Category Archives: Blogger

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 – 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…..

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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*

 

 

 

Tales Q&A with Faye Rogers


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


Hi Faye

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made you take the step into Forever Living?

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

What kind of products do you sell?

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

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

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

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

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

What has been your highlight with Forever Living so far?

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

Which product would you recommend the most?

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

Tell us 5 random facts about Faye Rogers!

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

Thanks so much for answering all of my questions Faye!


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

You can follow Faye on twitter using @daydreamin_star


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

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Tales Post – UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016 – The Winners


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The lovely Luna ( @lunaslibrary ) over at lunaslittlelibrary.wordpress.com is hosting the fabulous UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016!

#awardukyabbloggers

I am honoured to be able to feature all of the details of the winners here on Tales Of Yesterday!

I also have news of a special celebration event so do check the bottom of the post!

Without further ado I will pass you onto the lovely Luna!


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The 2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards in numbers:

Something like 30hrs+ were spent backstage putting the awards together. More than 100 nominations were put forward… 28 UKYA Bloggers made the longlist, 33 UKYA Bloggers were on the shortlist.  Over 2600 votes were cast in 14 categories. There were 16 lovely helpers and 1 host.


Without further ado let us unveil the UKYA Book Blogger Awards winners:

Best Adult Blogger

Winner – Michelle – Tales Of Yesterday

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2nd Place – Jim – YAYeahYeah

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3rd Place – Sally – The Dark Dictator


Best Teen Blogger

Winner – Amber – The Mile Long Bookshelf

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2nd Place – Lucy – Queen of Contemporary

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3rd Place – Georgia Dalton – TeenBookHoots


Blogger Spirit Award

Winner – Michelle – Tales Of Yesterday

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2nd Place – Viv – Serendipity Reviews

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3rd Place – Lucy – Queen of Contemporary


Best Male Blogger

Winner – Jim – YAYeahYeah

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2nd Place – George Lester

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3rd Place – Andrew – The Pewter Wolf


Best Female Blogger

Winner – Grace – Almost Amazing Grace

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2nd Place – Michelle – Tales Of Yesterday

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3rd Place – Miriam – Hello I Am Miriam


Best Team / Co-op Blog

Winner – Serendipity Reviews

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2nd Place – Bookish Brits

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3rd Place – The Big Book Project


Marvellous Blogger Award

Winner – Grace – Almost Amazing Grace

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2nd Place – Michelle – Tales Of Yesterday

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3rd Place – Luna – Luna’s Little Library


Best Overseas Blogger 

Winner – Cait – Paper Fury

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2nd Place – Jamie – The Perpetual Page-Turner

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3rd Place – Lili – Lili’s Reflections


Best Booktuber

Winner – Lucy – Queen of Contemporary

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2nd Place – George Lester

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3rd Place – Stevie – SableCaught


Best on Social Media

Winner – Michelle – Tales Of Yesterday

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2nd Place – Mariam – Hello I Am Mariam

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3rd Place – Jim – YAYeahYeah


Best Oldtimer

Winner – Amber – The Mile Long Bookshelf

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2nd Place – Viv – Serendipity Reviews

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3rd Place – Lucy – Queen of Contemporary


Best Growing Blogger 

Winner – Michelle – Tales Of Yesterday

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2nd Place – Virginie – Chouett Blog

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3rd Place – Chloe – Writer-On-Wheels


Best Newcomer

Winner – Jo Clarke – Booklover Jo

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2nd Place – Hannah Ha – Ninjas Reads Too

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3rd Place – Cintia – Reflectionofthebooks


Best Blogger Feature

Winner – 6 Degrees – YAYeahYeah

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2nd Place – Secret Serendipity Seven & Blogger Island Books – Serendipity Reviews

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3rd Place – Looks on Books – Casey Ann / Dark Readers


On the 30th May at 6pm (that’s tonight) there is 1 epic Book Lover / Awards Twitter Party and you are all invited!

See you at the Twitter celebrations tonight! #bookloverparty #awardukyabbloggers

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A big thank you to all the helpers:

Aditi @ A Thousand Words A Million Books

Amy McCaw @ YA Under My Skin

Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf

Annalise @ AnnaliseBooks

Aurelija @ myblinddatewithbooks

Chelley Toy @ Tales Of Yesterday

Chloe @ Writer-On-Wheels

Cintia @ Reflection of the Books

Emma @ Howling Reviews

Georgia Stencel @ The Books Bandit

Jesse @ thatjessebloke

Kaavya @ outlookonabook

Kaisha @ thewritinggarnet

Rachel Kennedy @ Ya-bberingBooklover

Rebecca @ Rebecca McCormick’s Authorial Blog

Virginie @ Chouett

I hope you enjoyed the 2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards. 

Luna


Wow!  I am honestly so completely overwhelmed right now and kind of speechless!

To even be nominated in in six categories in the #awaredukyabbloggers was just unbelievably amazing and now to see that I have won four of them and runner up in the other two has really bought tears to my eyes!

Thank you to absolutely everyone who voted for me!

This is amazing!

Thank you all so so much for your support and love!  I feel very over whelmed and lucky ….and quite tearful at the thought but I am ever thankful!  This year had not been the best year for me so far personally and blogging, reading, the book blogging community as well as my family and friends really make it something special.

Thank you to Luna for hosting these awards!  I lovely person through and through who has worked so hard putting these together.

*claps hands repeatedly in admiration and support*

Congratulations to all the winners, runners up and those that were on the longlist.

And remember…..You are all amazing!  Longlist, shortlist or no list….you are all really very very awesome!

*group hug*

*chinks champagne glass in celebration*

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Tales Post – UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016 – #awardukyabbloggers Shortlist


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The lovely Luna ( @lunaslibrary ) over at lunaslittlelibrary.wordpress.com is hosting the fabulous UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016!

#awardukyabbloggers

I am honoured to be able to feature all of the details here on Tales Of Yesterday of how to vote in the shortlist!

Luna has kept the shortlist super secret so it’s a surprise for everyone!

This will then be followed up with a winners announcement post once the voting has closed!

I also have news of a special celebration event so do check the bottom of the post!

Without further ado I will pass you onto the lovely Luna!


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The UKYA Book Blogger Awards are OPEN!

