Category Archives: Non Fiction

Spotlight – Author Of The Month – Juno Dawson

I am so excited to have announced yesterday that the brilliant Juno Dawson is our #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for January 17!

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here

I am a huge HUGE fan of Juno and her books whether it be YA Horror, YA Contemporary or Non Fiction, Juno will captivate you with her writing.  Juno is a brilliant UKYA talent and I am so excited to shine the spotlight on her and her wonderful books as Author Of The Month!

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

Look out for a Q&A with Juno this January about her new book Margot and Me!

About Juno Dawson

Queen of Teen 2014 Juno Dawson is the multi award-winning author of six novels for young adults. In 2016, she authored the best-selling World Book Day title: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.

Her next novel is the beautiful and emotive MARGOT & ME (Jan 2017) which will be followed by her adult debut, the memoir THE GENDER GAMES (Jul 17).

Juno also wrote the bestselling non-fiction guide to life for young LGBT people, THIS BOOK IS GAY. In 2016 a follow-up, MIND YOUR HEAD, featured everything a young person needs to know about mental health.

Juno is a regular contributor to Attitude Magazine, Glamour Magazine and The Guardian and has contributed to news items on BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education.

Juno’s titles have received rave reviews and have been translated into more than ten languages around the world.

Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.

Juno writes full time and lives in Brighton. In her spare time, she STILL loves Doctor Who and is a keen follower of horror films and connoisseur of pop music. In 2014 Juno became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL.

You can find out more about Juno on her website –

Or why not follow Juno on twitter using @junodawson

The Books and Why We Love Juno Dawson


Something wicked this way comes…

She thought she’d be safe in the country, but you can’t escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her.

Lis thinks she’s being paranoid – after all who would want to murder her? She doesn’t believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn’t believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you’re alone in the woods, after dark – and a twig snaps…

Hollow Pike – where witchcraft never sleeps.

One year after the suicide of their friend Janey, the rest of the group decide to spend the summer together in a holiday villa in the Mediterranean. They’re hoping to get over the terrible events of the previous year, but then a new guest arrives, claiming to have evidence that Janey’s suicide was actually murder. When the guest is found dead, it becomes clear that the killer must be one of the group – but who is it? And will they strike again?

A compelling psychological thriller – with a dash of romance.

Drip…drip…drip… In five days, she will come…

Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of Bloody Mary: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear… But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror – five days – but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before… A truly spine-chilling yet witty horror from ‘Queen of Teen’ author Juno Dawson.

You can check out my review of Say Her Name here

Meet Molly Sue. Once she’s under your skin there’s no getting rid of her…

Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally’s about as shy and retiring as they come – but all that’s about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour – and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back – hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams.

But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head – or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue’s. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl – in fact, she’s mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue… and before long she’s going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody ‘under your skin’.

A funny and moving love story about friends, first loves and self-discovery by the Queen of Teen 2014.

When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are, all in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who’s the coolest girl Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the ‘alternative’ kids take Toria under their wing. And that’s when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band – and it’s instalove at first sight! Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria . . . but then there’s Polly. Love and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles.

An exclusive World Book Day story from UK Queen of Teen Juno Dawson. Avery has always suffered at the hands of bullies, so when she’s given a seemingly-miraculous opportunity to join the ‘A-list’ she grabs at it with both hands. But appearances can be deceiving, and soon Avery’s not so sure she likes this new version of herself. And it’s only by overcoming her fears that she can learn the true meaning of being comfortable in your own skin.

Fliss’s mum needs peace and quiet to recuperate from a long illness, so they both move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss’s stern and bullying grandmother. Life on the farm is tough and life at school is even tougher, so when Fliss unearths Margot’s wartime diary, she sees an opportunity to get her own back.

But Fliss soon discovers Margot’s life during the evacuation was full of adventure, mystery . . . and even passion. What’s more, she learns a terrible secret that could tear her whole family apart . . .

Please note this book is due for release on the 26th January and can be pre ordered here

Non Fiction

In this essential guide to growing up, acclaimed author and former teacher Juno Dawson, writing as James Dawson, gives readers the gritty truth to what’s going on with their bodies, how to survive on the social food chain and much more!

