Tag Archives: Electric Monkey

Guest Post – My Top Five Excuses Not To Write by Penny Joelson

 


Today I am over the moon to have the wonder Penny Joelson on Tales with a fab guest post to celebrate the release of her new YA Girl In The Window.

Girl In The Window is due to be released on the 9th August 2018 published by Electric Monkey and is set to be an eye opening compulsive page turner that will have you hooked.

I often wonder how writers motivate themselves as it’s often easy to procrastinate (*cough at myself who instead of writing today scrolled through twitter*) so today Penny shares her top 5 excuses not to write…..


About The Book!

See the world from another unique perspective in the thrilling new novel from the author of I Have No Secrets (a World Book Day title for 2018).

Nothing ever happens on Kasia’s street. And Kasia would know, because her illness makes her spend days stuck at home, watching the world from her bedroom window. So when she sees what looks like a kidnapping, she’s not sure whether she can believe her own eyes . . .

There was a girl in the window opposite – did she see something too? But when Kasia goes to find her she is told the most shocking thing of all.

There is no girl.


My Top Five Excuses Not To Writ

  1.  I only started using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram when I was writing ‘I Have No Secrets’. Now I, like many others, am guilty of spending far too long on these things. It is a wonderful feeling when you look at Twitter and see that someone has commented excitedly about how much they love your book. It is hard not to keep looking for ‘mentions’ or ‘retweets’.

2.  I get lots of lovely emails – especially from schools about visits as well as important emails from my editors, publicity team and my agent. I get many less important emails too – but it is hard not to keep checking in case something interesting comes.

3.  Goodreads, Amazon, Blogs. I was warned against looking at these things too much but again I am drawn to them and sometimes find the pull too tempting.

4.  I am very disorganised. Often the one piece of paper where I wrote some notes or the particular notebook I was using have disappeared under a pile and I just can’t get on with writing until I have found it.

5.  I love my family very much, but they require attention – things like meals (I can’t think why!) often at moments when I am most inspired to write. They also require taking and fetching from swimming lessons, Brownies etc. They even want clean clothes!

You can buy a copy of Girl In The Window here or from your local bookshop!


About Penny Joelson

Penny Joelson’s debut novel, I Have No Secrets, was a World Book Day 2018 title and won the Worcestershire Teen Book Award. Penny has loved reading and writing stories since she was a child and began working with disabled people when she was a teenager, which gave her inspiration for her first novel I Have No Secrets.  Penny teaches creative writing and lives in Hertfordshire with her family.

Find Penny on Twitter: @pennyjoelson


A huge thank you to Siobhan at Electric Monkey for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour and to Penny for such a fab guest post!

Have you read Girl In The Window?  What did you think?  What did you love about it?  What are your excuses not to write or blog?  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

Tales Q&A with Lisa Heathfield and Me!


Today is my stop on the fab #YAShot2018 Blog Tour and I have been paired with the wonderful Lisa Heathfield!

YA Shot is an author-run, author-led Young Adult and Middle Grade festival that raises the money and resources to run a year-long programme pairing libraries and schools for free author events to foster a love of reading, inspire a passion for writing, and encourage aspirations to careers in the Arts. We believe in equal access to books and opportunities for all – YA Shot brings UKYA and UKMG authors together to pursue that goal, supporting libraries and young people across the country.

So for our stop I wanted you all to get to know a little bit more about Lisa and in turn Lisa thought it would be fun for people to know me a little better too….


‘Trust Us’ the Kindreds tell Pearl and so she does.

A thrilling story of life in a cult.

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed.  A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late.

A chilling and heartbreaking coming-of-age story of life within a cult, Seed was shortlisted for the Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize in 2016. 

Stand By Me meets We Were Liars – a heartbreaking and stunning breakout novel for teenagers from the award-nominated author of Seed.

June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. She’s trapped like a butterfly in a jar.

But then she meets Blister, a boy in the woods. And in him, June recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away. But freedom comes at a price . . . 

Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Lisa Williamson’s The Art of Being Normal, Sarah Crossan’s Moonrise, Jandy Nelson, Jennifer Niven and Louise O’Neill.

The stunning new novel from award-shortlisted Lisa Heathfield, author of Seed and Paper Butterflies. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places, Lisa Williamson, Sarah Crossan and Sara Barnard.

Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.

Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground?

Flight of a Starling is a heartbreaking read with an important message.

You can buy any of Lisa’s books here or from your local bookshop!


Hi Lisa!  I’m so happy to have you here on Tales again!  You are one of my absolute favourite authors so it’s an absolute honour.

So here’s how this will work….

We each ask each other a question.  Any question.  About anything at all.  And we both have to answer!

Here we go!

What is your favourite smell?

Lisa – Our boys’ hair. From when they were babies to now, it’s the best smell ever.

Chelle – For me its a toss up between talc powder (that fresh baby smell) and Lush Snow Fairy shower gel!  I have to buy it every Christmas!

Name a favourite memory from  your childhood.

Lisa – Lying on my belly in the grass reading a book.

Chelle – Oh I have lots of childhood memories!  When I think of my childhood I think of wandering off with my brother in the woods for hours in a place we used to spend a lot of time when we were kids and him scaring me and my sister about ghosts that haunted the woods.  As I got older a favourite childhood memory is devouring a Point Horror every weekend and trying to collect them all (I still am!)

Where is your favourite place?

Lisa – Either in the Brighton sea in winter, or in the middle of nowhere on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.

Chelle – Kind of related to my above answer, but one of my fave places is a little place called Arley near Bewdley.  I spent a lot of time there when I was younger and when I visit there now it just makes me relax.  It’s so peaceful and full of so many memories.

Name the last thing that made you smile.

Lisa – hugging my boys this morning.

Chelle – Same for me too…..hugging my son!  So much love in one hug!

What is your favourite song?

Lisa – Any and every Gospel song.

Chelle – Mine is so different!  I have so many it hard to pick just one!  If I had to chose I would say Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana!  So much of my teenage years revolved around this song!  From blasting it out on my stereo to trying to learn it on guitar!  I love it!  Even to this day when it comes on my Spotify playlist I have to turn the volume up!

Chelle – In complete contrast my favourite ever line from a song is “I’ll never let your head, hit the bed, without my hand behind it” from Your Body Is A Wonderland by John Mayer.  Yes it’s cheesy and embarrassing but that one line is just pure love and romance to me!

What is you favourite book?

Lisa – I’ve three: The Folk Of The Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton, The Book Thief – Markus Zusak and As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

Chelle – As we were only meant to pick one Lisa and you picked three 🙂 …. I am cheating and picking two!  Watership Down by Richard Addams and One Day by David Nicholls.  Both very different books but both so brilliant!  I love them!

Name your favourite word.

Lisa – It changes, but at the moment it’s ‘fold’

Chelle – I’m not sure I have a favourite word!  What does that even mean?!  Should I have a favourite word?  Hmmmmmmm…..I am going to say “love” just to go along with my cheesy theme above!