#awardukyabbloggers

Give a big shout out to the wonderful helpers this year:

Aditi @ A Thousand Words A Million Books

Amy McCaw @ YA Under My Skin

Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf

Annalise @ AnnaliseBooks

Aurelija @ myblinddatewithbooks

Chelley Toy @ Tales Of Yesterday

Chloe @ Writer-On-Wheels

Cintia @ Reflection of the Books

Emma @ Howling Reviews

Georgia Stencel @ The Books Bandit

Jesse @ thatjessebloke

Kaavya @ outlookonabook

Kaisha @ thewritinggarnet

Rachel Kennedy @ Ya-bberingBooklover

Rebecca @ Rebecca McCormick’s Authorial Blog

Virginie @ Chouett

Big thanks to them and to Faye @ A Daydreamers’s Thoughts for letting Luna’s Little Library host this year.

So all the nominations were added up and compiled into a long list and then separated into a short list!

Voting for the SHORTLIST is via Luna’s Little Library who is hosting the UKYA Book Blogger Awards this year. Just follow this link here or click on the voting button below.

The voting closes on Friday 27th May 2016. 

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Don’t forget to share the love! #awardukyabbloggers

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Also there is some exciting news!

Join us for the #bookloverparty on the 30th May 2016!awardukyabbloggersPARTYEveryone can join in!

Come and share the bookish love on twitter!

#bookloverparty

Happy Voting

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Tales Post – UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016 – #awardukyabbloggers


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The lovely Luna ( @lunaslibrary ) over at lunaslittlelibrary.wordpress.com is hosting the fabulous UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016!

#awardukyabbloggers

I am honoured to be able to feature all of the details here on Tales Of Yesterday including how to nominate and how to vote and will be following this up by featuring the shortlist voting and the winners announcement.

Without further ado I will pass you onto the lovely Luna!


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The 2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards Nominations are now open!

Before we begin, please let me introduce you to the wonderful bloggers who’ll be helping spread the word:

NB. These bloggers are still eligible to be nominated

Aditi @ A Thousand Words A Million Books

Amy McCaw @ YA Under My Skin

Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf

Annalise @ AnnaliseBooks

Aurelija @ myblinddatewithbooks

Chelley Toy @ Tales Of Yesterday

Chloe @ Writer-On-Wheels

Cintia @ Reflection of the Books

Emma @ Howling Reviews

Georgia Stencel @ The Books Bandit

Jesse @ thatjessebloke

Kaavya @ outlookonabook

Kaisha @ thewritinggarnet

Rachel Kennedy @ Ya-bberingBooklover

Rebecca @ Rebecca McCormick’s Authorial Blog

Virginie @ Chouett

Big thanks to them and to Faye @ A Daydreamers’s Thoughts for letting Luna’s Little Library host this year.


Let us start!

In 2016 UKYA Book Blogger Awards there are 15 categories to vote in.

Please submit your nomination via the form below.

If the form is not working please fill in the form on this link here

or via this twitter link here

You can nominate up to 3 Bloggers per category. Make sure to include both the Blogger and Blog Name to make it a valid nomination.

Nominations close at midnight on the 15th May 2016.

Don’t forget to share the love! #awardukyabbloggers

CATEGORIES ARE AS FOLLOWS BUT DO USE THE FORM BELOW TO NOMINATE:

If the form is not working please fill in the form on this link here

or via this twitter link here

*Best Blog Design*

*Best Feature*

*Best Newcomer*
(under 1 year)

*Best Growing Blogger*
(1-3 years)

*Best Oldtimer*
(3years+)

*Best on Social Media*
Be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, etc… The Blogger in question doesn’t have to be on all types of social media, they can be you favourite on Twitter for example.

*Best Booktuber*

*Best Overseas Blogger*

*Marvellous Blogger Award*
(combining the Sweetest & Friendliest Blogger category)

*Best Team / Co-op Blog*

*Best Female Blogger*

*Best Male Blogger*

*Blogger Spirit Award*
(combining the Most Enthusiastic & Most Passionate category from 2015)

*Best Teen Blogger*

*Best Adult Blogger*

Good luck to all the lovely bloggers!

Luna


So there you have it!

Nominate your favourite UKYA Book Bloggers in the first stage of the #awardsukyabbloggers

Nominations will be open until the 15th May 2016

If the form is not working please fill in the form on this link here

or via this twitter link here

Look out for updates on the hashtag #awardukyabbloggers on twitter!

Happy Voting!

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Tales Post – UKMG Extravaganza Nottingham Blog Tour

 


UKMGX New Logo FINALTo celebrate the second UKMG EXTRAVAGANZA which is being held at Nottingham City Library on the 17th October 2015 there is a great big blog tour celebrating the 34 super-duper authors that are attending the event!

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The wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery have organised the first UKMG Extravaganza and I am so excited to be attending this fab event!  It is set to be such a fun day and with such a brilliant set of UKMG authors attending the event I’m sure it will be a huge success!

In the meantime I thought I would share a bit about each author with links to their twitter and websites and links to their UKMG EXTRAVAGANZA blog tour posts that are being hosted by 34 fab bloggers!

 What a huge blog tour!

 Follow the #UKYAextravaganza on twitter – @UKYAX or check out the website www.ukyax.com

The last UKYA Extravaganza was held in Birmingham and was so much fun!  You can find out what we got up to here!

There was also a previous blog tour to celebrate the Birmingham event also – here

So here goes…. *takes big breath*

Want to know more about the upcoming UKYA Extravaganza and it’s authors – click here


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Margi McAllister

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Margi comes from Northumberland, is married to a minister, and has three grown-up children. Margi has always loved storytelling and she is the author of the award-winning animal fantasy series, The Mistmantle Chronicles. She is also the author of the Hammy the Wonder Hamster books, which she wrote as Poppy Harris. Margi loves stories, theatre, gardens, wildlife, history, woodlands and warm fires on winter nights.

Her latest novels Fawn and A Home for Teasel are perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo and Lauren St John, heartfelt animal stories unlike any you’ve read before.

You can find out more about Margi on her website here

Check out a fab Q&A with Margi over on writingfromthetub.co.uk with the lovely Carly ( @carlybennett ) here


Teresa Flavin

imageTeresa Flavin is an illustrator and author of critically-acclaimed fantasy novels for children and young people. Her debut novel, The Blackhope Enigma (Templar Publishing UK), was short-listed for a number of UK book awards and was a Fall 2011 Junior Library Guild selection in the USA (Candlewick Press). The sequel, The Crimson Shard, is published in the UK by Templar and in the USA by Candlewick Press. It was a Fall 2012 Junior Library Guild Selection and was nominated for the 2013 Teen Choice Book of the Year. Templar published The Shadow Lantern, the final novel in the Blackhope Enigma trilogy, in the UK in 2013 and Candlewick published it in 2014.

In 2013 British publisher Barrington Stoke published Yellow Rabbit (Illustrated by Rich Watson) for a reading age of 6 and in 2014 it brought out Teresa’s latest novel, Jet Black Heart, a supernatural time travel mystery for teens.

