Tag Archives: Review

Review – Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew and Chris Judge


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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!

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


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DOODLE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

Welcome to Doodle…where you draw the story. Help finish characters, build up the town and design a GIANT ICE CREAM POWERED robot to fight off…the SUPER villains that you doodle! Doodles get into LOTS of trouble. Watch out, it is up to you to doodle them out of it!


Publisher – Scholastic Press

Published – 7th April 2016

Pages – 144 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Create Your Own Doodle – MG

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**


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You!

Yes, YOU, reading this blog!

I received a very fun looking book in the post a few weeks ago!

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It was then I realised that this was no ordinary book!

It was a book with a secret mission….a Spy Mission with none other than….. Ethan Doodle!

*fan girls*

I grabbed my pencil and was all set to go!

I soon realised that joining Ethan on this Spy Mission was no ordinary task!

With my pencil in hand I knew I had to be prepared for just about anything….

I was ready to follow Ethan on his adventure and finish his doodles to help him carry out his top secret mission!

No THRILL is too thrilling!

No DANGER is too dangerous!

This book was going to be drawn in, ripped and folded!

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WAIT!  WHAT??!!!

*faints*

I crumbled at the first hurdle….I was not prepared for this!

I WAS NOT CUT OUT TO BE A SPY!

*runs away screaming*

Meanwhile somewhere in the Create Your Own Spy Mission book Ethan Doodle was about to parachute through a window that wasn’t even drawn yet!

*screams*

*screams some more*

Oh go on then…one last scream!

*scream*

There was only one person that could save him!

One person worthy enough of joining him on his TOP SECRET spy mission and discover the truth….oh and maybe save Ethan from his fate!

It was time to release the beast from his cage!

IT WAS TIME TO UNLEASH THE SECRET WEAPON!

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No not the cute rabbit!  (sorry)

COREY…SUPER SPY!

“Quick, Corey!”  I shouted.  “Ethan Doodle needs your help!”

Corey took the glowing orange book from my hands shaking his head ashamed of his Mom letting Ethan Doodle down and got straight to work!

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Corey saved Ethan when he jumped out of a plane by drawing a parachute!

Corey drew money when Ethan needed cash!

Corey guided Ethan’s drone through the vents!

Corey unoccupied the toilet when Ethan was in need of a wee!

Corey saved him from prison and cracked codes!

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Corey was everything Ethan ever wanted in a Spy partner!

And who knew Corey could bake!?

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Corey doodled and folded.  Folded and doodled.  Ripped pages and laughed at his Mom freaking out over ripping a book.  He solved puzzles like a pro and smiled and laughed.

He read Ethan’s spy story, joined in and had so much fun!

I looked on in awe!

I might have cried a bit….and not just because Corey was having so much fun folding and ripping!

This book brought back fond memories of my own childhood reading books where you would turn to a different page dependant upon what path you chose whilst reading.

Corey laughed at all the jokes in this book a lot and I did not see him until he had successfully complete his mission!

What a team!

Ethan could not be in better hands!

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Uh! Oh!

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

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You can buy Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew and Chris Judge here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Or check out the fab book website – http://www.doodle.town/ 


About The Authors

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Chris Judge

Chris Judge is an award winning picture book author/illustrator (THE LONELY BEAST, TIN) and co-author, with comedian David O’Doherty, of DANGER IS EVERYWHERE. Chris’s work continues to feature in advertising, newspapers, magazines and exhibitions in the UK and Ireland.

You can find out more about Chris on his website – http://www.chrisjudge.com/

Or why not follow him on twitter  – @chrisjudge

Andrew Judge

Andrew Judge has written and illustrated countless short stories and comics with his brother Chris, including regular features for arts and culture magazines Mongrel and Totally Dublin. Andrew lives and works as an architect in Ireland.

You can find out more about Andrew on his website – http://www.andrewjudge.net/

Or why not follow him on twitter – @afjudge


Blog Tour

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

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Monday 4th April

Powered By Reading

Library Girl and Book Boy

Tuesday 5th April

Linda’s Book Bag

Book Lover Jo

Wednesday 6th April

Tales of Yesterday

Truly in Love

Thursday 7th April

Ya Yeah Yeah

Read It Daddy

Friday 8th April

Big Book Little Book

The Book Moo

Saturday 9th April

Bibliobeth

All Things Kiddiewink

Sunday 10th April

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Bibliobeth


Have you completed the Spy Mission?  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 Spying!

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Review – The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins


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Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…


Publisher – Doubleday

Date Published – 15th January 2015

Pages – 320 pages

Format – Hardback (also available on kindle and audible)

Category – Adult Fiction / Thriller

Source –

I bought this book in both hardback and also on audiobook through Audible


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


I listened to this fab adult thriller on audiobook even though I do own a hardback copy on my ever growing TBR shelf.  I had heard good things about this book and had initially been put off a little by all the hype surrounding it in fear of being let down.  I had also heard great things about the audio book so I was excited to spend my monthly audible credit on it.

I have to say I was not disappointed.  This book was full of twists and turns as the story unravelled and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 The Girl On The Train tells the story from three different perspectives and recollections, Rachel, Megan and Anna and is told by date and time of day.

Rachel, divorced from her husband, and who finds solace in alcohol, has lost her job and has regular black outs due to the drinking.  She regularly takes the train into London and like clockwork the train stops at the usual tracking signal every day right next to a row of houses where Rachel gets a glimpse into other people’s lives and imagines how their lives are.  Lives that she feels are far more perfect than her own.  She even makes up names for the people she watches in the seconds that the train has stopped.  Then one day she sees something that makes her curious and angry.  Something she can’t quite believe.  Then Megan disappears.  Rachel’s obsession and longing for her ex husband Tom, who now lives in their old house with his new wife Anna and new baby, leads her to be in Whitney the day of Megan’s disappearance after a drinking session.  Rachel blacks out and can’t remember what happened that night, but is determined to piece everything together and find out what happened to Megan.

The story moves on in quite a quick pace and I was often left craving another chapter even way past my bed time on a school night!

 This book is very much a reminder that you never really know what goes on behind closed doors or what people may hide from you and that thought alone is quite unnerving and really makes you think.

