Tag Archives: Scholastic

Guest Post – Writing Harper by Cerrie Burnell


I am so excited to have the wonderful Cerrie Burnell on Tales to celebrate the release of another brilliant book in the Harper series, Harper and the Night Circus!

Harper and the Night Circus is a middle grade adventure and was released on the 2nd March 2017 published by Scholastic UK and is gorgeously illustrated by the super talented Laura Ellen Anderson.

Other Harper adventures include….


 

 

 

 

 

 

So today I welcome Cerrie to the blog with a brilliant guest post all about Writing Harper.


Total fantasy bliss! Magical birds, dark forests and fairytale cities: there’s no better book to get lost in. Harper is on a mission! Rumours tell of the mysterious Ice Raven who lives among the ebony trees, singing a magical song that can melt hardened hearts. Now the Wild Conductor wants to capture this mythical bird and create the greatest orchestra ever known. So Harper and her friends set off to find the bird. Their journey takes them from the mysterious Night Forest to the City of Singing Clocks. But soon Harper realises she faces a dilemma. Should a wild, free creature like the Ice Raven ever be tied down?


Writing Harper

My Favourite Five Fun facts about Harper are

1.

When Harper arrived on the rooftop of the Tall Apartment Block, she came only with the Scarlet Umbrella and a note pinned to it by the feather of a dove.

2.

Midnight her cat arrived the very same night at the stroke of 12- the name seemed perfect! To this day no one knows where exactly Midnight came from.

3.

Until she was eight, Harper had no idea the Scarlet Umbrella could fly, as it was inside a bird in her Great Aunt Sassy’s bathroom.

4.

Nate is the first person Harper shares the umbrella’s magic with, he doesn’t doubt her for a moment and they become firm friends.

5.

Even though the Wild Conductor did a terrible thing in taking her cat, Harper forgives him as she can see he’s just a man trying to follow his dreams.

Harper and the Night Forest by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson is published by Scholastic.
Available where all books are sold.

You can buy a copy of this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here


About Cerrie Burnell

Cerrie Burnell is a much-loved presenter on Cbeebies. She was named in the Observer’s top ten children’s presenters and also featured in the Guardian’s 2011 list of 100 most inspirational women where she received praise for tackling disability head on. Cerrie divides her time between London and Manchester. Her bestselling picture books Snowflakes and Mermaid, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, have won critical acclaim. Magical adventure Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella was her first novel for young readers.

You can follow Cerrie on twitter – @cerrieburnell

About Laura Ellen Anderson

When she’s not trying to take over the world or fighting sock-stealing monsters, Laura Ellen Anderson is a professional children’s book author & illustrator, with an increasing addiction to coffee. She spends every waking hour creating & drawing and would quite like to live on the Moon when humans finally make it possible. 

You can find out more about Laura on her website – lauraellenanderson.tumblr.com

Or why not follow Laura on twitter – @Lillustrator


Blog Tour

Why not follow or catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Cerrie for such a brilliant guest post and a bit more about Harper!  And to Faye Rogers for organising and asking me to be part of the blog tour!

Have you read Harper and the Night Forest?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  Have you read any of the other Harper books?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Thrills, Chills and Nightmares – Point Horror Box Sets by Mark Stewart


Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s?

The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book.  There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.

Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2!  Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here


I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of the things I love about hosting the #PointHorrorBookClub is getting to chat to other fans from all over the world!

Mark Stewart , who lives in Australia, is also a huge fan of all things Point Horror and has been joining in with us on #PointHorrorBookClub for what seems like ages now.  Mark and I were chatting and he had a brilliant idea for a guest post about the Point Horror Box Sets so I invited him along to chat about them!

It’s such a fascinating post and shows how different the Point Horror Books were marketed in Australia and possibly were even released way before here in England! 

You can find out more about how the Point Horror Books came to be in England in this fab guest post about Publishing Point Horror by Anne Finnis-  here

*hands microphone to Mark*


Thrills, Chills and Nightmares – Point Horror Box Sets

As the popularity of Point Horror (PH) began to grow in the late 1980’s, Scholastic hit on the bright idea of packaging up some of their best-selling titles and selling them in box sets. These various sets were released until the mid 1990’s and, seriously, what horror junkie wouldn’t have loved unwrapping one of these babies on Christmas morning?

 Information on publishing dates, numbers released, titles included is scarce to say the least – in fact, even just finding out what sets exist is tricky! So I’m hoping that by sharing what information I have, that maybe some other information might come to light. Wherever I have made an assumption, I’ll endeavour to justify my reasoning.

