Category Archives: Humour

Guest Post – The Worst of Germs by Gwen Lowe


Today I am over the moon to have a fab post from Gwen Lowe author of Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs!

Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs was released on the 1st March 2018 published by the lovelies at Chicken House and is set to be a fab laugh out loud middle grade!

Today Gwen chats to us about the worst germs…..


When Alice Dent gets a cold, she has no idea how much trouble it’s about to cause. Because this is no ordinary cold: it comes with some seriously weird side effects. For a start, Alice can’t stop giggling and every animal she meets sticks to her like glue! But when the mysterious Best Minister for Everything Nicely Perfect and his scary masked henchmen come to take her away, Alice realizes her troubles are only just beginning …


The Worst of Germs

In my other job, (the one where I’m a doctor fighting the spread of nasty diseases), I sometimes get asked which germs are the worst.

It’s a good question, but almost impossible to answer. You see, what we worry about professionally might surprise you. It’s not usually the exotic diseases that cause the most problems, but the everyday bugs surrounding us.

In some ways we think a bit like Mrs Dent, Alice’s mother in Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs. Mrs Dent always thinks in terms of what nasty infection she might catch from anything. Unlike us though, she takes this to extremes and puts in place ridiculous and drastic control measures. Nevertheless, the science underlying her fear is real.

For example, if Mrs Dent could bring herself to shake hands, she would check that the offered hand had been properly washed after using the toilet. Hands can carry a zoo of faecal germs, including E. coli O157, a nasty little microbe causing diarrhoea with blood in up to half the people made ill and serious kidney failure in around 1 in 10 infected children. As a double whammy, it spreads very easily – even from people who feel perfectly fine.

Then there’s campylobacter; a common cause of tummy upset. People shrug it off as “just food poisoning”, but it often puts sufferers in hospital, may cause painful arthritis, and occasionally causes serious paralysis that can last for months. It is easily avoided by not washing uncooked poultry and correct cooking, but I imagine that Mrs Dent would take the precaution of treating raw chicken like deadly poison every time she handled it.

So you might guess how she would feel about salads – excellent for passing on all sorts of germs. I imagine that rather than just washing salad leaves well, Mrs Dent would banish all lettuce from the house.

Mrs Dent certainly knows that the most infectious diseases (measles, flu and chickenpox) are spread by coughs and sneezes. It only takes a short conversation with someone in the early stages of the illness and wham, you’re exposed. I tend to glare at anyone coughing near me who doesn’t cover their mouth (and swiftly move seats), but the only real defence is vaccination. If these viruses are circulating there’s nothing else you can really do to dodge them (except perhaps to stay at home like Mrs Dent and banish all visitors).

Whilst we’re at it, there are lots of other precautions you might take to avoid catching horrible diseases. I could suggest only swimming in boringly rectangular pools well away from any toddlers (helps to avoid cryptosporidium), never touching furry animals (list of diseases too long to mention) and banning reptiles (may carry salmonella).

Still, that would take all the pleasure out of life, and I’d hate to do that. To be honest, unlike Mrs Dent, I’m happy to swim, shake hands, pat dogs and cook poultry: I just wash my hands well afterwards!

ALICE DENT AND THE INCREDIBLE GERMS by Gwen Lowe out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)

You can buy a copy here or from your local bookshop!


About Gwen Lowe

Gwen Lowe is a consultant Public Health doctor in Wales who describes her job as being like a medical detective. Working with a special team, she has to urgently discover what is making people ill and then stop it before anyone else gets ill too. Previously, she has been a hospital doctor and a GP as well as a hotel washer-upper, a restaurant table clearer and a postwoman. Married with a daughter, over the years she has found herself spending time with ever-changing pairs of rescue guinea-pigs, the school rats, elderly hamsters and other little creatures.

You can follow Gwen on twitter – @gwenllowe


A huge huge thank you to Gwen for such a superb guest post and to Laura at Chicken House for asking me to host!

Have you read any of Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs? What did you think? What was your favourite part? 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 – Top 10 Memorable Sibling Relationships by Jo Simmons


Today I am excited to be part of the blog tour for the hilarious I Swapped My Brother On The Internet by Jo Simmons!

I Swapped My Brother On The Internet was released on the 11th January 2018 published by Bloomsbury and illustrated by Nathan Reed.

Today Jo Simmons shares her top 10 sibling relationships in this fab guest post!



‘I can get a new brother? On the internet?’ Jonny muttered. ‘Oh sweet mangoes of heaven!’

Everyone has dreamed of being able to get rid of their brother or sister at one time or another – but for Jonny, the dream is about to become a reality with SiblingSwap.com! What could be better than someone awesome to replace Ted, Jonny’s obnoxious older brother.

But finding the perfect brother isn’t easy, as Jonny discovers when Sibling Swap sends him a line of increasingly bizarre replacements: first a merboy, then a brother raised by meerkats, and then the ghost of Henry the Eighth! What’s coming next?! Suddenly old Ted isn’t looking so bad. But can Jonny ever get him back?


