Category Archives: Other

Spotlight – Children’s Hospice Charity Raffle To Win 100 Signed Books


I was contacted by the lovely Hannah from Lifelites about an Ultimate Library Raffle that they are currently running and I really wanted to share this with everyone.

Lifelites donate specialist technology to terminally ill and disabled children in hospices, and they are hoping to raise lots of funds through this wonderful raffle to help us continue their brilliant work.

Lifelites empowers 10,000 children and young people in hospices with life-limiting, life-threatening illnesses and disabling conditions by providing them with opportunities to benefit from the power of assistive and inclusive technologies to learn, to be creative, to communicate and to take control. There is a Lifelites project in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay a penny towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs around £50,000 over four years.

(Charity Number: 1165791)

Here’s a little more about the charity and the raffle taken from the press release supplied by Lifelites…..

Ultimate Library Of 100 Signed Books

Charity Lifelites raffling the Ultimate Library of 100 signed books to raise money for children in hospices.

 Lifelites – a unique charity which donates specialist technology packages for the 10,000 terminally ill and disabled children in every children’s hospice in the British Isles – is giving one lucky bookworm the chance to win The Ultimate Library of 100 signed books.

The prize, which is a once in a lifetime opportunity, will be given away as part of an online raffle hosted on, and tickets will cost just £5 each.  That’s equivalent to just 5p per book, but to a book lover the prize will be priceless, as every single one is signed by the author or illustrator. Everyone who buys a ticket will also be helping to support the charity’s work in children’s hospices across the British Isles.

The 100 signed books cover just about every genre including crime, romance, fantasy, historical, biographical, mystery, comedy, political, poetry, food, travel, and thriller.

Among the authors who have kindly donated are Zadie Smith, Sue Perkins, Jeremy Paxman, Sophie Kinsella, Tony Parsons, PD James, Sophie Hannah, Andy McNab, Paula Hawkins, Alan Bennett, John Le Carré, Jeffrey Archer and Margaret Drabble.

As well as the top prize of 100 signed books, there will also be a second prize. When finalised, the full list of books in each prize can be found on the Lifelites website:

Every penny raised will support Lifelites’ work to enhance the lives of terminally ill and disabled children in hospices through the power of technology. The charity donates and maintains cutting-edge, accessible equipment to give these children with limited lives unlimited possibilities. The equipment, staff training and ongoing support costs Lifelites over £1,000 a month per hospice but the charity donates this completely free of charge.

Fundraising and PR manager Dominic Hourd said: “Lifelites is so excited to be offering this prize. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are extremely grateful to every author who has kindly donated a signed book. Each one will help us raise money for all 10,000 terminally ill and disabled children in hospices across the British Isles.”

The raffle will begin on January 20th and run for three weeks and end on the 10th February 2017.

You can enter and donate here:

Terms and Conditions

Please note – cost of delivery is not included. Lifelites will arrange this with the lucky winner. All books are currently at the Lifelites head office in central London. Shipping overseas is possible but will be extremely costly at the winner’s expense, so we do not advise this.

Please note that this raffle is being hosted via Lifelite and not through myself or

A huge thank you to Hannah for getting in touch with me about hosting a spotlight for such a good cause which I’m happy to support.

What would you do with 100 signed books?  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 Post – 15 Best Books Read In 2016

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

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

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

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

Also check out my 2016 End Of Year Book Survey here

These will be listed in no particular order.

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

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

Thank You All x

Here we go…..

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







Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

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

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

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

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

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

You can find my full review here







Waiting For Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill

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

The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

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

You can find my full review here

The Next Together by Lauren James

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







The Girl Of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

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

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

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

You can find my full review here







Super Awkward by Beth Garrod

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

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

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







Unboxed by Non Pratt

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

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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

The Deviants by C J Skuse

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

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

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

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

Tales Post – 2016 End Of Year Survey

This fab 2016 end of year book survey is the 7th annual end of year survey hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner and is the third time I am participating!

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

Thank You All x

Number Of Books You Read:


I’m really disappointed with myself I have to admit.  I hit a huge reading slump in about May time and I just could not get myself out of it.  Also I have been starting books and not finishing them and also not keeping track with books I have read!

