Tag Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post – My Writing Process – First Draft to Final Copy by Ally Kennen

I’m over the moon to have been asked to take part in this fab blog tour for a brilliant new middle grade book, The Everything Machine by Ally Kennen.

The Everything Machine was released on the 2nd February 2017 published by Scholastic and tells the story of three kids let loose with a top-secret magical machine with a mind of it’s own!  It sounds like so much fun!

So for my stop on the tour we are delving into the writing process of the books author Ally Kennan…..

Three kids let loose with a top-secret magical machine with a mind of it’s own . . . What could possibly go wrong?

Olly, Stevie and Bird have just had a very special delivery. It’s a machine that has a name, can speak and is able to print ANYTHING they want it to. How about a never-ending supply of sweets and a cool swimming pool in the shed, for starters?

But is getting everything you’ve ever wished for all it’s cracked up to be?

My Writing Process – First Draft To Final Copy

A book begins with a vague idea, usually something that has been badgering me for years, weeks, days or hours. This idea grows and grows and becomes the thing that keeps me awake.

I always write the first draft in a state of fear and denial. Fear that I don’t know what I’m doing and denial that anything I write now will end up being in the book anyway. This is quite freeing.

It’s not very fashionable for women to talk about how their children affect their work, and one can feel a bit sneered at, but by God! My children affect mine!  I haven’t got much time to write because I have 4 children, aged from twelve years down to one year and they are always more noisy and interesting than any book I am writing.

Therefore, when I get a writing window, I go hell for leather. My earlier YA books, BEAST, BERSERK and BEDLAM, QUARRY were all written when I was pregnant  and/or had 2 or 3 young children at home. These books have all been described as fast-paced, which I always find funny. I have to crack on with the action before I have to make dinner or wipe up the sick! Maybe when my children are all grown-ups I will write glorious, ponderous prose. With faultless grammar and leavened with multi-metaphors and clever word play.

Not now though!

So I crack on with a first draft, letting the whole thing gallop along. The superb author Mimi Thebo told me to ‘let the wild horses run.’ And so I do. I let them run and run and run until they lie exhausted in a ditch, unable to even snort. This first draft is usually quite quick. Though It wasn’t like this for my latest book, THE EVERYTHING MACHINE, because I had a baby in the middle of it and everything, all the horses, stopped for about six months.

After the first draft the real work begins. The first draft kills off the red herrings, the dead ends, the cliches… It is where embryonic characters form. Where deeper, richer ideas grow…

And the second draft cuts cuts cuts cuts loads from the first draft. It is a bloody massacre. Only the good bits remain. Lots and lots more writing is done, and now, I think a little bit more about the rhythm of the sentences. The landscapes and journeys, the time lapses, the development of the characters. The sewing together. This is when  (hopefully) the magic part of writing happens. I have my rough work, now I can deep-think it, and try and make it much, much better.

The third draft is less butchery, more a gentle slapping, and do I Like these people I have created and are they interesting at all? and does the thing really work? And what am I trying to say here? After this draft I usually make someone read it (husband) or I make someone listen (my children)

I get that awful thing, Feedback.

This is always useful. No matter how horrific.

Then I go back and make more alterations and sprinkle some fairy dust and send it to my editor and hope I don’t get sacked.

I am not brave enough to send rough work to an editor.  I don’t want them to see the vulgar depths of my abilities… I like it to be as good as possible. I’d rather send the polished diamond than the rough one.

Then there is the to ing and fro ing with the editor, the sharpening and the cuttings and the pulling the whole thing together. It sounds worthy but I do believe in the team work aspect of book writing.  I need an editor! I need help! always!

After the edits come the copy edits, then reading the proofs, then BAM, there’s the book.

It’s a pretty good feeling.

You can buy a copy of The Everything Machine here or from your local bookshop!

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

About Ally Kennen

Ally Kennen has been an archaeologist, museum guard and singer-songwriter. Her dark and thrilling teen novels have been nominated for over eleven literary awards. She lives in Somerset with her husband and four children.

You can find out more about Ally on her website – www.allykennen.blogspot.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @allykennen

Blog Tour

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

Monday 13th February

Fiction Fascination

Bookish Outsider

Tuesday 14th February

Girl Vs Books

Book Lover Jo

Wednesday 15th February

Live Otherwise

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 16th February

MG Strikes Back

Alejandra’s Life

Friday 17th February

Library Girl and Book Boy

Luna’s Little Library

Saturday 18th February

Big Book Little Book

Mum Friendly

Sunday 19th February

Tales of Yesterday

Powered by Reading

A huge thank you to the wonderful Ally Kennen for such a fab post and insight into her writing process!
Also a huge thank you to Faye Rogers for organising and having me as part of this fab blog tour as well as the wonderful people at Scholastic.

Have you read The Everything Machine?  What did you think?  What does your writing process look like?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Heart Racing Alternatives For Valentines Day by Sharon Gosling

I am super excited to be part of the fab blog tour for a new addition to the brilliant Red Eye Series, Fir by Sharon Gosling!

The Red Eye series published by Stripes are a series of individual YA Horror stories to chill the blood and scare you to the core.  Books published in the series include Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell and Sleepless by Lou Morgan.

Fir was released on the 9th February 2017 and I simply cannot wait to read it!  I brilliant addition to the Red Eye Series.

And as it’s Valentines Day today…..


We thought it would be great to share some heart racing alternatives to Valentines in the scary guest post…..

*evil laugh*

Moving from Stockholm to an isolated pine plantation in northern Sweden is bad enough, but when the snows come early and all links between the Strombergs and the outside world are cut off, it gets worse. With only a grudging housekeeper and increasingly withdrawn parents for company, there is nothing to do but to explore the old plantation house. Anything to stay out of the endless pine trees pressing in on them. But soon it becomes clear that the danger within the old plantation house is even greater than what lies outside…

A chilling YA horror, perfect for fans of Dawn Kurtagich, Juno Dawson and Stephen King.

Heart Racing Alternatives For Valentines Day

Why rely on a date to make your evening on Valentine’s Day? Far better to get your heart racing with a good scare! Here’s Sharon’s top tips for an alternative Valentines.


The Bunker Diary – Kevin Brooks

There was an outcry when Brooks’ tale of a group of people locked in a bunker by an anonymous madman won the Carnegie Medal in 2014. It certainly shook me up – I had nightmares for weeks after reading it. It’s an uncompromisingly bleak story, all the more horrifying for the absence of any supernatural entity to take the blame. This is man’s inhumanity to man, writ large and horribly believable.

Florence and Giles – John Harding

This has the feel of the Henry James classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw, though there are no ghosts here – there’s only the growing, helpless sense that what we’re reading might be a rather twisted view of what’s actually happening. Set in New England in 1891, the book is told from Florence’s point of view, the older of two children who have been left in the care of a rich and mainly absent uncle. Convinced that the people charged with looking after her and her little brother are unfit and possibly malevolent, Florence takes it upon herself to make sure Giles is safe. Brooding, creepy and shocking.

Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell

I love the believable mythology Bell has woven into this tale, which lends a real sense of anticipation to the action and takes the idea of possessed dolls to a whole new level. The action hits the ground running from the first page with some ill-advised meddling with an Ouija board app and winds up the tension from there. There’s a sequel coming soon, too, which I can’t wait to read!

From a Buick 8 – Stephen King

I love Stephen King and although this might not be an obvious choice for a horror from his bibliography, this is one of the first of his I read and it’s stayed with me ever since. The idea that something as mundane and apparently harmless as a car can harbour such terror and other-worldliness opens up a universe of possibilities.

The Lottery – Shirley Jackson

This short story from 1948 has become a classic of the horror genre and yet the terror in it comes not from blood and gore but from the complicit silence that reigns at its conclusion. Oh, what one human is willing to do to another.


The Babadook

It’s about the evil residing in a children’s book – what’s not to like? It’s also really beautiful to look at and the child actor in it (Noah Wiseman) is unsettlingly talented.

The Mist

Based on a Stephen King novella, although the film alters the ending to make it even bleaker. Gorgeously shot by Frank Darabont, it’s worth watching in the claustrophobic monotone that the director describes as his preferred version.

The Descent

Darkness, enclosed spaces and people-eating monsters – I managed to watch this film once at the cinema but have abandoned all subsequent viewings as it freaks me out too much! Note: if you want to experience the full horror, make sure you watch the UK version – the US version features a different, more upbeat, ending.

 The Others

A classic ghost story with a great cinematic twist – the scene with the little girl in the veil really creeped me out.

The Hole

The 2001 film, not the 2009 one with the same name. My love of unreliable narrators is making itself felt with this one – it’s the story of a group of teenagers who get someone to lock them into an underground bunker to avoid school. Thora Birch is brilliantly ambiguous as the under dog (or is she?) and my scalp prickles as I remember the conversation in which it’s pointed out what will happen to them if the one person who knows they’re down there gets hit by a truck.


The Fades

From 2011, this BBC mini-series is what Iain De Caestecker did before he went Stateside to join Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Paul keeps seeing visions of the apocalypse and the spirits of the dead. It’s creepy, with some great acting and a real sense of dread.

Stranger Things

I loved this, not only for all the pitch-perfect 80s observations of the genre and great soundtrack, but also for the genuinely scary nature of the monster and the ashy hopelessness of the alternate plane.

The Walking Dead

Zombies have been everywhere for a long time, but they’ve never been done better on television than in this adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic series – and the human characters show themselves to be as capable of acts of horror as the mindless undead.

The X Files

The first episode I ever saw was season one’s ‘Darkness Falls’, in which Mulder drags Scully out to a remote, ancient forest. There they find that illegal logging has released a miniscule bug, dormant for centuries, that really likes eating human flesh. I was thoroughly scared and definitely had a few nightmares as a result. Cut to however many years later, and my new book FIR involves an ancient forest and the forces willing to do anything to protect it. I guess it really stuck with me….

You can buy a copy of Fir here or from your local bookshop

About Sharon Gosling

Sharon started off as an entertainment journalist, writing magazine articles and books about science fiction television shows. She’s also written, produced and directed audio dramas. In 2011, she wrote The Diamond Thief, (originally published as an ebook under the title Remy Brunel and the Ocean of Light). Published in traditional format by Curious Fox as their launch title in 2013, The Diamond Thief went on to win the Redbridge Children’s Award in 2014. The sequel, The Ruby Airship, was published in April 2014, and the final book in the trilogy, The Sapphire Cutlass, in April 2016. Sharon also still writes books about television and film – most recently she has co-written tie-ins for the Planet of the Apes and Batman vs Superman films as well as the television series companion The Art and Making Of Penny Dreadful, all for Titan Books.

Sharon and her husband live in a very remote village in northern Cumbria, surrounded by fells, sheep, and a host of lovely neighbours who will one day make very good characters in their own book. When she’s not writing, she bakes a lot of cake and bread, attempts to grow things in an allotment, and catches the baby rabbits unhelpfully brought in by the cat.

You can follow Sharon on twitter – @sharongosling

Blog Tour

Catch up of follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!

A huge thank you to the lovely Sharon Gosling for such a fab heart racing post!
Also a huge thank you to Charlie at Stripes for organising and having me as part of this fab blog tour.

Have you read Fir?  What did you think?  Are you a YA Horror fan?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – All About Mia by Lisa Williamson

I am over the moon to be part of the fab blog tour for All About Mia by Lisa Williamson!

Lisa’s debut, The Art Of Being Normal,was one of my favourite reads of 2015 and I have been waiting for another book from Lisa ever since!

All About Mia was released on the 2nd February 2017 published by DFB and I’ve heard nothing but praise for it already!  I simply can’t wait to read it!

So when I was asked what I would like to feature as part of the blog tour I thought it would be good to find out EXACTLY all about Mia….literally…..

So come and find out All About Mia….

One family, three sisters. GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student.AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion. And MIA, the mess in the middle. Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends – not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers. When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves. But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control – boozing, boys and bad behaviour – and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most.

All About Mia

No prizes for guessing what my new novel, All About Mia might be about! But who is Mia? And why is it all about her? Here’s everything you need to know!