American-born Teresa lives in West Yorkshire, England. She maintains a studio where she not only writes, but illustrates and makes paintings for gallery exhibitions. She also speaks widely in schools, libraries and at literary festivals.

Find out more about Teresa on here website here

Check out the lovely Christina Banach’s ( @ChristinaBanach ) brilliant Q&A with Teresa on christinabanach.com here


John Dougherty

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John Dougherty was born in Larne, Northern Ireland. He studied psychology at university and then tried his hand at a number of jobs including YMCA hostel worker, factory machine operator, and unsuccessful singer-songwriter, before becoming a primary school teacher (elementary school teacher if you’re in the United States, which he wasn’t).

Whilst John was teaching, his interest in children’s literature was reawakened and he soon began writing stories and pestering publishers with them. After the publication of Zeus on the Loose (2004) he left teaching and took up writing full-time, only with more tea breaks.

His books have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards – and one was chosen by The Times as one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year 2011 – but, more importantly, they make children giggle.

You can find more about John and his books on his website here

Check out my post here on Tales – Which Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face Character Are you? – here


Huw Powell

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HUW POWELL is a children’s author with an overactive and uncompromising imagination. He was born in Bristol in 1976 during the hottest summer on record and grew up in the village of Pill in North Somerset, where he wrote his first stories for friends and family.

At school, his best subjects were Literature and Art, which he went on to study at University.

Huw started writing while working in London, where he wrote on trains and in cafes using a pen and notepad.

He now lives in Portishead with his wife and two energetic sons. When he’s not writing, Huw enjoys watching films and spending time with his family and friends.

You can find out more about Hew on his website here

Check out Hew’s super guest post over on bookzone4boys.blogspot.co.uk run by the lovely Darren Hartwell ( @BookZone ) all about Hew’s Magnificient Seven Pirates Of Literature here


Matt Ralphs

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Fire Girl author Matt Ralphs has always been fascinated by witches, ghosts and anything that sent a shiver down his spine – and as a child was convinced that his Suffolk home was haunted. His favourite childhood book was Enid Blyton’s The Enchanted Wood, as it was magical, mysterious and a little bit weird – and his goal as an author is to create books that make children feel just as happy, scared and thrilled as he did when reading as a kid. If he had to choose between being a witch or being a demon he would plump for the latter, as he believes it might be fun to be evil for a while – but Shhh – don’t tell anyone!

You can find out more about Matt here

Check out Matt’s fab post about his debut novel Fire Girl and life as a writer here


Paula Harrison

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Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author. Her books include the Red Moon Rising series, The Storm Dragon and The Rescue Princesses. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.

I was born in Bletchley (home of the wartime code-breakers!) and I grew up in Bedfordshire. I always said I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t actually get round to it for quite a long time.

I trained to be a primary school teacher and spent many years teaching. Those years taught me what children like in stories and how they respond to humour and suspense. Reading to an audience of children is just amazing.

You can find out more about Paula on her website here

Check out Paula’s Top Ten Places to find inspiration over on the daydreamersthoughts.co.uk run by the lovey Faye ( @daydreamin_star ) here


Mo O’Hara

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Originally from America, I moved to London because I wanted to live abroad but spoke no foreign languages. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a serving wench at the Tower of London I found work as an actress and comedy performer. I’ve perfomed regularly at Edinburgh and London comedy festivals. A few years back I got a job touring around the UK as a storyteller and that’s when I discovered that kids liked, laughed at and didn’t fall asleep when I performed stuff that I wrote myself. I was hooked on writing and performing for kids. Some quotes from kids about my storytelling sessions are:

“I guess you were a bit better than the rabbits with big heads that were here last week.”
“Can I rewind you and watch you again after lunch?”
And “How did you know me to put me in your story?”

I still live in London, still speak no foreign languages (unless you count American) and I still have a sneaking suspicion that the rabbits with the big heads were really better than me but the kid was just being nice.

I wrote lots of stories for kids that nobody published but then I wrote “My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish” and Macmillan said that they were hooked. (couldn’t help the fish pun there, sorry).

Suggestions for fish pun titles are welcome…

You can find out more about Mo on her website here

Check out a fab Q&A with Mo over one sarahtoddtaylor.wordpress.comhere


Linda Chapman

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Linda Chapman was born in Liverpool in 1969. She had many different jobs before becoming a full-time writer in 1999. She worked as a theatre stage manager, a dog trainer, a bookseller, a nanny, a teacher and a research assistant. She has written over 170 books for children, some under her own name, others under different names including the Superpowers series under the name Alex Cliff. Her books have been published in over 20 languages. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her husband, three children, three dogs and three ponies. When she is not writing she likes riding, reading, walking her dogs and visiting schools and libraries. She has written many different series including: My Secret Unicorn, Unicorn School, Stardust, Sky Horses, Not Quite a Mermaid, Skating School and Loving Spirit. She also loves to collaborate with other writers. Her most recent series are Sophie and The Shadow Woods written with Lee Weatherly and the series Dinosaur Land, Wild Friends and Angel Wings written with Michelle Misra.

You can find out more about Linda on here website here

Check out this fab guest post about writing from Linda over on overflowinglibrary.com run by the lovely Kirsty ( @overflowingklc ) – here


Check back tomorrow for more updates….

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Tales Post – UKYA Extravaganza Nottingham Blog Tour


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To celebrate the second UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA which is being held at Waterstones Nottingham on the 10th October 2015 there is a great big blog tour celebrating the 30 super-duper authors that are attending the event!

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Again the wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery have organised the UKYA Extravaganza and I am so excited to be attending this fab event!  It is set to be such a fun day and with such a brilliant set of UKYA authors attending the event I’m sure it will be a huge success!

In the meantime I thought I would share a bit about each author with links to their twitter and websites and links to their UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA blog tour posts that are being hosted by 29 fab bloggers!

 What a huge blog tour!

 Follow the #UKYAextravaganza on twitter – @UKYAX or check out the website www.ukyax.com

The last UKYA Extravaganza was held in Birmingham and was so much fun!  You can find out what we got up to here!

There was also a previous blog tour to celebrate the Birmingham event also – here

So here goes…. *takes big breath*

Want to know more about the upcoming UKMG Extravaganza and it’s authors – click here


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Paula Rawsthorne

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Paula’s talent for writing was first noticed when she won the BBC Get Writing competition and her story was read by Bill Nighy on Radio 4.  The opening chapters of her teen thriller, The Truth About Celia Frost, led to her becoming a winner of Undiscovered Voices 2010.  She was subsequently signed up by Usborne who published The Truth About Celia Frost in 2011.  To date Celia Frost has been nominated for 11 literary awards.  It was selected as the winner of the Leeds Book Award (2012), Sefton Super Reads Award (2012), and the Nottingham Brilliant Book Award (2013).  Her second novel, Blood Tracks, was published on 1st June 2013. It has been shortlisted for several literary awards, winning ‘The Rib Valley Book Award 2014’.