 So let’s start at the start…

 The ‘Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ (TCN) box set appears to be the first one released. There are a few reasons why I believe this to be the case: 1) The books included are from 1985 – 1988, 2) The ‘Point’ logo on the spines is pre ‘blood splatter’ and 3) the cover price of the set is $11.00 USD. The cover price is especially telling as I have no other PH box set with an $11.00 cover price; every other set I have has a higher price.

As pictured, I’ve been lucky enough to find a sealed set for my collection. Given that it is sealed, I feel it’s safe to say that the books included in the first TCN set are:

·         Slumber Party (1985) – Christopher Pike

·         Weekend (1986) – Christopher Pike

·         Twisted (1987) – R. L. Stine

·         The Lifeguard (1988) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

 The presence of ‘The Lifeguard’ dates this set as being from 1988 (at the earliest). I would assume that ‘The Lifeguard’ would be an early edition, potentially a first edition, whereas the others may be subsequent printings – but I’m not about to open my set to check!

 Including such big YA horror hitters as Pike, Stine and RTC I’m assuming led to a sales return from the box set idea that was pleasing to the powers that be at Scholastic. So the TCN box set was re-released, this time with a cover price of $11.80 USD. It’s quite easy to see the difference as the re-release’s cover price is on a white background as well.


Now here’s the catch – although I have two of the re-release box sets, both are unsealed and while both contain the same 4 books, one clearly has a couple of later release versions in it that someone presumably added in at a later stage. This leads to the biggest question mark I have over PH box sets – determining the make-up of the titles. Given that I do have two copies of the TCN re-release (from different places) and they both have the same titles, I’m 99% certain that these are the books originally included. One clue that helps me to be 99% confident is that the total cover price of the 4 books – $2.95 x 4 = $11.80

 The re-released TCN contains 3 different novels from the first:

·         Weekend (1986) – Christopher Pike

·         The Boyfriend (1990) – R. L. Stine

·         The Accident (1991) – Diane Hoh

·         The Snowman (1991) – R. L. Stine.

 As with the original TCN set, the age of the books helps identify a release date. So while the original TCN was released c. 1988, the TCN re-release was released c. 1991. The Accident and The Snowman in my set are both second edition printings, which makes some sense – I would assume that the initial print run would have been sold as standalone novels and then subsequently bundled into the box set.

 One other point of note with the two TCN sets is that the re-release features the cover art of a book (Slumber Party) that is absent from the set. This is pretty rare for PH box sets.

 The fact that the re-release of TCN seems to be c.1991 is made all the more intriguing by another great feature of PH – the sequel. In the case of TCN, two follow up box sets ‘More Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ (MTCN) and ‘Still More Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ (SMTCN) were released as the PH machine kicked into high gear.

It would appear that two versions of MTCN were released, however unlike TCN there is no difference in the cover price (both $11.80) and I would assume that both sets were released at the same time c.1989 based on the titles included.

 Version 1:

·         Blind Date (1986) – R. L. Stine

·         The Babysitter (1989) – R. L. Stine

·         Trick or Treat (1989) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

·         Party Line (1989) – A. Bates

 Version 2:

·         The Babysitter (1989) – R. L. Stine

·         Trick or Treat (1989) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

·         Party Line (1989) – A. Bates

·         Prom Dress (1989) – Lael Littke

 The only difference between the sets is ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Prom Dress’. Online research shows a number of different sites listing both versions. I’ve yet to see a sealed set, so I can’t be 100% sure of the titles, however these two combinations are all I’ve ever come across, so I don’t believe there is a third version.

 So our time line now reads:

 1988 – TCN

1989 – MTCN

1990 –

1991 – TCN (re-release)

 “So what about 1990?” I hear you cry – and you have a point. Filling that gap is SMTCN. Also with a cover price of $11.80, its line-up of titles suggests that it is our c. 1990 set. I’m only aware of one version of this set:

·         My Secret Admirer (1989) – Carol Ellis

·         April Fools (1990) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

·         Beach Party (1990) – R. L. Stine

·         Final Exam (1990) – A. Bates

 In summary, the ‘Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ series of box sets provided PH fans with a great selection of titles across 5 sets spanning 4 years. With the inclusion of some PH classics, I’ve no doubt that the sets were big winners with the fans. The re-release of TCN in 1991 is a bit of an oddity; perhaps they had left over sleeves that they wanted to use up as opposed to designing new ones? Perhaps the presence of other box sets on the shelves led Scholastic to believe that readers who may have missed out on the first set and had since bought the latter sets might want to complete their collection? There is certainly no doubt that the sequel sets preceded the re-release of TCN, so it might just remain a mystery for some time to come!

