Tag Archives: Alex Bell

Guest Post – Point Horror and Haunted Houses by Alex Bell


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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.

They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.

Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2!  Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here

I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of those people is author Alex Bell !  I asked Alex if she would like to do a guest post for us all about her love for all things Point Horror!  She has kindly agreed!

Check out Alex’s YA Horror read – Frozen Charlotte which is part of a new YA Horror series called Red Eye with Point Horror similarities!  It’s awesome!

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Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died. Alex Bell’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

It’s very exciting to have Alex here on Tales…I feel very honoured…so thank you so much Alex!

*Hands microphone to Alex*


Point Horror and Haunted Houses

Like many 90s kids, I absolutely loved the Point Horror series as a teenager. There was always something thrilling about starting a new one – the anticipation of freaking yourself out, reading at home all alone, eagerly hoping for horrors within the pages. I didn’t come to Stephen King until much later so these books were my first taste of scary novels.

Whilst writing Frozen Charlotte, I re-read some of the tatty old paperbacks I still had on my shelf, and Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick, was still an effectively spooky, hugely enjoyable read – probably my favourite one of the series.

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The story centres around a girl called Martha who moves to a new town and, as soon as she sees the house where she’s going to live, she gets a strong sense of evil from it. This is particularly the case in one of the upstairs rooms, and she later finds out that someone was murdered there.

The whole concept really strikes a chord with me. Moving house is a strange thing. Your home is meant to be the most familiar, safest place in the world but, when you first move somewhere new, there’s that weird alien feeling that lingers for a while until you get properly settled in. When I first moved house at thirteen I had nightmares for a while afterwards about discovering old blood stains under the carpets, or somehow finding out that someone had been ghoulishly murdered in one of the upstairs rooms.

There’s something particularly creepy about the idea that the haunted threat occurs in the place where you actually live because there’s no easy escape from that. You can’t just remove yourself from the haunted location and go home when you are already home.

At university I studied Law, and whilst everyone else was exploring sensible topics for their dissertation (most of them fiendishly dull) – like court remedies for breach of fiduciary duty, or how to combat online copyright infringement, or deal with shared residence orders – I decided, instead, to look at haunted houses and how property law deals with the possibility of the existence of ghosts. The American case of Stambovsky v Ackley (otherwise known as the “Ghostbusters ruling”) saw the New York Supreme Court uphold an appeal brought by the buyer of a house who objected to the seller’s failure to warn him that the property was haunted. The sale was rescinded as a result, and a new buyer had to be found for the house. I find this fascinating as it almost seems to be a recognition by the court that ghosts do, in fact, exist. After all, if there’s no such thing as ghosts, then how can a seller be penalised for failing to warn someone of them?

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I’m sure many people would be unnerved by the thought of moving into a house where something terrible occurred, and Trick or Treat plays on this fear brilliantly. It’s a familiar concept, but I’m also a sucker for stories where a character arrives somewhere new and meets lots of strange and unusual people. When Martha arrives at the house, she has to share it with her new step-brother, Connor, who she is only just getting to know, and isn’t sure if she likes. There’s also a host of new kids at school, all of whom have more knowledge about the historic murder than Martha does, and, of course, we know that any one of them could be the actual killer.

This kind of format reminds me of gothic mysteries in the style of Victoria Holt or Daphne du Maurier – and definitely played a part in shaping Frozen Charlotte. As well as generous lashings of horror, Trick or Treat also has mystery, suspense, a dash of romance – and interesting characters that you really come to care about.

There’s an Octavio Paz quote that says: “A writer is the descendant of other writers.” I absolutely believe this is true. My ideas for my own books are born, to some extent, from all those books I’ve read before. I’ve always thought of the Red Eye titles as being a little messed up family – and if they are like siblings to each other, then surely they are also the demented grandchildren of the original Point Horror novels too.


About Alex Bell

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Alex Bell was born in 1986.  She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law degree. Whilst at university, she wrote a grand total of six complete novels (admittedly there was not much of a social life during this time). The second book got her an agent with Carolyn Whitaker of London Independent Books but, unfortunately, not a publisher. The third book, written during her first summer holidays off from university, found a home with Gollancz. The Ninth Circle came out in April 2008 with possibly the most beautiful cover ever created. Since then she has published novels and short stories for both adults and young adults.