 What I loved about this book was the fact that I found myself really rooting for Rachel as she was discovering more and more information filling in the blanks of her black out on the night Megan disappears.  As a reader you really feel as if you are part of that black out and discovering these things both good and bad the same time that Rachel does.  Rachel’s need to find answers, her longing for her old life back, her husband whom she still cares for and the life she used to have do make you really feel for Rachel as a character and want her to move on with her life so much.

Hawkins has made her characters so realistic, flawed and believable that whilst you don’t want to like these characters you do sympathise with their situations.

 I was not a huge fan of Anna to begin with, but that is, I think, exactly how she is written to be, but I think I warmed to her as I went along.  I started to understand her and her reasoning’s and the way she felt or the actions she takes.

 I think for me the character I liked the most was Megan.  I loved how on the surface she seemed perfect, but underneath, scratched down to the very core she had many layers and a lot of history that is unravelled as the book goes on.

 I have to admit, about halfway through I did kind of guess how the ending would play out, but I put that down to my mastermind mind and great detective skills….*coughs*…well not quite …. I think I just got lucky 😉

The audio book narrators were absolutely fabulous and really created the unstable, alcoholic  Rachel, the venerable yet secretive Megan and the protective, once mistress now new wife and mother Anna really believable.  They brought the characters to life and I really enjoyed listening to them telling me the story and revealing its twists, turns and secrets to me.

 For a debut this was a really enjoyable thriller and I simply cannot wait to see what Paula Hawkins comes up with next let alone The Girl On The Train film!  I need it now!

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

2You can buy a copy of The Girl On The Train here or why not visit your local independent book shop!


About Paul Hawkins

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Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

You can find out more about Paula Hawkins on her website www.paulahawkinsbooks.com

Or follow her on twitter using @PaulaHWrites


Have you read The Girl On The Train?  What did you think?  Do you see anything on your daily commute?  Which book should I read next?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy

Happy Reading!

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Review – Crush by Eve Ainsworth


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It’s no secret that I LOVED Eve Ainsworth’s debut 7 Days when I read it last year ( you can find my review here ) so I was super excited and very lucky to have received a copy of her second book, Crush last year!  Crush was released on the 3rd March 2016 published by Scholastic and I loved ever page of it!

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!

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


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Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control… Eve Ainsworth’s gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.


Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 3rd March 2016

Pages – 340 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Contemporary YA

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**


After reading and loving Eve’s debut, 7 Day’s, last year I could not wait to get my little mitts on her second book Crush and I have to say it did not disappoint.

A story about a toxic relationship and a reminder that domestic abuse is never okay in any way, shape or form.

 Crush tells the story of Anna who, since her Mom has left home, is struggling to cope living with her Dad and her younger brother.  Everything seems to cause an issue between her and her Dad and she is generally not happy at home.  She then catches the eye of Will, one of the schools heart throbs, who whilst is slightly older than Anna she enjoys the attention that Will gives her and she can’t quite believe that Will would be interested in someone like her.  Will makes Anna feel good about herself and gives her something to take her mind off things.  Anna is so wrapped up in Will that she doesn’t see that the relationship takes a somewhat toxic turn.

 The story is told from the perspective of Anna, but also at the end/start of every chapter we get a brief glimpse into Will’s thoughts and feelings with regards to his actions.

 As a character I gelled with Anna and really wanted her to get out of the situations she finds herself in. As a character she is strong even if she does not believe that to be true.  Anna’s feelings of love and being swept away by love are both endearing and heart wrenching because as a reader you kind of know what’s coming and you really want her to wake up and realise it for herself.   The relationship between her and her brother, Eddie, was a classic sister/brother relationship.  I loved Eddie a lot and loved how Anna and Eddie’s relationship develops over the course of the book.

 Also I loved Dan…..I think there’s a story in Dan somewhere!  Hint Hint Eve!

 I found Will harder to like as a character and rightly so.  I already felt quite reserved and a bit hostile towards Will mainly because of my initial thoughts to the blurb of the book which gives a good indication of what is to come.  In fact I really hated him but he has been designed by Eve not to like as a character.  He treats Anna badly….very badly and whilst, as mentioned above, we get a glimpse into his reasoning’s behind what he does and his thoughts and feelings I found it a very hard lump to swallow especially with one explosive letter that he writes (I don’t want to say which one due to spoilers but my mouth dropped wide open and I felt so so angry).  But Eve’s writing as always is very clever.  It’s willing you to feel something for this character that you hate and I found myself constantly reminding myself of the wrongs he has done.  His reasoning does not justify his actions in anyway, and the letters sort of try and justify things and reasons why he is like the way he is, but as a reader you know that this could never excuse his behaviour.  It’s evident that Eve, like in 7 Days, is trying to give both sides to a very complex and harrowing story.

 What shocked me about the story is that as a reader you can see the small things that begin to happen to Anna and it makes you angry that she can’t see it, but that just proves how realistic the words written in this book are.  In real life when you are in a situation like Anna finds herself you may not necessarily want to believe it’s true or you may not recognise the signs.

 I loved how Anna lived on the same estate as 7 Days was set.  In fact the same tower block as 7 Day’s character Lyn.  This paved a way for Lyn to appear in Crush and I loved it and him even more so.  I love it when books cross over like this.  It was almost like visiting an old friend and finding out how he is doing and what he has been up to since the end of 7 Day’s.  I also loved the caring way he is with Anna, his genuine concern ….  Oh how I love Lyn.

 The ending, whilst I won’t spoil it, gave me as a reader some closure.  This is Anna’s story and Anna as a character deserved some closure.  Eve gives us as a reader room to think about the events and the characters.

 Again Eve has tackled a raw, hard hitting subject and has done it fantastically well.  Eve’s writing just flows across the page which makes this book quite a quick read.  I really believe, like 7 Day’s that a book like this could help somebody who needed it or who maybe wasn’t aware that their relationship maybe potentially be toxic.

Well done to Eve for another brilliant powerful book.  I’m excited to see the conversations this book will spark and waiting in high anticipation for Eve’s next book as I know it’s going to be brilliant.

