Tag Archives: Atom

Spotlight – The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi


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 What if everything you knew about your life was a lie?

The Doubt Factory by New York Times bestselling author Paolo Bacigalupi was released on the 7th April 2016, published by Atom!

I have recently read this powerful thrilling read which leaves you with plenty to think about.

The Doubt Factory tells the story of Alix who’s whole world is turned upside because of a group called 2.0 and is action packed and full of suspense!

I was also informed that Paolo used real companies and drugs in his novel to expose this ‘Doubt Factory’ and is incredibly well researched, reflected by the investigation the main character Alix undertakes in the book.

It’s an insightful read.

You can read the first chapter by clicking on the link below!

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2016/mar/31/free-read-the-doubt-factory-by-paolo-bacigalupi

To celebrate the release of The Doubt Factory I have been given a copy of the book to giveaway!

You can find a the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

First here is a little about the book…..


51aPP8toh7L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie–at least according to the mysterious young man who’s been stalking her. But could her dad really be a bad guy at the helm of an organization that covers up the deadly wrongdoings of some of the country’s most rich and powerful? Alix has to make an impossible choice between her father and the young man she’s not only falling for, but who’s asking her to blow the whistle on the man who raised her. Could someone you have loved and have known for your whole life actually have the heart of a killer?

You can buy a copy of The Doubt Factory here


About Paolo Bacigalupi

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Paolo Bacigalupi is a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist, a 2015 Edgar Award Nominee and a 2015 Locus Award Nominee. His novel The Windup Girl was one of the most celebrated SF debuts of all time, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. He lives in Colorado with his wife and son.

You can find out more about Paolo on his website – http://windupstories.com/

Or why not follow him on twitter using @paolobacigalupi

You can check out or buy any of Paolo’s books here


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Doubt Factory I have a copy to giveaway!

UK Only

1 copy = 1 winner

Winner will need to provide me with their address to pass onto the publishers as the book will be coming directly from them.

Giveaway ends 14/04/2016

Good Luck!

(UK Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour

Follow or catch up on the rest of the blog tour at the following stops!

Blog Tour Artwork


A huge thank you to Hayley for this fab giveaway!

Have you read any of Paolo Bacigalupi‘s books?  Have you read The Doubt Factory?  What did you think?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy

Happy Reading

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Guest Post – Amsterdam by Keren David


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I have recently read This Is Not A Love Story by the brilliant Keren David and I ADORED it!

It is fab read and I have definitely found another favourite book of 2015!  It is definitely a 5 star read!

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

Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that’s impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father’s unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn’t take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.

But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone’s heart survive?

There are so many things I loved about this book!  One thing I loved about This Is Not A Love Story was the setting.  It is set in Amsterdam and Keren David describes Amsterdam and its traditions with such beauty and love that it has really made me want to visit and explore that beauty for myself with my family!

Upon finishing the book I was over joyed to read in the author acknowledgements that Keren in fact lived in Amsterdam for a while.  This intrigued me and really cemented the love for this city that came across in the book.

Therefore I asked Keren if she would share some of her memories of Amsterdam for a guest post!  I am over the moon that she agreed and am honoured (and very excited) to have Keren feature on Tales Of Yesterday today sharing her love and memories of a city she clearly fell in love with.

*hands over to Keren*


I never wanted to move to Amsterdam.

In fact, it was the last thing I needed. We’d had a terrible year, full of tragedy and trauma, and I’d been supported through it by my wonderful friends and family in London. Now I was being torn from them, and going to a country where I didn’t speak the language and knew no one. Amsterdam looked set to be an ordeal. I gritted my teeth and looked forward to being back in London after my husband’s two year contract was over.

In fact, although it wasn’t easy, Amsterdam was never an ordeal. It’s too beautiful for that, too interesting, too enjoyable. I made new friends quickly and easily thanks to the ever-welcoming international community.  My new city was the perfect place to bring up small children, with the many green spaces, the play equipment on every street corner, and the quaint shops selling traditional wooden toys.

I flapped around at first, not knowing where to buy basics, like a bath mat, and bringing home what I thought was skimmed milk, to discover that karnemelk was actually buttermilk –  yuck.  I never got to grips with Dutch, because everyone wanted to show off their fluent English. It took years to master cycling because I was too nervous to try when pregnant or with a small child –  I wasn’t Dutch enough to stow my kids in a big wooden basket at the front of the bike.   And I certainly pined for friends and family and British stuff – it was a sad day for me when Marks and Spencer, purveyors of food for homesick Brits, closed their doors in Kalverstraat.

