Category Archives: Adult Fiction

Adult Fiction

Spotlight – Author Of The Month – C J Skuse

I am so excited to have announced on the 1st of April that the awesome C J Skuse is our #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for April 17!

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here

I am a huge HUGE fan of CJ and her books are the best of the best that will leave you craving more.  CJ Skuse is a HUGE UKYA talent and I am so excited to shine the spotlight on her and her wonderful books as Author Of The Month!

And remember if you read, review and link up any of CJ’s books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entries into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Today is also a celebration of CJ’s first adult thriller the delicious SweatPea!

Happy Book Birthday CJ!

Also look out for a fab guest post early next week from the lady herself!

About CJ Skuse

C.J. Skuse was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. Sweetpea is CJ’s first adult novel.

You can follow CJ on twitter – CeejaytheAuthor

You can find previous posts from CJ on my blog or by clicking on the links below …

Hot Boys In My Books!

Hidden Easter Eggs In Books

I also love this article by CJ of 10 Things I’s Like My Readers To Know here

The Books And Why We Love C J Skuse

SIXTEEN-YEAR OLD TWINS IN CANDY-STORE CRIME SPREE Twins, Paisley and Beau Argent are in the headlines again. Last time, they were the ‘wonder twins’, when as six-year-olds they were found alive in woods after three days missing following their mother’s death -three days spent looking for their dad. Now at sixteen, life’s not so wonderful. Out-cast and exploited by their money-grabbing grandmother they’re still clueless about their dad’s whereabouts. Until they discover an old letter from him. That’s when they decide to hit the road – and make headlines again. Holding up fast-food joints in Las Vegas might seem extreme but if they can get on the news, and tell their dad they need him, they might get the dream reunion they never thought could happen.

‘It’s so good, I’d recommend it to people I don’t like’ – Kevin Brooks on Pretty Bad Things

Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she’s caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave? Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place! From the pen of C.J. Skuse, author of 2010’s super cool debut Pretty Bad Things, comes a tale of rock star obsession gone nuts.

‘A rip roaring story’ – Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian on Rockoholic

‘sharp, funny and knowing…’ – The Telegraph on Rockoholic

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete’s body and a poet’s brain. But when she’s mocked at a college party, she knows there isn’t a boy alive who’ll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille’s dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

‘The tension and the comedy crack along with a heart-warming hilarity that is impossible to resist.’- Amanda Craig, The Times on Dead Romantic

At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits.

As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild.

Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.

‘Monster is another rollicking adventure … but you might not want to read the final chapter alone in the house . . . or while you’re eating . . . as you find out the truth about the Beast of Bathory. Great fun.’ – Martin Chilton, Telegraph’s Best YA Books 2015

‘CJ does it again, with a boarding school story packed with tension…Nobody captures the darkness of teenage nightmares quite like CJ Skuse.’ – Sophia Bennett, author of The Look

‘This book is a skillfully crafted rollercoaster of excitement, fear and shocks’
Reading Zone

‘The book has one of the best endings I’ve read.’ – 4.5 stars
The Bookbag

‘Fiendishly dark, with a sense of humour. CJ Skuse always inspires deep author envy’ – Keren David, YA Book Prize Nominee on Monster

‘It’s an absolute page-turner! I gobbled it up in one sitting, and it kept me guessing right till the end. A deliciously creepy horror story, served up with CJ’s trademark humour.’ – Cat Clarke

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves

Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane.

The Fearless Five, inseparable as children growing up in a sleepy English seaside town. But when Max’s older sister is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.


Only Max and Ella are in touch, still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. But Ella is hiding things – like why she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level. And when underdog Corey is bullied, the Fearless Five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them.

But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

‘A tale of revenge, righteousness and recovery with a heart-stopping twist – The Guardian

’Electrifying, bold, brilliant’ Amanda Craig

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

‘This isn’t a book for the squeamish or the faint-hearted … think Bridget Jones meets American Psycho’ – Red

You can buy any of C J Skuse’s books here or from your local bookshop!

A huge thank you to the wonderful C J Skuse fan’s that provided me with quotes for this post.  I highly recommend all of these books with all of my heart and soul from our April Author Of The Month!

And remember if you read, review and link up any of CJ’s  books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entries into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Are you a C J Skuse Fan?  Do you have a favourite book?  Are you new to C J Skuse?   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!

Guest Post – Research For The Bamboo Trilogy by Ann Bennett

I’m super excited to be part of the fab blog tour celebrating the release of Bamboo Road, the last book in a fab adult fiction trilogy!

Bamboo Road was released on the 1st March 2017 published by Monsoon Books.  The first book, Bamboo Heart was released in 2014 followed by Bamboo Island in 2015 and can be read in any order.  The books are a Southeast Asian WWII Trilogy.

For my stop of this fab tour, the author, Ann Bennett tells us a little more about the research that went into the books.

Thailand, 1943: Thomas Ellis, captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore, is a prisoner-of-war on the Death Railway. In stifling heat he endures endless days of clearing jungle, breaking stone and lugging wood. He must stay alive, although he is struck down by disease and tortured by Japanese guards, and he must stay strong, although he is starving and exhausted. For Tom has made himself a promise: to return home. Not to the grey streets of London, where he once lived, but to Penang, where he found paradise and love. London, 1986: Laura Ellis, a successful City lawyer, turns her back on her yuppie existence and travels to Southeast Asia. In Thailand and Malaysia she retraces her father’s past and discovers the truths he has refused to tell her. And in the place where her father once suffered and survived, she will finally find out how he got his Bamboo Heart. In a blend of stirring fiction and heart-wrenching history, Ann Bennett narrates the story of a soldier’s strength and survival in the bleakest of times and a daughter’s journey of discovery about her father and herself.

Bamboo Heart is volume one in a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy that includes Bamboo Island and Bamboo Road.

Juliet Crosby has lived a reclusive life on her Malayan rubber plantation since the Second World War robbed her of everyone she loved. However, the sudden appearance of a young woman from Indonesia disrupts her lonely existence and stirs up unsettling memories. Juliet is forced to recollect her prewar marriage, her wartime ordeals in Japanese-occupied Singapore and the loss of those she once held dear.

