Attack of the Alien Dung (Pet Defenders) by Gareth P. Jones [Giveaway!]

Posted on 9 February, 2017 by Faye - 4 Comments

Attack of the Alien Dung (Pet Defenders) by Gareth P. Jones

Hi All!
Today is my spot on the Attack of the Alien Dung blog tour and I am here today to give you a chance to win the book! For how to enter the giveaway, keep reading to the end of the post!


About the Book

Attack of the Alien Dung The Pet Defenders Code:
1. The safety of Planet Earth depends on you.
2. Humans MUST NOT know the truth. GOOD LUCK – you’ll need it…

It’s up to Mitzy and Biskit to save the world from alien invasions – just so long as they can stop fighting like cat and dog for long enough to do it!

Secret agent Biskit is not happy when he discovers his new partner Mitzy is a cat – everyone knows that cats and dogs don’t mix. But saving the earth from alien invasions must come first and the planet is under attack! A cluster of cow pats has flown into town and they’re whipping up a stink… It’s time for Biskit and Mitzy to put aside their differences and kick some alien butt!

Goodreads. Amazon UK. Waterstones.


About the Authors

Gareth P. Jones is the best-selling author of many books for children, including the NINJA MEERKATS series, and THE CONSIDINE CURSE, for which he won the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2012 award. Gareth also works as a producer of TV documentaries and lives in Forest Hill, south east London, with his wife and children.

Twitter. Website.

Steve May is an illustrator and animator based in north London. He was born in sunny Hastings and has an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art. As an illustrator he has produced work for a variety of clients including Puffin and Faber.

Twitter. Website.


Giveaway

I have one copy of Attack of the Alien Dung to giveaway to one lucky person! All you have to do to enter is comment below with the animal you would love to have as your pet! (Even if they’re not normally kept as a pet!)

Entrants must be 13 years or older or have parental permission to enter.

Winners will be notified by e-mail (so make sure you provide yours!) and will have 28 days to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Entries will close at 6pm on Thursday 16th February

Good luck!

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Posted on 9 February, 2017 by Faye - 4 Comments


School Wars Blog Tour!

Posted on 13 January, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

School Wars Blog Tour!

Hi There!

Today is my stop on the School Wars Blog Tour and I am here to support St Grizzle’s! I love Karen McCombie’s books and this one is brilliant!

Without further ado, here’s some more info about the book and then I have a stunning guest post from Karen herself!


About the Book

Hi I’m Dani and my mum loves penguins’ bums more than me. Otherwise she’d never dump me in some stuffy old school while she heads off to the Antarctic.

And it gets worse. When we arrive at St Grizelda’s School for Girls, the school’s had a drastic makeover. Gone are the uniforms, the rules and … er, most of the pupils and staff.

In their place is TOTAL CHAOS.

We’re greeted by a bunch of stampeding eight-year-olds, a head-butting goat and a crazy head teacher wearing a plastic-spoon crown…

Somebody get me OUT of here!

Goodreads. Amazon.


Top 10 School Stories by Karen McCombie

*Swoooop…!* That was the sound of me carefully side-stepping the obvious school story of them all (soz, JK). Instead, I have a smattering of new and old, serious and seriously funny school stories for your reading pleasure.
You’re welcome.

1 ‘Wigglesbottom Primary – The Toilet Ghost’ by Pamela Butchart
Pamela is the number one choice for this list, since she’s a) a very funny writer and b) sets most of her stories in school. I found it hard to choose between the excellently named ‘Baby Aliens Got My Teacher’, ‘My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat’ and ‘The Spy Who Loved School Dinners’, but in the end I opted for one of the ‘Wigglebottom Primary’ series. This is because Becka Moor did the illustrations for ‘Wigglesbottom’ as well as my newbie book ‘St Grizzle’s School For Girl’s, Goats and Random Boys’. (Yay!)

2 ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Let’s go old skool with this riches-to-rags-to-riches tale of Sara Crewe, who finds herself deposited at Miss Minchin’s Seminary for Girls in London, while her dad is off fighting in the war. When he’s presumed dead, Sara goes from indulged, number one student to browbeaten maid in no time at all. Anyone who doesn’t gasp and “ooh” at the attic transformation scene is no friend of mine.

