Cover Reveal – Dropped Third Strike by Micah Chaplin


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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 romance novel, Dropped Third Strike by Micah Chaplin.

Dropped Third Strike (A Portland Pioneers Novel #1) is due to be released on the 6th June 2016 and is a self published Adult Romance which looks super awesome!


So what’s it all about?

Kate Marks is hitting it out of the park as general manager of the Portland Pioneers. Her childhood friend Reid Benjamin is struggling to hit anything at all and, as a result, has suddenly found himself out of a job. When Kate hires him as hitting coach for the Pioneers, she’s determined to keep everything strictly professional, but she has underestimated Reid’s charm. His proximity has forced her to face a past she would rather forget. Reid wants another chance, but Kate isn’t convinced he’s changed his game.


About Micah Chaplin

Micah PicMicah K. Chaplin is an Iowa girl with a passion for writing, live music and Texas Rangers baseball. Sometimes the three loves combine.
Earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication from Buena Vista University in 2002. Published her first novel in 2003.

You can find out more about Micah on her website – http://unabashedly–me.blogspot.com/ or Goodreads Page here

Or why not follow Micah on twitter using @TheBestMicah or on Facebook here


Cover Reveal

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

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You can pre order Dropped Third Strike on kindle here and physical copy pre ordering will start soon!

Or why not add Dropped Third Strike to your Goodreads wish list here


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

What do you think of the cover for Dropped Third Strike?  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

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Guest Post – Caramel Hearts: What’s in a Name? by E. R. Murray


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I am super excited to have a brilliant guest post by the lovely E. R. Murray today to celebrate the release of her YA debut Caramel Hearts which was released on the 19th May 2015 published by Alma books!

I am lucky enough to have received a copy of this book which I will be jumping into asap!

Today E. R. Murray tells us about finding the right title, writing and recipes……


CaramelHearts_HighResLiv Bloom’s life is even more complicated than that of your average fourteen-year-old: her father walked out on the family when she was young, her mother is in a recovery centre for alcoholics, and her older sister is struggling to step into Mum’s shoes. The only person she can turn to is her best friend Sarah, who gets her out of scrapes at school and is a constant source of advice and companionship. One day Liv discovers a book of recipes written in her mum’s handwriting, which sets her off on a journey towards self-discovery and reconciliation – but a theft, a love rivalry and a school bully are just some of the many obstacles on the way.


Caramel Hearts: What’s in a Name?

The title of my new book, Caramel Hearts, is also one of the real cake recipes that structure the narrative; the book is a coming-of age novel about love, disappointment and hope, and discovering the true value of friends and family, no matter how dysfunctional they are.

So why choose Caramel Hearts as the book’s title and not one of the other recipes?

To be honest, Caramel Hearts wasn’t the original title. In fact, finding the right title for this book proved much more difficult than I had expected. For my first book, the title came right away; however, this one was a beast refusing to be tamed! Looking back, it seems like Caramel Hearts should have been the obvious choice. But my initial attempt was a rather boring: ‘The Recipe Book’.

Unable to come up with anything better, I decided to use the title as part of the overall writing process. The title soon changed to – and this is highly embarrassing so I hope you appreciate this sad confession – the working title of ‘The Culinary Whimsy of Happiness Bloom.’ I know. Terrible, isn’t it? I have an agent who would never have let this pass even if I did think it was a good idea, but thankfully, it was simply a working title, designed to help guide my direction.

I write organically and extremely messily. I might have a basic idea but usually I’ll just have the main character and the setting, and that’s it. I always write my first drafts in a month, not editing a thing. I get the word count down like clay, ready for sculpting. I find my way by writing.

And so, I used this (awful) title to remind myself that although I wanted realism and some scenes were going to be pretty dark, I also wanted some hope and light. I wanted the book to resonate with people affected by addiction but I didn’t want the outlook to be completely bleak. This whimsical title served that function.

The next title a few drafts in, was ‘Recipes to Make Happiness Bloom’. Slightly better? Maybe. It’s the title of the handwritten cookbook that Liv finds, the cookbook that sends her on a voyage of discovery, but it still didn’t carry the tone of the book and it didn’t have much appeal. By this stage, the characters were well developed and the dual settings were working, but the plot wasn’t quite in place and the recipes didn’t sit right – just like this new working title.

It wasn’t until the final draft stage before Caramel Hearts went on submission that the title fell into place. By now, the recipes had become central to the narrative like I’d always hoped, and my agent, Sallyanne Sweeney, suggested one of the recipes should be the title. As soon as I sifted through the list, Caramel Hearts leaped out. It reflected Liv’s journey perfectly – why hadn’t I realised this before?

Then came an unexpected fear. What if the title led to a book cover filled with pink and sparkly cupcakes? I am so not pink and sparkly and neither is Liv Bloom, but we all know that sometimes this doesn’t matter if a publisher thinks a book will sell better with that type of cover. All this worry and the book hadn’t even gone on submission yet – was it because the title wasn’t right? I tried to find an alternative but there wasn’t one; this was the perfect title for the book. There was no changing it. It was time to let go.

Once signed by Alma Books, the title never came into question. And, I’m pleased to report, neither did a cover with sparkly pink cupcakes. The cover and the title work beautifully to capture the essence of the story and I’m delighted to see it now on the shelves. In my search for this title, I learned that titles can indeed be slippery beasts, not wanting to be tamed. But I also learned that just like any other part of the writing process, sometimes you need to take a number of wrong routes before you reach your destination.  You’ll know when you’ve arrived.

CaramelHearts_HighResYou can buy a copy of Caramel Hearts here or from your local bookshop


About E. R. Murray

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E.R. Murray writes novels for children and young adults as well as short fiction. Caramel Hearts (Alma Books) is her first book for young adults. Her middle grade debut The Book of Learning – Nine Lives Trilogy 1 (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children, and The Book of Shadows – Nine Lives Trilogy 2 will be published in September 2016. Elizabeth lives in West Cork, where she fishes, grows her own vegetables and enjoys plenty of adventures with her dog, Franklyn.