A funny and pertinent book about being lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, transgender or just curious – for everybody, no matter their gender or sexuality

Former PSHCE teacher and acclaimed YA author Juno Dawson gives an uncensored look at what it’s like to grow up as LGBT. Including testimonials from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, this frank, funny, fully inclusive book explores everything anyone who ever dared to wonder wants to know – from sex to politics, how to pull, stereotypes, how to come-out and more. Spike Gerrell’s hilarious illustrations combined with funny and factual text make this a must-read.

From the critically acclaimed author of THIS BOOK IS GAY,  Juno Dawson.

We all have a mind, so we all need to take care of our mental health as much as we need to take care of our physical health. And the first step is being able to talk about our mental health. Juno Dawson leads the way with this frank, factual and funny book, with added information and support from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people’s mental health – whether fleeting or long-term – and how to manage them. With real-life stories from young people around the world and witty illustrations from Gemma Correll.


Short Stories

Juno also has original short stories featured in these brilliant anthology’s

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts – both brand-new and old favourites – about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness and Andrew Smith, and with a new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home.

Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah.

£1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. To find out more about Crisis, see

You can buy any of Juno Dawson’s books here or from your local book shop!

A huge thank you to the lovely Juno fan’s that provided me with quotes for this post.  I highly recommend all of these books from our January Author Of The Month!

Look out for a Q&A with Juno this January about her new book Margot and Me!

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

Are you a Juno Dawson Fan?  Do you have a favourite Juno Dawson book?  Are you new to Juno Dawson?  Which book do you think you would read first?   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!

Tales Review – Fun Science by Charlie McDonnell


I’ve recently received this super fun book, Fun Science by Charlie McDonnell AKA Charlieissocoollike from the lovely Stephanie at Midas PR.

Charlie McDonnell is the first UK Youtuber to reach 1 million subscribers and his aim in writing Fun Science is to share his love of the subject, create new fans, and show that science is an integral part of everyday life, not just a subject you are forced to take at school.

Fun Science was released on the 20th October 2016 in hardback published by Quadrille Publishing and is pretty awesome.

So today I thought I would shine the spotlight on the book and it’s author and share some of my initial thoughts on the book……


Welcome, fellow humans (and others), to the world of FUN SCIENCE! I’m Charlie, also known across the internet as charlieissocoollike.

In my book, I’ll be taking you on an awesome journey through the cosmos, beginning with the Big Bang through to the Solar System and the origins of life on Earth, all the way down to the particles that make up everything around us (including you and me!).

Expect frequent digressions, tons of illustrations of not-so-sciencey things (NB a microwave flying through space), and pages packed with my all time favourite mind-bending science facts.

So, get ready for a faster-than-the-speed of-light (OK, not quite) tour of all of the best and most interesting things that science has to offer us… and most importantly: WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSE!

(Written by a Science Fan NOT a scientist!)

Publisher – Quadrille Publishing

Published – 20th October 2016

Pages – 256 pages

Format – PHardback

Category – Non Fiction

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Midas PR. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Midas PR for sending this to me to read and to Stephanie for organising!

** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first saw this book.  I raise my hand up high and admit that I had not heard of Charlie prior to the book, but my 11 year old son had and sometimes watches his videos.

I found myself flicking through the pages, firstly to have a quick look and then becoming fully engrossed.

The book is split into ten sections ranging from The Universe to Life to The Brian and The End Of Time.  It is full of wonderful illustrations by Fran Meneses and Dave Brown and they bring Charlie’s words to life on the page.

The science is relayed with humour and in such a fun style that it really does make what your reading and learning seem fun.  The fact that clownfish can switch sex in order to breed is told with an aside about Nemo and his dad and geologists are dubbed Super Rock detectives (because geology  is cool!)

The book has fun facts and ultimate fun facts throughout and also includes some activities and mini experiments throughout.  Myself and my son had numerous fun trying an experiment involving our right leg and drawing a number six with our right arm!

Our minds were blown!

Charlie’s love for all things science shines brightly and he guides you through each section like he is excited to share things with you along the way.

It’s bright, it’s colourful, it’s full of facts and most of all it does what it says on the tin….it makes science fun!

Loved it!

I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!


61jrask1fql-_sx332_bo1204203200_You can buy a copy of Fun Science here or from your local bookshop

This video chats a bit more about how Charlie write Fun Science….

About Charlie McDonnell


Charlie McDonnell (known on YouTube as charlieissocoollike) is a British Video Blogger, Filmmaker and Musician from Bath, who currently resides in London.