Name: Mia Campbell-Richardson

Age: Sixteen

Family: Mum (Nikki), Dad (Jason), older sister (Grace, 19), younger sister (Audrey, 13)

Relationship with family: Erratic

Best friends: Stella Fielding, Mikey Twist, Kimmie Chu

Relationship status: Single

Relationship history: Ten months with Jordan Cooke

Favourite films: Clueless, Mary Poppins, Pitch Perfect, The Princess Bride, Mermaids, Step Up








Favourite TV: Pretty Little Liars, Friday Night Lights, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The 100, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Favourite food: Pizza, Dad’s jerk chicken, cheesy wotsits, chocolate hobnobs, McDonalds (no gherkins!), Haribo

Music: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Rihanna, Drake, Little Mix

Signature style: short shorts, tight dresses, big hair, bright lips, ‘It’s All About Mia’ t-shirt

Best subject at school: Religious Studies

Worst subject at school: English

Personality: extroverted, impulsive, confident, daring, sexy, funny, energetic, chaotic

Talents/skills: Great negotiator, confident leader, creative thinker, justice seeker

Greatest flaw: Impulsiveness

Best quality: Bravery

Habits: Binge drinker, occasional smoker, sugar addict

Celebrity crushes: Zayn Malik, Michael B Jordan, Ryan Guzman

Role models: Lorde, Amandla Stenberg

Anthem: Shake It Off, Taylor Swift

Hogwarts House: Slytherin

You can buy a copy of All About Mia here

About Lisa Williamson

I was born in Nottingham in 1980. This year I turn 36, which will mean I’ve been an adult for over half my life. I’m suitably terrified. I think I like to write for young adults because I still feel like I am one. 

I was a weird kid. Chronically shy, I spent a lot of time drawing and hiding under tables. Then for some strange and unexpected reason, I decided I wanted to be an actor. I eventually got over my shyness and aged nineteen, moved to London to study Performing Arts at Middlesex University. Here I met some of my very best mates and spent three bizarre but happy years singing show tunes and rolling around in fake blood, blagging a degree in the process. After graduation, I adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy (Lisa Williamson was already taken by Dawn from Hollyoaks…) and did all sorts of daft acting jobs, from appearing in panto with Basil Brush, to playing a Witch in Macbeth: The Musical. These days I act in lots of TV commericals, usually playing the role of ‘dishevelled mum’. 

I’ve always loved books and stories and as a child I enjoyed making up stories in my head (usually rip-offs of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton). In my late twenties, I found myself craving an additional creative outlet (I was temping in an office at the time) and started to write a novel about an out of work actor. Although no one wanted to publish it, I was excited to discover I could actually write something with a beginning, middle and end. Completing it freed me up to write something new and not necessarily based on my own personal experience.

Between 2010 and 2012, I worked as an administrator at the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), based at the world-famous Tavistock Centre in North London. GIDS is the NHS service for under-eighteens struggling with their gender identity. The young people who used the service inspired me to write a story from the point of view of a transgender teenager. This eventually became The Art of Being Normal. 

You can find out more about Lisa on her website – www.lisawilliamsonauthor.com

Or why not follow Lisa on Twitter – @lisa_letters

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to the lovely Lisa Williamson for such a fab post and going along with my idea in the first place .

Also a huge thank you to Nina Douglas and DFB for organising and having me as part of this fab blog tour.

You can find a review of The Art Of Being Normal here

Or a Q&A with a character from The Art Of Being Normal here

Have you read All About Mia?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued by Mia?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Interview With The Pet Defenders by Gareth P Jones

It’s no secret that my son and I are HUGE fans of Gareth’s books.  We always read them with a huge smile on our faces and Gareth’s new series, Pet Defenders does just that!

I am over the moon to have been asked by the lovely people at Stripes Publishing / Little Tiger Press to be part of the blog tour for this super funny book which is released on the 9th February 2017.

Illustrated by the super talented brilliant Steve May, Pet Defenders of the Earth follows Mitzy and Biskit and it is their job to save the world from alien invasions – just so long as they can stop fighting like cat and dog for long enough to do it! Beth at Stripes Publishing describes it as The Secret Life of Pets meets The X Files!

Biskit works alone. So when the unruly Pet Defenders dog agent is teamed up with Mitzy – a rookie and, even worse, a cat – he’s not happy. Can Biskit put his ego aside and work with Mitzy to save the world from an alien attack of terrifying proportions? When the humunga-dunga beetle rolls into town, the dynamic duo are going to need all their skills to stop the creature from laying waste to the world as they know it…

So for todays guest post I have come across a transcript of an interview conducted in February 2017 in an unknown location…..

The Pet Defenders Code: 1. The safety of Planet Earth depends on you. 2. Humans MUST NOT know the truth. GOOD LUCK – you’ll need it…

From Gareth P. Jones, winner of the Blue Peter Award and author of successful young series fiction, including NINA MEERKATS, comes a brand-new comic caper. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS meets THE X FILES – Pet Defenders are secret agents with a difference.

It’s up to Mitzy and Biskit to save the world from alien invasions – just so long as they can stop fighting like cat and dog for long enough to do it!

Secret agent Biskit is not happy when he discovers his new partner Mitzy is a cat – everyone knows that cats and dogs don’t mix. But saving the earth from alien invasions must come first and the planet is under attack! A cluster of cow pats has flown into town and they’re whipping up a stink… It’s time for Biskit and Mitzy to put aside their differences and kick some alien butt!

For fans of funny and action-packed animal adventures including Andrew Cope’s Spy Dog series, Astrosaurs and Jeremy Strong.

Interview with the Pet Defenders

Transcript of Interview conducted February 2017

Location unknown

To celebrate the publication of Pet Defenders: Attack of the Alien Dung, (Stripes) award-winning author Gareth P Jones secured an exclusive interview with the book’s protagonists (a dog called Biskit, and a cat called Mitzy). For security reasons, Gareth was blindfolded then brought to a secret location. As the blindfold was removed he observed he was in some kind of windowless room. A single bulb hung from the ceiling. In front of him stood a scruffy brown mongrel and a tabby cat with white paws and a white smudge on her nose. Looking up he noticed a seagull perched above his head.

GPJ:                 Oh, hello. Biskit and Mitzy, isn’t it?

Biskit:              How do you know that? How does he know that?

Mitzy:              I’ve no idea but it’s not good. We should get the bird to drop the Forget-Me-Plop and wipe his memory now.

GPJ:                 What? No…. Hey, I can understand what you’re saying. How is that possible?

Mitzy:              The room is coated with Universal Translation Paint. It is translating Biskit’s barks and my meows into a language you understand. It’s one of Example’s inventions.

GPJ:                 You mean Example One, the super intelligent lab mouse who heads up the Nothington Extra-terrestrial Research Division team, NERD for short?

Biskit:             How do you know all this? No one is supposed to know any of this.

GPJ:                 Yes but I’m your author.