Paula is proud to be a writer in residence for the national literacy charity ‘First Story’.  She is also regularly invited into secondary schools around the UK to do author talks and workshops.

Paula was born and brought up in Liverpool and now lives in Nottingham with her husband and three children.

You can find out more about Paula on her website here


Sue Ransom

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I was born in Kent and enjoyed writing stories at school. I was more interested in science though, and gave up studying English at sixteen. I ended up doing Chemistry at university, but my love of reading never went away. The next time I wrote any fiction was decades later, when I decided to write a book for my daughter’s twelfth birthday, and since then I’ve discovered a passion for storytelling.  Luckily, other people seem to like my stories too, so I’m getting to produce more of them.  I live in Surrey with my family and a very lovely chocolate Labrador.

The award winning and best-selling Small Blue Thing trilogy has been translated into German and Polish and is sold in many different countries all around the world.  I’m particularly proud that readers have also twice voted me onto the shortlist for the prestigious Queen of Teen award with some of my author heroes (John Green, anyone?). The parties are also legendary!  My new book, The Beneath, is due out in March 2015, and I’m currently busy with my next project.

I love visiting schools and libraries to talk to people about how you can find the time to write, and how I got published.

Visit Sue’s website – here

Check out Sue’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post where Sue talks about Regrets and Dreams over on  liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup run by Jax Blunt ( @liveotherwise ) – here


Lydia Syson

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Lydia Syson has worked with words and stories all her life, in her early career as a radio producer for the BBC World Service, and now as an author of critically acclaimed YA fiction which ‘brings history to life’. A World Between Us (Hot Key Books, 2012), a story of politics and passion set during the Spanish Civil War, was Highly Commended by the judges of the Branford Boase Award, and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the UKLA Book Award (2014).  Her second novel,That Burning Summer (Hot Key Books, 2013), chosen by The Independent as a Children’s Book of the Year, is set on Romney Marsh in Kent during the Battle of Britain.  If you want to know what happened in Paris after the events of Les Mis, look no further than Liberty’s Fire, a Telegraph ‘Best YA Novel of 2015’, which tells the unbelievable story of the 1871 Paris Commune. Lydia is also the author of a PhD (2003) about explorers, poets and Timbuktu and Doctor of Love (2008), the biography of James Graham, an 18th century medical entrepreneur who designed an electrical, magnetic Celestial Bed for conceiving perfect babies. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Visit Lydia’s website – here

Check out Lydia’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post which was featured here on Tales!

Which Lydia Syson Character Are You?

Lydia also wrote about the UKYA Extravaganza here


Zoe Marriott

4427675_origI was born and raised in Lincolnshire, where the wild North Sea meets the gentle green-gold curves of the Wold, and I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I finished reading my first book; ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. I think I was about eight, but I’ve never changed my mind in all the years since then.

I got my first publishing contract when I was twenty-two, but had to wait until I was twenty-four to see my debut novel – The Swan Kingdom – published. It went on to be shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and the Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award, and become a USBBY Outstanding International Book, among other honours.

Since then I’ve written many other books and have been lucky enough to win or be nominated for many other awards, including the Great Britain Sasakawa Prize and a second place in the Lancashire Book of the Year Awards. I have also recieved grants from the Royal Literary Fund and the Arts Council England.

I currently live in a little house in a town by the sea, with my two rescued cats, one called Hero after a Shakespearian character and one Echo after a nymph from a Greek myth. I also have a springer/cocker spaniel called Finbar (otherwise known as The Devil Hound). 

My favourite colour is green. My favourite food is Chinese dim sum. My favourite songs are ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ by Death Cab for Cutie and ‘Spem in Alium’ by Thomas Tallis.

Visit Zoe’s website here

Check out Zoe’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post where lovely Carly ( @carlybennett ) from writingfromthetub.co.uk chats to Zoe – here


R J Morgan

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R. J. Morgan was born in sunny Cardiff and has wanted to be a writer since she found out Roald Dahl grew up in Llandaff and ate a Mars Bar every day. Knowing they had so much in common, off she skipped to London with her manuscript and eleven short years later she made it to the dizzy heights of having a nervous breakdown in Euston station.

After gaining an ill-advised degree, Morgan gained a highly coveted job in advertising. Just like Don Draper, she moved into a garage in Wimbledon with slugs, rising damp, and a band of foxes that belted across the roof in the dead of night. Morgan didn’t really understand what was going on in work and left it a bit late to ask, so she started spending quality time with friends (especially season 4), travelling to exotic cake shops, and taking long walks on the internet.

Morgan decided it would be fun to be hated by one’s own government, so she became a teacher. Morgan used writing to cope with training in a school affectionately known as ‘hell’s toilet.’ She now works in a fantastic school and lives in the wonderfully triangular Crystal Palace with more foxes and fewer slugs.

Check out R J Morgan’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post where the wonderful Christina Banach ( @ChristinaBanach ) from christinabanach.com chats to R J Morgan – here


Alex Campbell

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Alex Campbell announced she was going to be a writer at eight years old. But no one took much notice. After a nomadic education daydreaming in back rows across Luton, Chester, London, Sheffield and Middlesbrough – and one English degree later – Alex moved into the world of PR and copywriting. Here she worked on getting other people noticed instead.

Now, living near Bath with one husband, two children and an armful of untold stories, Alex’s eight-year-old self’s ambition has finally been realised with the publication of her debut novel, LAND. When she’s not gazing dreamily out of windows, Alex can usually be found, notebook at the ready, in dark art-house cinemas, propping up coffee bars, or worse.

Check out Alex’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post where Alex talks about why she likes to write about big issues in her novels over on  pewterwolf.blogspot.co.uk run by bloggers blogger Andrew ( @PewterWolf13 ) – here


Liz De Jager

51kxz9bh_400x400I have probably been a writer for as long as I can remember.  I think I may have killed a forest using up all the notebooks I could get my grubby little paws on, including my sister’s workbooks for school.  I wrote in everything.  And on everything, including our walls in our house in South Africa. Even if it just was my name.  Yes, I was obsessed even back then, aged five.

I finished my first ever novel for ages 9+ and had a great time writing it.  But in retrospect I realise I was so in love with it, I put too much stuff in it, and it needs stripping down and rebuilding.  That will be for another day, I think.