After deciding to use her Law degree for good, instead of for evil, she also works as an advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau. Most of her spare time consists of catering to the whims of her Siamese cat.

Find out more about Alex on her website here

Or why not follow her on twitter using @Alex_Bell86

Check out my review of Frozen Charlotte here

Or a previous creepy Q&A with Alex Bell here

#RedEyeReadAlong Guest Post by Alex Bell here


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Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?

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

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 the a whole load of cray cray?

You can find all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new here

A huge huge thank you to Alex for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!

*claps hands excitedly*

Do you remember Point Horror?  Which was your favourite?  Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?

Happy Point Horror-ing!

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Guest Post – The Twilight Zone by Alex Bell


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Throughout the month of October myself and the lovely Heather over at  heatherreviews.wordpress.com  thought we would team up and do a read along with some spooky reads!

We have both been enjoying the Red Eye series published by Stripes Publishing this year so thought these would be ideal for a spooky read along!

Everyone is welcome to join in!

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We have a hash tag on twitter where you can keep up to date on our progress and tweet out yours – #RedEyeReadAlong

We also have a Goodreads Group set up for the occasion for even more discussion and to comfort each other when we get scared – you can find the group here

As part of the read along the lovely people at Stripes and the brilliant Red Eye authors have agreed to play along with a weekly spooky guest post throughout the read along!

Today I am honoured to have the lovely Alex Bell, author of Frozen Charlotte, talking to me about The Twilight Zone!

*plays Twilight Zone music*


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Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died. Alex Bell’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.


The Twilight Zone

Many of the creepiest scenes I’ve seen on TV haven’t come from horror films but from old black and white episodes of The Twilight Zone. I’ve always loved the understated spookiness of the show, and the focus on chilling ideas rather than gory splatter-fests.

One of the scenes that sticks in my mind the most is from an episode in series 1 called Mirror Image. In this episode a 25-year-old woman named Millicent Barnes is waiting in a New York bus depot on a rainy November night for the bus that will take her to her new job in Cortland. It’s 2-o-clock in the morning and the bus is late so she goes up to the ticket counter to find out when it will arrive. It’s the first time she’s asked so she’s surprised when the man behind the desk is grumpy with her for repeatedly pestering him with the same question. She thinks he must have her confused with someone else but, for the rest of the episode, other people at the depot claim to have just seen her or spoken to her too. Millicent thinks there must be some other young woman around who looks a bit like her and that people are confusing the two of them.

Eventually, she goes into the bathroom and – while looking into the mirror there – the door behind her opens and she sees her exact double sitting on the bench she’s just vacated out in the waiting room. The woman isn’t merely a lookalike, but a perfect mirror image – even down to the same haircut and outfit. By the time Millicent gets out to the waiting room, her double is gone, but she becomes convinced that the woman is an evil version of herself who’s come to take her place in the world.

Finally, the bus arrives. Millicent goes outside to get on board, only to see that her double is already there in her seat, looking out of the window at her. The moment when Millicent sees her, smiling smugly through the glass, is one of the creepiest scenes I’ve come across on television. There’s no blood or gore or outright violence, but the insidious nature of the threat, and the fact that no one believes her about it, is what makes it so terrifying.

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You never find out for sure whether Millicent’s theory is right – and the double herself never speaks directly to her or interacts with her in any way, so you can’t know what she wants, or why she’s there, or what the heck is going on. But I love this episode and I think The Twilight Zone in general has definitely influenced how I view the horror genre.

Rod Serling is supposed to have got the idea for this story when he was in an airport one time and noticed a man wearing the same clothes and carrying the same suitcase as himself – and he wondered what would happen if the man turned around and was revealed to be his exact double. You don’t need any blood or guts when you have brilliant atmosphere, a strange experience, the sense that something isn’t quite right, or simply the fear that you’re losing your mind. The Twilight Zone does all of this fantastically well.