After starting to post YouTube videos in 2007, Charlie became the first Video Blogger in the UK to reach one million subscribers on YouTube. His most viewed video is of him doing a bad american accent (he’s not sure why that happened) and his second most viewed video is “Duet With Myself,” which he’s a bit more proud of, honestly.

In 2010 Charlie released his first album, “This Is Me.” People seem to really want him to make more music but he hasn’t gotten around to that yet. Throughout 2013-14, Charlie made a series of four short films, funded directly by YouTube. He likes to think they got better as he made more of them, but is happy for you to disagree with him on that.

Over the years, Charlie has worked on numerous projects for charities, including Cancer Research UK, UNICEF, Children In Need, Comic Relief, Save The Children and the Alzheimer’s Society. I guess he must like helping people or something.

Beyond his own YouTube channel, Charlie has worked on many online video projects, notably “Science of Attraction,” hosted by Derren Brown, and a series of video blogs from behind the scenes of Doctor Who for the BBC. He’s also worked with many brands to produce videos for his own channel, including Microsoft, Sony Pictures, Pixar, Disney, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Charlie is a regular participant in Radio 1’s Internet Takeover show (yes, for the actual radio) and he’s also tried his hand at voice acting for Mike Bithell’s upcoming video game “Volume.” He’s pretty new to both of these things, but fortunately hasn’t been told off for doing a bad job by his bosses. Yet.

In his spare time Charlie enjoys consuming media in all its forms, and hanging out with his girlfriend and their cat, Gideon. Basically, he is deceptively boring.

You can find out more about Charlie on his website – 

Or why not follow Charlie on twitter – @coollike

And subscribe to Charlie’s channel here

A huge thank you to Stephanie at Midas PR for sending me a copy of this book!

Have you read Fun Science?  Does it sound up your street?  Do you have any fun science facts?  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 – Roald Dahl’s 100 Year Anniversary – Audible’s Essential Picks

Roald Dahl birthday quiz - how well do you know your Dahl? Quentin Blake

Today, the 13th September 2016, marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, one of the world’s most cherished storytellers.

To celebrate his centennial, Audible’s editors have handpicked a selection of the best Roald Dahl audiobooks narrated by actors, performers, celebrities and even the man himself and the lovely people at Midas PR have asked me to host a little round up!

It makes for splendiferous listening for adults and children alike!

Roald Dahl’s 100 Year Anniversary – Audible’s Essential Picks

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Four More Stories


Author: Roald Dahl

Narrator: Roald Dahl

You can buy this audio book here

Roald Dahl’s wickedly funny novels have turned him into the world’s number one storyteller. In this collection five splendiferous stories are brought to life by the author himself.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (abridged): Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

James and the Giant Peach (abridged): A little magic can take you a long way.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (unabridged): Nobody outfoxes Fantastic Mr. Fox!

The Enormous Crocodile (unabridged): This greedy crocodile loves to guzzle up little boys and girls.

The Magic Finger (unabridged): Horrible neighbours learn their lesson from a little girl with powerful magic!



Author: Roald Dahl

Narrator: David Walliams

You can buy this audio book here

Read by actor, writer, and Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, this audiobook features original music and sound design by Pinewood film studios.

The BFG is a nice and jumbly giant. In fact, he is the only big friendly giant in Giant Country. All the other giants are big bonecrunching brutes, and now the BFG and his friend Sophie must stop them guzzling up little human beans, with some help from Her Majester, the Queen.

David Walliams is a multi-award winning British comedian, actor, and writer, best known for the comedy series Little Britain; but his acting work includes plays, dramas, and films. He is also the author of five hugely successful children’s books, including two illustrated by Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl’s favourite illustrator.

The Enormous Crocodile


Author: Roald Dahl

Narrator: Stephen Fry

You can buy this audio book here

Read by actor, humourist and storyteller Stephen Fry, this audiobook features original music and 3D sound design by Pinewood film studios.

The Enormous Crocodile is a greedy grumptious brute who loves to guzzle up little girls and boys. But the other animals have a scheme to get the better of this foul fiend, once and for all!

Stephen Fry is an award-winning comedian, actor, presenter, director and writer. Television work includes A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, and hosting QI. On film, he played Oscar Wilde, and appeared in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Hobbit. His voice work includes narrating the Harry Potter books.



