Tag Archives: Adventure

Guest Post – My Favourite Literary Pirates by Bryony Pearce


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In a future world where fossil fuels have run out and democracy has collapsed, an outlawed pirate crew fight for survival on their ship, the Phoenix, kept afloat by whatever they can salvage or scavenge on the debris-filled seas.

Toby has never known anything other than life onboard the Phoenix and he’s desperate for adventure. But when trouble comes hunting the Phoenix down, Toby realizes that what you wish for isn’t always what you want.

He meets beautiful Ayla from the Banshee, a rival pirate ship and sworn enemy of the Phoenix, and his world is thrown into chaos.


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I am delighted to be kicking off the brilliant blog tour for Bryony Pearce’s new YA novel, Phoenix Rising, which is out today, 1st June 2015, published by Stripes Publishing this will be followed by the exciting sequel Phoenix Burning in 2016!

I have recently received a proof copy of this book and from what I have read so far it’s set to be an amazing read!

Today I have an awesome guest post from Bryony all about her favourite literary pirates!

You can also check out a fab Q&A with Bryony Pearce here

But first who will you pledge your allegiance to?

 Are you #PhoenixCrew or #BansheeCrew?

I swear my allegiance to the #BansheeCrew !  We are feared and fearless!  We are merciless and amoral!  We believe in the ideals of strict hierarchy.  We are mercenary and we will not show weakness!  We will survive at all costs!

We are determined to get to the island before our sworn enemies, the #PhoenixCrew!

 Are you #PhoenixCrew or #BansheeCrew?  Do you think my allegiance will change when I have finished reading the book or will I stay true to the #BansheeCrew?

Only time will tell….check back soon to find out!

*Hands skull and cross bone flag over to Bryony*


My favourite literary pirates by Bryony Pearce

I’ve always loved pirate stories. My favourite kind of hero is an anti-hero and pirates in literature embody my idea of an anti-hero – a bad person who turns around and does the right thing.

 There are a great many pirates in literature, who are soon to be joined by Captain Wright (Nell), Captain Ford (Barnaby), Ayla, Toby, Peel, Crocker, Marcus and the rest.

 Here are some of my very favourite.

 The Dread Pirate Roberts / Westley from The Princess Bride by William Golding

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What I am about to tell you I have never said before and you must guard it closely.” I of course said I would. ‘I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts,’ he said. ‘my name is Ryan. I inherited this ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts just as you will inherit it from me … The original Dread Pirate Roberts has been retired fifteen years and has been living like a king in Patagonia.

Captain Alberic / Captain Shakespeare from Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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In the novel the original captain of the Sky ship Perdita is Captain Johannes Alberic

It wasn’t entirely fortune that we found you … It’d also be true to say that I was keeping half an eye out for you.

The Captain, however that I (and probably most viewers) really love is Captain Shakespeare – a version of Alberic rewritten into a flamboyant cross-dresser for the film and played by De Niro

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 Captain James Hook from Peter Pan by JM Barrie

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            “Proud and insolent youth,” said Hook. “Prepare to meet thy doom.”

…“Dark and sinister man,” Peter answered. “Have at thee.”

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 The Fiddling pirate from The Pirate Cruncher

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 There are rubies and diamonds the size of balloons

Silver and guineas and golden doubloons

But grab it all quick or he’ll have your entrails

Now, Fiddle de dee, let’s spread those sails

The Fiddling Pirate who appears to the sound of the fiddle floating on the wind, is possibly the creepiest character in children’s literature today. In this children’s picture book, much beloved by my son, the fiddler leads Captain Purplebeard and his crew to find an island of gold, filled with treasure. On the way pirates mysteriously disappear, and the pirates begin to worry, but are seduced into carrying on by the idea of the treasure. But the island is perched on a monster’s head and when the pirates land he eats them all. It is only at the end that you realise the old fiddler is really a puppet – the monster’s puppet and only when you look back over the pictures do you see the strings holding him up on each page, and the shadow of the monster who was with them the whole time.

 Captain T-Rex from Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs

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Another favourite of my son and in here because no other pirate has a better battle cry.

            Yo ho ho, yo ho ho, pirate dinosaurs go, go, go

 Captain T-rex eats children with ketchup and his crew sings the best shanties:

We’ve stolen all the treasure

We’ll use it at our leisure

And won’t it be a pleasure

For us all to live like kings.

And don’t think we’ve forgotten

That this pirate’s rather rotten

So let’s barbecue his bottom

With some spicy chicken wings.

 I know that I am missing out some obvious favourites – Long John Silver, Captain Nemo and Captain Jack Sparrow all deserve a mention (Sparrow now has his own series of books by Rob Kidd). It seems crazy that a pirate T-rex beats Sparrow, Silver and Nemo, but my son made me read the stories of the pirate dinosaurs over and over and so they have a special place in my heart.

 I hope you enjoy my own pirates.

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About Bryony Pearce

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Bryony lives with her husband and two children in a village on the edge of the Peak District. She was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition and is the author of Angel’s Fury and The Weight of Souls.

You can find out more about Bryony on her website here

Or check out her other books or order Phoenix Rising here or why not order it in at your local bookshop 🙂

You can also follow Bryony on twitter – @BryonyPearce


A huge thank you to Bryony for the fab guest post and to Jessie at Stripes for sending me a copy of the book and for having me on the tour!