But we stayed.  We stayed eight years. And gradually I came to love Amsterdam, and appreciate its healing properties.

It’s so green for a start. We loved the Amsterdamse Bos, the manmade forest to the south of the city where you can picnic in a meadow or on a beach, where the kids can paddle in the lake or swing on a zipwire to a secret island just for children. 

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We spent a lot of time in the Vondelpark, drinking coffee in the café that looks like a flying saucer, or teaching the kids to roller blade. 

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Some days we’d drive out to Ijmuiden, a glorious flat beach which is almost deserted for most of the year, where you can buy fish and chips with vinegar, provided for Brits arriving on the Newcastle ferry.

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Or we’d take visitors to Enkhuizen, where an open air museum recreates Dutch villages of the nineteenth century.

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Amsterdam is full of visual spectacles, from fine art, through architecture to events such as King’s Day (Queen’s Day when I was there) when everyone wears orange and  the city turns into a flea market with everyone out on the streets,  selling old toys, clothes and anything else they don’t need.  We loved the annual Gay Pride parade, which takes place on the canals, with each float  more flamboyant and celebratory than the last.

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 And, even though it’s deeply politically incorrect to non-Dutch eyes, we’d always go to the annual Sinterklaas parade, to see St Nicholas arrive on a galleon from Spain, mount his white horse and progress through the city aided by his friend Zwart Piet. Yes, that means Black Piet, and the Dutch really do black up for the occasion. 

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My children made lanterns for St Maartin’s Eve, and knocked on doors to sing special songs and ask for sweets –  although we got laughed at when we muddled up the words and sang ‘The cows have got their skirts on.’

Amsterdam opened doors for me. I’d never cycled before, and it was a joy to find out how much it feels like flying. I started an Open University degree and discovered that I was fascinated by art history. I learned about photography – I got a job at an agency for photo-journalists – and I helped out in a school art room. I made friends from around the world. I ate Indonesian food, baby pancakes doused in icing sugar and olieballen –  oil balls – for New Years’ Eve. Eventually the only thing I missed about the UK was family and friends…and John Lewis.

You can fall in love with a place and love the person it enables you to become. I hope This is Not A Love Story encourages you to get on a plane to find out for yourself everything that Amsterdam has to offer.

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About Keren David

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Growing up in a small town in Hertfordshire, Keren David had two ambitions: to write a book and to live in London.

Several decades on, she has finally achieved both. She was distracted by journalism, starting out at 18 as a messenger girl, then working as a reporter, news editor, features editor and feature writer for national newspapers and magazines. She has lived in Glasgow and Amsterdam, where in eight years she learned enough Dutch to order coffee and buy fruit and vegetables. She is now back in London and lives with her husband, two children and their insatiably hungry guinea pigs.

Keren wrote her first novel When I Was Joe as a project for a course in writing for Children at City University. Starting the course to publishing the novel took exactly two years.


This Is Not A Love Story is out now!

You can buy a copy here or why not ask your local bookshop to order it in for you!

You can find our more about Keren David on her website here or why not follow her on twitter – @kerensd !

I love this post on Keren’s website about the cover for This Is Not A Love Story and a bit more about the book – here

You can find out about Keren’s other books here

I also caught up with Keren at #UKYAExtravaganza and asked her some quick-fire questions – here

Have you read This Is Not A Love Story?  Did you enjoy it?  Did it make you fall in love with Amsterdam or have you ever visited Amsterdam?  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 !

Go visit Amsterdam and take this book along with you 🙂

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Review – The Diviners By Libba Bray


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It’s 1920s New York City. It’s flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It’s after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it’s the opportunity to party like never before.

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-tute-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.


Publisher – Atom

Date Published – 18th September 2012

Pages – 592 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – YA

Source – Bought


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


This book was suggested to me by the wonderful author Keris Stainton and I kept putting the book off and off and off for quite a while as, if I’m honest, I was quite intimidated by the size of the book.  At a huge almost 600 pages I kept picking the book up every time I was ready to start a new book, reading the blurb and then putting it back down thinking “It’s to big to read now” or “Do I have enough time to read this book”?.  I finally (after Keris prompting me when I posted a tweet on twitter – thanks Keris) thought lets do this!  I’m so glad I did.