Top 10 Memorable Sibling Relationships by Jo Simmons

Siblings not getting along is a staple of fiction, but anyone part of a large family recognises that sibling relationships can be way more complex and nuanced than simple loathing. Rivalry one minute, intense love and camaraderie the next, or just simple bafflement that such different people can be produced by the same two parents – sibling relationships can provoke extreme, even confusing feelings. I’ve picked 10 books that reveal the bond in its most memorable guises.

His Bloody Project – Graeme McRae

A tricksy, grizzly book that features Roddy Macrae, a 17-year-old boy from a remote crofting community in Scotland, accused of murdering three people. The account he writes of his life while awaiting trial in prison describes his incredibly close relationship with his sister Jetta. At primary school, their teacher commented that Roddy would climb into Jetta’s apron pocket if he could. Jetta frequently answers for Roddy, with surprising accuracy, and Roddy happily takes beatings from the school bullies to deflect teasing away from her. It doesn’t end well for either of them, but then being this spookily connected to your sibling often ends in tears. Just look at Liam and Noel Gallagher…

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing – Eimear McBride

This dark, complex and experimental novel features an anonymous female author who, between dodgy sexual encounters and domestic misery, addresses her disabled brother – the “you” of the book. His brain was damaged when a tumour was removed in infancy, but the author’s love for him is a pure, clean feeling in a very grimy world of guilt, abuse and sadness. She imagines a weird underground life for them together: “In burrows rabbits safe from rain… You and only me.” The brother’s failing health becomes unbearably sad, and drives the author to be both her best and worst self.

Howards End – EM Forster

Forster’s story centres on Margaret Schlegel who, as oldest sibling, is spring boarded into the role of mother for her sister Helen and brother Tibby when they are orphaned. The wealthy siblings grow up in a comfortable household in London at the start of the 20th century and lead an intellectual and bohemian life, going to concerts, hosting political lunches, marching about London arm in arm and “ribbing” each other gently. That’s until Helen goes on a mission to help poor Leonard Bast, leading him inadvertently down a path to disaster, while Margaret seemingly betrays her principles to marry the capitalist Mr Wilcox. We watch as the two sisters negotiate their failings and compromises.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

When little sister Prim is selected to take part in the Hunger Games, her big sis Katniss stands in for her. This isn’t like your sister offering to do your paper round for you on Saturday morning because you want a lie in. This is Katniss pretty much offering to die for her sister in the lethal games. Only she doesn’t. Spoilers! Which is great for Katniss, but maybe even better for Prim, as that would have been one heck of a sibling guilt trip.

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita – Rumer Godden

When Fanny Clavering falls in love with a film director and escapes to Italy with him, two of her three children, Caddie and Hugh, pluckily decide to travel to her bolthole, the Villa Fiorita, to fetch her home. At first, the siblings are united by their naïve quest to return their mother both to her senses, and to her passionless English country life. Once in Italy, though, the eponymous battle begins and the kids are pulled apart as they face up to the complexities of adult love. A great coming of age novel, set in the early 1960s, with two vividly drawn siblings at its heart – innocent, loving Caddie and moody pubescent Hugh.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

There are five Bennett sisters spilling across the pages of Pride and Prejudice. While Elizabeth coming to know and love Mr Darcy is the main event, the relationships between the very different sisters also play out. Lydia and Kitty are daft and flighty, Mary is dull, and Jane is beautifully even tempered. It’s the bond between Jane and Elizabeth, based on mutual respect, love and support, that’s most appealing and admirable, and they pair go on to marry best friends (Jane bags Darcy’s mate Mr Bingley), to cement this.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Cathy and Heathcliff are held up as exemplars of passionate love, but in fact, this volcanic pair were raised as siblings when Cathy’s father adopts Heathcliff as a son. They have an intense, but not a sexual relationship. Cathy famously explains to housekeeper Nelly that “I am Heathcliff. He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” So she haunts him from the grave once she has starved herself to death, and he sets about destroying the two families he believes ruined his life. Ouch!

The Tale of Tom Kitten – Beatrix Potter

I grew up on Beatrix Potter – this is my favourite. A really simple story with gorgeously illustrated Tom at its heart. Tabitha Twitchit dresses up Tom and his sisters Moppet and Mittens for her fancy-pants tea party but they get mucky in the garden and Tom pops his buttons before the guests have even arrived. All the kittens get sent to bed as punishment but still manage to wreck the posh do by clattering about upstairs. I love the whiff of anarchy and that whole, ‘you can’t keep the kids down’ message here. It’s sibling exuberance versus the adult world of manners and social convention. The kids win!

Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare

Shakespeare has slapstick fun with twins in The Comedy of Errors, but this unique sibling relationship is most touchingly explored in Twelfth Night. Identical twins Viola and Sebastian are separated when a storm wrecks their ship, and Viola then disguises herself as a man. There’s lots of mistaken identity fun, gender-bending and people falling in love with each other, but the final scene when the twins are reunited is wonderfully moving.

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

There are numerous spooky siblings in gothic and horror fiction – let’s agree not to mention the sisters in The Shining. This classic late Victorian chiller tells of a governess hired to look after a young boy and girl in a country house. Unfortunately for all concerned, the little darlings Miles and Flora may well be acting under the influence of the ghosts of some recently deceased former employees. A promising posting soon turns into the job from hell.

You can buy a copy of I Swapped My Brother On The Internet here or from your local bookshop!

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here


About Jo Simmons

Jo Simmons began her working life as a journalist. Her first fiction series for children, Pip Street, was inspired by her own kids’ love of funny fiction, and two Super Loud Sambooks followed. In addition to children’s fiction, she co-wrote a humorous parenting book, Can I Give Them Back Now?: The Aargh To Zzzzzz Of Parenting, published by Square Peg. Jo lives in Brighton with her husband, two boys and a scruffy formerly Romanian street dog. I Swapped My Brother on the Internet is her first book for Bloomsbury.

You can follow Jo on twitter – @Joanna_simmons

About Nathan Reed

Nathan Reed has been a professional illustrator since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 2000. He has illustrated Christopher Edge’s How to Write Your Best Story Ever and the Elen Caldecott’s Marsh Road Mysteries Series. His most recent picture book is Samson the Mighty Flea by Angela McAllister. He was shortlisted for the Serco Prize for Illustration in 2014. When he’s not illustrating he can be found with his two boys and a football on Peckham Rye Common.

You can find out more about Nathan on his website – www.nathanreedillustration.com

Or why not follow him on twitter – @nathanreed_illo


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Jo for such a fab guest post and to Faye Rogers for organising and asking me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read I Swapped My Brother On The Internet?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  Do you have any favourite sibling relationships?  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 post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – 5 Ways To Cope With Being Grounded by Katy Birchall


I am a huge Katy Birchall fan!  She is just brilliant and her books always make me laugh out loud and when I say out loud I mean LOUD!

Following on from the fab success of the brilliant IT Girl series Katy is back with Secrets Of A Teenage Heiress published by Egmont today, 11th January 2018!

Happy Book Birthday Katy!

“An hilariously funny and fabulously glamorous series from the author of It Girl. Perfect for10+ years readers, and fans of Geek Girl and Girl Online”

So to celebrate today I have the lady herself with a fab guest post….although someone seems to have amended the text…..


Flick’s family have owned The Royale – one of London’s most prestigious hotels – for generations. But Flick isn’t that interested. She is interested in the newest guest – superstar celebrity Skylar Chase, and Sky’s mega-famous group of friends, including dreamy YouTube star, Ethan Duke. But just as Flick gets the chance to join their glittering squad, she gets grounded following an unfortunate incident involving a prince, a wardrobe and a selfie stick (it could have happened to anyone!). With only her Instagram star pet dachshund, Fritz, for company, will Flick find a way to escape The Royale and join the fame game?


5 Ways To Cope With Being Grounded

(amended by Flick Royale, star of Secrets of a Teenage Heiress)

 1.  Talk to your parents Don’t talk to your parents

Seriously, talking to your parents is just about the WORST thing you can do. I mean, what are they going to say? You really think they’re going to AGREE with you? HA! The last time Mum agreed with me was that time when I was about four years old and I asked her to close the window because I was cold. She agreed it was cold. THAT’S IT.

The only thing to do when grounded is SULK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. That means no talking, no listening, no nothing. They don’t deserve such reasonable behaviour.

2.  Show that you are responsible by helping with chores Create as much trouble as possible

Being grounded is all about principles and your parents violating yours. Time to rebel!! Look, if they’re going to ground you for something TINY, there is no harm in providing them with a little reminder of how bad you really could be if you wanted.

Like the time Mum grounded me when I stuck a note on boring Mr Grindle’s back saying “I am secretly an ostrich”.

In retaliation for her stomping all over my creativity by grounding me for such HILARIOUS behaviour, I hid all our coasters and put wet glasses down on all the surfaces around the flat for two weeks until my punishment was up.

It drove her NUTS.

I’d say she’ll think twice before grounding me again, that’s for sure.

3.  Accept responsibility for your actions Never say sorry

Trust me, whatever you did to get grounded, it’s probably not your fault. You know why? Because parents are bonkers. And then they expect us to be normal.

If anything, they should be apologising to YOU. Just because.

4.  Make the most of being grounded Do NOT have fun while being grounded

Seriously, no offence, but what kind of nerd wrote this stupid list? Making the most of being grounded is the worst thing you can do. Then parents will think it’s ACCEPTABLE.

Instead, make your parents feel as guilty as possible.

Tried and tested ways of doing this are:

· Crying

· Shouting

· Screaming

· Slamming doors

· Telling them that your dachshund Fritz is the only one you can talk to in this cruel, cruel world

· Telling them that if you weren’t grounded, you might be out there making human friends and finding a path of good in life

· But instead you’re stuck inside forced to tell your feelings to your DOG

· And now you’ll probably be shunned by society

·Because, thanks to your childhood, you can’t talk to fellow humans

· Only dogs

5.  Learn from your mistakes DON’T LET THE MAN KEEP YOU DOWN!!

Learning from your mistakes = defeat.