Well, that’s enough for today – I’ll have another box set story for you shortly 🙂

Please feel free to comment below.

Mark


A huge huge thank you to Mark for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!

I honestly cannot thank Mark enough!  Point Horror was my childhood and I feel so honoured to be able to still chat about it today! 

*claps hands excitedly*

It’s such a fascinating post and shows how different the Point Horror Books were marketed in Australia and possibly were even released way before here in England!

Were these box sets even released over here in England?  And with the likes of Pike appearing in these box sets and Twisted by R L Stine under the then named Point banner why were these excluded from the Point Horror brand in England?  So many questions!  But so many extra books to potentially add into our Point Horror collections!

You can find out more about how the Point Horror Books came to be in England in this fab guest post about Publishing Point Horror by Anne Finnis-  here


Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?

Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read?  Are you new to Point Horror?  Has our opinion changed?  Are they still as good?  Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror?  Or are the a whole load of cray cray?

You can find all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new here

Do you remember Point Horror?  Which was your favourite?  Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?

Happy Point Horror-ing!

Guest Post – Inspiration For The Setting Of See How They Lie by Sue Wallman


I was a huge fan of Sue Wallman’s debut Lying About Last Summer which was released last year and was also featured as part of the #ZoellaBookClub and I have been craving her next book ever since!

See How They Lie was released on the 2nd March 2017 published by Scholastic and when it dropped through my letterbox I started it straight away!

See How They Lie is set in at Hummingbird Creek, an elite wellness retreat where rich teens with psychological problems can get the help and the setting really captures your imagination from the offset.  I was interested in why Sue chose this particular setting for her second book.  Find out more in this fab guest post from the lady herself!

I also have an awesome giveaway!  Details at the bottom of the post!


Mae feels lucky to have grown up at Hummingbird Creek, an elite wellness retreat where rich teens with psychological problems can get the help they need from her father, a prominent psychiatrist. The Creek has world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments. Every aspect of daily life is monitored for optimal health, and there are strict rules for everyone. When Mae is caught breaking the rules, the response is severe. She starts to question everything about her highly controlled life. And at the Creek, asking questions can be dangerous.


Inspiration For The Setting Of See How They Lie

I’d been searching for an idea for my next book for what seemed like months and I was starting to panic. The right idea just wouldn’t emerge. I thought back through my life experiences to see if that would spark anything – and then I remembered: when I was six I lived in a psychiatric hospital in York. My dad had started a new job as a psychiatrist there, and my parents hadn’t yet found a house to buy.

The five of us (my sister was eight and my brother was four) moved into an unused part of the hospital. We didn’t have our own entrance – just a thick-fabric screen partitioning off our section of the building (the sort that people change behind in period dramas). We slept on hospital beds which felt perilously high up off the ground until we got used to them. For some reason their height wasn’t adjustable. I spent most of my time cycling round paths in the beautiful rose garden with my sister. Once a week we had a formal Sunday lunch with the matron, and we had to be on our best behaviour because she was pretty scary.

Occasionally we were taken to say hello to the patients. We knew we had to be polite and respectful. They all seemed to be the same age (old) to six-year-old me, and I remember not being sure what to say, and often not understanding what they were saying. My dad knew what to say though, and this made me proud.

Then Mum and Dad bought a house, we moved out of the hospital and we had a new normal.

It wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to think about what it would be like for someone to be brought up for years in an isolated psychiatric facility as a doctor’s daughter. I made the facility super-luxurious, and more of a wellness retreat. And then I added a large amount of creepiness because otherwise it wouldn’t be a psychological thriller!

You can buy a copy of See How They Lie here or from your local bookshop


About 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 debut novel followed by See How They Lie.

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

You can find my review of Lying About Last Summer here

Or find our which character from Lying About Last Summer you are here


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Scholastic I have 3 copies of this fab YA Thriller to giveaway on twitter.

You can enter here

Ends 15/03/2017

UK Only

Good Luck!


A huge thank you to Sue for such a brilliant guest post and insight into the inspiration behind the book!  And to Olivia at Scholastic for organising and asking me to host a fab giveaway!

Have you read See How They Lie?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Author Of The Month – Melinda Salisbury


I am so excited to have announced on the 1st of March that the awesome Queen Melinda Salisbury is our #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for March 17!

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here

I am a huge HUGE fan of Melinda and her books are full of worlds that will leave you breathless by the end.  Melinda’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy is not to be missed!  Melinda Salisbury is a HUGE UKYA talent and I am so excited to shine the spotlight on her and her wonderful books as Author Of The Month!

