Tales Events – Faber & Faber February 2016

faber signOn the 20th February 2016 I excitedly jumped out of bed at 4:30am!  I know right!  How could this be possible at 4:30pm?!

Well I had a train to catch to London for a very exciting blogger event at Faber & Faber!  A chance to hear about all of their up coming releases and hopefully chat and eat cake….and oh yes there was cake!


So before attending Faber and despite the rain it was wonderful to meet up with these lovelies for a good book chat, coffee and laughs…..


It was then time to head over to Faber & Faber located not far from the British Museum it was like walking down the street belonging to Upstairs, Downstairs.  I passed beautiful white buildings and houses with big wide front doors until I eventually arrived at Faber.

faber signWe were welcomed by the lovely Hannah Love who explained that they were going to be talking about all the books and we had two special author guests, Alwyn Hamilton author of Rebel Of The Sands and Laure Eve author of Fearsome Dreamer, The Illusionists and the upcoming The Graces which she was going to talk to us a little about.

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We were even encouraged to eat sweets and cake!

Faber Cake*drools*

Anyway onto the books….

We heard about so many fab books from the Faber Team and each description was enthused with such enthusiasm and love  it was really touching to see.  You could really tell how much the Faber team love their books and authors.


“Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.”

Dustwalk is Amani’s home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need.

Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan’s enemies are on the rise.

First up we were lucky enough to have the lovely author of Rebel Of The Sands, Alwyn Hamilton tell us more about this wonderful book in person.

faber45It was so interesting to hear about the factual research that Alwyn carried out whilst writing Rebel Of The Sands and the fables and stories that she read as research.  Rebel Of The Sands took Alwyn roughly two years to write and like many of us she suffered with writers block and well as times to work out plot points.  Alwyn revealed that one of the hardest scenes she wrote was the moving train scene only because it forced the issue of figuring out some plot points to make it work and when it all did it clicked into place nicely.

I got to meet the lovely Alywn at the end of the event and get my personalised book proof signed and she was so lovely 🙂

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Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else.

Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother.
Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father.
Alyce is staying at home to please her parents.
Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don’t save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?









I have heard such good things and high praise for this book prior to this event and Faber sold it to be even more.  We were informed that this book tells the story of four teenagers with different stories and that the book is heart-warming, diverse and uplifting.  We were fore warned that chapter 13 may make us cry!  So excited for this book!


**Please Note – the above is not the final cover**


Sixteen year old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn’t left his house in three years, which is fine by him. At home, he is the master of his own kingdom–even if his kingdom doesn’t extend outside of the house.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to go to a top tier psychiatry program. She’ll do anything to get in.

When Lisa finds out about Solomon’s solitary existence, she comes up with a plan sure to net her a scholarship: Befriend Solomon. Treat his condition. And write a paper on her findings. To earn Solomon’s trust, Lisa begins letting him into her life, introducing him to her boyfriend Clark, and telling him her secrets. Soon, Solomon begins to open up and expand his universe. But all three teens have grown uncomfortably close, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.

I have to say I had not heard of this book before the event, but I am completely in love with it before even reading it.  We were played the most wonderful video message from the author John Corey Whaley and it made me smile and also brought a tear to my eye.  The video introduced us to the book and the reasoning behind writing the book.  John Corey Whaley wanted to find a way to deal with his anxiety and he did this by working through his issues by writing this book.  He wanted to show that someone can still be happy even if you are in a situation like the main character Solomon finds himself in.  John read from the first chapter of the book and I was mesmerised.

We were all given a copy of this book in our goodie bags and there are 4 different colours with different quotes on the back.  I got the blue one as you can see above.

I think this will be a book to watch!


The truth is that jail is a place where you can still hold on to hope – hope you’ll be bailed out, hope you’ll be found innocent, hope you’ll get a second chance.

Four teenagers, never destined to be friends – one rebel, one bully, one geek and one pariah, find themselves on the run from corrupt police officers in a stolen police car. How can you prove your innocence when the people who are supposed to protect you are the ones out to get you?

A beautiful, thrilling story of rebellion, and of friendship triumphing against all odds.









Next up I was so excited to hear about the new Erin Lange book!  This book is meant to be quite different from Dead Ends and Butter and is meant to be a thrilling books with the whole book taking place over one night!  I can’t wait!


Next up we had a lovely video from Kate A Boorman who spoke about the next book in this fab series, Heartfire.  The cover is not pictured above, but you can get a sneaky peak down below 🙂









This series sounds fascinating!

eve1Next up we were honoured to have the lovely Laure Eve giving us a reading and chatting about her upcoming new book The Graces!

There’s no cover yet – but here’s a bit about the book….

Everyone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.
They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

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It was amazing listening to both Faber and Laure talking about The Graces…a gripping read that will draw you into it’s world and blow your mind!  Count me in!