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

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You can buy Crush by Eve Ainsworth here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Check out my review of 7 Days by Eve Ainsworth here

Or a Q&A with a character from 7 Days and Crush, Lyn, here


About Eve Ainsworth

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Eve Ainsworth has worked extensively in Child Protection and pastoral care roles, supporting teenagers with emotional and behavioural issues. Her debut novel Seven Days was released in 2015 and has been nominated for a string of awards including the Carnegie Medal. Her second novel, Crush, is out March 2016. She lives in West Sussex.

You can find out more about Eve on her website here

Or why not follow Eve on Twitter – @EveAinsworth


Blog Tour

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

CRUSH-BLOG-TOUR-03

Monday 7th March

Snuggling on the Sofa

Bookish Outsider

Tuesday 8th March

The Bibliophile Chronicles

Ali the Dragon Slayer

 Wednesday 9th March

Tales of Yesterday

Literary-ly Obssessed

Thursday 10th March

Writing from the Tub

Serendipity Reviews

Friday 11th March

Eat Read Glam

Mia in Narnia

Saturday 12th March

The Book Moo

An Awful Lot of Reading

Sunday 13th March

Maia and a Little Moore

Powered by Reading

 

 


Have you read Crush or 7 Days by Eve Ainsworth?  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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Review – Defender Of The Realm by Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler


Defender of the Realm

I have recently read this fun, action packed MG fantasy by the brilliant duo Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler, Defender Of The Realm which is released today on the 3rd March 2016 and I loved ever page of it!  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!

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


Defender of the Realm

Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.


Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 3rd March 2016

Pages – 340 pages

Format – Paperback and E-book

Category – MG Fantasy

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**


I wasn’t sure what to expect from Defender Of The Realm, but as soon as it came through the post I skim read the first few pages fully intrigued and I was immediately drawn into a world that mixed the real world and fantasy world flawlessly and all with some historical facts, humour and well known United Kingdom landmarks too!

Defender Of The Realm tells the story or Alfie who is a reluctant heir to the thrown and who finds himself thrust into the limelight to take on his duty a little earlier in life than he would have thought.  What Alfie doesn’t expect is the extra responsibilities that come with it… you know the kind of thing…Crown Jewels, Paparazzi, BECOMING AN AWESOME SUPERHERO CALLED THE DEFENDER AND SAVING THE WORLD FROM THE BLACK LIZARD!  When Alfie becomes King he discovers a whole new duty to his country that is steeped in history and kept a secret for many years.  And when the evil Black Lizard seems unstoppable Alfie has to learn to protect his country, be King and be The Defender, but is Alfie the right person for the job?

This book is a real page turner!

I loved the feel of this book.  It felt so very British.  I loved the way even though the characters are fictional I felt like I was taking a sneaky peak behind the scenes of the actual royal family.  That’s how real the characters came across for me.  I loved the references to historical landmarks or traditions which I recognised like The Tower Of London, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey and the tradition of a Coronation and who knew there was a volcanoes under Edinburgh Castle 😉

You will never look at a Beefeater…I mean Yoeman Warder the same ever again after reading this book…..oh the secrets that they possibly hold!

It really reads like a film.  You could picture the scenes playing out on the screen in front of you.

*Hints for someone to make this into a TV show or film immediately*

To top all of this off this book was not only packed with a brilliant action packed plot and brilliant story line it also had a brilliant cast of superb characters.

I adored Alfie right from the action packed off set!  He is heir to the thrown, but doesn’t want to be treated as such and just wants to be a normal boy who can go out for pizza when he wants to.  As a reader I think you really feel for Alfie and you really want him to do well.  You see him grow and mature slightly throughout the book almost like becoming the superhero Defender brings something out in him that he never knew was there.

I also loved Hayley so so much.  The girl who looks after her gran who is thrust into the middle of the world of Alfie, The Defender and the Black Lizard when a trip to The Tower Of London with her gran turns into a battle and she finds a keeps a piece of the Black Lizards tail!  Hayley was awesome.  She says what she thinks and doesn’t give two hoots what people think.  She is honest, caring, funny and demands her voice to be heard.  The friendship between Hayley and Alfie is a friendship that would last forever.

That’s another thing about this book.  It made me laugh and giggle in places.  There are some classic one liners or comedic moments that really make you grin like a Cheshire cat beaming from ear to ear and make you love these characters and the story even more.

There were two characters especially that did just this for me… Brian and L.C.  Oh how I want them to have their own spin off or sketch show.  They were absolutely brilliant fun.  Always at Alfie’s side, but in roles of responsibility.  Brian was the more carefree of the two trying to always tell the “bad smell under his nose” L.C to give Alfie and often Hayley a break.  I loved how L.C was so traditional and does things by the book and when this does not go to plan he is all out of sorts.  But they both have Alfie’s back.  They were a brilliant comedy duo.  They kind of reminded me a little of Jeeves and Wooster or Hacker and Humprey from Yes Prime Minster.

The scene where L.C takes Alfie into the secret passage from Buckingham Palace to the Tower to a secret under ground lair had me in absolute stitches!  There’s Alfie who is experiencing this for the first time and being told to get in a small carriage as it’s quicker and there’s L.C all laid back like he’s about to board the train with his newspaper.  It’s a brilliant scene.

Also a little shout out to the badies….. Fulcher and Turpin the so called MI5 agents who would give the two wet bandits from Home Alone a run for their money and who I hope will make an appearance in book two.

And there’s the Black Lizard!

*quakes in boots*

*gulps*

*runs and hides*

Yes that’s right there is apparently going to be a book two and I cannot wait!  I need this book now!  Especially with the jaw dropping cliff hanger to end all cliff hangers that this book finished on!  I almost felt the authors write that last line with glee mixed with an extremely evil laugh 😉

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves an action packed, superhero read that will make you turn the page and laugh, but also make your heart beat and with all with a little twist along the way that I for one didn’t see coming.

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

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You can buy Defender of the Realm (Defender of the Realm #1) here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here


About Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler

Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go! 