What is your favourite line from a book?

Lisa – ‘My mother is a fish.’ – From As I Lay Dying.

Chelle – This changes quite a lot for me as sometimes I read a sentence in a book and get swept away completely by just that one line and I think wow.  But I do have a favourite line that left me quite breathless if that’s even possible when I read it……  “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once” from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  Pure perfection in a sentence.

Name a book you want to read, but haven’t yet!

Lisa – I’ve wanted to read Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, for years and years. A friend bought me a beautiful copy of it after we went to visit the Bronte’s house in Haworth, but for some reason I keep saving it…

Chelle – Good call with Wuthering Heights as I have never read it either!  Even though I keep saying I will!  I have so many books and so little time, but I think for me it’s To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Why have I never read this?!

Name a book that you would give as a present

Lisa – It changes, but at the moment it’s Moonrise, by Sarah Crossan. I’ve also given a fair few people The Book Thief. And Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses.

Chelle – Mine changes too and without sounding too cheesy I would give your books, Lisa, as presents as they are all wonderful!  I would also include All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and One Day as those books have my heart!

Where is your favourite place to read?

Lisa – if it could be absolutely anywhere, it’d have to be in a field with really long grass and me and a book sunk into the middle of it where no one can see.

Chelle – I love to read sitting on the hill at my favourite place mentioned above.  Other than that snuggling up in bed for a good read is perfect!

And your favourite place to write?

Lisa – I write every day at my kitchen table and that’s a nice place to be.

Chelle – I normally just write at my desk in my little office at home, but I attended a writing outdoors workshop at YALC a few years ago and it’s honestly so inspiring to sit and listen to all the sounds around you whilst you are writing!

Name a book that you wish you had written

Lisa – The Hunger Games – not just because it’s brilliant, but because I would love to spend months in that world with those characters.

Chelle – One Day by David Nicholls.  What a book!  Or basically any book that makes you feel such emotion that you cry just thinking about it!  I would love to write something that people have that much of an emotional connection to.

Or It by Stephen King! 🙂

You can buy any of Lisa’s books here or from your local bookshop!


About Lisa Heathfield

Before becoming a mum to her three sons, Lisa Heathfield was a secondary school English teacher and loved inspiring teenagers to read.

Award-winning author Lisa Heathfield launched her writing career with SEED in 2015. Published by Egmont it is a stunning YA debut about a life in cult. PAPER BUTTERFLIES is her beautiful and heart-breaking second novel. FLIGHT OF A STARLING, her third novel is equally heart-breaking and contains an important message.

Lisa lives in Brighton with her family.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter – @LisaHeathfield


Previously On Tales….

You can find previous Lisa Heathfield related posts on Tales by clicking on the below links!

Tales Review – Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Tales Q&A with Lisa Heathfield

Cover Reveal – Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Tales Review – Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Electric Monkey myself and YA Shot 2 sets of Lisa’s books to giveaway to two lucky winners!

You can enter via my twitter here

UK Only

Ends 04/04/2018

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

Make sure you follow the rest of the fab YA Shot 2018 Blog Tour!


A huge thank you to Lisa for such a fab post and for asking me to join in and to Electric Monkey for the giveaway.  Also a huge thank you to YA Shot for having me and for pairing me with Lisa.

Have you read any of Lisa’s books?  Are you intrigued? Are you going to YA Shot?  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 Reading

Tales Q&A with Eugene Lambert


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I am super excited to be a part of the #LostandFound Blog Tour and today I have been paired up with the brilliant Eugene Lambert!

Eugene Lambert is the debut author of The Sign Of One which was released on the 7th April 2016 published by Electric Monkey and is a brilliant YA Sci-fi read!

For our stop of the tour I have had the chance to put some questions to Eugene all about his books, writing, evil twins and Sci-fi!

But first a little about the Lost and Found Tour……


About The Lost and Found Tour

What?

5 YA SCBWI debut authors get together for a UK tour.

Who?

Olivia Levez (The Island), Patrice Lawrence (Orangeboy), Kathryn Evans (More of Me), Sue Wallman (Lying About Last Summer), Eugene Lambert (The Sign of One)

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Where?

Birmingham Waterstones for the launch event chaired by me, Chelley Toy!

When?

Saturday, 1st October, 2-4pm

Join us for a discussion of identity, loss, and the darkness inside; of self-discovery, friendship, and hope for a better tomorrow as part of the #LostandFound Book Tour.

Unflinching, clever and honest, our five authors explore what it means to grow up when the cards seem to be constantly stacked against you.

Don’t miss your chance to meet these amazing authors, ask questions, and get your books signed.

Book your tickets here:

https://www.waterstones.com/events/lostandfound-with-kathryn-evans-eugene-lambert-patrice-lawrence-olivia-levez-and-sue-wallman/Birmingham

More Tour Dates

 Catch us at any of the following tour locations

When?

Where?

Sat 1st Oct, 2pm

Birmingham Waterstones

Thurs 6th Oct, 6pm

London Islington Waterstones

Sat 26th Nov

Guildford Waterstones

Thurs 1st Dec

Liverpool Waterstones

Sunday 22nd January

Hampshire Libraries, Petersfield

Sat 4th March

Glasgow Waterstones


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On a dump-world called Wrath, idents are hated and feared.

Only one twin is human,

 the other a monster with ‘twisted’ blood. 

Kyle’s a tough loner, scraping a living from the harsh Barrenlands.

Sky’s an ident rebel, set on avenging her dead sister.

Thrown together, they must set aside their differences and fight for each other.

Survival won’t be easy,

as Wrath’s secrets run deep and dark and nasty.


Hi Eugene!  It’s so wonderful having you here today answering all of my questions!

Can you tell us a little about your debut that was released earlier this year, The Sign Of One?

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Hi Michelle! The Sign of One is a Sci-Fi thriller for young adults (of all ages J) set on a dump-world called Wrath, where ‘idents’ are hated and feared. Why? Because only one twin is human, the other a superhuman monster with ‘twisted’ blood. The main protagonists are Kyle, a tough loner scraping a living out in the harsh Barrenlands, and Sky, a daring windjammer pilot and ident rebel. Thrown together after Kyle stumbles across a cruel truth, they must put aside their differences to survive. But the odds are stacked against them … for Wrath’s secrets run deeper and nastier than either can possibly imagine! It was published in April 2016 on Egmont UK’s Electric Monkey imprint.

What inspired you to create the world of Wrath and the concept of identical twins being feared?

My DNA and a t-shirt. I’m an identical twin myself. My much younger brother (by a whole 15 minutes) is called Martin. For a laugh, I bought us both a t-shirt with the slogan ‘I can’t remember if I’m the good twin or the evil one.’  Especially when we were children, we’d often be jokingly asked which one of us was the ‘evil’ one? I got to thinking … what if there really was a world where identical twins were actually considered evil? And why might that be? The rest, as they say, is history!

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PS – Martin’s the evil one, by the way. Obviously.

How did you come up with the title?  Did it change during the publication process?

