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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. 

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Read

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

Learn

Learn chess basics through ‘How To Play’ tutorials

Play

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!

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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  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foolish-king-childrens-book/id1137053697?mt=8 

You can see Mark Price talking about the making of THE FOOLISH KING here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012536020540


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

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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!

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Review – Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman


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I was so excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for lovely Sue Wallman’s debut book Lying About Last Summer.

This has been high up on my want to read so badly list ever since I met Sue at Olivia Levez’s book launch and then the week after hearing Sue talk about the book and her writing journey at the Scholastic Blogger Brunch back in March 2016 – you can find all about that day here.

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read and review!


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The story centres around a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister.


Publisher – Scholastic Press

Published – 5th May 2016

Pages – 265 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – YA Mystery/Thriller

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Scholastic as part of the blog tour organised by Faye Rogers.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!


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


Lying About Last Summer has been high up on my must read now list for a few months…. basically ever since I heard more about it I knew I would love it.  It sounded like my kind of book, a thriller, a mystery and with a comparison to We Were Liars meets Thirteen Reasons Why I couldn’t wait to jump straight into the book as soon as it arrived on my door step!

I have to say it did not disappoint!

Lying About Last Summer tells the story of Skye who after losing her sister, Luisa, in a swimming pool accident is sent to a camp for troubled grieving teens.  Skye quickly makes friends with her campmates and throws herself into all of the activities set by the camp, but then she starts receiving text messages from her dead sister and she starts to realise that maybe someone on the camp cannot be trusted and to find out the truth she has to think back and face the truth of what happened last summer.

Now any one who knows me knows I am a huge fan of the old Point Horror books from the 90’s and initially upon reading the blurb I was excited as it had that feel of a Point Horror title, but in a modern day setting.  This in itself intrigued me from the offset.

The book begins in the past at Yew Tree House, last summer, where we catch a glimpse of what happened to Luisa, Skye’s sister and how Skye was involved.  Straight from the offset the writing draws you into the setting and you can quite easily imagine a hot summers days lounging by a glistening blue pool.  In fact water features quite a lot in this book giving it a summery feel.  For me this set the tone of the book and the writing style as it absorbed me into it’s pages.

We follow Skye’s journey of grieving for her sister, the guilt she feels and the secrets that surround her from the past and in the present.  I warmed to Skye straight away and really liked her and her voice.  I really felt what she was feeling in every moment whether that be dealing with her feelings of guilt, grief or trying to move on with her life.

I loved how the mystery of what happened last summer is gradually revealed to the reader in flashbacks to different parts of Skye’s life pre losing her sister, Luisa, and I feel that this let me get to know Skye even more.

Even the other characters in this book are brilliantly well crafted and completely relatable and with realistic flaws and all.   Some you will love (Toby & Brandon*daydreams*), some you will hate (JOE – yes I used capital letters to express my dislike – ugh – don’t worry he was written that way) and some you feel like old friends (Fay *cuddles*).  You will totally understand all this is you read the book I promise.

I don’t want to go to much into the characters through fear of spoilers, but I as well as Skye suspected everyone throughout the book!  It kept me guessing!

I also loved the way that you get a sense of what each of the characters back grounds are and what they get from being at the camp is really evident as the book nears the end.

I think one of my favourite scenes in the book are the scenes where Skye returns back to her old home and see’s Toby.  The whole scene just captures so many emotions. Old memories left behind and old friends left behind, guilt, grief and love.

Also Wheat Angels! *insert heart emoji here*

I would loved to have seen more of Toby, who appears mainly in flashbacks, but who in just a few short scenes made me smile and maybe swoon a little, but don’t tell anyone.

This book is a brilliant debut.  It’s a quick fab read that is soaked with tense suspense, realistic characters, sun drenched in mystery and shines brightly with beautiful writing.

You will love every page of it.

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

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You can buy Lying About Last Summer here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Or find out what we got up to at the Blogger Book Feast at Scholastic here

You can also find out which character from Lying About Last Summer you are here


About Sue Wallman

Sue Wallman

Sue Wallman is a journalist who lives in London with her husband and three teenage daughters. In 2013 she won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize first chapter award judged by Rachel Joyce and Kate Mosse. LYING ABOUT LAST SUMMER is her first novel.

To find out more about Sue Wallman you can visit her website – http://suewallman.co.uk

Or why not follow her on twitter using @swallman


Blog Tour

Catch up of follow the rest of this wonderful blog tour by checking out the stops below

LyingAboutLastSummer_BlogBanner

Monday 2nd May

Snuggling on the Sofa

The Pewter Wolf

Tuesday 3rd May

So Many Books, So Little Time

Serendipity Reviews

Wednesday 4th May

Tales of Yesterday

Powered by Reading

Thursday 5th May

Jess Hearts Books

Books of Amber

Friday 6th May

Emma’s Bookery

Luna’s Little Library

Saturday 7th May

The Book Moo

Chouett

Sunday 8th May

Overflowing Library

KitKats Can Read

 


Share your last lie on twitter using #YourLastLie

Have you read Lying About Last Summer?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  I would love to here 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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Review – Return To The Secret Garden by Holly Webb


 

Return to the Secret Garden

I jumped at the chance to be part of this review only blog tour when the lovely Faye Rogers asked! The Secret Garden was always a childhood favourite of mine so a chance to Return To The Secret Garden…..yes please! I couldn’t wait!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers, Scholastic and Holly Webb for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.

Check out my previous Q&A with Holly Webb here

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Return to the Secret Garden

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Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 1st October 2015

Pages – 227 pages

Format – Hardback and E-book

Category – Historical MG

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful publishers Scholastic and Faye Rogers as part of the blog tour.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!


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


I was swept away by this books characters, story and charm.  I loved every minute of reading it and it left me with warm butterflies fluttering about my tummy for hours afterwards.

Return To The Secret Garden is about a girl called Emmie and is set in 1939. Because of the war Emmie is evacuated from her orphanage in London before the planes fly over and drop their gas on the city, along with the other children who live in the orphanage, to the countryside to Misselthwaite Hall where the owner of the orphanage lives.  Upset and bitter about leaving London and her beloved cat behind Emmie find solace in a secret garden, that she finds whilst exploring, and a diary from 1910.  What pursues is a touching story about friendship, family and a beautiful garden all intertwining with touching references to the Secret Garden and it’s original characters.

The story of Return To The Secret Garden is told from Emmie’s point of view.  She is far from happy about leaving her beloved orphanage where she has befriended a stray cat called Lucy. She is a brave, feisty character and she seems to get into trouble for the littlest things too!  She is the main character and my favourite.  I loved watching her grow and be happy throughout the book and the touching relationships she develops throughout.

There are some references to The Secret Garden and Mary the main character from that book in the form of a diary that Emmie finds in a draw.  This gives the reader a chance to read some extracts from the diary about Mary and her discovery of a secret garden and a little insight into the old classic, but in a different format.  I found this perfect as for me it was a little reminder of the characters from the classic and the story that was told.  A gentle nudge, but for readers who have not read The Secret Garden it is a perfect progression and flow of the story that is unfolding by each flick of the page.

I also loved the homely feel of the Hall and it’s characters too.  Mrs Craven is like a mother to all the children that are staying with her and I adored Lieutenant Craven when he returned home from the war.  Mr Sowerby the gardener is a mysterious character and Jack, Mrs Cravens son, whilst not wanting Emmie or the children in his home, is a memorable character who mirrors Colin from The Secret Garden.

The descriptions of the gardens and the Hall were just stunning I could picture them beautifully.  I felt like I was exploring the garden and hall and discovering secrets along the way with Emmie.  I think this made me really relate to Emmie in a way as I felt her joy, her heartbreak and the beauty she discovers through her eyes.

The historical fiction side of the book actually made me tear up at times.  Very much focused on how children and families were effected by the war.  There is one scene right at the beginning of the book where Emmie and the orphanage children are on their way to the train station being evacuated and they walk past a school where the witness children saying goodbye and leaving their parents.  It made me have a lot of feelings.

Another touching scene for me again right at the beginning was when Emmie boards the train she sees another girl through the window on the train on the opposite platform going the opposite direction and as they both pull out of the station they look at each other and wave *cries*.  This is a credit to Holly’s historical fiction and research in the effect the war had on children.

And that ending!  *cries all the tears*

Holly Webb fantastically gives the reader a wonderful sequel in the fact that she does tell you what has become of the characters from the classic The Secret Garden.  No spoilers though!  If you loved the old classic this is the perfect book to find out what happened to your favourites.  It really is a lovely touch.  Ps Holly, I forgive you 😉

All in all I really loved Return To The Secret Garden.  Whilst I read The Secret Garden many many years ago now I do think you could read this as a standalone book and as well as being a brilliant sequel to the classic it actually is also a good introduction for people who haven’t read The Secret Garden to go and hunt it out.

One final shout out to the beautiful cover of the book.  Its simply gorgeous and whilst holding it in your hands reading about Emmie’s story it really feels like you are holding something special and magical just like discovering your own secret garden.

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

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About Holly Webb

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Find out more information about Holly on her website here

Or why not follow Holly on twitter using @HollyKateSkeet or Facebook here

You can buy Return To The Secret Garden here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here

You can also check out my Q&A with Holly Webb here which features questions about Return To The Secret Garden


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of the blog tour on the following stops below!

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I would like to say another huge thank you to Faye and Scholastic for having me on the tour and for sending me a copy of the book to read and review!

Have you read The Secret Garden?  Was is a childhood favourite?  Are you excited about Return To The Secret Garden?  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 and discovering secrets!

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PHBC – Halloween Night by R L Stine

 


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Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s?  The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book.  There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read?  Are you new to Point Horror?  Has our opinion changed?  Are they still as good?  Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror?  Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

 Join in the discussion with this months title!

Halloween Night by R L Stine

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Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

 There is a link to a poll at the bottom of this post to vote for your next #pointhorrorbookclub read! The next book will be announced on 17th October 2015

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

We also have a fantastic guest post from the lovely Anne Finnis who was part of the team responsible for bringing the Point Horror books to the UK in the 90’s.  It’s so wonderful!  Check it out here!


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

This party is a killer…

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

WOW!  Where to start!  Brenda and her friends are plotting a Halloween party with homemade terrifying Halloween costumes including a clown, a monk and the most terrifying of all ever Halloween costumes….a peacock!

A Peacock?!

Yes you heard me right!  But that’s the least of Brenda’s worry and woes!  Halley, Brenda’s cousin, is staying whilst her parents sort out their divorce and not only is she content in pinching Brenda’s bedroom and Luke Perry poster she sets her sights on Brenda’s boyfriend Ted too!  And over a truck full of buns and a hard gear stick Ted falls for Halley and snogs her under Brenda’s bedroom window!  This makes Brenda mad enough to plot revenge!

Revenge?!  Like jumping out on her in her clown outfit?!

Pfffftttt don’t be silly!  Brenda means business….murder!  But not any old murder!  A Halloween Murder!  Whilst writing an assignment with her two friends Dina and Traci about the fictional murder of her cousin and after Halley dumping Ted and moving onto Traci’s boyfriend, but then back to Ted and then many study dates with other boys (?!) Brenda convinces her friends that the murder should become a reality!  For realises!!!  Especially after some strange goings on!

Strange goings on?!  This can’t be true of a Point Horror!!?

Oh yes indeed!  Someone is trying to scare Brenda with blood messages and off meat in her bed with added maggots!  Who could it be?!  Brenda points the finger well and truly at Halley!  But could it be true?!  And will Brenda really murder her for revenge?!  Or will some perfectly placed air vents scupper her plans?!

*Tosses hair*

The Girl

Emerald eyed, copper haired, Luke Perry loving Brenda Morgan!  Don’t make her angry or her freckles with darken in rage!  She is a sewing master and thinks her cousin Halley is a monster and mean natured!

Brenda decides that to murder Halley is the only option!  I mean how could that be the only option!?  Did she not read The Babysitter?!  *tuts*

She really was very self centred and a little bit annoying, but then in a way this was good as it made me laugh when she got scared of the creepy mask in her window and the creepy messages to beat all messages….SEE YOU ON HALLOWEEN!!!  I mean the horror!  Perhaps someone just couldn’t get through on the phone so went for a more traditional way of messaging in the 90’s with a Halloween vibe.  Quite frankly I think Brenda over reacted!

AND that’s not all!  Picture the scene!  Your hatred for your cousin who you are plotting to kill for being mean, stealing your boyfriend and Luke Perry poster spiralling out of control, but yeah sure it’s okay you can borrow my car Halley!  NO BRENDA NO!

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Don’t get me wrong I was cheering Brenda on a few times with how she handled Ted the slimeball….but then she went and got back with him…..then he went and abandoned Brenda at the prom and copped off again with Halley!  OMG!

Don’t forget though Brenda always did her best thinking with a needle in her hand!  Did she drop the needle?!

I think it’s fair to say I had a love/hate relationship with Brenda!  Most of my love came from the catfight scenes with Halley over the table and then on the driveway!  Meow!

It was nice to see that Brenda’s parents were in this particular Point Horror…although they may well have not have been!  They were as unsupportive and as useful as a chocolate teapot!  They even made her sleep in her blood stained room!  There was a point where I actually did feel sorry for Brenda but don’t tell anyone!

The Love Interest

I can’t believe I have to call Ted the slimeball the love interest!  Ewwwwww!  His thick mane / mop of curley brown hair and crinkly eyes did nothing for me except infuriate me into a Point Horror rage!

It annoyed me as I kept imagining him as Robert Sheehan!  Although Robert Sheehan would NOT be such a slimeball!

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But fear not surely Stiney put a back up love interest in Halloween Night!

Pfftttt This ain’t no Point Romance!  Silly me!

I present to you Noah!  NOAH!  With a high pitched laugh that set peoples teeth on edge, straw coloured hair and pudgy hands…who could resist!  Well certainly not Halley who steals him of Traci (with an I) !

