Weekly Highlights; 14/02/16

Posted on 14 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

weekly highlights
Weekly Highlights is a feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts where I highlight some of the blog posts I’ve found throughout the week!

Lifestyle Posts

I only just stumbled across Rebecca’s blog this week but I love it. This week she wrote this post about her nan which I thought was really lovely and think you should definitely give it a read.

In this post, Kat talks about 6 things that don’t make you a bad feminist. I thought it was a fantastic post!

Petra has shared with us this post with some of the songs she listens to to help her de-stress!

I found this post to be a very insightful, very much needed blog post about skinny-shaming. Can we just stop body shaming altogether please?

Fitness Posts

I found this post by Mike this week and thought it was a great read. I’m now intrigued to know how everyone got into running! Mine is definitely an intriguing tale – *adds to blog writing list*

Katherine has written a great post this week about how she’s only human, and it’s a great reminder to us all. We can only do as much as our body allows and that we should always listen to our bodies. You can read it here.

It can be so easy to fall off the horse and this week Gareth has reflected on this with a great post about trying to get back into running. Catch the post here.

In this post, Hannah talks about five of the things that she’s learnt from running. It’s a great post.

And finally, Lucy has written this post about why she loves sportives!

Blogging Posts

This week Sophie has written a post about what she hates about blogging. A very interesting post. I definitely think as the blogger, you should just do what you feel comfortable doing. You can find the post here

Joe has written a post about 20 things that happen to every blogger, I can certainly relate to a lot of them. Read the post here.

Book Posts

Jess wrote a post that I completely agree with. Where are the YA books without romantic interests? Read her thoughts on the topic in this post.

Alongside this topic, Jim has written a Top Ten Tuesday for Teens on Moon Lane on non-romantic relationships. Check that our here.

And, further on to that, Holly Bourne wrote a post for the Guardian about spending valentines day with friends. I thought it was a really great post and can be read here.

This week Caitlin has two great posts. The first is this one which is about which books to read if you loved Buffy and miss it. The second is about not feeling guilty about not reading, which I needed to hear, to be fair. You can read that post here.

This week the Scottish Book Trust posted this post about letting young children choose the books they want to read. I agree completely.

Another post from Teens on Moon Lane that I liked this week was this one. In it Elen Caldecott has told us her top ten twins in books!

This post from Jess is definitely worth a read. A great review of a book that I am now dying to read.

Jim has also written this great post with advice for authors on getting involved with the book community!

Have you seen or written a post that you should be reading? Comment below!


Posted on 14 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

In Memory of Nigel McDowell

Posted on 13 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


For Top Ten Tuesday this week I was going to share with you all ten books that I felt deserved more love. But in the end I ran out of time and didn’t get the post up. I was then going to just put it up today but then on Wednesday I found out that one of the authors on the list, the very talented Nigel McDowell, had sadly passed away. And thus I decided to change the post to highlight the two books he wrote because they still deserve so much love than they already have.

Personally, I have only read The Black North, but I absolutely devoured it and I am certain that Tall Tales from Pitch End is just as good – and I will be making sure I read it soon.

Here’s a little more information about both of the books:

The Black North The Divided Isle, once a place of peace and tranquillity, has been ravaged by war. Twins Oona and Morris live with their grandmother in a stone cottage in the quiet southern county of Drumbroken, but the threat of the Invaders of the Black North – the ravaged northern part of the island – is coming ever closer. When Morris, fighting against the Invaders, is kidnapped by one of the evil Briar Witches, Oona must journey to the unknown realms of the Black North in search of her brother.

She is accompanied only by Merrigutt, a jackdaw with mysterious transformative powers, and a treasured secret possession: a small stone in the shape of a plum, but a stone that reveals truths and nightmares, and which the Invaders and their ruler, the King of the North, seek more than anything. Oona must keep the stone safe at all costs, and find her brother, before the King of the North extends his evil hold over the whole island and destroys it forever.


tall tales from pitch end Ruled by the Elders, policed by an unforgiving battalion of Enforcers and watched by hundreds of clockwork Sentries, Pitch End is a town where everybody knows their place.

Soon-to-be fifteen-year-old Bruno Atlas still mourns the death of his Rebel father ten years ago, and treasures the book of stories he secretly uncovered: the Tall Tales from Pitch End. After discovering a chilling plot planned by the Elders, Bruno flees, escaping to the mountains where a bunch of disparate young Rebels are planning a final attack on Pitch End.

With secrets and betrayal lying around every corner, Bruno will find himself fighting not only for his life, but the life of the town.


