Tag Archives: Thriller

Spotlight – Author Of The Month – C J Skuse


I am so excited to have announced on the 1st of April that the awesome C J Skuse is our #BritishBooksChallenge17 Author Of The Month for April 17!

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here

I am a huge HUGE fan of CJ and her books are the best of the best that will leave you craving more.  CJ Skuse 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 CJ’s books for our #BritishBooksChallenge17 April link up here you will gain an extra entries into the April Prize Pack Draw!

Today is also a celebration of CJ’s first adult thriller the delicious SweatPea!

Happy Book Birthday CJ!

Also look out for a fab guest post early next week from the lady herself!


About CJ Skuse

C.J. Skuse was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. Sweetpea is CJ’s first adult novel.

You can follow CJ on twitter – CeejaytheAuthor

You can find previous posts from CJ on my blog or by clicking on the links below …

Hot Boys In My Books!

Hidden Easter Eggs In Books

I also love this article by CJ of 10 Things I’s Like My Readers To Know here


The Books And Why We Love C J Skuse

SIXTEEN-YEAR OLD TWINS IN CANDY-STORE CRIME SPREE Twins, Paisley and Beau Argent are in the headlines again. Last time, they were the ‘wonder twins’, when as six-year-olds they were found alive in woods after three days missing following their mother’s death -three days spent looking for their dad. Now at sixteen, life’s not so wonderful. Out-cast and exploited by their money-grabbing grandmother they’re still clueless about their dad’s whereabouts. Until they discover an old letter from him. That’s when they decide to hit the road – and make headlines again. Holding up fast-food joints in Las Vegas might seem extreme but if they can get on the news, and tell their dad they need him, they might get the dream reunion they never thought could happen.

‘It’s so good, I’d recommend it to people I don’t like’ – Kevin Brooks on Pretty Bad Things

Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she’s caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave? Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place! From the pen of C.J. Skuse, author of 2010’s super cool debut Pretty Bad Things, comes a tale of rock star obsession gone nuts.

‘A rip roaring story’ – Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian on Rockoholic

‘sharp, funny and knowing…’ – The Telegraph on Rockoholic

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete’s body and a poet’s brain. But when she’s mocked at a college party, she knows there isn’t a boy alive who’ll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille’s dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

‘The tension and the comedy crack along with a heart-warming hilarity that is impossible to resist.’- Amanda Craig, The Times on Dead Romantic

At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits.

As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild.

Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.

‘Monster is another rollicking adventure … but you might not want to read the final chapter alone in the house . . . or while you’re eating . . . as you find out the truth about the Beast of Bathory. Great fun.’ – Martin Chilton, Telegraph’s Best YA Books 2015

‘CJ does it again, with a boarding school story packed with tension…Nobody captures the darkness of teenage nightmares quite like CJ Skuse.’ – Sophia Bennett, author of The Look

‘This book is a skillfully crafted rollercoaster of excitement, fear and shocks’
Reading Zone

‘The book has one of the best endings I’ve read.’ – 4.5 stars
The Bookbag

‘Fiendishly dark, with a sense of humour. CJ Skuse always inspires deep author envy’ – Keren David, YA Book Prize Nominee on Monster

‘It’s an absolute page-turner! I gobbled it up in one sitting, and it kept me guessing right till the end. A deliciously creepy horror story, served up with CJ’s trademark humour.’ – Cat Clarke

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves

THEN
Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane.

The Fearless Five, inseparable as children growing up in a sleepy English seaside town. But when Max’s older sister is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

NOW

Only Max and Ella are in touch, still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. But Ella is hiding things – like why she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level. And when underdog Corey is bullied, the Fearless Five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them.

But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

‘A tale of revenge, righteousness and recovery with a heart-stopping twist – The Guardian

’Electrifying, bold, brilliant’ Amanda Craig

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

‘This isn’t a book for the squeamish or the faint-hearted … think Bridget Jones meets American Psycho’ – Red

You can buy any of C J Skuse’s books here or from your local bookshop!