*rolls eyes at self*

You can find out all about the books I read in 2016 here

Number of Re-Reads:

I don’t think I have read and re-reads but this does not include the Point Horror books as I can’t remember which ones I read as teenager!

Genre You Read The Most From:


I read a lot of UKYA books which is not a genre I know, but a worthy mention.

Best Book You Read In 2016?

Oh gosh!  I always struggle with this question so much!

I have my top 15 best books of 2016 here

If I had to pick these two would be top of the list……







Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I’m going to go for a Point Horror here I think……

Caroline B Cooney has become the queen of Point Horror, but this one was more disappointing than I would have thought.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2016?

In a good way…..mainly because I was not expecting what I read and it blew me away!

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2016?

Without a doubt…….

Best series you started in 2016?

Best Sequel of 2016?

Best Series Ender of 2016?

I don’t think I got to read a series ender this year!

Favourite new author you discovered in 2016?

Sara Barnard!

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t tend to read a lot of fantasy, but Mel always makes me fall in love with the genre!

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Most memorable character of 2016?

Blister from Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Book That Shocked You The Most?

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

All the Katherine’s & Matthew’s….all of them!

Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?

The friendships in Beautiful Broken Things

Favourite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

OMG I haven’t fallen for any characters this year!  What even is happening!

Best 2016 debut you read?

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?








Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

New favourite book blog you discovered in 2016?

I think run by the lovely @eenalol and the brilliant run by the lovely @YAundermyskin (Amy) are two highlights for me, but I’m sure there’s many more that I’m just not thinking of at the moment!

Favourite review that you wrote in 2016?

I think it has to be the review I wrote for the last book I read in 2015 – Jellicoe Road.  I just read that review back and although I feel like I haven’t done the book justice it brings back all the memories and feelings of the book completely.

You can find my review here

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I’ve hosted so many brilliant posts this year on my blog but I particularly loved this post I hosted by an anonymous friend about anxiety – here

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?


Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Chairing this event!  A dream come true!

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I’ve really struggled this year to find a good balance.  With working full time, having an 11 year old son who started secondary school in September, blogging, reading and trying to fit some writing time in I have to admit it’s been hard and I’m not sure I’ve been too successful at achieving everything, but this may be down to doing too much more than anything else.

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

I’m not a stats person.  I rarely check my stats.  Therefore I have absolutely no idea on this.

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I plucked up the courage and popped a very short story up on my blog as part of a blog tour post where we had to answer the question What Is Human.  I’m really proud of the story and it made people cry (sorry)

You can check out the story here

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Portable Charge Packs – all that tweeting and photo taking at events drain your battery so much!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

You can find a whole post about this here

Goodreads Challenge – I read 37 out of the 75 book challenge I set myself at the start of the year.

British Books Challenge – I read 21 books by UK authors in 2016 and reviewed 12 of these which  counted towards the challenge.

2015 Classics Challenge – I read 0 Classic books for the Classics Challenge! FAIL!

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Becoming a lot more organised and actually giving myself some down time to do other things.

A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone

I’ve been sooooooo good and have not yet read any 2017 releases!  I’m either crazy or a genius!  I will let you guess which one!

Thanks to Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner for hosting and I’m looking forward to 2017 already!

Happy Reading

Tales Post – Two Year Bloggerversary!


Today the 16th November 2016, marks the day of my second bloggerversary!

*blows party poppers*

I have lots of thank you giveaway’s below but first a few words…..

It’s been two whole years since I posted my first post on Tales Of Yesterday and jumped into the book blogging community!

Over these two years I have been welcomed with open arms by the community. By other bloggers, authors, publishers and more and it was so wonderful and kind.

Hand on heart it is the best decision I have ever made.  Combining my love of books with like minded people that I can chat to about books or gain recommendations or just have a general chat is just amazing and I can honestly say that I have made some truly good friends along the way!

Looking back over the past year I have achieved so much.  I’ve been busy on my blog welcoming authors for guest posts and interviews, running spotlights and reviewing books.