Check out what Bryony’s reaction to her cover reveal was here

Check out a fab Q&A with Bryony here

Also find out which Phoenix Burning Character You Are here

I also chatted to Bryony at the #UKYAExtravaganza in February 2015 – you can find the full post and goings on here

When I spoke to Bryony at an event in Birmingham she told me a little about Phoenix Rising in her own words….warning – I asked her to describe the book in five words!!  I am a very cruel Captain Chelley!

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

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 Who are your favourite pirates in literature?  Are you looking forward to reading Phoenix Rising?  Have you read it already?  Which crew would you like to be or were you assigned to?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy pirating!

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Tales Q&A with Gareth P. Jones


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Myself and my son have fallen in love with this new series by Gareth P. Jones, The Steampunk Pirates!  We have laughed with them, been on adventures on the high seas with them and walked the plank with them….okay that was just me being cruel to my son Corey when we were playing pirates *splash*

Basically they are swashbuckling fun!

The first in the series, The Leaky Battery Sets Sail came out in February 2015 and introduces us to the brilliant Steampunk Pirates (you can find my review and extract here) and the second in the series, Attack Of The Giant Sea Spiders came out in May 2015 (my review will follow shortly).

The series is published by the brilliant Stripes Publishing and I was over the moon to be asked to put some questions to Gareth!

Interesting Fact Alert!  The brilliant illustrations in these books were created by a super-secret super-illustration team at Stripes!  They are credited as ‘FAD’ in the books!  Ohhhhh a mystery!

For this Q&A Pirate Chelley enlisted the help of crew member Corey to grill Gareth…..and if we are not satisfied with his answers then…..*splash* dinner time for the sharks….or should I say some Giant Sea Spiders!

*Evil Laugh*


Michelle:  Hi Gareth!  Welcome to Tales Of Yesterday!  This ship is officially setting sail now!  We hope you enjoy your journey! 

Corey:  These questions will decide if you will walk the plank and become that hungry shark down there’s dinner!  He looks rather hungry!

Michelle:  Now step up on the plank….that’s it…watch you don’t fall and ruin our fun……..

Corey:  Okay lets begin….

Michelle:  Can you tell us a little about your new books The Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates series?

 The Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates is a series of adventure books that are hopefully funny, silly, exciting and fun.

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Wanted: Dead or Alive! (Or smashed into little bits and delivered in boxes.) Causing chaos wherever they sail, the robotic Steampunk Pirates are roaming the high seas, hunting for gold! But the evil Iron Duke has other ideas…He’s determined to capture the pirates in return for a handsome reward from the King. Can the mechanical marauders stay one wave ahead of their enemy?

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Wanted: Dead or Alive! (Or smashed into little bits and delivered in boxes.) The Steampunk Pirates jump at the chance to earn a handsome reward in return for doing some snooping. But when they find themselves sandwiched between the Dread Captain Inky beard and a spider on the attack, it’s time to beat a retreat. Can they escape without a scrape or have the robotic rebels ticked their last?

 Corey:  What inspired you to write the story of the Steampunk Pirates?

 I was playing pirates with my son and another boy, when the boy (whose name I forget) turned into a robot. Robot pirates, I thought. That’s an idea.

Michelle:  We are glad to hear that you have played pirates before…..lets hope you practised WALKING THE PLANK!

 Corey:  What materials are the Steampunk Pirates made of eg metal, gold etc?

 That’s a good question. They were constructed out or iron, (with a few bits of copper along the way) but as the series goes on they are gradually replacing their rusting parts with other materials they find. Their favourite is gold.

 Corey:  Which character are you most like?  Captain Clockhart, Quarter Master Lexi, Gadge or First Mate Mainspring?

 That’s an even better question. Well, like Lexi, I have a love of words. Like Mainspring, I am always plotting something (normally a book). Like Gadge, I love singing songs. And like Captain Clockheart, I am a little bit mad and get a tad over-excited sometimes!

Michelle:  Woah!  *Gareth wobbles after getting a tad over-excited* – Watch it there we still have lots more questions before you go for your swim….

 Michelle:  I have been trying to teach Corey to speak Pirate…..can you help?  Any tips?

 There be all kinds of pirates with all kinds of voices. The important thing is for Captain Corey to find his own unique pirate voice. One tip is that a pirate Argh should have a ‘gh’ in it.

Michelle & Corey:  *Practises ARGHS…..ARGH…..ARGH….ARGH*

 Michelle:  The Steampunk Pirates often find themselves in some difficult tricky situations!  When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

 I live in south London so most of my tricky situations involve buses suddenly terminating before I’m home. Usually I deal with this by a) getting on another bus b) going for a coffee or glass of ale (depending on the time of day).

Michelle:  Don’t worry Gareth…..there is only water where your going…..come along step a little closer to the edge now….

 Corey:  In this new adventure the Steampunk pirates have to face the giant sea spiders can you tell us more about these?

 I can’t say much or the French commander Didier Le Bone has threatened to chop off my legs and serve me with a plate of snails.

Michelle:  *Gulps*

 Michelle:  If you could cast your characters from The Steampunk Pirates in a big Hollywood film adaptation or animation which actors would you choose?