A huge thank you to the wonderful C J Skuse fan’s that provided me with quotes for this post.  I highly recommend all of these books with all of my heart and soul from our April Author Of The Month!

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

Are you a C J Skuse Fan?  Do you have a favourite book?  Are you new to C J Skuse?   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 – Dead Embers by Matt Brolly


Today I am super excited to be spotlighting a fab new Adult Crime Thriller by Matt Brolly, Dead Embers which is the third book in the DCI Michael Lambert series.

Dead Embers was released on the 6th March 2017 published by Canelo and is available in ebook!

“Gripping, chilling to its core and full of twists, the powerful new DCI Michael Lambert from Matt Brolly is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Helen H. Durrant and Michael Hambling.” 

So for my stop on this fab blog tour I am spotlighting this fab author and book!


An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer. Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out. But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined… Trust no one.

You can buy a copy of this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here


About Matt Brolly

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He reads widely across all genres, and is currently working on the third in his Michael Lambert thriller series. Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.

You can find out more about Matt Brolly on his website – www.mattbrolly.co.uk

Or why not follow Matt on Twitter – @MatthewBrolly

Or Facebook here


Blog Tour

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


A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for having me as part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read Dead Embers?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?   Have you read any of the other DCI Michael Lambert 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 – Three Terrible Writing Myths and Three Amazing Writing Tips by Mary G. Thompson


I have recently received this awesome YA Thriller by US author Mary G. Thompson, Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee which was released on the 2nd March 2017 published by Chicken House.

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is perfect for fans of Louise O’Neill, Lisa Heathfield and Cat Clarke’s The Lost and the Found.

I’ve heard such good things about this book already and I simply cannot wait to read it!

“Cleverly interspersing the present-day story with flashbacks, Mary G. Thompson masterfully drip-feeds twists and turns into AMY CHELSEA STACIE DEE until it builds to its heart-in-mouth conclusion.”

I am so excited to have a fab guest post from the author herself about writing myths and tips…..


Cousins Amy and Dee were kidnapped by a stranger as children. Now, sixteen-year-old Amy is back with her parents. Dressed in purple and clutching a plastic doll, she refuses to answer questions. As Amy struggles towards a normal teenage life, her family – and the police – press her for information. Unable to escape her past, Amy realizes she has to confront the truth. How did she survive? How did she escape? And what happened to Dee?

You can read the first chapter here


Three Terrible Writing Myths and Three Amazing Writing Tips!

Myth #1:

You need creativity to strike.

I’m not going to claim that ideas don’t sometimes come in the middle of the night or at other inconvenient times. They definitely do! I get them while I’m at the day job or on the subway or half asleep or in the shower. I almost never get an aha idea while I’m sitting in front of the computer ready to write. But that’s okay, because most of writing is not about ideas, it’s about execution. That means sitting your butt in the chair (or, if you’re trying to be healthy, standing your feet at your standing desk), and writing all the words that bring the idea to life. But what if that idea just isn’t coming? Well, that leads me to …

Myth #2:

Writer’s Block.

That’s right, writer’s block is a myth! I always say that there are two states for a writer, working and not working. What people think of as writer’s block is really just not working. If you sit in front of your computer and think, you will eventually think of something to write, and if you begin to write, you will eventually have a base from which to build. Whenever I say this to people, they object. They always have a reason why writer’s block is a legitimately totally real thing for them. It isn’t! If you think you have writer’s block, you are actually procrastinating. We all do it, but it’s something we all need to overcome. Sometimes writing is just as hard as any other job, and we can’t wait to magically find …

Myth #3:

The zone.

Ok, this may not be a myth for everyone. I have author friends who tell me that they sometimes get lost in a book and don’t realize that four hours have passed. This never happens to me! I have a terrible time concentrating. I stare off into space and fidget and surf the internet and text my friends and everything else. I know that I’m terrible at concentrating, so I don’t expect myself to magically fall into a fugue state. And this leads me to my first tip!

