror growing up, hence my questions. But as we chatted, we got onto Christmas and I started wondering what books I was going to read over the festival season. I don’t normally make plans over what I want to read – am more a mood reader – but I realised that I do have a small list in my head of books I do want to read over Christmas, New Year and throughout December. So, I thought I would show you some of my list…

To Michelle, thank you for inspiring this post. Now, let’s get the Christmas music on and chat books!

OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon

I haven’t watched the TV show. I tried to watch the first episode but always get 15/20 minutes in and get bored so don’t continue. I know I should, but I think the book might be more my thing. It has elements that I know will hold my attention and keep me reading, even though it’s over 850 pages long.

But, due to recent book events and real life events, this might have to be put on the back burner for a few weeks. Due to… wait for it…

THE BOOK OF DUST: LA BELLE SAVUAGE by Philip Pullman

I have been waiting for this book even since I finish The Amber Spyglass over 17 years ago. 17 YEARS! And I was/am so excited to read to read! I preordered this and the special Waterstones edition, I was that excited to read this!

But, real life got in the way. I read only 3 chapters over a space of a week due to work issues, so I decided to put this on hold and save it for when I had time to sit down and immerse myself in this world. And Christmas seems like the perfect time!

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas

Confession time: I’ve had an Advance Reader Copy since just before last Christmas. When I found out I had it, I squealed so loudly, my cat wake up and give me one of the dirtiest looks in memory. So, why haven’t I read it? The main reason is because I’ve been so excited for this book since I heard it was going to get published in the UK. So, when I finally got a copy, I have mentally hyped this book up so much that I was terrified it wasn’t going to live up to it. So I have been waiting… and waiting… and waiting… it’s only now that I feel ready to go near this. I just hope it’s as awesome as I want it to be…

THE LAST MRS PARRISH by Liv Constantine

I don’t read as many thrillers as I would like, but this sounds like something I would be gripped by. A twisty thriller would be perfect reading on these dark, long nights.

THE WITCH’S TEARS by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

I read the first book in the trilogy, Witch’s Kiss, earlier this year. And while there were some problems with it, I had a whale of a time reading it. And with how the first book ended and with the third and final book coming out early next year (March, I think? February?), I want to return to see what’s going to happen to these characters? Plus, with this cover, I feel that winter is the perfect time to read this…


A huge thank you to Andrew for such a fab guest post and here to reading some fab reads over Christmas!

Don’t forget to check Andrew out over on his blog www.thepewterwolf.blogspot.co.uk or on twitter @PewterWolf

What’s on your Christmas TBR?  Do you rad Christmas reads in the lead up to Christmas or books you have been excited about all year and not got around to?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

Tales Post – British Books Challenge 2018 – Sign Up #BritishBooksChallenge18


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I’m so very excited to announce that in 2018 I will be continuing to host the British Books Challenge!

*gives a big fan fare and dances in excitement*

#BritishBooksChallenge18 

I have participated in this particular reading challenge for the past three years and I’m so excited to now be hosting it again for a second year running.  I am hugely passionate about reading and supporting British authors and I really do hope that you will join me in this very special reading challenge starting in the new year.

Find my year in Books and Challenges 2015 here

Or my year in Books and Challenges 2016 here

And soon my year in Books and Challenges 2017 here

I was super excited to be have been asked to host again and I have to say a massive thank you first to Becky for originally creating the challenge, to Sarah for hosting from 2013-2014, Michelle for hosting in 2015 and getting me signed up to my first ever bookish challenge and to Kirsty for hosting it firstly in 2012 and then in 2016 . All four of these amazing women have put in an incredible amount of work towards promoting British authors and I hope to continue their good work. Special thanks to Michelle for letting me pretty much cut and paste most of her sign up pages!

And as always a massive thank you to Rhys from Thirst For Fiction for designing the British Books Challenge blog button!

I have some exciting plans for the challenge throughout the year all of which are detailed below…..

Including a special prize draw prize for signing up to the challenge!


So what is the British Books Challenge?

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running here on Tales Of Yesterday between 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.

This challenge is available for all bloggers and/or booktubers who review books on their blogs, YouTube channels or readers who review on other websites such as Goodreads.

If you sign up for the challenge you will be aiming to read at least 12 books by British authors (which works out to one a month).

For every book you review each month you will get an entry into the draw to win a monthly prize pack (assuming that you’ve left all appropriate links on the monthly link page!). Therefore the more you review the more chances you have at winning that month’s prize(s).

Also see the Author Of The Month and Debut Of The Month section for ways to gain extra entries each month!

Please note that entries must have been read and reviewed in the month that you are entering your link/entry.

There may also be some kind of special prize draw at the end of the year for those challenge participants who have gone to the most effort over the year and reviewing 50 or more books by British authors.

As prize packs are mainly being sponsored by British publishers I’m afraid that some of the prizes will only be available for UK participants but I hope that international bloggers will still take part.  Please be aware that you will need to provide me with an address which may sometimes be passed on to a publicist in order for your prize to be sent out.

In terms of what books would count towards the challenge – the books can be in print or out. Old or new titles. They can be from any genre and for any age range. In previous years Becky, Michelle and Kirsty focused mostly on young adult books on their respective blogs, and Sarah’s reviews for the challenge spanned many genres and age ranges. The primary focus on Tales Of Yesterday will be on YA and MG with a few adult books in the mix too, however feel free to read any books by British authors and have those books count towards the challenge: children’s books, middle grade, young adult, new adult, or adult fiction or non-fiction – whatever you feel like reading by any British Authors.

#BritishBooksChallenge18 


Monthly Prize Packs

I am absolutely delighted to tell you I have had a huge amount of support and encouragement in the planning of this challenge from UK publishers and authors.

These wonderful publishers / authors have agreed to provide British bookish goodies for prize packs which can be won by the challenge entrants.