Quite early in writing the first draft, I imagined Wrath-dwellers making some sort of sign to ward off the evil they saw in ‘idents.’ Inspired by the English and Welsh archers at Agincourt sticking up two fingers to the French, I imagined my characters making a gesture that celebrated their ‘one-ness,’ and chanting a ‘one is good, two is evil’ mantra. I called this gesture the Sign of One. Shortly afterwards, the penny dropped that it might make an enigmatic title. And I still think it does, but – amusingly – it has caused a few trilogy issues. We can’t exactly refer to the sequel as The Sign of One #2 L So, if anybody can think of a cracking trilogy name then I’m all ears (as is my editor, the lovely Stella Paskins). Seriously.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters in The Sign Of One, Kyle and Sky?

Kyle’s a bit of a loner growing up out in the remote Barrenlands with just his mother, Rona, for company. He’s handy, good at fixing stuff and pretty self-reliant. Sometime he wonders who his father was, and why Rona never likes to stay any place for very long. As for idents, he knows they’re evil, but he feels sorry for them more than anything.

Sky’s a ‘scab,’ Wrath-slang for the human or ‘pureblood’ ident. Her life has been hell: seized from her despairing parents at four, she’s grown up in an ident concentration camp; lost most of the use of her left leg in an accident, and watched her ‘twist’ sister die. But Sky’s tough, fierce and a survivor. Fighting for the ident resistance now, she’s a daring and skilful windjammer pilot. Bottom line – nobody messes with Sky, not if they know what’s good for them!

Why Sci-fi?

I’ve always been an SF fan, ever since I can remember. For the younger me, Star Wars, Alien, Mad Max, Terminator and Bladerunner were all massive. For example, I remember Martin and I walking to the bus-stop on our way to our A-levels humming the theme tune to Star Wars. I always preferred that downbeat and battered version of the future, the so-called ‘Used Future’ trope, which is the gritty end of the Sliding Scale of Shiny versus Gritty J. This felt way more real than (say) Star Trek, with shiny spaceships and clingy uniforms. Firefly was a more recent inspiration, but in the same deliciously shabby vein. I also love the whole steampunk vibe. So, should Mr. Whedon read this and come calling, that’s how I would like The Sign of One filmed. Okay? Please. 

What was your favourite scene to write?

Hmmm … tough question without dropping a spoiler. But one favourite was when Kyle and Sky bail out from the windjammer they’ve stowed away on. I’ve done a few parachute jumps, so I know just how scary it is to throw yourself out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft. I enjoyed dropping them into a swamp full of creepy crawlies too. Us authors can be very mean …

Do you see yourself in any of the characters in The Sign Of One or have you used any of your own experiences in the story?

Guilty as charged. I think there’s a fair bit of me in Kyle. He’s a reluctant hero (I’d be a VERY reluctant hero!) More than anything, I wanted him to come across as believable, not some one-dimensional kick-ass Hollywood stereotype. So Kyle feels fear and anxiety, and he makes mistakes. We all do. Sky’s perhaps a bit more fierce and extreme, but that reflects her background. As for my experiences, I’m a keen glider pilot, and the windjammer flying scenes borrow from that.

If you could cast your characters from The Sign Of One in a big Hollywood film adaptation who would you choose?

Ooh, yes please, but a tough one because Hollywood always casts actors that are unreasonably good looking! But how about a younger Daisy Ridley as Sky, a resurrected Anton Yelchin from Terminator Salvation as Kyle, and Luke Evans from the Hobbit movies as their mercenary ally, Murdo Dern. And Sigourney Weaver because … well, just because.

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What would you like your reader to take from The Sign Of One?

The Sign of One is primarily an adventure story, so first of all I hope the reader gets a kick out of that. However, it’s also about identity, the evils of and prejudice and discrimination, what it is that makes us ‘human’ and where courage comes from.

What do you think makes a good story?

Personally, I like stories that start out enigmatic so I’m not sure what’s going on. I like wondering, and I like surprises. I also love the ah-hah moments, when I finally figure things out. Characters I can relate to are important. Fundamentally though, even if its SF or Fantasy, the best stories have to make sense and the characters’ motivations have to be believable. A good story leaves you yearning for more. A good example, Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick. Genius, pure and simple.

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As a debut author what is the biggest challenge you have faced?

Swatting the self-doubt and keeping going.

The Sign Of One is the start of a trilogy – can you tell us a little about the sequel?

Volume  two, Into The No-Zone, will be published in April 2017 and here’s an early draft blurb:

So much for being a rebel hero,

Kyle’s on the run again.

Only this time everyone is after him,

even his own kind.

And the only place left to hide?

The lair of the Reaper.

We would love to know a little bit more about you!  Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Eugene Lambert?

  1. Nerd alert: I log every book or short story that I read.
  2. I have double-jointed thumbs. So does Martin!
  3. My grandfather, also Eugene, was imprisoned by the British during the Irish Civil War. A small misunderstanding involving explosives and a bridge!
  4. I can’t stand eggs, unless they’re in cakes J.
  5. I’m a big fan of motorcycle racing and Valentino Rossi.

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

Ever since I can remember I was the classic bookworm, and I enjoyed writing stories in English class in school (although I’m sure they were awful). I only really started writing when I was living and working in the States in the late 80s, but I can’t really remember a specific book as inspiration. I think it was a case of ‘I love books, so let’s have a go at writing one!’

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

Honestly, too many to list in terms of works I admire (but see next question for some standouts). And it’s not so much ‘books I wish I’d written’ as ‘I wish I could write like X does’ where X is Alan Garner, Neil Gaiman, Margo Lanagan, Patrick Ness, etc.

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Any Sci-Fi book recs that you would highly recommend?

Hmmm, let me think. Well, for younger readers, I don’t think you can do better than Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines series. Mobile cities chasing smaller prey cities across a wasted post-apocalyptic landscape … what a vision! Then there’s the modern classics of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and  Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness, both of which showed me what was possible in contemporary YA fiction. Going back a few years, I am Legend by Richard Matheson,  Neuromancer by William Gibson and pretty much anything by the visionary that was Philip K. Dick, are all definitely worth a read.

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What are you currently reading?

*Blushes* Actually, I’ve just finished reading ‘No Easy Day,’ a first-hand account of the SEAL Team 6 mission to take out Osama Bin Laden. Fascinating stuff about the modern military machine and better written than I’d expected, thanks to the co-author. Now, I’m about halfway through – and thoroughly enjoying – Olivia Levez’s YA debut novel, The Island. It’s a sort-of modern take on the Robinson Crusoe story and a superb story. The standard of YA books today is astonishing.

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What is your favourite book of 2016 so far?

Wait, let me check my log … that’d be The Hobbit, which I re-read a month ago as a treat. If you mean a book published in 2016, it would be all the books by my fellow #LostandFounders, which are all so different yet so brilliantly written!

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

Sincerely, my brother Martin. He self-published a novel (available on Amazon) and it’s good. it would be great to write a book  together, because I know how imaginative he is from when we used to make up stories together as kids.  In terms of big-cheese-established-writers, it’d have to be Neil Gaiman!