And remember if you read, review and link up any of Melinda’s books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17  March link up here you will gain an extra entries into the March Prize Pack Draw!

Today I am honoured that this post is also featuring as part of the fab blog tour and I have a special signed giveaway which will be running through my twitter account.


About Melinda Salisbury

When not working on her next novel Melinda Salisbury is busy reading and travelling, both of which are now more addictions than hobbies.  She lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England.

You can find out more about Melinda Salisbury on her website – www.melindasalisbury.com

Or why not follow Melinda on Twitter – @MESalisbury


The Books And Why We Love Melinda Salisbury

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favour of a doomed love?

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

Return 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…

You can find my review of The Sleeping Prince here

The final battle is coming… As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever… Explosive, rich and darkly addictive, this is the stunning conclusion to Mel Salisbury’s internationally best-selling trilogy that began with THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER

The Scarecrow Queen is the highly anticipated and captivating finale in the internationally bestselling trilogy that began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter. Published by Scholastic 2 March 2017.

You can buy any of Melinda Salisbury’s books here or from your local bookshop


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Scholastic I have one Signed copy of The Scarecrow Queen to giveaway via twitter here

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to the wonderful Melinda Salisbury fan’s that provided me with quotes for this post.  I highly recommend this trilogy with all of my heart and soul from out March Author Of The Month!

Also a huge thank you to Lorraine at Scholastic for having me as part of the blog tour, for fully embracing all things British Books Challenge and for the giveaway prize!

And remember if you read, review and link up any of Mel’s books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 March link up here you will gain an extra entries into the March Prize Pack Draw!

Are you a Melinda Salisbury Fan?  Do you have a favourite book out of the trilogy?  Are you new to Melinda Salisbury?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


My Writing Process – First Draft To Final Copy

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

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

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

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

Not now though!

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

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

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

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

I get that awful thing, Feedback.

This is always useful. No matter how horrific.

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

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

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

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

It’s a pretty good feeling.

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

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here


About Ally Kennen

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

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

Or why not follow her on twitter – @allykennen


Blog Tour

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

Monday 13th February

Fiction Fascination

Bookish Outsider

Tuesday 14th February

Girl Vs Books

Book Lover Jo

Wednesday 15th February

Live Otherwise

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Thursday 16th February

MG Strikes Back

Alejandra’s Life

Friday 17th February

Library Girl and Book Boy

Luna’s Little Library

Saturday 18th February

Big Book Little Book

Mum Friendly

Sunday 19th February

Tales of Yesterday

Powered by Reading


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

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

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Baker Street Academy: Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn


I’m super happy to be spotlight this fab book as part of the awesome blog tour with thanks to Faye Rogers and Scholastic.

Baker Street Academy:  Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond was released in hardback on the 6th October 2016 and is a brilliant MG Detective Graphic Novel for any budding detective.

You can find out more about the book on Tales today as well as a fab giveaway!


John Watson has barely settled into his new school, Baker Street Academy, when his teacher announces a trip to one of London’s top museums, home to the world’s most famous jewel. But it’s been stolen! When police catch the thief it seems the case is closed. Can Sherlock Holmes uncover the mystery behind this extraordinary gem?

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

You can also add it to your Goodreads here


About Sam Hearn


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Scholastic and Faye Rogers I have 3 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway to 3 lucky winners!

UK Only

Ends 05/02/2017

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

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to the wonderful Faye for having me as part of the blog tour and to Scholastic and Faye for a fab giveaway!

Have you read Baker Street Academy:  Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond?  What did you think?  Do you think you could crack the mystery?  If you have not read it yet have we tempted you to go and grab a copy?   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!

Spotlight – The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson


Today marks my 400th blog post since I started my blog in November 2014 and what better way to celebrate than to shine the spotlight on a wonderful debut book!

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson was released on the 5th January 2017 published by Scholastic and is set to be a moving and honest debut that I simply cannot wait to read!

I jumped at the chance to be a part of the wonderful blog tour and today I have a copy of The Goldfish Boy to giveaway in celebration so do check the bottom of the post!

Can a young boy face his fears to solve a mystery?

Share your #GoldfishBoy experience


About The Goldfish Boy

A story about finding friendship when you’re lonely and hope when all you feel is fear.

Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business.

That is, until the day he is the last person to see his next door neighbour’s toddler, Teddy, before he goes missing.

Now Matthew must turn detective and unravel the mystery of Teddy’s disappearance – with a little help from a surprising and brilliant cast of supporting characters.

Full of heart and a genuine and honest confrontation of some of the ways in which life can be hard to handle, this is a story about the courage it takes to face your fears and learn to live with them. Page-turning and heart-breaking, but ultimately life-affirming, this story is perfect for fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Wonder.