Author: Roald Dahl

Narrators: Derek Jacobi, Gillian Anderson, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Mark Heap, Richard E Grant

You can buy this audio book here

Two husbands secretly agree to a night of passion with each other’s wives; a slighted old man takes an elaborate and chilling revenge on his tormentor; a sculpture comes between a scheming wife and her put-upon husband…

Lust highlights a domestic familiarity always on the edge of something much, much darker. Collected together for the first time, stories include ‘Madame Rosette’, ‘Neck’, ‘Georgy Porgy’, ‘The Visitor’, ‘The Last Act’, ‘The Great Switcheroo’, ‘Bitch’, ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life’, ‘The Ratcatcher’ and ‘Nunc Dimittis’.



Author: Roald Dahl

Narrators: Adrian Scarborough, Andrew Scott, Jessica Hynes, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Heap, Richard E Grant, Stephanie Beacham

You can buy this audio book here

From Roald Dahl, the master of the sting in the tail, a newly collected audiobook of his darkest stories, read by Will Self, Adrian Scarborough, Stephanie Beacham, Andrew Scott, Richard E Grant, Tamsin Greig, Mark Heap, Juliet Stevenson and Jessica Hynes.

Even when we mean to be kind, we can sometimes be cruel. We all have streaks of nastiness inside us. In these ten tales of cruelty, master storyteller Roald Dahl explores how and why it is we make others suffer.

Collected together for the first time, stories include ‘The Great Automatic Grammatizator’, ‘Royal Jelly’, ‘Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat’, ‘The Swan’, ‘Poison’, ‘Skin’, ‘The Princess and the Poacher’, ‘Genesis and Catastrophe’ and ‘Mr Feasey’.

Kiss Kiss


Author: Roald Dahl

Narrators: Tamsin Greig, Juliet Stevenson, Stephanie Beacham, Adrian Scarborough, Derek Jacobi, Stephen Mangan

What could go wrong when a wife pawns the mink coat that her lover gave her as a parting gift? What happens when a priceless piece of furniture is the subject of a deceitful bargain? Can a wronged woman take revenge on her dead husband? In these dark, disturbing stories Roald Dahl explores the sinister side of human nature: the cunning, sly, selfish part of each of us that leads us into the territory of the unexpected and unsettling. Stylish, macabre and haunting, these tales will leave you with a delicious feeling of unease.

Collected together for the first time, stories include ‘The Landlady’, ‘William and Mary’, ‘The Way up to Heaven’, ‘Parson’s Pleasure’, ‘Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat’, ‘Royal Jelly’, ‘Grorgy Porgy’, ‘Genesis and Catastrophe’, ‘Edward the Conquerer’, ‘Pig’, ‘The Champion of the World’.

Visit to download any of these titles!



You can find more Roald Dahl audio books here

For more about Roald Dahl day click here

About Roald Dahl


Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide

A huge thank you to Leanne at Midas PR for asking me to feature this post.

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

What is your favourite Roald Dahl book?  Have you listened to any of the books on audio book?  Which one is your favourite?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!


Guest Post – Himalayan Megaquake! by Matt Dickinson


Earlier this year I featured a brilliant guest post from award-winning writer and filmmaker, with a passion for climbing and adventure, Matt Dickinson (you can find that post here).

His most notable film success was Summit Fever in which Matt reached the summit of Everest via the treacherous north face. His book The Death Zone tells the true story of that ascent and has become a bestseller in many different countries.

The second book in Matt Dickinson’s Everest Files series, which is based upon upon his own experiences of climbing Everest with actor Brian Blessed during the 1996 disaster.

In April / May this year, Matt has been blogging from Everest Base Camp as part of his appointment as ‘Writer in Residence’ with Jagged Globe’s 2016 Everest South Col expedition.

I am honoured to be able to feature one of the blog posts about the Himalayan megaquake on Tales today with kind permission from Lorna at Vertebrate Publishing and Matt !

First, here’s a  little about the book…..


Ryan Hart is an 18-year-old adventurer on a mission. To get himself to Mount Everest and check out the truth about the world’s highest peak. Friends have told him dark stories about the mountain, outrageous things that he wants to see for himself.

Just a few hours after Ryan arrives at Everest Base Camp a lethal earthquake strikes. Avalanches pound the glacier, burying Ryan’s climbing buddy and killing many others. A desperate rescue saves Ryan’s friend, but only after a local Tibetan girl Tashi helps with the search.