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

Hah. It looks like my doing a lot of sighing, staring out of windows and going for long walks. A lot of notes, more sighing, perhaps even a few curses thrown in. Paper being scrunched up and thrown away. And then, after a final (and completely essential) flurry of prevarication, the writing begins …

Do you have any strange writing habits?

Define strange 🙂 No, I don’t think so. When I start, I start at the beginning and write linearly. I’m not a massive planner, so I plan as much as I can and then dive in, relying upon everything to sort itself out during the writing. I edit as I go along.

I asked some lovely authors their thoughts about does music influence their books or their characters.  Did music have any influence the story of  The Sign Of One?

Nope. Can’t think of any musical influence. Wrath’s not a musical kind of place. As Kyle says one time, music’s nice, but you can’t eat it.  But if you want to know what growing up as a twin is like, then listen to Disembodied Voices by the Finn Brothers (ex Crowded House). Seriously, it’s so spot on it almost makes me cry every time I listen to it.

Are there any exciting plans for the rest of 2016 or 2017

Well, I’ve just received my first edits for Into the No-Zone, so that’s exciting. I’ve also made a start on the final instalment, working title The Long Forever. Other than writing, I’m off on holiday to visit Japan later this year, fulfilling a long-held ambition of mine. A cliché I know, but I can’t wait!

Can you tell us a little about you and the #LostandFound Tour?  How did the tour come about?

Our #LostandFound tour was Olivia Levez’s idea originally. I have to admit that I just got super-lucky and was invited to join the crew, which is such a privilege. Since then we’ve tried to work as a team to make the tour happen. It’s not long now until our first Waterstones gig, and we can’t wait!

And finally how is your character in The Sign Of One “found”?

Tricky to answer without spoilers, but suffice it to say that Kyle goes on a quest to find out what he his, and who he is. It’s a physical journey, but also an emotional one. He’s just a kid, not some Hollywood superhero. To find salvation, he must first ‘find’ the courage to quit running, turn and fight …

51j1rjbtptl-_sx324_bo1204203200_You can buy The Sign Of One here or from your local bookshop!


About Eugene Lambert

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Eugene Lambert grew up in Wolverhampton, a fate worse than cliché. A refugee from the worlds of academia, science and engineering, he graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing For Young People in late 2013. When not scribbling in his cabin, he flies gliders and goes for long walks in the Cotswolds. Rumours of his being an identical twin are … true. Eugene’s debut SF novel, The Sign of One, was shortlisted for the 2014 Bath Novel Award. The list of writers who have influenced and inspired him is a long one, but Alan Garner and Patrick Ness would both be near the top of it!

Website: http://www.eugenelambert.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eugene_lambert


 Blog Tour

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

LOST VERTICAL


A huge thank you to Eugene for being fab and answering all of my questions!

Also a huge thank you to all the Lost and Founders for having me on the tour and asking me to host the Birmingham event!

See you there!

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Cover Reveal – Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield


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In light of the brilliant Waterstones book prize being announced on Thursday this week, 17th March 2016, the lovely people at Electric Monkey thought that it would be the perfect time to share a very exciting final cover reveal!

You can find out more about the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016 and the shortlist here where Seed by Lisa Heathfield amongst other brilliant books have been shortlisted!

It’s no secret that I read and loved Seed by Lisa Heathfield last year!

You can read my review here

I, as well have others, have been waiting in anticipation for Lisa’s next book a standalone called Paper Butterflies ever since it was announced!

I squealed with delight when the proof copy arrived through my door last month!

pbproofI was also so excited to see a quote from my review of Seed inside the proof!  The first time this has happened to me since I started blogging!

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I have read and loved Paper Butterflies so much!  I had Paper Butterflies fluttering in my tummy.  An emotional tale of an abusive childhood, growing up, friendship, love, forgiveness and choosing left or right.

My full review of Paper Butterflies will follow shortly on Tales, but first lets gets down to business!

I am so over the moon to reveal the final beautiful cover for Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield!

A very early version of this cover was sent out with the press release and on Goodreads I think, but this is the final version, front, back and spine designed again by the brilliant Benjamin Hughes and complete with a very special quote……

9781405275392LH_PButterflies_75392_COVpbspinepbbackI LOVE this cover so much!

I think it captures so many things about this wonderful book!  The paper butterfly, June’s face, the faint outline of the woods and caravan on the back of the cover and a beautiful spine!

I cannot wait to see it on the shelves on the 30th June 2016!

Check out the Paper Butterflies trailer below!


About Lisa Heathfield

1394100257Lisa_Heathfield-202x300Lisa Heathfield is a former secondary school English teacher, specializing in working with hearing-impaired children. Seed was her debut novel and Paper Butterflies her second. She lives in Brighton, England, with her husband and three children.

You can find out more about Lisa here or why not follow her on twitter using @lisaheathfield

You can pre order Paper Butterflies here


A huge thank you to Maggie and the team at Electric Monkey for asking me to feature this fab cover!

I previously featured a Q&A with Lisa Heathfield – you can read it here

What do you think?  Have you read Paper Butterflies or are you excited about it’s release?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave me a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading and grabbing for those tissues!

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Tales Q&A with Michael Grant


 

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Today, 28th January 2016, marks the release of the brilliant Front Lines by the awesome Michael Grant!

Happy Book Birthday Michael!

I am lucky enough to have received a copy from the lovely people at Electric Monkey and judging from what I have been hearing about this book I cannot wait to read it!

Today I am so over the moon to have the awesome Michael Grant on Tales with a fab Q&A!

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Hi Michael!  Welcome to Tale Of Yesterday!  I am so excited to have you here!

Firstly a little about the wonderful Front Lines…

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It’s WWII, but not as you remember it from history lessons! This time the girls aren’t stitching socks for the brave boys at the front. Meet Rio Richlin and her friends Frangie Marr and Rainy Schulterman, three of the newest recruits in the US Armed Forces. They stand shoulder to shoulder with the boys from home as they take on Hitler’s army.

In the face of reluctant colonels and sceptical sergeants, the soldier girls must prove their guts, strength, and resourcefulness as soldiers. Rio has grown up in a world where men don’t cry and girls are supposed to care only about ‘money and looks’. But she has always known that there is something wrong with this system and something else in her. Far from home and in the battlefields, Rio discovers exactly who she is and what she can accomplish.

Can you tell us a little about Front Lines?

FRONT LINES is an alternate history of the American experience of World War 2 in Europe. I make one big change: I imagine a Supreme Court decision has made women eligible for the draft and service in combat.  From there I follow three young women – girls, really – who enlist.  Rio Richlin becomes a combat soldier, Frangie Marr is a medic, and Rainy Schulterman joins Army intelligence.

What inspired you to write about an alternate World War II where young women are called up to fight alongside men?

 Basically I thought it would be a fun way for me to take the history everyone thinks they know and look at it through a very different lens.