It is a book that will make you think about everything there is to discover, just waiting beyond your front door.

‘A genuinely clever mystery.’  – Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike

‘A great cast of characters and an intriguing mystery – I loved it!’ – Ross Welford, author of Time Travelling with a Hamster

You can buy a copy of The Goldfish Boy here or from your local bookshop


About Lisa Thompson

 Lisa Thompson worked as a Radio Broadcast Assistant first at the BBC and then for an independent production company making plays and comedy programmes. During this time she got to make tea for lots of famous people. She grew up in Essex and now lives in Suffolk with her family. The Goldfish Boy is her debut novel.
 
The Goldfish Boy is the highly anticipated debut novel  from sparkling new voice and one-to-watch, Lisa Thompson.

You can follow Lisa on twitter – @lthompsonwrites


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Scholastic I have 1 copy of this wonderful book to giveaway to 1 lucky winner!

UK Only

Ends 14/01/2017

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

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour

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


A huge big thank you to Lorraine at Scholastic for asking me to be part of the blog tour, for organising and for being so super wonderful!

Have you read The Goldfish Boy?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  If you have not read it yet have we tempted you to go and grab a copy?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

PHBC – The Snowman by R L Stine


Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

Join in the discussion with this months pick….

The Snowman by R L Stine

Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

A cold blooded killer

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Heather Dickson is one very unhappy girl.  She can think of nothing better than killing off her nasty, vile Uncle.  She has a loving boyfriend and a best friend and a job that she hates….what more could she ask for?!

A boy called The Snowman turns up in Twin Valley but he’s not all what he seems…….

The Snowman?!  Oh he sounds frightfully chilling!

He really is not that terrifying.  Heather seems to loose all common sense and gets swept away by The Snowman’s cool charms and good looks and starts cheating on her boyfriend with him whilst giving him lots and lots of money from her trust fund whenever he asks.

I’m not sure I like this Snowman guy!

Fear not dear reader, he does however redeem himself by killing the vile Uncle of Heather…..with his snowman red scarf!

I bet Heather loved him even more after that…I mean she hated her Uncle right?!

Hmmmmmm no……It’s then she starts to realise that not everything with The Snowman is as it seems……

The Girl

Wow!  Where do I start with unhappy Heather Dickson!  With her golden hair featuring an off centred pony tail, her dark blue almost violet eyes, her high cheek bones and creamy pale skin….she had high hopes to be a classic Point Horror girl didn’t she?  She turned out to be this and much much more…..worse.  I think I spent nearly every chapter screaming OH HEATHER!  WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING!  ARE YOU CRAZY! and shaking my head at her….lots!

Heathers parents died years before in a car crash and she is now living with an Aunt and Uncle for the last 13 years whom she hates with a passion.  And that passion made me chuckle on numerous occasions with her fantasies about killing Uncle James.  I mean she even fantasises about killing her Uncle whilst kissing her boyfriend…..need I say more!

Oh yes I can!  She also cheats on her boyfriend because she takes a fancy to the mysterious Snowman and thinks about him too whilst kissing her boyfriend…..poor Ben.

Always living her life in slow motion, her Dad’s lighter always at hand (phew) and with a trust fund stuffed full of money she threw money at The Snowman constantly!  Pay for this Heather, oh silly me I have forgot my wallet, LET ME BLACKMAIL YOU HEATHER AND THEN YOU CAN STILL GIVE ME MONEY.  Even at the end when he kidnapped Heather she was still offering him money!  Say what now!

Bless her!  She was captured under The Snowman’s spell!

The Love Interest

The Snowman!

Boo!  Hiss!  Boo!

With his amazing pure white (not silver) parted in the middle hair which was wavy and long, his apple breath, dark features, ruddy skin which was almost tanned, his adorable cleft in his chin and dark brown eyes that were like dark coals he made Heather swoon and swoon and swoon and throw money at him left right and centre.

He was kind of horrible to Heather, but evidence above indicates she kind of deserved it!  And lets face it he killed the horrible Uncle and destroyed our comedy value of fantasy deaths….I shall never forgive him!

The Gang

Ben with his large dark eyes, straight black hair and his Honda Civic was the perfect dumped Point Horror boy.  He deserved so much more than pining after Heather.  Evidence above indicates he is potentially not a good kisser either!

Uncle James with his narrow face, thin lips, yellowed false teeth, thick glasses, long boney arms and legs that made him look like a gigantic insect and ancient olive coloured overcoat was completely vile!  The best thing about this guy was they way Heather kept killing him over and over again in her dreams and of course when he finally got bumped off I have to admit I did a little giggle when the ambulance people left him on the front porch for the night!  Oh gosh this made me laugh more than it probably should have!

