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Tales Review – Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone

‘Once an adventure digs its claws in, there is not an awful lot you can do about it. Especially when magic is involved . . .’

In the snowy kingdom of Erkenwald, whales glide between icebergs, wolves hunt on the tundra and polar bears roam the glaciers. But the people of this land aren’t so easy to find – because Erkenwald is ruled by an evil Ice Queen and the tribes must stay hidden or risk becoming her prisoners at Winterfang Palace.

Join Eska, a girl who breaks free from a cursed music box, and Flint, a boy whose inventions could change the fate of Erkenwald forever, as they journey to the Never Cliffs and beyond in search of an ancient, almost forgotten, song with the power to force the Ice Queen back.
This is a story about an eagle huntress, an inventor and an organ made of icicles. But it is also a story about belonging, even at the very edges of our world . . .

Publisher – Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Date Published – 4th January 2018

Pages – 288 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Children’s, MG, UKMG

Source –

I was sent a proof copy of this book by the wonderful the publishers in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you Simon & Shuster Children’s for sending me this book to read and review.  I also bought a finished copy myself from my local bookshop.

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

Back in 2015 a proof landed on my doorstep of a new book by a debut writer.  That book was The Dreamsnatcher and the debut author was Abi Elphinstone.  Three years later and I squealed with excitement when a proof copy of Sky Song, Abi’s fourth book and a stand alone story, landed on my doorstep and I just knew that a magical adventure was awaiting between the pages ready to sweep me off my feet.

And swept off my feet I was….completely.

Sky Song tells the story of Eska who has been captured inside Winterfang Palace by the evil Ice Queen who rules all of Erkenwald.  Stuck frozen inside a cursed music box Eska has no memories of where she has come from, who she is or why the evil Ice Queen wants to steal her voice from her.  All tribes in Erkenwald  must stay hidden or risk becoming prisoners themselves , but one boy, an inventor called Flint who still believes in magic, breaks into the castle on a mission to save his parents who have been captured by the evil Ice Queen.  He decides to break the curse that is holding Eska in her music box and when this causes his plan to save his parents to go wrong Flint and Eska escape together and so begins their journey to find an ancient song with the power to restore Erkenwald back to its former glory without the Ice Queen at it’s helm.

Straight away from the fairy-tale prologue you instantly know that Sky Song is going to be something very very special indeed.  Abi Elphinstone instantly builds the foundations of Erkenwald around the reader drawing them into the depths of its icy, snowy world where anything is possible and it is truly wonderful.

With it’s wintery snowy setting with vast epic landscapes and snow capped mountains Sky Song is as breath taking in the imagery it creates as the story it tells.  An adventure of bravery, friendship, kindness and belonging, through frozen waterfalls with secret hideaways, labyrinths with rope ladders,  snow monsters, Erkenbears, an eagle and most of all magic.

The story is told from both Eska and Flint’s voice with varying chapters with the story sometimes giving us a glimpse from the evil Ice Queens point of view too.  I enjoyed all of these and it made the story flow really nicely with a good pace that makes the reader eager to keep flicking the pages to find out what will happen next. 

The Ice Queen has such a terrifying, powerful and frosty presence on every page she appears on.  From her black staff, her evil magic captivating people under her spell, to her icicle organ that plays the voices of her prisoners to the whole land.  She is a magnificent character that is not easily forgotten.

The same goes for Flint’s sister, Blu, too.  I loved her character so much and I loved how devoted she is to her brother and never doubts him for one second.  Even when she is in the most gravest of danger she believes in her brother and Eska and becomes a brave adventurer herself.

Eska, Flint and Blu never give up hope.

One of my favourite parts of the book has to be when Eska, Flint and Blu find The Grey Man….who’s character I absolutely loved.  I don’t want to give too much away but he made me smile lots.

This book would make the most breath-taking film or TV movie….someone sign it up now please!

Abi Elphinstone is hands down one of my favourite authors.  And Sky Song is a classic in the making.  Her writing and storytelling is just as stunning and as precious as a diamond which will dazzle you with it’s pure beauty.

I recommend this book to both adventurers young and old and want to be swirled into a gorgeous snow storm of a book with unforgettable characters and a story that will make you feel like you have found your tribe and where you belong.

“Once an adventure digs it’s claws in, there is not an awful lot you can so about it.  Especially when magic is involved….”

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

You can by a copy of Sky Song here or from your local bookshop

About Abi Elphinstone

Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London. She is the author of THE DREAMSNATCHER, THE SHADOW KEEPER and THE NIGHT SPINNER, a series of fast-paced adventure books for 8-12 year olds which follow Moll, Sid, Alfie and wildcat Gryff’s quest to find the Amulets of Truth and destroy the Shadowmasks’ dark magic. When she’s not writing, Abi volunteers for Beanstalk charity, speaks in schools and travels the world looking for her next story. Her latest adventure involved living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia…

You can find more about Abi at www.abielphinstone.com or follow her on social media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/abi.elphinstone; Twitter: @moontrug; Instagram: @moontrugger.

Previously On Tales…

Click on the below links for previous post with Abi Elphinstone her on Tales Of Yesterday!

Tales Review – The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone

Corey’s Corner Review – The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone

Guest Post – The Research Behind The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone

Guest Post – Top 10 Shadow Keeper Songs by Abi Elphinstone

Guest Post – The Adventures Behind The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone

Spotlight – British Books Challenge Author Of The Month – Abi Elphinstone

Have you read Sky song?  What did you think?  Have you read any of Abi’s other books?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter – @chelleytoy .  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading!

Review – Marge and the Pirate Baby by Isla Fisher

Yo ho ho, me hearties. Marge is back! This time there’s a baby on the loose.

Meet Zara, the naughty little cousin, who never sleeps and loves to steal treasure. Marge thinks she’s a pirate and maybe she’s right.

But will the imaginative babysitter be on her best behaviour? And can Jemima save the day at her uncle’s wedding?

‘Isla Fisher is hilarious’ DAVID WALLIAMS

‘Charming, funny, delightful’ DAVID BADDIEL

Publisher – Piccadilly Press

Date Published – 12th January 2017

Pages – 168 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Childrens

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful the publisher, Piccadilly Press in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you Piccadilly Press for sending me this book to read and review.