You can find out more about Mark & Nick on their website www.ostlerandhuckerby.com

Or why not follow them both on twitter using @huckywucky and @nickostler


Blog Tour

Defender Blog Tour Banner

Monday 29th February

Powered by Reading

Library Girl and Book Boy

 Tuesday 1st March

Book Lover Jo

A Bookish Life

 Wednesday 2nd March

Minerva Reads

A Daydreamers Thoughts

 Thursday 3rd March

Tales of Yesterday

My Book Corner

Friday 4th March

Chouett

Ya Ya Yeah

 Saturday 5th March

Bart’s Bookshelf

Big Book Little Book

 Sunday 6th March

The Arts Shelf

Bibliobeth


Have you read Defender Of The Realm?  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 and defending the country!

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Corey’s Corner – Review – The Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp


Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary of Pig

Pig 3: Pig, Duck, Cow and all the Sheeps are far away from their Farm and beloved Vegetarian Farmers. More fun, parps, slops and unbelievable adventure from this much-loved set of characters. Complete with illustrations throughout and printed in a unique diary format.


Publisher – Scholastic

Date Published – 4th February 2016

Pages – 224 pages

Format – Hardback

Category – MG Comedy

Source –

We were sent a copy of this book by the publisher Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you for sending us this book to read and review.


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


Hi, my name is Corey, I am eleven and today I am doing a review on The Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary Of Pig!!!

After a game of ‘Wheres Woc?’ goes horribly wrong, Pig, Duck and Cow try to make things good again…they try to win their farmers a trophy!

But then cow gets captured by the evil Ivana Herchew!

Can Pig (with the help of some old and new friends along the way) save cow from being turned into a handbag!

Dum dum dum!

Read the book to find out!

This book is really funny and made me laugh out loud at Pigs adventures.

My favourite character was Pig!  He is funny and makes me laugh!  Especially when the pigeons cover him in bird poo and feathers so he looks like one of them!  Lol

Duck is my second favourite character as he knows a lot of different languages!

Ivana is the baddy.  She wears a long thin black suit and has black sunglasses and has teeny lips.  She is EVIL!  She tries to turn Pig, Duck, Cow and Kiki into handbags!!

My favourite part of the book was when they were escaping from Ivana’s mansion because the corn fields got set on fire and they tried to run.  It was action paced!

This book was quite different from the other two books as the characters go on a boat to the ‘otherside’.

This was my favourite Pig book out of them all!

As you can see……

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5 OUT OF 5 COREY CORNER BOOKS!

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You can find Emer Stamp’s favourite Pig scenes here


About Emer Stamp

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Emer Stamp is the author and illustrator of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig. Emer grew up on a farm in Devon before training in graphic design and working for some of London’s top advertising agencies. She was the Creative Director for the Adam and Eve DDB communications agency, which creates advertisements for clients including John Lewis, Halifax, Cadbury’s and Save the Children. She lives in London.

Find out more on Emer’s website – here

Follow Emer on twitter using @emerstamp

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Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary of Pig


You can buy The Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary Of Pig! or other Pig books here

Happy Reading

Corey!

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Review – The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury


Sleeping Prince

I was so excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for the second book in The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy, The Sleeping Prince.  I adored The Sin Eater’s Daughter so so much and have been anticipating The Sleeping Prince for so long!

You can find my review of The Sin Eater’s Daughter 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!


Sleeping PrinceReturn to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified …and desperate for more. Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep. When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help Errin, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds splits the world as she knows it apart, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom…


Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 4th February 2016

Pages – 336 pages

Format – Paperback and E-book

Category – YA Fantasy

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**


The Sleeping Prince has been high up on my most anticipated list since I read the first novel in the trilogy The Sin Eaters Daughter.  I couldn’t wait to jump back into Mel’s world and see what Melinda Salisbury had in store for me next!  I have to say I was blown away!

And this time it has an awesome map showing all the Kingdoms!  I love a good map!

The Sleeping Prince starts where The Sin Eater’s Daughter left off thereabouts, but this time from the perspective of Errin who although we had not met prior to The Sleeping Prince we had heard of her through Leif’s stories in The Sin Eater’s Daughter as Errin is Liefs sister.

With the Kingdoms at war following The Sleeping Prince being awoken we are thrown straight into Kingdoms in turmoil.  With an unforgettable prologue that crushed my soul we are thrown straight into the action and the feeling of fear is instantly felt.

We follow Errin through the highs and lows.  Looking after her sick mother, missing her brother Leif and her dead Father, trying to make ends meet and brewing potions for the mysterious Silas.  With the threat of being evacuated from her home and with the approach of The Sleeping Prince threatening to take over all of the Kingdoms Errin is forced on a journey that she ordinarily would not take.

I loved how certain aspects of Errin’s memories were her perspective of what we already knew from Leif in the previous book and it gave me the warm fuzzy feelings inside with these gentle nods to the character I had grown to love from The Sin Eater’s Daughter.  That being said Errin stands out on her own and is an instantly likeable character with a caring, loving nature who grows throughout the book.

I fell completely in love with the mysterious Silas….a hooded mysterious man who keeps his mystery throughout the book.  That’s kinda sexy right?

A lot of my favourite scenes involved the growing relationship between Errin and Silas before her journey begins.

I also loved various cross over points and nods to The Sin Eater’s Daughter which created some rather sweet moments which touched my heart.  And you also find out the answer to the question that has haunted us for a whole year….who was behind the knocking on the door!

Yet again Melinda Salisbury writes such well crafted characters and gives us the fear factor of The Sleeping Prince.  Imagine if you had been woken up after a 100 years sleep!  You would be grumpy right?  Well so was The Sleeping Prince!  With his army of Gollum’s doing his dirty work with the aid of The Silver Knight he reigns havoc in the scenes where he is present, but also his presence is felt throughout the book without him being in each scene.  The feeling that The Sleeping Prince is coming is truly terrifying and really makes you fearful for everyone in the Kingdoms that you love.

The pace of the book really makes the story flow page after page.

I really think Melinda’s writing in this book has grown so much in strength.  It’s completely stunning and breath-taking.  The imagery that is created and the feelings she makes you feel through her characters are truly amazing.  Each chapter leaves you craving more and makes you wonder how on earth Melinda is going to wrap everything up in just one more book!