 Bamboo Island is part of a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy of historical fiction that can be read in any order and includes Bamboo Heart and Bamboo Road.

Thailand 1942: Sirinya and her family are members of the Thai underground, who risk their lives to resist the World War Two Japanese occupation and to and help British prisoners of war building the Thai-Burma railway. The events of those years have repercussions for decades to come. The book tells Sirinya s wartime story and how in the 1970s she returns to Kanchanaburi after a long absence abroad, to settle old scores from the war years.

Bamboo Road is volume three in a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy that includes Bamboo Heart and Bamboo Island (the books may be read in any order).

Research For The Bamboo Trilogy

I began researching the Second World War in South East Asia and the Thai-Burma railway well before the idea of writing books about it took root. The stories grew organically out of the research I did to find out about my father’s wartime experience. He died when I was seven, weakened by his three and a half years as a POW and I began to get interested in his experience when I was in my early twenties. My mother had two pre-printed postcards that Dad had sent home during his years as a POW which showed that he was interned in Thailand No.1 camp. I went to the Imperial War Museum and discovered that the camp was in Kanchanaburi but there were no consistent records there about prisoners of the Japanese.

My desire to find out more, first took me to Kanchanaburi in 1988 with my mother. There was only one museum there at the time; called the JEATH museum run by a Thai monk. It is a fascinating and unique place, but again holds no information about individual prisoners.

A few years later, I returned to the Imperial War Museum and found they held many first-hand accounts written by soldiers enslaved on the death railway. These are the most harrowing of reads and showed me more about what my father must have suffered, but nothing about where he had been or what had happened to him personally. By the time I returned to Kanchanaburi in 2005 with my husband and sons, I thought I knew as much as I was ever going to know.

In 2010 I came across the Far East Prisoners of War Community (FEPOW) on the internet. Through that community I discovered that in 1944 Dad had been transported from Singapore aboard the hell-ship Hofuku Maru which was torpedoed off Luzon in the Philippines by US aircraft. Out of around 1300 men aboard he was one of 221 survivors. He was put on another ship, the Hokusen Maru which ended up in Taiwan. Dad stayed on in Taiwan and was liberated from Shirikawa camp. The FEPOW community encouraged me to visit the National Archives in Kew to look for Dad’s liberation questionnaire and Japanese record card. To my amazement, both were there. It was an amazing moment when I first saw those records; written in his flowing handwriting in pencil, they answered so many questions I would have liked to ask. He had listed all the camps he had been in on the railway, and had written in detail about some of the horrors he had witnessed.

The information in Dad’s Liberation Questionnaire sowed the seeds for the plot of Bamboo Heart. To write the book though I did a great deal more research into the Malaya campaign and the plight of prisoners. I read several factual history books, including Surviving the Sword, The Fall of Singapore, etc. I also read as widely as I could about the war in South East Asia, although I found there wasn’t much fiction out there. I think […] must have been writing the Narrow Road to the Deep North at around the same time! I also did a great deal of internet research too including watching numerous documentaries on Youtube. Looking back at old diaries and photographs from my own trips were the inspiration for Laura’s journey in Bamboo Heart.

My research for Bamboo Heart taught me so much more about the war in the Far East than I had expected. I had not previously known how civilians suffered; about starvation and massacres, about bravery and sacrifice. It inspired me to explore those events from other angles and through other peoples’ stories. Bamboo Island is written from the point of view of an ordinary British woman who’d settled in Malaya but was caught up in the fall of Singapore. I was particularly moved by the sinking of the Vyner Brooke and the subsequent massacre of Australian nurses, which was the starting point for Juliet’s story. I read as much as I could about the civilian experience of living through the Japanese occupation. In particular Sheila Allen’s moving diary ‘Girl in Changi,’ made a great impression on me as did novels such as the Singapore Grip, and Amber Road (another Monsoon title).

Bamboo Road was inspired by the story of Boon Pong, a Thai merchant who took great risks to help prisoners of war building the death railway. I wanted to explore how the war and the Japanese occupation affected ordinary Thai people living in the area where the Death Railway was built. The great influx of Japanese soldiers and prisoners and the brutality and suffering must have had a devastating effect on their previously peaceful lives. I found out as much as I could about what it was like to live in the prosperous, peaceful community of Kanchanaburi before the railway came. I also researched Boon Pong’s own story, and visited his shophouse in Kanchanaburi whilst I was finalizing the draft. There isn’t a great deal written about him, but all the accounts, in ‘The Real Colonel of Tamarkan’ by Julie Summers, ‘Surviving the Sword’ and Beyond the Bamboo Screen, describe him as a very brave man with great humanity. I also read as much as I could about Thai culture and Buddhism, to understand my characters and what had influenced their outlook on life. I must have been to Thailand fifteen times since my first visit in 1985, so I have absorbed a great deal about the country and its culture during those visits which has found its way into the book. I should add that I have been trying to learn Thai for about five years now. It’s a difficult language to crack because of the different tones, the alphabet and the complex grammatical rules, but I’m sure that through that exercise I’ve absorbed a great deal about the country and its people.








You can buy a copy of these books here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

About Ann Bennett

Ann Bennett was born and raised in a small village in Northamptonshire, UK. She read Law at Cambridge and qualified and practised as a solicitor. During a career break, to have children, she started to write. Her father had been a prisoner of war on the Thailand– Burma Railway and the idea for a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy came from researching his wartime experiences. The research took her back to Asia, a place she loves and has returned to many times. She lives in Surrey with her husband and three sons and works in London as a lawyer.

You can find out more about Ann on her website –

Or Ann’s blog here

Or why not follow Ann on twitter – @annbennett71

Or Facebook here

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to Ann for such a brilliant guest post!  And to Faye Rogers for organising and asking me to be part of the blog tour!

Have you read any of the Bamboo Trilogy?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?   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!

Spotlight – Dead Embers by Matt Brolly

Today I am super excited to be spotlighting a fab new Adult Crime Thriller by Matt Brolly, Dead Embers which is the third book in the DCI Michael Lambert series.

Dead Embers was released on the 6th March 2017 published by Canelo and is available in ebook!