Watch out for the link up post on the 1st of each month for details of what you could win.

#BritishBooksChallenge18 

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge giveaways please contact me by email.


Author Of The Month

Each month I will be featuring an Author Of The Month!

This will normally be an author I am a huge fan of and who’s books I think you would love.

I will announce each author of the month on the monthly sign up posts on the 1st of every month.

I will be aiming to spotlight the author and their books on the post too along with any reviews and a special posts I have featured on my blog by the author themselves.

And that’s not all…..

If you read, review and link up any books by the author of the month (in the same month that they are author of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

If the author has multiple books and you read them all you will gain a double entry for each review of each book.

#BritishBooksChallenge18 

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge author of the month then please contact me by email.


Debut Of The Month

Each month I will also be featuring a Debut Of The Month!

This will normally be a book I will be reading myself throughout that month that I am hugely excited about!

I will announce each debut of the month on the monthly sign up posts on the 1st of every month.

I will be aiming to spotlight the author too along with any reviews and a special posts I have featured on my blog by the author themselves.

And that’s not all…..

If you read, review and link up a review of the book chosen as debut of the month (in the same month that the book is debut of the month) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

#BritishBooksChallenge18

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their debut through the British Books Challenge debut of the month then please contact me by email.


About Signing Up

This year I have decided to run another sign up giveaway!  So signing up for the challenge will gain you entry into this special prize draw (more details about this prize below).

To sign up for the challenge…..

Write a blog post or page on your blog or upload a video to your YouTube channel linking back to this one.

In that post/page/video compile a list of titles by British authors that you hope to read and review during 2017. If you are not yet sure, just add one or two and update as and when you read titles with hyperlinks to your review.  A bit like I’ve done here

Insert the British Books Challenge button onto your blog’s side bar. To do this save the button onto your computer, then go to add gadget on your sidebar to put the picture on your blog adding a hyperlink to it of the url address for this post. For Youtubers, please include the graphic within your video.

Fill out the Mr.Linky form below. Do make sure the link you add goes directly to your sign up post and has your blog/channel name as the title. Links to anything other than sign up posts will be deleted and only people who have created a sign up post will be eligible to win the monthly prize pack each month and be entered for a chance to win the sign up prize. This is very important step!

And finally, as you review the books on your blog/YT channel, update the monthly review pages, which will go live on the 1st of every month, with a link to your review. Every link up you add will be an entry into that month’s prize pack (please note that some of the prizes may be donated by publishers only willing to send to the UK).

Links to any books by Author Of The Month or links to reviews for Debut Of The Month will be eligible for a double entry into the prize draw within the month that they are Author Of The Month / Debut Of The Month only.

#BritishBooksChallenge18 


It’s Good To Talk!

Share your reviews on social media using the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge18 

Lets get chatting and celebrating all of the brilliant British books and authors that we have and all of the wonderful British books that we are reading!

Always remember – never tweet an author into a negative review and be constructive.

As well as following the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge18 I would also suggest following my blog using your preferred feed subscription (by email by filling in the subscription box at the top of my blog , BlogLovin’ etc) in order to keep up with the latest news and posts regarding this challenge throughout 2018!


FAQ

What books would you suggest that I read for the British Books challenge?

I will be writing many a blog post throughout 2018 to give you any and all recommendations and of course we will have our Author Of The Month and Debut Of The Month to get you started.

I will also provide a link to my own British Books Challenge 2018 page which will detail which books I have been reading and reviewing for the challenge or any books I am hoping to read in 2018 by British authors.

I will also let you know on each monthly sign up page which books I have been reading and enjoying the month before.

I also have various guest posts, Q&A’s, spotlight posts and of course reviews throughout my blog so do check them out through the index here

If you’re on Twitter, following the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge18  –  a place where people can also share what they are reading by British Authors.

You can always have a look through other participant’s review links on the monthly link up pages once the challenge gets started. I’ll add links to each month’s post below.

If you love UKYA check out this fab spreadsheet by Debbie and Jim that give you lists of UKYA books – here

These links by no means include the only books that count towards the challenge but hopefully they’ll help you get started.

Don’t forget to post links to your reviews each month for your chance to win prizes:

How did the British Books Challenge come about?

The BBC is a reading challenge that was created by Becky from The Bookette in 2011 as a way to encourage people to read more books by British authors. The challenge was taken over by Kirsty at The Overflowing Library for 2012 and again this year in 2016, was hosted by Sarah at Feeling Fictional between 2013 to 2014, Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies throughout 2015 and was hosted by me, Chelley at Tales Of Yesterday in 2017 and again this year in 2018.

I post reviews on more than one blog. Can they count towards my challenge total?

Yes.

I am an international entrant and sometimes I do not have time to write my reviews in English. Can I write them in my native language?

Of course. It would be helpful if there was a little summary in English so that I can comment but as long as you make sure the book’s title is translated somewhere on your post then it is fine. I’m delighted that international bloggers are going to help promote British authors.

Do you need to read the book and review the book in the same month?

Yes.  The idea of the British Books Challenge is to read 12 books by British Authors throughout the year (this is only 1 per month but please feel free to read and review more) so reading a book and reviewing in the same month gains you a valid entry into the prize draw.

It doesn’t matter if it is a re-read of a book you haven’t reviewed before as long as the review is created and posted within the same month you are linking up for.

Any archive reviews from previous years / months will not be eligible for the monthly prize draw.

Can I count books that I have already counted on other challenges in 2018?

I don’t see why not.

I’ve read and reviewed a book by the Author Of The Month or the Debut Of The Month how do I gain my extra entry?

You still link up your review as normal on the monthly link up page and I will do the rest.  Any linked reviews to either author of the month or debut of the month will gain an extra entry into the prize draw at the end of the month.

Do Irish authors count towards my challenge total?