I have overcome fears and chaired 3 authors panels at Waterstones Birmingham with my fourth upcoming chairing event with one of my favourite authors Jennifer Niven.

I have helped host a blogger breakfast at Foyles Birmingham and a co hosted a workshop at YA Shot this year.

I have become a part of the YA Shot team and organised a huge blog tour for 75 authors and 75 bloggers over the course of 3 months and also helped the Lost and Found Authors organise a mini blog tour too.

I attended YALC in July 16 and other awesome bookish events including blogger events at publishers and had so much fun.

I was recently nominated for Blogger Of The Year 2016 and Champion Of Social Media at the #UKYABA2016 and won 4 other blogging awards including champion adult blogger and growing blogger which was all voted for by you.  Something of which I am still so amazed and grateful for.

My blog has helped me to explore my passion for reading more and especially delve more into the wonderful world of YA (especially UKYA) and MG which I love with all of my heart.

Find out why I love the UKYA community here

I even won NanoWriMo at the end of November 2015 and I am currently working on the words I created during that time and have a brilliant mentor in the form of Keris Stainton which is completely awesome!

Don’t get me wrong.  Book blogging is hard work.  Working full time, having an eleven year old who has just started secondary school, finding time to read and blog can be a juggling act especially as I am now trying to find time to write too.  Many a late night has been spent typing up posts.  Many a TV show I really wanted to watch sacrificed as I just could not put my book down.  Many a neglected husband who puts up with me typing away at a computer whilst he is tucked up in bed asleep.  But I love it.  I find it fun and enjoyable.  My escapism.  My hobby.  My passion.

This time last year I was celebrating my 170th post.  This post marks my 373rd post on Tales.  Wow!  373 posts in two years!  I never thought that that would be possible on any level or scale.

This time last year I was celebrating reaching 1500 followers on twitter.  I recently hit 4000 followers on twitter which brought tears to my eyes….mainly because I feel sorry for you all with my random rambling tweets, but also because you all are amazing and put up with me being on twitter a little to much than I should!

I’ve started using Instagram and Litsy a bit more over this year and have been having fun taking photos of books….so many books.

Any way enough of me going on!

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past two years!  Thank you for being on this journey with me and sailing along with me, supporting me. You are all truly amazing….so much so I am failing to put anything into words the one thing I really do need to say….

THANK YOU *hugs everybody* x


With thanks to some wonderful publishers I am hosting some giveaways in celebration of my second bloggerversary.  These giveaways are mainly YA or MG releases.

Some lovely publishers have kindly donated some wonderful wonderful prizes that I cannot wait for you all to see!

All the giveaways including details of the books are listed below and will be on a week long rafflecopter giveaway for each giveaway**.  Some are single book giveaways some are book bundles.

**Excludes one giveaway that is being hosted on twitter here**

  Do check the terms and conditions before entering and good luck!

Please note these giveaways will be UK only unless specified.

A huge thank you to all of the publishers who donated prizes.

Giveaway One

With thanks to the lovely people at Chicken House I have 5 copies of The Secret Of Nightingale Hall by Lucy Strange to giveaway to 5 lucky winners.

UK Only


1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees – or thinks she sees – in the shadows of their new home, Hope House. All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden. One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world …

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Two

With thanks to the lovely people at Scholastic I have brilliant YA Contemporary Book Bundle to giveaway to 1 lucky winner.

UK Only

The book bundle includes…..


Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a major public breakup with her boyfriend threatens to ruin Avery’s plans for a perfect senior prom and Avery starts thinking about all the guys she’s dated. How come none of those relationships worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery tracks down her exes and interviews them, compiling a total account of her dating history. She discovers some truths about herself along the way…just in time for prom night!


I, Bella Fisher, am absolutely WINNING at FAILING at life. 1. I once got my tongue stuck to a box of Calippos in a supermarket. 2. I accidentally called my geography teacher Mum. Twice. He wasn’t impressed. 3. I’m a geek. And not in a geek-chic kind of way, but in a secretly-caring-about-failing-maths-and-science way. 4. I always fail maths and science. So it figures that when I meet the FITTEST BOY IN THE WORLD, Zac, I’m doing solo star jumps. While dressed as a cereal box. *(NOTE TO SELF, fancy dress = HE-WILL-NEVER-EVER-FANCY-ME dress.) Now I’ve got to somehow persuade Zac to come to prom with me while avoiding my evil ex and dealing with a secret so mega-awks I want to Ctrl-Z my brain… What could go wrong? Oh yeah, that’s right. Absolutely everything.