You can find out more about Elizabeth on her website, or chat to her on twitter @ERMurray, facebook or Instagram.


A huge huge thank you to E. R. Murray for a fantastic guest post and for asking me to host in celebration of the Caramel Hearts release.

A huge thank you also to Alma Books for sending me a copy for review.

Have you read Caramel Hearts?  What did you think?  What recipe would you include in a book?  Do you struggle coming up with titles?  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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Tales Event – #YABookBingeFest Waterstones Birmingham 16/04/2016


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On the 16th April 2016 I attended this brilliant YA event at Waterstones Birmingham with two awesome authors!

AL14AL10AL11It was such a brilliant afternoon!

There was the super awesome Alice Oseman….

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And the lovely lovely Lauren James….

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We were encouraged to live tweet using the #YABookBingeFest from the event.  A few of us did this and I think it really captured the conversations and the event so I have storified it!

As you can see the panel was brilliant!

I even caught the most gorgeous picture which really captures the friendship between these two brilliant authors!

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After the event it was time for a signing and to catch up with friends!

AL9A huge thank you to Waterstones Birmingham for hosting such a fab event and to all the authors for being absolutely brilliant!

Happy Reading!

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Tales Post – Illumicrate #3 Unboxing


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I received the post excellent post the other day!

MY THIRD ILLUMICRATE BOX!

*Squeals in excitement*

Illumicrate is a UK bookish subscription box set up by the lovely Daphne ( @wingedreviews )

I signed up last year for Illumicrate and loved the first box I received back in November 2015 – you can find out what was in that box here – and the second box I received February 2016 – you can find out what was in that box here.

 I knew the third box was going to be just as AMAZING!

(Please note that I subscribed to this subscription box and paid the quarterly amount of £29.99)

So I filmed another unboxing with my glamourous assistant!

Watch us unbox, laugh, talk about wormholes, laugh some more and pull funny face below!

Oh and also some outtakes at the very end 🙂

So there you have it!  What a fab box of bookish delight!

I LOVED every single item in the box!

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Not only did this box have fab items it also had the personal touch.

Lovely Daphne thought of everything!

A huge thank you to Daphne for setting up the wonderful Illumicrate and for my third bookish subscription box.

I cannot wait for box number four in August 2016!  If this box is anything to go by box  four is set to be just as amazing!

Find out more about Illumicrate or sign up for the next box by visiting www.illumicrate.com

Or why not give Illumicrate a follow on twitter – @illumicrate

You can check out more Illumicrate Unboxings by clicking on the links below…..

Box 1 November 2015

Box 2 February 2016

Happy Unboxings!

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Tales Q&A with Sally Nicholls


512SH-DoKfL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Grab you deerstalker, dig out that magnifying glass and grab a bun break!  Twelve brilliant authors have written twelve brilliant mysteries for us to solve!

Mystery and Mayhem was released on the 5th May 2016 published by Egmont and is packed full of mystery and intrigue to test every super sleuths detective skills!

I am lucky enough to have received a copy of this book from Egmont and I have been loving the stories I have read so far although my deerstalker must wonky as I’ve not managed to crack the mysteries before the reveals!

*embarrassed face*

Today I am super excited to have the lovely Sally Nicholls, one of the twelve authors of the anthology on Tales with a fab Q&A all about her mystery story, writing and more!


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Twelve mysteries.

Twelve authors.

One challenge: can YOU solve the crimes before the heroes of the stories?

These are twelve brand-new short stories from twelve of the best children’s crime writers writing today.

These creepy, hilarious, brain-boggling, heart-pounding mysteries feature daring, brilliant young detectives, and this anthology is a must for fans of crime fiction and detection, especially the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, The Roman Mysteries and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.

The Crime Club are twelve UK-based authors who are mad about crime fiction. Clementine Beauvais, Elen Caldecott, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Frances Hardinge, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls, Kate Pankhurst, Robin Stevens, Harriet Whitehorn and Katherine Woodfine can be found anywhere there is a mystery to be solved, a puzzle to be cracked or a bun to be eaten, and they are always ready for the next puzzling case.


Hi Sally!  Welcome to Tale Of Yesterday!  I am so excited to have you here!

Can you tell us a little about your short story in Mystery and Mayhem, Safe-Keeping?

 It’s set in a solicitor’s office in 1921. A necklace is stolen from a safe and one of the solicitors is accused of the crime, because he’s the only person who knows the combination. But Arnold, Stanley and Billy, who are the solicitors’ office boys, are sure he’s innocent and decide to clear his name. To do so, they just have to work out how the thief managed to break into a locked safe …

What inspired you to write a closed-system crime for the anthology?

Well, they’re a lot easier to solve! I remember getting very excited as a child when I actually stumbled across a real crime to solve – a break-in at the Quaker meeting I attended. The problem was, the robbery could have been committed by literally anyone in Middlesborough, which made investigating it rather difficult for a nine year old.

How important was it for you to feature boys who become the detectives?

The office boys were the first thing I started with, because they seemed like such good heroes for a detective story. I was interested to see how many of the other young heroes in the other Mystery and Mayhem stories have jobs, or help their parents in their jobs – workplaces are evidently good places to solve crimes. And I spent last year writing three books set in 1912, 1914-17 and 1935, so it’s an era I know well.

How easy was it for you to get the language right for the story?  Was it important to you? (I loved how I could perfectly speak the way Stanley would have)

One of the characters in the book I’m writing at the moment is a working-class London girl in 1914, so it’s something I’ve been researching. It’s harder to research than you might think, because most novels set in that period have upper or middle-class characters as their heroes, and the working-class characters tend to speak in awful Dick Van Dyke cockney.

One of the best books I read for dialogue is the utterly wonderful Round About A Pound A Week by Maud Pember Reeves, a Fabian study of London families living on a pound a week in 1913, which is well worth reading if you’re interested in the era.

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I loved writing in Stanley’s voice. I know some readers have struggled with it though.

How did you find writing a mystery story? 

