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?

faye1

Posted on 31 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Finish It Feb 2016; Sign Ups!

Posted on 29 January, 2016 by Faye - 12 Comments

FinishItFeb1

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!

faye1

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?

faye1

Posted on 28 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Cover Reveal: The Map of Bones by Fancesca Haig

Posted on 27 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Hey All!

Today I am really excited to share with you all the stunning cover for the new book, The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig.

I am very much enjoying The Fire Sermon, and cannot wait to read it so that I can enjoy the second one because WOWZER does this cover just look absolutely incredible!!

But don’t take my word for it, have a look yourself:

See? Stunning!


Summary

The map of Bones is the second book in a speculative trilogy set in a future where all children are born twins: one perfect and one deformed. A stunning exploration of human sacrifice and joint destiny.

Zach and Cass have defied the odds and survived the failed uprising of the Omegas, even if it has cost the life of Cass’s fellow rebel Kip.

But with Zach on the opposing side, and steadily rising through the political ranks of the Alphas, the divide between the twins is growing. Just how far will the Alphas go to suppress the Omegas for their own survival?

With the resistance movement nearly decimated, the Omega’s must find the strength to stand against the Alpha tide.


About the Author

Francesca Haig is a novelist, poet and academic. The Fire Sermon, her debut novel (2015), is the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Rights for the series have sold in more than twenty countries, and the second novel, The Map of Bones, will be published in April 2016. Her poetry has been published in literary journals in both Australia and England, and her first collection of poetry, Bodies of Water, was published in 2006. Francesca grew up in Tasmania, gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and was a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Chester. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship.


Have you read The Fire Sermon? Are you as excited about the next book (or more) as I am?

faye1

Posted on 27 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Top Ten Tuesday; Books I Haven’t Finished

Posted on 26 January, 2016 by Faye - 10 Comments

top ten tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is given and this weeks topic is a free choice so I have chosen Books I Haven’t Finished Yet


Top Ten Books I Haven’t Finished Yet

(i.e. Books I’m “currently” reading)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while or have seen me posting on social media, you will know that I am notorious for reading more then one book at a time. The problem I am having at the moment is that in reading more than one book at a time, I part read one, finish another and then start something else instead of finishing the first one… and so on and so forth. It does not mean the first book wasn’t good enough or I’m not enjoying it, I just kind of… move on. Hard to explain but there we go.

But I realised I have far too many unfinished books, so I decided to do a little top ten to share with you the ones that I’m really enjoying (and should really get on with finishing soon – and hopefully I will because I’ll be doing #FinishItFeb again this year, more info on that to come tomorrow!)

So… in no particular order…

Deliverance Seven Ways We Lie How To Fall In Love

Deliverance by C. J. Redwine
This one is particularly frustrating because not only am I part way through it and dying to know what happens – it’s also the last book in the trilogy. Which, to be honest, is probably why I’m struggling to pick it back up – I don’t want it to end!

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
I only recently started this one but then got distracted by my book club book and just haven’t gone back to it. But I was really enjoying it and I’m very much looking forward to seeing where it goes!

How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
I started listening to this book but then got to a point when I didn’t want to listen to audiobooks anymore – despite the fact that the book was really gripping and intriguing!

Truthwith Ice Like Fire Adobe Photoshop PDF Opal Plumstead

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Really kicking myself for not having finished this book yet because I know I’m going to love it! I already am. But I got distracted and busy so I haven’t finished it yet. But I will… soon.

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
I don’t actually remember why I stopped reading this one but I know that I was enjoying it so I’m hoping to finish this one soon too!

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
This was a book I started a while ago and once again, I don’t remember why I stopped reading it but I do know that I was very much enjoying it and keep thinking about it lately – especially with the second one being released soon – so I am very much looking forward to finishing it!

Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson is an author that I have loved since I was a child, so when I was given the chance to read her 100th book, I jumped on it. And it started really well and I am definitely interested in finishing it but it’s also a massive book and apparently my attention span just isn’t that great…

Finnikin of the Rock Never Always Sometimes How To Speak Spook

Finnikin of the Rock – Melina Marchetta
I started reading this book for book club and I had full intentions of finishing it but life got in the way and so I just sort of avoided the conversation at book club. Then apparently I just never continued the book after book club finished. I am very much hoping to do that very, very soon!