Nigel was more than just talented, however. Nigel was also a lovely ad kind person who will definitely be missed. He actually did an interview with me for this blog which can be found here. I loved conversing with him for the interview, it just showed to me how wonderful a person he was.

Thus I decided to find some of the other blogs he visited too. Below is a list to all of the links I could find. If you want to know more about him and his work, please do have a look through.

Hot Key Books Author Bio
Nigel’s Website
Q & A for Love Reading 4 Kids
Guest Post for Culture Northern Ireland
Writing Advice on Hot Key Books
Q & A for Tatum Flynn
Q & A for Bibliomaniac

Lastly I want to end this post by saying that I am very sad and sorry to hear about Nigel passing. My thoughts got to his friends and family during this tough time. I am very glad that I got a chance to speak with him, even if it was only briefly. I’ll always remember him and his incredible imagination and strength.

R.I.P. Nigel.


Posted on 13 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Running & Fitness: My January Story

Posted on 10 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Running & Fitness

I had, once again, great plans for January and it all started off really well and I felt really proud of myself, and then it all went to pieces. In the second week of January, after a week and a half of decent exercise, I got ill. The kind of ill that had me chained to the bed for three days. I finally ventured to work on the Friday – because I felt bad – and the day out of bed destroyed me. So I had a low-key Saturday, mostly due to low energy levels and then a busy Sunday in London. By Monday I felt drained again.

Then on the second week on Wednesday, while still not fully recovered, I ended up with one of the dreaded colds going around. So once again I found myself bed-bound for yet another three days. It got so bad this time that I honestly thought I had come down with the flu but, fortunately, I had recovered mostly by Saturday so I headed to work and then out in the evening as I had exciting plans that I didn’t want to miss, this went for my full and busy day on Sunday too. By Monday, I felt destroyed again. But I was certain that I would get back to the gym before the end of the week.

But it didn’t happen.

So now we’re in February and I am determined, once again, to get myself back to the gym to work on getting healthier!

The Plan

These are going to be very different from last month as I think I’m pushing myself too hard and berating myself too hard as well. I think slow to start may be a better approach!

I aim to do two days of gym per week (maybe one workout class, one gym session)
- I also aim to walk to work and back (25mins each way) three days a week (this will be weather dependent)
To start eating more healthily again too. Less crisps and chocolate, more fruit and nuts!

The Goals

- For my body to get used to the workout classes so my muscles suffer less
- To be able to run on the treadmill non-stop for 20 minutes
- To be able to climb the three flights of stairs at work without feeling like I’m dying

Let’s see if I can actually do this!

Are you doing anything to get back into or continue being in shape this month?


Posted on 10 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Finish It Feb; Updates #1

Posted on 8 February, 2016 by Faye - 4 Comments


Update #1

What? A week has already happened? Seriously? You’re not kidding? Darn. Seriously, darn. Somehow… SOMEHOW… I have barely read ANYTHING this week. I’m struggling to work out what I’ve been doing instead of reading, but I am coming up empty. Probably the answer is watching TV which is so not okay… not when I’m trying to catch up on reading anyhow!

But oh well.

At least I have read SOMETHING.

And that something is…

107.14 minutes (1 hr 47.14 mins) of How Not To Love by Cecelia Ahern audiobook!

How To Fall In Love

And I am loving it.
I ended up looking like a lunatic on Friday because I got to a part in the book that had me in hysterics and I was walking home from work. It was rather awkward but I could not help but laugh out loud – I almost had tears in my eyes from the laughter!
Definitely regretting not reading this book sooner but am just so happy that I’m finally able to enjoy it!

There’s just… 227.5 minutes to go (3 hrs 47.5mins) so I should hopefully definitely finish it by the end of this week!

How are you getting on with #FinishItFeb?


Posted on 8 February, 2016 by Faye - 4 Comments

Weekly Highlights; 07/02/2016

Posted on 7 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

weekly highlights
Weekly Highlights is a feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts where I highlight some of the blog posts I’ve found throughout the week!

Lifestyle Posts

This week Gracie has written a fantasticly relatable post on meeting famous people, escpecially authors. You can read the great post here.

A post that really struck me this week was this one by Fii. She talks about how important keeping creative subjects in the curriculum is! I agree with everything she says!

I stumbled across a great post by Michael this week on twitter. He talks about how online friendships ARE just as valid as other friendships. I happen to agree completely. Read the post here.

Are you, like myself, a wearer of glasses? If so you should definitely check out this post by Ms Mistry, I nodded along to everything. And hey, if you don’t wear glasses, maybe you’ll learn something new about your glass-wearing comrades!

This week I was fortunate enough to find this post by Grace explaining why she loves being an illustrator! It’s very informative and intriguing!