Also I have a sneaky feeling I may have worked out the title for the next book…..but I may be really wrong!

And last but not least all I’m going to say is…..That. Last. Line!

*cries about waiting another year for the next book and my return to Mel’s world*

On another note a huge shout out to Jamie Gregory for such stunning covers for The Sin Eater’s Daughters trilogy.  They are a thing of absolute beauty!

The Sleeping Prince is a phenomenal read which I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy, fantastic characters and a brilliant twisting plot.  The story feels true of ancient Camelot times with hints of fairy tales and far away lands.

This could be read as a companion novel, but I highly recommend reading The Sin Eater’s Daughter first to get the full experience and impact of the all the storylines and to let Melinda destroy your very soul!

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

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You can buy The Sleeping Prince here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Check out my review of the first book in the trilogy, The Sin Eater’s Daughter here

Or find out what about an evening with Melinda Salisbury here

Or find out what we got up to at The Sleeping Prince book launch in Birmingham here


About Melinda Salisbury

Melinda Salisbury Latest Headshot

When not working on her next novel, Melinda Salisbury is busy reading and travelling, both of which are now more addictions than hobbies.

To find out more about Melinda check out here website – www.melindasalisbury.com

Or why not follow her on twitter – @ahintofmystery


Blog Tour

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

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Monday 1st February – Music, Books and Tea

Tuesday 2nd February – Tales of Yesterday

Wednesday 3rd February – The Bibliophile Chronicles

Thursday 4th February – Jess Hearts Books & Uncorked Thoughts

Friday 5th February – Maia and a Little Moore

Saturday 6th February – Bookish Outsiders

Sunday 7th February – The Book Moo

Monday 8th February – Mia in Narnia

Tuesday 9th February – So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday 10th February – Emma’s Bookery

Thursday 11th February – The Books Bandit

Friday 12th February – Big Book Little Book

Saturday 13th February – The Reading Fangirl

Sunday 14th February – Literary-ly Obsessed

 

 

 

 


You can find my review of The Sin Eaters Daughter here

Or find out about An Evening With Melinda Salisbury here

Have you read The Sleeping Prince or The Sin Eater’s Daughter?  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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Review – Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


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In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor’s the reluctant leader of her school’s underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can’t avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.


Publisher – Harper Teen

Date Published – 1st September 2008

Pages – 419 pages

Format – Paperback (also avail bale on kindle and audible)

Category – YA Contemporary

Source –

I participated in a secret Santa in 2015 (#UKBBSS) and was gifted this, along with some other books from my list as part of it by the lovely Caitlin Lomas.  Thank you Caitlin.


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


I must admit I had not heard of this book or the author until I received it as part of a secret Santa I participated in in 2015 (#UKBBSS) along with a little note from my secret Santa ( @Caitlomas ) saying that this is literally one of the best books she has ever read!

This intrigued me and I always love receiving a recommendation I have not heard of before so I jumped straight into reading it on Boxing Day and I have to say I completely agree with Caitlin!

This has now become one of my favourite EVER books.

This book!  OMG!  I ADORED it so so much!  Even thinking about it makes my heart ache and beat wildly at the same time and tears form in my eyes!

A story of friendship, family, truth, hope and love that all happens around the Jellicoe Road and with an opening line that I will never forget….

“My Father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.  I counted.  It happened on the Jellicoe Road” 

Jellicoe Road is told in alternative perspectives.  A story from twenty years in the past and a story from the present.   Taylor Markham, the main character in the present is the reluctant leader in the towns territory wars with the visiting Cadets lead by Jonah Griggs and the Townies lead by Santangelo which is played out every year to claim parts of the town around the school and the Jellicoe Road.  The story in the past tells the story of a similar group of students, Narnie, Webb, Fitz, Tate and Jude who are brought together and form friendships following a terrible accident.  When Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, disappears Taylor forms friendships with the most unlikely of people in a bid to piece together the clues to uncover the truth.

The story does have a slightly muddly beginning where things are little unclear as to what is going on etc, but this all becomes much more understandable after a few chapters almost like the jigsaw pieces start slotting into place and you can understand where you are.

This story is beautiful from page to page and the writing is powerful and full of emotion throughout and it also introduced me too one of my favourite YA boys ever….Jonah Griggs!  To him my heart will always now belong.  I actually think I love him…quite a lot!

Taylor Markham is a tough brilliant lead character who has had a hard life and keeps herself to herself.  I loved following her journey throughout the book.  I think for me, other than Jonah Griggs, my favourite character was Jude from the past storyline.  He’s kind of selfless and friendship means the world to him completely.

I was completely engrossed and drawn into this book.  I literally could not put it down and when I did I craved to pick it up again.  I just connected with it, with the story and with the characters completely.

The flashbacks to the past story, unfolding as we read it, really hit me right in the heart and I cry just thinking it about it.  It even made me cry on the bus!  I think the past story for me really captured my heart the most.  I think most of my favourite scenes came from this aspect of the story.  The tone, the feelings, the friendships and the tree house.   Narnie, Webb, Fitz, Tate and Jude.  They just swooped me up into their arms and never let me go.  In fact I think this book and the story will stay with me for a very long time to come.

Marchetta is so clever with her writing.  It allows your brain to piece things together before things are even said or done, but also with some twists and turns along the way that you don’t see coming.

“Whatever is now covered up will be uncovered and every secret will be made known”

If you can’t tell already I highly recommend this book to everyone!  Especially if you love YA Contemporary.

There are many things I loved about this book and I feel my review may not have done this wonderful book justice, but I have a favourite quote from this book that sums up my feelings and the tone of this book perfectly…

“I fall in love with these kids over and over again and my heart aches for their tragedies and marvels at their friendship”

*wells up and reaches for tissue*

Thank you Caitlin for buying me this book and introducing me to such a wonderful story and characters that I will never forget!