About Alex Bell

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Alex Bell was born in 1986.  She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law degree. Whilst at university, she wrote a grand total of six complete novels (admittedly there was not much of a social life during this time). The second book got her an agent with Carolyn Whitaker of London Independent Books but, unfortunately, not a publisher. The third book, written during her first summer holidays off from university, found a home with Gollancz. The Ninth Circle came out in April 2008 with possibly the most beautiful cover ever created. Since then she has published novels and short stories for both adults and young adults.

After deciding to use her Law degree for good, instead of for evil, she also works as an advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau. Most of her spare time consists of catering to the whims of her Siamese cat.

Find out more about Alex on her website here

Or why not follow her on twitter using @Alex_Bell86


Check out my review of Frozen Charlotte here

Or a previous creepy Q&A with Alex Bell here

Also a fab guest post about Point Horror and haunted houses here

You can also find out more about the RedEyeReadAlong here and the Frozen Charlotte Read Along here which includes details of the weekly challenge.

Check out the RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Alex here

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Do join in using the has tag on twitter #RedEyeReadAlong and why not join the Goodreads Group here

You can follow me on twitter using @ChelleyToy or Heather using @hlwrites0490

Happy Halloween!

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Spotlight – Red Eye Read Along – Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell


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So with those dark nights approaching and Halloween just around the corner myself and the lovely Heather ( heatherreviews.wordpress.com ) thought we would team up and do a read along with some spooky reads!

We have both been enjoying the Red Eye series published by Stripes Publishing this year so thought these would be ideal for a spooky read along!

Everyone is welcome to join in!

We have a hash tag on twitter where you can keep up to date on our progress and tweet out yours – #RedEyeReadAlong

We also have a Goodreads Group set up for the occasion for even more discussion and to comfort each other when we get scared – you can find the group here

We also have some special treats and prizes to be won!

To find out more about the read along check out the announcement post here

Or a creepy video announcement by @hlwrites0490 !

RE_Blogger


#RedEyeReadAlong – 28/09/2015 – 04/10/2015

So this week we will be reading…..

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

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Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died. Alex Bell’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.


About Alex Bell

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Alex Bell was born in 1986.  She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law degree. Whilst at university, she wrote a grand total of six complete novels (admittedly there was not much of a social life during this time). The second book got her an agent with Carolyn Whitaker of London Independent Books but, unfortunately, not a publisher. The third book, written during her first summer holidays off from university, found a home with Gollancz. The Ninth Circle came out in April 2008 with possibly the most beautiful cover ever created. Since then she has published novels and short stories for both adults and young adults.

After deciding to use her Law degree for good, instead of for evil, she also works as an advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau. Most of her spare time consists of catering to the whims of her Siamese cat.

Find out more about Alex on her website here

Or why not follow her on twitter using @Alex_Bell86


Check out my review of Frozen Charlotte here

Or a previous creepy Q&A with Alex Bell here

Or a previous Guest Post by Alex about Point Horror and Haunted houses here

#RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Alex Bell here

#RedEyeReadAlong Guest Post by Alex Bell here

Check out this fab review of Frozen Charlotte by #RedEyeReadAlong participant @Marjorie_Mallon here

Check out the lovely @hlwrites0490 review below


Weekly Challenge

We are releasing this weeks weekly challenge early (normally a Wednesday) as this weeks challenge involves finding the missing word in a game we are calling….

Lets Play The Find The Missing Word Game!

Yes that’s right to be in with a chance to win all 5 Red Eye Books (UK and IRE) you need to find the missing word from the sentence below!

Tweet us using the #RedEyeReadAlong with a picture of the sentence including the missing word when you come across it in the book.

Be careful not to include the page number so other people don’t cheat 😉

Remember we only have one set of books to give away each week so there can only be one winner each week! The winner will be announced on Sunday evening at around 7pm on twitter and in the Goodreads Group!

So here’s the sentence…..

“Tiny, tiny, inhuman little voices that made creeping fear travel all the way through me, right to the very end of my cold, clammy __________ “

Good Luck!


Entries

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And the winner was…..