 Can you tell us a little about the main character Rio Richlin?

 Rio is inspired in part by Audie Murphy, a little guy, just 5’5”, who no one thought should be in combat, but who went on to become the most decorated American soldier in the whole war. Rio is under age, she’s a girl from a small town, her father runs a feed store, and her mother has a small dairy operation.  She’s not special or secretly a wizard and she has no powers.  She’s a typical small town girl who gets swept up in the biggest war in human history.

 How important are names to you? Did you pick any of the characters names in Front Lines (or any of your books) for a reason?

 I’ve learned a trick over time: use names that are easy to Google, unique names.

 What was your favourite scene to write?

 Oh, I love action scenes. Those are always my favourite things to write. 

 Do you see yourself in any of the characters in Front Lines (or any of your books) or have you used any of your own experiences in any stories?

 I mostly avoid putting myself or anyone I know into any book. So none of the characters are me.

 If rumours are true we may be seeing Front Lines on the big screen? If you could cast your characters from Front Lines in a big Hollywood film adaptation who would you choose?

 I have no information on a movie deal, I’m afraid. I’d love to see it happen, but Hollywood sadly does not take orders from me.  As for casting, I don’t really know any actors.  I mean, would I love to see Chloe Grace Moretz doing a GI version of Hit Girl?  Uh, yeah, who wouldn’t?

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What would you like your reader to take from Front Lines?

 I don’t think along those lines much. I’m basically an entertainer, I’m not a teacher.  So if my stories entertain you, cool, my work is done.

 What do you think makes a good story?

 Someone you care about has to do interesting things, and have interesting things done to them.

 I was shocked (in a OMG….my childhood….I can’t believe it way) to hear at a recent event that you ghost wrote some of the Sweet Valley High books! Dum dum duuuuummmm! I did not know this!  Therefore we would love to know a little bit more about you!  Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Michael Grant?

 1) I was a high school drop-out.

2) I moved in with my wife 24 hours after seeing her through a window.

3) Ialso wrote a series called Barf-O-Rama, under a pseudonym.

4) I quite like being bald, I wouldn’t change it.

5) I would move to London in a heartbeat if I thought I could survive the overcast skies.

 Which of your characters from any of your books would you most like to spend the day with?

 Astrid from the GONE series. She’s smart, she’s manipulative, she’s a little bitchy, she’s blond. . . In short, she reminds me of my wife.  And I like my wife.

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

 I didn’t want to be a writer growing up, I didn’t start until I was in my 30’s. I knew I could write, which sounds arrogant, but I knew it.  I just didn’t want to, because I wanted to be the hero, not just write about the hero.  It took me a while to get over that.

 Do you have any favourite world war II reads?

 Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy is what got me thinking about writing about WW2.

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And Elizabeth Wein’s brilliant Code Name Verity set the bar pretty high and I was challenged to clear it.

51kbSh5l6JL__SX323_BO1,204,203,200_ Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written?

 Zebulon Finch, by Dan Kraus. What a great book, what great characters.

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What are you currently reading?

 I’m actually re-reading the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. He uses sex and humour to paint genuinely moving portraits of great historical events and figures. The guy was brilliant.  The whole series is a work of genius.

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What is your favourite book of 2015?

 It’s my wife’s book, Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate, of course.

519bewOfQIL__SX325_BO1,204,203,200_ After seeing you and Andrew Smith together at an event this year I think you should write a book together!

 Oh, Andrew and I would commit mutual murder if we wrote together. He’s a planner, I’m an improviser.  He’s meticulous, I’m all about momentum.  He’s an artist, I’m just a storyteller.

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

I start with what I call a Series Bible. This is a document that is part sales pitch for my editor, part overview of the project.  It forces me to think through the concept, though not the story.  In my series bible I’ll have an elevator pitch, thoughts on marketing, thoughts about the psychology and philosophy of the book, character descriptions with photos I pull off the web, locations, etc…

 I use that series bible to convince my editor I have a general idea what I’m doing. Then she signs me up, and I start work.  I start at the beginning, usually with no idea at all what’s happening next, let alone how it will end. 

 Do you have any strange writing habits?

 I have developed this need to write out of doors. Normally I sit in a rocking chair on my deck, which looks out over San Francisco Bay.  If it’s too cold or wet I drive to the Marin Headlands and work in my car.  I drink a whole lot of coffee, smoke a cigar, sometimes write while I have punk or reggae in my ear buds. 

  Did music have any influence the story of Front Lines or any of your books?

 I don’t so much enjoy music, or get inspired by it, as use it.  It’s a tool. I use it to get myself fired up.  It’s my musical cattle prod. 

I know Front Lines is a planned trilogy. Are there any exciting plans for 2016?

 I have already finished Book 2: Silver Stars. January 26, 2016 is Book One, and the next book drops a year later.

 And finally when I are you coming to England again?!

As soon as Egmont wants me there. I love the UK.  Do you know what my current TV viewing consists of?  Downloads of British panel shows like QI, 8 out of 10 Cats, and my favourite, Would I Lie To You?  I am a huge fan of David Mitchell, Lee Mack, Stephen Fry, Jimmy Carr and more.  And of course my addiction to The Great British Bake-Off is well known, especially since in the last series I picked three bakers right at the start who became the final three.  I feel I should have gotten at least a cupcake or a petit four for that feat of prophecy. 

Or maybe you could be on The Great British Bake Off!

Thank you so much for answering all of my questions Michael it’s been brilliant to have you here!

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You can buy Front Lines by Michael Grant here or why not visit your local independent bookshop for a copy.

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About Michael Grant

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Michael Grant has always been fast-paced. He’s lived in almost 50 different homes in 14 US states, and moved in with his wife, Katherine Applegate, after knowing her for less than 24 hours. His long list of previous occupations includes: law librarian, cartoonist, bowling alley mechanic, restaurant reviewer, waiter, documentary film producer and political media consultant.

Grant and Applegate have co-authored more than 100 books, including the massive hit series Animorphs. Grant went on to write The New York Times and international bestselling series, GONE. His BZRK series takes participants on a roller-coaster ride across print and digital venues. His latest series, MESSENGER OF FEAR, is a morality tale, though since it’s written by Michael, the morality may be quite muddy at times. Front Lines, his latest thriller, will leave you turning pages far into the night. It is a reimagining of World War II

Sony and the creative team behind multi award-winning Breaking Bad optioned the TV rights for GONE in August 2013.

Michael, Katherine and their two children live in the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from Silicon Valley. He can be contacted via Twitter @MichaelGrantBks, and www.facebook.com/authormichaelgrant.

It’s hard to come up with a tagline for such a man. We like ‘Michael Grant is the evil genius of YA fiction‘ but Michael came up with a couple of ideas of his own.

Check out Michael’s Website here

You can buy Front Lines by Michael Grant here


 Another huge huge thank you to Michael for agreeing to a Q&A and to Alice and Egmont for organising!