Fascinating! Most of my books are full of angst and emotion and relationships, so it was great to write something that was so plot-driven.

How does writing a short story for an anthology differ from writing a whole novel?  Is there a different structure?  A different editing process etc.?

It’s more pared-down – anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be there has to go. But it really depends on the story. Safe-Keeping is very plot-driven, which made it very easy to write, because you just put in everything that has to happen to get the plot from A to B, and you have a story. (Even the ‘flavour’ like all the story paper stuff is really necessary to explain why the boys are so keen to solve the mystery). I’ve written other stories which are more about feelings, and they’re different again.

How do you plot a good mystery or how did you plot the mystery in Safe-Keeping?

I wanted to write a howdunnit rather than a whodunnit. I stole the ‘how’ part of the mystery from a book called Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman!

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Robert Feynman was a nuclear physicist working on the Manhattan Project with a side-interest in safe-cracking. Using the method used by my criminal in Safe-Keeping he managed to break into a third of the highly-expensive, top-secret filing cabinets used by physicists  building the atomic bomb in WW2.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I write all my chapters out of order, and then get very frustrated trying to tie them together with something approximating narrative thread.

Have you read any of the other stories in Mystery & Mayhem?  Do you have a favourite?

Of course – I read them all! I really liked Caroline Lawrence’s, because I could just picture the world she described – it reminded me a lot of my time in Texas. It’s also easy to try and cram too much into a short story, which Caroline didn’t – her story is exactly the right size for her word limit, which is harder than you might think.

And somebody should give Susie Day a contract to write a whole series of Emily books right now please.

Were you a master sleuth – did you solve any of the other mysteries in Mystery & Mayhem?

Yes, but not many! I would be a rubbish detective. I am not very observant at all.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished reading my friend Jo Cotterill’s A Library of Lemons, which is a love story to books and friendship, and made me cry.

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But I’m mostly still stuck in research reading – I’m currently halfway through Kids From Over the Water, which is another account of an Edwardian working-class childhood, and The Victorian Internet, which is a very readable history of the telegraph system. I’m using it to help write up some teacher’s notes for my next Barrington Stoke book.

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Are there any exciting plans for the rest 2016 or 2017?

I have a new book for 5-8-year-olds with dyslexia coming out in July called Billy Button: Telegram Boy about a match-making telegraph boy.

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I’m currently trying to finish edits on a YA novel about three very different girls who get involved with the suffragette movement. It’s called Things A Bright Girl Can Do, and it’s specifically about what happened to the suffragettes when the first world war started. The story we get told is that they all gave up like good girls and helped the war effort, but the reality is quite a lot more complicated than that.

Oh wow!  That sounds fantastic!  I can’t wait to read that already!

Thank you so much for answering all of my questions Sally.  I loved your story in Mystery and Mayhem!

512SH-DoKfL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_You can buy Mystery & Mayhem here or why not visit you local bookshop.


About Sally Nicholls

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I was born in Stockton-on-Tees, just after midnight, in a thunderstorm. My father died when I was two, and my brother Ian and I were brought up my mother. I always wanted to write – when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I used to say “I’m going to be a writer” – very definite.

I’ve always loved reading, and I spent most of my childhood trying to make real life as much like a book as possible. My friends and I had a secret club like the Secret Seven, and when I was nine I got most of my hair cut off because I wanted to look like George in the Famous Five. I was a real tomboy – I liked riding my bike, climbing trees and building dens in our garden. And I liked making up stories. I used to wander round my school playground at break, making up stories in my head.

You can find out more about Sally on her website – http://www.sallynicholls.com/

Or why not follow Sally on twitter using @Sally_Nicholls


Blog Tour

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

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A huge big thank you to Sally for answering all my questions and to Maggie at Egmont for organising not only this Q&A but the whole tour.

Have you read Mystery & Mayhem?  Which was your favourite mystery?  Did you solve any of the mysteries?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Detective Work!

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Spotlight – #ThisIsWhoIAm Tour – Birmingham


IMG_1193On the 8th June 2016 Waterstones Birmingham have a fab event with an awesome author line up!

I had reserved my ticket and was all set and ready to attend and then Waterstones contacted me and asked me a question….

tiwiatThat’s right!  The people at Waterstones Birmingham are letting me loose in these fab authors!

With thanks to Waterstones (and persuasion from my hubby and friends Jim Dean and Faye Rogers – thanks guys) I will be chairing this fab panel at this fab event!

I am a little nervous I have to admit but I am also hugely excited!

Do tweet @WaterstonesBham for a free ticket!

So whilst I am busy reading these fab authors books (or the ones I’ve not yet read yet) and prepping questions I thought it would be fun to shine the spotlight on them a little and find out a little more about them……


Eve Ainsworth

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Eve Ainsworth is a writer of Adult and YA fiction. She also loves tea (lots of it), 80’s music and most things relating to The Beatles.

Seven Days, Eve’s Young Adult debut, was published by Scholastic Uk in Feb 2015. The Blog of Maisy Malone is a adult comedy novel that has received pleasing reviews on Amazon.
Crush, also published by Scholastic will be published in March 2016.

Eve has had short stories published in magazines such as Writers’ Forum and Prima.

She is now working on her third YA novel for Scholastic.

Please check out her website www.eveainsworth.com or follow her on Twitter @EveAinsworth        

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School should be a safe place for Jess, but at the moment it’s everything she dreads. Jess’s life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her. Kez’s life isn’t any sweeter. She has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks… Told from the point of view of the bullied and the bully, this is a taut, powerful story of two girls locked in battle with each other and themselves, spiralling towards a shocking conclusion.    

 

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

 

You can buy Eve’s books here or from your local bookshop.

Check out my review of 7 Days here or Crush here

Also check out this fab character Q&A with Lyn from 7 Day’s here


Harriet Reuter Hapgood 

harriet_reuter_hapgoodHarriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE and InStyle in the UK. The Square Root of Summer was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance, which includes an MA thesis on Dawson’s Creek from London College of Fashion and a dissertation on romantic comedies at Newcastle University. She lives in Brighton.  