“Gripping, chilling to its core and full of twists, the powerful new DCI Michael Lambert from Matt Brolly is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Helen H. Durrant and Michael Hambling.” 

So for my stop on this fab blog tour I am spotlighting this fab author and book!

An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer. Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out. But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined… Trust no one.

You can buy a copy of this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

About Matt Brolly

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He reads widely across all genres, and is currently working on the third in his Michael Lambert thriller series. Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.

You can find out more about Matt Brolly on his website –

Or why not follow Matt on Twitter – @MatthewBrolly

Or Facebook here

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for having me as part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Dead Embers?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?   Have you read any of the other DCI Michael Lambert books? 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!

Guest Post – Fave Five Bookish Inspirations by Richard Davis

I’m super excited to have a brilliant adult crime writer, Richard Davis on Tales today with a fab guest post!

The second in the Saul Marshall series, Never Again was released on the 20th February 2017 published in ebook by Canelo.  This is the follow up to False Prophet that was released in 2016.

Today Richard shares some of his bookish inspirations…

When a rogue cult turns deadly, the FBI call on former conman Agent Saul Marshall. FALSE PROPHET introduces a gripping new series from thriller writer Richard Davis

Marshall is soon drawn into a cat and mouse chase with the leader of the cult, Ivan Drexler. As the scale of Drexler’s terrorist ambition becomes ever clearer, news arrives that he has taken Marshall’s son hostage. Removed from the line of duty, he must work alone, off-grid.

As the attacks intensify, Saul will stop at nothing to defeat Drexler.

But the FBI are questioning Saul’s own part in the carnage. He must work fast to save both his country and his life. Can Saul stop the carnage before it’s too late? And can he save his son?

As wave after wave of attacks break, the clock is ticking for Saul.

As a wave of seemingly random assassinations engulfs California, Marshall finds himself drawn into a situation spiralling out of control.

He soon discovers some of the webs’ most secure protocols have been compromised by a rogue team of former Chinese agents. When Marshall realises what they plan, the stakes are raised…

And that’s before the Secretary of State gets involved. Can Marshall unravel the deceit and tricks before it’s too late? Can he stop the carnage, or will he become part of it? One thing is for certain: either way his enemies will never forget.

Five Fave Bookish Inspirations

Gordon Corera’s Intercept (non-fiction)

The full title of Corera’s recent book is Intercept: The Secret History of Computer and Spies, and that’s exactly what it is. Corera opened my eyes to a whole range of fascinating subjects – the functions of the NSA, the industrial-scale Chinese hacking of the West, the history of cypherpunks – and these are all topics that feature prominently in Never Forget. And if you’re asking yourself, what the hell’s a cypherpunk? Well, don’t worry: we’ve all been there.

Jamie Bartlett’s Dark Net (non-fiction)

Bartlett’s book – which I read after Corera’s – starts with a look at a deeply disturbing website, the Assassination Marketplace, in which anonymous individuals donate money to incentivise the assassination of high-profile individuals. This is how he introduces the reader to the Dark Net, a colloquial term for an area of the internet in which everyone’s anonymous, and there are no rules. And when I say no rules, I mean no rules. Again, this book opened my eyes, and the Dark Net is at the front and centre of Never Forget.

Patricia Highsmith’s Ripliad

Highsmith – perhaps the greatest crime writer of all time – gave the world Tom Ripley, the  archetypal con-artist serial-killer. And though, unlike Ripley, Saul’s one of the good guys, Saul’s back-story as an ex con-artist was definitely inspired by Ripley’s machinations. The utterly uninhibited Ripley appears across five novels, and they’re worth checking out. Also, Anthony Minghella adapted the first in the series, The Talented Mr. Ripley, into one of my favourite films of all time. Again, worth checking out.

Robert Harris’s The Fear Index

The Fear Index is set in a high-tech world of hedge-fund billionaires in which (spoiler alert) artificial intelligence gets wildly out of hand. And it was after reading The Fear Index that I realised that putting technology at the heart of things can makes things really interesting. Never Forget doesn’t involve AI, but it’s definitely far more technologically involved than False Prophet, the first in the Saul Marshall series.

G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday

This incredibly weird novel – a novel Kinglsey Amis once described as “the most thrilling book I’ve ever read” – was the thing that got me interested in spy fiction in the first place. A policeman attempts to infiltrate a group of anarchists and – well, things get very surreal. Although Chesterton has been very much overshadowed by his contemporary, Arthur Conan Doyle, he is in my opinion the more interesting writer of the two. His bizarre plots – both in this novel, and his other works – have been a huge inspiration to me.

You can buy this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

About Richard Davis

Richard Davis graduated from University College London in 2011 and Cambridge University in 2012. The Saul Marshall series was born from Davis’s extensive travels around the United States and his long-standing obsession with thriller fiction. He lives in North London, UK, with his girlfriend.

Why not follow Richard on Facebook here or on twitter – @DickDavisDavis

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to Richard for a fab guest post and to Faye Rogers for organising and asking me to be part of the tour!

Have you read any of the Saul Marshall series?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  If you have not read it yet have we tempted you to go and 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!

Guest Post – Five Favourite Scenes In The Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series by Chris Lloyd

I’m really excited to have been asked to be part of this fab blog tour to celebrate the release of City Of Drowned Souls by Chris Lloyd.

City Of Drowned Souls is the third book in the Elisenda Domènech Investigation series and is due to be released on the 6th February 2017 published by Canelo.

This series is perfect for fans of crime thrillers who love Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell and Andrea Camilleri.

Today I have the wonderful author himself telling us his five favourite scenes in the series…..

An intense and brilliantly realised crime thriller set in the myth-soaked streets of Girona

A killer is targeting hate figures in the Catalan city of Girona – a loan shark, a corrupt priest, four thugs who have blighted the streets of the old quarter – leaving clues about his next victim through mysterious effigies left hung on a statue. Each corpse is posed in a way whose meaning no one can fathom. Which is precisely the point the murderer is trying to make.

Elisenda Domènech, the solitary and haunted head of the city’s newly-formed Serious Crime Unit, is determined to do all she can to stop the attacks. She believes the attacker is drawing on the city’s legends to choose his targets, but her colleagues aren’t convinced and her investigation is blocked at every turn.