I guess I could put best friend Kim Slater in here as a severely unused point horror best friend can ever be.  Kim was short with brown curls and a hoarse scratchy voice.  Stiney also felt the need to point out to us that she was a little chunky even without the 3 long sweaters she wears (grrrrrr)…..but yeah she popped up every now and again and didn’t really do much to help her friend Heather.  She must have realised, like us, that Heather was past help!

Oh and poor Aunt Belle – she was the only character I actually felt sorry for in this book – bless her fragile bones and lilac smelling skin.

Fashion Faux Pas

I think I was that wrapped up in trying not to laugh too much at the Point Horror I didn’t notice any terrible fashion!

Dialogue Disasters

“He looks like a big green squirrel”

“You were fascinating that I was a large roast beef”

“He looks like a pencil with a red eraser at the top”

“He suddenly looked to Heather like a department store mannequin”

“He looks like a tooth pick”

“You look like a Heather…..You know.  All blonde and pretty.  Heathery”

“I dance like a water buffalo on roller skates”

“He looks like a toothpick”

There was a wide range of comparisons to things in this Point Horror!

“Coffee, tea or me?”

Heathers chat up lines are the best!  Take note!

“And through the gray thoughts, the bright pink head of her uncle appeared, like a flowering weed sprouting up through a concrete sidewalk”

No YOU laughed!  You did!  I know you did!

Body Count

1!  And lets face it….he deserved it right?!

Loved all the fake Uncle James deaths more though especially the sledding one!

Weeeeeeeeeee!

Is it scary?

No!  It’s really really not!

It kind of enforces the don’t fall for the mysterious stranger or any stranger you set eyes on vibe though!

Did the best friend do it?

Nope!  This book was what it said on the tin….all about The Snowman!

And not the walking in the air kind either!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess being chased by a car in the middle of the night in the icy snow could be classed as mild peril.  Other than that not really!  Unless we class snowman gate at the end as a contender?

Is it any good?

This one was mildly okay, but mainly for comedy value for me.  With a fab opening chapter and an egg cracking death by page 5 I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better…..how wrong was I?!

That’s right old Stiney thought that Raymond Briggs ending to The Snowman was for whimps and decided that the only possible ending was to but a live person inside a snowman to try and kill them….luckily Heather had seen the The Snowman on TV every Christmas and knows a snowman melts!

Final Thought

For once I am speechless……..

Cover Wars!

I found this really awesome foreign cover!  Which do you prefer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • Your given the title The Snowman to right a Point Horror – what would it be about?
  • What happened to The Snowman after the book?
  • Did Heather and Ben stay together?
  • Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!

You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

What will you pick?

And the winner was…..

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

PHBC – Prom Date by Diane Hoh


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Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

Join in the discussion with last months pick….

Prom Date by Diane Hoh

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Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

Don’t forget this months #PointHorrorBookClub for the 13th December…..

The Snowman by R L Stine

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For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

She’d kill for a date….

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

It’s coming up to Prom Night at Toomey High!  You know that night where you get to go to a fancy dance, with a fancy date, in a beautiful fancy prom dress……unless of course someone wants YOUR date all to themselves!

Wait?!  What?!

Yes that’s right!  Someone REALLY wants to go to Prom so they are going to bump off the competition and when they still get turned down for a date bump off some more competition!

Oh the horror!

And that’s not all!  What persues is ruined Prom dresses, creepy lighthouses, a dead body floating in the water, dumpster fires, cash box face hitting and bumper cars!

It’s carnage in this Point Horror I tell you!  Carnage!

So the cancel the Prom right?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha …. you’ve got some good jokes!

*picks out Prom dress*

The Girl

Margaret Dunne was our girl and I kind of liked her.  With her light brown, very fine, straight hair, tall and thin body with good skin that had never seen a blemish in all her life she was a bit of a typical point horror girl, but there was just something different about her.  Could it have been the way she moved so gracefully or her amazing doe shaped deep brown eyes?  Or even her long thick upturned eyelashes or even the fact that she loved sunglasses?  I’m not sure, but she seemed to have it together and in her own words she was an intelligent born leader.  She had never dated a boy exclusively for any length of time, but she was not a heartbreaker, she could never hurt any one.  Margaret loved books and rejected her Mom Adrienne’s attempts to “Beautify” her and most importantly she was most definitely not going to prom!

Well that was of course until hot boy Mitch came along!

Then all bets were off!