No. Ireland is not part of the UK. The UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Authors who live in any of these four locations can count towards the challenge.

How about authors who were say born in America (insert any other country here) but are currently living in the UK?

Yes, we are using the following criteria to decide whether an author can count towards the challenge:

  • Authors who were born in the UK, live in the UK and are published in the UK
  • Authors who were born overseas but are CURRENTLY living in the UK and his/her books were/are being published in the UK first
  • Authors who were born in the UK are currently living overseas but his/her books are being published in the UK first

Top examples of authors born in other countries but who currently reside and are published in the UK and count as being ‘British authors’ include Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff, Moira Young, Laura Lam, CJ Daugherty etc.  We love these authors and we claim them as our own!

I know it can be tricky to work out if X author counts towards this challenge so if you are not sure about a particular author, please do contact me and I’ll see what I can do to help!

I do not have a blog but I would love to take part. Is there a way that I can take part?

If you have an account on Goodreads or another book review website you may still join the challenge. Sign up by linking to your profile page and make sure you link directly to your reviews each month to be eligible to win the monthly prize packs.

How will I know if the monthly prize pack is International?

I will always specify clearly the terms and conditions of winning the prize pack on the monthly link up page.

As the prize packs are often kindly donated and sent to the winners by the publishers it is up to the publisher if the giveaway is international or not.

When will I know if I have won a prize pack and what do I do if I win?

The winner of the monthly prize pack will be notified on the link up post for the following months British Books Challenge.

The winner will then have 14 days to contact me via email with their address and must be happy for me to pass this onto the relevant publisher.

Once your prize is received please let me know so I can tick you off my list and feel free to share any pictures of your prize on social media using the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge18

It’s not January anymore and I’ve only just seen this challenge – can I still sign up?

Yes!  Of Course!  The more the merrier!  Follow the steps above for a sign up post then start linking your reviews in the monthly link up post for the month you are starting the challenge.

I am a publicist promoting a book by a British author (or indeed a British author). Can I promote my book via the British Books Challenge?

Yes. If you would like to donate prizes to the monthly prize packs that would be fantastic. Please contact me via email to discuss this further.  I really do appreciate the generosity of publishers and authors who have donated books as prizes in the past and I hope that this continues in the future!

I have a question that you haven’t answered here. How can I contact you?

The best way to contact me is by email, I will reply to all emails as quickly as possible but sometimes life gets in the way so please bear with me if it takes me a couple of days to respond.

I do have a twitter account ( @ChelleyToy ) and always love to hear all of your thoughts/comments regarding the #BritishBooksChallenge18 and any books you are reading for the challenge there, however, for queries regarding the challenge email is still your best bet towards hearing back from me.


#BritishBooksChallenge18

Looking for the monthly link up posts?  Click on the months below

Please note these will be updated as each link post goes live on the 1st of every month

January 

February 

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December


#BritishBooksChallenge18 Sign Up

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I am treating one lucky sign up winner to start off their New Year in the best bookish way possible with a Waterstones gift card of £15!

To enter –

Write a blog post or page on your blog or upload a video to your YouTube channel linking back to this one.

In that post/page/video compile a list of titles by British authors that you hope to read and review during 2017. If you are not yet sure, just add one or two and update as and when you read titles with hyperlinks to your review.  A bit like I’ve done here

Insert the British Books Challenge button onto your blog’s side bar. To do this save the button onto your computer, then go to add gadget on your sidebar to put the picture on your blog adding a hyperlink to it of the url address for this post. For Youtubers, please include the graphic within your video.

Fill out the Mr.Linky form below. Do make sure the link you add goes directly to your sign up post and has your blog/channel name as the title. Links to anything other than sign up posts will be deleted and only people who have created a sign up post will be eligible to win the monthly prize pack each month and be entered for a chance to win the sign up prize. This is very important step!

UK/IRE entrants only for the prize draw but anyone can still sign up for the challenge.

Ends 31st December 2017

Please note that the winner will need to provide me with an address to send their prize too and will need to be signed up to the challenge on or before the 31st December 2017 to be eligible to win.


Thanks for signing up for the British Books Challenge 2018!

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Name – Please add your name and blog / YouTube channel e.g Chelley Toy – Tales Of Yesterday

URL – Please add a direct link to your British Books Challenge sign up post here




Tales Post – British Books Challenge – December 2017


Welcome to the British Books Challenge 2017 – December!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

We are wrapping up warm and getting cosy this month with lots of fab books as we get ready for Christmas and a brand new year!  Where has the year gone!

I can’t wait to count up how many books by British Authors we have read for the whole year!  You have all done so amazing!  Thank you for being on board with this challenge and so eager whilst also bearing with me over the past couple of months!  I heart you all very much!

I will post an October and November link up page to catch up on the last couple of months so please do link your reviews from those months on there as I would love to read them.

Not including September, October and November yet, but so far we have a grand total of 561 reviews of books by British Authors in total since we all started in January!

*group hugs*

And thank you so much for always embracing our author and debut of the month as well as all of the other amazing books you all read!

Thank you all!

Lets wrap up warm and jump into December!


About The British Books Challenge

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running here on Tales Of Yesterday between 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.

I have created a #BritishBooksChallenge17 summary page here which will also keep track of my own progress in the challenge too.

If you have not signed up yet there’s still plenty of time – find out more about the challenge here

Please note you can sign up to the challenge at any time throughout the year but only sign up entries made on or before the 31st December 2016 will be entered to win the sign up prize.

This is the first time I am hosting this particular challenge and I have lots of things planned for us all!

I have been in touch with lots of publishers who have kindly donated lots of lovely prize packs for us throughout the year for the challenge!

Right lets get the ball for December rolling!


I will catch up on all of your fab reviews from November as and when they are linked so please bear with me.

All valid reviews and links by British Authors that were linked up on the November linky here were eligible to be entered to win the November prize pack. With people who read any books by our Author Of The Month and/or our Debut of the month earning extra entries.