Biskit:              What are you talking about?

GPJ:                 I created the series. I came up with the idea of a secret organization of pets keeping the planet safe from alien attack while us humans are totally oblivious. It’s fun, right?

Mitzy:              Fun? You think our job sounds fun?

GPJ:                 Well, yes, look… this isn’t going as I planned. I wanted to do a light-hearted interview for Chelle’s book blog, Tales of Yesterday.

Biskit:              Who’s Chelle? What is she doing with lots of tails?

Mitzy:              We should probably wipe her memory too? I’ll send a seagull.

GPJ:                 No, please don’t wipe her memory. She’s a blogger.

Mitzy:              What’s a blogger?

Biskit:              Probably some kind of alien from the planet Blog, come to Earth to enslave humans.

GPJ:                 What? No. That’s not it. It means she writes stuff on her website… Look, it doesn’t matter. Can’t we just do this normally? I’ll ask you questions and you answer them.

Biskit:              Sorry mate. We ask the questions.

Mitzy:              Hm, maybe we should let him, Biskit. That way we can find out how much he knows.

 Biskit:              That makes sense. Go ahead, ask your questions Mr Author man.

GPJ:                 Oh. Thanks. Any chance you can untie me?

Biskit growls

GPJ:                 No? Fair enough. So Pet Defenders, what’s the scariest alien you’ve ever fought?

Mitzy:              Sorry. That’s classified.

GPJ:                 OK. Then how many aliens have you encountered?

Mitzy:              Yeah, that’s classified too.

GPJ:                 Er…. What’s your favourite colour?

Mitzy:              We can’t tell you that.

GPJ:                 This is ridiculous. You haven’t told me a single thing and I created you. You should show me more respect.

Biskit:              Respect? Why should we respect you?

GPJ:                 Because, um, er… Oh, I’ve got it. Because I haven’t written the fourth book yet. I could make your lives pretty uncomfortable.

Mitzy:              You could if you were able to remember any of this.

Biskit:              Yeah, see you round Mr Author.

GPJ:                 No. Wait! Please….


Transcript ends.

Pet Defenders: Attack of the Alien Dung is published 9th of February. The second book in the series, Beards from Outer Space comes out in May, with the third (Escape from Planet Bogey) being published in September.

Gareth P Jones has no memory of the above conversation.

You can buy a copy of this book here or from your local bookshop

About Gareth P Jones

Gareth P. Jones is the author of many books for children, including the NINJA MEERKATS series, and THE CONSIDINE CURSE, for which he won the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2012 award. He also works as a producer of TV documentaries. He lives in Forest Hill, south east London, with his wife and children.

To find out more about Gareth visit his website – www.garethwrites.co.uk

Or why not follow Gareth on twitter – @jonesgarethp

About Steve May

Steve May is an illustrator and animator based in north London. He was born in sunny Hastings and has an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art. As an illustrator he has produced work for a variety of clients including Puffin and Faber.

To find out more about Steve May visit –  www.stevemay.biz

A huge thank you to Gareth for such a fab guest post and to Beth at Stripes Publishing for asking me to take part and for organising.

You can find some previous posts with Gareth P Jones on Tales using the following links –

Q&A with Gareth P Jones

Which Character From The Thornthwaite Betrayal Are You?

Adventures Of The Steampunk Pirates:  The Leaky Battery Sets Sail

Pet Defenders:  Attack Of The Alien Dung! Cover Reveal

Have you read Pet Defenders:  Attack Of The Alien Dung!?  Are you intrigued? Have you read any of Gareth’s other books?  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

Guest Post – Five Favourite Scenes In The Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series by Chris Lloyd

I’m really excited to have been asked to be part of this fab blog tour to celebrate the release of City Of Drowned Souls by Chris Lloyd.

City Of Drowned Souls is the third book in the Elisenda Domènech Investigation series and is due to be released on the 6th February 2017 published by Canelo.

This series is perfect for fans of crime thrillers who love Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell and Andrea Camilleri.

Today I have the wonderful author himself telling us his five favourite scenes in the series…..

An intense and brilliantly realised crime thriller set in the myth-soaked streets of Girona

A killer is targeting hate figures in the Catalan city of Girona – a loan shark, a corrupt priest, four thugs who have blighted the streets of the old quarter – leaving clues about his next victim through mysterious effigies left hung on a statue. Each corpse is posed in a way whose meaning no one can fathom. Which is precisely the point the murderer is trying to make.

Elisenda Domènech, the solitary and haunted head of the city’s newly-formed Serious Crime Unit, is determined to do all she can to stop the attacks. She believes the attacker is drawing on the city’s legends to choose his targets, but her colleagues aren’t convinced and her investigation is blocked at every turn.

Battling against the increasing sympathy towards the killer displayed by the press, the public and even some of the police, she finds herself forced to question her own values. But when the attacks start to include less deserving victims, the pressure is suddenly on Elisenda to stop him. The question is: how?

You can buy this book here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

Be careful what you dig up… 

Still recovering from the tragedy that hit her team, Elisenda takes on a new case. Except it’s not new. On an archaeological dig by the coast a body is uncovered, seemingly executed with a spike thrust through the base of the skull – an ancient tribal ritual. It soon becomes clear that this body is neither ancient nor modern, but a mysterious corpse from the 1980s.

Assigned to the case along with her team, Elisenda soon uncovers a complex world of star archaeologists, jealousy and missing persons. They find a dark trade in illicit antiquities, riddled with vicious professional rivalries. And even though she’s staying close to the crime scene, Elisenda is also never far from enemies of her own within the police force.

Just as the case seems to become clear it is blown wide-open by another horrific murder. Elisenda must fight her personal demons and office politics, whilst continuing to uncover plots and hatreds that were long buried. How far will she go to solve the crime? Is her place in the force secure? And can she rebuild her life?

You can buy this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

When a child disappears, the clock starts ticking

Detective Elisenda Domènech has had a tough few years. The loss of her daughter and a team member; the constant battles against colleagues and judges; the harrowing murder investigations… But it’s about to get much worse.

When the son of a controversial local politician goes missing at election time, Elisenda is put on the case. They simply must solve it. Only the team also have to deal with a spate of horrifically violent break-ins. People are being brutalised in their own homes and the public demands answers.

Could there be a connection? Why is nobody giving a straight answer? And where is Elisenda’s key informant, apparently vanished off the face of the earth? With the body count threatening to increase and her place in the force on the line, the waters are rising…

Be careful not to drown.