Basically Stiney gave us rubbish love interests who were selfish and thought they were gods gift to women!

Rant over!

I feel better now!

The Gang

Traci (with an I) Warner aka Milky Way lover!  With her straight black hair that she tosses over her shoulder so many times I lost count, her silvery eyes and her copy of Seventeen magazine that was originally going to be the murder weapon (I know how Stiney was thinking pre edits!).  She was a bit gullible and basically hung on Brenda’s every word and just went along with things.  You know as you do!

Long legged, tall, slender, short brown haired Dina Smithers who could rock a cat suit for Halloween and holding down a job at a vets as well as school was always complaining about her looks and sticking up for Halley!  She had her time to shine 3/4 of the way through the book when Stiney must have forgotten he was writing from Brenda’s point of view and switched to Dina for …wait for it….A WHOLE CHAPTER!  Full Point Horror glory right there!  Well that was until she tripped over the pumpkin and right into the hands of two policeman!  How shameful to say you were busted by a pumpkin!  Kudos to Dina for refusing to be part of the planned murder which ended up not being a planned murder but a trick to lure Dina into admitting she was the one behind the nasty (hilarious) tricks on Brenda.  I liked Dina!

Talk of the devil!  Little old Halley!  Oh dear oh dear!  To quote Point Horror book club member Paul….her milkshake brought ALL the boys to the yard!!!  Yep indeed!  Giving women drivers a bad name with her reverse parking, flirting with Ted and Noah and Ted and a pumpkin (probably) and taking Brenda’s things I really did not like her!  But then I guess I was not meant to?!  It had nothing to do with her gorgeous blonde hair, blue eyes, dry sarcastic sense of humour and a little miss perfect routine!  I highly disagree!  That gorilla scene when she jumps on the table was Point Horror gold!

Shout out to Randy Brenda’s ten year old brother who made me lol especially over pandagate and his enthusiasm over Prince Of Persia!  I LOVED THAT GAME!

Fashion Faux Pas

Did anyone else notice that we seemed to be told about what everyone was wearing in nearly every new scene?!

There were jumpers, turtle necks, leggings…you know the norm!

Until!

A leopard skin style jacket made it’s appearance on Dina!

It was so very Kurt Cobain!

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Woooohhoooooo!  I have never been so happy for a fashion faux pas in my life!

Dialogue Disasters

“Brenda thinks Halley is a monster”

Monster is a bit harsh I guess?

“You don’t even have room for your Luke Perry poster”

EVERYONE should have room for a 90’s Luke Perry poster!  *stares at Luke Perry poster on the wall*

“She promised she’d help me fertilize the rhododendrons this afternoon”

Brenda’s Mom is in the wrong book!  This is Point Horror Brenda’s Mom!  POINT HORROR NOT 50 SHADES!!!

“I wish a fly would fly into her mouth”

Brenda knows ALL of the evil plot twists!

“Maybe her face will crack and disintegrate into a thousand pieces”

Early Botox voodoo spell!?

“Lets murder her!”

See it was all your idea Traci with an i!

“It isn’t hard….once you get the back in”

*spits out buttery popcorn in horror* Ted is such a stud!

“That whole truck is filled with buns….amazing”

Ted really knows what to say to the ladies!

“Wow!  It doesn’t take you a lot to get excited does it!”

*coughs* Nope just a truck load of buns!

“Well plotting a murder mystery isn’t going to be easy”

Stiney has read The Boy Next Door and is looking at you Sinclair Smith!

“It’s a gorilla”

Something I never thought I would quote from a Point Horror!

“Why would Halley do a dumb thing like that?”

No comment!

“No.  Forget strangling.  It’s too good for her!”

No it really isn’t!  Do it already!  Oh come on I’m not the only one who shouted this at the book am I?

“It should be the person you never suspect”

Why did Dina have to say this?  Why?!  It was like waving a flag saying oh it’s me they would never suspect me!  Grrrrrrrr

“Yay”  She cheered “I’m a murderer”

Oh Dina!  If only buns did it for you like Ted!

“You look like a racoon”

Dina has ALL the insults!

“Goosebumps climbed her bare arms”

*Hi fives Stiney for some self promotion there*

“I’ll shove it down the laundry shoot.  No one will ever think to look there!”

We will let Brenda off as this was in the days before CSI!  They ALWAYS look in the laundry shoot Brenda!  ALWAYS!

Body Count

We can only dream!  0!

With the exception of many pumpkins!

Is it scary?

Not really!  But I did find that scene with the pumpkin coming alive in Brenda’s dreams and turning an talking quite terrifying and it made me dream I was pumpkin (this is not a joke!)!

I mean who knew that an evil pumpkin coming alive would make a wet sucking sound!  Mind = blown!

Also dead headless bird!  GROSS!

And also the most scary part of all was people dressing up as Princess Di and Cindy Crawford for a Halloween party! Just me who didn’t get the joke here?

Did the best friend do it?

DING DING!  We have a winner with this Point Horror!  One of the best friends did do it!  Or tried to and failed *curses Brenda’s sewing skills and extra padding*

Some Mild Peril?

Well apart from the constant hair tossing over the shoulder (did anyone else notice this?) the only mild peril was the hope that whoever was in the Gorilla suit was really brown bread!

Is it any good?

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book.  I think I liked it, but yet I’m not sure.  It took a long time to get going and the Halloween Night party was in the last 20 pages or so.  I do admit I did like the end although I had a feeling it was Dina I liked the uncertainty and I was hoping I was wrong.  I think the only character I liked was Dina (except Randy) and look how that ended!

Final Thought

Pudgy!

Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • Who would you go to a Halloween Party dressed as?
  • What happened to Dina after Halloween Night?
  • Ted or Noah?!
  • What extra prank should Dina have played on Brenda?

You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th November 2015 !

Billy is back with his Halloween Night in emoji’s!  I love it!

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You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 17th October 2015!

And the winner was….

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Don’t forget to check out the fab guest post with Anne Finnis who was part of the team responsible for bring Point Horror to the UK here

Also the lovely Anne has said we can put some Point Horror related questions to her!  Do you have a question for Anne?  Let me know and I will include it in my Q&A with her which will go live next month!

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th October 2015!

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

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Review – Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis


Crow Mountain lowres jacket

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The lovely people at Chicken House have kindly asked me to be part of the How Do You Like Your Romance Blog Tour featuring Darkmere by Helen Maslin and Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis.

I have recently read and loved Crow Mountain and have read the wonderful Darkmere a few months ago also.  Both are brilliant reads and I highly recommend picking up a copy of both!

Today I am reviewing the breath-taking Crow Mountain!

You can also check out my Darkmere blog tour post where I share an exclusive extract from the book here

Check out my review of Darkmere here

Or check out inspiration and a deleted prologue from Darkmere here

Do you like your romance Epic and Sweeping……


Crow Mountain lowres jacket

While on holiday in Montana, Hope meets local boy Cal Crow, a ranch-hand. Caught in a freak accident, the two of them take shelter in a mountain cabin where Hope makes a strange discovery. More than a hundred years earlier, another English girl met a similar fate. Her rescuer: a horse-trader called Nate. In this wild place, both girls learn what it means to survive and to fall in love, neither knowing that their fates are intimately entwined.