You can find out more about Harriet on her website – http://harrietreuterhapgood.com/ or follow her on twitter – @hapgoodness 

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My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel . . .

Last summer, Gottie’s life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason, the boy to whom she lost her heart wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time – back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .

During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.

The Square Root of Summer is an astounding and moving debut from Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

You can buy The Square Root Of Summer here or from your local bookshop.


Lauren James  

71cXRJuzSVL._UX250_Lauren James is 23, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Her first novel The Next Together, a YA reincarnation romance, is out now with Walker Books in the UK and has been translated into over six languages worldwide. The Last Beginning will be published in October 2016.

She is an Arts Council grant recipient, and is longlisted for the 2016 Branford Boase Award. She lives in the West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James or her website laurenejames.co.uk  

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A powerful and epic debut novel about fate and the timelessness of first love. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.  

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The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about true love and reincarnation. Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation? For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.    

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Winter, 1940: there is a murderer on the loose at Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain’s most daring codebreaking operation against the Nazis. Can two young codebreakers Kitty and Matthew catch the killer?

This standalone short story can be enjoyed by new readers and existing fans of Lauren James’s The Next Together series.

You can buy Lauren’s books here or from your local bookshop.

NB – The Last Beginning is due to be released on the 6th October2016 and the e-short Another Together on the 2nd June 2016


Leila Sales   

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I was born in 1984, and I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with my parents and our cat. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a writer, actress, or singer. The writing part turned out to be easiest to accomplish, since it turns out I can’t really carry a tune, though I can do a pretty compelling karaoke rendition of “Hey Mickey.”

I wrote and illustrated approximately one million picture books when I was in elementary school, all of them about unicorns or cats or princesses, or princess unicorns who were best friends with princess cats. When I was seven, I wrote a longer story about quintuplets named Marissa, Larissa, Clarissa, Melissa, and Alyssa. The quintuplets were not princesses, but they did get invited to a royal ball.

During middle school and high school, I wrote five unpublished YA novels. I also acted in plays, competed in gymnastics meets and debate tournaments, babysat, and did an awful lot of schoolwork. My favorite school subject was math, and my worst subject was either science or Spanish.

I went to college at the University of Chicago, where I majored in psychology. I also performed in Off-Off Campus (an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe), competed in debate tournaments all over the world, helped judge the world’s largest scavenger hunt, and wrote a humor column for the school paper. And I wrote another unpublished YA novel, for which I was awarded the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Fiction Writing.

After graduating, I got a job at a children’s book publishing company in New York City, where I remain to this day. My first novel was published in 2010, and since then, I’ve just kept working on more. During the daytime I read other people’s books, and during the nighttime I write my own. What more could I need?

Learn more about me by following me on Twitter or befriending me on Facebook.

You can also find out more about Leila on her website – http://leilasales.com/

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All her life, Elise Dembowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, she dreams of fitting in at last – but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. In a cry for help, she self-harms, and when news of that gets around school, things get even worse for Elise.

But then she stumbles upon a secret warehouse party. There, at night, Elise can be a different person, making real friends, falling in love for the first time, and finding her true passion – DJing.

But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise?

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Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose: it makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her – including her needy best friend and her absent mum.

Arden stumbles upon a blog called ‘Tonight the Streets Are Ours’, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, and it feels like she’s finally found a kindred spirit. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night in NYC filled with parties, dancing and music – the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does – Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was either.

You can buy Leila’s books here or at your local bookshop


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It would be awesome to see you there!

Do tweet @WaterstonesBham for a free ticket!

Have you read any of these books or met any of these fab authors before? What questions would you ask if you were chairing the panel?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Wish me luck!

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Tales Post – UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016 – #awardukyabbloggers Shortlist


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The lovely Luna ( @lunaslibrary ) over at lunaslittlelibrary.wordpress.com is hosting the fabulous UKYA Book Blogger Awards 2016!

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I am honoured to be able to feature all of the details here on Tales Of Yesterday of how to vote in the shortlist!

Luna has kept the shortlist super secret so it’s a surprise for everyone!

This will then be followed up with a winners announcement post once the voting has closed!

I also have news of a special celebration event so do check the bottom of the post!

Without further ado I will pass you onto the lovely Luna!


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The UKYA Book Blogger Awards are OPEN!

#awardukyabbloggers

Give a big shout out to the wonderful helpers this year:

Aditi @ A Thousand Words A Million Books

Amy McCaw @ YA Under My Skin

Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf

Annalise @ AnnaliseBooks

Aurelija @ myblinddatewithbooks

Chelley Toy @ Tales Of Yesterday

Chloe @ Writer-On-Wheels

Cintia @ Reflection of the Books

Emma @ Howling Reviews

Georgia Stencel @ The Books Bandit

Jesse @ thatjessebloke

Kaavya @ outlookonabook

Kaisha @ thewritinggarnet

Rachel Kennedy @ Ya-bberingBooklover

Rebecca @ Rebecca McCormick’s Authorial Blog

Virginie @ Chouett

Big thanks to them and to Faye @ A Daydreamers’s Thoughts for letting Luna’s Little Library host this year.

So all the nominations were added up and compiled into a long list and then separated into a short list!

Voting for the SHORTLIST is via Luna’s Little Library who is hosting the UKYA Book Blogger Awards this year. Just follow this link here or click on the voting button below.

The voting closes on Friday 27th May 2016. 

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Don’t forget to share the love! #awardukyabbloggers

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Also there is some exciting news!

Join us for the #bookloverparty on the 30th May 2016!awardukyabbloggersPARTYEveryone can join in!

Come and share the bookish love on twitter!

#bookloverparty

Happy Voting

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PHBC – The Hitchhiker by R L Stine


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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 this months title!

The Hitchhiker by R L Stine

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

 There is a link to a poll at the bottom of this post to vote for your next #pointhorrorbookclub read! The next book will be announced on 17th May 2016

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

Check the bottom of the post for information about a fab upcoming Point Horror Q&A!  Get your questions in!