Stress levels are running high among the climbing teams. The mountain is shut for the season because it is judged too dangerous.

Then a flashlight reveals a clue. Someone is alive, high on Everest’s treacherous north face!

Tashi is convinced it is her 15-year-old brother.

Ryan is prepared to risk everything to help.

Storm clouds gather as they set out on their illegal climb, a do-or-die mission which the local militia will do anything to stop.

Sounds awesome right?!

*Hands over to Matt*

Himalayan Megaquake!

The Everest Team Witnesses Earthquake Destruction in Nepal

Our journey began in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, a country devastated by a terrible earthquake just one year ago. Kathmandu still has many visible scars from that catastrophic event; the central temple area of Barkor Square is flanked with buildings in a state of collapse.

Outside of the city, we witnessed even greater human tragedy in a small village called Harisiddhi, just one hour from Kathmandu. We were greeted by a villager called Mohindra and taken on a walk of the village, which left us in no doubt as to the lethal effects of the earthquake.

‘Five people died in this collapsed house,’ Mohindra told us sadly. In total the village had lost almost thirty people.

Many of the victims now live in emergency shelters of canvas and corrugated iron. Families of five or six can be cramped into a tiny living space with only the most basic amenities. Many children have been a full year off school. Others in the village of Harisiddhi have been sick as a result of disrupted water supplies.

When we asked villagers when they thought they would be able to re-build their houses, many of them simply shook their heads. ‘They have no money for construction,’ Mohindra told us. ‘There are rumours that money and materials might be available but we don’t know when.’

In another part of the village we did find some construction but only of the most basic type. Working by hand, without a single machine to mix concrete or help to dig foundations, a team of villagers were working side by side. It was a sign of hope in the midst of a terrible tragedy – an earthquake which cost many thousands of lives and which is still affecting the lives of many tens of thousands more, even as the first year anniversary comes round.

Yet throughout this dark chapter the people of Nepal remain positive and optimistic. Many villagers smiled as they welcomed us into their basic shelters. Earthquakes are deadly and unpredictable but they cannot squash the spirit of these wonderful people.


There are many Kathmandu temples still in a state of collapse.

© Matt Dickinson


Many thousands of houses were destroyed one year ago as a massive earthquake hit Nepal.

© Matt Dickinson


International agencies have provided emergency shelters.

© Matt Dickinson


Jagged Globe Everest climber Mary Scannell is taken to see earthquake damage in a small village near Kathmandu.

© Matt Dickinson


Thousands of Nepali children are living in emergency tents and shelters.

© Matt Dickinson


Nepali villagers work together to rebuild a house destroyed by the earthquake of April 2015.’

© Matt Dickinson

More blog posts are available at under the tab ‘Matt on Everest 2016’.


You can buy North Face by Matt Dickinson here or why not visit your local independent bookshop for a copy.


Matt Dickinson is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for climbing and adventure.

During his filmmaking career he has worked as a director/cameraman for National Geographic television, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Channel 4. His film projects have taken him to Antarctica, Africa and the Himalaya, often in the company of the world’s leading climbers and expeditioners.

His most notable film success was Summit Fever in which Matt reached the summit of Everest via the treacherous north face. His book The Death Zone tells the true story of that ascent and has become a bestseller in many different countries.

Matt is currently Patron of Reading at Lady Manners School in Bakewell and continues to climb and explore. In January 2013 he summitted Mount Aconcagua, which at 6,965 metres is the highest peak in the world outside the Himalaya. Currently, he is planning an ascent of Denali in Alaska, one of the ‘Seven Summits’.

Recently Matt has started writing fiction for teenage readers. His debut thriller series Mortal Chaos was well received by critics and readers alike. Matt followed this up with the first of three The Everest Files books, which has proven to be very popular. North Face is the hotly anticipated second title in the trilogy.

When he’s not writing, Matt tours the UK, speaking at schools and colleges and inspiring a new generation of adventurers.

You can find out more about Matt by visiting his website here

Another huge huge thank you to Matt for a fab guest post and to Lorna at Vertebrate Publishing for organising and giving me permission to feature this on my blog!

Check ot our previous guest post – A Tale Of Yesterday…From The Top Of The World by Matt Dickinson – here

Or a guest post about Matt’s book, Lie, Kill, Walkaway here

Are you a Matt Dickinson fan?  Have you read any of the Everest Files?  What did you think?  Has this guest post intrigued you?  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 or climbing Everest!


