Monthly Archives: August 2016

Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes by Paula Harrison – Blog Tour

For today’s stop on Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes Blog Tour I will be reviewing this enjoyable middle grade story.

The Midnight Chimes


Life was very ordinary for ten-year-old Robyn Silver. The often-ignored middle child in a big family, the most excitement she had was the dash to the dinner table to reach the last slice of pizza. Until… she begins to see creepy creatures around her town – creatures that are invisible to everyone else. And when her school is forced to decamp to mysterious Grimdean House and she meets its equally mysterious owner, Mr Cryptorum, Robyn finds herself catapulted headfirst into an extraordinary adventure – with more excitement than she could possibly have imagined. Be careful what you wish for…

This book is out tomorrow so add to your Goodreads list and buy from your favourite retailer


Paula Harrion profile photo

Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author, with worldwide sales of over one million copies. Her books include The Rescue Princesses series. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.




What I Thought

I would describe this as The Mortal Instruments for the younger reader – all the training, but not the romance (friendship instead). The storyline is very much a chosen one situation but this time our heroine isn’t alone in her discovery of a new world filled with monsters. I would say it took me a little while to get into this but once vampires were introduced the drama increased and I whipped through the rest of the tale, and was left hoping that there is more to come.

If you like the cover art – and what’s not to like – you will want to grab a hardcopy of this book because each chapter starts with a superb illustration by Renée Kurilla, and the book finishes with a mini monster compendium of all the weird creatures Robyn and her friends face.

The use of chapter titles had me in two minds, on one hand they are quite ‘telly’ giving you a heads up about what is to come and on the other I’d say they were almost like the summary headings a ten year old might put in a diary. I think younger readers will be fine with them though.

I loved all the main children characters from fiesty Robyn, her sweet younger sister Annie and her recorder!!!, Robyn’s best friend, dyslexic inventor, Aiden and bookish Nora. The children really do lead this with a few adult characters around to show them the way. They also learn to be very very careful of what you wish for – especially where sweets are involved.

There are plenty of surprises and some excellent scope for a longer series. I’d recommend this to readers that love middle grade and that enjoy urban supernatural fantasies where a hidden world exists alongside our own.

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What I Couldn’t Tell You Blog Tour – Guest Post by Author Faye Bird

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Today on the ‘What I Couldn’t Tell You’ Blog Tour I have a guest post from author Faye Bird on Where She Writes, but first up let’s find out a little about the book itself.


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.

WICTY Front Cover

If that has whet your appetite you’ll be pleased to know that the book is OUT NOW.

Do purchase from your favourite retailer and add it to your Goodreads shelf here.

The Author

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.



faye bird

Where I Write by Faye Bird

One of the things that I love most about writing is that you can do it anywhere.

I always have a pen or pencil and notepad with me so if I’m sitting down somewhere, anywhere, anytime I can write. And just like the rest of the world, I pretty much have my phone with me 24/7 so if I’m on the move – on the bus or the tube – I’ll write that way. That’s the peculiar, skittish nature of writing; sometimes you’ll sit down to write and nothing will come very easily and other times you’ll think you’re doing something completely unrelated and you’ll realize that a little bit of something useful has struck. I love that. But what I don’t love is that if you don’t get it down there and then, it usually vanishes and it doesn’t always come back again. So a way to make a note is what you need!


Where I sit to write – in the traditional sense – mostly comes down to three places…


I don’t have a room of my own. I have the table that we, as a family, sit around to eat, talk, do homework, play games – the table that is the heart of the house, I guess. When my kids are at school I make it my own. And when I pause in getting the words down I’ll gaze out at the trees and the occasional dog walker, the passersby, because I’m lucky enough to have a huge tree and a little patch of green just in front of the house. If the house is full and I have a deadline then I will be found writing in bed. It’s the only place I can go in the house and shut the door and get away from it all. And it works!



Generally I will write in any cafe that will have me where the music isn’t too loud or the babies too grizzly. Since January this year I have been going regularly to a local cafe to write one day a week with a friend. We keep each other inspired and on track, and it’s great to have company with the coffee when we break. Current favourite haunts are The Fields in Northfields, the Cafe in Waterstone’s in Richmond (so lovely to be amongst the books!) and the Clocktower Cafe in Hanwell.


The British Library:

This is THE place to write. It takes some commitment to get me up to Kings Cross, put my stuff in a locker, syphoning off the things I need into a clear plastic bag, and forgo a pen for a pencil in the process, but the number of words I can get down in the Reading Rooms is absolutely worth the fuss required. As soon as I walk through the doors at the BL I can feel something change; it’s like a little bit of space opens up in my brain, and there’s a twinge of expectation, excitement. I think it’s a sense of possibility, and a sense of being amongst clever minds, but at the same time being completely undisturbed, completely alone. In this place whole hours can go by that feel like minutes, and I think without doubt my best work is done here. I aim to go one day a week and if I make it, it tends to be the best day of all.


Hope that has given the aspiring authors out there some inspiration on where to get those words down. Where do you guys write?

Do check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour – you can find links to them all here.

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#YAShot2016 – My Perfect Library – Kiran Millwood-Hargrave


The Second YAShot is taking place this October and a further announcement about the final programme is set to be released today at 4pm on the YAShot website. Sadly I can’t go this year but I still wanted to support this fabulous event that supports a year’s worth of author visits to libraries and schools.

Today, I am pleased to welcome back author of ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’ – Kiran Millwood-Hargrave. I asked her some questions about what her perfect library would look like.

My Perfect Library 


The Librarians would be…cats, because my two favourite things are books and cats. Plus I think cats would look really cute in those stereotypical librarian glasses, and would be good at the passive aggressive stares that librarians stereotypically give.



The Seating would be…armchairs. Really big, plush ones you can curl up in. I’m assuming this library is for reading purposes only, because if it’s for working I need a hard, upright chair. I’m Catholic in my taste when it comes to work.


What I’d see as I walked through the door…books and cats in librarian glasses. And an ice cold gin martini (very dry, very dirty). I’m obsessed with globes so the Clementinum National Library in the Czech Republic is pretty ideal, though it would need a bean bag corner for nap times.


How would the books be shelved? By genre and/or ‘if you liked this, you may enjoy…’. I’d work my way through the magical realism section first.


The events that they’d hold would be…salon style, with authors in conversation. They’d stretch into the early hours and turn into lock-ins – we’d need more martinis. And no one in the audience would ask that kind of question where you know they only want to hear their own voice. I’d also be partial to a literary themed fancy dress parties – The Great Gatsby, The Hunger Games and so on.


It’d have these bookshelves….that spanned from ceiling to floor, and ladders on wheels. Because, Belle.



I definitely agree with the Belle bookshelves – those sliding ladders.


What would your perfect library look like? Do let Kiran and I know in the comments below.


Make sure to check out the rest of the tour by following #YAShot2016 and grab your ticket. You can also sponsor a ticket too – let’s pass the love of reading on.

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