Don’t let them win.

I’d love to stay and elaborate on this point but apparently Chef found out I hid his chef hat in a giant bag of flour and now Mum and him want to “have a word.”

Fritz and I had better escape while we have the chance.

See ya! x

You can buy a copy of Secrets Of A Teenage Heiress here or from your local bookshop


About Katy Birchall

Katy Birchall is the author of the side-splittingly funny The It Girl: Superstar Geek, The It Girl: Team Awkward and The It Girl: Don’t Tell the Bridesmaid. She also worked at Country Life magazine as their Deputy Features Editor. Katy won the 24/7 Theatre Festival Award for Most Promising New Comedy Writer with her very serious play about a ninja monkey at a dinner party. Her pet labradors are the loves of her life, she is mildly obsessed with Jane Austen and one day she hopes to wake up as an elf in The Lord of the Rings. Katy lives in Brixton, London.

You can find out more about Katy on her website – katybirchallauthor.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @KatyBirchall


Previously On Tales…

Click on the below links for previous post with Abi Elphinstone her on Tales Of Yesterday!

Spotlight – The It Girl by Katy Birchall

Guest Post – 10 Things I’ve Learnt About Being An Author by Katy Birchall

Tales Review – The It Girl by Katy Birchall

Guest Post – How To Survive Sports Day by Katy Birchall

Guest Post – An EXCLUSIVE Interview With It Girl, Anna Huntley by Katy Birchall


A huge big thank you to Siobhan at Egmont for asking me to host this fab post and for donating our January 2018 British Books Challenge Book Prize which includes Secrets Of A Teenage Heiress.

Have you read Secrets Of A Teenage Heiress?  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 post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – An Introduction To Make Me Awesome by Ben Davis


Today I am excited to be kicking of the super brilliant Make Me Awesome Blog Tour with a fab guest post from the author himself, Ben Davis.

Make Me Awesome was released on the 4th January 2018, published by OUP, and will have you laughing your socks off!  And with illustrations by Mike Lowery…it’s just the perfect combination!

Myself and my son are huge fans of Ben Davis and we have spent many a night or too giggling whilst reading his books so am hugely honoured to have Ben on the blog today.  Ben was also one of our authors of the month for the 2017 British Books Challenge!

So sit back and let Ben introduce you to Make Me Awesome….


Hey you! Yes, you! Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought Wow! My life is really rubbish? I can tell from looking at you that you probably have. But I’m here to tell you that all that is about to change.

Why not climb aboard the Make Me Awesome programme and buy a one way ticket to Awesometown, calling at Successville, Dollarsdale, and Camp You’re the Greatest!

My name is Chuck Willard and I CAN make you AWESOME, just like me!

(Well, maybe not that awesome, I’m one of a kind)

When Freddie Smallhouse signs up to the Make Me Awesome programme, he’s ready to turn himself from zero to hero, all with the help of his idol, Chuck Willard. Freddie embarks on various schemes to make himself awesome safe in the knowledge that Chuck is always there, at the end of an email, to give him lots of personal advice . . . isn’t he?

A new laugh-out-loud story, from the brilliantly funny author of the Joe Cowley series and My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral.


An Introduction to Make Me Awesome

Hi! I’m Ben Davis. You may know me as the author of the Joe Cowley book series. Or maybe you’re familiar with my MG books My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral or Danny Dread. In all likelihood, you probably think I’m that Welsh guy that plays for Spurs. You’d be wrong to think that though because his last name is Davies and us Davises don’t take kindly to getting confused with that lot. In fact, whenever I meet a Davies I am bound by law to challenge them to a duel.

Anyway, enough about that. The reason I am on this fine blog is to tell you about my new book, Make Me Awesome, which is out now. So glad wacky old Captain Wotsit hasn’t blown us all up before it came out.

It is the story of Freddie, a thirteen year old boy whose family has fallen on tough times. His dad’s antiques business has gone under, they’ve lost their house and are having to live with miserly Uncle Barry. While Mum soldiers on and Dad sinks into a funk, Freddie is determined to pull them out of their slump, and he has enlisted some inspirational help.

Introducing the Complete Road to Awesomeness Programme – the online self-help guide carefully constructed by life coach and giver of dreams, Chuck Willard. It is Chuck’s job to help Freddie back on the path to Awesomeness with his handy hints, tips and pep talks.

But don’t take my word for it – here is Chuck’s infomercial.

The book sees Freddie utilise Chuck’s expertise in order to succeed as a young entrepreneur, sportsman and, when he runs for school President against his arch nemesis, Malvern Pope, young politician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read a particularly cringeworthy extract from it in this video….

I think it’s a common thing for kids to look to celebrities for inspiration. To create heroes. As a kid, mine was Eric Cantona. And you can bet if he set up a life advice programme, I would have signed up straight away. Even if I was terrible at football. And never kung fu kicked Crystal Palace fans.