Are you a Michael Grant fan?  Have you read Front Lines?  What did you think?  Has this Q&A intrigued you?  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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Tale Q&A with Lisa Heathfield


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Today I am proud to bring to you a fab Q&A with debut author of Seed (published 16th April 2015), Lisa Heathfield! 

I have to admit I was over the moon when Electric Monkey contacted me and asked me if I would like to be part of the blog tour for this book!  My fingers could not type fast enough to reply “Yes please”!  I LOVED this book so much!  Most of you may actually already know this from my constant ramblings and saying “read it immediately!” tweets on twitter!

It’s been a few weeks since I read Seed and the feelings I had whilst reading the book and after finishing the book are still with me now!  The sign of a fab book don’t you think?

You can read my spoiler free review of Seed here

I was lucky enough to meet Lisa back in February at the Electric Monkey Blogger Day  (you can find out what we got up to here ) and since then we have kept in regular contact and managed to have a catch up at the UKYABA in March.  I can honestly say Lisa is so so lovely and it feels like I have known her longer than I have.  I feel so privileged to have met her and get to know her.

So join me talking to Lisa all about Pearl, Papa S and the world of Seed, more about Lisa and an infamous trip to Tesco!

A huge thank you to Electric Monkey for having me (especially Maggie for putting up with my fan girl emails!) and another huge thank you to Lisa for answering all my probing questions!


Hi Lisa.  Welcome to Tales Of Yesterday.  Thank you so much for featuring on my blog…I am unbelievably excited and over the moon to have you here!

*Does an excited wiggle*

 Firstly, thank you for writing such a stunning and beautifully written book with Seed…..it took my breath away and broke my heart…a precious gem of a book!

*Holds Seed next to my heart and goes misty eyed*

I have been recommending this book non stop since I read it and it is going to be in my top ten on books I’ve read in 2015 at the end of the year!

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Can you tell us a little about Seed?

Seed is a small, idyllic community. They live in beautiful surroundings, grow all the crops they need to survive and are happy to be cut-off from the Outside. They do not follow a religion – instead they worship Nature and obey the rules of their revered leader, Papa S. On the surface, it could be described as a utopia, yet not far beneath there’s a darkness which threatens to destroy them all. 

You can find my spoiler free review here 

( Warning I may confess my love of this book quite a lot during this review! 🙂 )

 What inspired you to write the story of Pearl and the community of Seed?

I’m not sure where it came from! I was writing another book, when Pearl appeared to me and asked that I write her story instead. With her, came Seed. I had no idea where the story was going to lead – I just held my pen and as I wrote, it was as though I was reading it for the first time. 

 Do you see yourself in any of the characters in Seed or have you used any of your own experiences in the story?

 I don’t see myself in any particular character, although I can definitely see myself being tempted by the good parts of a world like Seed. Although I live in a city, I do also love the more simple life. And I worry about what modern living is doing to our planet – I don’t think it would hurt if we all paid a bit more attention to Nature.

 The scenery and location of Seed reads so beautifully…was this based on a particular place?

The location of Seed really is beautiful. I loved spending so much time there (before the darkness, of course). As with Pearl, it came to me ‘fully formed’. So, although it’s not based on a particular place, it was always completely vivid to me.

 How do you think you would react if you were cut off from the outside world, living in a world or community where you are dependant upon Mother Nature?

 Part of me thinks that I would love it. The modern world does fry my brain slightly, so it’s definitely appealing to think about a place without computers and mobile phones! And I love the idea of a strong community, especially a self-sufficient one. However, I think in reality I would find it too claustrophobic. I would need to have a bit of space. And if I ended up in a community with someone like Papa S, or Kindred John, that would be pretty horrific.

 As a reader I hated Papa S with a passion…did you find writing his character hard?

 He’s hideous, but I didn’t find writing his character difficult. I think it’s because I genuinely believe that I don’t really do the writing – I just hold the pen and my writing spirit does the rest. I always knew that he was horrible, but it’s only reading back now that I realise quite how creepy he is.

 Without spoilers I loved the story you told at the Electric Monkey Blogger Day about when you were in Tesco and an idea for Seed came to you….can you tell us about that?

Well, I didn’t plot Seed, but I think that it was often rumbling round in my subconscious. One day, I’d just come out of the supermarket and was wheeling the trolley to my car, when, like a bolt of lightning, I suddenly realised what was going to happen to one of the characters. I was so shocked – I’d love to see a recording of my reaction! I stopped short and I’m pretty sure I yelled something out.

I would have loved to have seen your reaction too!  Especially when you have since told me which part of the book this was about!

*scours CCTV to find Lisa’s reaction*

 I would love to Seed on the big screen! If you could cast your characters in a big Hollywood film adaptation who would you choose?

It would be amazing, wouldn’t it! I’m going to cheat a bit with some of my answers, because on the blog ‘Forever young Adults’, Jennie chose three characters almost perfectly.

Papa S was Jason Isaacs, Ellis was Douglas Booth and Pearl was Ella Purnell. For me, Pearl is slightly more like Emily Kinney. Mika Boorem would make a brilliant Kate and Marion Cotillard could play Elizabeth. The hardest one for me to cast is Jack – I think Nolan Gerard Funk comes the closest (plus, he has a great name…)

LONDON – FEBRUARY 19; British actor Jason Isaacs poses for a portrait during a photo session for the Jameson Empire Film Awards on 19 February 2010 in London. Isaacs is sitting on the judging panel for the ‘Done in 60 Seconds’ category of the Jameson Empire Film Awards 2010.

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Jason Isaacs

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas Booth

 

 

 

 

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Emily Kinney

 

 

 

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Mika Boorem

 

 

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Nolan Gerard Funk

 

 

 

*Nods approvingly at all of these choices!*

Being a debut author can you tell us a little about yourself?

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Well, I live in Brighton with my husband and three sons. I used to teach English in a secondary school, spending the last couple of years when I was there specialising in teaching hearing-impaired children. I grew up in a large family and was always reading and writing. From a young age, I dreamt of being an author, but up until recently no one had ever read my writing. Never in a million years did I think I’d be good enough. So the fact that I’m being published feels extra unbelievable to me.

 Do you have any strange writing habits?

 I have to use bic biros – I don’t seem to write so well with other biros! Blue, or black, depending on the book I’m writing. I choose the notebook carefully – it has to ‘feel’ right. And if I think I need to get to know the characters better, I take them out of the house with me. I know it sounds weird, but it’s not unusual for them to help me out with the shopping…

 Recently I asked some lovely UKYA authors their thoughts about does music influence their book or their characters. Did music have any influence in Seed?

 I like to write without music – I love silence! And I didn’t find myself connecting any music to Seed, as the community is so detached from any form of ‘popular culture’. However, there is music within it and I love the way that Ellis’ piano playing unlocks something in Pearl.

These are some of my favourite scenes from Seed!

 Thank you so much Lisa for taking the time to answer these questions and feature on Tales Of Yesterday.  It really is an honour and I can’t wait to read more books by Lisa Heathfield in the very near future!