I have never read anything by the American author Libba Bray before although I had heard of her and have heard such wonderful things about her previous books including high praise for The Diviners.  From what I have read about Libba she is the queen of historical fiction and in writing The Diviners decided to take on the 1920’s New York Jazz Age with a fantastic supernatural twist which, for me, chilled me to the bone! As well as being intrigued by the whole historical side of the book, especially with it being set in the 1920’s which I did not know much about,  I love a creepy read and as I also heard that this book (s) had a US advance of $1 million I was expecting great, scary things.  Just how scary and creepy I really was not prepared for!

The opening to this book, A Late Summers Evening, sets the 1920’s scene at a party with a group of friends who decide to play with a Ouija Board (nothing good EVER comes from playing with a Ouija Board) and unknowingly they awake something dark and evil.  This opening few pages, for me, where chilling and the beautifully crafted descriptions made my heart beat just that little bit faster!  You can listen to the opening few pages told in 1920’s style here.

The story centres around a seventeen year old girl called Evie who, after being shamefully banished by her parents  for embarrassing the family name, goes to stay with her uncle Will in New York who seems to have a slightly unhealthy obsession with the occult.  Evie is over the moon as New York is THE place to be and is where her best friend Mabel lives and Evie intends to tear up the town.  That is until the police find a murdered girl who has been marked with a cryptic symbol.  Will is called to the scene and this is where Evie realises that she could help catch the killer as Evie has a secret which may prove helpful.

The book is broken up into named chapters and do not always focus on seventeen year old Evie.  There is Sam the cheeky chappy pick pocket, Jericho the serious mysterious student, Mabel the shy best friend, Theta the beautiful talented flapper girl, Memphis the illegal number runner and of course a few dead bodies and a truly terrifying villain!  All of these characters become intriguing throughout the book as stories unfold in a complex, twisting plot with a LOT of creepy and sometimes stomach churning moments (If you have read the book I will say the words cat and rabbit heart and hopefully you will know what I mean).  Libba Bray really gives us an all round ensemble of characters and even throws in a bit of a love triangle amongst all of the creepy moments.

I have to admit I really struggled with the first quarter of this book (I would say around 80 pages).  I found Evie such a selfish and beyond annoying character and I found myself getting frustrated.  I found the detail and the narrative of the book a little over whelming and  I struggled to get to grips with the what seemed like annoying one liners and slang I couldn’t get my head around.  As usual I turned to twitter!

Through posting on twitter I found a lot of people found the same with some people giving up on the book, but a lot of people telling me to stick it out you will love it.  I rarely give up on a book.  I put the book down for a few days and without really thinking about it started looking up clips and music from the 1920’s to try and get my head around the language and the historical period as I thought maybe my lack of knowledge of this era was causing me to not like the book (if that makes any sense).  I stumbled across a dedicated page set up for The Diviners  – www.thedivinersseries.com .  On here were clips of the book (as above) told in 1920’s style narrative, 1920’s music, character profiles for the book etc.  It gave me a real sense of the era and for me as a reader struggling with a book it really helped.  I picked the book up again and really got into it finding that I was reading the speech differently and actually realising that Evie was actually quite a bright and breezy character.  I had a break through!  But I almost put the book down again when Keris sent me this link for The Diviners Book Trailer ….If you scare easily do not click on the link!  Well I didn’t put the book down (yay) and I loved it.

For me the stand out character in the book was Memphis…I loved his character to pieces.  He looks out for his little brother Issiah and try’s his best to look after him.  His whole presence in his scenes stole my heart and for me was the most relatable character.  That being said, as mentioned above, all the characters were intriguing and Libba Bray offers us such detailed back grounds of the characters you really get to know them.  The whole supernatural theme runs throughout the book with the perfect balance of good versus evil and an amazing climax at the end.

I found out before finishing the book that The Diviners is a four book series with the second book, Lair Of Dreams, due to be released on the 14th April 2014 in the U.K and the last 40 pages of the first book really set the scene for the next book and left a few burning questions in my mind.  I really cannot wait for the second book and it is one that I am definitely excited to read next year.

If you like historical fiction, supernatural ghost stories, haunted houses, creepy things, murder and a bit of love this book is for you.  I noticed a question on Libba Bray’s website which made me chuckle.  When asked what we, as the reader, can expect from The Diviners Libba simply answers NIGHTMARES!

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

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You can buy The Diviners book one and find out more about book two (or maybe even pre-order book two) here

If you would like to know more about Libba Bray and her other books check her out on her website http://libbabray.com/ or follow her on twitter using @libbabray

Has anyone read this book?  What did you think?  If you haven’t read the book do you think you will?  I would love to hear from you – either click the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter ( @chelleytoy ) ?

Happy Reading

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