Guest Post – National Transplant Week by Emma Carroll


Organ Donation has always been at the forefront of my mind and in my heart ever since I was quite young.  I always remember telling my Mom at around the age of fourteen that I wanted to register as an organ donor so that it may help others if anything ever happened to me.  My mom helped me sign up and I have been an organ donor ever since.  To me it was such an important choice to make and I really hope one day that my choice may help others in need of a transplant.

This week is National Transplant Week and when lovely author Emma Carroll asked me if I would feature a guest post for something that is close to her heart, that she had written about in In Darkling Wood and to raise awareness of Organ Donation and National Transplant Week I immediately said yes!

*Hands over to Emma*

National Transplant Week

When I started writing ‘In Darkling Wood’ I didn’t know much about heart transplants. I knew I probably wanted to be a donor, and I knew first-hand the effect of life threatening illness on family and friends. It was a start, but I wanted to know more.

 This week 7-13 September is National Transplant Week, aimed at raising awareness of the need for more organ donors. Three people die daily waiting for transplants. This could be reduced dramatically if more of us made clear our wishes to donate.

 Rewind to 2010-11 and my car-share journeys to and from our MA course with writer buddy Maria Farrer. During those journeys, Maria told us about her young nephew who was in dire need of a heart transplant. Time for him was running out.

 Fast forward to 2013. Catching up over lunch with a beaming Maria, she shared news of her nephew’s incredible recovery. A heart had been found just in time. And now this young man –and his family who adored him- had a future to enjoy together. His story inspired Maria’s brilliant second novel ‘ A Flash of Blue’.


You can check out a post about by Maria Farrer  about her nephew over on Fluttering Butterflies here

And his story… the look on Maria’s face as she told it…also had a real impact on me. It stayed, fermenting away in my brain until I was ready to tell my own version through the lives of my fictional characters in ‘In Darkling Wood’.


 When researching transplants- the facts, the procedures, the logistics- what amazed me most were the personal stories of both donor families and the recipients. I didn’t want to write a science textbook. What I wanted was to try to understand the complexity of the situation, and that out of one person’s tragedy comes another person’s hope.

 This BBC documentary captures it brilliantly.

 If you’ve time, do watch it. It’ll get you thinking…

 To register as an organ donor go to

National Transplant Week:

Maria Farrer also wrote a brilliant piece in the Guardian about why young people need to talk about organ donation here

A huge huge thank you to Emma Carroll for this wonderful thought provoking guest post and to Maria for the lovely guest post over on Fluttering Butterflies.

Check out Emma Carroll’s guest post Do You Believe In Fairies here

Also find out more about The Snow Sister and Frost Hollow Hall in the #WinterCarrollReadalong here

I also have an extract from Strange Star here and a Guest Review of Strange Star by Perdita Cargill

Before I go I also wanted to share a transplant story that is truly inspirational by the lovely Dawn Kurtagich….

Join in the conversation on twitter using #NationalTransplantWeek or to register as an organ donor go to


Guest Post – Child Confidence by Judy Bartkowiak


When the lovely Faye Rogers asked me if I would like to be part of this fab blog tour I jumped at the chance.  Being a mother myself I thought this was a great way to see what this book was about a bit further as it sounded really interesting!

For my stop on the blog tour the lovely author Judy Bartkowiak talks to us about confidence in our children with some handy tips to help with our children’s confidence.

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and author Judy Bartkowiak for having me on this wonderful tour!

About The Book

Be A Happier Parent with NLP

Publisher – McGraw-Hill

Date Published – January 1st 2011

Pages – 209 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Living and Learning

“Be A Happier Parent with NLP” gives you the skills you need to raise a confident, secure child in a confident and secure manner. The book uses the tried, trusted and proven techniques of neuro-linguistic programming to help tackle areas in which you may feel you lack confidence as a parent, while at the same time giving you the skills to help your child be happy, fulfilled and confident him- or herself. You’ll find yourself feeling less guilty, more in control, and communicating better with your child–at the same time be able to support your child in difficult situations and help him or her grow into a well-rounded adult.

Includes: Personal insights from the author’s many years of experience of working with children Practical exercises to help you engage with the book and act on what you learn One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the authors’ many years of experience Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress Quick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.