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


The Tagline

Don’t stop now!

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Two girls, Christina and Terri have been living dangerously and visiting…… Florida!

Florida!  But everyone in Florida walks around in Mickey Mouse ears and goes to Disneyland every day and smile lots and lots and lots!

Ermmmmmm…..ookkkkaaaayyyy….

 Other than putting people off visiting Florida for life (I joke) the two girls decide their next destination is Tampa as they just cannot deal with everyone in Florida driving 15mph!  This is when they decide to pick up a Hitchhiker called James who shows them how to work the a/c in their car!

Oh wow!  What a man!

I dare you to say that to the poor diner man who James beats up along the way and his cousin who he leaves unconscious on his front lawn!

Anyway, the three characters travel along and soon realise they are being followed….but by who!  And with reports of an elderly man being killed by a hitchhiker suspicions soon fall on the bad tempered James.

Well I sure hope the person who killed that old man get’s their comeuppance!

Oh yes they do!  They do indeed!  And I think it’s one of the best Point Horror endings….ever!

*evil laugh*

The Girls

Oh where to start!

I mean both girls were 17 with there birthdays weeks apart it’s hard to choose…..

Okay I’m going for it…..

Christina Jenkins…with her boyish, thin and wiry (?) figure, teasing smile, mischievous face, dramatic dark eyes brown playful eyes, slender shoulders and blonde corkscrew curls that she really should learn to brush was a typical Point Horror girl.  She was impulsive, loved to drive fast and who’s every sentence seemed to involve the word “boys”.  Even seducing our Point Horror slime ball love interest James (That whole back of the car scene was just cringey).

I have to admit I only guessed she would be the twist towards the end as until then I’m not sure I could see what direction this book was going in other than that a hitchhiker had killed an elderly man good enough to offer a lift.  But her excuse for killing him….. “Terri and I only wanted his car” #Saywhatnow

I would like to say I didn’t like Christina, but a little niggle in the back of my mind kind of makes me laugh a little at how she lured James in and then threw him under the bus or should we say tried to get him eaten alive at the end.  OMG I feel so evil!

Terri Martin….the seemingly exact opposite to her best friend Christina.  Who knew that a mention of her being an awesome swimmer at the start of the book would come in use at the end of the book…not once, but almost twice!  GO TERRI!  She was uneatable to say the least!

With her straight black hair, sky blue eyes, creamy white skin and chubby “full bodied” appearance (finally a chubby girl in point horror!) who showed us that you don’t have to be skinny to survive a Point Horror! *hi fives Terri*.

She was a bit or a worrier and far more cautious than Christina but that was completely understandable when her best friend was basically a murderer and a femme fatale!  Although I smelt a rat when although she claimed to be scared of James she quite happily went off for a walk in a remote wood with him and kissed him.

I actually kind of liked Terri other than the fact that she should have done the right thing from the offset and not waited until they were on a cliff with a Phirana pool below!

The Love Interest

With his olive green eyes, handsome face, powerfully built with a broad football player neck and short blonde buzzed hair you would either think this was a description of Vanilla Ice 90’s style….

Vanilla IceOr some gorgeous Point Horror boy for Chelley to swoon over at least!

Well NO!

James Dark and his love of country music and slapping mosquitoes was definitely not swoon worthy.  His temper and anger and the way it was just dismissed made me a little ragey!  I mean that poor diner guy!  And his cocky attitude towards women i.e. thinking her could have both Christina and Terri made me feel physically sick.

I mean I totally get that he was meant to be this mysterious hitchhiker who was going to cause the girls trouble and presumably we were not meant to like him and I do admit I reluctantly warmed towards him towards the end, but part of me really wanted him to end up in that piranha lake with the rest!  He deserved that at least rather than the full circle ending he got.

He deserved to learn more lessons other than “hanging around with the wrong women” really didn’t he?!  I mean it sums him all up really that he constantly thought the two girls were arguing over him and not the real reason that one of them was a murderer!

*angry face*

The Rest Of The Gang

Well everyone else was basically just fish food in the story but I wanted to mention a couple of them anyway….

Paul and Paula with his thining hair, potbelly and lively blue eyes and her pink plastic glasses, and small face they made me think of these characters from Keeping Up Appearances….

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I mean why leave a wallet of cash laying around the house and then let strangers and your cousin in the house….that’s just asking for trouble.  I really hope Paul was okay though?!?

Poor old Roger Eckridge….his death didn’t even happen on the page, but he still needs a mention as obviously he is pivotal to the plot that surfaced.  Killed by Christina and dumped on the side of the road.  What a why to go!

And then there’s Blue Taurus man otherwise know as Art Eckridge, Rogers son, a young man with black-rimmed glasses who somehow after dropping his Father to hospital, after spotting Christina and Terri dumping him on the side of the road whilst he was driving the other way up the highway, manages to track his Father’s killers down, run them off the road only to loose them again to then stumble across a half conscious Terri in the woods who has been beaten to a pulp by her best friend to then manage to pick Christina and James up on the side of another road hitchhiking to then kidnap them and take them to a remote cabin next to a phirana lake to then only be killed by his best friends phiranas!

Phew!

There’s a joke in all that description I’m sure of it!

Fashion Faux Pas

Ding!  Ding!

I spotted a reference to a very 90’s oversized chartreuse t-shirt and green spandex bicycle shorts combo!

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Also Paula’s pink plastic eyeglasses!

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Dialogue Disasters

Here’s some lines that made me chuckle…..

“Life isn’t a soap, Terri”

Yep listen to Christina Terri…..or maybe don’t.  This is Point Horror!

“He’s okay – He’s a truck driver Terri”

After Christina drives a truck driver off the road and can’t be bothered to check he’s okay, because this is the 90’s and she’s watched Terminator Two you know and they are always fine and walk out of accidents like this!

*shakes head*

“James giggled for some reason.  A high pitched giggle.  It just escaped from him like air whooshing out of a balloon”

*sniggers*

“Freddie Kreuger’s little boy”

I wonder if Stiney is referring to himself here?