3 ‘Takeshita Demons’ by Cristy Burne
Miku has moved from Japan to London, and is rather taken aback when the supply teacher at her new school turns out to be a Nukekubi – a bloodthirsty demon whose favourite snack is children… *erk* Can she and her best friend Cait save her little brother from this flying-headed, otherworldly freak? They’d better!

4 ‘Drama’ by Raina Tegelmeier
‘Smile’ is a big favourite in our house, especially for a certain teen with braces. ‘Drama’ stars Callie, who joins the – no spoilers here – drama society at school. Another easy-read graphic novel choice that hits the spot in terms of friendships, crushes and school angst.

5 ‘Down’ With Skool’ by Geoffrey Williams and Ronald Searle
I think I discovered my battered copy of ‘Down With Skool’ during a teenage trawl of charity shops (my favourite Saturday afternoon occupation). It was Ronald Searle’s spidery, searingly sharp illustrations that caught my eye, but Geoffrey Williams’ irreverent take on life in posho boarding schools of the 1950s made me snigger madly. St Custards and Nigel Molesworth – what a wizard wheeze, chiz chiz.

6 ‘How To Write Really Badly’ by Anne Fine
American schoolboy Chester moves to Britian, and finds himself stuck in a boring classroom next to Joe, who struggles to write well. This very funny story trips along speedily, and is deceptively simple… the underlying message of appreciating each other’s different talents is told with a lightness of touch, as you’d expect from former Children’s Laureate Anne Fine. [Karen does a little curtsey.]

7 ‘Withering Tights’ by Louise Rennison
‘The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey’ is the mighty and much missed Louise Rennison’s follow-up to the ‘Georgia Nicholson’ series of books, and this is the first in the series. Tallulah has got herself a place at a performing arts school in the unlikely setting of the Yorkshire Dales. Expect a pacy read packed full of Louise’s trademark zingy and brilliant buffoonery.

8 ‘Maggot Moon’ by Sally Gardner
If it’s still sometimes an uphill struggle to be dyslexic in the school environment in these enlightened times, try being Standish, the central character in Sally Gardener’s stark and strange dystopian novel. Written off by teachers, bullied by fellow pupils, it’s only when new boy Hector starts at school that a little trickle of brightness enters Standish’s brutal world. Epic, but you might need a lie-down and a sugary tea after reading this.

9 ‘I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You’ by Ally Carter
Cammie Morgan is a spy-in-training at the elite Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Still, it’s all well-and-good to know fourteen languages and how to kill a man in seven different ways, but how does a not-so-average girl cope when she starts to fall in love with an ordinary boy? A fast and fun read in the ‘Gallagher Girls’ series, and scores highly in the Awesome Title Awards (which I’ve just invented).

10 ‘Beswitched’ by Kate Saunders
Modern-day schoolgirl Flora Fox suddenly finds herself zapped back in time to the tight-laced 1930s St Winifrid’s. Lots of gorgeous period detail envelope the reader as Flora struggles without her 21st century accoutrements, but with her new retro girl crew of Dulcie, Pogo and Pete. A totally enjoyable time-travelling romp.


About the Author

Karen McCombie2Karen McCombie has written over 80 books full of endearing characters and quirky humour; her series Ally’s World has sold over 200,000 copies. Born in Scotland, Karen now lives in north London. Karen loves her job, but is a complete fidget. She regularly packs up her laptop and leaves Office Number 1 (her weeny back bedroom) and has a brisk walk to Office Number 2 (the local garden centre café).

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.


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What’s your favourite fictional school?

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Posted on 13 January, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: The Elders by Inbali Iserles

Posted on 4 October, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

The Elders by Inbali Iserles

Hi All!
Today is my stop on The Elders blog tour and I am here today to tell you some reasons why I think you should be picking this series up – and you really, really should be! But first, here’s some more information on the second book!


About the Book

Isla’s search for her missing brother, Pirie, has brought her to the vast Wildlands. The forest is a treacherous place for a fox cub, but Isla is talented in foxcraft — ancient arts of cunning known only to her kind.