I’m repped by Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group.   I’m the author of The Blackhart Legacy trilogy.  The first two books in the series – Banished / Vowed – is out now in both ebook format and paperback and can be bought from all good bookshops on the high street and online.

Check out Liz’s website here

Check out Liz’s fab Q&A over on serendipityreviews.co.uk run by the lovely Viv ( @Serendipity_Viv ) – here


David Owen

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David Owen achieved a first class honours in BA Creative Writing and an MA Writing for Children at the University of Winchester, where he went on to teach on the BA Creative Writing course for three years. He is also an awards-shortlisted games journalist, with a particular interest in the applications for video games outside of entertainment, and he has written about games being used to treat depression, dyslexia and autism. David has been published as a poet in journals including Agenda and Seam. Panther is his first novel.

Check out David’s website here

Find out all about how David felt being published for the first time over on Sofia’s ( @SofiaSTRF ) blog thereadingfangirl.wordpress.comhere

You can check out my review of Panther here

or

A Q&A with David Owen here


Lauren James

g9xo81MmHello! I’m Lauren. I’m 23, and I recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with a masters in Chemistry and Physics.

I’m a YA author, and my first novel The Next Together is published by Walker Books in the UK and Australia (and soon in the USA, Turkey, Germany and Brazil!).

I have too many feelings about fictional characters, science and dogs. Things I like: intelligent women, Dylan O’Brien, and things with plants on them. My favourite chemical is acetone, my favourite monarch is Queen Elizabeth I, and my favourite drinking game is a Jane Austen one. I’m a ravenclaw.

You can find out more about Lauren on her website here

Check out Lauren’s video interview over on the lovely Lisa over at @City_Of_Ya channel below!


Sheena Wilkinson

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Sheena Wilkinson has been described as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’ (The Irish Times). Since the publication of the multi-award-winning Taking Flight in 2010, she has published several novels for young adults, as well as one middle grade novel. Grounded, her second YA, won the CBI Book of the Year in 2013. Until now, her novels have all been contemporary, but she has had many short stories published set in the early twentieth century, the most recent being ‘Each Slow Dusk’ in Walker’s The Great War anthology (2014). Name Upon Name (Little Island) is her first historical novel, set in Belfast 1916. It follows this spring’s YA novel, Still Falling. Sheena is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and lives in County Down.

Check out Sheena’s UKYA EXTRAVAGANZA post where she chats to blogger Naomi ( @Frizbot ) over on TheWritesOfWoman.wordpress.com in a fab Q&A here


Lucy Coats

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Lucy Coats writes for children of all ages. Her first picture book was published in 1991, and in 2004 she was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Prize for ‘Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths’. Lucy read her first book of Greek myths at the age of seven, and has been hooked on stories of all kinds ever since.

Lucy’s latest picture book, ‘Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party’, has just been published by Nosy Crow. Coming for 2015 are: ‘Beasts of Olympus’ an exciting myth-based series for 7-9’s from Piccadilly Press (UK) and Grosset and Dunlap (Penguin) USA; ‘Cleo’ a gripping YA novel about the young Cleopatra from Orchard Books; and ‘The Little Green Drum’, an Early Reader from Orion.

Lucy lives in rural Northamptonshire and writes looking out over green fields full of sheep. She has a deskdog called Hero who generally lies between her screen and keyboard and is very good at encouraging Lucy when the writing is going slowly.

Lucy also teaches regular Masterclasses on How to Write for Children at The Guardian (see events) and writes for Publishing Talk and Mslexia magazine.

Find out more about Lucy on her website here

Check out a fab Q&A with Lucy by the awesome Darran ( @ShinraAlpha ) over on shinraalpha.com here


Lee Weatherly

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L. A. Weatherly is the author of the bestselling Angel series, as well as almost 50 other books for children and teenagers. She’s originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and lives in Hampshire, England with her husband. Her books have been translated into over 10 different languages.

You can find out more about Lee Weatherly on her website here

Check out a fab Q&A about writing with Lee Weatherly over on pentopaperblog.com run by the lovely Dani ( @Pentopaperblog ) here


Sangu Mandanna

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Sangu Mandanna was four years old when she was chased by an elephant and wrote her first story about it and decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Seventeen years later, she read Frankenstein. It sent her into a writing frenzy that became THE LOST GIRL, a novel about death and love and the tie that binds the two together. Sangu now lives in Norwich, England with her husband and two young sons.

You can find out more about Sangu on her website here

Check out chouett.com run by the lovely Virginie ( @ChouettBlog ) with a fab Q&A with Sangu here


Lisa Williamson

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Lisa Williamson was born in Nottingham in 1980. She spent most of her childhood drawing, daydreaming and making up stories in my head (but never getting round to writing them down). At 19 she moved to London to study drama at university. Following graduation, she adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy and spent several happy and chaotic years occasionally getting paid to pretend to be other people. Between acting roles she worked as an office temp and started making up stories all over again, only this time she had a go at writing them down. One of these jobs was at The Gender Identity Development Service – a specialist NHS service for young people struggling with their gender identity. The patient stories she heard inspired her to write The Art of Being Normal.

You can find out more about Lisa on here website here

Check out Lisa’s fab guest post over on the nottinghamwritersstudio.co.uk  ( @NWStudio ) here

Check out my review of The Art Of Being Normal here

or

A Q&A with Lisa Williamson here


Sophia Bennett

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Sophia Bennett won the Times/Chicken House Fiction competition in 2009 with her first novel, Threads, set in London’s fashion world. The two sequels in the series were published in 2010 and 2011 and Threads has since been published in over a dozen languages. Sophia has also written two contemporary YA titles, The Look and You Don’t Know Me, and an adventure story for girls, called The Castle. She lives and writes in London, and you can find her on Facebook, and at sophiabennett.com and threadsthebook.com.

Check out Sophia’s fab Q&A with the lovely Faye ( @daydreamin_star ) over on daydreamersthoughts.co.uk here


Rachel McIntyre

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Rachel is from West Yorkshire and now lives in Cheshire. She has worked in the USA as well as Spain, where she taught English and wrote travel guides and features. Rachel’s passions are modern literary fiction and live music – she’s a fanatical gig and festival goer. She writes contemporary YA fiction with a highly original voice.

 Rachel’s debut, Me and Mr J, about a girl who falls in love with her teacher, is published by Egmont.

Check out this Q&A with Rachel over on snugglingonthesofa.com run by the lovely Debbie ( @Snugglingonsofa ) – here

Find out what happened at the Electric Monkey blogger day where I met Rachel here


Ben Davis

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I was born twenty-eight years ago.  I was a baby at the time.