You can find out more about this fab book here –

Goodreads Link:

Amazon Buy Link:

Child Confidence

Confidence for kids 4

I read the other day that failure is children’s greatest fear nowadays, not monsters under the bed or even the bully in the playground. What children fear most is failing, yet in life we know as their parents that life will present many challenges and opportunities to make mistakes so if they fear failure now, how will they learn the resilience that they will need to cope with those challenges they face further down the road in life? We need to teach them confidence because this is like having your own built-in protection.

 It may seem strange to talk about teaching confidence, after all, we assume children already have it don’t we? When parents bring children to me (I’m also an NLP Kids Coach) they talk about their child having lost their confidence so one of the things I do with children is to find it again and that’s what you can do, here’s how.

1.  When we start to notice that our child seems shy or quiet in company, starts fidgeting when people speak to them or doesn’t meet their eye contact we think they lack self-esteem and describe them as ‘shy’. When they say they don’t want to do something or they opt out of social situations or opportunities to join in, again this confirms that they seem to lack confidence. We put these different examples together and it starts to build a bigger picture of a child with low self-esteem. Maybe we find ourselves only noticing these patterns because we are slightly worried about it and we no longer notice examples of confident behaviour. This is very typical. When we are worried about something, we find ourselves noticing more and more of it. So what can you do to turn the tide? Instead, become curious. Start looking for signs of confidence everywhere. You will see it. The more you look for it, the more you’ll see it as well.  Children notice what you are taking an interest in and subconsciously they will display more of the confident behaviour as well.

2.  Sometimes we justify their lack of confidence by saying that we are quite shy ourselves or we perhaps also avoid opportunities to be centre stage. Our children model us. What they see us do is their pattern for life so if we hold back then they will copy that way of being and value it as the right way to be. They will be critical of others who are more confident and find their friends amongst others like them with whom they feel comfortable. So you need to model how you’d like them to be. Act as if you were confident to show them how to do it.

3.  Children need to find their own way of being confident and you can help by asking them who amongst their friends or their schoolmates is confident in a way that they’d like to be confident or which TV character or book character? Then suggest that when they are going into a situation that could be challenging they should imagine they are that person and ask themselves “what would he/she do now or say now?”

Confidenceforkids-200x320 (1)

For more ideas on how to build confidence in your child email for your free copy of ‘Confidence for kids’ (EBook or PDF).

About The Author


Judy Bartkowiak is the author of ‘Be a happier parent with NLP’ a guide to using life coaching skills to enhance your parenting. Judy and her husband Edward have four children – Lucy, Alex, Jess and Paul and live in rural Berkshire with their dogs Roxy and Holly and nine hens. Other NLP Family ( titles are:


NLP for Parents

NLP for Children (5-10yrs)

NLP for Tweens (11-14yrs)

NLP for Teens (15yrs+)

NLP for Teachers

NLP for New Mums

NLP for Weight Loss

NLP for Work

NLP for Back to Work

 Self-Esteem Workbook

NLP Workbook

Secrets of the NLP Masters

 Judy Bartkowiak comes from a business background where she worked with Toy companies and TV production companies helping them to understand children and their relationship with brands such as LEGO, Baby Born, Bratz, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pocoyo, Fireman Sam and many other well-known names. She runs Kids Brands Europe alongside her NLP training and coaching and has a Facebook Kids Panel for Market Research which is done online or from her home.

 She has an NLP training and coaching practice NLP Kids, specialising in child and parenting issues and runs Kids Brands Europe ( as well as writing for children as JudyBee.

 Judy loves playing tennis and reading as well as spending time with her family.

 Email Judy for your FREE mini book ‘Be a happier parent with NLP’ and apply code ‘Blog’ to get 10% discount off Judy’s books  at 

Blog Tour

Don’t forget to follow the rest of this awesome blog tour!


Have you read this book?  What did you think?  What did you think of the Confidence guest post?  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 !


Guest Post – Mental Health TBR by Nancy Tucker


I have recently been sent a copy of The Time Inbetween by Nancy Tucker by the brilliant @sablecaught who works at Icon Books.  I have not got around to reading it yet, but it is high on my TBR pile and is set to be an insprational read!

My own review will follow shortly but for now here is a bit about the book….