This summer, Summer’s saying goodbye to her best friend, her secret crush and her single mom and is off on a trip of a lifetime to visit her estranged artist father in France. But right before she’s about to board, her phone rings. Should she answer it? Either way, it’s going to be a summer Summer will never forget.


Penelope is a pretty regular sixteen year old girl living in New York City. Except for a few run-ins with her nemesis Cherisse, high school has been fairly drama free …until the day that Keats shows up at school. Handsome, charming, but with an edge, Keats comes in and upends everything. Faced with her first break-up, and her first heartbreak, Penelope decides to put together a collection to tell her story and help her sort out her feelings. Featuring a spectrum of artefacts that chronicle the lives of the curator, her best friends, her first boyfriend and some dinosaurs, the Museum of Heartbreak explores the giddy confusion, inevitable sadness and sheer joy of growing up and falling in love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Three

With thanks to the lovely people at Rock The Boat I have a brilliant sequel to giveaway to 1 lucky winner, Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

UK only


Hanna Donnelly is the station captain’s pampered daughter and Nik Malikov is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. Together they struggle with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, blissfully unaware that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall with news of the Kerenza invasion.

Picking up about five minutes after Illuminae ends, Gemina is the electrifying sequel to the hottest YA novel of 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Four

Again with thanks to the lovely people at Rock The Boat I have two hard hitting brilliant books to giveaway as one prize pack.

UK only

The pack includes….


Charlie Davis is in pieces. At seventeen, she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget it through cutting; the pain washes out the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. She doesn’t have to think about her father or what happened under the bridge. Her best friend, Ellis,  who is gone forever. Or the mother who has nothing left to give her. Kicked out of a special treatment center when her insurance runs out, Charlie finds herself in the bright and wild landscape of Tucson, Arizona, where she begins the unthinkable: the long journey of putting herself back together.


‘There were friends once, but they melted away. Things are different now I am a MONSTER’

Frances is alone. Cast away on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, she has to find water, food and shelter. But survival is hard. Especially when she is haunted by memories of the things that she did before, the things that made her a monster. Pushed to the limit in extreme conditions, she battles to come to terms with her past, and find a future worth fighting for.

This is a gripping and thought-provoking story about one girl’s journey to become the person she believes she can be.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Five

With thanks to the lovely people at Bloomsbury I have 3 sets of this fab trilogy including a poster to giveaway for 3 lucky winners!

UK Only


As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in Arin, a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him – and for a sensational price that sets the society gossips talking. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for him is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

The first novel in a stunning new trilogy, The Winner’s Curse is a story of romance, rumours and rebellion, where dirty secrets and careless alliances can be deadly – and everything is at stake.


Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.


Following the intrigue and danger of The Winner’s Curse and the revolution and romance of The Winner’s Crime, Kestrel finds herself in the tundra’s mines and Arin has sailed home. The empire seems unstoppable.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this third and final installment in the heart-stopping Winner’s trilogy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Six

Again with thanks to Bloomsbury I have two proof copies of The Edge Of Everything by Jeff Giles to giveaway for two lucky winners.

UK Only

**Please note these are proof copies and will not be finished copies**


Every day, Zoe struggles to keep going. The cruel winter took her father’s life and left her angry and broken hearted. As she carries her little brother through a snowstorm that could kill him in minutes, her only thought is finding shelter. The cabin beyond the woods is far from the place of safety she hoped it would be, but it is there that she meets a man whose muscular body, marked with strange and primitive tattoos, hints at an extraordinary story. He has the power to light up the lake, and with it, Zoe’s world.