Between then and now, I’ve done loads of stuff – learned to use the big boy toilet by myself, got married and wrote a book.

Incidentally, all of those things happened in the last three years.

Before The Private Blog of Joe Cowley, I wrote jokes and sketches for radio.  Remember that Numberwang one?  Really funny wasn’t it?  Yeah, I had nothing to do with that.

These dats I live in Tamworth with my wife and my dog.  Sometime I put him in funny costumes.  I am an awful human being.

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You can find out more about Ben Davis on his website here

Check out an hilarious Q&A with Ben by Sophie ( @SophieRTB ) over on reviewedthebook.co.ukhere


Helen Grant

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Helen was born in London in 1964. She showed an early leaning towards the arts, having been told off for writing stories under the desk in maths lessons at school.

Helen went on to read Classics at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and then worked in marketing for ten years to fund her love of travelling. Her two most memorable travelling days were the one spent exploring Damascus in Syria and the day she went to the Raj Mandir cinema in Jaipur to see the romantic blockbuster Beta.

In 2001, she and her family moved to Bad Münstereifel in Germany. It was exploring the legends of this beautiful old town that inspired her to write her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, which is set there.

Helen now lives in Scotland with her husband, her two children and her two cats.

You can find out more about Helen on her website here

Check out Helen’s fab Q&A over on dark-readers.com ( @DarkReaders )run by the lovely Casey ( @CaseyAnnBooks ) and Stephen ( @MyBookishLife ) –here


Mike Revell

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Mike Revell used to be one of those kids who didn’t like reading. He was more inclined to run home and play video games than dive into a book.

Then Harry Potter came along. The series didn’t just make him a reader, it made him want to be an author too; he wanted to give to people the same feelings of wonder and enjoyment that J.K. Rowling gave to him as a young boy.

Stonebird is Mike’s first novel and is influenced by the real experiences of seeing his grandmother suffer from dementia, as well as his love of myths.

To find out more about Mike visit is website here

Check out the Q&A I carried out with Mike on Tales here


Emma Pass

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Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember; she reckons it’s the most fun you can have without attracting attention from the authorities. She wrote her first novel, aged 13, in maths lessons with her notebook hidden under her work. After school, she went to art college, but soon realized she wasn’t cut out to be a painter and decided to stick with writing.

By day, Emma works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and crazy greyhound G-Dog in the North East Midlands.

Emma is also one of the organisers for UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza!

You can find out more about Emma on her website here

Read a letter to Emma’s past self over on Teresa-stenson.BlogSpot.com run by @TeresaStensonhere


Martyn Bedford

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I grew up in Croydon and worked in a bank for a year. But this is true of so many writers it has become a cliché. So let me tell you about some of the other stuff.

My dad, Peter, was a sheet-metal worker; my mum, Marjorie, a wages clerk. I have no brothers or sisters. We never had a foreign holiday till I was 17. They took me to Belgium for a week, to prove I hadn’t been missing anything. I loved them both. They’re dead, now, but I still love them.

I went to a big comprehensive school and enjoyed my time there so much I wrote my first adult novel about a disturbed man who takes revenge on his former teachers. Made a mess of my A-levels (too much snooker, too little effort) and had to do a re-sit to get into journalism college.

Learned my lesson, though – I spent much of the journalism course drinking, playing pool or going on protest marches. “Home” was a caravan in a field with two mates from the course. Take my advice, don’t live in a caravan. Even so, it still rates as just about the best year of my life.

For the next 15 years I worked as a news reporter, football correspondent, features writer and sub-editor on newspapers all over England (and one in Wales).

Between jobs I went backpacking in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. I taught English in Hong Kong, despite speaking no Cantonese and being unqualified to teach English (or anything else), and returned from India with dysentery, hepatitis and pneumonia, having lost a quarter of my body weight. Happy days.

All this time, through my 20s and early 30s, I wrote fiction – short stories, a couple of abandoned novels – did creative writing classes, joined a writers’ group … until it dawned on me that I wanted to be a writer more than anything. So, I quit my job and enrolled on the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. That was where I began Acts of Revision.

I’ve been writing novels ever since – first for adults, now for teenagers – and when I’m not doing that, I teach creative writing (even though I still have no teaching qualifications.) Best of all, though, I have a wife, Damaris, and two daughters, Josie and Polly. And I don’t live in Croydon anymore.

Find out more about Martyn on his website here

Check out a fab Q&A post with Martyn over on mikaylasbookshelf.BlogSpot.co.uk run by the lovely Mikayla ( @mkaylagray ) – here


Kerry Drewery

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YA Author of A Brighter Fear (shorlisted for the Leeds Book Award) and A Dream of Lights (nominated for the Carnegie Medal, awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at North East Teen Book Awards, and shortlisted for the Hampshire Independent Book Awards).

Kerry Drewery has always had a passion for writing. She was a finalist in a BBC script-writing competition in 2009 and is currently hugely involved with Bookstart. Kerry lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and children.

The story of A Brighter Fear was created through Kerry’s own fascination with the Iraq war. Kerry’s sensitive approach creates a beautiful, contemporary fairytale that will stay with teen readers for a lifetime.

Emma is also one of the organisers for UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza!

Check out Kerry’s favourite UKYA books over on writer-on-wheels.blogspot.co.uk run by the lovely Chloe ( @writeronwheels_ ) – here


David Massey

61v5N-guwxL__UX250_David Massey’s varied career has taken him from teaching and music journalism to presenting, producing and writing for radio.

As the Romanian revolution was ending, David led a team taking supplies to Bucharest and Timisoara. On the way home he stopped near Checkpoint Charlie to help chip holes in the Berlin Wall. Rather fittingly, David and his wife Debi now run Globehuggers Emergency Supplies – a business specializing in bespoke grab bags and emergency equipment.

In his spare time, David is an accomplished classical guitarist and has spent the last few years tapping away on his keyboard writing books for Young Adults. His debut young adult novel TORN was published on August 2012 in the UK on the Chicken House label. TORN has already been shortlisted for lots of awards and won the Lancs Book of the Year 2013. On July 30th 2013 the amazing hardcover edition was released in the USA.

David’s second book – TAKEN was released on World Book Day – 6th March 2014. He is now busy planning book three…

Check out a profile post about David over on ourbookreviewsonline.BlogSpot.co.uk run by Mary ( @marymayf ) – here


Teri Terry

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Teri Terry has lived in France, Canada, Australia and England at more addresses than she can count, acquiring four degrees, a selection of passports and a silly name along the way.