 Captain Clockheart – Ray Winstone

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Quartermaster Lexi – Benedict Cumberbatch

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Mister Gadge – Craig Ferguson

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Mr Mainspring – Mark Heap

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Michelle:  I’m feeling a bit guilty now as those were excellent choices…

Corey:  MAKE HIM WALK THE PLANK *waves to sharky down below*

Michelle:  *Looks stunned*

 Corey:  Do you like to make your readers laugh?

 More than anything, yes.

 Corey:  We love Twitter!  What made you call the Steampunk Pirates parrot Twitter? 

 It was a joke for myself really. An annoying parrot that repeats obvious things and bugs everyone. What else could I call him? If he showed everyone pictures of children or told everyone about his latest marathon efforts then he’d have been Facebook.

 Michelle:  We would love to know a little bit more about you!  Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Gareth P Jones?

  • I once appeared on TV as a singing potato

Michelle:  (rushes to type into google…..but realises we are in the middle of the sea!)

  • I once appeared on TV dressed as a monkey serving tea to Ricky Gervais

Michelle:  *SHOUTS* “Get back to land we need the internet quickly!”*

  • Both my parents are called Leslie (although mum is Lesley)
  • My middle name is Phillips
  • My son’s middle name is Indiana

Corey: If you could be any pirate that had ever lived who would you be? My Mom says she wishes she could meet Johnny Depp and marry him!

Michelle:  Errrrrmmmmm *apologies to husband, but its Johnny Depp!*

I think I’d be one who survived and lived long enough to retire and enjoy his ill-gotten gains, so bearing that in mind, Sir Henry Morgan who did all that.

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Corey: We read in the back of the book that you spend a lot of time turning yourself into a Steampunk pirate? Is this true? Any pictures?

Yep.

Steampunk Costume

Corey: Can you tell us a little about some of your other books?

I’ve written lots of different books. There is a series about Ninja Meerkats.

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There is a book about a pair of twins trying to kill each other (The Thornthwaite Inheritance).

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Find out which character from The Thornthwaite Betrayal you are here

There is a book about ghosts (Constable & Toop).

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You can read about them on my website. www.garethwrites.co.uk

Michelle:  Oh wow…..he has written a lot of books you know Corey…I think we better get him down from the plank now!

Corey:  “Here fishy fishy…dinner will be served soon”….*pushes Gareth further down the plank*

Michelle: Growing up who inspired you into writing?  Are there any Authors or books that inspired you?        

I don’t know about other specific authors inspiring me, but I certainly had lots of encouragement from my parents and teachers. Everything I read and watch inspired my love of stories.

 Michelle:  Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written or that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

 I don’t think it’s possible to wish you’d written a book as you would have written it differently but there are certainly some books that I wish I’d had the same success as.

 Corey:  What do you think makes a good story?

A good story… and interesting characters… and colourful dialogue

 Michelle:  Over on Tales Of Yesterday I have recently been asking YA authors if music has any influence to their writing and/or characters.  Is there a particular song that influenced The Steampunk Pirates and/or it’s characters and if so how or why?  Or maybe like a theme song for the characters?

 Yes, there is a theme tune. You can find it here!

These days I compose theme songs for my books as I’m writing. When I listen to other music while writing pirates, it’s stuff like the music for Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s a terrific song by Rodrigo y Gabriela called The Pirate That Should Not be.

Michelle:  *Daydreams about Johnny Depp*

 Michelle:  What’s next?  Any exciting plans that you are able to reveal?  Any more contributions to The Steampunk Pirate Series?

 I’m currently working on the fourth in the series. In fact today is the deadline day so I’d better get back to work…..

Michelle:  Okay Okay…..I suppose we can let you off this time as we really want the next book in the series asap!

Corey: *Sighs*

Michelle:  *turns to walk away* …I mean we were not really going to make you walk the plank and feed you to the sharks were we Corey?

TWAAAANNNNGGGGGG!

Michelle:  Gareth?!

*Splash!*

Michelle & Corey:   UH! OH!  HOW ARE WE GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO STRIPES PUBLISHING!

*Looks over side of ship and gulps*


A huge thank you from myself and Corey to Gareth for featuring today and for answering all or questions….and making us laugh….a lot!

Also a huge thank you to Jessie at Stripes Publishing for organising and letting us ask Gareth anything we wanted to!


About Gareth P. Jones

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Gareth lives in South East London and divides his time between writing books, producing TV programmes, spending time with his wife and son, Herbie, and playing the slightly ludicrous number of stringed instruments in his front room.

His books include two series, The Dragon Detective Agency and Ninja Meerkats. His Standalone books include, The Considine Curse which won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Prize 2012. Space Crime Conspiracy and The Thornthwaite Inheritance, which won the Hounslow Junior Book Award, the Calderdale Book Award, Leicester Children’s Book Award, Sefton Super Reads, Doncaster Book Award, Rotherham Children’s Book Award, and Fantastic Book Award, Lancaster. His most recent book is called Constable & Toop and is a humorous Victorian ghost story.

As well as writing books he also writes songs about each of his books, which he plays on his regular school visits.


You can buy Gareth P. Jones books here or by visiting the Stripes publishing website here.

For more information about the wonderful author Gareth P Jones and his other books please visit his website www.garethwrites.co.uk or why not follow him on twitter using @jonesgarethp !