Zoe calls the stranger X. He is a bounty hunter, tormented by the evils of his victims, which course through his veins. X has never known anything but hate, until he meets Zoe. She shows him what a heart is really for and, if they can find a way to be together, just maybe, his pain can help Zoe forget her own.

This high-stakes, heart-pounding romance will leave readers breathless for this break-out new series and its sequel.

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Giveaway Seven

Another Giveaway with thanks to Bloomsbury – I have 5 copies of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige each with its own compact mirror to giveaway to 5 lucky winners.

UK Only


Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave .
She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate .

A wonderfully icy fantastical romance, with a strong heroine choosing her own destiny, Danielle Paige’s irresistibly page-turning Snow Queen is like Maleficent and Frozen all grown up.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Eight

With thanks again to Bloomsbury I have a copy of this gorgeous book to giveaway to one lucky winner.

UK Only


Frank doesn’t know how to feel when Nick Underbridge rescues her from bullies one afternoon. No one likes Nick. He’s big, he’s weird and he smells – or so everyone in Frank’s class thinks.

And yet, there’s something nice about Nick’s house. There’s strange music playing there, and it feels light and good and makes Frank feel happy for the first time in forever.

But there’s more to Nick, and to his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help .

A poignant, darkly comic and deeply moving story about the power of the extraordinary, and finding friendship where you least expect it. Written by the author of the critically acclaimed The Imaginary and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Levi Pinfold, this is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Nine

Again with thanks to Bloomsbury I have three proof copies of The Dragon With The Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis to giveaway to three lucky winners.

UK Only

**Please note these are proof copies and will not be finished copies**


Aventurine is the fiercest, bravest kind of dragon, and she’s ready to prove it to her family by leaving the safety of their mountain cave and capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.

But when the human she captures tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she finds herself transformed into a puny human girl with tiny blunt teeth, no fire, and not one single claw. She’s still the fiercest creature in these mountains though – and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate! All she has to do is walk on two feet to the human city, find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time . won’t she?

Wild and reckless young Aventurine will bring havoc to the human city – but what she doesn’t expect is that she’ll find real friendship there too, along with betrayal, deception, scrumptious chocolate and a startling new understanding of what it means to be a human (and a dragon).

A pinch of Ella Enchanted, a sprinkling of How to Train your Dragon and a generous helping of Eva Ibbotsen -The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart is entirely delicious.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway 10

Another giveaway with thanks to Bloomsbury I have three copies of the brilliant The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew to giveaway to three lucky winners.

UK Only


A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there’s no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he’s only small, he swears that he’ll get revenge one day.

Years later, Trey goes to a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It’s packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey’s been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he’s not here for saving: this is where he’ll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bonus Giveaway!

Another giveaway with thanks to Bloomsbury…..

I am currently hosting a giveaway on twitter to win one of three signed copies of A Court Of Thorns And Roses by the brilliant Sarah J Maas for three lucky winners!



Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

The start of a sensational romantic fantasy trilogy by the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series.

Contains mature content. Not suitable for younger readers.

Just follow on twitter and retweet – here

Another huge thank you to all of the publishers that have contributed books to my two year giveaway.

And a huge thank you to YOU for all of your support over the past two years!

Good Luck and Happy Reading!


Tales Post – Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016


This week, 3rd to the 9th October, is Dyslexia Awareness Week!

And the lovely people at BookLife, Barrington Stokes and Amber from the Mile Long Bookshelf have some great bookish posts lined up with some awesome bloggers highlighting some brilliant books for people with Dyslexia making reading accessible for everyone!


BookLife source books for schools in a variety of different areas including; nursery,primary and secondary markets and have teamed up with the well-know SEN publisher Barrington Stoke and a number of fantastic bloggers in order to release video and online content for every single day of Dyslexia Awareness Week  – 3rd to the 9th October.





There’s also a fab competition so do check out the bottom of the post for details!

BookLife – Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016

Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf posted a brilliant video…..