But there can only be one winner!

And the winner is…….

TBA

Congratulations!

Please email me your address so that I can arrange for your prize to be sent out to you!


 

Decembers prize pack will be sent out by myself and contains the following book ……

**Please note this is the Zoella Book Club Edition**

“This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more.”
–Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past.

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

One winner will be picked at random from the list of valid reviews submitted each month and will be announced in the following month’s review link up post. The winner will then have 1 week to contact me to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Obviously the more reviews you enter the greater your chance of winning and don’t forget you gain extra entries for any reviews by Debut or Author of the Month for December! It doesn’t matter if you only review one book (or even skip a month or two in the challenge!) you’ll still be entered for each review you do write.

Please Remember…..

Only participants with a valid sign up page that has been linked here are eligible for entry to the monthly prize packs mentioned on this monthly link up page – you can still sign up here

When you add your link to the Mr. Linky below please make sure you link directly to your review, not just to your blog/vlog (invalid links will be deleted)

Books must have been read and reviewed in 2017 to count towards the challenge so those books you read last year but reviewed in 2017 don’t count!  Only books reviewed in December on your blog will count towards the challenge (you could have read them in earlier in the year though – I’m feeling kind 🙂 )

Also, please make sure that the reviews you link are for books written by British Authors – they can be born in Britain (living here or abroad) or they can be adopted British Authors (who were born elsewhere and now live here) but if they don’t fit into one of those categories then they don’t count. (as above invalid links will be deleted and won’t get you an entry into the prize pack). Please note that Britain includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I’m afraid authors from Southern Ireland don’t count.

Also see the Author Of The Month and Debut Of The Month section for ways to gain extra entries each month!

And lastly feel free to share your reviews on social media using the #BritishBooksChallenge17 hashtag – it’s not compulsory but it would be fun to share any great British Books you have loved with others!

Lets get chatting and celebrating all of the brilliant British books and authors that we have and all of the wonderful British books that we are reading!

Always remember – never tweet an author into a negative review and be constructive.

For more information about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 click here

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge giveaways please contact me by email.


And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for December is…….

Miranda Dickinson

I adore Miranda and her books so much !  I’m so happy that she is our December Author Of The Month!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up any books by the author of the month (in the same month that they are author of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

If the author has multiple books and you read them all you will gain a double entry for each review of each book.

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge author of the month then please contact me by email.


 

As always there are so many good debuts coming out this month that it was really hard to decide which to pick….

And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Debut Of The Month for December is…….

Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan

 

Technically the hardback was released in January 2017, but the paperwork has been released this December and as I’ve heard so many lovely things about this book.  I am so hugely excited about this book and am so happy that it is our Debut Of The Month!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up a review of our debut of the month (in the same month that they are debut of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their debut through the British Books Challenge debut of the month then please contact me by email.


As well as following the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge17 I would also suggest following my blog using your preferred feed subscription (by email by filling in the subscription box at the top of my blog , BlogLovin’ etc) in order to keep up with the latest news and posts regarding this challenge throughout 2017!

Lastly thank you to everyone who has joined in this challenge this year!  Its been so wonderful to have you all on board.  And if you want to continue I’m running #BritishBooksChallenge18 so do feel free to sign up here!

Happy Christmas and here’s to a fab new year!

Now for the important part, make sure you link all of your reviews using the Mr. Linky form below. In the Your Name field please include your blog name, the title of the book and the author. Make sure the link takes me directly to your review or your entry won’t count and will be deleted from the list.

Name – Please add your name and blog / YouTube channel e.g Chelley Toy – Tales Of Yesterday

URL – Please add a direct link to your review post here




Tales Post – British Books Challenge – November 2017


Welcome to the British Books Challenge 2017 – November!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

We are getting all ready to wrap up warm for Bonfire’s night and settling in for some fab reads!

 You have all done so amazing!  Thank you for being on board with this challenge and so eager whilst also bearing with me over the past couple of months!  I heart you all very much!

I will post an October link up page to catch up on the last couple of months so please do link your reviews from those months on there as I would love to read them.

Not including September and October yet, but so far we have a grand total of 561 reviews of books by British Authors in total since we all started in January!

*group hugs*

And thank you so much for always embracing our author and debut of the month as well as all of the other amazing books you all read!

Thank you all!

Lets sparkle our way into November!


About The British Books Challenge

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running here on Tales Of Yesterday between 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.

I have created a #BritishBooksChallenge17 summary page here which will also keep track of my own progress in the challenge too.

If you have not signed up yet there’s still plenty of time – find out more about the challenge here

Please note you can sign up to the challenge at any time throughout the year but only sign up entries made on or before the 31st December 2016 will be entered to win the sign up prize.

This is the first time I am hosting this particular challenge and I have lots of things planned for us all!

I have been in touch with lots of publishers who have kindly donated lots of lovely prize packs for us throughout the year for the challenge!

Right lets get the ball for November rolling!


 

I will catch up on all of your fab reviews from October as and when they are linked so please bear with me.

All valid reviews and links by British Authors that were linked up on the October linky here were eligible to be entered to win the October prize pack. With people who read any books by our Author Of The Month and/or our Debut of the month earning extra entries.

But there can only be one winner!

And the winner is…….

TBA

Congratulations!

Please email me your address so that I can arrange for your prize to be sent out to you!


Novembers prize pack will be sent out by myself and contains the following book ……

In a small village, a long time ago, young Ryo is desperate for excitement and adventure. When he sees a lone warrior chase bandits away from his home, he realises how he can find it. He learns the man is from a secret group of warriors known only as the `Hidden Ones’. He decides immediately that he is going to leave home, to train to become a fighter. Setting out on his journey to find his way in the world, Ryo will meet brave warriors, wise hermits, and heart- breaking tragedy. His quest and the people he meets along the way lead him to an understanding of what it means to follow his dream, and where his place in the world truly lies.