Moving constantly as a child, teenager and also as an adult has kept Teri on the outside looking in much of her life. It has given her an obsession with characters like Kyla in Slated and Luna in Mind Games, who don’t belong or find themselves in unfamiliar places.

Teri left her job with Buck’s libraries to write full-time and complete her research MA on the depiction of terrorism in recent young adult dystopian literature. She has also at various times and in various countries been a lawyer, an optometrist, a teaching assistant, and a science technician.

Slated has won twelve awards, including the North East Teenage Book Award, the Leeds Book Award, the Angus book award, the Portsmouth Book Award, the Rotherham book award and the Rib Valley Book Award. It was the most voted for YA title in the 2012 international Edinburgh Book Festival Anobii First Book Award.

You can find out more about Teri on her website here

Check out the fab Q&A with Teri over on independentbookreviews.co.ukhere


Nick Cook

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Having completed his degree in sculpture back in 1985, rather than face the artist’s traditional garret Nick took the plunge into, what was then, the emerging computer games industry. For more than 21 years Nick worked as a graphic artist and creative director, helping to create over forty published titles, including many chart-topping hits.


Nick has a passion for science and astronomy, often blogging about the latest mind-blowing discoveries made in quantum physics. He once even soloed a light aircraft, an experience he’s tapping into now for Cloud Riders. Not needing any excuse to travel, he recently completed a writing research trip to the volcanic landscape of Iceland for the second book in the Cloud Riders’ trilogy, Breaking Storm.

You can find out more about Nick on his website here

Check out this fab guest post by Nick over on mybookcorner.com.au run by the lovely Emma ( @mybookcorner ) – here


Sarah Benwell

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Sarah Benwell lives in the picturesque city of Bath. Which is nice, but she’d much rather be off exploring deserts and jungles elsewhere. Having seen a good chunk of the world, Sarah is a keen advocate for diversity in life and on bookshelves, and she loves nothing more than acquainting herself with both.


Bali Rai

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I was born in Leicester in 1971 and grew up in a multicultural, multi-racial community close to the city centre. As a child I dreamt about three things – playing football for Liverpool FC, being Bob Marley and becoming a writer. At the age of eleven I read the book that would inspire me to write. It was The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. Other authors had inspired me to write for fun (Roald Dahl in particular) but it was Sue Townsend who became a true role model. From that point writing became an important hobby and I practiced almost every day. I read countless books, often copying an author’s style in order to find my own.

 Since those early days I have continued to write stories about teenagers and also branched into the younger market with my Soccer Squad series. I am often asked to go abroad to talk about my work and have also appeared on television and radio. In 2010 Rani & Sukh became a set-text for GCSE, something that I never thought would happen. My aim has always been to write the sort of books me and my mates (many of whom didn’t read) would have loved at school. Reading for pleasure is a passion for me and I try to instill that in everyone I talk to. I hope to continue writing for a long as I can.

I am a massive fan of reggae music and Liverpool FC. I also read every day (my favourite genre is crime fiction) although not always fiction. I believe that non-fiction, graphic novels, comics and newspapers etc…are just as valid as forms of reading. I also love to cook, to travel and to watch film.

Check out Bali’s website for more here

Check out this fab conversation with Bali over on misschapterreviews.BlogSpot.co.uk run by Ginny T ( @thecraftyreader ) – here


C J Skuse

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C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House) and MONSTER (Mira Ink). She 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. C.J. is currently working on her second novel for Mira Ink.

C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.


Helen Maslin

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Helen Maslin lives in Cheltenham with her husband and two young sons. She has studied English, history and art history, which remain her chief interests. She also runs an art club at her children’s primary school.

Helen’s art club is fun but always very messy. Her favourite things are brightly-coloured hair, Peter Lorre’s voice, the smell of new books, Roy Lichtenstein’s art, niceness and cake.  Darkmere is her debut novel.

Also check out Helen’s fab blog here!

Check out a super fun Q&A between Helen and awesome blogger Sally ( @TheDarkDictator ) over on thedarkdictator.blogspot.co.uk – here

PS – I get a mention #TEAMMASLIN!

Check out my review of Darkmere here

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A deleted scene and Darkmere Inspiration here

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An extract from Darkmere here


Rhian Ivory

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Rhian was born in Swansea but moved to the Brecon Beacons where she went to school until 11. She then moved all the way across the border to Hereford. She returned to Wales to study English Literature at Aberystwyth. She trained as a Drama and English teacher and wrote her first novel during her first few years in teaching.

She got her first publishing deal at 26 and went on to write three more novels for Bloomsbury. She took a break to have three children and during this time taught Creative Writing and also a Children’s Literature course for the Open University. 

The Boy who drew the Future is her fifth novel and she’s recently finished writing her sixth.  

She is a National Trust writer in residence at Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood.  She currently lives in Rutland, the smallest county in the country, with her family and their two very lively spaniels. 

Check out a fab Q&A with Rhian over on teensonmoonlane.co.uk run by the lovely Jim ( @yayeahyeah ) – here


So that’s it!  All 30 wonderful authors that are appearing at #ukyaextravaganza on Saturday 10/10/2015 in Nottingham and all 30 super awesome bloggers who have been part of the tour.  What a fab blog tour and I cannot wait for the event!

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Tales Post – How I Construct A Review


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As mentioned in my UKYABA Blogging Workshop write up here I gave out goodie bags to those that attended the blogging for beginners workshop.

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In these bags I included a How I Construct A Review guide and the feedback has been really nice as people found it quite useful.  Therefore I thought I would share it on my blog.

These are just some ideas I wrote down when I started blogging which I refer to and look at when I am constructing a review which give me things to think about and include in my reviews.  It is important to bear in mind that everyone is different and has their own ways of constructing a review so this is by no means a how to more of a this is what I refer to when I construct my reviews in the hope is may help others.


There are many different ways to write a review of a book.

It normally takes a few attempts to find your voice and natural flow when it comes to a review. I feel it is important to be yourself and that voice will come naturally.

It sometimes takes me a while to write a review of a book. Normally 2 – 3 hours per review dependant upon how much I have to say about the book. But sometimes it’s thinking that takes the time. I sometimes ponder how best to word something or express a feeling or emotion and many a time I think my review sounds terrible. Sometimes I even type it walk away and when I go back to it it actually sounds and reads better than I originally thought!

Whilst writing a review I try and consider the following points to help be construct the review which I thought I would share with you.

I always consider these points even when I may not have enjoyed a book so much as I believe being constructive about a book that wasn’t for me is essential rather than being completely negative.