Tuesday 4th October

Georgia Stencel reviews The Snake Who Came to Stay by Julia Donaldson



Wednesday 5th October 

Amber Kirk-Ford reviews Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door by Julia Donaldson



Thursday 6th October 

Holly Peckitt reviews Monster Busters by Cornelia Funke



Friday 7th October

Bookaholic blogger Kyra reviews Prince Frog Face by Kaye Umansky



Saturday 8th October 

Kirsty Stanley reviews The Mystery of the Man with the Black Beard by Gillian Cross




There are two free posters that have been specifically designed for Dyslexia Awareness week and have been sent out to over 16,000 schools. Anyone can download these for free by following the link:



For a chance to win your free copy of Julia Donaldson’s book, tweet @booklifesocial using the hashtag #booklifedaw2016


Do give @booklifesocial and @barringtonstoke a follow as well as all the fab bloggers and vloggers taking part!



Happy Reading!


Tales Post – The Birmingham Literature Festival: Teen Takeover


The Birmingham Literature Festival: Teen Takeover is an all-day mini fest that will be taking place on Sunday 9th October in Birmingham!

I have been asked by the wonderful George, one of four young writers who have been given the opportunity to organize and run the first ever Birmingham Literature Festival: Teen Takeover to tell you all about it!

Since February George and three colleagues have been working alongside the team at Writing West Midlands to put together what they hope will be a diverse and entertaining day of events with something for booklovers of all ages.


So today I’m going to tell you everything you need to know and a little bit more about the wonderful events happening at the Birmingham Literature Festival: Teen Takeover!

Don’t forget to follow the Birmingham Literature Festival: Teen Takeover on twitter – @BLFteentakeover


Buy a Teen Takeover Pass to access all events (excluding workshops) for only £20.

0121 245 4455

Or book the events individually….












So there you have it!

The Teen Takeover is a truly diverse and innovative all-day festival that has been enthusiastically crafted by young writers to celebrate the art forms they love and cast light on the issues that matter to them.

From anarchic graphic novels to hard-hitting spoken word, there’ll be something for everyone on the day.

Don’t forget you can buy a Teen Takeover Pass to access all events (excluding workshops) for only £20.

0121 245 4455

No wellies required!


Tales Review – The Foolish King by Mark Price & Illustrated by Martin Brown

The Foolish King Jacket

LONG, LONG AGO, when kings ruled the land, dragons filled the sky and magic still existed, two small children stumbled upon the game of chess. This is your chance to discover it with them …Join PIP and HOLLY on a magical fairy-tale adventure and become a CHESS MASTER.

Packed with INTERACTIVE PUZZLES and GAMES, and clear instructions and tips on how to improve your technique, this book is a must have.

It’s estimated that chess is played by 500 million people in 167 countries and now you can help to create the next generation of chess champions with The Foolish King. The book is the perfect gift for young children to learn how to play one of the world’s most popular games and it’s guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours!

   The Foolish King teaches children the chess moves and rules through a fabulous story, with the witty and whimsical illustrations bringing to life the characters. There are fun interactive puzzles to practice the different moves and the ultimate chess game to follow as part of the story.

There is also an interactive, smartly-designed iPad app that is ideal for children aged six and above. Using the same story and Martin Brown’s illustrations, it features clear tutorials, tips on how to improve your technique and suggestions for chess moves to try. There are one and two player game options, three different levels (easy, medium and hard) and the ability to play a friend either side-by-side or opposite each other as on a traditional board. The Foolish King app will be a superb companion to the book. 






THE FOOLISH KING: The Secret History of Chess publishing in hardback from David Fickling Books on 1st September 2016, £10.99


Learn chess basics through ‘How To Play’ tutorials


Play chess with the insects and bees from the story

Play against the computer or your friend

Help and prompts when playing chess

3 different levels of chess game difficulty

Beautifully illustrated throughout

Publisher – David Fickling Books

Date Published – 1st September 2016

Pages – 80 pages

Format – Hardback

Category – Activity Books

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book to review by the wonderful Laura at David Fickling Books!   This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you for sending this to me to read!