You can buy this book here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

Five Favourite Scenes In The Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series

It’s really a lot harder than I thought trying to think of five favourite scenes as it’s impossible not to be critical as I revisit them, so I think I’m going to have name the scenes that I enjoyed writing the most.

1. I’ve made matters even harder for myself by choosing one of the scenes towards the end of City of Good Death. It’s a dénouement, so I’m going to have to say why I like it without giving anything away. The scene takes place amid the stones of a ruined tower outside Girona’s medieval city walls. The tower was destroyed in the fifteenth century at the time the city’s Jewish community was facing increasing persecution, and it partly reflects what’s been happening in the story. The actual setting is extraordinarily tranquil, removed from the noise of traffic and people even though it’s only just on the edge of the old town. That tranquillity made it the ideal location for a dénouement that carries a menace and an act of violence that is so out of place with its surroundings, but so fitting given the nature of the story.

2. Elisenda has an informant called Siset, who’s a petty criminal and a bit of a hopeless case. He isn’t at all a pleasant character and Elisenda tolerates him rather than likes him, even though she does generally tend to side with the people who’ve lost their way in life. Rather like actors relishing playing the baddie, I have great fun writing about Siset and I always enjoy creating the scenes between the two of them as they’re often a respite from the intensity of the investigations. He’s a scrawny little figure with a perpetually runny nose and faded T-shirts that he’s forever tucking into his trousers, and he alternates between whiny and ineffectually aggressive. The first time we meet him, Elisenda’s eating lunch in a fairly sleazy café and asking him for information. He’s uncomfortable at being seen with a police officer, and Elisenda uses that to try and cajole him into telling her what he knows. Her enjoyment of the surprisingly good food is in stark contrast to Siset’s increasingly desperate attempts for her to let him go.

3. In City of Buried Ghosts, Elisenda’s investigation brings her into contact with feuding archaeologists from a present-day dig and an excavation from the 1980s. Looking for answers, she visits the leader of today’s excavations at the site of an Iberian village. The setting is real and stands on the top of a hill overlooking a plain to the Mediterranean –writing about it took me back to the warmth and the wonderful views. It’s also an important scene as the archaeologist takes Elisenda into the museum and shows her two of the ancient skulls that have been discovered there, each one with an iron spike embedded in them, most probably a ritual killing. It’s key because the investigation began when a body dating from the 1980s was found with the same fate. The skulls are actually on display in the museum and were the original seed of the story – it’s always interesting to be able to bring the real inspiration into a tale and blend them into the action.

4. Elisenda is a rocker. She’s a big fan of Catalan rock bands and often uses music to enhance or change her mood. She also finds that the switches in rhythm and pace help her think and send her thoughts off in other directions as she’s working on an investigation. In City of Drowned Souls, she’s attempting to lay a trap for some very violent thieves. Although she has back-up, she feels alone and vulnerable in an isolated house on the seashore. The house belongs to her sister, but Elisenda can’t stand her taste in music, so she puts her own player into the dock and engulfs the house in loud and forceful music by her favourite band. The energy of the music pumps Elisenda up to prepare her for a possible attack. I found that when I was writing it, having played the music Elisenda was listening to, the scene developed quickly and energetically and it ended up being very different and more action-packed than I’d meant it to be.

5. In City of Drowned Souls, Elisenda is forced by her boss, Inspector Puigventós, to undergo counselling as he claims that her grief for her daughter is affecting her work. She goes very reluctantly, as he will only allow her back into the police station once she’s had a number of sessions with the counsellor; Elisenda being Elisenda, she is very resistant at first. Every day in the story begins with her session, and I enjoyed writing the cat-and-mouse relationship she has with the counsellor, Doctora Puyals. Always a private character, Elisenda tries to give little away but Puyals proves to be her equal. The scenes developed as I wrote them, as did the dynamic between the two women, and I was surprised at how they challenged each other. One of the most enjoyable aspects was discovering how the counsellor was able to use Elisenda’s own tactics for dealing with recalcitrant villains to make her open up and begin on the journey to healing herself. Despite Elisenda’s best efforts to confound her.








About Chris Lloyd

Chris was born in an ambulance racing through a town he’s only returned to once and that’s probably what did it. Soon after that, when he was about two months old, he moved with his family to West Africa, which pretty much sealed his expectation that life was one big exotic setting. He later studied Spanish and French at university, and straight after graduating, he hopped on a bus from Cardiff to Catalonia where he stayed for the next twenty-four years, falling in love with the people, the country, the language and Barcelona Football Club, probably in that order. Besides Catalonia, he’s also lived in Grenoble, the Basque Country and Madrid, teaching English, travel writing for Rough Guides and translating. He now lives in South Wales, where he works as a writer and a Catalan and Spanish translator, returning to Catalonia as often as he can.

He writes the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring a police officer with the newly-devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona. The third book in the series, City of Drowned Souls is published on 6 February 2017.

You can find out more about Chris on his website – www.cityofgooddeath.com

Or why not follow Chris on twitter – @chrislloydbcn

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to Chris Lloyd for a fab guest post.  Also a huge thank you to Faye for asking me to be part of the blog tour and for organising this post.

Have you read any of the Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series?  Are you intrigued?  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!

Guest Post – Why Science? by Ross Welford

I am so excited to have the brilliant Ross Welford on Tales today with an absolutely brilliant guest post!

Ross is the author of the amazing Time Travelling With A Hamster that was released in 2016 and was a Waterstones Children’s book of the month.  Whilst I’ve not had a chance to read this one yet my son absolutely adored this book!

What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible was released on the 29th December 2016 published by Harper Collins and is set to be another fab read!

I’m THAT excited that both books are part of the British Books Challenge January Prize pack with thanks to Harper Collins Children’s.

For today’s guest post I got to ask Ross exactly why he includes science in his books…..

From the author of the unforgettable bestseller TIME TRAVELLING WITH A HAMSTER comes another surprising, beautiful and funny novel about a child who, by disappearing, will write herself into your heart forever…

Turning invisible at will: it’s one way of curing your acne. But far more drastic than 13 year-old Ethel Leatherhead intended when she tried a combination of untested medicines and a sunbed.

It’s fun at first, being invisible. And aided by her friend Boydy, she manages to keep her extraordinary ability secret. Or does she…?