This is not saying that this is the definitive way of writing a review. You should write a review how it best suits yourself, your blog and your writing style and voice. These are just some things I myself consider along the review writing way that may be useful


  • What was the story about?
  • Who were the main characters?
  • Written from who’s perspective / point of view?
  • Were the characters credible?
  • What did the main character do in the story?
  • Did the main character run into any problems?
  • Who was your favourite character and why?
  • Could you relate to any of the characters in the book?
  • Have you ever done of felt some of the things the characters did?
  • Did you like the book?
  • What impression did it leave on you?
  • What was your favourite part of the book?
  • Do you have a least favourite part of the book?
  • If you could change something what would it be?
  • Would you recommend this book to another person?
  • What type of person would like the book?
  • Rating (if you use a rating system on your blog)

Whilst reading a book for review or that I know I am going to review on my blog I write notes in a notebook or sometimes in the notes section on my phone about thoughts, feelings, favourite parts and quotes etc just so that when I begin to write my review I have some prompts to remind me of how I felt and what I liked. These can then be expanded on. Some bloggers use sticky book markers too to mark key pages to go back to.

So this is how I try and structure my reviews on my blog. I don’t always follow it to the letter, but I use it to get my brain in gear and get the thoughts flowing.

Check out my reviews page to see how I use these ideas in actual reviews – here

How do you construct your reviews? I would love to hear from you!

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Tales Events – UKYABA Blogging Workshops at YALC!

 


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*Blows off cobwebs and curses my was broken now fixed laptop*

Back in July 2015 I was lucky enough to have taken part in a blogging workshop at YALC!

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This was thanks to the UKYABA where I won an award for Champion Newcomer back in March 2015!  It was an unexpected, nerve wracking, lovely added bonus to winning the award and an opportunity and experience that I feel so honoured and thankful to the UKYABA and YALC for.

You can find out more about when I found out about the Blogging Panels at YALC here

You can also find out about the UKYABA awards and why I love UKYA here and also find out what we got up to at the UKYABA awards night here


Blogging 101 (Blogging for Beginners) Workshop

So the panel I was on was called Blogging 101 (Blogging for Beginners) Workshop and I was with the fabulous Andrew ( @PewterWolf13 ) and lovely Laura ( @SisterSpooky ) and chaired by the brilliant Andy Robb !

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The scene was set and we all wondered how one earth all these seats would be filled!  I mean who would want to come and see us yapping on about blogging?!

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I mean look how terrified we were!

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But people did come!  I know!  How did that happen?!  It was so wonderful to see all these people enthusiastic about blogging and books if I wasn’t so nervous I think I would have shed tears of happiness (okay so this may have happened afterwards)!

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My lovely husband filmed the workshop!  There was quite a bit of back ground noise so the quality of the video is not the best, but it gives any one who could not attend a chance to see what was discussed.  I have not edited the video so it is the full 45 minutes long.

I present to you the Blogging 101 (Blogging for Beginners) Workshop!

At the end of the workshop I gave out some goodie bags which I put together specifically for the workshop.  I popped books, bookish swag, copies of reviews and a mini review guide (which I will pop up on my blog soon) into the bags.

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A huge thank you to Jessie at Stripes Publishing and Jazz at Chicken House for providing me with some swag to pop in the bags and an even bigger huge thank you to the lovely Maggie at Egmont for offering and providing me with two of my favourite books of 2015, Seed and The It Girl to pop into the bags also.  I am so so thankful for all of your kindness and generosity xx

Also huge thank you to my husband and son, Corey who helped carry 80 books and swag across London and helped me pop the bags together in the Green Room at YALC as well as lovely Lucy Saxons lovely Mom who helped us pop the items in the bags!

So there you have it!  It was so much fun!


Taking your Blog to the Next Level Workshop

So next up after our workshop was the Taking your Blog to the Next Level Workshop with the brilliant Vivienne ( @Serendipity_Viv ) , the awesome Jim ( @YAYeahYeah ) and the super Lucy ( @LucyTheReader ) again chaired by the brilliant Andy Robb !

I stayed to watch this panel and take some pictures!  It was a brilliant workshop full of advise and again it was wonderful to see so many people come to the workshop all interested in blogging and books!

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Again my lovely husband filmed the workshop (I took over for a bit at the start)!  There was quite a bit of back ground noise so the quality of the video is not the best, but it gives any one who could not attend a chance to see what was discussed.  I have not edited the video so it is the full 45 minutes long.

I present to you the Taking your Blog to the Next Level Workshop

At the end of this workshop I had arranged with the other blogging workshop panellists to put together a little thank you to Andy Robb for all his hard work for the UKYABA and for providing us with support during the lead up to the workshops and always!  He is a top man and one that I am very proud to have got know through my time blogging.

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Love for the Blogging Workshops

It’s also been AMAZING to see the people who attended the workshops reaction and response on twitter!  I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that this has been truly amazing and we are so so thankful to everyone for their support and kind words.

The UKYABA Blogging For Beginners Workshop was also featured on the Booktrust Website – check us out here !

I wrote about the Blogging Workshops and UKYABA prior to YALC here

Check out this fab article in the Guardian about taking your blog to the next level by @lucythereader – here

I also loved this blog post by panelist Viv about taking your blog to the next level that she wrote prior to the workshops here

Fab blogging workshop panelist @sisterspooky wrote a lovely post about her workshop experience here

The awesome @pewterwolf13 wrote about his YALC and blogging workshop experience here

Theres a fab write up here from the lovely @livilev all about the workshops – here

Also another fab write up about Yalc and the blogging workshops by @unbeatablebooks –  here

and @howtoreadbookshere

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CaptureCaptureCaptureCaptureCaptureCaptureCaptureCaptureWe are here to help in anyway that we can so please do feel free to contact us at anytime 🙂


Before I go….

Before I go I just wanted to thank every one who came to either of the blogging workshops!  It was amazing to see everyone there!

A huge thank you to Andy Robb, UKYABA and YALC for making this happen, supporting bloggers everywhere and giving me the some confidence in public speaking back!

Thank you to the publishers who helped me put together the goodie bags in a short amount of time and to Maggie at Egmont who attend the blogging for begginers workshop and live tweeted!

Thank you to my lovely husband for filming the workshops, Lisa over at @City_Of_Ya for taking lots of photos on my phone and also providing me with photos she had taken too.

Thanks to my workshop buddies Andrew and Laura who made the workshop so much fun and made me laugh so much and to Jim, Lucy and Viv for an inspiring, fun second panel.

Most of all thank you to the UKYA blogging community!  I feel honoured everyday to have met and know such wonderful people.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself!  The bloggers, publicists, authors and friends I have made!  You are all wonderful and I am so so proud and thankful to be a part of it!

Thank you!

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