Did anyone else notice she called her Mom by her name, Adrienne, for most of the book and the occasional Mom slipped in there every now and again?

Anyway she did adore her Mom and I quite liked the scenes when they were together.  It was great to see a Point Horror Mom not only in a Point Horror, but acting like a Mom too!  Go Adrienne!

That being said Adrienne wasn’t around when Margaret was almost burning to death in a dumpster!  No!  She was swanning it up at Impeccable Tastes with her unnamed boyfriend!  Poor Margaret had to be saved by…….her own shoe!

Margaret does get thrown in the firing line of the Prom Date killer though when her love interest shows up and asks her to prom……

The Love Interest

Other than the million prom dates whos dates get bumped off or injured throughout the book i.e. Michael Danz the poor thing, there was one hot main love interest for Margaret…..Mitch McGill!

With his warm spaniel brown eyes, strong bones and great face.  He was tall with broad shoulders had thick dark hair and a nice smile…… he was our typical Point Horror boy and actually pretty decent.  Not Chelley fancying pretty decent, but decent.

He was a nice all round guy and he genuinely seemed to really like and care for Margaret and I loved how he seemed to avoid the Pop’s at all costs.

He did give me a chuckle though when he got asked to Prom by future Prom Date killer reveal Liza, but didn’t think to mention it until right at the end because you know it wasn’t important…..THERE WAS ONLY A KILLER KILLING OFF BOYS PROM DATES ON THE LOOSE but hey ho!

The Gang

Only fair to start off with best friend to Margaret, Caroline LaSalle.  With her bronze and muddy water coloured hair, good skin, her eyes a little green and a little gray and her thin face that was sharp around the edges no wonder people thought she and Margaret were sisters(?!).  She of course was not going to prom and was holding out for a hot guy to ask her even though a poor underused boy called Scott was pining after her.  She liked to always be right and planned to buy turquoise contact lenses…..well that’s if she ever remembered to put them in, but then say she didn’t say she hadn’t put them in, but really had *mind swirls*.

She was the classic red herring best friend and to be honest let Margaret off quite easily when she got accused of being the murderer because she was so desperate to go to Prom (not).  She did try and pull the feel guilty for going to prom without me Margaret card and I do wish Scott had turned her down when she finally asked him to the prom but other than that she was okay.

Then there were Margaret’s two other best friends because of course there had to be four to make a Quartet (a common theme throughout the book)….Jeannine Baker with her narrow face, tall and thin as a stick frame and red frizzy hair and Lacey Dowd who in contrast was short, stocky (grrrrr very R L Stine, but at least Hoh didn’t make her the murderer!) with a dutch boy bright blonde haired bob.  They were not very good friends really were they…..I mean as soon as one of the Pop’s was bumped off and couldn’t go to the prom they were right there trying to poach their dates.  I did do an evil chuckle when they didn’t end up going to prom in the end!  All the lollingtons!

Then there were The Pop’s……Stiney was way ahead of his time here I think with his unique name for “The Plastics”.

Up first is top Pop Stephanie Markham who may only be remembered for floating by the rocks in her yellow jacket….dead.  Yes that’s right she got pushed from the top of an old creepy lighthouse….that must have hurt!  With her love for all things yellow, her credit card and a prime candidate for prom queen she was our classic queen of the bitches.  She was tall and leopard sleek with dark hair like black velvet and perfect porcelain skin…..did she really deserve to be pushed to her death because someone wanted her Prom Date?

No YOUR nodding!

Then of course to make up the Pop’s Quartet there was olive skinned, perfect make up Kiki and blue eyed, quite the artist and a quieter kid of beauty Beth Andrews.

And then the brilliant Liza Buffet!

OMG I think I loved Liza as the evil, desperate to go to Prom, murderer.  She was described as not as mean as Stephanie, tall, blond and although red was not her colour she loved to kill!  She would do anything for a date and I think that whole scene at the end just made me go QUEEN!  More on that later!  I loved the chapters when we saw her thought process and inside her head and I loved how she just had to have a date to prom so she figures she will eliminate all of her friends.

QUEEN!

I can’t not mention little Scott Noonan with his thing for Caroline.  With his freckles, blue eyes and bushy red hair.  He was severely under used in this Point Horror and didn’t really get a time to shine.  I mean he sometimes bought Caroline a single yellow rose for crying out loud….that’s just too adorable right?!

Fashion Faux Pas

I didn’t spot too many….but a horn rimmed glasses and pink suit combo did slip in there some where although I’m unsure who was wearing this!

There was also a bright yellow shorts and top combi that Lacey wore to the hospital!