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

Marge and the Pirate Baby is the second middle grade book from Isla Fisher about the Button family and their wonderful babysitter, Marge.

 Told from the point of view of young Jemima Button, Marge and the Pirate Baby gives us three more brilliant laugh out loud stories that are full of warmth, love and fun.

The Button family used to be an ordinary family until Marge came along and incredible things always happen when she is around.

I absolutely adored Marge the super adventurous babysitter who is the same size of seven packets of biscuits topped off with wonderful rainbow hair and who grew up in a palace (or so she tells people).  The character of Marge was so much fun and everything you could ever want in a babysitter.

Marge and the Pirate Baby is split into three super fun stories and the illustrations by Eglantine Ceulemans are absolutley pheonomenal and really bring the story to life.

Marge the Pirate Nanny

“Babies are unpredictable.  The only people they respects are pirates”

When Cousin Baby Zara comes to visit (nicknamed the ambulance because her crying sounds like a siren) Jemima and her brother know exactly what they are in for.  Although Zara acts all cute to the adults she’s rather quite naughty.  Marge declare she’s no ordinary baby….she’s a Pirate Baby.

This story was super funny especially the part when they are changing Zara’s nappy.

I also loved the vivid stories that Marge tells the children of when she was an actual pirate nanny.

A story about having fun, caring and learning to share even in situations that you might not necessarily be happy about being in.

Marge and the Stolen Treasure

“Explorers go on expeditions to Find Things Out.  To peer into unknown corners of the world”

This story tells the story of an trip to the swimming pool that Marge turns into an expedition with snacks, maps etc

I loved the gathering of all the expedition items and the potential mishaps along the way like taking dog blankets instead of towels and shaving cream instead of sun cream.

Again tales of Marge’s expeditions including sharing shampoo with an orang-utan called Oscar were an absolute highlight.

A story about being brave, trying new things and exploring the world around you.

Marge and the Wacky Wedding

“She looks like a human marshmallow, but also beautiful”

This story is all about a wedding and Jemima being bridesmaid for her Uncle Desmond and was the perfect ending story to this book that left me feeling all warm inside.

There are potential disasters along the way like blue handprints on the brides dress and missing wedding rings, but Marge is always there to save the day.

I really adored this story.  A touching heart-warming ending to a brilliant enjoyable read.

I think you can tell that I really loved this book and I love the way that Isla weaves in the humour with a natural flow.  I had not read the first book, Marge In Charge, but these books can be read in either order as they work well as stand-alone as the stories tell you all the background you need within the stories.

Isla Fisher has created wonderful stories to share with all the family and to inspire children and adults alike.  Full of humour and warmth this book will make you smile long after reading it.

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

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








About Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher has worked in TV and film for 25 years. She has played many fun and different characters, but her favourite role is being a mummy to her three children. Isla has been making up stories at bedtime for them every night since they were born, which is how ‘Marge in Charge’ began.

About Eglantine Ceulemans  

Eglantine Ceulemans spent her childhood reading Belgian comics.  In 2007 she joined the Emile Cohl School of Art in Lyon, France, transforming her passion for illustration into a vocation.  She loves working in an intuitive way, combining humour and sensitivity, and using different mediums and techniques.  Eglantine currently resides in Lyon.

You can find out more about Eglantine on her website – www.eglantineceulemans.com 

Or why not follow her on twitter – @lelephantine 


With thanks to the lovely people at Piccadilly Press I have 2 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway to 2 lucky winners!

UK Only

Ends 19/01/2017

Please do check the terms and conditions on the rafflecopter giveaway before entering

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read Marge and the Pirate Baby or the first book Marge In Charge?  Did it make you laugh out loud?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter – @chelleytoy .  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading

Tales Review – Fun Science by Charlie McDonnell


I’ve recently received this super fun book, Fun Science by Charlie McDonnell AKA Charlieissocoollike from the lovely Stephanie at Midas PR.

Charlie McDonnell is the first UK Youtuber to reach 1 million subscribers and his aim in writing Fun Science is to share his love of the subject, create new fans, and show that science is an integral part of everyday life, not just a subject you are forced to take at school.

Fun Science was released on the 20th October 2016 in hardback published by Quadrille Publishing and is pretty awesome.

So today I thought I would shine the spotlight on the book and it’s author and share some of my initial thoughts on the book……


Welcome, fellow humans (and others), to the world of FUN SCIENCE! I’m Charlie, also known across the internet as charlieissocoollike.

In my book, I’ll be taking you on an awesome journey through the cosmos, beginning with the Big Bang through to the Solar System and the origins of life on Earth, all the way down to the particles that make up everything around us (including you and me!).

Expect frequent digressions, tons of illustrations of not-so-sciencey things (NB a microwave flying through space), and pages packed with my all time favourite mind-bending science facts.

So, get ready for a faster-than-the-speed of-light (OK, not quite) tour of all of the best and most interesting things that science has to offer us… and most importantly: WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSE!

(Written by a Science Fan NOT a scientist!)

Publisher – Quadrille Publishing

Published – 20th October 2016

Pages – 256 pages

Format – PHardback

Category – Non Fiction

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Midas PR. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Midas PR for sending this to me to read and to Stephanie for organising!

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

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first saw this book.  I raise my hand up high and admit that I had not heard of Charlie prior to the book, but my 11 year old son had and sometimes watches his videos.

I found myself flicking through the pages, firstly to have a quick look and then becoming fully engrossed.

The book is split into ten sections ranging from The Universe to Life to The Brian and The End Of Time.  It is full of wonderful illustrations by Fran Meneses and Dave Brown and they bring Charlie’s words to life on the page.

The science is relayed with humour and in such a fun style that it really does make what your reading and learning seem fun.  The fact that clownfish can switch sex in order to breed is told with an aside about Nemo and his dad and geologists are dubbed Super Rock detectives (because geology  is cool!)