Publisher – Chicken House

Published – 3rd September 2015

Pages – 416 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Historical Fiction, Romance

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful publishers Chicken House.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  A huge thank you to Chicken House for sending me this book to review.


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


I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Chicken House Blogger Brunch back in July where I got to hear a bit more about Crow Mountain from both Barry Cunningham and the author Lucy Inglis herself and it left me super intrigued to read the book.

I have to say I was not disappointed. Even after hearing about it at the brunch this book still fully surprised me in the most wonderful way possible.

My heart was swept away by Lucy’s fantastic writing style combining historical fiction with present day in breath-taking alternate chapters.

Crow Mountain tells the story of two girls, Hope in present day and Emily in the past in a kind of diary written style and revolves around them meeting two boys, Cal and Nate.

In present day Londoner Hope is very much controlled by Meredith, her environmental scientist mother, who takes Hope with her on a research trip to Montana in the USA where they stay on a huge Ranch. Whilst there Hope befriends Cal who shows her around the ranch, it’s animals and tells Hope some of the history surrounding their beautiful habitat. This is where Hope discovers a diary from 1867 written by a girl named Emily who is on her way from London to Montana to marry a suitor arranged by her parents. After a terrible accident Emily is found by a horse trader named Nate and what pursues is a touching story with similarities that echo the present day events with Hope and Cal.

I really enjoyed the way that from a reader’s point of view we are ahead of the historical side of the story pre Hope finding the diary and we get to experience Hope and Cal’s reaction to everything that we have read.

I found the historical side of the book really intriguing and I was blown away by the amount of historical research that must have gone into this book. I got to learn about a way of life, culture and a time that I did not know much about. I cheered with joy during a battle between Native Indians and the bad guys. I shed tears over the death of many buffalo.  I became intrigued my the legend of a horse of a lifetime.   And I fell in love with Nate as much as Emily does. I really felt that Lucy Inglis catapulted me into the 1800’s . The imagery that is created is spectacular and wonderfully written.

I found the present day story more of bump back to reality and I really felt how Hope was mesmerised by the story she was reading in the diary.

Whilst my favourite character was Nate *swoons* I really liked a character we meet in the middle of the book called Rose!  She is so comfortable in her own skin and such a memorable character it was lovely and often funny to read.  I feel that we all need a Rose in our lives.

On the flip side of the coin Hope’s Mom Meredith was really dislikeable.  She is very controlling of her daughter and it’s almost suffocating.

Crow Mountain to me was a story about two women who lead very suffocating different lives and are pushed beyond limits out of their comfort zones, but in turn this changes them and it allows them to learn who they want to be.  You see these two wonderful characters develop throughout the story and like Rose become comfortable in who they are like a butterfly breaking free of it’s cocoon.

“I’m getting the feeling you and I are from whole different worlds” Nate

And that ending! OMG! My lips are sealed! The last few chapters of the book had me very misty eyed indeed where the similarities and the coming together of things began to tie up.  You get this feeling in your gut that you know what’s coming and I had everything crossed that I was wrong!

I really highly recommend Crow Mountain for something different and especially to people who enjoy historical fiction and with two sweeping, epic romances people will fall in love with the book, the characters and the world that Lucy Inglis has created.

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

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Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis is out now and published by Chicken House. For more information visit chickenhousebooks.com 

You can buy Crow Mountain here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Find out some inspiration behind Crow Mountain here


About Lucy Inglis

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I’m a historian and novelist, a speaker, and occasionally a television presenter and voice in the radio.

Between 2009 and 2013 I created the Georgian London blog, the largest free body of work on the eighteenth century city online, and my book about the same. My book, Georgian London: Into the Streets, was published by Viking for Penguin in 2013 and shortlisted for the History Today Longman Prize. Described variously as, ‘a great read by a talented new historian’, ‘something quite delicious’, ‘packed to the brim with the minutiae of life’, and my personal favourite, ‘If you could cram all your Georgian facts into a large glass and drink it, here it is, the flavour reeking of sex, booze, coffee, tea, dismembered whale parts, rot and riot’. ‘Her passionate curiosity and love for the city rise off the page like smoke’, and it’s out now in hardback and paperback from wherever you like to buy your books.

As of 2014, I am writing Milk of Paradise, a book on opium’s past and present, for Macmillan.

My first novel, City of Halves, came out with Chicken House in April 2014 and has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Branford Boase award. In autumn 2015, Chicken House will publish Crow Mountain, a novel about the birth of the state of Montana, set between 1867 and the present day, as two young women cut the binds of family and society to discover who they really are, and where they belong.

Sometimes, I am on television or Radio 3 or 4. On screen, I presented Fight Club: A History of Violence, about female bare-knuckle boxing in gin-soaked Georgian London and was on the Great British Bake Off, talking about the history of cookery writing. I was in Grave Trade for the History Channel and the Georgians series for the BBC, which were part of the 300th anniversary of George I coming to the throne in 2014.

When not doing any of the above and sometimes when I should be, I can be found messing about on twitter, where I am far more likely to talk about none of the above in favour of the serious social problems of our time, such as hipsters.

You can follow Lucy on Twitter using @lucyinglis

Or check out Lucy’s website – lucyinglis.com


Blog Tour

How do you like your romance?

You check out a fab extract from Crow Mountain here

Find out more about Darkmere in my review here

Or catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour here!

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Darkmere by Helen Maslin and Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis are out now and published by Chicken House. For more information visit chickenhousebooks.com 

A huge thank you to Laura at Chicken House for inviting me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Crow Mountain?  What did you think?  Has this review intrigued you enough into buying a copy?  Do you have any favourite romance stories?  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….*swoons*

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Review – Becoming Death by Melissa Brown

 


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I have recently read this intriguing book Becoming Death by Melissa Brown and loved it and I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book!  This book had be enthralled and was just brilliant!

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Melissa Brown for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.

Also check out a fab giveaway at the end of the post!


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Ever since her father’s demise, Madison Clark knew death had her number. After losing her first job, she is ushered into the cryptic family business. Little does she know her family is hiding a dark secret; they are grim reapers, custodians of souls on their journey to the beyond. Madison expects her historic legacy to have benefits beyond immortality. What she doesn’t expect is to still be struggling for cash while reaping souls on the side.

As if being Death’s minion wasn’t strenuous enough, Madison finds herself back at school with her worst enemy studying the ancient rules, methods and paperwork of her vocation. In a cascade of life changes: her best friend admits he’s in love with her and she starts a new job as a professional mourner, but she can’t help thinking her family might have other secrets.

Just when things are finally starting to feel normal again Death throws her a curveball: her next victim is her best friend. Madison must find a way to overcome the strict guidelines of being a grim reaper in order to save his life.


Publisher – Self-Published

Published – 12th June 2015

Pages – 214 pages

Format – Paperback and E-book

Category – Paranormal YA

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful author Melissa Brown as part of the blog tour.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Melissa for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!