Also another huge thank you to Electric Monkey for having me on the tour and providing me with a copy of Seed !

I urge everyone to read this stunning debut!


On another note Lisa is a huge fan of Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places and with the help of Electric Monkey who listened to my idea and got me a copy of the book quite quickly I managed to give a copy of Seed to Jennifer Niven at a recent event in Birmingham and get a picture for Lisa!

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To say Lisa was over the moon is an understatement!

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 I also bought Lisa a copy of All The Bright Places and got it signed for her!  One happy author!

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Thanks to Maggie and Emily at Electric Monkey who helped me organise this and make Lisa’s day!


You can find out more about Seed which is released on 16th April 2015 or buy a copy here

Or why not follow Lisa on Twitter – @LisaHeathfield

For a cover reveal of Lisa’s second novel Paper Butterflies see here


Follow the rest of this awesome blog tour for Seed!

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Have you read Seed?  What did you think?  Has my review or this Q&A convinced you to go and grab a copy?  Isn’t the cover so pretty!  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 Papa S….he really is THAT creepy!

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Review – Seed by Lisa Heathfield

 


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Seed loves you. Seed will never let you go. 

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed.  A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late.

A chilling and heartbreaking coming-of-age story of life within a cult, Seed will take readers on a journey of gripping self-discovery reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale. 


Publisher – Electric Monkey

Date Published – 16th April 2015

Pages – 352 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UK YA

Source –

I was originally sent a review copy of this book by the wonderful author of the book Lisa Heathfield via Electric Monkey.  I was also lucky enough to attend the Electric Monkey Blogger Day in February and was given another proof copy which I gave away to another blogger who I knew would love the book!  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you all for sending / giving this to me to read!

I have also been extremely lucky and received a finished copy of this book from Lisa as a thank you for arranging a surprise for her recently where I managed to get a finished copy of her book (with thanks to Electric Monkey) to one of her favourite authors, Jennifer Niven and get a picture of Jennifer with the book.  I also bought Lisa a copy of Jennifer’s book and got it signed for her…so as a very unexpected thank you surprise Lisa sent me a finished copy…..and its SO pretty and beautiful with a stunning dedication!!  Thank you Lisa!


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


It’s taken me a little longer than normal to write this review!  The reason?  I fell in love with this book from the minute I started reading it right through to the heart stopping end!  This meant that my review may have just contained the words READ THIS BOOK NOW or I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH (which is what I have been telling everyone on twitter) rather than a review so I have taken some time to compose some hopefully thoughtful constructive words that hopefully may do this wonderful book the tiny bit of justice it fully deserves!

*Gulps and takes big breath*

But first lets admire the beauty and prettiness of this book cover!  Its so pretty!  *claps excitedly and bows down to @hungrymarv for designing this cover*

Now we may begin….

Seed is a story about a girl called Pearl who was born into and has only ever known the community of Seed.  Seed worship nature, are a family and look after each other.  They are a community.  They live in the Seed world looked after by mother nature.  They do not know the outside world.  Seed have a hierarchy of Kindred’s who Pearl and the others look up to.  They idolise the leader of Seed, Papa S.

Seed is the story of life lived in a cult.

When Pearl comes of age will it now be her turn to become the companion of Papa S something she has longed for a long time?  But when Ellis, his mom and his younger sister Sophie arrive from the outside world to join Seed Pearl begins to realise that all may not be a safe haven at Seed and everything she has grown up to believe in may all come crashing down.  But Pearl struggles to believe that Seed is something other than what she loves. Papa S and the kindred’s love her and will protect her right?  Seed is her home.  Seed loves her.  Seed will never let her go!

This book is hauntingly beautiful and deals with such sensitive and often rather unnerving subjects and situations.

The book is told from Pearl’s perspective and begins with Pearl coming of age.  A scary time for Pearl as she has no idea what is happening to her and her body.  She believes this is mother nature punishing her and is immediately put through a ritual of being shut in a dark hole for the night as Seed believes, as well as Pearl, that this will make her a woman and she will be able to bear children.  This immediately gives you the setting and feel for the book and the character of Pearl as I felt as a reader I was completely drawn into the book and immediately quite protective over Pearl and fully drawn into the community of Seed.

Pearl is an adorable, innocent character who I wanted to protect and whilst she comes across as slightly naïve at times as a reader you have to remember that this is what she has been born into.  She does not know who her mother is as the women at Seed only birth the children and cannot take that child to be solely theirs.  She knows nothing else, yearns to know who her real mother is but at the same time refuses to believe anything else exists outside of Seed.  Pearl sees the good in everyone even when times get tough.  Pearl believes you should listen only to mother nature…she will save you.  She looks after the younger children and I found it adorable that coming of age to Pearl meant she could grow her hair long and wear unpattern skirts (all patterns are false unless created by nature) a sure sign that she is a woman to Papa S *shivers* More on Papa S later!

Pearl is friends with and has grown up within Seed with curious Kate, who as she has come of age starts to have questions about the community she has been brought up, and growing up quickly to be a man Jack.  What I loved about Kate was that she senses something is not right and is not happy in the community of Seed anymore and feels like there must be more.  With this comes a slight sense of rebellion, but then this is reigned in and controlled by the Kindred’s and as Kate and Pearl experience there are severe punishments afoot for anyone questioning the community and having unclean thoughts against mother nature.  There is a heart stopping scene when Pearl is put in the forgiveness room for such thoughts which made me fearful and turn the pages faster, but shows the controlling ways of certain aspects of Seed!

One of the Kindred’s, Kindred John, invites a family into the community of Seed to “help” them through a tough time in their lives.  With this family piano player Ellis arrives and immediately strikes up a friendship with Pearl, Kate and Jack.  I loved Ellis as a character!  Just loved him!  I loved the way he goes along with things for his Mom’s sake, his protectiveness of his little sister Sophie and his realisation about what is going on in Seed is a revelation.  He’s experienced the world outside of Seed and he knows right from wrong where at Pearl, Kate and Jack only know the community they have grown up in and as far as they are concerned this is the correct way to live and be happy.  Ellis throws everything up in the air asking the question how do you know what you need if you have never seen it?

Once particular scene I loved with the four friends is when they get caught in the rain, take off their clothes and dance in a circle.  This scene is beautifully written and shows the innocence of these children and the simplicity of wanting to just be children and laugh and play.  It shows how strong their friendship is in a single scene.  They are unbreakable.  I also love the way Pearl falls in love with Ellis’s music when he plays the piano…it’s like nothing she has ever heard before and provides one of my favourite quotes from the book.