The book has fun facts and ultimate fun facts throughout and also includes some activities and mini experiments throughout.  Myself and my son had numerous fun trying an experiment involving our right leg and drawing a number six with our right arm!

Our minds were blown!

Charlie’s love for all things science shines brightly and he guides you through each section like he is excited to share things with you along the way.

It’s bright, it’s colourful, it’s full of facts and most of all it does what it says on the tin….it makes science fun!

Loved it!

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


61jrask1fql-_sx332_bo1204203200_You can buy a copy of Fun Science here or from your local bookshop

This video chats a bit more about how Charlie write Fun Science….

About Charlie McDonnell


Charlie McDonnell (known on YouTube as charlieissocoollike) is a British Video Blogger, Filmmaker and Musician from Bath, who currently resides in London.

After starting to post YouTube videos in 2007, Charlie became the first Video Blogger in the UK to reach one million subscribers on YouTube. His most viewed video is of him doing a bad american accent (he’s not sure why that happened) and his second most viewed video is “Duet With Myself,” which he’s a bit more proud of, honestly.

In 2010 Charlie released his first album, “This Is Me.” People seem to really want him to make more music but he hasn’t gotten around to that yet. Throughout 2013-14, Charlie made a series of four short films, funded directly by YouTube. He likes to think they got better as he made more of them, but is happy for you to disagree with him on that.

Over the years, Charlie has worked on numerous projects for charities, including Cancer Research UK, UNICEF, Children In Need, Comic Relief, Save The Children and the Alzheimer’s Society. I guess he must like helping people or something.

Beyond his own YouTube channel, Charlie has worked on many online video projects, notably “Science of Attraction,” hosted by Derren Brown, and a series of video blogs from behind the scenes of Doctor Who for the BBC. He’s also worked with many brands to produce videos for his own channel, including Microsoft, Sony Pictures, Pixar, Disney, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Charlie is a regular participant in Radio 1’s Internet Takeover show (yes, for the actual radio) and he’s also tried his hand at voice acting for Mike Bithell’s upcoming video game “Volume.” He’s pretty new to both of these things, but fortunately hasn’t been told off for doing a bad job by his bosses. Yet.

In his spare time Charlie enjoys consuming media in all its forms, and hanging out with his girlfriend and their cat, Gideon. Basically, he is deceptively boring.

You can find out more about Charlie on his website – charliemcdonnell.com 

Or why not follow Charlie on twitter – @coollike

And subscribe to Charlie’s channel here

A huge thank you to Stephanie at Midas PR for sending me a copy of this book!

Have you read Fun Science?  Does it sound up your street?  Do you have any fun science facts?  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!


Tales Review – The Foolish King by Mark Price & Illustrated by Martin Brown

The Foolish King Jacket

LONG, LONG AGO, when kings ruled the land, dragons filled the sky and magic still existed, two small children stumbled upon the game of chess. This is your chance to discover it with them …Join PIP and HOLLY on a magical fairy-tale adventure and become a CHESS MASTER.

Packed with INTERACTIVE PUZZLES and GAMES, and clear instructions and tips on how to improve your technique, this book is a must have.

It’s estimated that chess is played by 500 million people in 167 countries and now you can help to create the next generation of chess champions with The Foolish King. The book is the perfect gift for young children to learn how to play one of the world’s most popular games and it’s guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours!

   The Foolish King teaches children the chess moves and rules through a fabulous story, with the witty and whimsical illustrations bringing to life the characters. There are fun interactive puzzles to practice the different moves and the ultimate chess game to follow as part of the story.

There is also an interactive, smartly-designed iPad app that is ideal for children aged six and above. Using the same story and Martin Brown’s illustrations, it features clear tutorials, tips on how to improve your technique and suggestions for chess moves to try. There are one and two player game options, three different levels (easy, medium and hard) and the ability to play a friend either side-by-side or opposite each other as on a traditional board. The Foolish King app will be a superb companion to the book. 






THE FOOLISH KING: The Secret History of Chess publishing in hardback from David Fickling Books on 1st September 2016, £10.99


Learn chess basics through ‘How To Play’ tutorials


Play chess with the insects and bees from the story

Play against the computer or your friend

Help and prompts when playing chess

3 different levels of chess game difficulty

Beautifully illustrated throughout

Publisher – David Fickling Books

Date Published – 1st September 2016

Pages – 80 pages

Format – Hardback

Category – Activity Books

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book to review by the wonderful Laura at David Fickling Books!   This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you for sending this to me to read!

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

Now I am the first one to admit I am really not a chess player.  I have never understood it throughout my whole life.  Even when it’s been explained to me time after time after time I could never get the hang of it.  Give me a good old game of simple draughts any old day I would say!  So when the opportunity came around for me to receive a copy of The Foolish King for review and hearing how the author, Mark Price, wrote it for his daughter to help her learn to play chess I thought I would give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

The book tells the fictional story of the village of Stur and how, upon the King’s death his son King Parip rules the land.  A greedy, mean and jealous man who with Crow by his side runs the village into the ground until there is no food, no gardens or crops and no insects.  When there is only one pear tree left in the land and with the King threatening to chop it down Pip & Holly know they must do something before it’s too late!

 The story reads like an old fairy-tale and brings to life the village of Stur and it’s characters.  As the book progresses Pip and Holly realise that they will have to learn a new game, chess, to try and help safe the village and their beloved pear tree.

The illustrations by Martin Brown are stunningly beautiful on each and every page and really bring the story to life before your eyes.  And the interactive parts of the book with various chess boards and puzzles were perfect.

What I loved about this book was the step by step guide that it takes you through with learning the different chess moves.  The traditional chess pieces are replaced with insects but this is clearly labelled at the front of the book as to which piece is which.  There are explanations, tips on playing chess and little puzzles to try out the new moves you have learnt as you go along.

I found myself fully absorbed in this book and concentrating not only on the story but trying to remember the moves and learn them all in the process ready for me to try the app out on a real game of chess.  It amazed me how simple Mark Price made chess seem through the way he tells the story and the explanations.  I always thought it was so complicated, but it felt understandable to me completely.