“But he’s so cute.  He’s just like a big cuddly teddy bear”

Only Christina could call James the sleezeball this description!  Feed her to the piranha’s quick!

“He’s always been a little squirrely”

Squirrel-Halloween-Costume

“Window shopping for what?  Tractor Tyres?”

Terri and Christina couldn’t work out how to turn on the a/c in their stolen car so they are upgrading!

“Terri and I didn’t have enough money to call home”

Well don’t worry Christina it seems that your parents weren’t even worried about you at all.

“Listen Art, I’ll do something really nice for you if you let us go”

Don’t do it Art!  She’s only after your…..car!

“Don’t kidnappers only kidnap rich kids so they can get a big ransom?”

Sometimes you have to feel a little sorry for James don’t you *coughs*

“Show me the money”

Uh Oh!  I’m sure this is from a movie staring Tom Cruise.  But what came first The Hitchhiker or Jerry Maguire?  #lawsuit

Body Count

3!

That’s right!  THREE!

One off the page death (Roger Eckridge) and two rather bloody deaths at the end!

*celebrates*

You rock Mr Stiney!!!!

Is it scary?

No!  More violent than our usual Point Horror!

Although that whole Piranha Lake ending and the description of it….Stiney did not hold back!

They only thing is as the Piranha lake was revealed I started getting a little excited and smiled at the fact that these characters where going to face such a horrible scary death!

I’m slightly worried about myself!

Did the best friend do it?

And we have another winner!

Yes!  The best friend did do the deed…..of killing the person who was kind enough to pick her and her friend up and then kill him just for his car so she could get back home to her not so worried about her parents and then whilst on the way picked up another hitchhiker who she then tried to seduce, pin the murder on to save her own skin (literally) and push him in a piranha lake!

So the best friend well and truly did it this time!

Some Mild Peril?

One word!

PHIRANAS!

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Stiney upgraded us from his usual egg cracking death with a new splash, chomp and go style death!

There was even a new way of getting rid of Point Horror parents from the story….smeared across the highway!

Oh and Christina’s driving!

Is it any good?

Hmmmmmm….I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of this book until about the last 50 odd pages when the blood bath basically kicked off!  It was slow up until that point.

Although I can’t tell if I liked the last 50 pages because I was hoping (praying) that Stine would kill Christina and James off in what I think is the best Point Horror climax of them all….a Piranha lake!

This ending alone added an extra star to the book on my Goodreads page!  I’m not quite sure what that says about me as a person?!

And I thought this Point Horror contained quite a bit more violence and guns than our average point horror and I did find some of it a little disturbing I have to admit.

Final Thought

Swampy!

Cover Wars

I couldn’t find much of a different style in cover for this book really – just the writing style…

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Over to you!

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

  • What happened to Paul?
  • Would you rather have an egg cracking Point Horror Death or Death By Piranha?
  • Did Christina’s parents ever realise she was missing?
  • What happened to Terri and James after the book finishes?

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th June 2016 !

**EXCITING POINT HORROR BOOK CLUB NEWS**

I also have some exciting news for you all!  Following previous brilliant Point Horror Q&A’s with Peter Lerangis and A Bates (find it on the Point Horror Page here) and after a little bit of stalking detecting I have managed to get a Q&A with Point Horror legend – author Richie Tankersley Cusick!

OMG RIGHT?!

  Do you have any questions for her you would like me to ask her?  Leave these in the comments and I will add them to mine 🙂

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 17th May 2016!

And the winner was….

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The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th May 2016!

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 Q&A with Riley Redgate


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I have recently read and loved this fab debut book, Seven Ways We Lie, by Riley Redgate published by Abrams.

Told from seven different perspectives with each character encompassing one of the deadly sins, Seven Ways We Lie was a really interesting contemporary read.

I am lucky enough to have had the chance to ask the lovely Riley some questions about the book, writing and her future plans.


Hi Riley!  Welcome to Tale Of Yesterday!  I am so excited to have you here!

Firstly a little about the wonderful Seven Ways We Lie…

9781419719448In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view. The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether its the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But its Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she cant have, her charmed life starts to unravel. Then rumours of a student teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations or be ruined by them.

Can you tell us a little about Seven Ways We Lie in your own words?

Yes! Seven Ways We Lie is a YA contemporary novel told from 7 perspectives, one for each of the seven deadly sins. It examines the ripple effect from a student-teacher relationship, which—directly or indirectly—forces each of the 7 to examine their central flaw.

What made you choose to write seven different characters’ perspectives?

Well, the story came to me first from the seven deadly sins concept. For a while, it was something of an exercise in voice—the seven perspectives thing was the only real given about the story at first; the actual events of the story were what took a while to crystallize.

How important are names to you? Did you pick any of the characters’ names in Seven Ways We Lie for a reason?

In general, names are just as important as any other element of world building to me. It’s bizarre reading a contemporary story where the names feel out of date, for instance, or where absolutely all the names are quirky, or where they feel randomly generated and unconnected to e.g. race/culture/class/etc. In Seven Ways, for instance, I wanted something a little pretentious for the wealthy Juniper and a little offbeat for the ostracized Valentine. I was less particular about the others.

 I loved the fact that each character represented one of the seven deadly sins (such a brilliant concept) …. what is your deadly sin?

Thank you! Mine is probably greed—I really like having stuff; it’s an issue—or envy. I feel like envy is absolutely bog-standard these days in this culture of sharing everything about our lives, mostly the positives, with people on the internet. Very easy to see somebody post on Facebook about a sweet job or internship or apartment or something and feel envious.

What was your favourite scene to write?

Matt’s epiphany scene! The context is a bit of a spoiler, but he has such inertia so deep into the novel that writing a scene of legitimate catalytic change for him was satisfying.

I’m so glad you said this as I loved Matt and especially this scene!

 Who was your favourite character to write?

My favourite to write may have been Claire, the character of Envy. She’s really a thorny character, pretty morally grey. She wasn’t the easiest to write, but I had a lot of fun with her internal justifications for all her actions.

Do you see yourself in any of the characters in Seven Ways We Lie or have you used any of your own experiences in the story?

Well, none of it is so-called ‘self-insert,’ and none of the specific conflicts are specific conflicts I’ve had, but I suppose to a degree there will be parts of an author in any character they write, even if it’s just the author reaching to relate/empathize with that character. There are certain quirks of voice that I use that Olivia also uses, but I don’t know if she did it first or if I did. I sometimes write something and then start saying it in real life, which is a weird habit that I should probably suppress.

 How important was it for you to explore and represent the character’s sexuality and diversity? (I thought it was so refreshing to have an on the page pansexual character and a suggested asexual character…it made me smile lots.)

Glad you felt that way! It’s extremely important to me. I don’t generally speak to ace representation in SWWL, because the ace/aro character is still figuring everything out by the end of the narrative and thereby doesn’t identify on-page as such. But the pan representation is important to me since at present it’s vanishingly rare to see sexualities beyond the LG and B in LGBTQ+. I feel that to have an all-straight cast is just frankly not realistic in today’s climate and borderline irresponsible, as is just having a minority character, whether in race, gender, or sexuality, be a collection of stereotypes.

 Which of your characters from Seven Ways We Lie would you most like to spend the day with?

Olivia (Lust). We share a god-awful sense of humour.

 If you could cast your characters from Seven Ways We Lie in a big Hollywood film adaptation who would you choose?

Oh my goodness, I don’t think I could. Everyone in Hollywood is inordinately, disproportionately attractive, and I picture pretty much everybody in Seven Ways being pretty damn normal-looking, except maybe Juniper, who would probably look something like Emilie de Ravin, and Lucas, whom I imagine as kind of a young James Franco but with curly hair.

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jf1 A lot of people comment on the brilliant cover for the book.  What did you think when you first saw it?  Did it encompass everything you wanted for the book?

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Yeah, I think the cover’s absolutely spot on. It imparts the theme, emphasizes the idea of the split narrators, and is just really aesthetically pleasing.

What would you like your reader to take from Seven Ways We Lie?

A general reminder that everybody goes through their own struggles, and that people’s reputation and comportment have virtually nothing to do with the reality of their everyday life.

What do you think makes a good story?

Energetic writing! Weird writing. Singular writing. Anything that sounds more like itself than it does like any other writer’s work. That’s basically my only thought on the issue, since writing and reading are both incredibly subjective and something I think is brilliant is probably trash to somebody else, and vice-versa.

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

Absolutely.

1)      I can’t eat vegetables, seafood, or—groans from the crowd—coffee or tea. I have this taste bud thing. It’s the worst.

2)      I adore sharks beyond all reason.

3)      I cry at every children’s movie.

4)      When I was in fourth grade, I spoke almost exclusively in a Gollum voice, because he was my favourite Lord of the Rings character. Miraculously, I still had friends, no idea how that worked out.

5)      I sing in a cappella groups at my college!

Growing up who inspired you into writing?  Are there any Authors or books that inspired you?

J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness. They’re my big three. I’ve read virtually everything they’ve written, and every time I do, it reminds me why I love writing and what it can achieve. Something about those particular authors’ work makes me feel more like myself.

Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written?

I never really wish I had written somebody else’s book, but my admiration list could go on for pages. Recent favourites include Emily St. John Mandel’s incandescent Station Eleven (literary post-apocalyptic) and Leigh Bardugo’s kickass Six of Crows (YA heist fantasy).

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What are you currently reading?

I just yesterday finished reading Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, and I think I may just never read another book again and reread White Teeth until I die, because oh my God.

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I loved this book!  I feel a re read coming on as it’s been so many years since I read this now!

What is your favourite book of 2016 so far?

You mean 2016 releases? Hnng, this is tough. Tossup between Heidi Heilig’s brilliant time-travel story The Girl From Everywhere (out now from Greenwillow and Hot Key in the UK!) and Caleb Roehrig’s Gone-Girl-esque Last Seen Leaving, which you all have to wait to read until it comes out in early October, I’m so sorry. But it’s an absolute stunner, I got hold of an ARC and devoured it.

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Are there any authors you would like to collaborate with?  Who?

I’m actually not sure! I’ve never tried it. The concept seems a little daunting to me; I get obsessive about sentence structure, comma placement, etc.—god bless the copy-editors at Abrams who had to deal with me—and I’m used to having total creative control there. I’m sure my hypothetical writing partner would eventually murder me out of sheer comma-related exhaustion.

 When starting a new book or idea what does your writing process look like?

Varies immensely. Could be a list of characters, a chapter by chapter outline, no outline at all and just the vaguest idea of concept … every project is a little different.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

Only staying up far too late, which I feel is pretty much par for the course for those of us who are night owls. I do my quickest drafting between the hours of 1 and 4 AM.

I asked some lovely authors their thoughts about does music influence their books or their characters.  Did music have any influence the story of Seven Ways We Lie?

Strangely, not really! Music’s a huge part of my life—I’ve played piano since I was three, and I’m involved in several singing groups on my college campus—but this particular novel doesn’t have much of a musical locus.

 Are there any exciting plans for the rest 2016 or 2017?

Well, speaking of music, I have a music-themed novel that’s set to release in 2017 from Abrams! So I’ll be working on that after graduation. Graduation is also an exciting plan. I should find a job, or something, too, probably.

Thanks for having me!

Riley

9781419719448You can buy a copy of Seven Ways We Lie here or here


About Riley Redgate

Riley Redgate_credit Ally SchmalingRiley Redgate is a senior economics major at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Her expected graduation date is May 21, 2016. Seven Ways We Lie is her first novel. She grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and hopes to work in a bookstore after college.

You can find out more about Riley Redgate on her website – www.rileyredgate.com.

Or why not follow her on twitter using @RileyRedgate


A huge thank you to Tina at Abrams & Chronicle Books who helped organise this Q&A and to Riley for answering all of my questions as well as writing a fab book.