When one day the invisibility fails to wear off, Ethel is thrown into a nightmare of lies and deception as she struggles to keep herself safe, to find the remedy that will make her seen again – and solve the mystery of her own birth…

Why Science?

It startled me when I first saw Time Travelling With A Hamster referred to as “science fiction”.  It really had not occurred to me.

I mean, I’m not even much of a Sci-fi fan! Epic space battles involving alien overlords from planets with X’s and Z’s in their name just don’t do it for me.

Nor am I much of a scientist, having dropped physics at school age 14.  So the physics of relativity in Hamster was as much a discovery for me as it is for the reader.  The challenge for Middle Grade, I find, is to keep it simple enough so as not to hold up the story.

So when it came to describing the nature of light in What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible I was obliged to go simpler still.  These days there is a kind of broad agreement among scientists about what light is, but the details are still subject to fierce argument.  It’s all so complicated that I soon abandoned any idea of delving any further into it than necessary!

That said, I believe invisibility as a real-world concept is far closer to being realised than moving backwards and forwards in time.

In case you are wondering, my next book doesn’t really involve much science at all.  Maybe I’ll end up being a writer who sometimes does science fiction rather than a “science fiction writer.”

You can buy a copy of What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible here or from your local bookshop

About Ross Welford

Ross Welford was a magazine journalist and television producer in the UK before becoming an author.

He lives in London with his young family, a border collie, a hamster, and several tropical fish.

Time Travelling With A Hamster is his first book.

A second book, What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible will be published in the UK in early 2017

You can find out more about Ross on his blog – www.dadfood.wordpress.com

Or why not follow him on twitter – @rosswelford

A huge huge thank you to Ross for such a superb guest post.  Also a huge thank you to Jess at Harper Collins for sorting out this post and being super wonderful and supportive with the British Books Challenge too!

Have you read Time Travelling With A Hamster or What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible?  What did you think?  Do you like science in books?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – The Research Behind Chasing Shadows by T A Williams

I am super happy to have been asked to feature a brilliant guest post from the wonderful T A Williams as part of this fab blog tour organised by PR Extraordinaire Faye Rogers.

Chasing Shadows was released on the 16th January on e book and is set to be a brilliant adult fiction romance novel with a blind protagonist at it’s heart.

I was really interested to hear about the research behind the novel…..

Amy had it all – money, brains and beauty. And then the accident happened.

The Present Day: Left blind and without her family, Amy feels she needs to get away. On a trip along the Camino, she is accompanied by the mysterious and troubled Luke. Having been set up to help Amy by a mutual friend, Luke finds he is also running from his past…

1314: A Templar Knight, Luc, is also running. He meets the wife of a former comrade, now blinded in a terrifying attack: Aimee. Taking her under his wing, they must journey together through a dangerous world.

As they travel through the stunning scenery of Northern Spain, this couple, so very like Luke and Amy, emerge from the shadows of time carrying a treasure of inestimable value.

The Research Behind Chasing Shadows

I certainly didn’t make it easy for myself when I decided to write a book….

1. Along a route of almost a thousand kilometres, crossing two mountain ranges and through countries speaking different languages.

2. With a blind person as my main protagonist.

3. Referencing events that happened seven hundred years ago.

The first part was probably the most straightforward. Along with a bunch of friends, I set off on my bike with two hefty panniers packed with clothes, camera and notebook, and cycled all the way along the pilgrims’ way to Compostela. Just like the characters in Chasing Shadows, this involved crossing first the Pyrenees and then the equally daunting Montes de Leon. We encountered headwinds in France, fierce heat in central Spain and damp, chilly weather in northwest Spain. My legs and lungs emerged stronger as a result and I came home with a notebook full of local colour, impressions and memories as well as a hundred photos of places along the way.

I speak pretty good French, but my Spanish is fairly rudimentary and my Basque non-existent and I was a little nervous before the trip about how well I would be able to communicate. I needn’t have worried. The Camino, as it’s known, is a real Tower of Babel with people from all over the world. I met walkers and cyclists from as far away as South America and Japan, as well as a load of Europeans, but the lingua franca everywhere was English. Not for the first time I thanked my lucky stars I have grown up with English as my native tongue.

So, as far as the nuts and bolts of a trip along the Camino were concerned, I managed to achieve pretty much all I needed that way. The next hurdle I had to cross was the whole blindness thing. I’m short-sighted and I wear glasses, but I have no experience of blindness apart from a close friend of the family when I was a kid. I knew I needed to research this more fully and I got some fantastic support from a local sight loss charity, Devon In Sight, and in particular their IT boffin, Darren, along with his lovely guide dog, Jet. From Darren I learned that my assumption that when you go blind your other senses improve to try to compensate for the loss is not correct. As he pointed out to me, his ears and nose remain the same size they were before he went blind five years ago, so it’s not that he hears and smells more acutely. Maybe, without the overwhelming sense of sight, he is able to concentrate more, but if the meat in the oven starts burning, he assured me Jet the dog is the only one with an olfactory advantage.

And, finally, the historical side of things. From that point of view, I am fortunate in that I developed a deep and lasting interest in the medieval period at least thirty years ago and I have read loads, and I mean loads, of books about that era. But, in writing a book, I didn’t just need to know the historical happenings at that time. I needed to find out what people ate, drank and wore way back then. However natural it may now appear to us to stop for a coffee, a bar of chocolate or even a portion of French fries, that just didn’t happen then. A banana or a Mars bar for energy were sorely lacking then, as was a nice warm, breathable waterproof jacket. A chunk of cheese, some dry sausage and a heavy oiled wool cloak were what the pilgrims used way back then.

I can’t claim that my research has been exhaustive, but I’ve really done my best to draw you a true and accurate picture of what it’s like now, and what it was like seven hundred years ago along the Camino. I hope you enjoy the picture I paint.

You can buy a copy of Chasing Shadows here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

About T A Williams

My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.

I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.

You can find out more about T A Williams on his website – www.tawilliamsbooks.com

Or why not follow him on twitter – @TAWilliamsbooks

Or on Facebook here

Blog Tour

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

A huge thank you to T A Williams for a fab guest post.  Also a huge thank you to Faye for asking me to be part of the blog tour and for organising this post and for being very patient with me.