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


I raced through this book as if Death itself was chasing me!

“Grim reapers don’t exist.  They’re as fake as the tooth fairy and unicorns.”

*gulps*

Becoming Death tells the story of eighteen year old Madison Clark who after recently losing her job discovers a hidden family secret…she is a Grim Reaper!  That’s right!  Madison has to follow Deaths instructions and mark people for their fate!  This is by no means an easy task as Madison finds out especially when Death is in the modern age using an app called Dead Head which informs you of a new “Client” and with a handy instruction manual and Death watching Madison’s every move what could go wrong?!  When Madison finds herself a new job at the most unlikely of places it becomes a brilliant cover for her secret, but Madison is about to find out that Death does not play fair!

I mean can you imagine!  What if Death really had Grim reapers that look like you and me and as normal as ever doing his dirty work for him and marking you for death!

*gasps in horror*

Becoming Death is told from the point of view of the main character Madison so as a reader we get to hear all of her thoughts and feelings when discovering her secret and whilst she is carrying out Deaths work!  She is a likeable character and I especially liked that she was a strong, feisty female lead.  I liked how her room mate and friendship with Aaron developed throughout the book.

I really enjoyed the whole premise of this book and the fact that Madison is given a “client” who she then has to track down using the Dead Head App and touch to mark them for death.  It was just brilliant.  I really got into the feel and flow of things when Madison has to mark her first few deaths and enjoyed the little back stories that was presented of the victims.  I did feel that this could have been expanded on with more people being marked for death and especially linked more with the new job Madison lands as a professional mourner (basically paid to attend funerals to make up the numbers).  We get to experience Madison marking strangers, work colleagues, and friends for death and discover a back story to her family and their secret!  And some of these deaths are gruesome! *shivers*

I loved the whole Dead App on your mobile being controlled by Death at the central hub RIP and sending through new randomly selected victims and the Reaping 101 training that Madison has to attend!  Again I felt this could have been expanded on slightly more to build up more of the story, but it provided a good information point for me as the reader and Madison as a character to learn about what was required of her, the do’s and don’ts and possible loop holes!

Amongst all of this there is a tinge of humour to this book.  One moment that made me giggle out loud was when Madison finds herself without her beloved Beetle car and has to ride a pink kiddie bike complete with a tacky plastic flower basket mounted on the front.  This is why I adored Madison as a character!

Another character I loved was Becca and also Madison’s sister which I would have loved to have seen more character development on.  Also the whole “Happy Mourners” job that Madison gets seemed to have more to come and some further character development with Derek the owner would have been brilliant and filled the story out more.  In fact if these area’s and the marking the victims were explored a little more then I feel this book may have had a different ending.

The ending was dramatic!  With Death on Madison’s case for not following through on certain orders it’s literally a race against time.  Again something that could have possibly been expanded on.  Like above some really strong plot points that I just would have loved to have seen developed a bit further.

Becoming Death is quite a short read, but I enjoyed it and it left me craving more.  A kind of Final Destination meets a backwards Pushing Daisies kind of feel.

I look forward to reading whatever Melissa Brown has up her cloak next!

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

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You can buy Becoming Death here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here


About Melissa Brown

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Melissa Brown an American author that lives in Norwich, England. She is a teacher in ICT skills, English and creative writing. In 2014, she was shortlisted for the IdeasTap Inspires: Writers’ Centre Norwich Writing Competition and longlisted for the Nottingham Writers’ Club’s inaugural National Short Story Competition. She was also a featured poet at the Norwich: City of Stories launch event, where she did a live reading of my poem ‘The Library.’ She enjoys films, books, comics, fangirling and subscription boxes. She blames her love of the written word on her hometown library and fanfiction. She lives with her partner, Kris, and her awesome cat, Hailey.

Check out Melissa’s website – https://melissarbrown.wordpress.com/

Or follow Melissa on twitter here or Facebook here

Melissa is also on Goodreads here


Giveaway

There is also a tour-wide giveaway!

The prizes are:

5 necklaces inspired by Becoming Death

2 copies of Becoming Death

This giveaway is open to UK participants ONLY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour

Catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour!

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Monday 17th August

Serendipity Reviews

Tuesday 18th August

Elena Square Eyes

Wednesday 19th August

An Awful Lot of Reading

The Whispering of the Pages

Thursday 20th August

The Bibliolater

Friday 21st August

Becca’s Book Affair

Saturday 22nd August

Bookish Outsider

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Sunday 23rd August

Big Book Little Book

Monday 24th August

Tales of Yesterday

 

 

 

Have you read Becoming Death?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  What would you do if you became a Grim Reaper!  I would love to here 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….and hiding from Death!

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Review – Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa


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When the lovely Faye Rogers announced that she was hosting a blog tour for the books Dynamite and Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa I jumped at the chance to be a part of it as soon as I read the blurbs!  These books sounded so interesting and diverse that I really wanted to see what they were all about.  I am completely over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for these books and I am so happy I have had the chance to read them!

For my second stop on this brilliant blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book Beauty and the Beast!

You can check out my review of Dynamite a collection of short stories here !

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Ravinder Randhawa for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.

Don’t forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post!


Beauty and the Beast Cover

‘Problems? Confusions? Contradictions? I got them all and if you’ve got them, then FLAUNT them is my motto.’ Meet Harjinder (aka Hari-jan): ‘A’ level student, supermarket worker and desperate journalist. Feisty and impulsive, Hari-jan can’t refuse a dare and to make matters worse has fallen in love with the wrong boy. 
Her best friend Ghazala has taken to wearing the hijab and mentoring racists. 
Can Hari-jan battle through the hurdles and win her man? 
Can Ghazala work out how to do Good in her own way? 
A sparkling, coming-of-age novel about life, love and friendship. 


Publisher – CreateSpace

Published – 12th September 2014

Pages – 250 pages

Format – Paperback & Ebook

Category – YA Contemporary

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the lovely Faye Roger and the author Ravinder Randhawa as part of the blog tour.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you both for sending this to me to read!


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


I went into this book quite blind and knowing very little about it and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it!  A really great read about friendship, love and life as an Asian teen growing up in England.

Beauty and the Beast is the glimpse into the life of seventeen year old Harjinder (aka Hari-jan).  She feels a little left out of her Muslim best friend, Ghazala’s, life and also seems to make an enemy out of popular girl Veronica!  When Hari-jan’s piece does not make the school newspaper “Popular Demand” she reluctantly ends up making a bet with Veronica that she can win editor of “Popular Demand” Suresh’s heart (who just happens to be Veronica’s boyfriend) and also gets roped into writing a piece about the local “All Women Beauty Contest”!  What pursues is not what Hari-jan expects!

The story is told from feisty, funny Hari-jan’s point of view and she is quite a funny, sarcastic teenage character who I adored as soon as I started reading!  Whilst she accepts boundaries and abides by them she also likes to add her own rules into the mix!  A typical teenager growing up and exploring trying to find her place in the world!