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

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I loved this book that much and even though it was the last book I read in 2015 it made my best 15 books read in 2015 list here

This book does not have a UK Publisher (I know!) but you can purchase the book still in the UK here


About Melina Marchetta

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Melina Marchetta’s writing career took off in 1992 when she published her first novel: Looking For Alibrandi. She later turned the story into a film script. The movie Looking for Alibrandi screened in theatres around Australia and the world from 2000.

Melina managed to combine writing with teaching English and History in secondary school for ten years up to 2006, when she committed to writing full-time. During that period, she released two novels, Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road.

Her first fantasy novel, Finnikin of the Rock, was published in 2008. The Piper’s Son (a companion novel to Saving Francesca) was released in 2010. She has written a children’s book, The Gorgon in the Gully, as part of the Puffin Pocket Money series.

Her novels have been published in 17 languages in at least 18 countries.  Melina lives in Sydney where she writes full time.

You can find more about Melina on her website – www.melinamarchetta.com.au


Have you read Jellicoe Road?  What did you think?  Have you read any other books by Melina Marchetta?  Which book should I read next?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy

Happy Reading!

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Review – Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler


Bella Broomstick

I have recently read this fun, magical MG read by Lou Kuenzler, Bella Broomstick which was released on the 7th January 2016 and I loved it and I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book!

This book had me smiling so much.  It was adorable!

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 Lou Kuenzler for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.


Bella Broomstick

This delightful new series, full of doodle illustrations and themes of friendship and fitting in, will have young readers bewitched from the very first page! Bella Broomstick is a hopeless witch. So hopeless that nasty Aunt Hemlock is sending her to live in Person World – with the warning that she must never do magic again! But when Bella finds a kitten in trouble, a spell is the only way to rescue it. What is Bella to do? For where there is magic, trouble is never far away!


Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 7th January 2016

Pages – 198 pages

Format – Paperback and E-book

Category – MG Fantasy

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**


TASK ONE – Using your blog, your typing fingers and your so called sense of humour Chelley Toy write a review of Bella Broomstick for the wonderful Bella Broomstick Blog Tour!

“Belladonna Broomstick, you are the most hopeless young witch in the whole of the Magic Realm!”

Wow!  Right you crazy crocodiles!  I was so very excited to be asked to be a part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of this magical book.  I threw out my smart busyness person clothes and handybag and donned my witches outfit and hat in celebration and with a Swish Swish Swish I was transported into the world of the wonderful Bella Broomstick!

PING!

As the quote above suggests Bella Broomstick is the most hopeless witch in the whole of the magic realm.  She can talk to animals, but has no warts and can do no magic or when she does it goes horribly wrong (poor Dr Rattlebone).  She has even failed her entrance exam at Creepy Castle School three times!  Poor Bella Broomstick is as useless as a leaky cauldron and she is living a miserable existence with her Aunt Hemlock in the magic realm.

Bella’s awful Aunt Hemlock who has seven warts that wobble like nettle jelly, picks her teeth with chicken bones and smells of rotten eggs, garlic and cheesy feet (ewwwwww) along with her horrible leather headed bully of a chameleon Wane decide that Bella has to go and live in the person world where she is banned from doing magic!

“I’ll dip you in porridge and gobble you up like that spider”

Scuttling Scorpions!  Aunt Hemlock is terrifying how could she do that to poor Bella and….well who would eat a poor little spider!

*snatches spider off the wall and swallows whole*

Nom!

Anyway moving swiftly on….. *coughs*

I read this book in virtually one sitting!  And that wasn’t through fear of Aunt Hemlock getting hold of me and turning me into a guinea pig, handy bag or worse….maggot mush stew!  No!  Not at all!  Straight from the offset this book was a joy to read.  Full of magic, friendships, family and a fabulous feathery flamingo pen!  Lou Kuenzler introduces you to two different worlds, the magic realm and the person world whilst fun, danger and the Sellwell Department Store Catalogue awaits.

Bella is adorable and full of fun, compassion and humour and I loved her as a character.  Really routing for her to be happy and loved.  I loved reading about Bella experiencing the person world for the first time.  Seeing a toilet flush, having a bath, visiting the Sellwell Department Store and being happy!

I used to love the Worst Witch books when I was younger and reading Bella Broomstick has made me want to revisit them again!

Whilst I loved all of the characters in this book my favourite was the little kitten that Bella rescues, Rascal!  Awwwwww I loved him so much!

The illustrations by Kyan Cheng in the book are just perfect and act as a source of humour also!  I especially loved the picture of the chameleon Wane as a Lizard-shaped salt shaker and a handybag…oh how I chuckled at his expense!

I hope Aunt Hemlock didn’t hear me say this!

*legs shake like a bowl of newt-eye trifle*

This is the first book in a brand new series and jiggling jellyfish it got off to an amazing start!  Bella learns that she may not need magic and being a hopeless witch isn’t the end of the world.  It also embraces love and family and belonging and I think this is a beautiful message to send out to many children and adults that will read this book.

I can’t wait to read about more Bella Broomstick adventures and hopes that Aunt Hemlock doesn’t join the person world any time soon!  She has some rather disgusting habits and….

Oh fizzing ferrets!  She heard me that time!  Aunt Hemlock is here again!  Oh spinning spiders!  She wants to take me for a ride on her broomstick….last time she did that I felt a bit Broom-sick!

He he he laughing ladybirds!  I’m here all week!

SWISH, SWISH, SWISH….

POOF!

Oh pickled porcupines!  She’s turned me into a guinea pig hasn’t she!

Now all I can think about is how I want to eat a carrot!

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

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Bella Broomstick

You can buy Bella Bromstick (Bella Broomstick #1) here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here


About Lou Kuenzler

Lou Kuenzler

Lou Kuenzler likes to write stories which make children laugh.

Her popular SHRINKING VIOLET books are funny, action-packed adventures about a little girl who suddenly shrinks …. Think Mrs Pepperpot with a 21st century twist!

And then Lou’s next series PRINCESS DISGRACE introduces the clumsiest princess ever in a comic romp through life at a posh princess academy – unicorns, dragons and japes galore!

For slightly younger readers, Lou’s AESOP’S AWESOME RYHMES add a comic, rhyming twist to the classic moral tales.  