Once I had finished the book I tried out the app which again really surprised me and blew all my expectations up in the air.  With the app came a digital version of the book, an option to learn the game of chess focusing on each individual chess piece and the game of chess for one player, against the computer, or two player, against your friends or family.

I went into a game of chess at least knowing the moves and giving the computer a run for it’s money…..yes I know I lost three times, but I’m still learning and I at least felt like I knew what I was doing some what.

This book and/or the app is aimed at younger children, but I think it would make a good family read and with the app alongside it fully enjoyable and super fun.

In fact my son has ran off with the book to read as soon as I put it down…..he thinks he can defeat me at chess……NEVER!

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


The Foolish King Jacket

THE FOOLISH KING: The Secret History of Chess publishing in hardback from David Fickling Books on 1st September 2016, £10.99

You can buy a copy of The Foolish King here

THE FOOLISH KING app released 1st September 2016, £3.99 for iPad and can be purchased here  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foolish-king-childrens-book/id1137053697?mt=8 

You can see Mark Price talking about the making of THE FOOLISH KING here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012536020540

About Mark Price

Mark Price joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1982. He spent 17 years on the board of Waitrose, becoming Managing Director in 2007 and held this post until 2016. He was also Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership from 2013. Mark was appointed Chairman of Business in the community in 2011 and Chairman of the Prince’s Countryside Fund in 2010. In 2016, Mark was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment and a life peer. He will publish a number of books during 2016 and beyond

About Illustrator Martin Brown


Martin Brown is best known for his illustrations of the best selling Horrible Histories series. He has also written and illustrated Lesser Spotted Animals, published by David Fickling Books.

Have you read The Foolish King?  What did you think?  Has this review convinced you to pick up a copy and read and learn how to play chess?  Will you buy the book or the app or both?  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!



Guest Post – Guest Review By Perdita Cargill – Strange Star by Emma Carroll


It’s no secret that I am a huge Emma Carroll fan girl!  Not only is she a lovely person her books are always wonderful!

You can find out more about Emma’s books in these previous guest posts on Tales….

Extract From Strange Star

Do You Believe In Fairies?

National Transplant Week


Strange Star is the breathtaking new book from Emma Carroll, the critically-acclaimed author of Frost Hollow Hall, The Girl Who Walked On Air, In Darkling Wood and The Snow Sister, is a deliciously creepy story inspired by the creation of Frankenstein, and is brought to life by a leading talent in children’s literature.

So when the lovely Perdita Cargill, co author of Waiting For Callback asked if I would feature a guest review of Strange Star I jumped at the chance!


They were coming tonight to tell ghost stories. ‘A tale to freeze the blood,’ was the only rule.

Switzerland, 1816. On a stormy summer night, Lord Byron and his guests are gathered round the fire. Felix, their serving boy, can’t wait to hear their creepy tales. Yet real life is about to take a chilling turn- more chilling than any tale. Frantic pounding at the front door reveals a stranger, a girl covered in the most unusual scars. She claims to be looking for her sister, supposedly snatched from England by a woman called Mary Shelley. Someone else has followed her here too, she says. And the girl is terrified.

Review Of Strange Star By Perdita Cargill

**Please note this review is as spoiler free as possible**

I’m a huge fan of Emma Carroll’s writing and her latest novel Strange Star recently published by Faber & Faber is my favourite so far.  Powerful and moving, it’s electric with intelligence and humanity.

 The writing is of course absolutely assured, beautiful and sensory (‘Change was coming. You could smell it in the air, all sharp and peppery like radishes.’), never slowing down the fast drive of Carroll’s big, complex story about death and life and prejudice and bravery. This is a middle grade novel that has huge respect for its young readers and their ability to rise to serious issues and clever ideas and to be thrilled and scared along the way.

 Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well as the true story of that book’s stormy genesis, there are roles for Lord Byron, for Claire Clairmont, Polidori and the Shelleys, ‘As individuals they were interesting enough, but together their sparks became flames’. Mary Shelley especially is key to Carroll’s story, the scene where she relives the failed efforts or missed chance to resuscitate her premature baby is heartbreaking and sets up one of the big themes of the book ‘”there would always be those that couldn’t be saved.’ But the ‘ghost’ that knocks at the door on the night of the storm is not a figment of any of the stellar imaginations in the Villa Diodati but is Lizzie Appelby ‘There’d been no need for tales to freeze the blood. Not when real life had brought death to the front doors.’ and this clever framing makes the story that Lizzie tells the ‘true’ story. Lizzie has travelled to Switzerland from her home in Somersetshire and what’s been going on at Eden Manor has been so shivers-down-the-spine dark that it would be no surprise were Lizzie running away but no, she’s running to the rescue. I have to be careful here to give nothing away, I didn’t know what was coming and had all the thrill of turning pages and gasping. All I will say is that the monsters in this book are subtle monsters. A clever woman who’s made monstrous by ambition, and an animal whose raw, brute threat is abused by adults. And Carroll gives a powerful message about prejudice and the ignorant, fearful and misguided response to that which is perceived as different. This is strong stuff, readers who’ve come to love and respect Lizzie and Felix will be outraged that they be judged on their skin and appearance. But dark and thrilling though this book is, the message running through its pages is one of hope, Lizzie has learned the myth of the Phoenix from her mother, ‘In the story they rise up from the flames, just to prove that even when everything’s destroyed, life can begin again,’ and Carroll hopes for her readers a better less prejudiced, braver future where ambition doesn’t need to destroy kindness and goodness.

I loved this book.


You can buy a copy of Strange Star here

About Emma Carroll


When I’m not writing books, I’m reading them.  For many years I was an English teacher in a secondary school in Devon. Nowadays, I write full time. It’s my absolute dream-come-true job!

As a child, I wrote stories about ponies and pop stars, though not together. Nowadays it’s called fan-fiction; back then it was just weird.

After school, I worked as a reporter on a local newspaper. From there I went to university to study English Literature. After backpacking around the Middle East, South America, Australia, I did a PGCE in English and became a teacher.