*pops on Margaret’s sunglasses*

Dialogue Disasters

“How could your best friend be completely insane without you knowing it?”

I’ve said it before and I will say it again….THIS IS POINT HORROR!

“Was Caroline really insane?  Was that why she’d been doing so much reading about mental illness, because she was afraid she had it?”

NO HOH!  NO!  GRRRRRRRRRR

“His obvious concern warmed her like a wool sweater”

Margaret likes it as hot as a dumpster in her sweaters!

“After a long drought even a few drops of water were a blessing”

This is Margaret’s comparison to dating…….*coughs*

“One of these days he’s going to get tired of being treated like the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag”

Poor Scott was living his own Point Horror nightmare!

“The image of me in a prom dress would be as hard for them to grasp as the meaning of a Shakespeare sonnet”

To be or not to be….

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”

Says Margaret waking up from sleep in her hospital bed…..I think this is when Hoh gave Stiney the idea for The Snowman!

“This wasn’t one of those disgusting teen horror films where the girl was so desperate for a date, she took a chain saw to anyone who stood in her way”

No THATS what we call a Point Horror!

“I cannot believe that someone is attacking girls to keep them from attending their senior prom!  It so totally insane!”

It’s so totally Point Horror!

Body Count

1 full on push someone off the top of a light house murder!

Yeah!

Plus of course one stray cat poisoned by accident (death by milk) and three near misses for our other characters!

It was awesome!

Is it scary?

Hmmmmmm not really ….. more borderline slasher horror film that kept me guessing until the very end…..I mean it could have been anyone!

Did the best friend do it?

Oh yes!  One of the Pop’s best friends of course, but it still totally counts!

I mean I was all for Scott being the reveal to be honest because it would have been a better twist than the one we had…….but still Liza took the Pop’s friendship oath of “One For All.  And All For One” very seriously indeed!

And that ending scene when she comes into Prom like something out of Sunset Boulevard was just a Point Horror classic moment!  Just brilliant!

gloria-swanson-norma-desmond

This being said another good twist would have been that the Pop’s Moms did it……you know it would have been great!  #QuartetForever

Some Mild Peril?

I guess climbing a creepy rotten lighthouse and being pushed off the edge, being locked in a burning dumpster after a failed poison attempt and basically become human prom date bait for Liza classes as mild peril right?

Is it any good?

I have to say I really really enjoyed this one.  It was a lot longer than our normal Point Horror, but I really liked the feel to it.  It had a good range of suspects and a pretty decent storyline.  I could quite easily imagine this being a 90’s film and really enjoying it.

Shout out to the brilliantly names shops in this little old town – Quartet, Impeccable Tastes – I basically want to live there…..but not go any where near Prom!

Final Thought

“Atmosfear”

Cover Wars!

Which do you prefer?

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Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • What would you do if you didn’t have a date to the Toomey High Prom?
  • You want to make a grand entrance to the Prom…..what would you do?
  • What happened to Liza after the book ?
  • Did Mitch and Margaret stay together?
  • What ever happened to Scott?

You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub to discuss this months pick……The Snowman by R L Stine !

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For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

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Tales Quiz – Which Character From Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman Are You?


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Earlier this year I read and loved Lying About Last Summer by the lovely Sue Wallman.

You can find my spoiler free review here

So when the book was announced as one of the #ZoellaBookClub Books I was so super excited!

I was lucky enough to have been sent all of the #ZoellaBookClub Autumn Edition books by the lovely people at WH Smith ( you can find my unboxing and more about the books here ) and as I had already read and reviewed Lying About Last Summer I thought it would be nice to do something a little different.

So I teamed up with the wonderful Sue Wallman and today we are asking….

Which Character From Lying About Last Summer Are You?


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Skye is looking for an escape from the reality of last summer when her sister died in a tragic accident. Her parents think that a camp for troubled teenagers might help her process her grief. All of the kids at the summer camp have lost someone close, but is bringing them together such a good idea? And can everyone at camp be trusted? When Skye starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister, she knows it’s time to confront the past. But what if the danger is right in front of her?

You can buy a copy of the #ZoellaBookClub version of the book here

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You can buy a copy of the original cover of the book here


Which character from Lying About Last Summer are you most like? 

Take the quiz to find out and share your results with us on twitter or leave a comment.

If you cannot see the quiz below click here and scroll down


About Sue Wallman

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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


A huge thank you to Sue for playing along and helping to create this quiz!  And to Olivia at Scholastic for being so supportive of the idea.

Have you read Lying About Last Summer?  What did you think?  Have you taken the quiz?  Which character are you?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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