I loved the will they won’t they relationship between Hari-jan who say’s things as they are and Suresh who can be rather judgemental and sometimes quite rude to Hari-jan.  At times Suresh was totally loveable for me as a reader and then at other times totally the other side of the coin and frustrating which is exactly how e is meant to be.  The dialogue and banter between Hari-jan and Suresh was hilarious and I could feel Hari-jan’s confusion, feelings and anger towards Suresh on a number of occasions.

It may just be me but it reminded me a little of 10 Things I Hate About You which of course is a retelling of The Taming Of The Shrew.  The characters just reminded me of traits of the characters in that film which of course I loved!  Saying that it also seemed to have a classical kind of vibe to it also!

I also love how Hari-jan’s best friend Ghazala had her own storyline and faced her own struggles being a Muslim growing up in England and trying to tackle racism in her own way whilst also trying to help and support her family through a difficult time.  I admired Ghazala a lot and loved the portrait of friendship between Hari-jan and Ghazala which was realistically written and a real friendship which I enjoyed.

 As well as the plot unfolding between the characters the book explored and brought to the forefront knowledge about Asian cultures and traditions.  It gave me as a reader a fantastic insight into a culture I know a bit about but not as much as I would like to.  The book explores the traditions of arranged marriage, racism, feminism and poverty and I loved the integration of the Asian language within the story which is done with ease.  Everything is written so sensitively and enriched with culture and tradition and that is a credit to Ravinder Randhawa’s writing style and as a reader I absorbed every part of it.

A truly diverse, funny and touching read and one that I would highly recommend!

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

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You can buy Beauty and the Beast by Ravinda Randhawa here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here

Or check out my review of Ravinder Randhawa’s short story collection Dynamite here

Or a fab poetry guest post by Ravinder Randhawa here

You can also check out a guest post from Ravinder about her favourite scenes in her other book The Coral Strand here


About Ravinder Randhawa

Ravi Photograph

Ravinder Randhawa is the acclaimed author of the novels Beauty and the Beast (YA), A Wicked Old Woman, The Tiger’s Smile and the short story collection Dynamite. She’s currently working on a trilogy: The Fire-Magician. Ravinder was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Toynbee Hall, Queen Mary’s University, the University of London, and founded the Asian Women Writer’s Collective.

 Ravinder was born in India, grew up in leafy Warwickshire, now lives in London and agrees with Samuel Johnson’s saying (though of course, in a gender non-specific way) ‘…if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’  Loves good coffee and really good thrillers.

Website: http://www.ravinderrandhawa.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RealRavs

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ravinderrandhawaauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3518698.Ravinder_Randhawa


Ravinder Randhawa Blog Tour

Why not catch up on the rest of this wonderful blog tour!

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Link to Tour Schedule

http://fayerogers.co.uk/tour-schedule-ravinder-randhawa-blog-tour

Monday 25th May

An Awful Lot of Books

 Tuesday 26th May

Bookaholic Confessions

Big Book Little Book

 Wednesday 27th May

Tales of Yesterday

 Thursday 28th May

Maia Moore Reads

 Friday 29th May

Man of Words

 Saturday 30th May

The Book Moo

Read Rant Review

 Sunday 31st May

Tales of Yesterday

 

 


Giveaway!

There is a tour-wide giveaway during the tour.

The prizes include;

3 Paperback copies of Dynamite

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Have you read Beauty and the Beast or any other books by Ravinda Randhawa?  What did you think?   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….go pick up a copy of this book straight away!

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Review – Dynamite by Ravinder Randhawa


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When the lovely Faye Rogers announced that she was hosting a blog tour for the books Dynamite and Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa I jumped at the chance to be a part of it as soon as I read the blurbs!  These books sounded so interesting and diverse that I really wanted to see what they were all about.  I am completely over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for these books and I am so happy I have had the chance to read them!

For my first stop on this brilliant blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the collection of short stories in the book Dynamite!

You can also check out my review of Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa here !

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Ravinder Randhawa for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.

Don’t forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post!


Dynamite Cover

Collection of short stories: Fun, feisty, tender and wry. Full of imagination and originality, stories of innocence and experience, British-Asianess and life’s haunting complexity. From kick-ass heroines to mysterious spacecraft; the heartache of first love to the inheritance of history; the echo of distant war zones to treacherous boyfriends; riots and violent murder.


Publisher – CreateSpace

Published – 29th September 2014

Pages – 132 pages

Format – Paperback & Ebook

Category – Short Stories

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the lovely Faye Roger and the author Ravinder Randhawa as part of the blog tour.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you both for sending this to me to read!


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


Dynamite is a wonderful collection of fun and tender stories all told from the point of view of strong Asian women.  Prior to reading Dynamite I fully put my hands up here and admit that I had not yet read ANY other books by Ravinda Randhawa!  But after reading this collection of short stories this is soon to be rectified as it left me craving more!

I always ensure that my reading in general includes diversity.  It’s important and I really do believe that we need more diverse books out there so we can learn from characters experiences or feel not so alone when we find a character is just like us.  Dynamite for me champions diversity and opened my mind to a culture and traditions I knew little about and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

With this book I have been taken on a thrilling journey to find a missing diamond and a mysterious spacecraft!  I have read about first love and traditions, family values and missing family.  My heart has been broken reading about riots, murder and racism.  I have also been intrigued by mystery, but most of all I have been on a journey with this book with such a wide range of diverse characters it really is a must read.

Normal Times

This story is about family and a fictional society.  About a mother who was outcaste from her own family for breaking tradition and what her family believed in and about a daughter that to help find her missing brother strives to teach her mother that the world as changed.  This is a story that emphasises what tradition and cultures mean to people and although the tradition of the majkari sets are fictional in this story you get a good sense of value and what these sets mean to the characters and their lives.

India

This was one of my favourites.  A story of first love, how it feels to be in love and betrayal.  After falling for the boy who’s Dad is the richest guy in town and nicknamed Goldfinger due to the amount of gold chains and rings he wears India learns about love, hope and heartbreak.  The traditions of love and marriage are very much the forefront in this story and it is written so beautifully.

Sunni

Again another one of my favourites.  This story is fictional but based on real life events in Southall in the late 70’s about a racist attack and murder.  It brings racism and politics to the forefront with the main character Sunni striving to help others in her commuinity and the terrifying problems she encounters from racists, a boy and the police.  My heart was fully captured by this story and I felt the feelings of the main character so much.  A very powerful and moving story.

The Heera

This story took me on a journey to find the precious Diamond of Diamonds which carries a story, a legend of a woman’s treachery and betrayal from many years before.  When the Diamond of Diamonds goes missing it’s down to our main character, a kick-ass lawyer turned super thief to plot and plan to steal the diamond back to it’s rightful place before it gets into the wrong hands forever!  This story was fun and oh so enjoyable!  For me it brought to the forefront of how much legend really does live on once it is created, time after time, year after year.  Is the legend true or has it changed over time to become a story?

Pedal Push

This is a love story about the possibility of taking chances with the main character dealing with lots of feelings, emotions and decisions to make.   It makes you question that maybe we are not as free as we think we are and that in life we have choices which gradually reduce.  It actually made me really think long after finishing this story about how life can take different turns by the choices we make and the chances we may sometimes miss and let pass by.

The Maharanis House

A kind of mystery story of a house full of mystery and intrigue set in the 1980’s.  A successful well off couple move into a new house, in a new neighbourhood and appear to have everything they could possibly want, living comfortably.  They are intrigued by an over grown house that is a bit of an eye sore in the community and as the story develops the story of the old house unfolds through journalists, neighbourhood gossip and finally the preparation for demolition of the house.  This story was different as it contained short flashbacks to when the mysterious house was lived in by a possible Maharani (the wife of a king of India) and it was intriguing to gain glimpses into the past and then into the present again and I could really imagine the house in it’s previous former glory back in it’s day.

Time Traveller

This story is about a girl who has had a psychic extra-terrestrial out of body experience which came as rather a surprise, but changed her out look on her life.  It details a families struggles in the world and when things do not work out as planned or hoped.  Can we really follow our dreams and be happy?  It’s a very thought provoking story.

Its so hard to pick a favourite story out of this collection.  I really did love them all and they are all so individual.  I think I managed to whittle down to my favourite 3…no 4… you see my point.  If I had to pick a favourite it would be between Sunni and India as I really connected with the characters and really felt how they were feeling and what they were experiencing and this was down to the wonderful writing style!

So there we have it!  I highly recommend reading this collection a real treasure and champion of diversity!

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

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You can buy Dynamite by Ravinda Randhawa here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here

You can also check out my review of Ravinder Randhawa’s Beauty and the Beast here

Or a fab poetry guest post by Ravinder Randhawa here

You can also check out a guest post from Ravinder about her favourite scenes in her other book The Coral Strand here


About Ravinda Randhawa

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Ravinder Randhawa is the acclaimed author of the novels Beauty and the Beast (YA), A Wicked Old Woman, The Tiger’s Smile and the short story collection Dynamite. She’s currently working on a trilogy: The Fire-Magician. Ravinder was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Toynbee Hall, Queen Mary’s University, the University of London, and founded the Asian Women Writer’s Collective.

 Ravinder was born in India, grew up in leafy Warwickshire, now lives in London and agrees with Samuel Johnson’s saying (though of course, in a gender non-specific way) ‘…if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’  Loves good coffee and really good thrillers.

Website: http://www.ravinderrandhawa.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RealRavs

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ravinderrandhawaauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3518698.Ravinder_Randhawa


Ravinder Randhawa Blog Tour

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

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Link to Tour Schedule

http://fayerogers.co.uk/tour-schedule-ravinder-randhawa-blog-tour

Monday 25th May

An Awful Lot of Books

 Tuesday 26th May

Bookaholic Confessions

Big Book Little Book

 Wednesday 27th May

Tales of Yesterday

 Thursday 28th May

Maia Moore Reads

 Friday 29th May

Man of Words

 Saturday 30th May

The Book Moo

Read Rant Review

 Sunday 31st May

Tales of Yesterday

 


Giveaway!

There is a tour-wide giveaway during the tour.

The prizes include;

3 Paperback copies of Dynamite

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Have you read Dynamite or any other books by Ravinda Randhawa?  What did you think?   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….go pick up a copy of this book straight away!

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Review – Nation by Terry Pratchett


 

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Today marks my stop on the Farewell Terry Pratchett blog tour which has been organised by the wonderful lovely Viv over on @Serendipity_Viv !

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts and post a review about Nation by Terry Pratchett!

When Viv was putting the blog tour together I asked her to pick me a book otherwise I would have been changing my mind every five minutes on which one to read!  Therefore I said to Viv I would have a lucky dip!  I was pleased that she picked Nation as it is one I have not read before but have heard a lot about!

I have read a lot of Terry Pratchett over the years more so when I was younger.  I loved immersing and losing myself in his fantastic worlds and creations, quite often devouring his books in a day.  I cannot wait to read every ones posts on this brilliant blog tour.  A truly fantastic celebration of a fantastic writer!

Check out the introduction to the tour here

A huge thank you to Viv for having me on this wonderful tour!

Also a huge thank you to Penguin Random House for surprising everyone on the tour and sending out this little thank you for taking part!  It was completely unexpected and so lovely!

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On the day the world ends . . .

. . . Mau is on his way home from the Boys’ Island. Soon he will be a man.

And then the wave comes – a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest.

The village has gone.

The Nation as it was has gone.

Now there’s just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings . . .


Publisher – Corgi Childrens

Published – 8th October 2009

Pages – 432 pages

Format – Paperback and E-Book

Category – UK YA, YA Contemporary

Source – I purchased this book in e book form for my kindle *digs kindle out of the draw and blows dust*


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


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book to be honest…I had not really heard of it before some one mentioned how good it was on twitter and with it being a stand alone I was intrigued as to what to expect!  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!

And it had a map!!  A MAP!  And we all know I love maps in books!  And in this book it says and I quote….

“Every life should have a map”

Yes indeed!

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I will try and put some of this book into words that may form a review, but as usual Pratchett’s writing and imagery were on point and so sharp and just picture perfect.  It draws you into this world like you are living in it yourself!

The book is set in a parallel universe from our world, with it’s own rules, hierarchy and it’s own views and religions. To me it was a kind of Adam and Eve story.  It begins with a story of how the world was created and the Gods.  It ten tells the story of a boy called Mau, who is returning to his Nation after leaving the boys island where he had been sent to become a man. Upon his return he finds that his Nation has been destroyed by a huge wave.  There is nothing left.  Nobody.  All his family and friends are gone.  Adapting to his new life is hard and then he meets a girl, who is stranded on the island too brought there by a big canoe.  Together they begin to survive and begin new lives.  Then other people wash up on the shores of the Nation!  What pursues is an action adventure story with a mix of romance and a dash of humour!  Oh and a parrot who is rather foul mouthed!

I admit I struggled with this book initially up until the point that Ermintrude (who later calls herself Daphne) is introduced into the story having being swept onto the Nation on a shipwreck called Sweet Jude.  I just loved how the worlds of a tribal boy, Mau, and a rich “trouserwoman”, Daphne, collided and how they learn from each other. Daphne with her etiquette and the tribal living ways of Mau.  It was a pleasure to watch this develop.

I loved how we received flashbacks of island life through Mau’s memories and could fully imagine the fully populated island of Nation in all it’s glory and all it’s inhabitants!

One of my favourite parts of the book was when Daphne teaches Mau how they can communicate as they do not understand each others languages.  Daphne draws in the sand and uses a bird picture book to teach Mau words….I just adored it so much!

I also have a favourite line from the book…it’s just beautiful ….

“It was as if the horizon was drinking the sea”

How gorgeous is that quote!

This book really did make me think which appears to have been Pratchett’s intention and I think that all readers will get something different from it.

I don’t want to reveal much more through fear of spoiling this beautiful book as I feel it is a book to go into without knowing much about and enjoying it’s beauty.

I’m so pleased Viv picked this book for me to read as part of the tour!  I may not have read it otherwise and then I would have not been able to experience the beautiful words that encaptured me from beginning to end!

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

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You can buy this book here


About Terry Pratchett

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Sir Terry Pratchett was the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he was the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Sir Terry Pratchett died on 12th March 2015

http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/


The Farewell Terry Pratchett Blog Tour

You can catch up on the tour or follow the rest of the tour below!

farewell terry pratchett tour

Have you read Nation? What did you think? Has this review made you want to go grab a copy? What would you do if you woke up one day and you were the only human in your world?! I would love to here from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Rest In Peace Sir Terry Pratchett – you will be missed!

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Review – The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones by Anna Mainwaring


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I have recently read this wonderful book The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones by Anna Mainwaring and loved it and I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book!  This book made me laugh and was just brilliant!

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Anna Mainwaring for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.


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Jesobel Jones can bake. In a truly triumphant, appearing-on-TV kind of way. But this means nothing to the rest of the world, because apparently all that cake mix is starting to show – in all the wrong places. So when she lands an invite to the Party of Year by the Boy of Her Dreams, she wonders whether it’s time for a new, improved Jess. But will life still taste as good?

 Anna Mainwaring’s debut is a light-hearted and sometimes poignant take on the pressures that face teenage girls. It’s hard to smile in all those selfies when you don’t like the girl who looks back at you. But which is more important – looking perfect or being happy?


Publisher – Portal Press Date

Published – 25th March 2015

Pages – 193 pages

Format – Paperback and E-Book

Category – UK YA, YA Contemporary

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful author Anna Mainwaring as part of the blog tour.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Anna for sending this to me to read!


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


I really enjoyed this book!   This book made me laugh, say uh oh a lot and I think Anna Mainwaring took snippets of my own school life….not really I know, but I related to Jesobel so much!

The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones is told from the point of view of Jesobel or Jess as her friends call her and it all begins on Own Clothes Day at school.  Do you remember those days?!  Getting ready along with her friends, Hannah the bookworm and Izzie the witch, Jess starts to think that maybe her love for cooking, baking and all things food are starting to show in all the wrong places.  What escalates over the course of Own Clothes Day is an encounter with the school bully, an invitation to a party by the perfect boy of her dreams and going viral on the internet!  But over the course of the next few weeks Jess decides to change herself all to impress a boy but in the process learns some lessons about love, being yourself, friendship and family.

Anna Mainwaring writes with a brilliant humour and has created, in my opinion, a younger Bridget Jones in Jess.  There were times I was laughing out loud at some of the scenarios that happened or something Jess says and this is down to the brilliant writing style with Jess sometimes speaking directly to the reader whilst Jess is telling her story of a particular day or event.  It really reminded me of the first time I read Bridget Jones Diary.

Jess’s outlook on life throws up questions or observations and how things do not necessarily seem fair or right in life.  Each chapter starts with a Jess observation or an invisible rule and these also made me chuckle!  One of my favourites was Jess observation number 3….

“If being thin is so great, why are thin people always miserable”

One of my favourite parts in the book was when Jess encounters the school bully, Zara quite close to the beginning of the book which sort of starts the snowball of events that occur rolling.  I don’t want to give too much away, but the whole scene is just brilliant!  I love how when Zara calls Jess grotesque her response is

“Grotesque Zara!  That’s a big word for you – do you think you can spell it?!”

Yay!  I screamed at this book!  Go Jess!

One of my favourite characters in the book was Jess’s Gran!  I loved how she refused to conform to anything in her life and her whole outlook on life and the whole relationship Jess has with her Gran is touching.  Jess uses a phrase her Gran uses – Tickety Boo…..meaning everything is fine….I just loved it!  I also loved how Jess’s relationship with her sister Cat develops over the course of the book.

You do get a sense of how other characters are feeling too and I really think a book from one of the other characters perspectives and a glimpse into their lives as a particular point would really work as all the characters were that strong.  I was intrigued by Dom a lot as well as the friends Hannah and Izzie and would love to take a sneaky peek into their thoughts and mind, lives and loves too.

The ending to the book was brilliant and I loved how it didn’t conform to the idea of a rom-com film and pushed the boundaries of a neat package and you  get to see life after the package has started to be unwrapped.  In this book you do…you get that extra glimpse and it’s great and finishes Jess’s story off perfectly.

Anna Mainwaring captures so many feelings in this book as well!  My heart ached along with Jess when she speaks about love or heartbreak, I felt the strong bond and loyalty of friendship and what friendship means, I cringed as much as Jess would cringe at embarrassing moments, I also tasted the wonderful cakes Jess cooked with Jess and really felt everything that Jess was going through.  I found Jess totally relatable as a character and it transported me back to that age in my life when I know I did think and feel the way Jess felt.  I have never been a thin person and therefore I totally related to Jess’s thoughts over her weight and being bigger than other people.  All the situations that occur in this book seemed to spark off memories of my own teenager years, first love, parties, friendship…it was a nostalgic memory trip for me in a kind of way.

What The Lives and Loves of Isobel Jones does is reach out to the reader to say you are not alone.  Everyone has these feelings and doubts about them selves.  These aches and pains are normal and everyone is different and unique in their own ways.  Anna Mainwaring captures the thoughts of a teenager and situations perfectly and I cannot wait to read more from her!

Tickety-Boo!

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

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You can buy The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here


About Anna Mainwaring

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Anna Mainwaring first read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ when she was seven and she hasn’t stopped reading since. 

 Her debut novel, “The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones”, follows Jess through the joy and pain of being a teenager in the modern world; first love, friendship, embarrassing families, and asks the big questions in life: how much cake is it really acceptable to eat?

 After studying English at university, Anna made the foolish decision to work in corporate finance, not the best career choice for someone who a) is number dyslexic b) hates anything corporate. After travelling, Anna re-trained as an English teacher and works in a girls’ school in Cheshire. When not writing, teaching, or looking after her children, Anna can generally be found walking up a big hill, looking for inspiration.

 You can find out more about Anna on her website, www.annamainwaring.com, or by following her on twitter at www.twitter.com/annamainwaring1


The Live and Loves of Jesobel Jones Blog Tour

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Monday 6th April – Writing From the Tub

Tuesday 7th April – Luna’s Little Library

Wednesday 8th April – Ya Yeah Yeah & A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 9th April – Fiction Fascination

Friday 10th April – Live to Read. Read to Live.

 Saturday 11th April – Serendipity Reviews & Joshua J Stories

Sunday 12th April – A Thousand Words, A Million Books & Becca Talks YA

Monday 13th April – Chrissi Reads & Marie’s Journal

Tuesday 14th April – An Awful Lot of Reading

 Wednesday 15th April – The Book Moo & A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

 Thursday 16th April – Music, Books and Tea

Friday 17th April – The Page Starts Here

Saturday 18th April – Snuggling on the Sofa

Sunday 19th April – Tales of Yesterday

 

 

 

 

 

Have you read The Loves and Loves of Jesobel Jones?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  Do you love cake as much as Jesobel – I do!  I would love to here 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….and discovering Jesobel!

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