You can follow Abrams & Chronicle Books on their YA twitter – @ACBYA

Have you read Seven Ways We Lie?  What did you think?  What would your deadly sin be?  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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Guest Post – 10 Places Pan Would Like To Visit by Tom Nicoll


Dragon In My Backpackv3Today I have a very special guest post indeed!

I would like to introduce you all to Pan!

IMG_1646.jpegLook there he is hiding on top of all of the books!

Pan is a mischievous 15cm tall mini-dragon, who has accidentally found himself in England and specifically in the house of Eric, a young school boy and Pan’s new best friend.  If you’ve ever wanted an unusual friend, Pan is the perfect companion.

Today I have hired Pan to tell me all about his top ten places to visit in the UK now he has found himself here…..

And there’s even a little giveaway where you could win some books and Pan himself!


Dragon In My Backpackv3Book two in a hilarious new series featuring one boy and a little dragon with an oversized appetite for adventure. Eric finally succumbs to Pan’s demands and agrees to take the Mini-Dragon to school with him. But Eric gets more trouble than he bargained for when nightmare neighbour Toby switches his backpack with Eric’s and dragon-naps Pan! Now Eric must dash across town to Toby’s posh school and swap them back before his snappy secret is out! Perfect for fans of Jeremy Strong and Compton Valance.


10 Places Pan Would Like To Visit

Hello, it’s Pan here. Chelley has hired me as her official Mini-Dragon correspondent (Mini-Dragons are excellent journalists and our rates – 2 prawn crackers per word – are very reasonable). Since I’m fairly new to this country (I was born in China – long story short, my parents sent me to live in Mexico but I accidentally ended up in England), she has asked me for my top ten places I’d like to visit in the UK. Ten? I said. I could give you four thousand. But she said no, ten would be fine. Suit yourself I said, so here they are!

Wales

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They have a big red dragon on their flag. Do I really need to go on?

Big Ben

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To be honest, I thought I had already seen Big Ben when I was out with Eric one day, but apparently it was just a regular Grandfather clock in a shop. Eric says that Big Ben is massive but honestly, when you’re 15cm tall, everything is massive.

Shakespeare’s House

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Not many people know this, but I’m a big Shakespeare fan. One of the sailors on the boat that brought me over from China had a book with all his plays in it. I used to read it when he had gone to bed. Eric is dead against us visiting his house though in case I accidentally burn it down. Honestly, you get the hiccups once and you’re never allowed to forget it…

The Pyramids

All Giza Pyramids

I’ve wanted to visit the Pyramids ever since… hang on, Eric is telling me that there are no Pyramids in this country. He says they’re in Egypt? I’m pretty sure he’s wrong, but I’m on a deadline here so I’ll have to check that later.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge_Distance

Believe it or not, Stonehenge was actually built by Dragons. I’m not going to tell you what it’s for though. It’s pretty obvious. Can’t believe no one’s got it yet. Honestly, you’ll kick yourself.

Loch Ness

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I have a distant relative who lives out there. Mum says he’s some kind of big-shot celebrity. Not really sure how though, all the photographs I’ve seen of him look terrible.

Model Villages

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Eric, Min and Jayden took me to one of these a few weeks ago. It was amazing. It was like being a full sized Dragon. I’d really like to go again. I’ve promised Eric I won’t get so carried away next time but he says we definitely won’t be going back until he’s at least finished paying off the bridge repairs from his pocket money.

Eric’s school

Okay so the first time Eric brought me to his school I almost set it on fire and the second time I ended up at the wrong school entirely, but surely every Mini-Dragon deserves a third chance? Eric is shaking his head. Hmm

Giant’s Causeway

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I’d like to visit here just so I can correct people on the story going round that the causeway was built by Giants. What rubbish! Dragons built that thing and every Giant knows it. That’s typical of Giants though, always lying through their huge teeth. If I ever see one they’d better get themselves back up their beanstalk quick or there’ll be trouble.

Panda Cottage

A Chinese restaurant owned by my friend Min’s parents. It’s where Min gets all the free prawn crackers she gives me. You should give it a visit, it’s the best Chinese restaurant in town. Eric is pointing out that it’s also the only Chinese restaurant in town. Personally, I’d like to visit at night, when no one is in. Just to have a look around in peace though, nothing funny. Ha, Eric is saying it’s because I want to eat all the prawn crackers. As if! I just think it would be an interesting place to visit that’s all. Alone. At night. With the door to the food cupboard left unlocked…

Right, that’s ten Chelley. Can I have my prawn crackers now please?

*Chelley wipes crumbs from her mouth and looks guilty*

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There’s A Dragon In My Backpack was released on the 5th May 2016, published by Stripes Publishing and you can buy a copy here or why not visit your local bookshop.


About Tom Nicoll

Tom Nicoll

Tom Nicoll, a software engineer based in East Lothian, Scotland, has been writing since he was at school, where he enjoyed trying to fit as much silliness into his essays as he could possibly get away with. Years later, after his daughter was born, he rediscovered some of the books that had made him laugh as a child. 

About Sarah Horne

Sarah Horne, an illustrator with fourteen years experience, specialises in funny, inky illustration and has worked on many different projects including an advertising campaign for Kew Gardens and commissions from The Guardian and The Independent. She has written and illustrated two books: Tantrums and Tiaras and Paws, Claws and Frilly Drawers and her books have sold internationally in Mexico, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.


Giveaway

How would you like your own little Pan in your backpack?

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The lovely people at Stripes have given me one copy of There’s A Dragon in my Dinner and one copy of There’s A Dragon In My Backpack, plus a cute little dragon key ring that looks just like Pan to giveaway!

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UK&Eire only

Giveaway ends 17th May 2016 where the winner will be announced on here and on twitter.

The winner must be willing to provide me with their address and happy for me to pass onto the publishers to send out your prize.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A huge thank you to Charlie at Stripes for organising this post and the brilliant giveaway and to Tom for a brilliant guest post that made me laugh so much!

Have you read any of Pan’s adventures?  What did you think?  Where would you like to visit in the UK the most or where would you suggest Pan visit?  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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