Never Sometimes Always by Adi Alsaid
I really, really, loved Adi’s first book and so I was certain that I wanted to read his second one. And I do. It’s just as addictive and interesting but for some reason I put it down and haven’t gone back to it. Shame on me, right? I will definitely be doing my best to finish this one shortly as well – I kind of have to know what happens next!

How To Speak Spook by Ally Kennan
I received this book from the wonderful people at Scholastic and it immediately caught my eye. If you know me, you’ll know the ghost stories or books with ghosts in are a favourite of mine. So I started reading it immedietly and instantly fell in love. It’s really intrguing and interesting and I keep thinking about it and wondering where the story will go next – so I’ll be answering that question soon for sure!


Do you have any unfinished books? What are they?
What of the books above do you think I should continue first?

faye1

Posted on 26 January, 2016 by Faye - 10 Comments


Weekly Highlights; 24/01/16

Posted on 24 January, 2016 by Faye - 5 Comments

weekly highlights

Hey All!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll know that I used to do Weekly Highlights on Sundays where I would talk a little bit about my week, highlight posts on this blog, highlight posts from other blogs and let you all know about some of the books that I received throughout the week too. I stopped doing it a while back due to time commitments but I have found that it was one of the posts that people like the most and I did really enjoy doing, so I’ve decided to bring it back. But it’s going to be a little different. This time my Weekly Highlights is literally going to be a post that highlights blog posts that I have seen around that I love and think deserve a little bit more love.

As I haven’t done one for a long while, this weeks highlights are going to go a little further back than one week but from this week on, it’ll only be covering links from the previous week. If you’ve seen a post, or written a post, that you love and would love for me to share, please do get in touch with me either in the comments below or via social media and if I love it too, I’ll make sure to highlight it!

And onwards to the links…

Lifestyle Posts

One of my friends Gracie has written a post this week about her tiredness after her radiation. It’s a very interesting post and reminds me how much strength she has. You can check it out here, and I also just think you should check out all of her posts because she is an incredible writer and wonderful person!

Another friend of mine, Caitlin, started a new blog recently which I urge you to check out fully too. It is documenting her life more realistically with her chronic illness. This post will show you how tough she has it while also showing how incredibly strong she is. I have to admit, I’m so proud and inspired by her and everything she does.

I know I just said you should read her entire blog above, but just in case you don’t, here is another post by Caitlin that you should definitely read. Sometimes the right footwear can make a world of difference.

I wasn’t sure whether to put this post under lifestyle or fitness but I think it fits better here. Katie talks about how people comment on things when you’re trying to be healthy. I thought it was a very interesting and true post that you should all read.

This week Andrew announced that he had organised a blog tour called “What Makes Us Human”. You can find that post here, and here are the few highlights I loved from the tour:
Chelle’s story of a Grandfather and Grandchild was incredibly moving and wonderful, I loved it!.
Laura talks about silver linings and what she believes makes us all human.
And lastly, Rhys talks about how fiction helps us.

Fitness Posts

This week Lucy told us about an opportunity that she received to go to Nice, France for Kalenji’s Blog Meet for European Runners. It’s a great post that you can find here.

In this post, Helen talks about how you can turn your shopping trips into a workout – great advice here!

Leona has written a very interesting post this week about Swimming Pools and the small things that make a huge difference. It definitely made me think. You can check it out here.

This week Elle has given her six tips for getting ready for a race day. Looks like some great advice to me! You can check it out in this post.

Blogging Posts

While scrolling through Twitter on Friday, I stumbled across this post and fell in love with it! Christie has written about what she’s learnt about blogging in 6 months and if you’re new or are thinking of starting blogging, this is the post you should read!

On the other side of the fence, Joe has written a post about the 27 things he’s learnt about blogging in his first year of blogging. You can see what he’s learnt here.

Another post I found on twitter talks about blogging, marketing and social media. It’s an inspiring post about rules and breaking them. You can find what Angela and Becca have to say in this post.

In this post you will find 6 ways successful bloggers are getting traffic. The perfect post if you’re new or trying to increase your reach!

And in this post you will find 5 common blogging mistakes to avoid – and I have to admit, I’m bad at number 1!!

Book Posts

Last week Stacey started her new feature Shelf Swaps with Jim as her first blogger. You can find out more about the feature and see Jim’s answers by reading this post. I’ve admittedly only read one book from the list so I’ll probably need to read all the others mentioned too!

Last week also saw a guest post from Perdita and Honor discussing Woodhouse books on Jim’s blog. You can read the fab exchange between them in this post.

An author that I love, Laura Lam, has done a brilliant interview this week on Mugglenet. You can read it and find out more about this wonderful author by reading this post.

If you’re looking for a book to read that is full of feminisim and what it actually stands for, you should definitely read this post. Really, I just think everyone should read the post.

Now I’ve not read Am I Normal Yet? but it is a book that is high on my to-read list and after reading this review of How Hard Can Love Be?, written by Debbie, it’s gone even higher up my to-read list!

Another book I keep meaning to read is Front Lines by Michael Grant. It sounds like a very “me” book but for some reason I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. So when I stumbled across this review by Alisha, I instantly bumped Front Lines further up my to-read list because it sounds just as good as I’d hoped it would!

Graphic Novels are a type of book that I haven’t yet ventured in to reading. I’ve tried Manga but I haven’t quite mastered the courage to try graphic novels yet but when I read this post by Stacey, it definitely made me want to change that. Maybe this year will be the year I try my very first Graphic Novel.

This week Jess has started a new feature on her blog which I thought was quite cool. In the feature here, she has mini-reviews of books she’s loved listening to.

Social Media Posts

I found this post on twitter too and instantly shared it with friends so it seemed only fair to share it on here. If you’re new to Bookstagram or just want some tips, you should check out this post and follow Josephine for what are sure to be great tips!

This is just a little shout-out / reminder. The next #CountdownML will be happening tomorrow (25/01/2016)! You can find out more information about the chat in this post. And hopefully I’ll see you there!


And there you have it! Just some of the amazing posts I stumbled across this week. Are there any posts you’ve found this week that you’d like to share? Do share in the comments below – even if they’re just your own!

Hope you have a fab week!

faye1

Posted on 24 January, 2016 by Faye - 5 Comments


Workout Classes; My Experiences (Part One)

Posted on 22 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Hi All!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you should know that I’ve been trying to get myself fitter and into shape and to make sure that I’m doing that, I’ve been documenting it on the blog. The first two months actually didn’t go too well at all, but this month I’ve been doing well – aside from last week when I got ill – so I decided that, as it’s the first time I’ve ever been to any workout classes – aside from Zumba – I wanted to write about my experience at each of the different classes. I’ve only tried a few so far so I’ll keep updating every few weeks or so when I’ve tried other classes.


Body Conditioning

“A total body shaping workout utilising lower and upper body exercises usings bands, steps, hand weights and body weight.”

This was the very first class I went to and I had no idea what to expect. I felt nervous, shy and unfit. I placed myself at the back of the class so that way I could copy those in front of me and no one behind me could witness as I failed, spectacularly. But it actually went a lot better than I thought it would. Some of the exercises and routines I found hard to get my head around and it took a while to figure out what the commands were but once I got the hang of it, it all flowed pretty easily. It was a tough workout though and my body ached for a good three days afterwards – but I will admit to enjoying myself and looking forward to going again!

Body Pump

“The original barbell class that strengthens your entire body. This workout challenges all your major muscle groups by using exercises like squats, presses, lifts and curls.”

This is the second class I went to, and once again, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I made it ten times worse for myself by turning up late – eek – but I quickly got the handle of it and was VERY glad when the instructor came over and told me to use the same weights throughout because it was tough. Fortunately the moves were easy to replicate and remember so I managed to keep on track in this class too. I enjoyed body pump so much that I have already been again and thought the difference in instructors was interesting. While most moves were the same, they both did it slightly differently which I thought was interesting – and something you’d obviously expect. I was also thankful that after the second time doing it, my muscles didn’t hurt quite as much afterwards!

Body Combat

“This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo, Tai Chi, and Muay Thai. Strike, punch, kick, and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness.”

Last but not least we have this class. I actually turned up to this class expecting to do Step and Tone but unfortunately the instructor was off sick so we did Body Combat instead. A part of me wanted to turn around and walk out the door as I had seen the description of these class on the website and decided that it wasn’t for me but for some reason I decided to stay and I’m actually glad that I did. I ended up really enjoying the work out. It was energetic, interesting and fun. My arms, legs and back did hurt the next day but not nearly as much as I thought and it really wasn’t what I first thought it would be. I’m actively looking to go to this class again.