Have you read Chasing Shadows?  Are you intrigued?  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

Guest Post – DIRECTION – Working Together, Collaborating London-Oxford by Perdita & Honor Cargill

I am so beyond honoured to be celebrating the release of Waiting For Callback:  Take Two by the super lovely, hilarious and best mother/daughter writers around, Perdita & Honor Cargill.

Waiting For Callback:  Take Two is the hilarious follow up to last years debut Waiting For Callback which was one of my favourite reads of 2016

Take Two is released today, 26th January 2017 published by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK and I simply cannot wait to find out what Elektra gets up to next!

I know one thing for sure…..I will be smiling and laughing lots!

I’m over the moon to have been asked to be part of the fab blog tour and today Perdita and Honour chat about direction in this fab and super funny guest post….

Elektra has finally landed a part in a film. It’s the dream. Well … until she works out that Straker is a movie so dystopian that within weeks most of the cast and all of the crew wish that the world had actually ended (preferably in scene one). And while it’s obviously great news that she’s moved from the friend-zone with Archie to become his almost-girlfriend, it would be better if he hadn’t immediately relocated to Transylvania to play a vampire hunter surrounded by ‘maidens of peerless beauty’… Full of humour and warmth, this new series is perfect for fans of Geek Girl and The It Girl.

DIRECTION – Working Together, Collaborating London-Oxford

Day Four of our Take Two blog tour and today we’re chatting about Direction (although we should have called it Co-Directing). Just to set the scene this time I (P) am talking and typing this while Hon is talking very fast and eating (classic multi-tasking).

H: Have I said enough in the last year to explode the No. 1 Misconception that because we’re family we work side-by -side sitting at the kitchen table, steaming mugs of tea and freshly baked cake in front of our matching notepads, birdsong in the background?

P: I don’t think that anyone who knows us will still be under any illusions. And we’re getting further and further apart. This time last year we were working in different rooms then you (Hon) discovered the joy of working in cafes and I stayed in the attic.  Then you went to Uni and now in term time at least you’re in Oxford and I’m in London. God, I hope it’s not some dark metaphor…

H: Not that ‘dark’… Oh God, except for That Train Journey – the one where we sat side by side working on edits all the way from London to Newcastle and had nearly dissolved the partnership by York. That was dark.

P: *shudders* But we do loads of the actual writing during your holidays.

H: I work very hard in London cafes! But (at arm’s length) we’re surprisingly harmonious collaborators. Ok, there’s some pretty brutal editing along the way but I can’t think of any bits that in the end we disagreed on.

P: No, it works well. Although there were a couple of…misunderstandings that underlined that I must never be allowed to write contemporary teen on my own.

H: Ha! Like your tendency to put add full stops to the end of texts and the great bucket hat fiasco?  We probably plotted better together because we were on a tighter schedule for Take Two so we had to be more focused.

P: I’m quite proud that we got Take Two done to deadline. It was hard work. You did so much of the writing this time that I wanted to change the name order on the cover because I felt guilty! (We couldn’t).

H: I still didn’t do any of the copy editing stuff. I’d be useless at that. And I think Take Two was easier to write than Waiting for Callback because we know all the characters so well. I am genuinely fond of them – even Flissy.

P: Have you got a new fave character or does your heart still belong to Archie?

H: My heart will always belong to Archie… whether he’s in character as a vampire-slaying-hero or not …

(Random cute baby vampire bat)

But I’d quite like to go clubbing with Hot Carlo…

P: I’m quite glad that we’re talking about fictional characters.  I’ve got a soft spot for Amber. She is truly dreadful (“very shiny, possibly made in a lab in Beverley Hills. Scary handbag dog named after a vegetable.” Ch. 7) and yet mastering yogic breathing is definitely one of my 2017 resolutions.

H: Good luck with that.

Thank you Chelley for hosting us! Come and join us tomorrow on Vivienne’s blog, Serendipity Reviews where we will be chatting about Special Effects (our glossy cover and lovely inside Extras!)

You can buy a copy of Waiting For Callback: Take Two here or from you local bookshop

About Perdita & Honor Cargill

Perdita Cargill

I co-write the WAITING FOR CALLBACK series with Honor Cargill. She’s my daughter and it’s something of a miracle that no only do we write together but we have a lot of fun doing it. She’s in her first year at Oxford University reading Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (niche…). I used to be the least numerate tax barrister ever to practise in the English courts. It was a relief to everyone when I hung up my wig and gown and took to writing funny teen novels…

Honor Cargill

I’m 18 and I’m in my first year at Oxford Uni reading Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (bit rogue) and I co-write the WAITING FOR CALLBACK series of funny teen novels with Perdita Cargill (who is, conveniently, my mum…). I’ve done some acting and although I’m nothing like Elektra (our main character) I feel her pain because her most humiliating moments are strangely similar to mine…

You can find out more by visiting the website – www.waitingforcallback.com

Or why not follow Perdita on Twitter – @perditact

Or Honor on Instagram – honorcargill

Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of the awesome blog tour at the following stops.

A huge thank you to Perdita and Honor for a fab guest post and making me laugh always.  Also a huge thank you to Jade for asking me to be part of the blog tour and for organising.

Have you read Waiting For Callback:  Take Two?  Are you intrigued? Did you read the first book in the series too?  What parts made you laugh out loud?  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

Guest Post – Top Five Things About Jan Pearce by Jacqueline Ward

I was so excited to be asked via Faye Rogers- PR Extraordinaire – to be part of the blog tour for the second book in a new Adult Crime/Thriller book released on Kindle Press called Playlist For A Paper Angel by Jacqueline Ward.

Released on the 27th December 2016, Playlist For A Paper Angel is the second in the DS Jan Pearce series of novels and is the sequel to Random Acts Of Unkindness.

You can find out more about Random Acts Of Unkindness in this spotlight post here

Today we get to find out a little more about the character DS Jan Pearce in this fab guest post!

One child found, one child missing – what’s the connection?

DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.

Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.

Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

Playlist for a Paper Angel is the second in the DS Jan Pearce series of novels and is the sequel to Random Acts of Unkindness.

Top Five Things About Jan Pearce

1. Jan is a mother who loves her son more than anything else in the world

2. She’s a crack police officer who loves her job. She’s developed her skills in surveillance and is in tune with the secret signs and signals in the criminal world.

3. Jan loves to cook. Her favourite dish is Jamie Oliver’s Empire chicken which she used to cook for Sal and Aiden. Now she cooks pasta for one, but always makes the effort

4. Jan has a capsule wardrobe – black jeans, black and white t-shirts and black hoodies. Two grey suits for meetings with two white shirts to go underneath. Two day dresses, two evening gowns. She’s practical and organised and ready to go.

