Friday, 25 September 2020

Book Review: "That Monster on the Block" by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

I was all set to really not like this book and when I read the description to my hubby he said that "explaining to H [our nephew] about vampires being the undead would be way too scary for him" but it's not at all like that... it's fun and humourous and well illustrated and just perfect!  It deals with prejudice in a non-threatening way that children would understand and learn from.

WTG the author!

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Book Review: "Mind Riot" by Ken Bagnis

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Like with everything I review, this book is starting with the full 5 stars and I'm hoping it'll finish with 'em too, but we shall see.

I'm really enjoying this book so far... I hope it continues!

I'm wondering which decade this book is set in?  Cassette tapes?  Duran Duran?  Seems very 80's to me!

Ah right, it's part of a girly thing, not set in the 80's... that's a relief then!  I hope the author has gained permission to use big names like "Duran Duran" and "Sony Walkman" and "The Smiths though, or he could get himself into serious hot water legally!

Chapter one was great and I love that it's in first person throughout... so different from most books I've read recently!

I'm just about to start reading chapter 7 and I'm still loving this book... it's a definite must-read for all the teens out there and even adults will appreciate it too - this adult certainly is!

I'm appreciating this author and his research even more now... I'm currently recovering from one of the illnesses described and in literally one sentence I feel a lot more understood and far less alone now than I have done in the last two decades.  Thank you so so much, Mr Bagnis!

I don't know where the last 12 hours have disappeared to, but every word of this book is pure genius and I so wish I'd discovered it sooner!  I'm gonna read one more chapter then head to bed for an early night ready for me to dive right back into this fantastic book tomorrow morning.

I'm almost half way through the book and I'm reluctantly heading off to bed for the night now, but I can't wait to dive right back in as soon as I wake up and come back downstairs tomorrow!

Mornin' all.

This is still a fantastic book, but there are big brand names used quite a bit, so I'm hoping the author has gained written permission to use them so that he doesn't get into expensive legal hot water with the owners of the brand names he's using!

I'm on the verge of tears with this chapter and it takes a powerful author to achieve that, especially at not even two-thirds of the way through a book.  I stand by what I said yesterday, I know this is written for teens, but adults will enjoy it too... I certainly am.

The very end of chapter 24 is exactly the sort of cringeworthy thing I would say too lol

I've just finished the book and I'm sat here with huge tears streaming out of my eyes, down my cheeks and onto my laptop.  It's rare that a book achieves that so that must tell you more than any of the rest of this review.  If I could, I would award it 6 stars out of 5, but I can't, so it's getting top marks from me from start to finish.  A must-read for everyone.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

NaNoWriMo - always wanted to give it a try but never got around to it?

If, like me back in 2011/2012-ish, you've heard people talk about NaNo and you've always said you want to give it a go, there's no better time than this year❗  Most of us are stuck at home for Covid or personal reasons and there's about 5 weeks before it starts to get your NaNo novel planned out and ready for 1st November.

If you're a "pantser" then you can gear yourself up and find ways to reward yourself for hitting mini targets throughout it (my own personal target is for 5k words written each day and a bottle of J2O when I achieve it, but it might be different for you) as well as a huge reward when you type that 50,000th word (2 J2O's and a sharing block of chocolate all to myself is my own personal reward of choice).

If you're a "planner" but have got precisely no ideas then the free trial of my ideas software might be exactly what you're looking for.  If you become a member now then you get exclusive updates to the software that non-members don't get as well as access to me and other member-exclusives at a cheaper price and sooner notifications of open submission windows etc too.

Anyway, back to NaNo 😃

If you're a "plantser" like me, then NaNo is an opportunity to let your muse run wild for 30 days - NaNo and JanNo are my two guaranteed writing months of the year and my hubby knows that I'm not to be disturbed unless it's for something vital.

If you decide that 2020 is your writing year, sign up as soon as you can (it's free) so that you've got time to explore and get to know the NaNo site before it starts.  I'm on there with this year's novel which is called "Oh No!" if you wanna get support and encouragement throughout NaNo and beyond.

Go on... do this for you, you deserve it 👍❗👌

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Thinking of self-publishing your children's book?

If, for whatever your reason is, you wanna self-publish your children's book, do yourself a big favour and read this blog post by a fellow Scoobie first.  She's got some great advice and you've got nothing to lose by reading it through... who knows, it might save you a lot of time and money.


Wednesday, 9 September 2020

"Go Get 'em" has just been rejected

Just had a novel rejected, but that's OK now.  It would have destroyed my confidence a couple of years ago, but I realise that the best things come to those who wait now and I've already subbed to 5 other agents so maybe it was good that it was rejected?

I'm not gonna sub to anyone else for the time being, so that I don't run out of options before the end of the year... gotta get 3 more rejections before I sub to anyone else lol

I wish you all success in your subbing and hope that we're all taken on when the right opportunity comes along!

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Just subbed to an open submission window

 Firefly Press are holding two very short open submission windows today for "diverse and LGBTQ+ authors, as well as authors with a disability" and tomorrow for all other children's authors.


My members found out about this window as soon as I did, so have had time to prepare in advance... maybe you would like to become a member too, so that you've got more time to prepare next time 😉

Friday, 21 August 2020

Book Review: "Celdric Kane: The Unwished" by Nina Mofme

⭐⭐ out of 5

In the prologue the character is only 11 so a 13 year old wouldn't read any further... I'm wondering, already, if the author knows and appreciates that children don't want to read about characters that are younger than they are.  I hope the rest of the book is better than it's started!

There have been several bits that don't make sense, purely because of single word choices... "involuntary" instead of "involuntarily" in chapter 8 for example and "won't ever hands over" at the start of chapter 9.  Things like that are making me wonder about knocking off a star... gonna give it a bit longer first though, in case they are genuine mistakes that should have been picked up before it was published.

That's the star gone at the start of chapter 10 "I cannot do anything except waiting"

I've read four pages since knocking off that first star and it reads like the author has given up with using the right tenses appropriately.

Page 27 has soo many errors that the second star is coming off, unfortunately.

A page later and the errors are still there... it's like the author only edited the first three chapters in the hope of getting published, then slowly gave up so that by chapter eight we are reading the first draft instead of the polished story that it should be.

I've skipped ahead to chapter 26 now... it's just such a dull and boring book, sorry.  Keep your fingers crossed that things have picked up in the chapters I've skipped and that it's a better story now.

The author really doesn't understand the audience they are writing for... an 11 year old would never understand what "disquietude" meant for example.

I give up.  There are too many errors, it's boring, too many characters without any kind of personality... there are too many mistakes and I'm not gonna read any further.  A child might enjoy it more, but the author really doesn't understand who they are writing for and hasn't got into the heads of their characters so children don't stand a chance.