Tip #1:

Work longer, not smarter.

This tip is for people like me who have trouble concentrating. If you are like me but you expect yourself to write your daily word count goal in one hour, you are going to stress yourself out and be frustrated. Since I know myself, I’ve totally given up on efficiency. Instead, I set aside the time to sit in the chair until I know I can accomplish my goal. For me, this means I set aside at least five good hours on every day I have off of my day job. That’s five hours of time that’s totally uninterrupted except for all the ways my own brain finds to interrupt me. A lot of people dislike this tip because they are still trying to break into the business and have day jobs and/or kids that make it tough to find uninterrupted time. Which leads me to …

Tip #2:

Keep a regular schedule.

You can make up for a lack of long blocks of time by writing at the same time every day or for the same blocks of time every week. When I was a lawyer working longer hours, I would write for about an hour every day after work. This wasn’t ideal, but combined with several hours on the weekend, it added up to what became my first book. The important thing for me is to work regularly enough to keep the book in my head so I don’t forget what is going on. It is key to work steadily and never go long periods of time without writing, which leads me to …

Tip #3:

Do not stop!

Some people will tell you that when you finish a manuscript, you should set it aside and let it breathe or something for a few months. I advise against this. I usually end up taking a few days between finishing a draft and starting a revision, but too much time pulls you out of the story and sets you back. You wouldn’t stop going to your day job for months, so you shouldn’t stop writing either. The good news is, you don’t have to be a magical creative genius! All you have to do is keep writing and writing until you have a book!

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson is out now priced £6.99

You can buy a copy of Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee here or from your local bookshop!


About Mary G. Thompson

Mary G. Thompson was raised in Oregon, USA. She was a practicing attorney for more than seven years, including almost five years in the US Navy, and is now a law librarian in Washington, DC. She received her BA from Boston University, her JD from the University of Oregon, and her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. This is her fifth book.

You can find out more about Mary G. Thompson on her website – www.marygthompson.com

Or why not follow Mary of twitter – @marygthompson


A huge thank you to Mary for such a brilliant guest post and some brilliant writing tips!  And to Jazz at Chicken House for organising and sending me a copy of this fab book!

Have you read Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee?  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!

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!

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

You can buy this book here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here

Be careful what you dig up… 

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

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

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

You can buy this book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

When a child disappears, the clock starts ticking

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

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

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

Be careful not to drown.

You can buy this book here

Or why not add to your Goodreads here


Five Favourite Scenes In The Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About Chris Lloyd

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

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

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

Or why not follow Chris on twitter – @chrislloydbcn


Blog Tour

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


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

Have you read any of the Elisenda Domènech Investigations Series?  Are you intrigued?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Top Five Things About Jan Pearce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

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

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


About Jacqueline Ward

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

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

Or why not follow her on twitter – @JacquiAnnC

Or Facebook here

You can also check out Jacqueline’s Goodreads page here


Blog Tour

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

 

 

Monday 23rd January

The Book Moo

Tuesday 24th January

Big Book Little Book

Wednesday 25th January

Tales of Yesterday

Thursday 26th January

The Luna May Blog

Friday 27th January

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Saturday 28th January

Portable Magic

Linda’s Book Bag

Sunday 29th January

Rachel Bustin

Published Moments

 

 

 


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

Have you read Playlist For A Paper Angel?  Are you intrigued? Have you read Random Acts Of UnKindness?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading

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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Cover Reveal – Playlist For A Paper Angel by Jacqueline Ward


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I am super excited to have been asked by the lovely Faye Rogers – PR Extraordinaire – to reveal the awesome cover for the new adult thriller novel, Playlist For A Paper Angel by Jacqueline Ward which is the second book in the DS Jan Pearce series.


So what’s it all about?

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

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

Jan and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

Playlist for a Paper Angel is the second in the DS Jan Pearce series of novels.