One winner will be picked at random from the list of valid reviews submitted each month and will be announced in the following month’s review link up post. The winner will then have 1 week to contact me to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Obviously the more reviews you enter the greater your chance of winning and don’t forget you gain extra entries for any reviews by Debut or Author of the Month for November! It doesn’t matter if you only review one book (or even skip a month or two in the challenge!) you’ll still be entered for each review you do write.

Please Remember…..

Only participants with a valid sign up page that has been linked here are eligible for entry to the monthly prize packs mentioned on this monthly link up page – you can still sign up here

When you add your link to the Mr. Linky below please make sure you link directly to your review, not just to your blog/vlog (invalid links will be deleted)

Books must have been read and reviewed in 2017 to count towards the challenge so those books you read last year but reviewed in 2017 don’t count!  Only books reviewed in November on your blog will count towards the challenge (you could have read them in earlier in the year though – I’m feeling kind 🙂 )

Also, please make sure that the reviews you link are for books written by British Authors – they can be born in Britain (living here or abroad) or they can be adopted British Authors (who were born elsewhere and now live here) but if they don’t fit into one of those categories then they don’t count. (as above invalid links will be deleted and won’t get you an entry into the prize pack). Please note that Britain includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I’m afraid authors from Southern Ireland don’t count.

Also see the Author Of The Month and Debut Of The Month section for ways to gain extra entries each month!

And lastly feel free to share your reviews on social media using the #BritishBooksChallenge17 hashtag – it’s not compulsory but it would be fun to share any great British Books you have loved with others!

Lets get chatting and celebrating all of the brilliant British books and authors that we have and all of the wonderful British books that we are reading!

Always remember – never tweet an author into a negative review and be constructive.

For more information about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 click here

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge giveaways please contact me by email.


 

And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for November is…….

Annabel Pitcher

I adore Annabel and her books !  I’m so happy that she is our November Author Of The Month!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up any books by the author of the month (in the same month that they are author of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

If the author has multiple books and you read them all you will gain a double entry for each review of each book.

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge author of the month then please contact me by email.


As always there are so many good debuts coming out this month that it was really hard to decide which to pick….

And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Debut Of The Month forNovember is…….

Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

I am so hugely excited about this book and am so happy that it is our Debut Of The Month!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up a review of our debut of the month (in the same month that they are debut of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their debut through the British Books Challenge debut of the month then please contact me by email.


As well as following the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge17 I would also suggest following my blog using your preferred feed subscription (by email by filling in the subscription box at the top of my blog , BlogLovin’ etc) in order to keep up with the latest news and posts regarding this challenge throughout 2017!

Have a fab November!

Now for the important part, make sure you link all of your reviews using the Mr. Linky form below. In the Your Name field please include your blog name, the title of the book and the author. Make sure the link takes me directly to your review or your entry won’t count and will be deleted from the list.

Name – Please add your name and blog / YouTube channel e.g Chelley Toy – Tales Of Yesterday

URL – Please add a direct link to your review post here




Tales Post – British Books Challenge – October 2017


Welcome to the British Books Challenge 2017 – October!

#BritishBooksChallenge17

We are getting all ready for some spooky fab reads for October!

 You have all done so amazing!  Thank you for being on board with this challenge and so eager whilst also bearing with me over the past couple of months!  I heart you all very much!

I have posted a November link up page to catch up on the last couple of months so please do link your reviews from those months on there as I would love to read them.

Not including September and October or November yet, but so far we have a grand total of 561 reviews of books by British Authors in total since we all started in January!

*group hugs*

And thank you so much for always embracing our author and debut of the month as well as all of the other amazing books you all read!

Thank you all!

Lets scare ourselves silly into October!


About The British Books Challenge

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running here on Tales Of Yesterday between 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.

I have created a #BritishBooksChallenge17 summary page here which will also keep track of my own progress in the challenge too.

If you have not signed up yet there’s still plenty of time – find out more about the challenge here

Please note you can sign up to the challenge at any time throughout the year but only sign up entries made on or before the 31st December 2016 will be entered to win the sign up prize.

This is the first time I am hosting this particular challenge and I have lots of things planned for us all!

I have been in touch with lots of publishers who have kindly donated lots of lovely prize packs for us throughout the year for the challenge!

Right lets get the ball for October rolling!


 

I am still currently working on back log and going through all of your fab September reviews so please bear with me.

All valid reviews and links by British Authors that were linked up on the September linky here were eligible to be entered to win the September prize pack. With people who read any books by our Author Of The Month and/or our Debut of the month earning extra entries.

But there can only be one winner!

And the winner is…….

TBA

Congratulations!

Please email me your address so that I can arrange for your prize to be sent out to you!


 

Octobers prize pack will be sent our by myself and contains the following book ……

The Space between the Stars by Anne Corlett is an enthralling novel of love, the choices we make, and what it means to be human. It’s also a dramatic road-trip across the stars, as a woman journeys across a plague-ravaged universe to the place she once called home, and the man she once loved.

How far would you travel to find your way home?

Jamie Allenby wakes, alone, and realizes her fever has broken. But could everyone she knows be dead? Months earlier, Jamie had left her partner Daniel, mourning the miscarriage of their baby. She’d just had to get away, so took a job on a distant planet. Then the virus hit.

Jamie survived as it swept through our far-flung colonies. Now she feels desperate and isolated, until she receives a garbled message from Earth. If someone from her past is still alive – perhaps Daniel – she knows she must find a way to return.

She meets others seeking Earth, and their ill-matched group will travel across space to achieve their dream. But they’ll clash with survivors intent on repeating humanity’s past mistakes, threatening their precious fresh start. Jamie will also get a second chance at happiness. But can she escape her troubled past, to embrace a hopeful future?

One winner will be picked at random from the list of valid reviews submitted each month and will be announced in the following month’s review link up post. The winner will then have 1 week to contact me to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Obviously the more reviews you enter the greater your chance of winning and don’t forget you gain extra entries for any reviews by Debut or Author of the Month for October! It doesn’t matter if you only review one book (or even skip a month or two in the challenge!) you’ll still be entered for each review you do write.

Please Remember…..

Only participants with a valid sign up page that has been linked here are eligible for entry to the monthly prize packs mentioned on this monthly link up page – you can still sign up here

When you add your link to the Mr. Linky below please make sure you link directly to your review, not just to your blog/vlog (invalid links will be deleted)

Books must have been read and reviewed in 2017 to count towards the challenge so those books you read last year but reviewed in 2017 don’t count!  Only books reviewed in October on your blog will count towards the challenge (you could have read them in earlier in the year though – I’m feeling kind 🙂 )

Also, please make sure that the reviews you link are for books written by British Authors – they can be born in Britain (living here or abroad) or they can be adopted British Authors (who were born elsewhere and now live here) but if they don’t fit into one of those categories then they don’t count. (as above invalid links will be deleted and won’t get you an entry into the prize pack). Please note that Britain includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I’m afraid authors from Southern Ireland don’t count.

Also see the Author Of The Month and Debut Of The Month section for ways to gain extra entries each month!

And lastly feel free to share your reviews on social media using the #BritishBooksChallenge17 hashtag – it’s not compulsory but it would be fun to share any great British Books you have loved with others!

Lets get chatting and celebrating all of the brilliant British books and authors that we have and all of the wonderful British books that we are reading!

Always remember – never tweet an author into a negative review and be constructive.

For more information about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 click here

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge giveaways please contact me by email.


And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for October is…….

Holly Bourne

Holly is one of my fave UKYA authors !  I’m so happy that she is our October Author Of The Month!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up any books by the author of the month (in the same month that they are author of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review!

If the author has multiple books and you read them all you will gain a double entry for each review of each book.

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their titles through the British Books Challenge author of the month then please contact me by email.


 

As always there are so many good debuts coming out this month that it was really hard to decide which to pick….

And the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Debut Of The Month for October is…….

A Shiver Of Snow & Sky by Lisa Lueddecke

I am so hugely excited about this book and am so happy that it is our Debut Of The Month!

Don’t Forget…..

If you read, review and link up a review of our debut of the month (in the same month that they are debut of the month only) then that one review will get you an extra entry into the monthly prize pack draw.  So a double entry for one review

#BritishBooksChallenge17

If you are a publisher who publishes books by British authors or British author who would be interesting in promoting their debut through the British Books Challenge debut of the month then please contact me by email.


As well as following the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge17 I would also suggest following my blog using your preferred feed subscription (by email by filling in the subscription box at the top of my blog , BlogLovin’ etc) in order to keep up with the latest news and posts regarding this challenge throughout 2017!

Have a spooky October!

Now for the important part, make sure you link all of your reviews using the Mr. Linky form below. In the Your Name field please include your blog name, the title of the book and the author. Make sure the link takes me directly to your review or your entry won’t count and will be deleted from the list.

Name – Please add your name and blog / YouTube channel e.g Chelley Toy – Tales Of Yesterday

URL – Please add a direct link to your review post here




Spotlight – Blackbird by N D Gomes


Today I am excited to be part of the blog tour for this brilliant new YA by N D Gomes, Blackbird.

A Dark contemporary YA following a murder mystery on Orkney that fans of 13 Reasons Why will devour.

Blackbird was released on the 16th November published by the lovely people at HQ and I am super excited to be sharing a fab extract from the book today here on Tales!

So sit back and jump in….


Dark contemporary YA following a murder mystery on Orkney that fans of 13 Reasons Why will devour.

Olivia disappeared the night the blackbird died.

It was New Years Eve the night that dead blackbirds descended, hours before fourteen year old Alex McCarthy’s sister Olivia went missing from a party.

Committed to finding out what happened to her sister, within the previously safe walls of their subarctic Orkney village, Alex knows that dishevelled, sometimes intoxicated Detective Inspector Birkens is her best shot.

Yet as they uncover the secrets behind Olivia’s last night, Alex starts to find things she may be better off never knowing…


Extract

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


About N D Gomes

N.D. Gomes graduated from the University of Stirling with a B.A. in Media Studies, and is currently completing an MLitt in Literature and Creative Writing. She also holds an M.Ed. in Education and worked for several years in the US public education system. Her first novel, Dear Charlie, was published in 2016, followed by Blackbird in 2017. N.D. Gomes currently lives in Scotland.

You can follow N D Gomes on twitter – @nd_gomes


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at HQ I have 1 x copy of Blackbird to giveaway to 1 lucky winner!

I’m hosting this over on my twitter page so do head over and check it out here!

UK Only

Ends 29th November

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to HQ and N D Gomes for having me on this fab blog tour and for the super intriguing extract!

Have you read Blackbird?  Did you enjoy?  What did you love about it?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – The Point Horror Time Capsule by Michael – The Big Comfy Bookshop


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.

They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.

Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2!  Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here


It’s Point Horror Book Club day!  And what better way to celebrate than delving deep into my love of Point Horror!

I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of those people is wonderful Michael the owner of one of my local bookshops the amazing The Big Comfy Bookshop ! I got talking to Michael on twitter when he was talking about Point Horror so I asked him to stop by for a little Point Horror Guest Post to share some Point Horror memories and he kindly agreed.

It’s very exciting to have Michael here on Tales…I feel very honoured…so thank you so much Michelle!