You can catch my pirate review and extract of the first in the series, The Leaky Battery Sets Sail – here

Or find out which character from The Thornthwaite Betrayal you are here

Or a cover reveal of Pet Defenders:  Attack of the Alien Dung!  here

The Adventures Of The Steampunk Pirates continues soon with the Clash Of The Rival Robots!  I can’t wait!

Have you read this book or an other books by Gareth P Jones?  What did you think?  Are there any other pirate books I should read (I love pirates!)?  If you could create a Steampunk Pirate what would it be called?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter (not the bird from the book but actual twitter) using @chelleytoy !

Happy walking the plank and fearing Chelley The Pirate….arrrggghhh!

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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!

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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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Cover Reveal – Phoenix Rising by Bryony Pearce


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I am delighted to be able to bring you all a fab cover reveal (below) for Bryony Pearce’s new YA novel, Phoenix Rising, which is out in June 2015 published by Stripes Publishing this will be followed by the sequel Phoenix Burning in 2016.

I have recently received a proof copy of this book and from what I have read so far it’s set to be an amazing read!

What’s it all about?

In a future world where fossil fuels have run out and democracy has collapsed, an outlawed pirate crew fight for survival on their ship, the Phoenix, kept afloat by whatever they can salvage or scavenge on the debris-filled seas.

Toby has never known anything other than life onboard the Phoenix and he’s desperate for adventure. But when trouble comes hunting the Phoenix down, Toby realizes that what you wish for isn’t always what you want.

He meets beautiful Ayla from the Banshee, a rival pirate ship and sworn enemy of the Phoenix, and his world is thrown into chaos.

Check out a fab Q&A with Bryony Pearce about Phoenix Rising here

I recently spoke to Bryony at an event in Birmingham where she told me a little about Phoenix Rising in her own words….warning – I asked her to describe the book in five words!!  🙂


 Are you #PhoenixCrew or #BansheeCrew?

I swear my allegiance to the #BansheeCrew !  We are feared and fearless!  We are merciless and amoral!  We believe in the ideals of strict hierarchy.  We are mercenary and we will not show weakness!  We will survive at all costs!

We are determined to get to the island before our sworn enemies, the #PhoenixCrew!

 Are you #PhoenixCrew or #BansheeCrew?  Do you think my allegiance will change when reading the book or will I stay true to the #BansheeCrew?

Only time will tell….check back soon to find out!


Cover Reveal

And now the moment you have all been waiting for…….

Check out this fab, awesome cover for Pheonix Rising!!!

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Doesn’t it look awesome!!!!

So what does the author Bryony Pearce think about her cover for Phoenix Rising?  I was lucky enough to ask her….

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As an author it is always nerve wracking to see your cover for the first time. Different publishers have different approaches. Sometimes the author gets asked what direction they would like to see the designer go up front, sometimes they get shown a draft, or options and are asked for their input, often they are presented with the cover as a fait accompli. Either way there is always the fear that it won’t be right; won’t represent the book as you feel you wrote it.  There is not much worse for an author than feeling like your precious baby is going out into the world dressed in rags. 

I needn’t have worried for a moment.

My first impression of the cover for Phoenix Rising is that it is beautiful. I love the colours, which are the colours of the Phoenix, and the fact that it looks like part of the ship itself. I think the brightness of it will be eye-catching on a shelf. 

My second impression, once I really started looking, is that it’s clever. I feel that the tagline: Sail. Salvage. Survive is memorable and gripping and the strapline; ‘They can fight for the future, but they can’t escape the past’, is an absolutely perfect summation of the story. 

As I looked closer I realised, with delight, that the designer had a real feel for the book and had incorporated elements from the story throughout. The skull and crossbones on the front, which looks as if it is rusted into the painted ship, is not only stunning, but tells us that the novel is about pirates. The way that the faces of Toby and Ayla are incorporated into the eye sockets is brilliant – you can see how they are trapped inside their pirate lives – but Toby is looking at Ayla as his way forward while Ayla is looking out towards the future, and her eyes are the ones that engage the reader.  The way the teeth include the broken cityscape and ship is excellent and I am crazy about the way the flames of the Phoenix are rising up from the bottom. 

In short I love my cover and I hope you do too.


About Bryony Pearce

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Bryony lives with her husband and two children in a village on the edge of the Peak District. She was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition and is the author of Angel’s Fury and The Weight of Souls.

You can find out more about Bryony on her website here

Or check out her other books or pre order Phoenix Rising here

You can also follow Bryony on twitter – @BryonyPearce

Also check out this fab guest post from Bryony about her favourite literary pirates – here

Also check out a fab Q&A with Bryony Pearce here

Also find out which Phoenix Burning Character You Are here

What do you think of the cover for Phoenix Rising?  Which crew would you like to be assigned to?  Are you looking forward to reading Phoenix Rising?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy pirating!

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Tales Q&A with Kim Curran


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Today, 31st March 2015, marks the release day of the third book in the Shift Series – Delete by author Kim Curran . I am very excited to have been sent a copy of both this book and the first two in the series Shift and Control.

I am over the moon to be part of the wonderful, fun packed blog tour to celebrate the release of Delete and for my stop on the tour I am honoured to have the wonderful Kim Curran answering all my questions…with some interesting answers!

Thank you to both Kim Curran and  Faye Rogers for having me on this wonderful tour.