Information about Random Acts of Unkindness (DS Jan Pearce #1) can be found here

Or check out my spotlight on Random Acts of Unkindness here


About Jacqueline Ward

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

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

Or why not follow her on twitter – @JacquiAnnC

Or Facebook here

You can also check out Jacqueline’s Goodreads page here


Cover Reveal

And now the moment you have all been waiting for…….

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Isn’t it wonderful!


Another huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to feature this fab cover reveal!

What do you think of the cover for Playlist For A Paper Angel?  Are you intrigued? Have you read Random Acts Of UnKindness?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading

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Guest Post – Graffiti – Valuable Street Art? – Or Antisocial Crime? by Matt Dickinson


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I’m super excited to have the brilliant Matt Dickinson on Tales again today, but this time with a fab guest about research for his brand new teen / YA thriller Lie Kill Walk Away.

Lie Kill Walk Away was released on the 6th October in paperback and ebook and looks absolutely fantastic!

I cannot wait to read this book and with today’s guest post I think you will all be intrigued too…..


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LIE
I check the Range Rover dash. The keys are in there.
The sirens are closing in. There s a police helicopter coming over the hospital

KILL
I have to decide. Decide right now. I can keep out of trouble. Not get involved. Just run away through the park and go home and pretend none of this has happened.
Or I can help Becca.

WALK AWAY
I stare into her eyes. Those deep blue eyes. Just for a split second.
I tell her, get in the car .

Joe and Becca uncover a deadly secret. A lethal bioweapon is about to be unleashed. Millions will suffer a terrible death.

Now they are being hunted down.

And their problems have only just begun …


GRAFFITI – VALUABLE STREET ART – OR ANTISOCIAL CRIME?

One of the research topics I got into while I was writing Lie Kill Walk Away was the controversial subject of graffiti. The reason for looking into it was that my character Joe in the book is a graffiti artist who finds himself addicted to the clandestine thrill of putting his art out there on the walls of London.

How many ‘Joe’s are there in the UK? TENS OF THOUSANDS, spending an estimated fifty million pounds a year on their hobby. If you google spray can companies you will find dozens and dozens of companies (with wonderful names like Kobra, Flame, Clash and Montana).

Personally I don’t have a problem with graffiti. In fact I like and admire it. It’s become a part of the urban landscape and ‘taggers’ like Joe are expressing themselves with art in a way that they may not be able to do at school.

The public, however, seem to be split. A yougov.org survey two years ago found that 34% of people who answered the survey agreed that ALL GRAFFITI IS VANDALISM. 58%, however, said that SOME GRAFFITI IS ACCEPTABLE.

Tellingly, only 2% of people said that ALL GRAFFITI IS ACCEPTABLE

Some parts of the world have adopted a ‘zero-tolerance’ stance on graffiti. In New South Wales in Australia, for example, a person under the age of eighteen caught carrying spray-paint cans in public can be fined $440 or receive six months imprisonment … and that’s before they’ve got anywhere near a wall!

The most famous graffiti artist of all time, of course, is Banksy, the elusive street artist whose works can sell for six figure sums at art gallery auctions. Brad Pitt is even a collector of his work!

Banksy is a rare example of a graffiti artist who has gone mainstream. By far the majority are kids like my sixteen- year-old character, Joe, out there every night doing their thing, secretively and permanently on the look out for the cops.

It’s a game of cat and mouse which seems a bit crazy. Why not make graffiti legal on public walls? That might cut down the amount of graffiti on private buildings, right?

Some schools even have graffiti walls … a great idea!

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Matt Dickinson’s new book Lie Kill Walk Away is published now by Shrine Bell, an imprint of Vertebrate Publishing.

You can buy a copy here

Check out a previous guest post from Matt – A Tale Of Yesterday…From The Top Of The World by Matt Dickinson

Or Himalayan Megaquake! by Matt Dickinson 


About Matt Dickinson

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Matt Dickinson is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for climbing and adventure.

During his filmmaking career he has worked as a director/cameraman for National Geographic television, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Channel 4. His film projects have taken him to Antarctica, Africa and the Himalaya, often in the company of the world’s leading climbers and expeditioners.