Overall

I’d always been a little shy of going to workout classes – wanting to take a friend with me and not wanting to make a fool of myself but I’ve actually found that they’re not as scary as I first thought they must be. Instead the classes are easy to hide in. The instructor is talking to the whole class and not to you personally and it is okay to just stop if you feel like it is getting to be too much for you – which, admittedly, I did have to do a few times. No one is looking at you and laughing because they’re all just working out too and want to help themselves get fit and into shape too. It’s a nice feeling. The only downside to workout classes is that I am a little worried I’ve been doing things wrong and may end up pulling a muscle because of it. But it hasn’t happened yet so I’ll just keep plodding along!


Classes I’ve got coming up to talk to you about soon include: Legs, Bums and Tums, Step and Tone and Aerostep!

Have you been to any workout classes? What did you think?

faye1

Posted on 22 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Colour Me Mindful; Adult Colouring Book Review

Posted on 20 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

2016-01-16_13.42.08

Hey Guys!

Today I am here to tell you all about how I got on with the Colour Me Mindful books! These books were all sent to me by Orion publishing house in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor required to right a positive review – but how could I not! These books are incredible and have helped me SO MUCH in the last few months.

The Artwork

I love it. Don’t you? It’s so intricate, with every line and detail thought out beforehand. It’s detailed and each and every picture looks incredible. It was so hard to decide which pictures to colour first because I loved every single one and just want to colour them all in (and I am determined that I will!)

Colour Me Mindful1

The Themes

One of the things I love about these colouring books are that they come in different themes. So far there are six different themes; Butterflies, Birds, Underwater, Seasons, Enchanted Creatures, and Tropical, and I love each and every one of them. BUt some people are more likely to want to colour in one than the other, because I’m just very open to different things. My favourite is the Butterfly book but that’s because Butterflies are just so beautiful and incredible, aren’t they?

Colour Me Mindful2

The Size

Another aspect of these books that really make them stand out for me, is their size. A lot of the adult colouring books on the market at the moment are a4 size or bigger and while this is great for bigger pictures, it’s not so great for transportation. These handy little books fit wonderfully in my handbag and as long as I take a pencilcase with a small selection of colours, I can colour the books in wherever I go – which is perfect, don’t you think? It also makes the pictures more intricate and intimate and there is nothing wrong with that!

Colour Me Mindful3

The Paper

Not something you’d really think about in a normal book, is it? But when it comes to a colouring book, the type of paper is just as important as everything else – in my opinion anyway! The paper in the Colour Me Mindful books is perfect. It’s white and strong which means that pens can be used without ruining the picture underneath. It also means that pencils work well on the paper too. Definitely a plus in my book.

Colour Me Mindful4

The Mindful-ness

I’m going to be honest with you here. Before I got these books for review, I haven’t done any proper colouring since I was a child and while I loved colouring then, I was a little sceptical about colouring now helping to achieve “mindfullness”. But I was wrong. There is something so wonderful about colouring. While it can become stressful and I get a little bit weird about perfectionism and clashing colours, what is great is that while I am colouring, that is all I think about. I am not thinking about any of my other worries or stresses or ordeals. I am merely focused on the picture and colouring it in the way I want to. And I have to admit that these books have ultimately helped me out a lot over the past four months. I’m not sure I’d be where I am today without them.

Colour Me Mindful5 Colour Me Mindful6

All Wrapped Up

So, putting all of the above together, I can firmly conclude that I love these adult colouring books. It can be so difficult to find good colouring books at the moment as their seem to be SO MANY out there at the moment but these ones are perfect for me because I like patterns and I like actual pictures too, so these books are the best of both worlds. Plus, I am just happy that they’re transportable. These books are a godsend during my lunch break at work!

Have you tried these books yet? What are your thoughts?

faye1

Posted on 20 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Top Ten Reasons To Read Bella Broomstick

Posted on 18 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Title: Bella Broomstick (Bella Broomstick #1)
Author: Lou Kuenzler
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 7th January 2016
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
This delightful new series, full of doodle illustrations and themes of friendship and fitting in, will have young readers bewitched from the very first page! Bella Broomstick is a hopeless witch. So hopeless that nasty Aunt Hemlock is sending her to live in Person World – with the warning that she must never do magic again! But when Bella finds a kitten in trouble, a spell is the only way to rescue it. What is Bella to do? For where there is magic, trouble is never far away!

1. It’s got witches in it! Who doesn’t love books about witches?

2. It’s a funny story that will make you smile/giggle throughout.

3. It’s written well, and is easy for both adults and children to grasp.

4. There are cute little drawings/doodles throughout that give it such a homely feel!

5. The way that this world and the magic realm are described make it so much fun – who knew that taking a bath could be such a magical thing?

6. It’s got a cute little kitten in it called Rascal!

7. It will keep you entertained from the beginning to the end as you follow Bella’s journey.

8. It’s an easy read that’s full of uh-oh moments that you can easily imagine happening!

9. There are “evil” witches and heart-warming humans that will make you grateful for the life you have!

10. It’s just such a brilliant and lovely story that you really just shouldn’t miss!


** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 18 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Top Ten Places To Write/Get Inspiration by Lou Kuenzler

Posted on 16 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Hey All!

Today I have the wonderfully talented Lou Kuenzler on the blog telling you all about her Top Ten Places of Write/Get Inspiration. Keep an eye on the blog next week too where I will tell you why I think YOU should be reading Bella Broomstick.


Top Ten Places to Write/Get Inspiration

By Lou Kuenzler

10. I do love being at my own big red desk, looking out of my window watching all the people at the bus stop. This is always great for inspiration as I wonder where they might be off to. (Even though I know the Number 98 only goes to the High Street and the Bus Garage really … but what if it took a detour?)

9. I find I always have lots of ideas when I am back at my parent’s house in Devon. Perhaps this is because memories of my own childhood stir up ideas for new children’s stories.

8. The British Library (or any library) is always a great place to go when I am in a bit of a rut. The serious, scholarly atmosphere, with everyone hunched over their desks, makes me feel like I have to concentrate and work hard too. Also, if you are in the British Library you can order up just about any children’s book ever written. If that doesn’t motivate me to get back to writing, nothing will.

7. Walking my dog is always good. I often chat out loud, trying out voices and ideas as I stride along. This is all very well but I do have to look out for other dog walkers in case they think I am mad. I remember getting a very strange look from a man and his pug once, as I almost bumped into them coming around the corner. I was shouting out: “No, no!” said the Queen. “This will not do.” (It was a particularly tricky chapter in an early draft of Princess Disgrace.)

6. A hot, soaky bath is great for a quick ideas boost … and if I keep the taps running I can talk to myself as loud as I like.

5. Driving alone down a motorway is best of all for this though. I think I have come up with quite a few of my ideas while driving. Motorways mean there are no twists and turns to concentrate on, so I just chat out loud and mumble to myself as much as I like. (Talking aloud is always my best way of thinking – perhaps it is because I began my creative working life as a theatre director. It is the character’s voices and snippets of dialogue which come to me first.) I do sometimes have to pull in at a service station though and scribble everything down.

4. Holidays anywhere bring a particular kind of creative buzz. I can almost hear my brain recalibrating as I slow down and relax.

3. My favourite place of all to really relax is the seaside (even the British rainy kind). There is nothing like a good sea walk to clear the mind. I was lucky enough when I was finishing Bella Broomstick to stay for a few days in Broadstairs in Kent. I could just see the sea from my window. There was something very calming about looking out and watching boats bobbing about and seagulls swooping for a few minutes before getting back to work.

2. It is always great to be somewhere which particularly resonates with the book I am writing. I wrote most of Shrinking Violet Absolutely Loves Ancient Egypt in the members’ cafe at the British Museum, for instance. Whenever I was stuck, I went for a wander amongst the mummies and other wonderful Egyptian artefacts and always came back buzzing with ideas.

1. So, as I am just starting work on Bella Broomstick Book Three (and this one is set at Halloween), I should try and find myself somewhere good and spooky to write about witches. Perhaps I should try Whitby – it was dramatic enough to inspire Bram Stoker to create Dracula. It is a good long drive up the motorway and its by the sea … with a library. All I need now is a B&B with a nice hot bath and I’ll book myself a lovely, long January holiday. That’s good enough for me!


About The Author

Lou Kuenzler likes to write stories which make children laugh.

Her popular SHRINKING VIOLET books are funny, action-packed adventures about a little girl who suddenly shrinks …. Think Mrs Pepperpot with a 21st century twist!

And then Lou’s next series PRINCESS DISGRACE introduces the clumsiest princess ever in a comic romp through life at a posh princess academy – unicorns, dragons and japes galore!

For slightly younger readers, Lou’s AESOP’S AWESOME RYHMES add a comic, rhyming twist to the classic moral tales.

While JACK SPLAT: SUPERFLY PEST and JACK SPLAT: DOG’S DINNER tell the fly-on-the-wall adventures of … well, of a fly!

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Where do you go to get writing inspiration?

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Posted on 16 January, 2016 by Faye - No Comments