Delete

Delete (Shift #3)

The country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy, Scott Tyler. In this ravaged alternative reality, Scott hardly recognises himself. He’s a war hero, a leader of a unit of Shifters and maybe the only one who can prevent the country’s frail defences from crumbling.

But all Scott wants to do is find a way back to the world he knew, without losing the girl he loves. With every Shift he makes, Scott edges closer towards oblivion. With no one to trust – not even himself – how much is he willing to risk to get home?


Publisher – Xist Publishing

Date Published – 31st March 2015

Pages – 352 pages

Format – E-book

Category – UK YA, YA Sci-Fi


 Hi Kim.  Welcome to Tales Of Yesterday.  Thank you so much for featuring on my blog as part of the Delete blog tour…I am very excited and thrilled to have you here!

Delete is the third book in the Shift series with Shift being the first and Control being the second book in this fab series!

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Delete

In Shift Scott Tyler is a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made.

At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed.

In Control he discovers he is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same.

That’s why he’s so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters.

In Delete the country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy, Scott Tyler

What inspired you to write the story of Scott Tyler?

The idea for Shift came to me one day when sitting on top of the bus on the way home from work, thinking about all the decisions I’d made in my life and all the decisions everyone makes. At the same time, I was thinking about a book I’d just finished on quantum physics. And the idea hit me: what if you could change your decisions the way light changes from wave to particle. And Shift was born. 

However, why I chose to tell that story through the eyes of Scott Tyler, a teenage boy, is a strange one. Scott just appeared in my head as soon as I had the idea of Shift: an awkward, insecure young man who wanted nothing more than some excitement in his life. The whole idea for Shift is about wish fulfilment – having a second chance at all the mistakes you’ve made – and I wanted it to be about a normal, average, even slightly loser-ish kid who’s spent their whole life wishing for something else. I love writing about ordinary teenagers in extraordinary circumstances, and Scott is as normal as you get! 

Can you tell us a bit about the trilogy Shift, Control and Delete? 

The books follow Scott’s life from when he discovers he’s a Shifter – a teenager with the power to change any decision he makes – through his training with ARES, the government department set up to control and regulate the power, his working with ARES and then, 

In line with the titles, Shift sets up the world and introduces the reader (and Scott) to the brain-twisting concept of Shifting, Control is Scott coming to terms with his powers and while trying to control them they ultimately control him. And finally Delete takes us into an alternative history, where one of Scott’s decisions has had global consequences and is about his desperate attempts to return to the reality he knows.   

What inspired the titles for the books?

The title Shift came to me before I even knew exactly what the book was going to be about. And then I decided to have a bit of fun in playing with keyboard commands. The three together (Shift + Control + Delete) is a small clue to what Delete is about. 

If there was one thing you could do with a single thought what would it be?

Teleport. I would love to be able to transport myself to anywhere in the world with a thought. If mostly because it would mean I wouldn’t have to face the hell of commuting any more.  

If you could change / delete any decision you ever made what would it be or would you not want to tamper with time?  How do you think that decision would have an impact on your future self?

I’ve given this question a huge amount of thought over the past few years. There are lots of alternative realties I’d like to explore. What would have happened had I gone to Oxford like my teachers wanted? What if I’d left the job that was making me miserable rather than sticking it out for a few years? But each and every decision in my life has led me to where I am now. And as I’m pretty happy with my life now, I have to make peace with all the mistakes I’ve made. 

If you could cast your characters in a big Hollywood film adaptation who would you choose?

Interesting!

When I first started writing Shift I had Logan Lerman in mind for Scott and Chloe Moretz for Aubrey. But they’re both too old now, so I’m not sure.

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Do you have any suggestions?  🙂

I think those are fab choices Kim…why dis they have to grow up so quick! 🙂

Growing up who inspired you into writing?  Are there any Authors or books that inspired you?

Like most writers, I started out as a reader. I was a huge fan of Dahl as a young kid and then went through a phase of reading mostly mythology as a teen and then on to fantasy books such as Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett.

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For years, I put aside the idea of being an author and focused on being a copywriter (someone who writes adverts). But the hunger to tell my own stories never went away. When I came to write my own book, it was authors such as Anthony Horowitz and Charlie Higson who inspired me.

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And more recently, authors such as Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff, Andrew Smith and Tanya Byrne.  

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What do you think makes a good story?

Wow, good question.

There are loads of different things that make up a good story. But I guess there are three main things that hook me as a reader. A great character you care about. A gripping central idea that intrigues you and makes you want to read on. And being surprised. I love stories that don’t work out how I expect them too.  

Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written?

Apart from the obvious, Harry Potter so I could now live in a castle in Scotland, there are books with brilliant ideas that have been perfectly executed that make me want to be a better writer. Books such as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, the Chaos Walking Series by Patrick ness and everything Lauren Beukes writes.

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chaos walking trilogy Are there any authors you would like to collaborate with?  Who?

I love collaborating and miss it terribly when I’m writing on my own. I’m currently writing a script with Laura Lam and working on a project with author and comic artist Emma Vieceli. But the list of authors I’d love to work with would take too long to write! 

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When starting a new book or idea what does your writing process look like?