But let me tell you this – all the Awesomeness you need is within you. You don’t need a celebrity or a book to teach you. Wait, what am I saying, yes you do – Make Me Awesome, out now with OUP. God, I’m rubbish at self promotion.

You can buy a copy of Make Me Awesome here or from your local book shop!


About Ben Davis


Ben Davis writes funny books for older children and teenagers. His first book, The Private Blog of Joe Cowley series has been hailed as a Wimpy Kid for a new generation.

He has also written standalone books for younger readers, like the supervillain tale, Danny Dread, and the critically acclaimed My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral.

Before he became a published author, Ben wrote jokes and sketches for radio shows and various other bits and bobs.

When he’s not writing, he regularly visits schools and leads creative writing workshops.

These days, Ben lives with his wife and son in Staffordshire and in his spare time, likes to put his dog in daft costumes.

You can follow Ben on the Twitters and the Instagrams @bendavis_86 and his website is www.bendavisauthor.com

About Mark Lowery

Mike Lowery is an illustrator currently living in Atlanta. Mike’s work has been seen on everything from greetings cards to gallery walls all over the world. He is a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta.


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Ben for a fab guest post and to Hannah and Kirsty at OUP for asking me to me part of this awesome blog tour!

#MakeMeAwesome

Have you read Make Me Awesome?  What did you think?  Have you read any of Ben’s other books?  What are your favourites?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – My Favourite Reality TV Shows by Stephanie Kate Strohm


It’s Christmas Eve and what better way to celebrate than to have a wonderful author here on the blog!

Today I have the super wonderful Stephanie Kate Strohm on Tales to celebrate the release of her new YA romantic comedy, Prince In Disguise published by Disney-Hyperion.

I was lucky enough to meet Stephanie this year when I chaired an event at Waterstones Birmingham and lots of laughs were had so I literally cannot wait to jump into this book!

Prince In Disguise finds our main character Dylan as part of a reality TV programme so I thought it would be great to hear all about Stephanie’s favourite reality TV guilty pleasures…..


Someday I want to live in a place where I never hear ‘You’re Dusty’s sister?’ ever again. Life is real enough for Dylan -especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress… if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.


My Favourite Reality TV Shows

I watch…a lot of reality TV. But I also read a lot of books, so I think it totally evens out! Prince in Disguise, my newest book, combines these two great loves, as it is a book about a reality TV show! When Dylan’s older sister Dusty falls in love with a Scottish lord on a reality dating show, the entire family is whisked off to Scotland to televise the wedding, much to Dylan’s chagrin. Like Dylan, I wouldn’t want to be on a reality show, but I do love watching them! Here are a few of my favourites:

Say Yes to the Dress 

Simple but brilliant. Brides head to Kleinfeld’s in NYC to shop for their dream dresses with the help of Kleinfeld’s stellar team of bridal consultants. Sometimes there’s drama caused by unsupportive family members, but there’s almost always a happy ending as the bride says yes to the dress. I could watch an infinite amount of these back-to-back-to-back, even though every bride with a budget over a certain amount ends up choosing the exact same Pnina Tornai gown.

My Fair Wedding with David Tutera

This show has since rebranded itself as first David Tutera: Unveiled and then David Tutera’s CELEBrations, but it is not as good as it was in the halcyon days of My Fair Wedding, specifically the masterpiece that is Season 3. Celebrity wedding planner David Tutera helps brides short on time, money, or organizational abilities miraculous pull together their dream weddings. The themes – and the weddings – became increasingly elaborate as time went on, often with such high production values that they looked more like film sets than weddings. My beloved Season 3 brought up such treasures as a Phantom of the Opera wedding, a Wizard of Oz wedding, an Alice in Wonderland wedding, and a mini-truck wedding. (That’s right. The theme of the wedding was small trucks.)

 Four Weddings

The weddings on Four Weddings are never the over-the-top confections David Tutera might dream up, and in some ways, that’s part of their appeal. Four strangers from the same area meet and then attend each others’ weddings, ranking them in such categories as dress, venue, food, and overall experience. There’s something kind of evil but also deliciously fun about watching people say out loud all the judgmental things you think when you’re at your cousin’s/sorority sister’s/whoever’s wedding.

 Top Chef

The only thing I love more than weddings is eating. (So if your wedding has really great food, yes, it would be my ideal event!) There are a lot of reality TV cooking competitions (see: basically all of Food Network and Cooking Channel), but for me, nothing beats Top Chef. I love getting to know the chefs and their stories, I love the challenges and the different restaurants and farms they visit, but most of all, I love seeing plate after plate of delicious food. The only thing it’s missing is some romance. If a few more of these chefs would start kissing each other, then it would literally be a perfect show.

Special UK Bonus 

When I was on vacation in England, I caught an episode of The Geordie Shore. It was like Jersey Shore, but way better! I quickly became obsessed and spent way too much time watching it. I have since read all of Charlotte Crosby’s books and done her 3 Minute Belly Blitz workout. Since no one in the states knows who Charlotte Crosby is, I have no sense of how embarrassed I should be about this. (Like, for example, I would never admit to anyone that I’d done Snooki from Jersey Shore’s workout, if such a thing existed.)