Many years later, I bought myself a lovely big notebook and some new pens. I enrolled on the MA Writing For Young People at Bath Spa University, and got writing again. ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ was started on the MA course. It is my first novel, and took two years and many cups of tea to write.
I live in the Somerset hills with my husband and two Jack Russell terriers.

You can find out more about Emma Carroll on her website  – www.emmacarrollauthor.wordpress.com

Or why not follow her on twitter using @emmac2603

About Perdita Cargill


Perdita Cargill is co-author of Waiting For Call back with Honor Cargill and are a mother and daughter writing team living in North London. Perdita used to be a barrister; Honor is studying for her A levels. Once they’d discovered the secret of mother/daughter collaboration (separate rooms and cake) writing Waiting for Callback together was enormous fun. Honor’s (limited) experience as a child actor gave them lots of funny material for their novels.


When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of ‘Dead Girl Number Three’ without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?
   Off-stage things aren’t going well either – she’s fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback.
   Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

You can buy a copy of Waiting For Callback here

A huge thank you to Perdita for a fab guest post review and for asking me to feature it!

Have you read Strange Star?  What did you think?  Have you read any of Emma Carroll’s other books?  Do you have a favourite?  Have you read Waiting For Callback?  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!


Review – The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight by Helen & Thomas Docherty

The Knight Who Wouldn't Fight

Today I have something a little different as I am reviewing a fab new gorgeous picture book that is due to be released on the 4th August 2016 published by Scholastic.

The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight is by Helen & Thomas Docherty and is gorgeous inside and out.  Beautiful words by Helen and stunning illustrations by Thomas make this picture book a joy to read.

I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book!

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review….but in a slightly different way!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers  and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.

The Knight Who Wouldn't Fight

Leo the mouse isn’t like the other knights. While they like fighting, he’d rather read a book. Leo’s parents are keen to turn him into a proper knight, so they pack him off on a mission to tame a dragon. But Leo knows that books are mightier than swords, and he tames not just the dragon, but a troll and a griffin, too \- by reading them stories. With its witty rhyming text and glorious, detailed illustrations, THE KNIGHT WHO WOULDN’T FIGHT is a joyful, magical picture book about the power of stories.

Publisher – Scholastic

Published – 4th August 2016

Format – Paperback

Category – Picture Book

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Scholastic as part of the blog tour organised by Faye Rogers.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!

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

Please note that this book is written in rhyme so therefore I am trying my review in the same style….

Even Chelley’s love a good story!


Chelley was a thoughtful sole

A book she was in need

While her hubby is busy making Lego

Chelley likes to sit and read.


And through the door a gem appeared

All sparkly and new

A bright and colourful picture book

All ready for me to review.


I turned the pages one by one

And read every single word

I smiled and laughed and cheered a lot

It was the sweetest story I’d ever heard.


Leo loved to sit and read

Stories old and new

But his parents wanted him to venture out

Poor Leo had to follow through.


Off Leo goes to tame the dragon

To make his parents proud

With his sword and brand new shield

He rides underneath the clouds.


A Griffin, a Troll and a Dragon

Friends he meets along the way

A brave old knight who wouldn’t fight

He had far too much to say.


The illustrations in this book

Were perfect through and through

They capture every moment

Even lots of dragon poo!


I highly recommend this book

For adults and children to share

The perfect little story

To show loved ones that you care.


So snuggle on down with Leo and friends

And a pile of favourite books

Books are powerful, fun and amazing

One page will get you hooked.


Words are all Leo needed

On his journey through the lands

A book or two to share with friends

And that, sadly, is where my story ends.


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


You can buy a copy of The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

About Helen & Thomas Docherty


Helen Docherty is the author of THE SNATCHABOOK and ABRACAZEBRA. Helen lives in Swansea with her husband, Thomas, and their two daughters

Website: www.helendocherty.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/docherty_helen

Thomas Docherty is the acclaimed illustrator of THE SNATCHABOOK, ABRACAZEBRA and THE SNORGH AND THE SAILOR. He was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal.

Website: www.thomasdocherty.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TDIllustration

Blog Tour

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


Monday 1st August

Wonderfully Bookish

The Pewter Wolf

Tuesday 2nd August


Library Mice

Wednesday 3rd August

An Awfully Big Adventure

Tales of Yesterday

Thursday 4th August

Powered by Reading

Big Book Little Book

Friday 5th August

Library Girl and Book Boy

Rhino Reads

Saturday 6th August

Linda’s Book Bag

Luna’s Little Library

Sunday 7th August

Emma’s Bookery

Maia and a Little Moore



Have you read The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!


Review – Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt


A heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town don’t want to.
What’s more, Joseph has a daughter he’s never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby – no matter the cost.

Publisher – Andersen Press

Date Published – 31 December 2015

Pages – 192 pages

Format – Hardback

Category – Contemporary YA

Source –

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

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

“Sometimes it’s like that. You know something good is coming, and even though it’s not even close yet, still, just knowing it’s coming is enough”

When Harriet at Andersen Press contacted me about this book her email was filled with so much love that I simply said yes to a copy immediately.

Orbiting Jupiter may be a short contemporary YA read, but it certainly hit me with all the feels all at once which will stay with me for quite some time.

Orbiting Jupiter is a story about love, family and friendship and a message of never giving up on what you believe in no matter what.  I smiled, I shed tears and I felt so much love for these characters.  In fact thinking about it now is making me emotional all over again.

The story is told from the point of view of 12 year old Jack whose parents foster a 14 year old child called Joseph and he comes to live with them on their farm.  Joseph has had a heartbreakingly difficult childhood and circumstances prior to being fostered led him to spend some time in a juvenile prison which only caused him further damage.  Jack tells the story of getting to know this new member of the family and to understand Joseph’s past and situation.  Joseph finally has a family filled with love, a routine and responsibility, but the one thing Joseph wants more than anything is to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, who he has never met.  Even if that means confronting demons from his past.

The ending in the book broke me completely.

Joseph simply wants to be loved and beneath the surface he has so much love to give.  After an abusive and seemingly loveless upbringing he wants to feel part of something.  To have hope and love unconditionally.  This is something he feels deep inside for his own daughter although they have never met.