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Do join in using the has tag on twitter #RedEyeReadAlong and why not join the Goodreads Group here

You can follow me on twitter using @ChelleyToy or Heather using @hlwrites0490

Happy Halloween!

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Tales Post – Red Eye Read Along October 2015


RE_Blogger

So with those dark nights approaching and Halloween just around the corner myself and the lovely Heather ( heatherreviews.wordpress.com ) thought we would team up and do a read along with some spooky reads!

We have both been enjoying the Red Eye series published by Stripes Publishing this year so thought these would be ideal for a spooky read along!

Everyone is welcome to join in!

We have a hash tag on twitter where you can keep up to date on our progress and tweet out yours – #RedEyeReadAlong

We also have a Goodreads Group set up for the occasion for even more discussion and to comfort each other when we get scared – you can find the group here

We also have some special treats and prizes to be won!


RE_Blogger

Mondays

Introduction of book and author for the week

Tuesdays

A spooky Q&A with this weeks author over on heatherreviews.wordpress.com

Wednesdays

A spooky fun weekly challenge is set!

Thursdays

A spooky guest post from this weeks author over on talesofyesterday.co.uk

Sundays

12pm cut off for weekly challenge and winner announced at around 7pm!

31st October 2015

This is to be confirmed later in the month if it is to go ahead, but we may have a twitter chat on Halloween with some of the Red Eye authors!


Weekly Challenge

Every week a new weekly challenge will be set (normally on a Wednesday) where you could win a Red Eye bundle of books!

The lovely people at Stripes Publishing have kindly given us 5 complete sets (5 books) of all of the currently published Red Eye Books which means one set can be won each week (UK and Ire Only).

Thank you Stripes!

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All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning the weekly set of books is complete the weekly challenge!

Remember we only have one set of books to give away each week so there can only be one winner each week!  The winner will be announced on Sunday evening at around 7pm on twitter and in the Goodreads Group!


Reading Order

28th September 2015 – 4th October 2015

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Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died. Alex Bell’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

Check out the Frozen Charlotte Read Along Week here

Or check out this spooky video by @hlwrites0490 !

Check out my review of Frozen Charlotte here

Or a previous creepy Q&A with Alex Bell here

#RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Alex Bell here

#RedEyeReadAlong Guest Post from Alex Bell here

Or a Guest Post about Point Horror and Haunted Houses here

5th October 2015 – 11th October 2015

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Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming – and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the friends begin taking the study drug. But as the side effects take hold they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams. “…creepy, claustrophobic and pant-wettingly scary…” Kim Curran, author of Shift. Lou Morgan’s terrifying novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

Check out the Sleepless Read Along Week here

Or check out Heathers fab video announcement!

Check out a previous Point Horror related guest post from Lou Morgan here

Check out a #RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Lou Morgan here

Or a #RedEyeReadAlong guest post by Lou here

12th October 2015 – 18th October 2015

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I must record the facts that have led me to where I am now. So that, when someone reads this, they understand. Sam Hunter’s neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they’re liars too. The Greenhills are hiding something and Sam’s determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined – is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing …escaping is another. Simon Cheshire’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series.

Check out the Flesh & Blood Read Along Week here

Or Heathers fab video announcement below!

Check out my review of Flesh and Blood here

Or a previous guest post from Simon Cheshire with his top 5 scares here

Check out a #RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Simon Cheshire here

Or a #RedEyeReadAlong Guest Post with Simon Cheshire here

Or a moment to chill the blood guest post by Simon Cheshire here

19th October 2015 – 25th October 2015

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Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave. Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…Graham Mark’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name.

Check out the Bad Bones Read Along Week here

Check out my review of Bad Bones here

Or a previous Q&A with Graham Marks here

A #RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Graham Marks here

A #RedEyeReadAlong Guest Post from Graham Marks here

26th October 2015 – 31st October 2015

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The camera never lies…Darla and her dad are looking for a fresh start. But when they wind up in affluent Saffron Hills, Darla stands no chance of fitting in with the beautiful, selfie-obsessed teens at her new school. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, she starts having visions. The gruesome snapshots flashing into Darla’s mind seem to suggest she’s going crazy…until she realizes they’re actually a horrifying glimpse into the future. With a killer on the loose, can she make sense of what she’s seeing before it’s too late?