*Hands microphone to Michael*


The Point Horror Time Capsule

I own a bookshop. It’s comfy and sells just 2nd hand books. You’d expect that I’ve been reading books since before I could walk. Here’s the secret. I didn’t really start reading a lot until I started University. Sure there were books I read when I was younger, The Hobbit stands out as one. There was however one book series, and one book in particular that I loved.

Point Horror.

Here’s another secret. Between my elder sister and I we had about a dozen of them, plus we took a few home each week from the mobile library, but, and here’s the rub, I never really read them. What I liked about them was the covers, and the spines; A beheaded snowman, an open door, a lost teddy. I wanted to be part of the movement, and it was a movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At my high school it seemed every girl had at least one on the go. And it did always seem to be girls. Finally, after listening to my sister talk about them endlessly, I picked up The Babysitter and read it over a few nights, maybe a few weeks, I can’t remember. What I do recall is the sensation of ‘getting it’. Not just Point Horror, but the sense of belonging to something. Knowing that there was a sequel, I delved straight into The Babysitter II. I reckon I liked that more, I can’t recall, but I soon shifted up a gear and consumed them like Pringles (once you pop).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was given the chance of buying my own Point Horror book so I opted for The Mall, purely based on the cover. I like green, it looked cool, and, most importantly, I hadn’t seen anyone else read it. Suddenly I noticed girls at school coming up to me to talk about the book. I stayed in at lunchtime instead of going out to kick a ball about. I’d gotten the bug.

Like a time capsule, each book cover of the series recalls the moment in life I was at, rather than what happened inside the pages. Like Pogs and Push-Pops, Point Horror has a firm stamp on my youth and am always delighted when a copy travels through my bookshop.


About The Big Comfy Bookshop

Name: Michael

Role At The Shop: Owner, general operation mastermind

Favourite Book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Likes: Books and music

Dislikes: Amazon, Kindles, Spiders and The Future

The bookshop is my home away from home, and as its owner, my fingers are in all the pies. If there’s an event going on at the shop, I’m usually the man both behind the scenes and up front compering. If I’m not in the shop you can usually find me with my head buried in a book or sleeping while standing up. Or both.

You can find out more about the Big Comfy Bookshop on their website – www.thebigcomfybookshop.co.uk

Or why not follow them on twitter- @bigcomfybooks


Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?

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

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 the a whole load of cray cray?

For all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new click here

A huge huge thank you to Michael for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!

*claps hands excitedly*

Do you remember Point Horror?  Which was your favourite?  Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?

Happy Point Horror-ing!

Tales Post – Pick-Up-A-Book-Read-At-Least-Half-And-Then-Put-It-Down-I-Tus


Today I have a rather honest post and, if I’m completely truthful, I am quite embarrassed about the subject matter, but I really wanted to share this not only for myself, but in case it helps others who are maybe experiencing the same issues or feelings in any way.

So here goes…..

According to my Goodreads account which I started the back end of 2014 I read….

63 books in 2015

&

37 books in 2016

I openly admitted that I was disappointed in my reading last year in 2016. Although by my own admission I had not kept track properly of everything I read so at the start of this year, 2017, I was all set and raring to go!  Books in order on my shelves.  Exciting proof copies ready to be read.  Debut authors to discover along the way with firm favourite authors with exciting books coming out that I simply had to get me hands on.

2017 was going to be my best reading year yet!

And then I caught it!  That rare thing that seems to happen every now and again.  Only this has stuck with me nearly all year…..

Pick-Up-A-Book-Read-At-Least-Half-And-Then-Put-It-Down-I-Tus

So let me explain a little….

 Its November 2017 and so far this year I have read a grand total of…..

Wait for it……

8 books!

Yes that’s right!  8!

*scoffs at my measly 8*

*hides in complete embarrassment*

Recently I’ve been looking at this evil number 8 and reflecting on why this has exactly happened.  I’ve been busy in my personal life with work, family and fitness more this year and have had my fair few reading slumps where the last thing I wanted to do was pick up a book, but I hit the nail on the head whilst talking to a friend this week.

I have a case of Pick-Up-A-Book-Read-At-Least-Half-And-Then-Put-It-Down-I-Tus or as it is more commonly known the actual inability to finish an actual book!

*shrieks in horror*

Without realising it and whilst I have been punishing myself for my number 8 I have been starting books and not actually finishing them.  There on my shelf were gorgeous books full of curious worlds with brightly coloured decorated book marks sticking out of the top of them.  They were literally sitting there waiting to welcome me back into their pages where I had left characters in the midst of an adventure, running away from danger, falling in love or even going through their own trials and tribulations.   I added how many of these I could find scattered around my bedroom and office…..29!

29 books that I have actually started reading and then never went back to.  Not because the books were bad or awful, but because I appear to be unable to finish an actual book!

For someone who normally has a one book at a time rule this is just shocking!

What am I even doing?!

Why has this happened?!

Who even am I?

I’m such a blogging let down!

All of these questions have been running around my mind more than once or twice this year and causing me to retreat further and further away from books even though I know they give me such solace and love in their individual ways.

So what on earth happened?  It could be the distraction of shiny new books in my possession or the fact that things have been busy or do I really have some underliying issue with actually finishing a book.  It could be a number of these things or, as I’ve come to realise, a combination of all of the above.  For the past few weeks more than ever I’ve been beating myself up about just that, my inability to actually pick something up and actually finish it.  And thinking about my number 8 has just made it all worse in my head.  I have been beating myself up about it and in turn added to my list of reasons for all of this.  Pressure is never a good thing really is it?

I sat down to write this as a kind of talking to myself to get it out of my system kind of post to help with the fact that I feel so ashamed of everything to do with my reading this year, but whilst writing this I realised that 8 and 29 are just a number.  It’s as simple as that.  It does not take away the fact that I have supported and showcased amazing authors and books on my blog or the fact that those 8 books I have read have been great books that I have enjoyed from page to page.  I’m telling myself whilst typing this that it’s actually okay.  It’s okay to have had a bad reading year and it’s okay to be able to put a book down and come back to it another time when the timing is better or you’re not so tired and just want to binge watch Stranger Things in your PJ’s.