His most notable film success was Summit Fever in which Matt reached the summit of Everest via the treacherous north face. His book The Death Zone tells the true story of that ascent and has become a bestseller in many different countries.

Matt is currently Patron of Reading at Lady Manners School in Bakewell and continues to climb and explore. In January 2013 he summitted Mount Aconcagua, which at 6,965 metres is the highest peak in the world outside the Himalaya. Currently, he is planning an ascent of Denali in Alaska, one of the ‘Seven Summits’.

Recently Matt has started writing fiction for teenage readers. His debut thriller series Mortal Chaos was well received by critics and readers alike. Matt followed this up with the first of three The Everest Files books, which has proven to be very popular. North Face is the hotly anticipated second title in the trilogy.

When he’s not writing, Matt tours the UK, speaking at schools and colleges and inspiring a new generation of adventurers.

You can find out more about Matt by visiting his website here


Blog Tour

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

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Another huge huge thank you to Matt for a fab guest post and to Lorna at Vertebrate Publishing for organising!

Check out a previous guest post from Matt – A Tale Of Yesterday…From The Top Of The World by Matt Dickinson

You catch another blog post by Matt about the Himalayan Megaquake here

Are you a Matt Dickinson fan?  Have you read any of the Lie Kill Walk Away or any of Matt’s other books?  What did you think?  Has this guest post intrigued you?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

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Tales Q&A With Faye Bird


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I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this thrilling thriller of a book, What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird.

What I Couldn’t Tell You was released on the 1st May 2016 published in by Usborne Publishing and is a fab thriller.

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for having me on this wonderful tour and to Anne Finnis for sending me a copy of this wonderful book.

For my stop on the blog tour I have had the chance to put some questions to the lovely Faye Bird!


WICTY Front Cover

When love turns to jealousy, when jealousy turns to rage, when rage turns to destruction…

Laura was head over heels in love with Joe. But now Laura lies in a coma and Joe has gone missing. Was he the one who attacked her?

Laura’s sister Tessie is selectively mute. She can’t talk but she can listen. And as people tell her their secrets, she thinks she’s getting close to understanding what happened on that fateful night.


Hi Faye.  Thank you for being here today!  I’m so thrilled to have you here!  What I Couldn’t Tell You sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it!

Can you tell us a little about What I Couldn’t Tell You?

 The book opens with a crime; Tessie’s sister, Laura, is attacked, and now she’s lying in a coma and no one knows what happened to her. Tessie, Laura’s sister, picks up the story. Tessie has SM – she is Selectively Mute – she doesn’t speak in certain situations, but she can observe, she can listen and it seems she might be the only one who can piece together what happened to Laura.

Can you tell us a little bit about Laura’s sister Tessie?

 Tessie is just like you or I, but she suffers with SM. SM is a social anxiety disorder that prevents children speaking in certain situations, such as in school or in public. Selective Mutism is sometimes called Situational Mutism. As with others with SM, Tessie does not have any speech or language problems, and she can speak freely and at ease at home when she is with the people closest to her. If you are interested in finding out more about SM the charity SMIRA’s website is a good place to start www.smira.org.uk

What kind of research went into the writing What I Couldn’t Tell You?

I knew I wanted to write about SM after hearing a young woman who had suffered with it in the past speaking on the radio talking about her experiences. I loved the idea that giving a character with SM a first person narrative effectively gave that character a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have. But I needed to do a good deal of research. I hadn’t heard of SM before, and as it turned out all my assumptions about what SM was and what caused it were wrong. Research involved reading key texts on SM, mainly written by speech and language therapists, and meeting those who had a direct experience of SM. Once I started writing I didn’t seek out new research because at that point I felt I had all I needed to simply forge ahead with my imagination and write the story.

Do you see yourself in any of the characters in What I Couldn’t Tell You or have you used any of your own experiences in the story?