Battling against the increasing sympathy towards the killer displayed by the press, the public and even some of the police, she finds herself forced to question her own values. But when the attacks start to include less deserving victims, the pressure is suddenly on Elisenda to stop him. The question is: how?

You can buy this book here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

Be careful what you dig up… 

Still recovering from the tragedy that hit her team, Elisenda takes on a new case. Except it’s not new. On an archaeological dig by the coast a body is uncovered, seemingly executed with a spike thrust through the base of the skull – an ancient tribal ritual. It soon becomes clear that this body is neither ancient nor modern, but a mysterious corpse from the 1980s.

Assigned to the case along with her team, Elisenda soon uncovers a complex world of star archaeologists, jealousy and missing persons. They find a dark trade in illicit antiquities, riddled with vicious professional rivalries. And even though she’s staying close to the crime scene, Elisenda is also never far from enemies of her own within the police force.

Just as the case seems to become clear it is blown wide-open by another horrific murder. Elisenda must fight her personal demons and office politics, whilst continuing to uncover plots and hatreds that were long buried. How far will she go to solve the crime? Is her place in the force secure? And can she rebuild her life?

You can buy this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

When a child disappears, the clock starts ticking

Detective Elisenda Domènech has had a tough few years. The loss of her daughter and a team member; the constant battles against colleagues and judges; the harrowing murder investigations… But it’s about to get much worse.

When the son of a controversial local politician goes missing at election time, Elisenda is put on the case. They simply must solve it. Only the team also have to deal with a spate of horrifically violent break-ins. People are being brutalised in their own homes and the public demands answers.

Could there be a connection? Why is nobody giving a straight answer? And where is Elisenda’s key informant, apparently vanished off the face of the earth? With the body count threatening to increase and her place in the force on the line, the waters are rising…

Be careful not to drown.

You can buy this book here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

Five Favourite Scenes In The Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series

It’s really a lot harder than I thought trying to think of five favourite scenes as it’s impossible not to be critical as I revisit them, so I think I’m going to have name the scenes that I enjoyed writing the most.

1. I’ve made matters even harder for myself by choosing one of the scenes towards the end of City of Good Death. It’s a dénouement, so I’m going to have to say why I like it without giving anything away. The scene takes place amid the stones of a ruined tower outside Girona’s medieval city walls. The tower was destroyed in the fifteenth century at the time the city’s Jewish community was facing increasing persecution, and it partly reflects what’s been happening in the story. The actual setting is extraordinarily tranquil, removed from the noise of traffic and people even though it’s only just on the edge of the old town. That tranquillity made it the ideal location for a dénouement that carries a menace and an act of violence that is so out of place with its surroundings, but so fitting given the nature of the story.

2. Elisenda has an informant called Siset, who’s a petty criminal and a bit of a hopeless case. He isn’t at all a pleasant character and Elisenda tolerates him rather than likes him, even though she does generally tend to side with the people who’ve lost their way in life. Rather like actors relishing playing the baddie, I have great fun writing about Siset and I always enjoy creating the scenes between the two of them as they’re often a respite from the intensity of the investigations. He’s a scrawny little figure with a perpetually runny nose and faded T-shirts that he’s forever tucking into his trousers, and he alternates between whiny and ineffectually aggressive. The first time we meet him, Elisenda’s eating lunch in a fairly sleazy café and asking him for information. He’s uncomfortable at being seen with a police officer, and Elisenda uses that to try and cajole him into telling her what he knows. Her enjoyment of the surprisingly good food is in stark contrast to Siset’s increasingly desperate attempts for her to let him go.

3. In City of Buried Ghosts, Elisenda’s investigation brings her into contact with feuding archaeologists from a present-day dig and an excavation from the 1980s. Looking for answers, she visits the leader of today’s excavations at the site of an Iberian village. The setting is real and stands on the top of a hill overlooking a plain to the Mediterranean –writing about it took me back to the warmth and the wonderful views. It’s also an important scene as the archaeologist takes Elisenda into the museum and shows her two of the ancient skulls that have been discovered there, each one with an iron spike embedded in them, most probably a ritual killing. It’s key because the investigation began when a body dating from the 1980s was found with the same fate. The skulls are actually on display in the museum and were the original seed of the story – it’s always interesting to be able to bring the real inspiration into a tale and blend them into the action.

4. Elisenda is a rocker. She’s a big fan of Catalan rock bands and often uses music to enhance or change her mood. She also finds that the switches in rhythm and pace help her think and send her thoughts off in other directions as she’s working on an investigation. In City of Drowned Souls, she’s attempting to lay a trap for some very violent thieves. Although she has back-up, she feels alone and vulnerable in an isolated house on the seashore. The house belongs to her sister, but Elisenda can’t stand her taste in music, so she puts her own player into the dock and engulfs the house in loud and forceful music by her favourite band. The energy of the music pumps Elisenda up to prepare her for a possible attack. I found that when I was writing it, having played the music Elisenda was listening to, the scene developed quickly and energetically and it ended up being very different and more action-packed than I’d meant it to be.

5. In City of Drowned Souls, Elisenda is forced by her boss, Inspector Puigventós, to undergo counselling as he claims that her grief for her daughter is affecting her work. She goes very reluctantly, as he will only allow her back into the police station once she’s had a number of sessions with the counsellor; Elisenda being Elisenda, she is very resistant at first. Every day in the story begins with her session, and I enjoyed writing the cat-and-mouse relationship she has with the counsellor, Doctora Puyals. Always a private character, Elisenda tries to give little away but Puyals proves to be her equal. The scenes developed as I wrote them, as did the dynamic between the two women, and I was surprised at how they challenged each other. One of the most enjoyable aspects was discovering how the counsellor was able to use Elisenda’s own tactics for dealing with recalcitrant villains to make her open up and begin on the journey to healing herself. Despite Elisenda’s best efforts to confound her.