I’ve found I’ve settled into a pattern with the last four books I’ve written, which looks something like this: 

Write the first draft, often long hand, dumping ideas down in a messy continuous forward motion. I don’t stop to redraft or fix problems, I push through to the end, even skipping scenes and sections if I don’t know what should happen. This is what I call my vomit draft. It’s messy and ugly, but at least the beginning of the story is in there, somewhere. Then begins the process of trying to turn that hot mess into something resembling a book. Filling in the holes, spotting the plot issues and starting to breath life into the characters. Then it’s read, re-write, repeat, for what feels like seven years, till I have a draft I’m ready to share with people. Once I get their feedback, there’s some more rewriting and when I’m truly sick of the sight of the book is when I think it might be ready to be edited.

What is your favourite part of the publishing / writing process and the least favourite part?

My favourite parts are first draft and first edit. The former is pure delight of creation and the latter is when I start to get a sense of how the book can be better. My least favourite are draft five thousand (or however many I go through) and the week leading up to publication. During both of those phases, I can mostly be found shaking under my desk. 

Recently I asked some lovely UKYA authors their thoughts about does music influence their books or their characters.  Did music have any influence in Scott Tyler’s story?

I was  just talking to Lou Morgan about this very thing. She and other writers I know choose one or two songs that become the sound track to their books, in that the book they’re working on shares similar resonances as the songs. It’s something I’m going to try in the book I’ve just started writing. But as for the Shifter books, the main influence is that I used to listen to The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s album It’s Blitz on repeat while commuting to and from work to block out the noise of my fellow commuters. And there’s one scene in Shift that came directly from the song Heads Will Roll, even if I didn’t know it at the time of writing. 

Are there any exciting plans for the rest of 2015 or 2016?

I have just finished writing a new book although I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it. And I’ve started writing something which is very different from my previous work – although still YA. Right now, I’m in a process of taking a step back and working out what kind of writer I want to be in the future. So no exciting plans as of yet. But if I hear of anything, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂 

Thank you so much Kim for taking the time to answer these questions and feature on Tales Of Yesterday.  It was an honour to have you! 🙂

You can find out more about Delete or buy the book here or check out Kim’s other books including the shift series here

Why not add Delete to your Goodreads wishlist – here


About Kim Curran

Kim Curran

Dublin-born Kim Curran is the award-nominated author of books for young adults, including Shift, Control and Delete.

She studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter with an ad agency a week after graduating. She’s worked in advertising ever since and is obsessed with the power of the media on young minds.

She is a mentor at the Ministry of Stories and for the WoMentoring Project. And lives in London with her husband and too many books.

To find out more visit www.kimcurran.co.uk

Twitter: @kimecurran

Goodreads – Kim Curran


Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway going on with the tour!

Prizes

All three books in the Shift Trilogy

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Delete Blog Tour

Want to checkout some more reviews, guest posts and more about this fab book?  Visit the rest of the tour stops to see what everyone thought!

Delete Banner2Monday 30th March

Death, Books and Tea

Faber Academy

 Tuesday 31st March

Uncorked Thoughts

Tales of Yesterday

 Wednesday 1st April

ChooseYA

Pornokitsch

Man of Words

 Thursday 2nd April

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Beach Bound Books

 Friday 3rd March

George Lester Writes

Making It Up

 Saturday 4th March

Much Loved Books

Ya Yeah Yeah

 Sunday 5th March

Curiosity Killed The Bookworm

Tsana Reads


Have you read any of the books in the Shift series?  Has this post persuaded you to check them out?  If there was one thing you could do with a single thought what would it be?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy

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Review – Jessica Cole Model Spy Fashion Assassin by Sarah Sky


Fashion Assassin Banner Review Tour2
The 1st January 2015 marked the release day of the second book in the Jessica Cole Model Spy Series – Fashion Assassin by author Sarah Sky published by Scholastic. I am very excited to have been sent a copy of both this book and the first in the series Code Red Lipstick (find my review here) by the lovely Sarah Sky.

I am over the moon to be part of the wonderful review only blog tour for this series and for my stop on the tour I will be reviewing Fashion Assassin!

Thank you to both Scholastic and Faye Rogers for having me on this wonderful tour.

Ps – Jessica Cole has officially taken over my blog for the day!

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Models, spies and lipstick gadgets in this fast-paced teen series. Supermodel Jessica Cole has no intention of ever spying again after she was nearly killed by an embittered ex-model and a rogue MI6 agent. That is until she’s blackmailed into posing undercover as bodyguard to a very rich fellow model. What seems like a simple job aboard a luxurious yacht in Monaco soon turns into a deadly mission to stop the most dangerous weapon in the world falling into the wrong hands. Jessica will need every gadget in her make-up bag if she wants to get out of this one alive.


Publisher – Scholastic

Date Published – 1st January 2015

Pages – 352 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UK YA, Contemporary / Crime YA 

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful author Sarah Sky as a gift.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Sarah for sending this to me to read!


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


Again, like Code Red Lipstick (the first in the Jessica Cole Series) I will be starting this review off with a huge wow!

Wow!  What a sequel to Code Red Lipstick!  Again this 2nd book in this series had everything!  Jessica remained a strong, cool main character with super cool gadgets, super gorgeous dresses, a trip to Monaco and a super luxury yacht!  What more could I ask for!  I loved every second of reading this book and Sarah Sky pulls you right into the action, danger and suspense with twisty turns, a rich Russian family, some new and old familiar faces and a ghost!

Fashion Assassin moves us six months on from the ending of Code Red Lipstick where we find Jessica has been struggling for modelling work due to her name being tarnished by an MI6 agent with a grudge! With her Dad unwell in hospital and her godfather in a coma Jessica is taking all the modelling jobs she can to help out back home.  She is then blackmailed and forced into a mission that will test her skills and patience!  On the plus side she gets to stay on a luxury Yacht in Monaco !  On the downside she cannot tell her family, boyfriend or best friend that she has accepted this mission to protect them as well as a spoilt brat called Kat who’s gold teethed dad pampers her every need and tells Jessica that some one is threatening to kill Kat! As a matter of national and international security Jessica may be facing her hardest mission yet!  It’s lucky Jessica does not believe in ghosts as she is about to receive a ghostly message!

Jessica must remember her Dad’s rules – Notice everything.  Question everything.  When in trouble, do absolutely anything to get away!

Phew…..what an action packed summary!

Straight from the offset this book pulled me in and got me fully intrigued with a brilliant prologue!  The prologue tells the story of pop star Madison who whilst attending the Grammy’s wears a million dollar diamond necklace and this is when we first encounter the mysterious ghost!  This sets up the book brilliantly and made me immediately want to read more!

This book had some great characters!  Old and new!  One of my favourite characters was Kat who’s love for Kesha (the popstar) knows no bounds!  Yes she was annoying and very frustrating and that is exactly how she is meant to come across – that’s her character but I loved her strops and tantrums as they gave me as a reader a bit of a giggle amongst all of the action and goings on.  Jessica aptly names her Kat the Brat and Kat is her Dad’s little kotik – little cat!

Fashion Assassin does not fail on gadgets for Jessica either!  At one point I almost cried when Jessica was told she was not allowed any gadgets on this mission!  WHAT!  I shrieked at my book and then felt Sarah Sky had done exactly what she set out to do in her writing as when the gadgets were given to Jessica they were AMAZING!  Some gadget highlights for me were a Chanel lipstick movement sensor with diamond earrings that will alert Jessica if the sensor is triggered!  I was highly disappointed I did not get these for valentines day yesterday! 🙂  There was also a charm bracelet with explosives, a pendant necklace which would provide oxygen for seven minutes if deprived of oxygen or underwater and a gold Rolex watch with wire stronger than steel and a laser to cut through steel also!  These are simply must have’s for any model spy….and I simply want them in my life too!  I loved seeing one of my old favourites from Code Red Lipstick making an appearance again too…the loose powder compact where you blow the powder at a suspect to knock them out, but this time with extra modifications including a photograph scanner and fingerprint storage facility!  Wow!  Love!  Love! Love!

I think the reason I loved this book so much was that with every page turn there was tension and mystery or even a twist which turned all my theory’s upside down even when I thought I had it sussed!  The ending was full on action packed and I could not turn the pages fast enough!  With the pacing being perfect and my heart racing faster I flew through this book and it didn’t disappoint and with a very intriguing last line in the book I can’t wait for the next instalment of the wonderful Jessica Cole series!

I would recommend this book to any one looking for an action packed adventure with a hint of mystery, humour and a kick ass heroine!

If ever I were in trouble I would call Jessica Cole….or if she’s not available definitely Sarah Sky who is a master of Karate and could do some serious damage! *gulps*

PS – if my husband is reading this I will now also like a trip to Monaco as well as Paris!  Hint Hint Hint!  Don’t give me that look…you can blame Sarah Sky for introducing me to these wonderful places in her books and taking me on a fictional adventure that I want to see for myself as they sound so beautiful!

And a million dollar yacht wouldn’t go a miss either 😉

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

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You can buy this book, Jessica Cole Model Spy Fashion Assassin, book two in the series here

Or why not add it to your to read list on good reads here

For a previous tour following the release of Fashion Assassin I did a spotlight feature which included some super facts about Jessica Cole!  You can check this out here.

I also did a feature asking Sarah if music influenced Jessica Cole – here

I also caught up with Sarah at #UKYAExtravaganza in Feb 2015 where I asked her some quick fire questions – here

Code Red Lipstick

With Fashion Assassin being the 2nd book in this series I read and loved the first in the series also, Code Red Lipstick.  Check out my spoiler free review here

You can buy Code Red Lipstick here

Or add it on your to be read list on Goodreads here

I can’t wait to read book three – Catwalk Criminal which is out June 2015 and was recently talked about at the Scholastic Blogger Book Brunch that I attended and sounds awesome!  You can pre-order this book here.

In June 2015 I read and review this book – check out my review here

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About The Author –  Sarah Sky

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Sarah Sky is the author of Scholastic’s Jessica Cole: Model Spy series with Code Red Lipstick and Fashion Assassin. Catwalk Criminal is published in June 2015.

Sarah is a freelance education journalist and lives in West London with her husband and two young children.

She grew up in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, and studied English at Nottingham University before gaining a post-graduate diploma in journalism at Cardiff University. 

She trained as a journalist at the Western Daily Press in Bristol. Her highlight was interviewing screen legend Charlton Heston and lowest point was being sneezed on by a cow at a fatstock competition.

Sarah worked as an education correspondent for a national newspaper before going freelance. She now divides her time between journalism and writing.