“It feels like I am underwater at the lake, yet floating through the sky.  There a thousand butterflies dancing on my skin”

For me Lisa Heathfield has created one of the most hated controlling characters I think I have ever read!  In every part of the book that Papa S, the leader of Seed,  is present in it creeped me out.  His presence is so masterful and so superior that I feared every page when he appeared where as Pearl looks up to him and idolises him, but at the same times fears him knowing about anything she shouldn’t be doing or any unclean thoughts about Seed.  As the story plays out it is evident what Papa S intentions are, but whilst this is done quite evidently with Papa S picking a new companion when he chooses, who then has to walk by his side with a flower carefully placed between their lips to indicate the companionship, anything further implied is done off the page but as a reader you get enough sense of what is going on to work out he is a horrid man!  This is obviously exactly what Lisa Heathfield set out to achieve and shows how clever her writing really is as I felt so protective over Pearl and the other children that I hated him and his manipulative ways with a passion and rightly so.  What Lisa creates with Papa S, without it being played out onto the page but more behind the scenes so to speak, is a villain who as a reader you will despise and if you are anything like me shout at the book a million times for Pearl and the others to not want to be his companion and to escape Seed forever!

I don’t want to go into any more for fear of spoiling this precious gem of a book.  For me I was unable to put this book down. This was again due to the writing, the way I felt about the characters and the perfect pacing.  I think I even cried when I had to go to the shops as this book was glued to my hands.  Seed captured me and my imagination completely.  Seed did not want to let me go.  I had to make sure Pearl was okay!  Surely the sign of a fab book!  And the end …..OMG!

Lisa Heathfield’s writing is stunning and beautiful in such a tender way.  Every sentence is enriched with so much care and imaginative description that you fall in love with it.  This is Lisa’s debut!  A debut!  I cannot believe this is a debut book.  It’s inspiring.  I love Lisa’s writing style and this book so much that I am so excited about what is to come next from this wonderful debut author!  I for one cannot wait!

I want to finish this review with a quote from the book that for me highlights the beautiful writing style of Lisa Heathfield, the innocence of Pearl and the controlling ways of Papa S and the hold Seed has on Pearl….just beautiful and I feel this sums up the book really well…

“I always have the same feeling when we drive from Seed to market.  It’s as though a thin blue thread attaches me to my home.  It winds through the lanes, past the hills and houses, a thread that will never break and will always keep me safe.  If I am lost I can always follow it back again, to Papa S.  And attached to it, he will always be able to find me.”

I urge everyone to read this book and experience it’s beauty…my words do not do this book justice…go and experience Seed for yourselves…it will stay with you long after reading….it will never let you go!

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

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You can buy the brilliant Seed – Here

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You can find out more about Lisa here or why not follow her on twitter using @lisaheathfield

Want to know more about what we learnt about the book at the Electric Monkey Blogger Day – click here

Find out more about Lisa’s inspiration for Seed here

Or check out the fab Q&A with Lisa Heathfield here

You can also find more reviews for Seed over at LoveReading4Kids here

For a cover reveal of Lisa’s second novel Paper Butterflies see here

Have you read Seed?  What did you think?  Has this review convinced you to pick up a copy and read?  What do you think of the beautiful cover?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment by clicking the reply button at the top of this page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

 Happy Reading!

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Tales Events – Electric Monkey Blogger Day 2015


 

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I was lucky enough to be invited to the Electric Monkey Blogger Day on the 18th February 2015 with some other fab bloggers and awesome guest authors.  Early morning on the 18th I set my alarm for a time when no alarm should ever be set *shivers* and headed for the train station!  London bound! Yipppeeeee!

Entering the Egmont floor of the yellow building was so lovely.  A huggggeeee Egmont sign filled the reception area as well as wonderful bloggers chatting and authors mingling.  I was immediately greeted by the fab Electric Monkey team who were super friendly and welcoming!  I also had a surprise guest pop and visit me and the other bloggers – Robin Stevens!  She actually works at Egmont so it was so lovely seeing her again….for the third time for me this month lol

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Photo left by @cloverness with permission

Photo right by @cloverness with permission

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Photo left by @cloverness with permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first talk of the day was from the inspirational Elizabeth Wein who talked about her books, her family and the inspiration behind her stories.  I was mesmirized by her completely and even following the event I am in awe of her.  She was amazing!

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After her talk she showed us some artefacts that she has collected and passed them around which was super cool!

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Photos above by @kitkatscanread with permission

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A wonderful lunchtime spread was laid on for all bloggers, authors and staff members and much chatting and fun was had by all! Complete with awesome mine craft pillows that my son would love!

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Photo below by @kitkatscanread with permission

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We also got to hear from two wonderful debut authors, Lisa Heathfield who debut Seed is out in April 2015 (I’ve just read this and it was amazing!) and Rachel McIntyre who’s debut Me & Mr J is out now (which I am yet to read)!

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 FullSizeRenderWe got to hear all about their wonderful books, their inspiration and the love for their covers.  Lisa Heathfield’s inspiration for her book Seed, set within a cult, came to her via a writing spirit  and the book was written telling the story of this little girl called Pearl.

Rachel’s inspiration came from teaching a class at a school who all thought it was cool that a student who had left the school was dating a teacher.  Rachel explained that she wrote this book for them to say its really not okay for a teacher to do this.

They were both fascinating talks and both lovely people who I am so pleased to have met.

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Photo on the left by @kitkatscanread & photo above by @cloverness with permission

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You can check out my review of Seed here

Or check out my Q&A with Lisa Heathfield here

We then were given the opportunity to meet the graphic designer Ben who created the beautiful stunning cover for Seed who talked us through the cover designing process.  This was an absolutely fascinating talk and was really interesting to find out the thought process and work that goes into creating a cover for a book and Ben, given that he was not used to speaking in front of people, gave a brilliant presentation!

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Photo above @kitkatscanread with permission

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The last part of the afternoon was handed over to new debut author Katy Birchall who’s debut book The It Girl is out in May 2015 and with herself and the lovely Lindsey reading an extract dialogue from the book this book is set to be an hilarious huge it which I cannot wait to read!

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Photo above @kitkatscanread with permission

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Check out an hilarious guest post from Katy Birchall here

Or to read an extract from The It Girl here

Check out my review of The It Girl here

Or find out more about The It Girl 3 in this exclusive interview with, It Girl, Anna Huntley here

This brought an end to our day…but not before some tea and gorgeous cupcakes….and okay more chatting!

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Above photo by @cloverness with permission

At the end of the day we were given some super awesome goodie bags full of wonderful books, bookmarks and treats.

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Al the bags were personalised with a name tag and upon getting home and checking out all of the goodies I discovered why!  The proof copy of Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls was personalised and signed by the author herself who wasn’t at the event, Lynn Weingarten!  This was such a wonderful surprise and so lovely!

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I was also lucky enough to witness Lisa Heathfield being handed a finished copy of her book Seed that came in later in the afternoon just before we were leaving and its so pretty and shiny!

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A huge huge thank you to all of the staff at Electric Monkey / Egmont for inviting me and making me feel so welcoming at your offices.  A huge thank you to all of the authors who I met and who did talks and presentations  you were all lovely!  Also a huge thank you to the other bloggers for all being awesome and making me laugh (so much) and smile (a lot)!

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Picture thanks to Electric Monkey

Check out more tweets and pictures from the day by checking out the hashtag #EMBLOGGERDAY on twitter

Happy Reading!

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