I think this post by Jenna is a really great one about surviving university with mental health and ways in which to deal with it all.

With valentine’s day around the corner, this week Jemma has written a post about the 8 things she does and doesn’t miss about dating. You can read the post here.

Fitness Posts

This week Becki has written a great post about how her running medals are more than bits of metal. You can read the post here, and I have to admit that I agree with all she said! While I don’t run as much anymore, every single point meant something to me.

Are you running a Marathon this year? Or thinking about it? Then you should definitely check out this post but Helen. It’s all about the Marathon Mindset and it is full of great advice.

Have you thought about sleep and exercise? In this post, Charlie discusses how sleep can impact your exercise performance. A very interesting and informative read!

Blogging Posts

As with everything there are good things and bad things about blogging and this week I found this post from Nic detailing five of the worst things about blogging. It’s a great read!

This post is one I found via Twitter and instantly loved. It’s not necessarily a blogging post but it also is. In this post Emma talks about how she fits within the blogging world and how she just blogs as herself. I thought it was a great read and insist you read it!

Book Posts

This week Jess has written a great post with some of her favourite swoon-worthy scenes in books! See which scenes she chose here!

You absolutely MUST check out this post by Renae. She’s highlighted six books by authors of colour that she’s looking forward to reading this year!

I was gutted that I was unable to go to Melinda Salisbury’s launch party this week, so I devoured this wrap-up post written by the lovely Gracie!

I’ve been meaning to read Beautiful Broken Things for far too long now as I have heard SO MANY good things about it and it sounds like a very “me” read. Here‘s just another fab review from Lucy about why I should be reading it.

Are you looking for some new books to read in February? Then why not read this post by Lucy where she tells you which books she thinks you should be getting your hands on this month!

Alongside Lucy’s post, you can also check out what Viv is really excited to read in this post.

This week I came across this post by Brittany and thought it seemed very helpful. It’s all about using Goodreads successfully as a blogger!

The lovely Alwyn Hamilton was on MuggleNet with an interview. You can read the great interview here.

I saw this post stumble on to my twitter feed yesterday and I simply HAD to share it. 6 Things To Never Say to a Librarian. I agree with them all!

Lastly I MUST highlight this GREAT new feature on Teens on Moon Lane written by the great Jim. It’s the six degrees of separation feature! Find out more about it, see the first book it’s starting with and then make your own from this post!

Have you seen or written a post that you should be reading? Comment below!


Posted on 7 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Blog Tour: Author Interview with Emer Stamp

Posted on 5 February, 2016 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hi All!

Today I have with you all an interview with the lovely and incredibly talented Emer Stamp as part of the Pig Diary blog tour! More information about her and her books can be found at the bottom of the post!

Interview with Emer Stamp

I love the humour in these books and can really see children enjoying the books, does the humour come naturally to you or is it something that you have to work on?
I have a very silly sense of humour, I think it was passed down to me from my parents. So I would have to say writing Pig and making him funny comes naturally. I start writing and silly stuff seems to just come out. If I read back over it and it doesn’t make me laugh or smile then I re-write it until it does.

I also love the illustrations in the books, how long have you been drawing? And do you enjoy doing it?
I have always loved drawing. My Mum always encouraged me. I would sit with her and we would copy pictures out of Winnie the Pooh and our other favourite books. I feel very lucky to have found a profession that allows me to draw and call it work. I am not the best artist, but I am a very happy and satisfied one.

The adventures that Pig and his friends get up to in the books are so great, do you plot the books beforehand or does the plot come to you as you write?
I am a plotter. Before I start writing the books I sit down and write a 3 or 4 page synopsis of what’s going to happen. I figure out the new characters and make sure I have a good beginning, middle and end. But it’s only when I start writing the book itself that the story really comes to life. I often discover lots of new stuff as I go: characters develop and things happen that I had no idea were going to. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I uncover as I type.

As you illustrate your books as well, when you’re writing, do you see the illustrations you want to draw or do you see the illustrations first?
The illustrations always come second to the story. I only start drawing once I have an approved manuscript. As I write I often think, ‘oh, that would make a funny picture’, but I never draw a funny picture and then try and write it in. That just wouldn’t work for me.

Where is your favourite place to get inspiration for your novels?
The farm I grew up on in Devon. All the farmyard characters in my book are based on animals that, at one time or another, lived on the farm. I live in London now, so when I want inspiration; to think of a new story line, or character – I pack up my son and husband and head down there. In The Seriously Extra Ordinary Diary of Pig, he, Duck and Cow all go to a country show. This was a direct result of one of my visits coinciding with the Devon County Show.

What is your favourite children’s novel? Is it different from when you were a child?
It always has, and always will be The Witches by Roald Dahl. I was given the hardback for Christmas when I must have been about 9. I couldn’t put it down. I remember my parents and grandparents going out for their post-Christmas dinner walk and begging to be allowed to stay in and read. I re-read it the other day and enjoyed it just as much.

We love Pig , but Pig loves Farmer. After all, Farmer gives Pig yummy slops and special back scratches, and calls him Sausage and seems to love him more, the fatter he gets. Just as well Pig doesn’t speak any Farmer. But Duck does (Duck’s clever like that), and he’s determined his best friend should know the truth.


The hilarious sequel to THE UNBELIEVABLE TOP SECRET DIARY OF PIG. Pig couldn’t be happier. Pig couldn’t be happier. Life with the vegetarian farmers is perfect, and best of all, he has a new friend, Kitty. Kitty is a fellow vegetarian, she purrs over Pig’s every move, laughing at his jokes and even gave him his new diary! Of course, only Duck can see Kitty for the cunning, jealous, killing cat she is. Pig won’t believe she’s up to something until he’s eaten the entirety of the farmers’ prize crop and is half way to the pie factory.


Pig 3: Pig, Duck, Cow and all the Sheeps are far away from their Farm and beloved Vegetarian Farmers. More fun, parps, slops and unbelievable adventure from this much-loved set of characters. Complete with illustrations throughout and printed in a unique diary format.


Author Information

emer-stamp (2)Emer Stamp is the author and illustrator of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig. Emer grew up on a farm in Devon before training in graphic design and working for some of London’s top advertising agencies. She was the Creative Director for the Adam and Eve DDB communications agency, which creates advertisements for clients including John Lewis, Halifax, Cadbury’s and Save the Children. She lives in London.

Website. Twitter. Goodreads.

Have you read the Pig Diary books yet?


Posted on 5 February, 2016 by Faye - 1 Comment

Finish It Feb Goals 2016!

Posted on 1 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Hey Guys

As you should know by now, today marks the start of Finish It Feb! I cannot wait to get started with this but before I can, I need to set some goals… so let’s do so!

(You can either add your goals in the comments below or on your own blog and then link to the linky below)

My Goals

I want to try and finish five half-read books.
I’m not pushing myself too hard but if I don’t reach the goal, no worries. And if I surpass it, even better.

And here’s my list of choices;

Never Always Sometimes Opal Plumstead Deliverance Finnikin of the Rock
Truthwith How To Speak Spook How To Fall In Love Ice Like Fire

What are your goals?


Posted on 1 February, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Weekly Highlights; 31/01/16

Posted on 31 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

weekly highlights
Weekly Highlights is a feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts where I highlight some of the blog posts I’ve found throughout the week!

Lifestyle Posts

Sarah wrote a very informative and resourceful blog post this week about 5 ways to increase your savings this year. You can find the post here.

I found this post by Kelly to be so helpful and great advice. She explains the 10 things NOT to say to someone with PTSD. You can read it here.

In a similar vein, Jessie this week has written a post with 5 tips for getting through depression. You can see what she has to say in this post.

Have you ever wondered why we eat breakfast? In this post on Helen’s blog is a great infographic explaining the great health benefits of eating breakfast.

In this post Andreea talks about what can be done for physical and mental health aside from healthy food and exercise.

Fitness Posts

Something I’ve been struggling with lately is motivation to keep up with my fitness, so I was really happy to stumble across this post by Tasmin about how to get motivation.

Charlie has explained why, depsite enjoying the gym and workout classes, she is going to be focussing her blog back to the running market. With valid reasons too. It’s a very interesting read and you can catch it here.

This week Victoria has written a great post about workout classes which I had to agree on every point for! Find out what I mean by reading this post.

Book Posts

This week Soozie has written this great post about 10 good things about adult colouring books!

Bee has written a very interesting post this week about sequels. You can find it here.

In this post, Novel Cravings talks about being a book hoarder and what her book collection looks like.

Sophie has told us all 17 reasons why she loves being a book blogger. You can read why here.

This week, Tales on Moon Lane announced that they’ll be starting a new feature, taking over the Six Degrees of Separation feature. You can read more about here.

What have you posted this week? Seen anything I might have missed?


Posted on 31 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Finish It Feb 2016; Sign Ups!

Posted on 29 January, 2016 by Faye - 12 Comments


Hello All!

Today I am happy to share with you all that Caroline and I will be hosting #FinishItFeb again this year!

The idea of #FinishItFeb is to read either books that you’re halfway through and finish them OR to read books that you have left in a series to finish the series!

It will run throughout Feb and is a chance to finish those half-read books and part read series!

To sign up for this fun-filled event, all you need to do is add your link to the linky post below. If you wish to write a sign-up post, we would be incredibly grateful but it is not mandatory to join the event. You do not have to have a blog to participate, feel free to link to your twitter or facebook!

Throughout the event Caroline and I will be posting weekly updates to let you all know how we are doing with this challenge and add a linky to our posts so that you can all link to your own updates as well.

Lastly, if you need any help remembering what happened in the last few books in the series, we recommend you have a look at Recaptains, an incredible blog that sums up what happens in the previous books in a large proportion of series.

Aside from all of that, let’s have some fun!


Posted on 29 January, 2016 by Faye - 12 Comments

My Five Most Precious Things

Posted on 28 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Hey All!

Today I am here to introduce you all to the lovely Janey Louise Jones, the author of new Superfairies series which releases today! (More info on the series below!) Janey has written a guest post for you all about her Five Most Precious Things.

My Five Most Precious Things

By Janey Louise Jones

As a writer, I find that everything around me tells a story, or reveals a character in my life. I love to collect things which might have little value to other people, but for me, they are reminders of a time, a person, or place that has been significant in my life. When I write my Superfairies stories, I find it more relaxing to be surrounded by familiar, comforting objects and items.

1. First shoes worn by all of my children

I found it very emotional when my children were small, and every few months, each of them would outgrow things I loved. It was unbearable to part with a lot of items, and I just had to keep favourite little jumpers and most importantly, first shoes! I have kept the first shoes worn by each of my sons, as well as a pair of Thomas Tank slippers! These items make me think of first steps, visits to the swing park and first bicycle rides.

2. Necklace made by my son

When my children were young, I was forever painting and crafting with them at our big kitchen table. My middle son is very artistic and now paints for a living. One day, he made a beaded necklace for me, strung on a length of satin ribbon. I love it, and it makes me think of his chubby little fingers threading the beads along the ribbon, then the look of triumph on his face when it was done. A necklace from Tiffany’s could not bring half the pleasure of these beads.

Janey Jones Pic

3. Bust of Ophelia

This pretty little head and shoulders statue of Ophelia from Hamlet makes me think of my beloved Granny. Because we both saw it in an Antique shop and we both fell in love with it. I can’t quite remember how I managed to be the one who bought it, but I do recall that every time she saw it in the passing, she would comment: “That really should have been mine!” I think she allowed me to buy it but always felt cheated of it!

4. Antique edition of Pride & Prejudice

A boy I liked who never became a boyfriend for some reason gave me this book which he’d found in a vintage bookshop. I was quite obsessed with the Austen novels at the time and it was so thoughtful and meaningful of him to give it. I find that books can bring the past back, and I am always moved when people say their children go back to my books time and time again. That is thrilling for any writer. Of course, I will never be in the realms of Jane Austen, but we all play to our strengths as we can.

5. Flower Fairy Collection

All of my life, I have adored the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. They are timeless, classic creations, combining the natural world and the fairy realm in a heavenly way which captured my imagination and inspired my new series for girls. I have the books, china plates and figurines, which I was given on birthdays and at Christmas as a child. I think it is nice to start a collection in childhood. It gives a focus to gift-buying for the adults and allows the child to cherish special items. Such things remain precious through one’s life.

About the Books

Basil the Bear Cub cover Dancer the Wild Pony

Basil the Bear Cub

No, Basil, don’t play near the river on your own! Superfairies Rose, Silk, Berry and Star rush to help a bear cub in danger. The Superfairies of Peaseblossom Woods use their teamwork to rescue animals in distress, bringing together their unique superskills, petal power and lots of love.

Dancer the Wild Pony

Dancer, don’t run away! The Superfairies want to stop a wild pony being nervous for the Summer Fair dance contest, but first they need to catch up with her! The Superfairies of Peaseblossom Woods use their teamwork to rescue animals in distress, bringing together their unique superskills, petal power and lots of love.

About the Author

Janey Louise Jones has been a published author for ten years. Her Princess Poppy series is an international bestselling brand, with books translated into ten languages including Hebrew and Mandarin. Janey is a graduate of Edinburgh University and lives in Edinburgh with her three sons.

About the Illustrator

Jennie was born in England and grew up in Malaysia, in the jungle. At the age of ten, she moved back to England and went on to study Fine Art at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, as well as Fashion Illustration at Central St Martins. Jennie loves the countryside, animals, tea and reading. She lives in Woking, England with her husband and two wonderful daughters.

What are five of your most precious things?


Posted on 28 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments