Horror / UKYA / YA

Review – Dead Scared by Tommy Donbavand



Today’s blog post is about something very special.

We all know someone who has been affected or taken away from us by cancer.

This blog post is about one authors fight against cancer and how we are trying to help by raising awareness and fundraising via a blog tour, reading Tommy’s books and hosting a chat and some fab giveaways.

Join Tommy’s Army!


Today as part of the month long blog tour I am reviewing one of Tommy’s books – Dead Scared!

First a little introduction from a recent press release….


Award-winning author and Beano writer, Tommy Donbavand, has vowed to fight back after receiving a devastating throat cancer diagnosis.

The 48-year-old father of two has just launched a searingly honest blog that will chart his battle with the illness and has already received support from thousands of people around the world, including international best-selling novelist and screenwriter, Neil Gaiman.

Tommy, who currently writes The Bash Street Kids for the Beano comic and is the creator of CBBC animated series Scream Street, is sharing details of his diagnosis and upcoming treatment, while laying bare his fears and worries about what the future holds.

He is about to start a programme of radiotherapy that may leave him unable to talk or eat and suffering extreme pain for months.

“A few people suggested I start a blog so friends and relatives could keep up with how I’m progressing,” explained Tommy, who thought the blog might also answer questions his sons, Arran (16) and Sam (9), might be worried about asking directly.

Little did he expect, though, that soon thousands of internet users from all over the world would be following his updates, posting comments, and sending him emails of support.

“The response has been incredible,” said Tommy’s friend, Barry Hutchison, who helped set up the site. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and Tommy has been able to put into words what many sufferers may not be able to express themselves.”

After Tommy, who grew up in Liverpool but now lives in Lancashire, wrote about how the illness and aggressive treatment plan have left his family facing financial difficulties, the site’s visitors were quick to rally to his aid. So far more than 60 people – many complete strangers – have become ‘patrons’ of Tommy via Patreon.com, sponsoring him on a monthly basis in return for exclusive written content.

Other top authors are also getting behind Tommy, who has written several official Doctor Who comics and novels, with many offering to donate fees from their speaking events to help ease his money troubles during his months of gruelling treatment and recovery.

“I thought the blog might be therapeutic for me, and something I could hopefully look back at a year or two down the line to remind me of what I’ve come through,” said Tommy. “So for it to have resonated with so many people, who’ve taken the time to contact me and send me well-wishes is incredibly touching.”

You can follow all the ups and downs of Tommy’s battle with cancer at www.tommyvcancer.com


When Toby’s mum died of cancer, he knew his life would never be the same again, but even he couldn’t guess just how much the world was about to change. When a stranger offers to bring his mum back from the dead, he jumps at the chance. All he has to do is nominate someone to take her place in the coffin. What could possibly go wrong?

Publisher – Badger Publishing

Published – 21st May 2014

Pages – 48 pages

Format – Paperback / E Book

Category – YA Horror /Thriller (Aimed at Reluctant Readers / Teenagers)

Source – I was sent a digital copy of this book by the wonderful Danny at Badger Publishing but since reading have purchased a few more titles for my kindle.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!

**Please note this review is as spolier free as possible**

I picked Dead Scared as my read for the tour due to my love of the old Point Horror books and whilst looking through all of Tommy’s books this one jumped out at me and sounded like a similar premise.  I was not disappointed.

Dead Scared tells the story of Toby who has just lost his Mum to cancer and wants with all his might to bring her back from the dead.  After fighting with his obnoxious Uncle at his Mum’s funeral a mysterious stranger appears offering Toby an offer he can’t refuse.  What would you do if you were offered a chance to bring your Mum back from the dead in exchange for someone else?  But maybe this is an offer too good to be true?

I really enjoyed this book.  What I loved about it was the mix of emotions, fear, humour and the feeling of your worst nightmare coming true!

You sympathise with Toby because of the situation and genuinely feel for him each step of the way and with the twists and turns that occur following signing the contract.

This book is very short and is aimed at reluctant readers and beyond.  But even though it’s a short read it is perfectly executed and packs the punch it is intended to do to leave the reader fully satisfied.

I can’t wait to read more of Tommy’s books!  I loved it!

I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!


You can buy any of Tommy’s many brilliant books here

Or at Badger Learning here

Heres a selection of extra books I bought after reading Dead Silent!





About Tommy Donbavand


Tommy is the author of the popular 13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick Press in the US. His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and Uniform (winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, Boredom Busters and Quick Fixes For Kids’ Parties (How To Books), and Making A Drama Out Of A Crisis (Network Continuum).

In theatre, Tommy’s plays have been performed to thousands of children on national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle, Rumplestiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook (Platinum Films).

As an actor, Tommy played the Clearlake MC in the West End musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for over eight years, in addition to roles in the movies Zombie Love Stories (where he battled hordes of Scottish undead) and Going Off Big Time (where he was beaten up on a bouncy castle). A veteran of pantomime, he has portrayed just about every comic character from Abanazer to an Ugly Sister.

Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.

Website: http://www.tommydonbavand.com/


Or follow Tommy’s journey on twitter using @tommydonbavand

Blog Tour

Follow the fab blog tour throughout the month of June!

There will be giveaways, reviews, chats and more!


Tommy Tour 4

Twitter Chat

There will be a chat hosted by myself and @Serendipity_Viv on the 30th June from 8pm – 9pm!


We will be asking questions and chatting about Tommy’s books and also announcing the winner of a giveaway that will go live at 8am!

Do join in!


We’ve got 4 big UK giveaways. 1 (roughly) each week with the 4th one being held during the live twitter chat.

Pack 1 hosted by Laura Heath/SisterSpooky on June 2nd

Pack 2 hosted by Faye Rogers/Daydreamer’s Thoughts on June 9th

Pack 3 hosted by Andrew Hall/PewterWolf on June 16th

Pack 4 hosted by Vivienne Dacosta and Chelley Toy on twitter on June 30th

To enter each prize draw, your initial entry works like a raffle at the school fair. You’ll be asked to donate £1 (or more) to Tommy’s Paypal fund and then you’ll have access to a few extra free entries. The idea is to help Tommy and his family, a little, as he continues to kick cancer’s arse.

The winners will be announced during the twitter chat and to claim your prize you MUST keep your paypal receipt. You’ll be asked to give proof of your donation along with your UK postal address in order to claim your prize. Prizes will be sent out by the publishers/agencies so delivery times may vary.


We would love to raise as much money as possible for Tommy.

You can help by:

  • Buying a book written by Tommy and reviewing on your blog or sharing on social media
  • Entering the giveaways mentioned above when they are live and donating just £1 (or more) to Tommy’s Paypal fund
  • Become a Patreon here http://www.tommyvcancer.com/support/
  • Or Just donating here

Please help spread the word by sharing this post on twitter or Facebook or wherever you possibly can!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and I really hope we can make a difference for Tommy and his family.

Tommy’s Army Forever!



Written by

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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