She loves reading, baking, table tennis and martial arts. She’s a green belt in kick-boxing and a brown with two white stripes at karate, currently training for black.

You can find out more about Sarah Sky and Jessica Cole by visiting her website – www.sarahsky.co.uk and on Goodreads here.

Or you can follow Sarah on twitter – @sarahsky23


Fashion Assassin Review Only Blog Tour

Want to checkout some more reviews of this fab book?  Visit the rest of the tour stops to see what everyone thought!

Jessica Cole Tour Banner1

Have you read Fashion Assassin or any of the Jessica Cole series?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  Do you have any super cool gadgets I should know about?  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….or maybe spying and you might be undercover!

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Review – The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone


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Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.

Check out the magical book Trailer!


Publisher – Simon & Schuster Ltd

Date Published – 26th February 2015

Pages – 288 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Childrens

Source –

I was sent a limited edition book proof of this book by the wonderful Lovereading4kids, the publisher Simon & Schuster Ltd and the author Abi Elphinstone in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you all for sending me this book to read and review.


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


I literally have so much to say about this book that I am really hoping that this review can do this debut authors book justice!  I loved this book….. a lot!  Since the end of Harry Potter I have been looking for a book and / or book series that could fill that Harry Potter void in my life.  A book that has the right mix of great characters, humour, magic and action!  It’s taken me a while…and I present to you The Dreamsnatcher!

The Dreamsnatcher is about Moll, a twelve year old girl who lives in the Ancientwood with Oak, the great leader of the camp, his wife Mooshie who knows how to inflict pain with a tea towel, a protective feline wild cat called Gryff and a great gypsy camp full of characters and community spirit.   Moll was found abandoned in the forest by Oak and Mooshie with no family to call her own.  Moll, along with her wildcat Gryff, discover that some dark magic is at play and along with her best friend Siddy and a mysterious boy called Alfie they embark upon a magical adventure in search of the old magic of the bone murmers, special amulets, the truth and to find out what the terrifying Soul Splinter that killed Moll’s parents is all about!

Right from the start of the book debut author Abi Elphinstone captures the atmosphere and pace of the book perfectly and the sense that Moll and Gryff, whilst rescuing her horse Jinx, are in great danger is apparent and actually makes your heart beat faster routing for Moll from the offset.

The sense of good and bad is fantastically built up in the readers imagination in the sense that one half the forest, the good Ancientwood has good healthy trees and the bad side of the forest, the Deepwood has unhealthy trees with cages of bones, dead rats and a scary bone mask wearing leader called Skull!

Skull, a witchdoctor, is a truly terrifying  villain who creeped me out many times.  His whole presence is spooky and provides nerve-wracking tension and I think even Lord Voldemort would be quaking in his robes!

There are some touching friendships portrayed in this book my favourite being between Moll, a very head strong, brave and determined lead character and Siddy who provides the comedy element with his earthworm Porridge The Second and being able to fit eleven chestnuts into his mouth that Siddy thinks will one day make him famous was the deal breaker for this character for me.  Alfie, a mysterious boy from Skulls camp provides a sense of mystery and along with Raven his noble horse provide some great moments for the reader.  This being said Moll and her wildcat Gryff have a heart warming friendship also and again Abi Elphinstone captures the whole premise of a cat and their loving ways and even the cat language was perfect!

The Ancientwood community and gypsy camp family is again written perfectly.  Such great characters who all look out for Moll and Gryff.  My favourite of the bunch was definitely a yellow toothed, bow tie wearing character called Hard-Times Bob who’s party trick is dislocating his limbs for a laugh (ouch!).

Following these characters on a magical journey through woods, heaths, old cottages, rivers and dreamsnatches is completely page turning and with short fast paced snappy chapters the pages really did just keep turning.

This book has everything!  Magic, talismans, woods, tree spirits, rituals, voodoo wax figures, tree houses, oracle bones, witch doctors, riddles and puzzles, touching friendships, fab characters and an adorable wildcat!  This book is a real magical adventure.  The keywords that jumped out to me from this book were friendship, family, community and courage.

Upon receiving this book I literally had to prise the book from my 9 year olds, Corey’s, hands and in the end had to book share with him!  The fights we had over who’s turn it was to read the book before bed led to an interesting week or so.  Corey is planning to post his own review of The Dreamsnatcher on Tales Of Yesterday very soon over on his first Corey’s Corner post….but I can tell you now he absolutely loved this book!

I will be recommending this book to all the children (and adults) I know as one to read in 2015 and a fabulous author to keep an eye on and with the ending setting up book two nicely and is portrayed in such a way that you actually feel scared for what is coming I cannot wait for 2016 when the next book is published!

A fantastic, magical debut Children’s novel The Dreamsnatcher is a dream to read!

Also check out my 9 year old sons review of The Dreamsnatcher here!

Also find out the research behind The Dreamsnatcher here

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

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You can pre-order / buy this book here

If you would like to know more about Abi Elphinstone  check her out on her website www.moontrug.com or follow her on twitter using @moontrug

Also please check out more reviews of this book and other fabulous children’s books on the brilliant Lovereading4kids website.

Check out this fab guest post by Abi with top 10 Shadow Keeper (which is the sequel to The Dreamsnatcher) Songs here

Do you think you will buy this book when it is out?  Or even pre-order the book?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter – @chelleytoy .  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading

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