When Nancy Tucker was eight years old, her class had to write about what they wanted in life. She thought, and thought, and then, though she didn’t know why, she wrote: ‘I want to be thin.’ Over the next twelve years, she developed anorexia nervosa, was hospitalised, and finally swung the other way towards bulimia nervosa. She left school, rejoined school; went in and out of therapy; ebbed in and out of life. From the bleak reality of a body breaking down to the electric mental highs of starvation, hers has been a life held in thrall by food. Told with remarkable insight, dark humour and acute intelligence, The Time in Between is a profound, important window into the workings of an unquiet mind – a Wasted for the 21st century.

I was over the moon to be asked to be part of the blog tour for this books espcially as this week is Mental Health Awareness week…something I am hugely passionate about supporting!  You can find out more here where you can find advise and support for anyone who needs it whether you are suffering or know some one who is.

Therefore I asked the brilliant author Nancy Tucker who has struggled with Mental Health for a long time to share some books that are on the top of her TBR pile that champion mental health!  And she has picked some great reads that I will be adding to my pile straight away!

*hands over to Nancy*

There is also a brilliant giveaway over on Goodreads!  I will pop the link at the bottom of the post!

Top five mental health memoirs I would like to read by Nancy Tucker

Reason to Stay Alive – Matt Haig


I know, I am shamefully late to the party with this one! I don’t tend to feel quite the same magnetic pull to depression memoirs as I do to those which explore eating disorders, simply because I’ve never personally suffered from depression in its own right, only as a by-product of anorexia/bulimia. But I’ve heard amazing things about this book, its message and the hope it conveys, so am really excited to read it.

 The Man Who Couldn’t Stop – David Adam


I always think OCD is the disorder with the most to contend with in terms of public ignorance, misunderstanding and general stupidity, so I am really intrigued to see how this book undermines common misconceptions and explores the way in which ‘normal’ obsessions/compulsions are elevated to a torturous extreme in OCD sufferers. There’s also a personal interest for me, as though I’ve never personally experienced OCD I do think there is a significant overlap between OCD and anorexia in terms of attempting to feel safe through ritualised behaviour.

 An Unquiet Mind – Kay Redfield Jamison


I’ve heard this referred to as ‘the definitive text on manic depression’, so it feels like a good place to start in terms of learning about a condition I currently understand very little. Though I’ve never suffered from anything even approaching manic depression myself, the notion of uncontrollable swings between mania and despair is one which does feel a little familiar to me – albeit on a much more muted scale – and I am interested to see how Jamison balances recounting her own experiences of the disorder with giving her professional insight as a clinician.

 Elena Vanishing – Elena & Clare Dunkle


An eating disorder book which I’ve not read is a rare thing indeed, so I am very excited to get my hands on this when it is released in a couple of weeks! As far as I can tell it is a co-written account of a mother and daughter’s struggle with the daughter’s anorexia, which isn’t a novel concept (Hungry – Sheila & Lisa Himmel; Alice in the Looking Glass – Jo & Alice Kingsley) but one which I think usually works very well, as anorexia often has the most profound effect on the relationship between mother and daughter.

 Life is Trichy – Lindsey M Muller


This is a memoir exploring the author’s struggle with trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling), dermatillomania (compulsive skin-picking), and a cluster of other anxiety-based problems. I’m mainly interested in the fact that the author is herself a therapist, so spent years hiding her own struggles from clients, some of whom presented with the very same struggles she herself was facing. I hope to train as a counselling psychologist in the future, and often find myself wondering whether my own experience of mental illness will augment or diminish my ability to help those I treat, so I am really interested to read about how that balance worked in someone else’s life.

A huge thank you to Nancy for a brilliant guest post and for Stevie at Icon Books for asking me to be part of this wonderful tour and for sending me a copy of the book….I can’t wait to read!

You can follow Nancy Tucker on twitter using – @NancyCNTucker

You can buy this book here or why not order it in at your local bookshop 🙂

Or find out more over at Icon Books here


About Nancy Tucker

Nancy with her book

Nancy Tucker is a 20-year-old author and nanny. She suffered from both anorexia and bulimia nervosa throughout her teens, but is now on the road to recovery and has gained a place at Oxford to study Experimental Psychology in 2015. She lives in London.




Hope on over to Goodreads where you could win a signed copy of The Time Inbetween!

And the giveaway is open internationally!

Enter now!

Blog Tour

Why not follow the rest of this brillaint blog tour or catch up on posts!

Tour in between (1)

Have you read The Time Inbetween?  Did you enjoy it?  Are you taking part in mental health awareness week?  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 !



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