5. She loves rock music. It;s a throwback from her younger days in London when she went to a lot of gigs.

You can buy a copy of Playlist For A Paper Angel here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

You can find out more about the first book in the series Random Acts Of Unkindness in this spotlight post here

Or check out the cover reveal for Playlist For A Paper Angel here

About Jacqueline Ward

Jacqueline Ward writes short stories, novels and screenplays. She has been writing seriously since 2007 and has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. Jacqueline won Kindle Scout in 2016 and her crime novel, Random Acts of Unkindness, will be published by Amazon Publishing imprint Kindle Press. Her novel SmartYellowTM was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and was nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2016. Jacqueline is a Chartered psychologist who specializes in narrative psychology, gaining a PhD in narrative and storytelling in 2007. She lives in Oldham, near Manchester, with her partner and their dog.

You can find out more about Jacqueline on her website – www.jacquelineward.co.uk

Or why not follow her on twitter – @JacquiAnnC

Or Facebook here

You can also check out Jacqueline’s Goodreads page here

Blog Tour

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



Monday 23rd January

The Book Moo

Tuesday 24th January

Big Book Little Book

Wednesday 25th January

Tales of Yesterday

Thursday 26th January

The Luna May Blog

Friday 27th January

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Saturday 28th January

Portable Magic

Linda’s Book Bag

Sunday 29th January

Rachel Bustin

Published Moments




Another huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour and to Jacqueline for a fab guest post!

Have you read Playlist For A Paper Angel?  Are you intrigued? Have you read Random Acts Of UnKindness?  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

Guest Post – Our Favourite Magical Moments In Literature by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

I am over the moon to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for the second book in this fantasy, witch-y, fairy-tale YA series, The Witch’s Tears by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.

The Witch’s Tears is due to be released on the 26th January 2017 published by Harper Collins Children’s Books and is the sequel to lasts years debut The Witch’s Kiss.

I literally cannot wait to read this book!  Not only is it set to be an amazing read, but Katharine and Elizabeth are just the loveliest.

I’m THAT excited that both books are part of the British Books Challenge January Prize pack with thanks to Harper Collins Children’s.

For my stop on the blog tour Katharine and Elizabeth share their favourite magical moments in literature!

*swishes magic wand*

Can true love’s kiss save the day…?

Electrifying dark magic debut by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.

Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

Our Favourite Magical Moments

 We LOVE fantasy in all its various guises, both as readers and as writers. Fantasy opens the door into another world, often literally – whether by stepping through a wardrobe, getting swept up by a tornado or climbing into a painting. In fact, these interfaces of the real and the magical might be our favourite elements of fantasy literature: they hold out the promise that any minute, our ordinary lives might become extraordinary. So here, in no particular order, are the top five magical literary moments from our childhood…

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C S Lewis): Lucy finds Narnia

 ‘And then she saw that there was a light ahead of her… A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air.’

 Apart from fairy tales, the Narnia stories were our first introduction to fantasy. We both remember exploring an old wardrobe in our grandmother’s house after reading this bit of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. We were utterly crushed not to find a magical land at the back of it.

The Box of Delights (John Masefield): Kay opens the Box for the first time

 ‘…the Box slowly opened. Inside he saw what he took to be a book, the leaves of which were all chased and worked with multitudinous figures, and the effect that it gave him was that of staring into an opening in a wood.’

 We came to this book through first seeing the BBC adaptation. It’s such a wonderful, unique blend of magic and real life (or real life as it was in the 1930s, at least). When Kay first opens the Box he encounters Herne the Hunter and gets to experience life as a stag, a bird and a fish – all within two minutes of human time.

Tom’s Midnight Garden (Philippa Pearce): Tom discovers the garden

‘Tom opened the door wide and let in the moonlight. It flooded in, as bright as daylight – the white daylight that comes before the full rising of the sun. The illumination was perfect.’

Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a clock that strikes thirteen? Tom’s investigation leads to the discovery of the garden that only exists at a special time of night. He goes on to have magical adventures in late Victorian England.

Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Caroll) – Alice climbs through the mirror

‘And certainly the glass was beginning to melt away, just like a bright slivery mist.’

The Looking Glass is another way to escape from reality into a magical world. And yes, we did both check periodically that the mirror over the fireplace at home hadn’t turned into silver gauze. A mirror universe with backwards writing and talking chess pieces was just so tempting

The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper) – Will awakens on Midwinter Day

‘He was woken by music. It beckoned him, lilting and insistent…There was in this music so much of the deepest enchantment of all his dreams and imaginings that he woke smiling in pure happiness at the sound.’

This is the moment when Will Stanton realises he is not just a normal boy. The music beckons him outside and he discovers a snow-covered landscape from the depths of time, and first encounters the Dark Rider who pursues him throughout the rest of the book.

You can buy a copy of The Witch’s Tears here or from your local bookshop

You can catch a previous post from Katharine & Elizabeth Corr about favourite literary curses here

About Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

We are sisters and best friends (try writing a book with someone else and you’ll see why that last bit is kind of important). After spending our childhood in Essex, we now live ten minutes away from each other in Surrey. We both studied history at university and went to work in London for a bit. Then we stopped working to raise families, because somehow we missed the memo explaining that children are far more demanding than clients or bosses. When we both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious we should do it together.

Stuff Katharine likes: playing instruments badly; dead languages; LOTR; loud pop concerts; Jane Austen; Neill Gaiman; Loki; the Surrey Hills. Killing off characters.

Stuff Elizabeth likes: sketching, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cinema, long baths, kitchen discos, Terry Pratchett, Thor, London. Saving characters.

Stuff we both like: YA / non-YA fantasy and science fiction,Star Wars, Star Trek, each other (most of the time).

You can find out more about Katharine and Elizabeth on their website – www.corrsisters.com

Or why not follow them on twitter – @katharinecorr and @lizcorr_writes

Blog Tour

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

A huge huge thank you to Katharine and Elizabeth for such a superb guest post and for being so lovely to invite me onto the blog tour!  Also a huge thank you to Jess at Harper Collins for having me and being super wonderful and supportive with the British Books Challenge too!

Have you read The Witch’s Tears or the first book The Witch’s Kiss?  What did you think?  What are your favourite magical moments in literature?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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