Check out the Dark Room Read Along week here

Check out a previous Q&A with Tom Becker here

Check out the #RedEyeReadAlong Q&A with Tom Becker here

Check out the #RedEyeReadAlong Guest Post by Tom Becker here


So there you have it!

Do join in using the has tag on twitter #RedEyeReadAlong and why not join the Goodreads Group here

You can follow me on twitter using @ChelleyToy or Heather using @hlwrites0490

Happy Halloween!

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Tales Q&A with Alex Bell


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Following recently reading one of the first books in Stripes Publishing new Red Eye YA Horror series, Frozen Charlotte which was released on 5th January 2015 I have had the absolute honour of putting some questions together for the author Alex Bell.  This is no ordinary Q&A! Oh No!  This has Questions with a TWIST!  And answers that are CHILLING AND CREEPY!

 Do you dare to read on?

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We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.


About Alex Bell

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Alex Bell was born in 1986.  She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law degree. Whilst at university, she wrote a grand total of six complete novels (admittedly there was not much of a social life during this time). The second book got her an agent with Carolyn Whitaker of London Independent Books but, unfortunately, not a publisher. The third book, written during her first summer holidays off from university, found a home with Gollancz. The Ninth Circle came out in April 2008 with possibly the most beautiful cover ever created. Since then she has published novels and short stories for both adults and young adults.

After deciding to use her Law degree for good, instead of for evil, she also works as an advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau. Most of her spare time consists of catering to the whims of her Siamese cat.


Frozen Charlotte is a YA Horror with a contemporary makeover.  Set in a creepy old school house on an isolated windy island Sophie finds hunting for answers about her cousin Rebecca’s death a dangerous, creepy affair!  What’s more Rebecca used to play with some small dolls called Frozen Charlotte dolls and as well as looking creepy they may just be alive!  Find my full review here.

 In the hope of gaining an interview with the wonderful author Alex Bell I seemed to have encountered a creepy Frozen Charlotte doll sitting in my lemonade who seems rather worryingly eager to answer my questions and bite me….I am actually slightly scared!  SEND HELP!

Erm……Hi!  Do you have a name? 

 My name is Charlotte. We’re all called Charlotte.

Why are you and all of the dolls named Frozen Charlotte?  Where does the name come from?

We’re named after a Victorian girl who rode to a ball in an open carriage. Her mother told her to wear her cloak so she wouldn’t catch cold in the snow but Charlotte didn’t want to crease her dress and she also wanted everyone to see how pretty she looked as she rode by. By the time they arrived at the ball she had frozen to death and was stone cold dead. Ha! Get it? Stone cold dead! Hee, hee, hee!

 Describe yourself in 5 words.

 Charlotte is cold, cold, cold.  

Could I have a picture?

Frozen Charlotte

As you can see, I’ve got my gold shoes and my stockings but I still need someone to make me a dress – a pretty one that doesn’t have any bloodstains on it. I also want a bonnet.  

 How long have you lived in the Old School House?

Since 1910. It was a proper school back then with lots of girls to play with. They used to make little dresses for us out of scraps of fabric and sometimes we had fake funerals with tiny graves in the garden. We like being dead. You’d like it too. It’s such fun. 

 Who do you play with in the house?

 Sometimes we play with Rebecca. She’s dead too. 

What games do you like to play?

We love playing games! Do you want to play a game with us now? How about the Knife Murder Game? Or Push-Teacher-Down-The Stairs Game? Or – I know! I know! – let’s play the Stick-a-Needle-in-Your-Eye Game! That’s my favourite! Ooh, I love that one!

 I’ve heard you also like to cause trouble?  What kind of trouble do you cause?

We don’t cause trouble! We only want to make friends and play games. Where’s the harm in that? You shouldn’t play with needles or matches, though. That can definitely lead to trouble. 

 Where are you kept in the Old School House?

 Inside a locked doll cabinet.