 “I can’t see Jupiter,” Joseph said. “The moon’s too bright. And I don’t know where she is.”

The complex situation with Joseph, his childhood, his daughters young mother and their parents is explained also so that the reader sees all sides of the coin and an all rounded view  but in a way that is easily understood and full of truth and emotion.

As well as the story leading us to gradually learn about Joseph’s back story it is also a story about Jack and his family getting to know Joseph and to show him unconditional love.  I loved Jack as a character.  Whilst all of the small town that they live in, the teachers at school and the bullies and class mates seem to pre judge and label Joseph without trying to get to know him, Jack makes the effort to get to know Joseph and to understand him and “have his back” at all times to protect him.  The relationship that builds between them touched me to the core.

One of my favourite scenes is the daily walk to school where the two of them always stop to throw stones at the church bell tower.  Such a simple scene but as the story goes on it is almost like a comfort to both boys and something that helps them bond.  I also loved the way Joseph bonds with one of the cows on the family farm and it gives him something to focus on.

“You can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him”

I think that’s the thing with this book it is so completely simplistically beautiful and grabs your heart from the get go and never lets go.

I’ve not read anything by Gary Schmidt prior to reading this book.  Schmidt’s writing in Orbiting Jupiter, whilst it took me a little while to get used to the style, every sentence seems to be packed with emotion and perfectly crafted to give the reader the sense of the feelings and emotions of the characters, but from the point of view of 12 year old Jack.  The writing explores how he is feeling and what he is experiencing, but also Jack tells us exactly how Joseph is feeling in such a caring nurturing way full of curiosity and weariness at first and then love, care and concern as the story unfolds.

Selfishly I would have liked the story to have been longer and slightly more in depth and the complexities and story and characters explored more, but that’s why I say selfishly.  I think I just craved more and wanted to hold onto these characters for longer than the time I had.

Orbiting Jupiter is just as simplistic and beautiful as it is sad and heart-breaking.  Friendship, family, unconditional love and hope.  It will make you smile, it will make you angry, it will make you cry, but most of all it will leave you with the feeling that no matter what some things are worth fighting for.

 “Maybe angels aren’t always meant to stop bad things.”
“So what good are they?”
“To be with us when bad things happen.”

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


You can buy a copy of Orbiting Jupiter here


About Gary D.Schmidt


Gary Schmidt is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor for The Wednesday Wars. He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, Michigan, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by.

You can find out more about Gary D. Schmidt on his website here

Have you read  Orbiting Jupiter?  What did you think?  Has this review convinced you to pick up a copy and read?  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!


Review – Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield


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 net. 

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 from home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . but at what price?

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

Publisher – Electric Monkey

Date Published – 30th June 2016

Pages – 320 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UK YA

Source –

I was originally sent a review proof copy of this book by the wonderful Maggie at Electric Monkey!   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 this to me to read!

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

Since blogging I have met some wonderful lovely genuine people.  One of those people is the lovely Lisa Heathfield author of this wonderful book!  After bonding over twitter and meeting up in real life I can honestly say that I feel honoured and very proud to know Lisa.  I think Lisa will agree that we became instant friends and I feel like I have known Lisa all my life! 

I feel very proud to be reviewing this book on my blog and my friendship with Lisa by no means affects my views and thoughts on the book in anyway.  I hope my words speak for themselves about how wonderful this book really is!

Sometimes a book comes along that makes a footprint on your memory and your heart for a long long time.

Sometimes forever.

Paper Butterflies is that book for me.  It tore my heart completely and left me crying, thinking about the book and its characters long after finishing.

An emotional tale of an abusive childhood, growing up, friendship, love, forgiveness and choosing left or right.

It’s no secret that I was a huge huge fan of Lisa’s debut, Seed, and whilst Paper Butterflies is very different to Seed, Lisa’s writing has gone from strength to strength. Lisa has again captured my heart with her beautiful writing and characters that you care so much about and also characters that you loathe more than words can say.

Paper Butterflies tells the heart-breaking story of June who following her Mother’s death years earlier and following her Father’s remarriage, is being physically and mentally abused by her step mother , Kathleen *rages*.

The story is told from June’s perspective and split into Before and After in consecutive chapters.  The Before chapters are her younger self telling us her story in that moment and we watch June grow and tell her story as each chapter is told.  The After chapters are June looking back and reflecting on her life and particular moments of her life, trying to deal with everything and trying to make sense of her past.

From the first couple of pages as you begin to realise what is happening to June your heart just breaks for her and you want to reach directly into the pages and help her, comfort her and protect her.  Lisa Heathfield is both sensitive about the subject matter but does not sugar coat anything at all.  The abuse that June suffers is shocking as Lisa Heathfield does not hold back with her writing.

One solace that June finds in the hell that she is living is a friendship with a boy called Blister.  I adored Blister so much with all my heart.  Very much a free spirit, and brilliant at creating items out of paper, June meets Blister at some old caravans in the middle of the woods and they soon become the best of friends.  You see them grow up together on the page becoming closer and closer.  June becomes herself and into her own when Blister is around.

Blister’s family were the complete contrast to June’s and I loved them so much.  They welcome June with open arms and make her feel welcome and like she is part of their family.

There are so many beautiful scenes in this book, but one scene that sticks in my mind the most is a scene where June and Blister have to lay down in a trailer under some tarpaulin.  It is the most intimate and beautiful moment between June and Blister and you feel June’s happiness shining off the page just in this one particular moment.  It’s beautiful.  I also loved the Paper Butterflies scene. If you have read it you know what scene I mean if you haven’t I don’t want to spoil it for you, but oh my heart!

I think I may have had a slight crush on Blister.

Lisa Heathfield makes it impossible not to connect with these characters emotionally.

There’s also a character called Mickey in the After sections that I loved lots too.

As the book goes on things escalate and escalate and as you see June grow. Then something comes along to strike her down again.  Anyone who has read Seed will know that it’s not only Lisa’s writing that’s powerful but Lisa’s endings are just as powerful and will make any reader a huge hot blubbering mess of tears…..a bit like me after I finished reading this book.

With a broken heart I was left with Paper Butterflies in my tummy!