About Chris Lloyd

Chris was born in an ambulance racing through a town he’s only returned to once and that’s probably what did it. Soon after that, when he was about two months old, he moved with his family to West Africa, which pretty much sealed his expectation that life was one big exotic setting. He later studied Spanish and French at university, and straight after graduating, he hopped on a bus from Cardiff to Catalonia where he stayed for the next twenty-four years, falling in love with the people, the country, the language and Barcelona Football Club, probably in that order. Besides Catalonia, he’s also lived in Grenoble, the Basque Country and Madrid, teaching English, travel writing for Rough Guides and translating. He now lives in South Wales, where he works as a writer and a Catalan and Spanish translator, returning to Catalonia as often as he can.

He writes the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring a police officer with the newly-devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona. The third book in the series, City of Drowned Souls is published on 6 February 2017.

You can find out more about Chris on his website –

Or why not follow Chris on twitter – @chrislloydbcn

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to Chris Lloyd for a fab guest post.  Also a huge thank you to Faye for asking me to be part of the blog tour and for organising this post.

Have you read any of the Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series?  Are you intrigued?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – The Research Behind Chasing Shadows by T A Williams

I am super happy to have been asked to feature a brilliant guest post from the wonderful T A Williams as part of this fab blog tour organised by PR Extraordinaire Faye Rogers.

Chasing Shadows was released on the 16th January on e book and is set to be a brilliant adult fiction romance novel with a blind protagonist at it’s heart.

I was really interested to hear about the research behind the novel…..

Amy had it all – money, brains and beauty. And then the accident happened.

The Present Day: Left blind and without her family, Amy feels she needs to get away. On a trip along the Camino, she is accompanied by the mysterious and troubled Luke. Having been set up to help Amy by a mutual friend, Luke finds he is also running from his past…

1314: A Templar Knight, Luc, is also running. He meets the wife of a former comrade, now blinded in a terrifying attack: Aimee. Taking her under his wing, they must journey together through a dangerous world.

As they travel through the stunning scenery of Northern Spain, this couple, so very like Luke and Amy, emerge from the shadows of time carrying a treasure of inestimable value.

The Research Behind Chasing Shadows

I certainly didn’t make it easy for myself when I decided to write a book….

1. Along a route of almost a thousand kilometres, crossing two mountain ranges and through countries speaking different languages.

2. With a blind person as my main protagonist.

3. Referencing events that happened seven hundred years ago.

The first part was probably the most straightforward. Along with a bunch of friends, I set off on my bike with two hefty panniers packed with clothes, camera and notebook, and cycled all the way along the pilgrims’ way to Compostela. Just like the characters in Chasing Shadows, this involved crossing first the Pyrenees and then the equally daunting Montes de Leon. We encountered headwinds in France, fierce heat in central Spain and damp, chilly weather in northwest Spain. My legs and lungs emerged stronger as a result and I came home with a notebook full of local colour, impressions and memories as well as a hundred photos of places along the way.

I speak pretty good French, but my Spanish is fairly rudimentary and my Basque non-existent and I was a little nervous before the trip about how well I would be able to communicate. I needn’t have worried. The Camino, as it’s known, is a real Tower of Babel with people from all over the world. I met walkers and cyclists from as far away as South America and Japan, as well as a load of Europeans, but the lingua franca everywhere was English. Not for the first time I thanked my lucky stars I have grown up with English as my native tongue.

So, as far as the nuts and bolts of a trip along the Camino were concerned, I managed to achieve pretty much all I needed that way. The next hurdle I had to cross was the whole blindness thing. I’m short-sighted and I wear glasses, but I have no experience of blindness apart from a close friend of the family when I was a kid. I knew I needed to research this more fully and I got some fantastic support from a local sight loss charity, Devon In Sight, and in particular their IT boffin, Darren, along with his lovely guide dog, Jet. From Darren I learned that my assumption that when you go blind your other senses improve to try to compensate for the loss is not correct. As he pointed out to me, his ears and nose remain the same size they were before he went blind five years ago, so it’s not that he hears and smells more acutely. Maybe, without the overwhelming sense of sight, he is able to concentrate more, but if the meat in the oven starts burning, he assured me Jet the dog is the only one with an olfactory advantage.

And, finally, the historical side of things. From that point of view, I am fortunate in that I developed a deep and lasting interest in the medieval period at least thirty years ago and I have read loads, and I mean loads, of books about that era. But, in writing a book, I didn’t just need to know the historical happenings at that time. I needed to find out what people ate, drank and wore way back then. However natural it may now appear to us to stop for a coffee, a bar of chocolate or even a portion of French fries, that just didn’t happen then. A banana or a Mars bar for energy were sorely lacking then, as was a nice warm, breathable waterproof jacket. A chunk of cheese, some dry sausage and a heavy oiled wool cloak were what the pilgrims used way back then.

I can’t claim that my research has been exhaustive, but I’ve really done my best to draw you a true and accurate picture of what it’s like now, and what it was like seven hundred years ago along the Camino. I hope you enjoy the picture I paint.

You can buy a copy of Chasing Shadows here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

About T A Williams

My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.

I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.

You can find out more about T A Williams on his website –

Or why not follow him on twitter – @TAWilliamsbooks

Or on Facebook here

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to T A Williams for a fab guest post.  Also a huge thank you to Faye for asking me to be part of the blog tour and for organising this post and for being very patient with me.

Have you read Chasing Shadows?  Are you intrigued?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading

Guest Post – Top Five Things About Jan Pearce by Jacqueline Ward

I was so excited to be asked via Faye Rogers- PR Extraordinaire – to be part of the blog tour for the second book in a new Adult Crime/Thriller book released on Kindle Press called Playlist For A Paper Angel by Jacqueline Ward.

Released on the 27th December 2016, Playlist For A Paper Angel is the second in the DS Jan Pearce series of novels and is the sequel to Random Acts Of Unkindness.

You can find out more about Random Acts Of Unkindness in this spotlight post here

Today we get to find out a little more about the character DS Jan Pearce in this fab guest post!

One child found, one child missing – what’s the connection?

DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.

Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.

Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

Playlist for a Paper Angel is the second in the DS Jan Pearce series of novels and is the sequel to Random Acts of Unkindness.

Top Five Things About Jan Pearce

1. Jan is a mother who loves her son more than anything else in the world

2. She’s a crack police officer who loves her job. She’s developed her skills in surveillance and is in tune with the secret signs and signals in the criminal world.

3. Jan loves to cook. Her favourite dish is Jamie Oliver’s Empire chicken which she used to cook for Sal and Aiden. Now she cooks pasta for one, but always makes the effort

4. Jan has a capsule wardrobe – black jeans, black and white t-shirts and black hoodies. Two grey suits for meetings with two white shirts to go underneath. Two day dresses, two evening gowns. She’s practical and organised and ready to go.

5. She loves rock music. It;s a throwback from her younger days in London when she went to a lot of gigs.

You can buy a copy of Playlist For A Paper Angel here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

You can find out more about the first book in the series Random Acts Of Unkindness in this spotlight post here

Or check out the cover reveal for Playlist For A Paper Angel here

About Jacqueline Ward

Jacqueline Ward writes short stories, novels and screenplays. She has been writing seriously since 2007 and has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. Jacqueline won Kindle Scout in 2016 and her crime novel, Random Acts of Unkindness, will be published by Amazon Publishing imprint Kindle Press. Her novel SmartYellowTM was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and was nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2016. Jacqueline is a Chartered psychologist who specializes in narrative psychology, gaining a PhD in narrative and storytelling in 2007. She lives in Oldham, near Manchester, with her partner and their dog.

You can find out more about Jacqueline on her website –

Or why not follow her on twitter – @JacquiAnnC

Or Facebook here

You can also check out Jacqueline’s Goodreads page here

Blog Tour

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



Monday 23rd January

The Book Moo

Tuesday 24th January

Big Book Little Book

Wednesday 25th January

Tales of Yesterday

Thursday 26th January

The Luna May Blog

Friday 27th January

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Saturday 28th January

Portable Magic

Linda’s Book Bag

Sunday 29th January

Rachel Bustin

Published Moments




Another huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour and to Jacqueline for a fab guest post!

Have you read Playlist For A Paper Angel?  Are you intrigued? Have you read Random Acts Of UnKindness?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading

Tales Post – 15 Best Books Read In 2016

It’s time to share my 15 best books read in 2016!

I’ve not had the best reading year personally this year.  This was not because there were no brilliant books to read, it was all down to a huge horrible reading slump I hit around May time.  I had a lot going on personally at the start of the year and if I’m honest it all got quite on top of me and began starting to affect my mental health and thus my concentration levels were shot.  As the months passed it got a little better, but did not improve my reading levels.  One major problem I found was that I would start a book, really enjoy it, get halfway and then put it down unable to finish it through my own doing.  This happened often and was super annoying!

Whilst Goodreads states that I only read 37 books this year (and therefore failing my Goodreads challenge) I know I have possibly read more as I have not kept up to date with tracking my reading very well this year (one thing to make sure I do next year) and Goodreads does not include all those books I half read either.

Anyway, even out of the books I have read picking just 15 has been tough as I have read some AMAZING books this year (you can see what books I have read here )

Also check out my 2016 End Of Year Book Survey here

These will be listed in no particular order.

I still have so many amazing books from 2016 yet to read!

Before I start I would like to thank everyone for their support in 2016!  The brilliant book community, all the friends I have made, fab authors for writing fab books and being generally awesome, all the publisher who have sent me books and everyone who has supported me through my second full year of book blogging.

Thank You All x

Here we go…..

(remember these are in no particular order…. it was tough enough picking just 15!)







Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

This book had me turning page after page as quickly as I possibly could and I speed through it because I just HAD to know what was going to happen next.  In a world where justice and the fate of those accused of murder is decided by the public through a reality TV Show over 7 days Cell 7 gives us a scary dystopian view of the world without a justice system and possibly a world that is scarily not far from the future if you really think about it.  Told in a unique way of two different narrators and a reality TV show transcript Cell 7 was intense, gripping, addictive and I basically I can’t wait for the sequel!

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

I am way way late to the party on this one, but I listened to this on audiobook earlier on this year and thoroughly loved it.  An adult thriller with a gritty edge and very unreliable narrator The Girl On The Train tells the story of Rachel who whilst on her daily commute see’s something shocking.  I loved how this book told the story from three different points of view and three different women’s voices and although I did guess the reveal at the end it still shocked me to the core.  I found myself craving every next chapter as I was completely hooked.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

Orbiting Jupiter may be a short contemporary YA read, but it certainly hit me with all the feels all at once which have stayed with me for quite some time.  Orbiting Jupiter is a story about love, family and friendship and a message of never giving up on what you believe in no matter what.  I smiled, I shed tears and I felt so much love for these characters.  In fact thinking about it now is making me emotional all over again.  The ending in the book broke me completely.  Orbiting Jupiter is just as simplistic and beautiful as it is sad and heart-breaking.  Friendship, family, unconditional love and hope.  It will make you smile, it will make you angry, it will make you cry, but most of all it will leave you with the feeling that no matter what some things are worth fighting for.

You can find my full review here







Waiting For Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill

Waiting For Callback tells the story of Elektra who is discovered by an acting agency and right from the very first line I laughed and laughed and laughed.  I loved this contemporary YA read.  We follow Elektra as she auditions for roles and the ups and downs of her friendships and crushes and all of the embarrassing moments that fall upon her.  It made me smile so much my cheeks hurt long after the last page!  I cannot wait for the sequel!

The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

The Sleeping Prince was high up on my most anticipated list since I read the first novel in the trilogy The Sin Eaters Daughter last year.  I was blown away!  The Sleeping Prince starts where The Sin Eater’s Daughter left off thereabouts, but this time from the perspective of Errin who although we had not met prior to The Sleeping Prince we had heard of her through Leif’s stories in The Sin Eater’s Daughter as Errin is Liefs sister.  With the Kingdoms at war following The Sleeping Prince being awoken we are thrown straight into Kingdoms in turmoil.  With an unforgettable prologue that crushed my soul we are thrown straight into the action and the feeling of fear is instantly felt.  The pace of the book really made the story flow page after page.  It’s completely stunning and breath-taking.  The imagery that is created and the feelings Melinda makes you feel through her characters are truly amazing.  The last book in this series is out in 2017 and I can’t wait…..its going to destroy me…but in a good way!

You can find my full review here

The Next Together by Lauren James

Another book I was very late to the party on.  I absolutely adored this book about time travel and love over years and years of time.  Imagine always finding your true love over and over only to be separated each time as fate takes it’s course all with a mix of sic fi!  Yes you heard me right!  I fell in love with each version of the characters and raced through to the end.  I loved how cleverly Lauren James writes jumping from year to year, backwards and forwards without confusing the reader.  I also loved the mixture of story, emails, diary entries etc. which really cemented the story together.  I really wanted to read the sequel this year too but time was against me….but next year it is at the top of my list!







The Girl Of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This book is stunningly beautiful.  I think I could probably end my brief summary there, just with that one line as that is simply what this book is.  It’s like poetry in book form and every sentence that Kiran writes feels like its perfectly crafted and so meaningful.  The Girl Of Ink and Stars tells the story of Isabella the daughter of a cartographer who dreams of lands far away from where she is.  When Isabella’s friend goes missing she volunteers to join the search for her across the island and discovers the islands secrets, beauty and dangers.  This is a stunning book which I think will become an instant classic in the future if it isn’t already.

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Jennifer Niven’s and I was super excited to read her second book Holding Up The Universe this year.  The story is told from two points of view.  Libby who is trying to get her life back on track and Jack who has prosopagnosia (face blindness).  What pursues is a story of love and being wanted and loved.  Personally I related to Libby a lot and I really liked her as a character.  Jennifer Niven’s writing again is just beautiful and so heart felt that it oozes love and warmth off the page….just like one big hug.

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Oh my gosh!  Where to start with this book!  Sometimes a book comes along that makes a footprint on your memory and your heart for a long long time.  Sometimes forever.  Paper Butterflies is that book for me.  It tore my heart completely and left me crying, thinking about the book and its characters long after finishing.  An emotional tale of an abusive childhood, growing up, friendship, love, forgiveness and choosing left or right.  Paper Butterflies tells the heart-breaking story of June who following her Mother’s death years earlier and following her Father’s remarriage, is being physically and mentally abused by her step mother , Kathleen.   With a broken heart I was left with Paper Butterflies in my tummy!  This story will stay with me for a very long time to come and never fails to bring tears to my eyes just thinking about it.  I highly recommend this book with all of my heart.  Go and read it and fall in love, laugh, cry and go and grab all of the people that you love and hold them tightly.

You can find my full review here







Super Awkward by Beth Garrod

I’m smiling already before even typing this and that is because this book made me laugh on every single page.  Super Awkward tells the story of Bella Fisher who has some very super awkward and hilarious moments!  Under awkward and again funny circumstances she meets a super fit boy who Bella decides she needs to convince to come to prom!  This book is just hilarious and will give you smiles and laughs a plenty.  Loved it!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This year seems to be the year that I discover books that have been out for a while but I seem to have not read them.  A Monster Calls is exactly one of those books and oh my how emotional was this book.  I was in pieces by the end.  A Monster Calls tells the story of Connor who is struggling to fit in and who calls for a Monster and a monster in the form of a huge tree in his back garden appears.  This story is about grief and coping with grief and unconditional love and is just beautiful.  I’m welling up just thinking about it!

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

I LOVED this book!  A book about female friendships and the ups and downs that this group of friends goes through and significant life events.  Sara Barnard is seriously a writer to watch her writing is gorgeous and she takes you on a huge rollercoaster of emotions as you become swept away by this group of friends friendship.  I can’t wait to see what’s next from Sara as I’m sure it’s going to be brilliant!







Unboxed by Non Pratt

I love Non Pratt’s books….she has this way of making the characters so relatable and like you have know them for ages and ages.  With unboxed Non does exactly this again and its an emotional touching book about a group of friends who meet up to retrieve a time capsule following their friends death.  What follows is an emotional story full of fond memories, laughter and tears.  It’s just perfect.

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I loved this adult thriller set on a hen weekend, in the woods, in a creepy glass house.  Another books that I listened to in audio book form and the narrator of this book was just fantastic.  She really pulled the brilliant words and story by Ruth Ware out of the page and really took you on a journey.  I loved the twists and turns and mystery to this book which the writing and the story takes us on.  A brilliant thriller which I should have read sooner than I did.

The Deviants by C J Skuse

This book!  Just drop everything and go and grab a copy.  I will never ever forget this book in many years to come.  It was completely different to what I expected it to be, but what I read was completely absorbing, shocking, emotional and brilliant.  The Deviants tells the story of a group of friends who call themselves The Fearless Five.  Years have divided some of them and the story brings them back together like they are all bound to each other by a secret.  By the time I reached the end of this book I was an absolute emotional wreck!  C J is undoubtedly one of the best UKYA writers out there!  Breathtakingly brilliant!

So there you have it!  My 15 best books read in 2016!  I highly recommend all of these books!

2017 looks set to be a fab year and I simply can’t wait to get back on track and read all of the fab books!

I would love to hear what your favourite books read in 2016 were?  Are any of them the same as mine?  Why not leave a comment or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy

Spotlight – The Best Yuletide Audiobooks

Today is my stop on the brilliant #YaXmasTour organised by the lovely @ChouettBlog and I thought I would tie this in with brilliant post that the lovely people at Midas PR asked if I would host.

With Christmas getaways, shoppers and commuter traffic, the festive period is one busiest times of the year. Last year alone over 14 million drove home for Christmas and with journeys on some roads taking almost three times longer than normal, festive entertainment is a travel essential.

With this in mind, the editors at Audible have compiled a list of the ultimate Yuletide audiobooks to keep the festive spirit alive in a traffic jam, in flight, or after you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped.

I love a good audiobook!

Hear Hear For Some Christmas Cheer

A Christmas Carol: An Audible Original Drama

Author: Charles Dickens

 Narrated by: Various cast

You can buy this audio book here

This title will be free to download until January 2017

Jenna Coleman, Miriam Margolyes, Derek Jacobi, Brendan Coyle and Roger Allam are amongst the celebrity voices coming together this Christmas in a brand new multi-cast dramatization of Charles Dickens’ ghostly Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol.

The festive tale has been released as a free gift to members.

A Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig

 Narrated by: Stephen Fry

You can buy this audio book here

You are about to listen to the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this audiobook is full of impossible things. Are you still reading? Good. Then let us begin….

 The idea for the series came when Matt Haig’s son asked what Father Christmas was like as a boy. A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an 11-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

Author: Matt Haig

 Narrated by: Carey Mulligan

You can buy this audio book here

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end? When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas. But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeers dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.

Midnight Gang

Author: David Williams

 Narrated by: David Walliams, Peter Serafinowicz, Morwenna Banks, Nitin Ganatra, Ellen Thomas

You can buy this audio book here

Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for…the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning….

 The Midnight Gang tells an extraordinarily heart-warming and, of course, funny story of five children on a hospital ward and on a quest for adventure. It is a story of friendship and magic – and of making dreams come true.

 Listeners are set to be utterly spellbound by this heartfelt story that will bring magic to everyone’s Christmas.

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days

Author: Jeanette Winterson

 Narrated by: Jeanette Winterson, Imogen Church

You can buy this audio book here

New York Times best-selling author Jeanette Winterson brings together 12 brilliantly imaginative, funny and bold Christmas tales. For the 12 Days of Christmas – a time of celebration, sharing, and giving – she offers these 12 plus one: a personal story of her own Christmas memories.

 From trees with mysterious powers to a tinsel baby that talks, philosophical fairies to flying dogs, a haunted house and a disappearing train, Winterson’s innovative stories encompass the childlike and spooky wonder of Christmas. Perfect for listening to by the fire with loved ones or while traveling home for the holidays. Enjoy the season of peace and goodwill, mystery, and a little bit of magic courtesy of one of our most fearless and accomplished writers.

A Christmas Feast and other stories

Author: Katie Fforde

 Narrated by: Jilly Bond, Rita Sharma

You can buy this audio book here

A delicious Christmas feast of short stories from the Sunday Times number one best-selling author of A French Affair and The Perfect Match.

 Add some extra sparkle to your Christmas by joining Katie Fforde for a perfect romantic Christmas feast of short stories. Collected together for the first time and including one brand-new story. Make your Christmas wishes come true….

The Night Before Christmas

Author: Clement C. Moore

 Narrated by: Jeff Bridges

You can buy this audio book here

Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges’ iconic voice brings the beloved holiday classic story “The Night Before Christmas” to life.

 Celebrate the holiday season with the only audiobook of “The Night Before Christmas”, read by Jeff Bridges. No other narrator brings Santa and these merry scenes to life quite like Mr. Bridges – it’s an instant Christmas classic! Create a new family tradition as you add this audiobook to your holiday activities leading up to December 25th.

Letters from Father Christmas

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

 Narrated by: Derek Jacobi

You can buy this audio book here

Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply?

 Every year, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien would write to Father Christmas, and the letters they received told wonderful stories of his adventures at the North Pole.

 These humorous tales are brought to life by Derek Jacobi as Father Christmas, John Moffatt as Polar Bear, and Christian Rodska as Ilbereth the Elf, complete with specially composed music.

A huge thank you to Leanne at Midas PR for asking me to feature this post and again to @ChouettBlog for having me as part of #YaXmasTour.

**Please note that I was not sponsored by Audible to do this post – I was asked by Midas PR if I would like to feature to share some Christmas joy.  I was not provided with any audio books in exchange for this post**

What is your favourite Christmas read?  Have you listened to any of the above books on audio book?  Which one is your favourite?   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!


Guest Post – My Top Five Romantic Moments In Literature by Rachelle Paige


I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this fabulous new self published adult romance book Tidal Patterns (Golden Shores #1) by Rachelle Paige.

Tidal Patterns was released on the 12th April 2016 published in ebook and is set to be a romantic read.

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

For my stop on the blog tour I have a brilliant guest post from Rachelle about her Top Five Romantic Moments In Literature …..


Elizabeth Shaw is the preeminent, and only, wedding planner at the historic beach resort on Jekyll Island. She’s sure she’ll land the newly created role overseeing all major events. Then she’ll get a raise and won’t be forced to leave. 

Mark Edwards doesn’t need any more stress. He’s ready to slow down and enjoy the tiny seaside town he calls home. His boss pushes him to apply for the new management position and he agrees. After a decade in catering, he’s sure he can do the events job without any trouble.

Neither counted on the other getting in the way.

My Top Five Romantic Moments In Literature

My top five romantic moments in literature all happen in moments of high tension and stress in their respective novels. Without conflict, the romance can’t shine. In real-life, we don’t really want to contrast a moment of elation with despair. I love reading these scenes.



The moment Edward explains to Eleanor that his brother married Edward’s former fiancée in Sense and Sensibility



Mr. Darcy’s second proposal in Pride and Prejudice



When Mr. Rochester proposes to Jane in Jane Eyre



Father Ralph confronting Meghan after she rides off from Mary’s New Year’s celebration in The Thornbirds



The kiss in the rain in The Notebook


You can buy a copy of this book here

Or why not add the book to your Goodreads wish list here

Tidal Patterns (Golden Shores #1) and Coastal Erosion (Golden Shores #2) will be 99p for the duration of the tour.

Surface Currents (Golden Shores #3) is releasing on 6th December 2016.

About Rachelle Paige


Rachelle Paige lives in the Midwest, spending her days taking care of her family and her nights plotting her next story. Setting her books in some of her favorite locales provides the perfect excuse for plenty of research trips.

Catch up with her on twitter @rpaigebooks and her website for the latest news

Blog Tour

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




Monday 5th December

 Fiction Fascination

Tuesday 6th December

 Carry On Beautiful

Wednesday 7th December

 A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 8th December

 Whispering Stories

Friday 9th December

 Love in a Time of Feminism

Saturday 10th December

 Sparkly Word

Blooming Fiction

Sunday 11th December

 Big Book Little Book

Tales of Yesterday




A huge huge thank you to Rachelle and to Faye Rogers for organising and having me on this fab blog tour!

You can catch a previous guest post with Rachelle Paige about Anchored In The Bay here

Have you read Tidal Patterns?  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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