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

Now I am the first one to admit I am really not a chess player.  I have never understood it throughout my whole life.  Even when it’s been explained to me time after time after time I could never get the hang of it.  Give me a good old game of simple draughts any old day I would say!  So when the opportunity came around for me to receive a copy of The Foolish King for review and hearing how the author, Mark Price, wrote it for his daughter to help her learn to play chess I thought I would give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

The book tells the fictional story of the village of Stur and how, upon the King’s death his son King Parip rules the land.  A greedy, mean and jealous man who with Crow by his side runs the village into the ground until there is no food, no gardens or crops and no insects.  When there is only one pear tree left in the land and with the King threatening to chop it down Pip & Holly know they must do something before it’s too late!

 The story reads like an old fairy-tale and brings to life the village of Stur and it’s characters.  As the book progresses Pip and Holly realise that they will have to learn a new game, chess, to try and help safe the village and their beloved pear tree.

The illustrations by Martin Brown are stunningly beautiful on each and every page and really bring the story to life before your eyes.  And the interactive parts of the book with various chess boards and puzzles were perfect.

What I loved about this book was the step by step guide that it takes you through with learning the different chess moves.  The traditional chess pieces are replaced with insects but this is clearly labelled at the front of the book as to which piece is which.  There are explanations, tips on playing chess and little puzzles to try out the new moves you have learnt as you go along.

I found myself fully absorbed in this book and concentrating not only on the story but trying to remember the moves and learn them all in the process ready for me to try the app out on a real game of chess.  It amazed me how simple Mark Price made chess seem through the way he tells the story and the explanations.  I always thought it was so complicated, but it felt understandable to me completely.

Once I had finished the book I tried out the app which again really surprised me and blew all my expectations up in the air.  With the app came a digital version of the book, an option to learn the game of chess focusing on each individual chess piece and the game of chess for one player, against the computer, or two player, against your friends or family.

I went into a game of chess at least knowing the moves and giving the computer a run for it’s money…..yes I know I lost three times, but I’m still learning and I at least felt like I knew what I was doing some what.

This book and/or the app is aimed at younger children, but I think it would make a good family read and with the app alongside it fully enjoyable and super fun.

In fact my son has ran off with the book to read as soon as I put it down…..he thinks he can defeat me at chess……NEVER!

I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!


The Foolish King Jacket

THE FOOLISH KING: The Secret History of Chess publishing in hardback from David Fickling Books on 1st September 2016, £10.99

You can buy a copy of The Foolish King here

THE FOOLISH KING app released 1st September 2016, £3.99 for iPad and can be purchased here 

You can see Mark Price talking about the making of THE FOOLISH KING here

About Mark Price

Mark Price joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1982. He spent 17 years on the board of Waitrose, becoming Managing Director in 2007 and held this post until 2016. He was also Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership from 2013. Mark was appointed Chairman of Business in the community in 2011 and Chairman of the Prince’s Countryside Fund in 2010. In 2016, Mark was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment and a life peer. He will publish a number of books during 2016 and beyond

About Illustrator Martin Brown


Martin Brown is best known for his illustrations of the best selling Horrible Histories series. He has also written and illustrated Lesser Spotted Animals, published by David Fickling Books.

Have you read The Foolish King?  What did you think?  Has this review convinced you to pick up a copy and read and learn how to play chess?  Will you buy the book or the app or both?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment by clicking the reply button at the top of this page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy

 Happy Reading!



Tales Post – 5 Reasons I’m Excited To Read Garlic & Gauloises by Hemmie Martin

g&g banner1

I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this fabulous adult contemporary Garlic & Gauloises by Hemmie Martin.

Garlic & Gauloises was released on the 11th September 2016 published in by Winter Goose Publishing.

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Hemmie Martin for having me on this wonderful tour and to Faye for sending me a copy of the book to read.

For my stop on the blog tour I’m giving you five reasons why I’m excited to read Garlic & Gauloises!


Alice Calwin finds herself without purpose in life after the death of her mother, whom she’d been caring for following a stroke. Theo Edwards, a literary journalist, has a sour outlook on life, bolstered by his ongoing divorce, and is feeling the pressure to revitalise his column in the newspaper. They encounter one another at a writers’ retreat in France, but Alice’s shameful past and Theo’s deceptive reasons for being there end up affecting them both in very different ways. When someone finally acknowledges their mistakes, is it ever too late to make amends?