This story will stay with me for a very long time to come and never fails to bring tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

I highly recommend this book with all of my heart.  Go and read it and fall in love, laugh, cry and go and grab all of the people that you love and hold them tightly.

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

1You can buy Paper Butterflies here or from you local bookshop!


Watch the Paper Butterflies Trailer below!

About Lisa Heathfield


Lisa 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

You can find a review of Lisa’s first book Seed here

Or the cover reveal for Paper Butterflies here

There’s also a Q&A with Lisa Heathfield here

Have you read  Paper Butterflies?  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!


Review – Dead Scared by Tommy Donbavand



Today’s blog post is about something very special.

We all know someone who has been affected or taken away from us by cancer.

This blog post is about one authors fight against cancer and how we are trying to help by raising awareness and fundraising via a blog tour, reading Tommy’s books and hosting a chat and some fab giveaways.

Join Tommy’s Army!


Today as part of the month long blog tour I am reviewing one of Tommy’s books – Dead Scared!

First a little introduction from a recent press release….


Award-winning author and Beano writer, Tommy Donbavand, has vowed to fight back after receiving a devastating throat cancer diagnosis.

The 48-year-old father of two has just launched a searingly honest blog that will chart his battle with the illness and has already received support from thousands of people around the world, including international best-selling novelist and screenwriter, Neil Gaiman.

Tommy, who currently writes The Bash Street Kids for the Beano comic and is the creator of CBBC animated series Scream Street, is sharing details of his diagnosis and upcoming treatment, while laying bare his fears and worries about what the future holds.

He is about to start a programme of radiotherapy that may leave him unable to talk or eat and suffering extreme pain for months.

“A few people suggested I start a blog so friends and relatives could keep up with how I’m progressing,” explained Tommy, who thought the blog might also answer questions his sons, Arran (16) and Sam (9), might be worried about asking directly.

Little did he expect, though, that soon thousands of internet users from all over the world would be following his updates, posting comments, and sending him emails of support.

“The response has been incredible,” said Tommy’s friend, Barry Hutchison, who helped set up the site. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and Tommy has been able to put into words what many sufferers may not be able to express themselves.”

After Tommy, who grew up in Liverpool but now lives in Lancashire, wrote about how the illness and aggressive treatment plan have left his family facing financial difficulties, the site’s visitors were quick to rally to his aid. So far more than 60 people – many complete strangers – have become ‘patrons’ of Tommy via Patreon.com, sponsoring him on a monthly basis in return for exclusive written content.

Other top authors are also getting behind Tommy, who has written several official Doctor Who comics and novels, with many offering to donate fees from their speaking events to help ease his money troubles during his months of gruelling treatment and recovery.

“I thought the blog might be therapeutic for me, and something I could hopefully look back at a year or two down the line to remind me of what I’ve come through,” said Tommy. “So for it to have resonated with so many people, who’ve taken the time to contact me and send me well-wishes is incredibly touching.”

You can follow all the ups and downs of Tommy’s battle with cancer at www.tommyvcancer.com


When Toby’s mum died of cancer, he knew his life would never be the same again, but even he couldn’t guess just how much the world was about to change. When a stranger offers to bring his mum back from the dead, he jumps at the chance. All he has to do is nominate someone to take her place in the coffin. What could possibly go wrong?

Publisher – Badger Publishing

Published – 21st May 2014

Pages – 48 pages

Format – Paperback / E Book

Category – YA Horror /Thriller (Aimed at Reluctant Readers / Teenagers)

Source – I was sent a digital copy of this book by the wonderful Danny at Badger Publishing but since reading have purchased a few more titles for my kindle.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!

**Please note this review is as spolier free as possible**

I picked Dead Scared as my read for the tour due to my love of the old Point Horror books and whilst looking through all of Tommy’s books this one jumped out at me and sounded like a similar premise.  I was not disappointed.

Dead Scared tells the story of Toby who has just lost his Mum to cancer and wants with all his might to bring her back from the dead.  After fighting with his obnoxious Uncle at his Mum’s funeral a mysterious stranger appears offering Toby an offer he can’t refuse.  What would you do if you were offered a chance to bring your Mum back from the dead in exchange for someone else?  But maybe this is an offer too good to be true?

I really enjoyed this book.  What I loved about it was the mix of emotions, fear, humour and the feeling of your worst nightmare coming true!

You sympathise with Toby because of the situation and genuinely feel for him each step of the way and with the twists and turns that occur following signing the contract.

This book is very short and is aimed at reluctant readers and beyond.  But even though it’s a short read it is perfectly executed and packs the punch it is intended to do to leave the reader fully satisfied.

I can’t wait to read more of Tommy’s books!  I loved it!

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


You can buy any of Tommy’s many brilliant books here

Or at Badger Learning here

Heres a selection of extra books I bought after reading Dead Silent!





About Tommy Donbavand


Tommy is the author of the popular 13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick Press in the US. His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and Uniform (winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, Boredom Busters and Quick Fixes For Kids’ Parties (How To Books), and Making A Drama Out Of A Crisis (Network Continuum).

In theatre, Tommy’s plays have been performed to thousands of children on national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle, Rumplestiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook (Platinum Films).

As an actor, Tommy played the Clearlake MC in the West End musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for over eight years, in addition to roles in the movies Zombie Love Stories (where he battled hordes of Scottish undead) and Going Off Big Time (where he was beaten up on a bouncy castle). A veteran of pantomime, he has portrayed just about every comic character from Abanazer to an Ugly Sister.

Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.

Website: http://www.tommydonbavand.com/


Or follow Tommy’s journey on twitter using @tommydonbavand

Blog Tour

Follow the fab blog tour throughout the month of June!

There will be giveaways, reviews, chats and more!


Tommy Tour 4

Twitter Chat

There will be a chat hosted by myself and @Serendipity_Viv on the 30th June from 8pm – 9pm!


We will be asking questions and chatting about Tommy’s books and also announcing the winner of a giveaway that will go live at 8am!

Do join in!


We’ve got 4 big UK giveaways. 1 (roughly) each week with the 4th one being held during the live twitter chat.