Do you like being locked in the cabinet?

Would you like being locked in a cabinet?

 Do you ever escape?

That would be telling. 

 Do you know what happened to Rebecca?

 Rebecca died. Out on the cliff top. She was naughty. Very naughty.

 Okay now I’m thoroughly creeped out and as I was hoping to speak to the author Alex Bell today I guess I will have to ask YOU a little about the book!

 What role do you play in the book Frozen Charlotte?

 We just want to make friends with Sophie and Piper and Lilias. Not Cameron, though. We hate Cameron. In fact, we wouldn’t mind if we never saw him ever again. We wouldn’t mind if he had some kind of accident out on the cliff top. It’s easy to have an accident out on the cliff top, you know. 

What should the reader expect from reading the book?

 They should expect to visit a converted schoolhouse on the Isle of Skye with a great location, beautiful views and lots and lots of antique dolls to play with. Some of the games get a bit scary, though, so they probably shouldn’t read it if they’re going to whine and cry all the time and spoil the fun. We get angry when people spoil the fun. 

What’s happened to the author Alex Bell I was hoping to interview her?

She’s off playing the Knife Murder Game. She may be gone for some time. 

 Phew – I’m so glad you take kindly to interviewers!

Our pleasure. Now how about we liven things up with a game?

GULPS!!

Frozen Charlotte coffin


I would like to thank Alex for taking the time to answer these and feature on Tales Of Yesterday.  It really is an honour and I look forward to reading more of her books and more of the Red Eye series.

I’m going to lock those Frozen Charlotte Dolls away now *runs and cries for Mommy*

You can find out more about author Alex Bell on her website here or follow her on twitter – @alex_bell86

You can buy a copy of Frozen Charlotte here

Or why not checkout the other titles in the Red Eye Series here

Also do follow the new YA community from Stripes Publishing – doyareadme.tumblr.com or on twitter @doyareadme for news, competitions and more.

Check out my review of Frozen Charlotte here

Or why not check out a Twilight Zone related guest post from Alex Bell here

Or a guest post about Point Horror and Haunted Houses here

During the #RedEyeReadAlong I threw the spotlight on Frozen Charlotte here

Have you read Frozen Charlotte?  What did you think of the Q&A above?  Are you intrigued to read?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment by using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy hiding from Frozen Charlotte Dolls….I mean Reading!

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Review – Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell


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We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.


Publisher – Stripes Publishing

Date Published – 5th January 2015

Pages – 352 pages

Format – Ebook / Kindle Edition

Category – UK YA / YA Horror

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful publishers, Stripes Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you both for sending me this book to read and review.


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


Frozen Charlotte is one of two books released this new year in  January as part of the new YA Horror Red Eye Series by Stripes Publishing with three more titles to come in 2015.   I have read and reviewed some others in the series – Flesh & Blood – here and Bad Bones – here.  I have also been lucky enough to have some fab guest posts from Alex Bell, author of Frozen Charlotte – here and Simon Cheshire, author of Flesh & Blood – here and a Q&A with Dark Room author Tom Becker here

I love a creepy and scary read and Frozen Charlotte was really spine chillingly creepy.  As some of you may already know I used to love the 90’s Point Horror series when I was a teenager as well as being a huge fan of James Dawson and I am excited about the whole premise of a new UK YA Horror series with a contemporary makeover that will leave me wanting to collect and read the rest in the series.  For me, Frozen Charlotte did exactly that.

You can find the original press release and more information on the fantastic Red Eye series here.

You can see the creepy Red Eye Series book trailer below….if you dare!

Frozen Charlotte is set in a creepy old school house on a cliff on an isolated windy island where Sophie, our main character, finds hunting for answers about her cousin Rebecca’s death a dangerous, creepy affair!  What’s more before Rebecca died she used to play with some small dolls she found in the house called Frozen Charlotte dolls and as well as looking creepy they may just be alive!

The start of this book gives us a chilling prologue set in the past many years before Rebecca’s death and gives us a short but spine chilling insight into what the reader should expect from this book and reading this late at night sent a shiver down my spine.

Sophie’s story begins in a café in her hometown where her best friend Jay play with a Ouija board with a difference –  on a mobile phone app.  Sophie decides to suggest contacting her dead cousin Rebecca Craig who died in a mysterious accident at Sophie’s Uncles house in Scotland.  Sophie finds the whole thing rather funny.  Even the messages on the Ouija App like Black Sand, Daddy Says Never Leave The Gate Open and Charlotte Is Cold do little to convince her of a ghostly presence answering their questions.  That is until a scary moment happens in the café which changes Sophie’s life forever and leads her to go and stay with her Uncle in Scotland to find out the truth.

Upon arriving on the island we get to meet Sophie’s Uncle and cousins.  There’s mysterious musician Cameron, beautiful bubbly, Piper with her own unique way of making lemonade and sad cartilogenophobe (scared of bones) younger cousin Lilias who say the dolls talk to her!  Sophie, our main character,  is a strong and brave main character who reminded me a little of Neve Campbell in the Scream movies.  I also want her sheep pyjamas and unicorn onesie as they just sound all kinds of fabulous!

As well as the main characters there are Frozen Charlotte Dolls….lots of them…and yes they are very creepy!  There is also a African Grey Parrot who gave me as a reader a little light relief mainly due to his inappropriate timing of saying things like “There’s Blood Under The Rug” which along with mysterious icy hands and mysterious laughing in the house made me wish I had not started this book in a quiet house at night!

There are some classic horror movie scenes in this book and I could easily see this book being made into a film.  For me the best most scary scene which I could actually picture myself hiding behind a cushion watching was where one of the characters hears something and goes to investigate!  In the Dark!  With only a camera flash to light her way illuminating the horror unfolding before her!  I was terrified!

Now I have to admit I have never heard of a Frozen Charlotte doll.  I recognised the description, but never knew that that is what they were called.  Whilst reading this book I looked up a description of them.  Why oh why did I do this?  Finding the description, the pictures and finding out that the story Alex Bell tells about the actual Frozen Charlotte is a real folk ballad and the story behind it is exactly as described by Alex in the book terrified the life out of me.  But remember I like to be scared! *Cries for Mommy….I mean pfffttt me not scared never!*

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Find out more about Frozen Charlotte Dolls here or about the cautionary tale concerning a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride to a New Years Eve Ball, but upon arriving at the ball, her fiancé discovers that she has frozen to death during the journey called the Fair Charlotte Ballad here.

I really liked this book and one thing I loved about this book was all of the chapters begin with a short rhyming poem that tell the story of the actual Frozen Charlotte through the Fair Charlotte Ballad.  Along with the descriptions of the stick needles in your eyes Frozen Charlotte dolls throughout the book it really sets the tone and it was really creepy.  The climatic ending got my heart racing and had a Point Horror style twist that was perfect.

Alex Bell has done such a fantastic job with this book.  I honestly will be telling everyone to give it a try and I will be reading the next books in the Red Eye Series.  Its not that scary…just quite creepy with a real horror movie vibe and I really would recommend it to any YA Horror fans alike or any one looking for something different to read.  Even if your too scared for horror….give it a go…you don’t want the Frozen Charlotte Dolls after you do you?

Also check out my creepy interview with a twist with a Frozen Charlotte Doll here!

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

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You can find out more about author Alex Bell on her website here or follow her on twitter – @alex_bell86

You can buy a copy of Frozen Charlotte here

Or why not checkout the other titles in the Red Eye Series here

Also do follow the new YA community from Stripes Publishing – doyareadme.tumblr.com or on twitter @doyareadme for news, competitions and more.

Check out a creepy Q&A with Alex Bell here

or

A Twilight Zone related guest post by Alex Bell here

Or a Guest post about Point Horror and Haunted Houses here

During the #RedEyeReadAlong I also threw the spotlight on Frozen Charlotte here

Have you read this book or any of the other books in the Red Eye Series?  What did you think?  Are you a fan of YA Horror?  Do you think you will give this book a go after reading this review?  I would love to hear from you – please leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or why not tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Creepy Reading

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