Prince In Disguise is out now and you can by a copy here


About Stephanie Kate Strohm


STEPHANIE KATE STROHM is also the author of Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, Confederates Don’t Wear Couture, The Taming of the Drew, and It’s Not Me, It’s You. She works as an actress and teacher in Chicago. Visit her website at www.stephaniekatestrohm.com and on Twitter @stephkatestrohm.


A huge thank you to Stephanie for such a fab guest post and to Amy at Disney-Hyperion for getting in touch about hosting.

Have you read Prince In Disguise?  What did you think?  Do you enjoy reality TV?  What are your favourites?  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!

Spotlight – AniMalcolm by David Baddiel


Today I am honoured to be part of the Lollies 2017 Blog Tour featuring a book that will guarantee to have you laughing you little socks off!

That’s right I am hugely honoured to be shining the spotlight on the super funny AniMalcolm by the hilarious David Baddiel illustrated by the hugely talented Jim Field.

And for my stop on the tour I have an amazing signed giveaway!

But first lets find out about The Lollies and this years shortlist of amazing super funny books….


About The Lollies

Michael Rosen, children’s novelist, poet and former Children’s Laureate, today announced the shortlist for the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies), a set of awards, now in its second year, created by Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to celebrate the funniest children’s books.

Having long championed humorous books for children Rosen said of the shortlist: “This is a collection of 12 whizzy, crazy, hilarious books. They are guaranteed to tickle. Parents and teachers wondering how to keep your children interested in reading, why not start here? And you can always start them off by reading them out loud – funny voices an’ all!”

Rosen and his judging panel, consisting of Nicolette Jones, journalist and Sunday Times Children’s Book Editor and Katie Thistleton, presenter and host of the CBBC Children’s Book Club, were tasked with making the selected shortlist from over 130 books submitted by children’s publishers.

The Lollies are awarded in three categories: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book, Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s and Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s. The shortlisted books in each category are as follows:

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book

Oi Dog by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)

Eat Your People by Lou Kuenzler and David Wojtowycz (Orchard Books)

Prince of Pants by Alan Macdonald and Sarah McIntyre (Scholastic)

Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton and Neal Layton (Hodder Children’s Books)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 year olds

Thimble Monkey Superstar by Jon Blake and Martin Chatterton (Firefly Press)

Hamish and the Neverpeople by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler (Simon and Schuster)

Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up by Simon Cherry (Usborne)

Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith (Egmont)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds.

I Don’t Like Poetry by Joshua Seigal (Bloomsbury)

The Best Medicine by Christine Hamil (Little Island Books)

My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord by David Solomons and Laura Ellen Anderson (Nosy Crow)

AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field (Harper Collins)

The winning book in each category will be decided solely by children’s votes, with schools and parents encouraged to help kids get involved and vote via the Lollies website, www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies, or via the Scholastic channel on the PopJam app.

The winning books will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in January 2018.

The Lollies were created in response to findings from Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report, (www.scholastic.co.uk/readingreport) which found that what two-thirds of children aged 6-17 looked for when choosing books for themselves were ‘books that make me laugh’.


About AniMalcolm

From David Baddiel, the brightest new star of children’s books and winner of the LOLLIES award, comes a laugh-out-loud adventure for every child who ever wondered what it might be like to be a bit of an animal…

Malcolm doesn’t like animals.

Which is a problem because his family love them. Their house is full of pets. What the house is NOT full of is stuff Malcolm likes. Such as the laptop he wanted for his birthday.

The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year Six school trip, which Malcolm never thought his parents would pay for. And yet there he is, on the bus, heading to… oh no. A farm.

Over the next days, Malcolm changes. He learns a lot about animals. More, in many ways, than he would like. He learns what it’s really like to be an animal. A whole series of animals, in fact…

It does make him think differently. And speak differently. And eat differently. And, um, smell differently. But will he end up the same as before?

Because sometimes the hardest thing to become is… yourself.

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


About David Baddiel

David Baddiel is an author and comedian. He has written and performed in a series of highly successful TV comedy shows, including The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned. His debut children’s novel, The Parent Agency, was the bestselling 9-12 debut of 2014 and was hailed by the Guardian as ‘funny, sometimes moving and always engaging.’ The Person Controller is his second novel – and it confirms David as a brilliant and original new voice in children’s fiction. He lives in London.

About Jim Field

Jim Field is an illustrator, character designer and animation director.

From music videos and title sequences to illustration and picture books, Jim has worked on a variety of projects.

His first picture book, CATS AHOY! written by Peter Bently and published by MacMillan won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011.
In 2013 Jim designed and art-directed the interactive children’s exhibition ‘Journey to Space’ at Discover Children’s Story Centre.

He has since illustrated children’s books with Kes Gray, Michelle Robinson,Rachel Bright, Michael Broad, Jeanne Willis, Steve Cole and comedian David Baddiel.

Jim now lives in Paris with his wife, daughter and a small grumpy cat.


Giveaway

I have 3 signed copies of AniMalcolm by David Baddiel to giveaway with thanks to the lovely organisers of the Lollies and Harper Collins!

I am running the giveaway via twitter here

UK Only

Ends 29/09/2017

Winners will need to provide a mailing address to me to pass onto the publishers to send out your prize.

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Antonia and all at the Lollies for asking me to host and be part of this fab blog tour and of course for the awesome giveaway!

A huge good luck to all of the Lollies 2017 nominees!  You are all fab!

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

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Editing Emma by Chloe Seager


I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for the awesome Editing Emma by the even more awesome Chloe Seager!

Editing Emma was released on the 10th August published by the lovelies at HQ and I have already heard such wonderful things that I cannot wait to jump right in!

So today I wanted to shine the spotlight on this wonderful book and tell you a little but more about it…..


‘According to Netflix, this is NOT how my teenage life is supposed to look.’

When Emma Nash is ghosted by love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any girl would do – spends the summer avoiding all human contact, surrounded by the Chewit wrappers he left behind.

Seeing Leon suddenly ‘in a relationship’ on Facebook, however, spurs Emma into action. She vows to use the internet for good (instead of stalking Leon’s social media),chronicling her adventures on her new Editing Emma blog.

But life online doesn’t always run smoothly.

From finding her mum’s Tinder profile, to getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s virginity… Surely nothing else could go wrong?!

You can buy a copy of Editing Emma here or from your local bookshop!


About Chloe Seager

Chloe Seager grew up in East London with her Mum and much-loved cat, Katie. She studied English Literature and Drama at the University of East Anglia, where she sadly realised she couldn’t act, but did rediscover her love of children’s books.

Children’s Literature was one of her favourite modules, and it made her wonder why grown-ups ever stopped reading them. She now works with YA and kids’ books full-time. Chloe lives back in East London with her boyfriend and pet fish.

You can follow Chloe on twitter – @ChloeSeager


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to HQ and Chloe for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Editing Emma?  What did you think?  Did it make you laugh?  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 – Where It All Started…. by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison


I am super excited to have the super funny Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison on the blog today to celebrate the release of their new book Freshers.

Freshers was published 3rd August by the lovelies at Chicken House and it set to make you laugh your little socks off!

So today Tom and Lucy are taking another trip down memory lane and telling us where their writing partnership began…..


Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait to be a fresher – especially since her crush from school will be there too. She’ll be totally different at Uni: cooler, prettier, smarter … the perfect potential girlfriend. She’ll reinvent herself completely. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with his ex. Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters – can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?


Where It All Started…..

It’s not a strictly a university memory, this one, but we thought we’d share a little memory of the origins of our writing partnership. Because this not-very-impressive-looking piece of pink paper marks the first time that we ever did anything creative together.
 
 It was in the sixth form at school – a play called ‘In The Name Of Love’ which was co-written by Tom, and starred Lucy. It was an absolutely shameless rip-off of a very good comedy play called ‘Noises Off’, and it was about the final episode of a trashy American soap opera. Tom played a slightly insane elderly British actor, and Lucy played a high-pitched, screaming Valley Girl. 
We had only met a few months back and were just starting to become mates – but we got together, and started going out, at the after-cast party for this play. 
During this, and the other plays we were in together at school, we realised how much fun it was working together, coming up with silly, funny stuff. We both went off to York Uni afterwards and we didn’t really do anything particularly creative during our time there, but we always planned to. And then, after graduating, we started trying to come up with ideas for stuff we could write. We first experimented with writing (half a) sitcom script about a boy and a girl in their early twenties, but it was fairly awful. And then Lucy had the idea to try and write a dual narrative YA book, and now, five years and three books later, here we are! But it was this little scrap of pink paper that started it all… There’s actually a DVD of the play somewhere, although I think it would be too excruciatingly embarrassing (for us) to ever watch…
You can buy a copy of Freshers here or from your local bookshop!
You can see a previous post about Tom & Lucy’s favourite funny books here

About Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

Lucy Ivison, lives in London and is a school librarian who runs an online teen magazine, Whatever After, as well as teaching in girls’ schools across London specialising in building confidence and creativity.

Tom, currently living in Paris, is a journalist and has written for ShortList, Time Out, Vice, talkSPORT, ESPN and Viz.

You can follow Lucy on twitter – @lucyivison


Blog Tour

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


Another huge thank you to Tom & Lucy for a brilliant guest post!

Also a huge thank you to Nina Douglas and Chicken House for asking me to feature this and for sending me the book for review!

Have you read Freshers?  What were your thoughts?  Are you intrigued to read this book after reading this post?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment by using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy

Happy Reading!

Tales Post – Extract From The (Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers) Diary Of Pig by Emer Stamp


My son, Corey, and I LOVE Pig!  We have followed him on his fun filled adventures for a while now and we were over the moon to hear about the release of the new installment The (Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers) Diary Of Pig!