Five Reasons I’m Excited To Read Garlic & Gauloises by Hemmie Martin

Contemporary Fiction

I love a good contemporary book!  I have been intrigued by this book ever since I heard about it and I also know that Hemmie is a member of The Crime Writer’s Association and mental health often features in her novels due to her background of forensic mental health nursing.  This in itself makes this adult fiction contemporary intriguing as it has so many possibilities.

Setting & Location

Garlic & Gauloises is set in London and France which are two places I adore and also features a French chateaux writing retreat which sounds like perfection!  Hemmie herself has lived in both of these locations.

A Wide Range Of Characters

From reviews I have read there are a number of characters who all meet under one roof at the writers retreat (a bit like an Agatha Christie novel) and they all sound interesting.  There’s a journalist who may not be all he appears to be, two old ladies, a personal trainer, a gay thriller writer, a young sexy erotica writer and of course the main character Alice.


Again from reviews I have read there seems to be a lot of angst and secrets amongst the characters and I am excited to discover them all!

Something Terrible

I’m excited to find out what terrible thing happens at the writers retreat and how this effects or exposes the characters.  As Hemmie writes “crime and contemporary fiction with a dark edge” I am sure I will be shocked with the twists and turns that occur.

G&GYou can buy a copy of Garlic & Gauloises here

Or why not add to your Goodreads list here

About Hemmie Martin

Hemmie Martin

Hemmie Martin spent most of her professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Mental Health Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France. She now writes full time. Hemmie created the DI Wednesday series, featuring DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox, set in and around Cambridge, with fictional villages. There are four books in the series so far. Hemmie has also written a psychological thriller, Attic of the Mind, and two contemporary women’s fiction, The Divine Pumpkin and Garlic & Gauloises. Mental health often features in her novels due to her background of forensic mental health nursing. Hemmie is a member of The Crime Writer’s Association.

You can find out more about Hemmie Martin on her website –

Or why not follow her on twitter – @HemmieMM

Or Facebook here

Blog Tour

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

Monday 29th August

Being Anne

Ladies Living in Bookland

Tuesday 30th August


Wonderfully Bookish

Wednesday 31st August

Ali the Dragon Slayer

Little Miss Reads

Thursday 1st September

Tales of Yesterday

Sally Akins

Friday 2nd September

Chimera Poetry

Becca’s Book Affair

Saturday 3rd September

Little Hels B

Sunday 4th September

Big Book Little Book



A huge huge thank you to Faye Rogers for organising this fab blog tour!

Have you read any of the Garlic & Gauloises?  What did you think?  Have my five reasons tempted you?   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 Post – #HashtagReads – Newsletter Sign Up

HASHTAGREADS logo + tagline

Hashtag Reads is home to some of the best-loved YA authors including Cassandra Clare, Gayle Forman, Paige Toon, Morgan Matson and Darren Shan. It’s a great place for readers to find out about the latest YA reads, hear more from their favourite authors, read exclusive material and enter the hottest competitions.

Author names

How would you like to Win Your Height In Books?!

Hashtag Reads are launching a fab new newsletter which will keep you up to date on all the latest Hashtag Reads bookish news and features from these fab authors and more!

*bursts in excitement*

And if you sign up now, before the 25th August 2016, you will not only receive the very first fab newsletter (due out on Thursday 25th August), but you will also be entered into a prize draw to win your height in books!

Grab the tallest person you know if you win!  Imagine all the books!

*faints in booksih glee*

Please note this competition is being run directly through Hashtag Reads and not through myself or Tales Of Yesterday.

You can sign up to the newlestter below!

The Hashtag Reads tumblr and facebook pages also have fab posts including Q&A’s and all fun bookish things!



And you can also follow HashTag Reads on twitter too!

Twitter: @hashtagreads

Sign up to the newsletter now or if you are reading this post after the competition date thats okay you can still sign up too for booksh love!

HASHTAGREADS logo + tagline

A huge huge thank you to Liz at Hashtag Reads for asking me to feature this on my blog!

Are you signing up to the newsletter?  Who are your favorite Hashtag Read’s authors?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!


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