It’s okay to still be passionate about something and not feel like a complete failure because of your inability to actually finish a book for example!  Those books will still be there with their stories and glorious worlds and unforgettable characters in the future.

So I am taking a big deep breath and starting a new page where a number is just a number and a good book can be the absolute best cure.  But most of all I am saying that it’s okay to have not read as many books as everyone else or that I am going to completely fail my Goodreads challenge this year.  Sometimes it’s the little things that count even if that’s a little number.

So to me when I am reading this back or to anyone that is feeling the same as me this year or any other year in the years to come…..it’s okay.  Take your time.  Enjoy new things.  Take the pressure off a little.  But most of all don’t worry about your number or how little you feel you are reading or doing.  Even a couple of pages a night is better than nothing at all, but if that’s not even possible then that’s totally fine too.  You are amazing and totally not defined by the number of books you read every year.  Characters and worlds will always be waiting with open arms whenever you are ready.

*Hugs*

 

 

 

Spotlight – Otherworld by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller


Today I am super excited to be part of the #Otherworld blog tour where I am sharing a thrilling extract and exciting giveaway!

Otherworld was released on the 31st October published by Rock The Boat and is set to me one addictive thrilling read!

So sit back and relax and enter the Otherworld……


“Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read.” ―BUZZFEED

Welcome to real life 2.0. Are you ready to play?

There are no screens. There are no controls. You don’t just see and hear it – you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality there are no rules to follow, no laws to break. You can live your best life.
    It’s a game so addictive you’ll never want it to end. Until you realize that you’re the one being played.
    Step into Otherworld. Leave your body behind.

The frightening future that Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have imagined is not far away. Otherworld asks the question we’ll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?

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


Otherworld – Extract

“Hey, crazy!” someone shouts. I recognize the voice. It belongs to a girl from school. “What the hell are you doing?”

“What does it look like?” I call out. “I’m getting a tan.”“Put some clothes on, you pervert!” shouts a second voice. “Nobody wants to see your hairy butt cheeks, Simon,” screams a third. I open my eyes a crack and see three girls from school hanging out of a car. One of them is already tapping away at her phone. Their friends will be arriving soon.

My butt cheeks aren’t quite as furry as they’ve been made out to be, and apparently lots of people would like to see them, because the traffic on my street goes nuts for the next thirty minutes.

I don’t pay any attention to the hoots and catcalls. Crossing ice fields and getting blown to smithereens for hours on end was exhausting. I got about five hours of sleep, but I’ll need more if I want to go back in tonight. I’m just drifting off when I hear a car pull into my drive. A few seconds later, someone’s thrown a jacket over me.

“Get up and get inside.” It’s my mother.

I open my eyes. She’s looming over my chaise, and she’s pissed as hell.

“The people across the street are threatening to phone the police,” she hisses.

“Hi, Mom,” I say with a yawn. “You look stunning this afternoon.”

She does. Her black hair is pulled into a fancy knot, and she’s wearing a silk dress in a very tasteful shade of pale blue. Her painted lips are pressed together beneath her perfect nose.

Now, Simon. Or you’re going to jail.”

I sigh and sit up, tying her jacket around my waist. “Aren’t you overreacting? I’m sure the neighbors will forget all about this unfortunate incident if you let them keep their vulgar roses.”

“Those people are not who you should be worried about,” she says. “My accountant just called to ask if the six-thousand-dollar charge on my AmEx for video game equipment was a business expense. You stole my credit card, Simon. One more word from you and I’m dialing your probation officer.”

This is unexpected. The accountant must be new. The old one didn’t ask questions.

I’m fully clothed and sitting on the living room couch when my father gets home. He’s dressed in Easter egg colors and there’s a nine iron in his hand. Apparently I’ve interrupted a golf game. He walks straight through the room without even acknowledging me. A few minutes later, he’s back, and he’s got my new headset, gloves and booties. He drops them all in a pile on the floor.

I wince when I hear a crack. “Come on, Dad,” I groan. “Do you know how hard it was to get all that stuff? Only a couple thousand of those headsets have even been made. That one’s going to be worth a fortune someday.”

“This heap of crap cost six thousand, three hundred and fifty- six dollars?” he asks.

Not exactly—I bought two sets of gear. I only kept one for myself. “It’s not crap,” I say. “It’s the newest virtual reality technology. I was on a wait list for that headset—”

“So it’s a video game,” my father says. If you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t think he was that angry. But I’ve spent eighteen years with Grant Eaton, and I know all the warning signs. He’s about to blow sky-high.

“It’s revolutionary—”

“It’s over.” He lifts his nine iron over his head and brings it down hard on the equipment. He repeats the same motion at least three dozen times, until his face is bright red and he’s out of breath.

I’m finding it pretty hard to breathe too. My last chance to spend time with Kat is just a pile of plastic shards.

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


About Jason Segel

Jason Segel is an actor, a writer, and an author. Segel wrote and starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and co-wrote Disney’s The Muppets, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. On television, Segel starred on How I Met Your Mother and Freaks and Geeks. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling series Nightmares!  Otherworld is his first novel for young adults.

About Kirsten Miller

Kirsten Miller is the author of the acclaimed Kiki Strike books, the New York Times bestseller The Eternal Ones, and How to Lead a Life of Crime. Otherworld is the fifth novel Kirsten has written with Jason Segel.  kirstenmillerbooks.com


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Rock The Boat I have 1 x copy of Otherworld to giveaway to 1 lucky winner!

You can enter via my twitter here

UK Only

Ends 17/11/2017

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Rock The Boat and Nina Douglas for having me on this fab blog tour!

Have you read Otherworld?  Did you enjoy?  What did you love about it?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

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