Pack 1 hosted by Laura Heath/SisterSpooky on June 2nd

Pack 2 hosted by Faye Rogers/Daydreamer’s Thoughts on June 9th

Pack 3 hosted by Andrew Hall/PewterWolf on June 16th

Pack 4 hosted by Vivienne Dacosta and Chelley Toy on twitter on June 30th

To enter each prize draw, your initial entry works like a raffle at the school fair. You’ll be asked to donate £1 (or more) to Tommy’s Paypal fund and then you’ll have access to a few extra free entries. The idea is to help Tommy and his family, a little, as he continues to kick cancer’s arse.

The winners will be announced during the twitter chat and to claim your prize you MUST keep your paypal receipt. You’ll be asked to give proof of your donation along with your UK postal address in order to claim your prize. Prizes will be sent out by the publishers/agencies so delivery times may vary.


We would love to raise as much money as possible for Tommy.

You can help by:

  • Buying a book written by Tommy and reviewing on your blog or sharing on social media
  • Entering the giveaways mentioned above when they are live and donating just £1 (or more) to Tommy’s Paypal fund
  • Become a Patreon here http://www.tommyvcancer.com/support/
  • Or Just donating here

Please help spread the word by sharing this post on twitter or Facebook or wherever you possibly can!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and I really hope we can make a difference for Tommy and his family.

Tommy’s Army Forever!


Review – Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman


I was so excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for lovely Sue Wallman’s debut book Lying About Last Summer.

This has been high up on my want to read so badly list ever since I met Sue at Olivia Levez’s book launch and then the week after hearing Sue talk about the book and her writing journey at the Scholastic Blogger Brunch back in March 2016 – you can find all about that day here.

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read and review!


The story centres around a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister.

Publisher – Scholastic Press

Published – 5th May 2016

Pages – 265 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – YA Mystery/Thriller

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Scholastic as part of the blog tour organised by Faye Rogers.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!

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

Lying About Last Summer has been high up on my must read now list for a few months…. basically ever since I heard more about it I knew I would love it.  It sounded like my kind of book, a thriller, a mystery and with a comparison to We Were Liars meets Thirteen Reasons Why I couldn’t wait to jump straight into the book as soon as it arrived on my door step!

I have to say it did not disappoint!

Lying About Last Summer tells the story of Skye who after losing her sister, Luisa, in a swimming pool accident is sent to a camp for troubled grieving teens.  Skye quickly makes friends with her campmates and throws herself into all of the activities set by the camp, but then she starts receiving text messages from her dead sister and she starts to realise that maybe someone on the camp cannot be trusted and to find out the truth she has to think back and face the truth of what happened last summer.

Now any one who knows me knows I am a huge fan of the old Point Horror books from the 90’s and initially upon reading the blurb I was excited as it had that feel of a Point Horror title, but in a modern day setting.  This in itself intrigued me from the offset.

The book begins in the past at Yew Tree House, last summer, where we catch a glimpse of what happened to Luisa, Skye’s sister and how Skye was involved.  Straight from the offset the writing draws you into the setting and you can quite easily imagine a hot summers days lounging by a glistening blue pool.  In fact water features quite a lot in this book giving it a summery feel.  For me this set the tone of the book and the writing style as it absorbed me into it’s pages.

We follow Skye’s journey of grieving for her sister, the guilt she feels and the secrets that surround her from the past and in the present.  I warmed to Skye straight away and really liked her and her voice.  I really felt what she was feeling in every moment whether that be dealing with her feelings of guilt, grief or trying to move on with her life.

I loved how the mystery of what happened last summer is gradually revealed to the reader in flashbacks to different parts of Skye’s life pre losing her sister, Luisa, and I feel that this let me get to know Skye even more.

Even the other characters in this book are brilliantly well crafted and completely relatable and with realistic flaws and all.   Some you will love (Toby & Brandon*daydreams*), some you will hate (JOE – yes I used capital letters to express my dislike – ugh – don’t worry he was written that way) and some you feel like old friends (Fay *cuddles*).  You will totally understand all this is you read the book I promise.

I don’t want to go to much into the characters through fear of spoilers, but I as well as Skye suspected everyone throughout the book!  It kept me guessing!

I also loved the way that you get a sense of what each of the characters back grounds are and what they get from being at the camp is really evident as the book nears the end.

I think one of my favourite scenes in the book are the scenes where Skye returns back to her old home and see’s Toby.  The whole scene just captures so many emotions. Old memories left behind and old friends left behind, guilt, grief and love.

Also Wheat Angels! *insert heart emoji here*

I would loved to have seen more of Toby, who appears mainly in flashbacks, but who in just a few short scenes made me smile and maybe swoon a little, but don’t tell anyone.

This book is a brilliant debut.  It’s a quick fab read that is soaked with tense suspense, realistic characters, sun drenched in mystery and shines brightly with beautiful writing.

You will love every page of it.

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


You can buy Lying About Last Summer here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Or find out what we got up to at the Blogger Book Feast at Scholastic here

You can also find out which character from Lying About Last Summer you are here

About Sue Wallman

Sue Wallman

Sue Wallman is a journalist who lives in London with her husband and three teenage daughters. In 2013 she won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize first chapter award judged by Rachel Joyce and Kate Mosse. LYING ABOUT LAST SUMMER is her first novel.

To find out more about Sue Wallman you can visit her website – http://suewallman.co.uk

Or why not follow her on twitter using @swallman

Blog Tour

Catch up of follow the rest of this wonderful blog tour by checking out the stops below


Monday 2nd May

Snuggling on the Sofa

The Pewter Wolf

Tuesday 3rd May

So Many Books, So Little Time

Serendipity Reviews

Wednesday 4th May

Tales of Yesterday

Powered by Reading

Thursday 5th May

Jess Hearts Books

Books of Amber

Friday 6th May

Emma’s Bookery

Luna’s Little Library

Saturday 7th May

The Book Moo


Sunday 8th May

Overflowing Library

KitKats Can Read


Share your last lie on twitter using #YourLastLie

Have you read Lying About Last Summer?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading


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