 I guess I can see myself a little in Tessie. I felt an affinity with her, even though I haven’t ever suffered with SM or had any direct experience of it. I think that’s because there have been times in my life when I perhaps haven’t been able to say the things I’ve really wanted to say. I found the emotional tension between what Tessie thinks and feels and what she can or cannot say a rich ground for writing prose; it inspired me. I’m not sure whether that’s because of my own experiences or not, but I suspect it had something to do with it!

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

My first job was in a toyshop called Frog Hollow. I served lots of famous people there. Prince William and Prince Harry used to come in with their pocket money.

I love cats but have always been scared of dogs ever since one chased me and I had to jump on the bonnet of a neighbour’s car to escape.

After I graduated I went to America and worked in a rollercoaster theme park in Ohio. I served pizzas and chilli dogs and Mountain Dew.

 When I was little I used to spend hours and hours jumping off the stairs in the belief that one day I would take off and fly.

I aspire to having a writing shed in my garden that I can escape to and write!

Can you tell us a little about your other books?

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 My first book, My Second Life, is about a girl called Ana who has lived before. She’s always known she’s lived before and it’s been something that she’s always accepted about herself, until one day she sees someone she recognises from her first life and she suddenly becomes plagued by memories of a girl, Catherine, lying dead in the water. And with those memories comes strong feelings of guilt and responsibility, and suddenly Ana isn’t sure of who she is at all any more. Is she Ana, the good person she thought she knew herself to be, or is she someone who killed a person in her first life? And so her quest begins to find out the truth of what it is she has done.

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

 I think I’d like to spend the day with Ana in My Second Life. I’d like to ask her all sorts of questions about her two lives!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve got two books on the go at the moment. You Against Me by Jenny Downham and on my iPad I’m reading The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.

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Can you tell us a bit about your writing process – do you plot the story out first, or dive right in and see where it takes you (or a bit of both)?

 With My Second Life, I didn’t really plot at all. I had key scenes that I always knew I was writing to in my head – like Ana meeting her Mum from her first life, and the final scene right at the end – but that was literally it!

With What I Couldn’t Tell You I knew I had to plot more, not least because of the demands of the crime story. I was also writing to deadline and couldn’t afford to write quite so many drafts as I ended up writing with My Second Life. I’m currently writing my third book now – I’m just at the first draft stage, 10,000 words or so in – and I’ve spent a good deal longer planning out the story than with either of my first two books. I think, just as with anything in life, I am learning with each new book how the process works best for me.

Are there any exciting plans for the rest of 2016?

 I’m going to continue getting the words down for the new book, which feels exciting, and I’m planning lots more school events. I love going into schools and meeting readers, so if anyone reading this is interested in me coming into their school then do get in touch!

WICTY Front Cover

You can buy a copy of this book here

Or why not add the book to your Goodreads here


About Faye Bird

faye bird

Faye writes fiction for young adults. Before becoming a writer she worked as a literary agent representing screenwriters in film and TV. She studied Philosophy and Literature at Warwick University, but has otherwise always lived in London, and still does now. Her second novel, What I Couldn’t Tell You, will be published on 1 May 2016.

You can find out more about Faye on her website: http://www.fayebirdauthor.com/

Or why not follow Faye on Twitter: @faye_bird


Blog Tour

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

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Monday 22nd August

The Book Moo

Powered by Reading

Tuesday 23rd August

YA Under My Skin

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

 Wednesday 24th August

Howling Reviews

Teens on Moon Lane

 Thursday 25th August

Laura’s Little Book Blog

Mia in Narnia

Friday 26th August

Another Teen Book Blog

Tales of Yesterday

Saturday 27th August

Wonderfully Bookish

Overflowing Library

Sunday 28th August

Linda’s Book Bag

Rachel Bustin

 

Monday 29th August

Bookish Outsider

Kirstyes

 Tuesday 30th August

Luna’s Little Library

Serendipity Reviews


A huge huge thank you to Faye for answering all my questions and to Faye Rogers for organising!

Have you read any of the What I Couldn’t Tell You?  What did you think?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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