I also enjoyed hearing about how Laure was obsessed with the reality of fantasy and desire and how these can take over your world.

The Graces will be a duology and is partially inspired by the film The Craft…the idea that magic can be something, used for good and evil.

Laure was asked about the name The Graces and she told us that she loved the name instantly and it describes exactly how the characters are.  Laure also said there’s a lot of things about names in the book.  It was also awesome to hear Laure read from chapter one.

Check out the cover reveal for The Graces here

Another book to look out for when it’s released!


When 11-year-old Caitlin discovers a shrimp-like alien creature on the shores of her island home, she takes responsibility for teaching it about the world. Mostly, this just involved stopping little Perijee from eating everything! Caitlin becomes increasingly close to her alien friend, treating him like a brother.

There’s only one problem – Perijee won’t stop growing.

Then the authorities try to hunt him down and through his fear, Perijee disappears and starts causing trouble. Caitlin must leave home and travel across the country to try and convince Perijee to stop destroying everything before it’s too late.









I have been waiting so long to get my hands on this book!  A middle grade read about friendship and loneliness!  I already know I’m going to love this!









Next up we heard about the new book from Francesca Simon, The Monstrous Child, which sounded very different from Horrid Henry.  You can see a sneaky peak of the cover on the above pictures, but here’s what the story is about…


A stunning, operatic, epic drama, like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager – and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened.

Sound’s wonderful right?

ecss1Next up was a book that I am hugely excited about!  The new Emma Carroll book, Strange Star!

They were coming tonight to tell ghost stories. ‘A tale to freeze the blood,’ was the only rule.

It’s a stormy night in 1816 when there’s a knock at the door of Villa Diodati. Lying in the rain is a dead girl, and with her, lots of questions. Like, why did she come? What was she looking for? And who was she running from?

The breathtaking new book from Emma Carroll, critically-acclaimed author of Frost Hollow Hall, The Girl Who Walked On Air, In Darkling Wood and The Snow Sister. Strange Star is a deliciously creepy story inspired by Mary Shelly and Frankenstein, brought to life by a leading talent in children’s literature.

It was such a huge treat to hear about Emma’s new book.  You can see a sneak peak of the cover above and I think the blurb sums it up a lot more than me going I can’t wait!

You can check out an extract from Strange Star here or a Guest Review of Strange Star by Perdita Cargill


We then heard about the new Natasha Farrant Time For Jas which is part of the Diaries Of Bluebell Gadsby series and again had a sneak peak of the cover!


Bluebell and her siblings are beginning a new school year. Suddenly everyone is freaking out. Twig has taken up violent team sports, poor Jas is being bullied by the ghastly Cupcake Crew and Blue has a big decision to make.

There are fights and crying fits. Halloween parades gone wrong and secret graffiti artists. Confusing friendships and life-changing choices. But there is also laughter and above all, there is love – and that’s what being a family is all about.

I can’t wait to read this one!

Check out a previous Q&A with Natasha Farrant here or a Guest Post – Why Is London Such A Rich Source Of Inspiration To Writers?

podkinAnd last but by no means least we heard about a new book which is being released in hardback called Podkin One-Ear about a travelling rabbit and was described as wrapping yourself up in a blanket.

A thick white blanket covers the wide slopes of the band of hills some call the Razorback Downs…

Podkin One-Ear is a legend: a fearsome warrior rabbit whose reputation for cunning and triumph in battle has travelled the ages. But how did he become such a mighty fighter? The answer may surprise you… When a travelling bard arrives at Thornwood Warren on Midwinter night, he is warmly welcomed. In return for food and lodging, he settles down to tell of how Podkin One-Ear – and soon the rabbits are enthralled to hear the story of how one lost little rabbit overcame the cruellest enemy imaginable, and became the greatest warrior their land has ever know.

My ears pricked up lots when someone mentioned Watership Down only a little more action packed.  I’m intrigued!

It was then time to mingle …. and mingle we did!

I even got to meet the lovely Gracie Actually!


friend3friend4friend5We then were lucky enough to take home an awesome goodie bag!

goodiebagfaberbooksfaber1A huge huge thank you to everyone at Faber for making me feel so welcome and for a fab afternoon full of books, cake and love!

Do any of the books above peak your interest?  Which ones?  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 !



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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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3 Responses

  1. Jesse Owen says:

    A brilliant write up Chelley, I’m starting Perijee and Me today and I can’t wait for the new Erin Lange 🙂

  1. April 22, 2016

    […] enough to hear a little more about The Graces at the recent Faber Blogger Brunch (find out more here) from the lady herself, Laure Eve, and it left me SO excited for the […]

  2. July 12, 2016

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