While JACK SPLAT: SUPERFLY PEST and JACK SPLAT: DOG’S DINNER tell the fly-on-the-wall adventures of … well, of a fly!

You can find out more about Lou on her website here

Or why not follow Lou on Twitter using @loukuenzler

Or find Lou’s Goodreads page here

You can buy Bella Bromstick (Bella Broomstick #1) here


Blog Tour

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

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Monday 4th January

 Linda’s Book Bag

La Chouett

 Tuesday 5th January

 Book Lover Jo

Mum Friendly

Futures

 Wednesday 6th January

 Live Otherwise

Sunlight

 Thursday 7th January

 The Arts Shelf

Over 40 and a Mummy to One

 Friday 8th January

 Tales of Yesterday

Beautiful Things

 Saturday 9th January

 The Books Bandit

My Make Up Life

 Sunday 10th January

 Kirstyes & Bibliobeth


You can find a Q&A with Lou Kuenzler here

Have you read Bella Broomstick?  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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Review – Return To The Secret Garden by Holly Webb


 

Return to the Secret Garden

I jumped at the chance to be part of this review only blog tour when the lovely Faye Rogers asked! The Secret Garden was always a childhood favourite of mine so a chance to Return To The Secret Garden…..yes please! I couldn’t wait!

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

Check out my previous Q&A with Holly Webb here

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Return to the Secret Garden

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Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 1st October 2015

Pages – 227 pages

Format – Hardback and E-book

Category – Historical MG

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful publishers Scholastic and Faye Rogers as part of the blog tour.  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**


I was swept away by this books characters, story and charm.  I loved every minute of reading it and it left me with warm butterflies fluttering about my tummy for hours afterwards.

Return To The Secret Garden is about a girl called Emmie and is set in 1939. Because of the war Emmie is evacuated from her orphanage in London before the planes fly over and drop their gas on the city, along with the other children who live in the orphanage, to the countryside to Misselthwaite Hall where the owner of the orphanage lives.  Upset and bitter about leaving London and her beloved cat behind Emmie find solace in a secret garden, that she finds whilst exploring, and a diary from 1910.  What pursues is a touching story about friendship, family and a beautiful garden all intertwining with touching references to the Secret Garden and it’s original characters.

The story of Return To The Secret Garden is told from Emmie’s point of view.  She is far from happy about leaving her beloved orphanage where she has befriended a stray cat called Lucy. She is a brave, feisty character and she seems to get into trouble for the littlest things too!  She is the main character and my favourite.  I loved watching her grow and be happy throughout the book and the touching relationships she develops throughout.

There are some references to The Secret Garden and Mary the main character from that book in the form of a diary that Emmie finds in a draw.  This gives the reader a chance to read some extracts from the diary about Mary and her discovery of a secret garden and a little insight into the old classic, but in a different format.  I found this perfect as for me it was a little reminder of the characters from the classic and the story that was told.  A gentle nudge, but for readers who have not read The Secret Garden it is a perfect progression and flow of the story that is unfolding by each flick of the page.

I also loved the homely feel of the Hall and it’s characters too.  Mrs Craven is like a mother to all the children that are staying with her and I adored Lieutenant Craven when he returned home from the war.  Mr Sowerby the gardener is a mysterious character and Jack, Mrs Cravens son, whilst not wanting Emmie or the children in his home, is a memorable character who mirrors Colin from The Secret Garden.

The descriptions of the gardens and the Hall were just stunning I could picture them beautifully.  I felt like I was exploring the garden and hall and discovering secrets along the way with Emmie.  I think this made me really relate to Emmie in a way as I felt her joy, her heartbreak and the beauty she discovers through her eyes.

The historical fiction side of the book actually made me tear up at times.  Very much focused on how children and families were effected by the war.  There is one scene right at the beginning of the book where Emmie and the orphanage children are on their way to the train station being evacuated and they walk past a school where the witness children saying goodbye and leaving their parents.  It made me have a lot of feelings.

Another touching scene for me again right at the beginning was when Emmie boards the train she sees another girl through the window on the train on the opposite platform going the opposite direction and as they both pull out of the station they look at each other and wave *cries*.  This is a credit to Holly’s historical fiction and research in the effect the war had on children.

And that ending!  *cries all the tears*

Holly Webb fantastically gives the reader a wonderful sequel in the fact that she does tell you what has become of the characters from the classic The Secret Garden.  No spoilers though!  If you loved the old classic this is the perfect book to find out what happened to your favourites.  It really is a lovely touch.  Ps Holly, I forgive you 😉

All in all I really loved Return To The Secret Garden.  Whilst I read The Secret Garden many many years ago now I do think you could read this as a standalone book and as well as being a brilliant sequel to the classic it actually is also a good introduction for people who haven’t read The Secret Garden to go and hunt it out.

One final shout out to the beautiful cover of the book.  Its simply gorgeous and whilst holding it in your hands reading about Emmie’s story it really feels like you are holding something special and magical just like discovering your own secret garden.

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

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About Holly Webb

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Find out more information about Holly on her website here

Or why not follow Holly on twitter using @HollyKateSkeet or Facebook here

You can buy Return To The Secret Garden here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here

You can also check out my Q&A with Holly Webb here which features questions about Return To The Secret Garden


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of the blog tour on the following stops below!

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I would like to say another huge thank you to Faye and Scholastic for having me on the tour and for sending me a copy of the book to read and review!

Have you read The Secret Garden?  Was is a childhood favourite?  Are you excited about Return To The Secret Garden?  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 and discovering secrets!

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Review – Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis


Crow Mountain lowres jacket

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The lovely people at Chicken House have kindly asked me to be part of the How Do You Like Your Romance Blog Tour featuring Darkmere by Helen Maslin and Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis.

I have recently read and loved Crow Mountain and have read the wonderful Darkmere a few months ago also.  Both are brilliant reads and I highly recommend picking up a copy of both!

Today I am reviewing the breath-taking Crow Mountain!

You can also check out my Darkmere blog tour post where I share an exclusive extract from the book here

Check out my review of Darkmere here

Or check out inspiration and a deleted prologue from Darkmere here

Do you like your romance Epic and Sweeping……


Crow Mountain lowres jacket

While on holiday in Montana, Hope meets local boy Cal Crow, a ranch-hand. Caught in a freak accident, the two of them take shelter in a mountain cabin where Hope makes a strange discovery. More than a hundred years earlier, another English girl met a similar fate. Her rescuer: a horse-trader called Nate. In this wild place, both girls learn what it means to survive and to fall in love, neither knowing that their fates are intimately entwined.


Publisher – Chicken House

Published – 3rd September 2015

Pages – 416 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Historical Fiction, Romance

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful publishers Chicken House.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  A huge thank you to Chicken House for sending me this book to review.


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


I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Chicken House Blogger Brunch back in July where I got to hear a bit more about Crow Mountain from both Barry Cunningham and the author Lucy Inglis herself and it left me super intrigued to read the book.

I have to say I was not disappointed. Even after hearing about it at the brunch this book still fully surprised me in the most wonderful way possible.

My heart was swept away by Lucy’s fantastic writing style combining historical fiction with present day in breath-taking alternate chapters.

Crow Mountain tells the story of two girls, Hope in present day and Emily in the past in a kind of diary written style and revolves around them meeting two boys, Cal and Nate.

In present day Londoner Hope is very much controlled by Meredith, her environmental scientist mother, who takes Hope with her on a research trip to Montana in the USA where they stay on a huge Ranch. Whilst there Hope befriends Cal who shows her around the ranch, it’s animals and tells Hope some of the history surrounding their beautiful habitat. This is where Hope discovers a diary from 1867 written by a girl named Emily who is on her way from London to Montana to marry a suitor arranged by her parents. After a terrible accident Emily is found by a horse trader named Nate and what pursues is a touching story with similarities that echo the present day events with Hope and Cal.

I really enjoyed the way that from a reader’s point of view we are ahead of the historical side of the story pre Hope finding the diary and we get to experience Hope and Cal’s reaction to everything that we have read.

I found the historical side of the book really intriguing and I was blown away by the amount of historical research that must have gone into this book. I got to learn about a way of life, culture and a time that I did not know much about. I cheered with joy during a battle between Native Indians and the bad guys. I shed tears over the death of many buffalo.  I became intrigued my the legend of a horse of a lifetime.   And I fell in love with Nate as much as Emily does. I really felt that Lucy Inglis catapulted me into the 1800’s . The imagery that is created is spectacular and wonderfully written.

I found the present day story more of bump back to reality and I really felt how Hope was mesmerised by the story she was reading in the diary.

Whilst my favourite character was Nate *swoons* I really liked a character we meet in the middle of the book called Rose!  She is so comfortable in her own skin and such a memorable character it was lovely and often funny to read.  I feel that we all need a Rose in our lives.

On the flip side of the coin Hope’s Mom Meredith was really dislikeable.  She is very controlling of her daughter and it’s almost suffocating.

Crow Mountain to me was a story about two women who lead very suffocating different lives and are pushed beyond limits out of their comfort zones, but in turn this changes them and it allows them to learn who they want to be.  You see these two wonderful characters develop throughout the story and like Rose become comfortable in who they are like a butterfly breaking free of it’s cocoon.

“I’m getting the feeling you and I are from whole different worlds” Nate

And that ending! OMG! My lips are sealed! The last few chapters of the book had me very misty eyed indeed where the similarities and the coming together of things began to tie up.  You get this feeling in your gut that you know what’s coming and I had everything crossed that I was wrong!

I really highly recommend Crow Mountain for something different and especially to people who enjoy historical fiction and with two sweeping, epic romances people will fall in love with the book, the characters and the world that Lucy Inglis has created.

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

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Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis is out now and published by Chicken House. For more information visit chickenhousebooks.com 

You can buy Crow Mountain here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Find out some inspiration behind Crow Mountain here


About Lucy Inglis

Lucy Inglis lower res

I’m a historian and novelist, a speaker, and occasionally a television presenter and voice in the radio.

Between 2009 and 2013 I created the Georgian London blog, the largest free body of work on the eighteenth century city online, and my book about the same. My book, Georgian London: Into the Streets, was published by Viking for Penguin in 2013 and shortlisted for the History Today Longman Prize. Described variously as, ‘a great read by a talented new historian’, ‘something quite delicious’, ‘packed to the brim with the minutiae of life’, and my personal favourite, ‘If you could cram all your Georgian facts into a large glass and drink it, here it is, the flavour reeking of sex, booze, coffee, tea, dismembered whale parts, rot and riot’. ‘Her passionate curiosity and love for the city rise off the page like smoke’, and it’s out now in hardback and paperback from wherever you like to buy your books.

As of 2014, I am writing Milk of Paradise, a book on opium’s past and present, for Macmillan.

My first novel, City of Halves, came out with Chicken House in April 2014 and has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Branford Boase award. In autumn 2015, Chicken House will publish Crow Mountain, a novel about the birth of the state of Montana, set between 1867 and the present day, as two young women cut the binds of family and society to discover who they really are, and where they belong.

Sometimes, I am on television or Radio 3 or 4. On screen, I presented Fight Club: A History of Violence, about female bare-knuckle boxing in gin-soaked Georgian London and was on the Great British Bake Off, talking about the history of cookery writing. I was in Grave Trade for the History Channel and the Georgians series for the BBC, which were part of the 300th anniversary of George I coming to the throne in 2014.

When not doing any of the above and sometimes when I should be, I can be found messing about on twitter, where I am far more likely to talk about none of the above in favour of the serious social problems of our time, such as hipsters.

You can follow Lucy on Twitter using @lucyinglis

Or check out Lucy’s website – lucyinglis.com


Blog Tour

How do you like your romance?

You check out a fab extract from Crow Mountain here

Find out more about Darkmere in my review here

Or catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour here!

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Darkmere by Helen Maslin and Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis are out now and published by Chicken House. For more information visit chickenhousebooks.com 

A huge thank you to Laura at Chicken House for inviting me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Crow Mountain?  What did you think?  Has this review intrigued you enough into buying a copy?  Do you have any favourite romance stories?  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….*swoons*

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