The (Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers) Diary Of Pig was released on the 4th May 2017 published by Scholastic.  We knew Pig’s adventures were going to make us laugh lots….and we did!

For my stop on the blog tour I have a brilliant extract from the new book to get you excited about Pig’s new adventure….


I is Pig. This is my diary and I doubts you will believe any of it. In fact, if you is the kind of farmer what finds it hard to believe unbelievable stuff, you should put it down RIGHT NOW. I wouldn’t blame you. If I was reading it I would be like, ‘Don’t be silly! Stuff like this would never happen to a pig, it’s totally impossible.’ But it’s not. Just ask Duck, or Cow, or Ki-Ki, or Rusty. They’d all tell you. It’s all 1000% true and 10,000% BONKERS!


Extract From The (Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers) Diary Of Pig

You can buy a copy of The (Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers) Diary Of Pig here or from your local bookshop!

You can find previous posts with author Emer Stamp by clicking on the links below…..

Favourite Scenes From The Pig Series

Corey’s Corner – Review – The Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary Of Pig


About Emer Stamp

Emer Stamp is the author and illustrator of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig. Emer grew up on a farm in Devon before training in graphic design and working for some of London’s top advertising agencies. She was the Creative Director for the Adam and Eve DDB communications agency, which creates advertisements for clients including John Lewis, Halifax, Cadbury’s and Save the Children. She lives in London.

You can find out more about Emer and Pig here or on the Goodreads page here

Or why not follow Emer on twitter using @emerstamp


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Katrina at Scholastic and Emer for having me on this fab blog tour!

You can find previous posts with author Emer Stamp by clicking on the links below…..

Favourite Scenes From The Pig Series

Corey’s Corner – Review – The Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary Of Pig

Have you read any of Pig’s adventures?  What did you think?  Do you have a favourite moment?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green


Today is my turn on the brilliant Noah Can’t Even blog tour and I am super excited to be spotlighting this debut book by Simon James Green with a fab giveaway!

Noah Can’t Even was released on the 4th May published by Scholastic and from what I have heard already you will be laughing page after page!

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

Also do check the bottom of the post for an exciting event announcement and giveaway!


Painfully geeky Noah Grimes is desperate to do whatever he can to survive school. He thinks his best chance at social normalcy is to start up a romantic relationship with the wonderful Sophie, but his plans are hopelessly derailed when his best (and only) friend Harry kisses him at a party. And that’s when things go from bad to utter chaos.

You can buy a copy of Noah Can’t Even here or from your local bookshop!


About Simon James Green

Simon James Green grew up in a small town in Lincolnshire that definitely wasn’t the inspiration for Little Fobbing – so no-one from there can be mad with him, OK? He enjoyed a classic British education of assorted humiliations and barbaric PE lessons before reading Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he further embarrassed himself by accidentally joining the rowing team despite having no upper body strength and not being able swim. When it turned out that being a lawyer was nothing like how it looks in Suits or The Good Wife, and buoyed by the success of his late night comedy show that involved an inflatable sheep, he travelled to London to pursue a glamorous career in show business. Within weeks he was working in a call centre, had been mugged, and had racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt. Finding strength and inspiration in the lyrics of Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, he eventually ended up working on a range of West End shows and UK tours, co-wrote a feature-length rom-com for the BBC and directed Hollyoaks for C4 / Lime Pictures. After trying really, really hard, he also managed to write Noah Can’t Even. If you are interested in stalking him, he still lives in London, where he spends a lot of time telling people that Noah Can’t Even is only partly autobiographical, and his mum has definitely never done a Beyoncé tribute act.

You can find out more about Simon on his website – www.simonjamesgreen.com

Or why not follow Simon on Twitter – @simonjamesgreen


Event Alert!

You can catch Simon James Green on tour at the following destinations with the super funny Beth Garrod and Stephanie Kate Strohm and I’m chairing the Birmingham Event!

Come along and watch the shenanigans unfold!

Details here……

Join Simon James Green (Noah Can’t Even), Beth Garrod (Super Awkward) and Stephanie Kate Strohm (It’s Not Me, It’s You) for this hilarious panel as they discuss the importance of funny books and reveal their characters’ most embarrassing moments (and a few of their own!) chaired by UKYABA award-winning blogger Chelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday.

Simon, Beth and Stephanie believe that laughter truly is the best medicine in a world that can be increasingly negative, so sign up and get your cure!

We hope you can join us for a wonderful evening fully of awkward, funny and cringeworthy stories!

This is a free event but seating is limited.
To reserve your seat please call us on 0121 633 4353 or buy your ticket here
Email us at events.birmingham@waterstones.com
Tweet us at @bhamwaterstones
Or speak to a bookseller in store.


GiveawayTo celebrate the release of Noah Can’t Even I have decided to host a little giveaway through twitter!

I have one copy to giveaway to one lucky winner!

Head over to twitter here to enter!

UK Only

Ends 31st May 2017!

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Olivia at Scholastic and to Simon James Green for having me as part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Noah Can’t Even?  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!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...