Skilled though she is, Isla’s grasp of foxcraft is still new. And she’s not alone… A cruel and mysterious fox stalks the forest, with the power to enslave others to his will. In order to survive, Isla must learn to trust in the rustic Wildlands foxes.

But there are tales of others — a council of Elders who are masters of foxcraft, and who warily guard its most potent secrets. If Isla wishes to master her gifts and find her brother, then the Elders may be her only hope.

Goodreads. Amazon.


Reasons To Read Foxcraft Series

Foxes

I am nothing if not an animal lover. I love how cute they can be, how smart, brave and just purely fascinating they are. So, naturally, I was drawn to this book the minute that I realised it was narrated by a fox. And I am so glad that I read this book because it is a wonderful read. It was fascinating reading from the perspective of a fox, of living in the world through their eyes. I loved every little detail about this book and I would definitely recommend you read it if you’re an animal lover, or even if you’re just curious. It’s definitely worth the read.

Illustrations and Descriptions

10 5
Throughout the book each chapter heading has a little illustration like above and they’re so beautifully drawn. They really show and reveal the essence of the books too. I loved how well Inbali has described the world as the Fox sees it. How wonderfully descriptive even the most mundane detail is. I was truly pulled into this story and able to fully imagine the world as Isla sees it. It was incredibly well done and I love when that happens in a book.

Isla

Something I absolutely love in books are characters that are strong and powerful as well as weak and small and Isla is all of this. She is fierce and stubborn, powerful and impatient. She is a character with both good and bad qualities and I absolutely loved that but I also just loved her so much. I loved how much she cared for her family, especially her brother, Pirie. I loved that she was feisty and not willing to back down when the going got tough. She’s crafty and sneaky and one in a million. She definitely makes this series a brilliant read.

Adventure

Alongside a vibrant protagonist and beautiful scenery, these books also have adventure at their core and I really love that about them. You’re witnessing Isla on her journey as she comes across enemies and traitors and potential friends. You witness as she gets out of scrapes and continues moving forward. How she never gives up because she is determined to find her family. I was fully enthralled with the story and the journey she took. It is one of the main reasons that I love adventure books so much. This series should definitely not be dismissed as a simple fox series.

Emotions

Last, but certainly not least, I cannot tell you how emotional these books have made me. From the very beginning of the book, I was almost in tears. Then I felt Isla’s strength and couldn’t help but urge her onwards, praying for her that things go well. I got completely immersed in the book and let my emotions wrap around me as I drowned in the words. I laughed when she laughed, cried when she wailed and felt afraid when she did too. It was incredible and one of the very best things about reading any book.


About the Author

Inbali Iserles is the award-winning author of The Tygrine Cat novels and one of the authors behind the bestselling Survivors series under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. She lives outside Oxford.

Website. Twitter. Facebook.


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Will you be reading this series?

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Posted on 4 October, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: Chloe’s Secret Princess Club by Emma Barnes

Posted on 6 September, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Chloe’s Secret Princess Club

Hi guys!
Today is my stop on the Chloe’s Secret Princess Club blog tour and today I am bringing you a post that is a little bit different. Instead of a normal review, I am writing for you a post about what I would do if I was a Princess!

But first, here’s some information on the book!


About the Book

Chloe's Secrete Princess Club

Chloe never means to get into trouble but sometimes her plans get a little out of control. With her two best friends, she forms a Secret Club dedicated to making their dreams come true – but fantasy and reality don’t always mix!

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


Being a Princess

by Faye

Being perfectly honest, I don’t remember ever being a true girlie girl. I liked girlish things but I also liked sport and adventures like climbing trees. I hated dresses and skirts and yet I would never have called myself a tomboy either. One of those girls that sort of sits firmly in the middle.

However, despite all of that, I would have – and still kind of would – love to be a princess. But I wouldn’t be a girlie princess who always wore pink and acted very cute and sweet.

No, I would be a fierce princess. Ready to rule the country with a strong determination. I’d be powerful and brave and would do whatever it took to save my country. I’d learn how to fight both fist fight and sword fight. I’d employ the best of the best to protect my country and train me.

I’d be the best princess and I’d only find a Prince who was willing to let me continue that way. None of this prince sweeping the princess off her feet. I’d have the prince equal to me in strength and love. We’d be the perfect pair.

That’s what I would do if I was a princess. What about you?


About the Author

portrait

Emma is the author of several books for children, including JESSICA HAGGERTHWAITE: WITCH DISPATCHER, for which she was nominated for the Branford Boase award, and the WILD THING series. As well as writing, she enjoys spending time working in schools and libraries.

Website. Twitter. Facebook.


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I loved this cute little book, will you be picking it up?

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Posted on 6 September, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: Robyn Silver by Paula Harrison

Posted on 5 September, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Robyn Silver by Paula Harrison

Hi guys!
Today is my stop on the Robyn Silver blog tour and I am here to tell you five reasons why I think you should definitely be reading this book!

But first, here’s some more information about the book!


Title: Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes
Author: Paula Harrison
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 1st September 2016
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
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…

Robyn Silver

One of the things I love about books is that the protagonist is strong and fun to read and this is definitely what happens in Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes. Robyn is full of life in this book. She’s brave, strong, and protective too. I loved her personality and the way she felt like she didn’t fit in with her family but would still do anything to protect her little sister. She was a very vibrant character that really carried this book.

Creepy Creatures

This book is full of creepy creatures that Robyn and her friends start seeing and suddenly have to start fighting. I loved all of the different creatures and how they were described. They all had very different personalities and reasons for existing and it was even more interesting that only a few select people could actually see them – like Robyn and her friends! I really liked that about this book.

The Friendship

To start off with, Robyn has her best friend Aiden by her side and it’s really wonderful that they can both see the creatures as it makes Robyn feel less alone. So when a third member joins them, I was worried that she would be excluded and made to feel left out but fortunately that doesn’t happen. Instead Robyn realizes that Nora with all her book smarts is very helpful and lovely and the trio work so well together. This in itself makes the book more interesting to read.

Adventure

There is an abundance of adventure in this book, which I absolutely loved. At first the trio are being trained by Mr Cryptorum and so there is an adult driving force behind the books but when things start to go wrong, it is up to the kids to settle the score and save the day. I loved how they did this and how it all came together. The adventure was fun and addictive and fascinating all rolled together – a perfect combination for a children’s books! I’m sure all the kids will love it!

Writing Style

What brings all of the above together though is the writing style. I have to admit I’ve never actually read a book by Paula Harrison before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I can safely say that I will be reading more of her books from now on! The writing style was easy to read, addictive, and fun. Definitely my kind of book! Overall The Midnight Chimes was a fascinating read and it was a brilliant beginning to what looks to be a wonderful series. I cannot wait to see what will happen next!

Four Stars

** 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. **


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Posted on 5 September, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour; Tommy V Cancer (+ Giveaway)

Posted on 9 June, 2016 by Faye - 1 Comment

Tommy V Cancer

Hi All!

Today is my stop on the Tommy v Cancer blog tour! The aim of this blog tour is to spread awareness of Tommy Donbavand’s current battle with the big C and to help raise some donations for him as he can no longer do the full time work of an author that he was doing before so he needs as much as help as he can get.

To find out more about his fight, you can check out his brilliant blog here: www.tommyvcancer.com.

And if you wanted to donate anything, you can do so two ways:
Paypal
Patreon

You can also purchase any of his collection of brilliant books! So, without further ado, here’s a review of one of his books! (And if you read all the way to the end, there’s a giveaway too!)


Scream Street 1Title: Scream Street: Fang of the Vampire
Author: Tommy Donbavand
Publisher: Walker
Published: 6th October 2008
Pages: 160
Format: Ebook
Source:: Bought from Amazon
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Summary:
Luke and his parents have found Scream Street to be a nightmarish world of the undead. Collecting six relics left behind by the founding fathers of the community is the only hope of opening a doorway out of the street, so with the help of his friends Resus and Cleo Luke sets out to retrieve the first item.


What Do You

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. It looks fun and interesting and mildly terrifying too. Add in that intriguing synopsis and you might just see why I gave this book a try. I was very glad I did choose this book as I ended up really enjoying it. It was a quick read but it packed a real punch and I am now very excited to continue on with the series and see what other adventures these vibrant and lovely characters go on! If you’re looking for a book that is entertaining and fun, definitely give this book a read!

Do When You’re

This book starts in a really interesting way that grips you and makes you really curious. I thought it was brilliant and a fantastic way to start this book. The plot as a whole was so fascinating and I loved it so much. I really enjoyed the new town that the protagonist moves to and the friends that he makes along the way. The book is full of little twists and turns that make it fun and entertaining too, perfect for keeping the children interested in the storyline.

Not Happy In

I thought all of the characters in the story were really well thought-out and great to read about. I particularly liked Resus and Chloe. I thought they were wonderful characters to read. I also thought that the trio of characters worked really well together, especially as they’ve only just met! I loved all of the individual quirks to the characters and I am one hundred percent sure that children will love these characters as much as I had – especially Resus and his eccentricities and Chloe and her issues.

Your New Home

All in all this book was a quick, fun, entertaining read that I very much enjoyed and know that a lot of children would really enjoy as well. It is a book that is full of imagination. There’s always something going on and it is full of twists and turns that you don’t see coming. I am very glad that I read this book and am very excited to continue the series and see what this incredible trio of characters get up to next! If you’re in the mood for something a little bit different, but which is still fun and a real page-turner, do make sure that you give this book a go!


About the Author

Tommy 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. Twitter.


Twitter Chat!

To end this tour, Vivienne and Chelley will be hosting a twitter chat that you do not want to miss!

This will be on 30th June 2016, 8 – 9pm

The hashtag for the chat is #tommyvcancer

There will also be ANOTHER giveaway!

See you there!


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Giveaway

As part of this tour, a lot of lovely publishers, authors, bloggers and agents wanted to dip into their own resources and have thus donated lots of fab prizes. The key part about this tour is to help Tommy and his family while he fights cancer and the best way to do this is by buying his books (like this one above) or donating directly.

To have more chances to win, you do this.

It’s unusual to ask for pennies for a giveaway but consider it more like a raffle prize. You can donate any amount from £1 upwards to get FIVE entries and then there is loads of options to get additional FREE entries. If you are selected the winner; you’ll need to present your Paypal receipt as proof of the entry so PLEASE KEEP THIS RECEIPT!

This Prize is a a set of Secondary school age books by Tommy from Badger Learning!!!

There is also a giveaway on Sister Spooky’s blog which can be found here.
And there will be another giveaway on The Pewter Wolf next week and a final giveaway happening on the twitter chat too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted on 9 June, 2016 by Faye - 1 Comment


Blog Tour: The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall by Karen McCombie

Posted on 7 June, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall by Karen McCombie

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Whispers of Wilderwood Hall blog tour and I am here today with ten reasons why I think you should be reading this book!

*DISCLAIMER* I helped to organise the blog tour for this book. However it has not affected my views or opinions on it.


The Whispers of Wilderwood HallTitle: The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall
Author: Karen McCombie
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 2nd June 2016
Pages: 0562
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads. Amazon UK.

Summary:
Ellis is losing track of time…

After leaving her friends to move to a crumbling Scottish mansion, Ellis is overcome by anxiety and loneliness. Then she hears whispers in the walls…and finds herself whisked back in time to 1912.

At first, she feels like she’s finally home. But the past may not be as perfect as it seems – and is there more to hope for in the present than she first thought? (less)


Top Ten Reasons to Read The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall

It is a quick, addictive and lovely read.

The main protagonist, Ellis, is a very relatable character. She is also a wonderful character to follow.

The writing style flows really easily. Right from the first page, you get pulled into the story by the strong solid voice of Ellis.

The setting of the book is wonderful and really adds that extra dimension to the book. It brings with it such vivid imagery.

It was the perfect mix of past and present.

It was a magical story. That left you feeling hopeful and wonderful. It should definitely not be missed for this reason alone.

Every single character is unique and has a wonderfully interesting background that really comes across as the book continues on. You can tell Karen has worked really hard on this book.

The main protagonist, Ellis, suffers from bouts of anxiety and panic attacks and I love that it’s been dealt with in a very sensitive way.

It was really fascinating the way the book jumped between time periods and how what happened in the past, helped Ellis in the future. It was such a unique and interesting plot.

This book is just a really wonderful read that you should not miss.


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Monday 6th June
Powered by Reading
Library Girl and Book Boy

Tuesday 7th June
So Many Books, So Little Time
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Wednesday 8th June
Kirstyes
Big Book Little Book

Thursday 9th June
Tales of Yesterday
An Awfully Big Adventure

Friday 10th June
YA Yeah Yeah
Snuggling on the Sofa

Saturday 11th June
Luna’s Little Library

Sunday 12th June
Bookish Outsider

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Posted on 7 June, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bloom

Posted on 31 May, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bloom

Hello All!

Today is my stop on the Erica’s Elephant blog tour and today I’m here with a rather fun post (I hope!) where I have written you a little mini-story explaining what I would do if an elephant were to turn up on my doorstep!

But first, here’s some information about the book and the wonderful author!


About the Book

Erica's Elephant When Erica Perkins wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday, the last thing she expects is to find a very confused elephant sitting on her doorstep. So begins an unlikely friendship. But can a small girl and a rather large elephant learn to live together in a tiny terraced house? And when the dastardly owner of the local zoo plots to steal the elephant, will Erica be able to outsmart him?

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


About the Author

SYLVIA PHOTO Sylvia Bishop is 23 years old and has recently graduated from Oxford. She is one half of the brilliant improvised
comedy duo Peablossom Cabaret (www.peablossomcabaret.com).

ERICA’S ELEPHANT is her first book, and she intends it to be the first of many quirky stories for young readers.

Website. Twitter. Instagram.


How I Would React If I Found An Elephant on My Doorstep

Personally, I would probably panic… like, a lot. What would I do with an Elephant? There would be absolutely nowhere to keep the poor animal. Also, I’ve never actually been up close to an Elephant so that would also freak me out a little bit. But as well as all that, I also think I’d be pretty amazed by it. I love all animals so I’d probably pet it – as long as it looked friendly enough – and see if I could make it happy. I’d feed it and tell all my friends of course – and probably all of twitter too! I think, after the inital panic, I’d probaby want to keep the Elephant but would also know how dangerous for him that would be. If I lived in a book world, I might become best friends with the Elephant but as I don’t, I would probably find the perfect zoo for the Elephant to live in – like Ross does for Marcel the Monkey in friends – and then I would make sure to visist as often as I could so that neither of us forgot each other. Also, I would probably either write a blog post about the whole or ordeal or even an entire book about it!


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What would you do if you found an Elephant on your doorstep?

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Posted on 31 May, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


New Beginnings

Posted on 11 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

New Beginnings

Hi All!
I’m here today to bring you a guest post by the wonderful Kim Slater to celebrate the release of her newest book, A Seven-Letter Word. She’s written a post about beginnings. Hope you enjoy!

Kim Slater


New Beginnings

By Kim Slater

Anyone who has ever attended a creative writing course will know that a very popular and often valid piece of advice (especially for writing Young Adult fiction) is: Make your opening lines as exciting as possible.

This was certainly true for the first draft of my debut novel, ‘Smart’, in that an independent editor I commissioned advised me to skip Chapters One – Three and start the story at Chapter Four, where Kieran finds the body of a dead homeless man in the River Trent.

It worked well.

But when I had finished the penultimate draft of my new novel, ‘A Seven-Letter Word’, it suddenly occurred to me that I had not started the book with a scene of riveting excitement but with one of Finlay’s emotional private journal entries to his absent mum.

And the second chapter was a scene with Finlay and his dad having tea in their kitchen at home.

Although I hope these chapters are still interesting and intriguing for the reader, there is no real rising action until Chapter Three, when the reader meets Finlay’s nemesis, a loathsome bully called Oliver.

My very lovely but eagle-eyed editor at Macmillan, Rachel Kellehar, had not raised a concern about the beginning of the book at this point but I thought the issue was worth raising with her.

We had an interesting discussion.

Would I be better, I wondered to Rachel, beginning the book at Chapter Two which is a scene of rising action and unbearable tension for our hero, Finlay?

As Rachel pointed out, the journal entry and the scene in the kitchen give some really essential information to the reader about Finlay. The reader sees how lonely he is and garners a real understanding of how difficult it is for him to speak – essential as a backdrop to the whole story.

I saw that sticking with the beginning we already had, meant that by the time we got to Chapter Two, the scene is made even more tense and dramatic for the reader because they are already firmly inside Finlay’s head.

They are able to fully empathise and care about what happens to him at a very early stage and that is valuable to me, as an author who wants my reader to continue turning the pages.

So, I would advise debut writers to think carefully about their beginnings but not be a slave to the stock advice.

Starting your story in a place that is not edge-of-the-seat exciting for the reader is not necessarily a bad thing. But it isn’t an excuse for slow pace and dreary writing, either.

It must still be gripping. You must still entice the reader to want to know more by including a hint of the excitement and tension that is yet to come.

Experiment. Swap your beginning around a bit and see what feels right. Ask a few beta readers what they think.

Remember that agents, editors and indeed, readers are looking for strong character voices and a good hook. If these things are right, they’re often prepared to delay the opening excitement a touch.

As always with creative writing advice, there is no right or wrong way. There is just your way and it will probably be different for each and every book you write.

So really think your beginning through and above all, know why you made your decision.

That’s a very good place to start.

Opening lines of ‘A Seven-Letter Word’.

“Monday, 11th May

Dear Mum,

It’s me, Finlay.

I’ve had this brilliant idea to empty out all the words in my head, on to paper. That way, they might stop driving me bonkers, buzzing around with no way of getting out.”

Opening lines of ‘Smart’.

“It just looked like a pile of rags, floating on the water.

Jean sat on the bench with the brass plaque on. It said: In Memory of Norman Reeves who spent many happy hours here.

The plaque means Norman Reeves is dead, but it doesn’t actually say that.”


About the Book

7lw Title: A Seven-Letter Word
Author: Kim Slater
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: 24th March 2016
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
‘My name is Finlay McIntosh. I can see OK, can hear perfectly fine and I can write really, really well. But the thing is, I can’t speak. I’m a st-st-st-stutterer. Hilarious, isn’t it? It’s like the word is there in my mouth, fully formed and then, just as it’s ready to leave my lips . . . POP! It jumps and ricochets and bounces around my gob. Except it isn’t funny at all, because there’s not a thing I can do about it.’

Finlay’s mother vanished two years ago. And ever since then his stutter has become almost unbearable. Bullied at school and ignored by his father, the only way to get out the words which are bouncing around in his head is by writing long letters to his ma which he knows she will never read, and by playing Scrabble online. But when Finlay is befriended by an online Scrabble player called Alex, everything changes. Could it be his mother secretly trying to contact him? Or is there something more sinister going on?

A Seven-Letter Word is an evocative and heartfelt story from the multi-award-winning author of Smart, Kim Slater.


What are some of your favourite opening lines?

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Posted on 11 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew and Chris Judge

Posted on 10 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew and Chris Judge

Hi All!
Today is my spot on the Create Your Own: Spy Mission blog tour! I’m here to show you some of the pages filled in by myself so that you can a) see my pathetic drawings and b) see how much fun this book is!

But before I humiliate myself, here’s some information about this fantastic book!


About The Book

Title: Create Your Own Spy Mission
Author: Andrew and Chris Judge
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: April 7th 2016
Pages: 140
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Summary:
DOODLE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
Welcome to Doodle…where you draw the story. Help finish characters, build up the town and design a GIANT ICE CREAM POWERED robot to fight off…the SUPER villains that you doodle! Doodles get into LOTS of trouble. Watch out, it is up to you to doodle them out of it!

My Doodles

drawing1

drawing2

drawing3


About the Authors

Chris Judge

Chris Judge is an award winning picture book author/illustrator (THE LONELY BEAST, TIN) and co-author, with comedian David O’Doherty, of DANGER IS EVERYWHERE. Chris’s work continues to feature in advertising, newspapers, magazines and exhibitions in the UK and Ireland.

Website. Twitter.

Andrew Judge

Andrew Judge has written and illustrated countless short stories and comics with his brother Chris, including regular features for arts and culture magazines Mongrel and Totally Dublin. Andrew lives and works as an architect in Ireland.

Website. Twitter.


Where will your spy mission take you?

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Posted on 10 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments