Friday, 3 July 2020

Book review: "Kat and Juju" by Kataneh Vahdani

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Immediate thoughts on the cover, really cute and deserves the five stars that every book I review starts off with, so far... I wonder if the author is also the illustrator though?

Lets get the book opened  ;-)

Oooh!  It *is* illustrated by the author, which is even better!

This is a great book... still a very well-deserved 5 stars and I'm already tempted to buy the hardcover version for one of my nephews!

The author has really got inside the head of young children who feel left outside of the popular crowd at playgroup/nursery/primary school and this is still a five star book, half way through... I've usually found something negative in a book by now, but this book is proving me wrong this time!

What a perfect ending, nothing negative or critical to say at all!  A very well deserved five stars and I'm gonna go and buy it for my nephew now... a must buy for any parent or carer or even childcare place with a child (or even several children) who feels very lost and alone and seems to be a lonely outsider!

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Book Review: "Sneasy the Greasy Babysits Abigail" by Michelle Birdsong and Robin Birdsong

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

This is a good book, but it doesn't come anywhere near meeting industry standards as far as pages (it's got 16 pages but the industry standard is 28 or 32 pages, so it doesn't come even close to it).  The story is kinda rhymey but only on certain lines, and would be much better as either everything rhyming or no rhymes at all, not both at the same time.  Those two reasons are why I'm knocking off a star.  The illustrations are funny and so appropriate to a child's sense of humour, and I have no doubt they would enjoy it when it's read to them.  I'm just wondering about the pronounciation of "Sneasy" though... is it "Sneezy" or does it rhymn with grease or is it something else entirely?

Overall, a good book that will really appeal to young listeners who are reluctant to get clean after playing in the mud or who don't like having their hair washed or whatever.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Guest blog post from Catherine Rosevear

Many thanks to Amanda, for letting me write a guest blog post!

I’ve been writing for children for about five years now. I’d wanted to for many years before that, but I never had the time – or I thought I didn’t. Looking back, I think that I just needed to make a start, because once I got started, I felt motivated to continue, even when time was short.

Ever since I was really small, I’ve always loved reading. As a child, my favourite books were the Paddington books by Michael Bond, which really inspired me to be a reader and – later on – a writer.

When I first started writing I bought a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook, and as soon as my first chapter book, ‘The Secret of the Wooden Chest’, was complete, I went through the yearbook and looked at the lists of agents, trying to decide who seemed like the best fit for my book. I sent it out to a few agents before I realised that it probably needed editing, and so I used Cornerstones Literary to help me with a copy edit. But I still wasn’t successful in finding an agent who was interested and so, eventually, I decided to self-publish it with Matador (the self-publishing imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd).

Matador advised me to get a cover illustration ready and so, after yet more googling online, I turned to Ian R Ward, who produced a beautiful cover illustration for my first book.

The Secret of theWooden Chest’ came out with Matador in 2017, followed in 2018 by the second book in my chapter book series, ‘Mystical Moonlight’.

Since then I’ve been doing school visits with these two books, and also continuing with new writing projects. Currently I’m working on a Middle Grade book for slightly older children.

One thing I really love about taking my self-published books into schools is the enthusiasm of the children I meet, who are usually not only really keen on reading, but also exciting about writing. For this reason, I sometimes suggest a writing competition for the classes I visit. I then go back to the school a couple of weeks later to collect the children’s stories and take them home to read. Their imagination and powerful storytelling never cease to amaze me!

Since self-publishing, I’ve joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and have attended several of their workshops, which has really helped me to develop my skills. Last year I even attended their UK conference for the first time, where a whole weekend’s worth of workshops and talks inspired me with further ideas. One of the best things I leaned at the conference, was that a writer should spend a big chunk of their time reading – both inside and outside the genre they write in – so that they can learn from other writers. I’ve always loved spending a lot of time reading, but now, as well as reading for relaxation, I feel that I can justify spending even more time reading, and I consider it to be part of the work of learning to be a writer!

So, whether you’re a reader or a writer – or both – keep reading!

Catherine Rosevear lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, two children and a very opinionated Tibetan Terrier. She has self-published two children’s chapter books – ‘The Secret of the Wooden Chest’ (Matador, 2017) and Mystical Moonlight’ (Matador, 2018), both of which follow the adventures of a girl called Hannah who is able to use magic to get in touch with a girl from ancient Roman times! She also writes a regular blog at, and she can be contacted through her blog for information about school visits and book sales.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Book Review: "Sally's Birthday Wish" by Ivette Corza

⭐⭐ out of 5

Well, before even opening the book I can already tell that it doesn't meet industry standards 'cos it's 7 pages too long, even for older picture books!  I'm already knocking off a star because of that, so we're at 4 stars before I've even opened it up!

The images are already letting the book down 'cos they are grainy and obviously copied and pasted from images that have been found online... I hope the author has gained permission to use them before publishing this book!

The author is using adult words in a picture book, that would confuse at best and upset at worst!  How many 5 year olds call their soft toys a "stuffed animal"?  That's another star knocked off.

Now the author has used Peter Pan and Wendy in her story... it's highly unlikely that she's gained permission to use those characters in her book!  That definitely calls for the removal of another star 'cos that's breaking an international law!

Just finished the book and there isn't a single word of speech in the entire thing!  There are a few places where it could easily have been speech and therefore more interesting to young listeners.  I'm guessing that the author didn't put her book through any edits, let alone a crit group.  It's hard being told these things so publically, but if a bit more time had gone into it then it might have had a higher star rating.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Book Review: "Science meet God: An Element is Born" by Tabitha Womack

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Just from looking at the cover, I'm seriously hoping this isn't a horror type book 'cos they give me nightmares for ages afterwards and I'm 42 instead of a teen❗❗

Oookaaaay❓  Why has it got a character page... surely I should be able to make up my own mind about the characters... why does each character's relationship need to be explained before we even get to the first page of the book❓  Are the relationships really so confuzzled from the outset❓  Why couldn't the author have used her world-building to incorporate them into the actual novel❓

The next page is a Lakota dictionary and we haven't even got to the first chapter yet❗❗

Now a Spanish dictionary too... 8 pages into a novella and I haven't even got to the first chapter yet❗

At last!  Chapter 1 and we can finally get going❗

It's good so far, but what is a punny❓  Is it American slang or has the author created a word because the novella is set in the future❓

There have been a few grammar errors that should have easily been picked up during editing and definitely before publication... things like a full stop being on a new line and then the next letter not being capitalised which I let slip through 'cos we're all human, but not closing the speechmarks should have been picked up a loooong time before publication❗

Not sure that I'd want a 13 year old reading swearing like there has been in chapter 1 and in the first paragraph of chapter 2 as well.

Another spelling mistake that should have been picked up in the first edit of the manuscript.

Another swear - not good at all❗

More grammar problems... this is really starting to spoil a potentially decent story now❗

Another chunk that could have done with better editing... this is starting to frustrate me now  😞

There's two lots of chapter 5... either this book wasn't edited at all or the author/editor just said they'd edited without even opening up the document.  There have been too many errors to receive the full 5 stars unfortunately, so we're currently down to four.

This is a really good book, but there are far too many basic errors throughout it - misplaced speechmarks now❗

Oh❗  The book finished just as it got going❗  That's pretty frustrating... if the author had kept writing, it could have been a fantastic novel for young adults as opposed to a good novella in need of editing❗

Friday, 29 May 2020

Another update to the writing software for my members

Just added another update to the full version of the writing software for my members so if you've been pondering on becoming a member, now would be a good time to do it 'cos my members will always be my top priority.

Other than the software, what else would you find beneficial on the Stories 4 Children site that I can look into putting up for you?  I'm open to most ideas, but I need to know what else you want to see first.  Leave me a comment in reply to this and I'll see what I can come up with for you!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Book Review: "Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria" by J M Bergen

⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

So far, so OK, but the author is already getting on my reading wick by not knowing/using the correct spelling of dropping the second s after the ' when a word ends with an s already - the author has written it as Arius's instead of Arius' which is already annoying me after only 10 pages.  I seriously hope it improves as I read further or I'll be knocking off a star for that alone!

I hope the author has got permission to use the Wikipedia brand or they could get into serious hot water!

Same with using the Avengers branding too!

It should be Nuh-uh instead of Unh uh too.

Enjoyed the last part of chapter 2 - served them right!  lol

Amazon too now... that's three internet giants that could come down heavily on the author if their brand names are being used without permission.  That's a second star off, so we're down to 3 stars now.

The author is definitely in their stride with this story now!  Some of the names are really hard to pronounce which kinda takes a bit away from the story, but not as bad as I was thinking the first few times I read them!

Chapter 10 is good and I'm mightily relieved that neither of them threw up or drew blood!

Oooh!  I'm loving these next chapters - full of intensity and we're not even half way through yet!

Oh dear... we're back to using trademarks without permission again - it had been going so well too  :-(

Yep, the author is definitely into their writing zone now and after a shakey start, it's looking good now.  Currently up to chapter 20 and the last 4 hours have just slipped past without me realising!  I definitely want to keep reading this book now and can't wait to find out what happens next!

Another trademark used that could lead to hot water... the author has created a great story, so why not create new websites and products too?

And another trademark!  If they were lesser-known brands then I would have let the author off without marking them down, but they've chosen to use giants instead!  I've already knocked off a star for doing this, so I'll be kind and not knock off any more, but the author really needs to not use such huge names because they will be able to afford more than the author can.  A simple email to each brand is all that it takes 'cos I've done it myself with my own books... better to be safe than sorry and all that jazz!

Oooh, chapter 27 was good... the tension is definitely building now!  The tension is building in chapter 28 too... don't be fooled, Thomas, Scott and Enrique!!

These next chapters are unremarkable after such good ones... currently up to chapter 34 and it's just plodding along again, but I suppose that's OK after all the action and tension in the lead-up to them.

The end of chapter 38 came out of nowhere!

These chapters are making me hold my breath!  I'm up to chapter 46 now and the tension is incredible!

I've just finished it and while most of it is good, the first and last few chapters are un-necessary and would have been a lot better if the author had just got straight into the action.  A good 3 stars from me!

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Book Review: "A Tale of Tyrannosauruses and sixty five million years later" by Carl Cupper

⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

First thing to strike me about this book is that the title is waaaaay to long... it would have been a lot better to just finish the title after the Tyrannosauruses bit!

OK, so I'm 6 pages in and already the author has used words that a child wouldn't understand and measurements that would confuse them because they aren't metric... I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt to start off with though.

Still using feet and tons as well as a tiny amount of speech, so that's one star gone after only 18 pages.

AFAIK being a cold blooded mammal doesn't automatically mean you sleep during the day... I think what the author meant here was nocturnal animals rather than "cold blooded animas" (author's typo, not mine lol).

There's the use of poorly chosen words again - a newly confident reader wouldn't know what "appease the mischievious impulses of his brothers using reason as a resource" meant and may well give up, close the book and never pick it up again, even though we are less than a quarter of the way through it so far!

And now a biology lesson!  We've got "olfactory lobes" as well as "femur" and "tibia" - I'm 42 and even at that age, don't know where they all are without a biology text book in front of me!  That's another star off!

Now the author is adding yards to the feet and miles too!  It wouldn't be so bad if it was just occasionally but it seems to be at every opportunity!

There are also no chapters which'll be a nightmare when I head to bed tonight!  There isn't even very much speech to break it up - the dinosaurs really can speak in this story because they do, very occasionally, there just isn't very much of it at all.

Ah-ha!  A conversation with real speech!  Well over half way through, but it should have been like that from the start!

I'm confused by this earthquake... at first I thought it was a naturally caused earthquake, then a couple of paragraphs later I corrected myself that it was a huge dinosaur herd then a few paragraphs after that we're back to the natural earthquake again!  If it confuses a 42 year old then it's going to be even worse for the child reading it!

Now mountains are growing like magic out of the ground in minutes!  I realise it's fiction, but even so, there are things that can't be changed so that it's not as unbelievable!  Apparently seconds later the ground splits apart and swallows several dinosaurs then it's all over a few minutes later.  Minutes after that we've got a river now!

I wish I could have given a more positive review of this book, but I just can't unfortunately  😞

Friday, 15 May 2020

1 manuscript edited, several more to go

Just finished editing a MG fantasy novel that I'm now really proud of.  If I can get through a MG or YA novel both days of the weekend, I'll be really proud of myself and won't feel guilty about going back to studying on Monday.  It's a day earlier than I was thinking, but that's OK too - I knew it needed to be done, so I just got straight on with it 😌 👍.

Time to take my pills and head to bed soon I reckon.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020


Just written a particularly gross older PB... definitely not the kinda thing to read around the time it's eat! 🤣  I'm hoping it'll gross out the adult reading it and bring a smile (or hopefully an understanding chuckle) to the face of the child(ren) listening to it.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Book Review: "Tales of Nibiru Volume One Z.I.R.M." by B B Taylor

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

A great little read, only took about 2 hours to read from start to finish because it's so short (60 pages) and I thought I was gonna lose my lunch a few times at the gross descriptions of the blood and felt a bit scary even for a middle-ager at times too, so definitely not a bed-time read, but if you're looking for a quick, unique read, definitely put this in front of your eyes!

The descriptions of the blood and the fights is the only reason I'm knocking off a star.

Keep up the great writing, B B Taylor!

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Book Review: "You’re Amazing And I’ll Prove It!" by Neal G Brownell

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

This is a weird kinda book... it's not fiction, but at the same time it's not non-fiction either... it's a kind of mix between the two - a fun, thoughtful book presented in a unique way that gets the reader thinking in new, better, more positive ways - great work, Neal!

I'm knocking the star off because of some of the illustrations - they look like they've been downloaded, cut out, pasted onto the page and a drop-shadow added.

I'm arachnaphobic, so seeing all these drawings of spiders sends my anxiety through the roof, but I've literally just learnt that small spiders prefer darker rooms because there is less light and therefore less insects milling about.  In the two decades I've been living here I've seen maybe 3 or 4 big, strong spiders in total, but there are more fragile spiders, especially during the darker months, so does that mean that we've got the level of light in all our rooms just about right so that I don't come into contact with the 8-legged creatures?

The comparisons are good and well-thought-out that make you consider different situations and would get an older child thinking more outside the box than maybe they did before.  I'm thinking that either some of the word choices need to be more considered for Middle-Graders or the language in general needs to be more mature for teens.

The measurements need to be metric... there's no way a child or even a teen would know how far away "200 feet" is, or how wide the wingspan is at "seven feet" - at the time of writing this review, I'm 42 years old and even *I* don't know how far that is lol  The next page says "3 to 5 inches" and there's no way a 9 year old would be willing to sit there and multiply things by two and a half centimetres and they may forget to ask their parents or even grandparents what that is in metric measurements they can understand.  A teen might be slightly more willing to work it out, but it's more likely that they would give up without even trying.

Ah-ha!  The author has just said that he's 58 years old at the time he wrote the book, so that explains why he used imperial rather than metric measurements, but his readers are a lot younger than that and wouldn't have a clue what his measurements meant, just like he wouldn't have a clue about centimetres and grams!

There have been superscripts throughout the book that would confuse a 9 year old at best and frustrate a teen that they were expected to use their boring education from school English lessons in their free time... it's a book, not an interview or academic paper or even a college assignment and it's supposed to be aimed at younger readers (the author said it was a Young Adult novel, then changed his mind to Middle Grade when I asked him the age range it was aimed at - the book is marketed to Young Adults aka teens, but the author has now decided it's Middle Grade which is 9-12!).

Overall a very good read, the author just needs to sort out the early images and decide on the age that he's written for then stick to it.  A well-deserved 4 stars.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Lockdown fun - do you wanna join in?

The hubby (Steve/my tech support guy) was listening to the radio or a podcast or summat while he was making our lunch and I heard a tiny snippet of it as I was making my way through to the bathroom, which inspired me to ask if anyone wanted to join in with it.

The task is to write a story of under 1500 words that centres around the theme of either creating a new school from scratch and/or coping with a fictional pandemic.

You will, of course, retain all rights to your work, you just give me permission to put it on the Stories 4 Children site for others to enjoy.  I can't pay you and I can't offer you any kind of support or representation or anything like that, but I will give you your own page on the site and you can submit as many stories as you want (within reason 😉) and you'll be able to link to your page in your writer's CV and queries and stuff like that.

Email your stories to me and make sure you give me the name you want me to add after the © after each of your stories.

If you're an illustrator and want to join in, then go for it, just keep your images to under 500 pixels on its longest side and the smallest file size possible (but please remember that jpg's lose quality the more they are viewed, so gifs and pngs are prolly the best file types to choose).

If you are submitting several stories/illustrations, then please zip up and upload them to a cloud-based file-sharing app like One Drive and email the link to me so that I can download them straight onto my machine to put on your page.

If you want me to link your story/illustration to your site/email address, just let me know what the URL/email address is on each of your submissions and I'll happily get it sorted for you.

I'm NOT publishing your work, I won't be able to pay you for it and you're more than welcome to send it out to publishers and agents if you want to, it's just something informal and hopefully fun to get those creative juices flowing again and break up the boredom/anxiety/stress that comes with each day of the lockdown.

Can't wait to see what you come up with❗

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Book Review: The Nameless by Allison Rose

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Waaaaay too much boring backstory in the first few chapters... doesn't really get going until chapter 12 which is 56 pages of boredom.

There could be a lot more speech (or at least thoughts) by the main character to explain the things that are just boring text right now.  It's a reasonable book so far, but there is already a lot that can be improved which is on the verge of another star being knocked off, but I'm in a reasonable mood this afternoon so it's at 3.5 stars instead of 3 right now  ;-)

Chapter 14 is a lot better, so I'm gonna promote it back to the 4 stars again.  Chapter 15 was good too... the author is really getting into her story now, which is great.

I'm really enjoying the novel now... I've read ten chapters without stopping to review any of them 🤣  Still a solid 4 stars... would have been the full 5 if it hadn't been for the first few chapters!

What a great ending!  If you can forgive the first few chapters this is a great read when the author gets into her stride.  A solid 4 stars before I head to bed.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Book Review: Beau Bear: The Tale of the Hidden Blue Treasure by M.R. Everette

⭐⭐ out of 5

First off, this book is aimed at 4-6 year olds but they have very different reading abilities... 4 year olds don't know how to read the alphabet, but 6 year olds are just starting to read books themselves with adult help, so who is it more suitable for?

Also, the title alone would put children off because they wouldn't know what "beau" was, let alone how to pronounce it!

Oh dear.  If a child looked at the first page of text, they would put the book back on the shelf 'cos in only one page there are more words than a 6 year old could read... way too daunting!

In the first paragraph alone, there are words waaaay too advanced for such young children... I'm thinking this is more for 8-10+ rather than 4-6 and even they would struggle already!

Another page full of text!  This is definitely more for older children than the small ones it's aimed at and we haven't even got onto the boat yet!

And a third page full of text... the author has lost even the most dedicated reader by now and has used up an entire book's industry-length word count on each page and there's still 9 pages to go!

There's no way any child would know how tall "forty-foot high waves" were either... it's been metric for well over 30 years so far!

Just finished reading the book and it's waaaay to advanced for the audience it's aimed at... it's more like a very short early chapter book without the chapters judging by the vocabulary and length the author has used.

Judging by the graphics, this is a self-published book too and I'm guessing the author had got so frustrated by the rejections from publishers with it not meeting industry standards that they gave up and self-published it rather than seriously editing it to meet requirements of the industry.

I don't like giving negative reviews, but there is very little I can find to be positive about with this book, unfortunately.  Sorry.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

New page in the members area!

Just added a new page to the members area with a new way to work when it comes to planning your next WIP!

Now would be a good time to sign up to become a member if you haven't done so yet!

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Book Review: "Super Doll" by Erin Schulz

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

 Oooh!  I've got a novel written in the first person in front of me, it seems!  I'm already inside the main characters head which is great going by the author!  Definitely deserving of the 5 stars each book I review starts out with.  I hope the novel continues like it starts off!  Immediate thoughts are that this is a great book so far... I hope I'm not disappointed in it by the end!

I hope the author has permission to use the Wikipedia brand name in her novel otherwise she could land herself in legal hot water.

Really enjoying this book so far... I'm already at chapter 3 and it still deserves those 5 stars.

The author has used the Oreo brand name too, so I hope she got permission to use it before her book was published!

There have been a few places where Piper has been talking to herself but the author has forgotten the inverted comma's to indicate this... slightly annoying but is that and the brand names enough for me to knock off a star??

There's the brand name problem again... it was going so well, but the brand name usage and not distinguishing the thoughts from the rest of the words is the reason I'm reluctantly knocking off this star, so we're down to 4 stars, but considering there are only 64 pages left to read tomorrow, that's really good going!

First chapter of the day starts off pretty mysteriously...

And another brand name usage!  I seriously hope the author has permission to use them all!

The end of chapter 22 is tense and slightly exciting... WTG!

Oooh!  The end of chapter 27 came out of nowhere... I thought it was Piper throughout the novel!

I really wasn't expecting the ending!!

What an awesome read and a definite must-read for Young Adults and even young-at-heart adults!

Monday, 6 April 2020

Just another update in the members area!

Just updated a page in the member's area... I'm gonna make a start on it tomorrow because it's unlimited submissions so I'm gonna make the most of the opportunity... are you going to join me❓  😄

Friday, 3 April 2020

Another update to the members area

Just added a new page to the members area - I can't log in to check it atm for some reason, but if you can then definitely have a look!  I'll add more as I come across them  😃

Any ideas please?

Hello again everyone.

I wanna make the most of the lockdown by at least planning, but hopefully also writing my next manuscript.

Sounds good so far, right?

Thing is though, I'm all out of ideas and can't afford to buy any software or books or even magasines to give me ideas... can't even afford the shopping until Monday!  Can you help me out pretty please?  If you've got an idea that I can expand on, I'll use your name (or a name of your choosing if you prefer) as the main character.  I'm all out of ideas even for the title of the manuscript.

I'm thinking maybe a fantasy novel but if you've got other ideas, just leave them in the comments in reply to this blog post!

If you don't have any ideas for MG/YA then how about a chapter book instead?  I'm totally open to pretty much anything right now and if you've got more than one idea, leave more than one comment and more than one name!

If you're more of a primary school ideas person then that's totally cool too, just a single paragraph with just the main characters first name is all I need for them - just leave a couple of blank lines in between each idea in a single post for those.

I write for all ages, but my muse has totally deserted me again, so I'm opening up the floor to you, the readers of my blog!

Over to you!  Can't wait to read your ideas and start on the planning out of my next manuscript!

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Another update to the member's only software

Just updated one of the pieces of software for my members... if you're interested in becoming a member and getting access to members only software, you can apply here!  If you're already a member then you get access to all the updates that I make, just like this.

Lemme know what else you wanna see on the site and in the members area and I'll definitely consider it and try and come up with something that hopefully exceeds your expectations!

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Book review: “Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers" by Chris Stevenson

“Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers" by Chris Stevenson 
 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5 

This is a good start to the book, but in the UK everything is metric measurements now, so I very much doubt that the readers this book is aimed at will understand what the author means with the “nearly three foot in diameter” means getting on for a metre… even older teens are unlikely to be able to imagine it!

Same with the word choices of “fetid odor emanating” too! I’m already thinking that the readers will need a dictionary or a parent/carer/teacher to understand some of the word choices and I’m only a few pages into it so far!

I hope the author has permission from Wikipedia, Benadryl and Motrin to use their brand names in the novel!!

It’s getting better the further you read, so it’s worth sticking by it if you want to… it’s just way too telling, too many characters and using too many brand names which could get the author into legal hot water if they haven’t got permission to use them.

The author is really into their stride now! There could still be improvements and speech instead of descriptions but so far so good with this now!

The last chapter is a bit confusing… it’s just copied and pasted from the start of the book, isn’t it??

Not sure if it’s been copied and pasted word for word, but the last few paragraphs of the book make sense and it’s a positive ending.

There have been a few dull, boring bits throughout the book, but it definitely deserves the four stars I’m giving it now that I’ve finished reading it!

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Aaaaand it's finished!

50k words written in exactly two weeks ain't bad going and I've already forgiven myself for my JanNo mistake now that it's finished.  Means I can spend the day actually living and talking to Steve now lol

Onto my final chapter of the MS now

Just got 898 words left to write then it's finished and I can finally stop guilt-tripping myself about my JanNo mistake!

After that, I've got a novel to read and review and another one waiting for me too.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Achieved 6 chapters today, which means...

...I've just got the final 5 chapters to write tomorrow then it's finished in exactly 2 weeks, including technical issues meaning that I couldn't write for two of 'em at least... not my best ever, but still pretty impressive I reckon❗

That's my target achieved now, so...

...I'm gonna aim for 6 chapters today so that I can hopefully finish the entire manuscript tomorrow evening instead of Sunday morning.  It's within touching distance now though and will be finished in two and a bit weeks instead of the month I challenged myself to after the mistake, thanks to my memory/brain damage issues, of JanNo.

Hopefully be able to have an early-ish night tonight too, so that I can wake up, take the puppy for her stroll and make a start on finishing up the manuscript.


I've already written the same in 3 hours than...

...I did during the entire day yesterday, so I'm right on track for hitting the 5 chapters today, especially 'cos I'm having soup for lunch so I don't need to put my laptop on the floor today, which gives me an extra half an hour that I didn't have yesterday too.

Gonna take the puppy for her stroll then come back, have my celebratory J2O for finishing chapter 40, then get straight back to writing again.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

That's chapter 38 written now, so my current plan is to...

...write 5 chapters tomorrow, 5 on Saturday and the final two on Sunday.  Keep your fingers crossed 🤞 that I manage it please❓❗

Currently writing chapter 38 and hoping to...

...finish chapter 39 by the time I go to bed, write 6 chapters tomorrow to take me up to chapter 45 then finish the final 5 chapters on Saturday.  Slower than I was hoping for, but still well within the month I'd set myself, considering I've had technical issues and had to do a system restore on Monday afternoon that lasted until Tuesday morning and decided to go wrong so I had to deal with that and could only start writing again yesterday.  Not bad going though, I don't reckon.

I'm gonna give myself the rest of March off, then start editing on April Fools Day of all days 😀

How is your planning/writing/editing going❓  Leave me a comment and let me know❗

Friday, 6 March 2020

Just written chapter 30 so...

...I've rewarded myself with a J2O and I'm heading to bed now.

See you all at some point tomorrow.

Nite nite orl.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

As of right now, the first draft of my WIP is...

...officially half finished after only 5 days.  The puppy's coming home at some point on Saturday, so tomorrow will be another full, mostly uninterrupted, day of writing and I'm right on track for finishing on 10th March too, which is awesome and means I've still got ⅔ of March to myself.

I'll give myself a week-long break then crack on with the editing of my current first drafts in my "To Edit" folder and hopefully have at least one MS finished with the first round of edits by the end of March 👍.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

As of now, I am, officially...

I've just put the final full stop into chapter 20, so I'm now officially ⅖ of the way through the entire manuscript after only 4 days and tomorrow, assuming I write the 5 chapters I'm hoping for, I'll be half way through and right on track for finishing on the 10th which is awesomesauce.

I'm really back into the creative mindset again now, so as long as I keep working through the uncertainty that I have for the first half an hour or so every morning, I can just type and type and type all day again.

I'll hopefully get an extra couple of hours to write in tomorrow 'cos the puppy prolly won't be here then so I can start writing during the time that I usually take her out for her morning and afternoon strolls and I can go to bed later too.  Just gonna take it as it comes though... doing well so far though!

Gonna finish off my mug of tea then crack open the J2O while I read my emails for the first time today, then head to bed.  I prolly won't write any more blog posts tonight, so I'll say goodnight to you all now.  Thank you so much for reading each of my blog posts and feel free to spread the word!

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Just met today's target 5 chapters so I'm off to bed now

Just put the final full stop in chapter 15, so I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now.  I'll even be able to have an early night too.  Gonna spend a little while catching up on my emails and Facebook then I'm gonna head to beddy-byes.  Gonna shut this browser down now, so I'll say nite nite orl until tomorrow.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Just finished chapter 10, soooo...

... J2O here I come!

If I keep on at this rate, I'll finish the entire novel on the 10th which is so totally awesome.

Gonna have my first reward of the month then head to bed I reckon.  See you all at some point tomorrow.

Nite nite orl.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Fourth chapter finished now, soooo...

Just put the final full stop in chapter 4, so I'm gonna shut down and have an early night now.  I'm hoping to write 5 chapters tomorrow but we'll see what happens.

See you all again tomorrow after I finish chapter 5... might make it every few chapters from tomorrow onwards, now that I've got the first day done and dusted.

Third chapter finished.

After a long, slow start, I've averaged about an hour and a half to two hours per chapter for the second and third chapters, so I'm gonna make a start on chapter 4, take my pills at about 7pm-ish and head to bed by hopefully 9pm-ish. 

So proud of everything I've achieved since lunchtime.

Going by past experiences, it'll be reasonably plain sailing now until the last few chapters 'cos it's the first chapter and the last couple that are the hardest for me to write, no matter how well planned out they are.

Second chapter of the day written

Just put the final full stop in chapter 2 and I'm past the sticky start I always have now, so it'll hopefully be smooth sailing with the writing now.  Aiming to write chapter 3 then take my pills and hopefully finish chapter 4 before I head to bed tonight.

Wish me luck❗

Chapter 1 written now, and I've decided...

...because it's a personal challenge, I won't set a daily target, I'll just reward myself with every 10 chapters I write, which should, in theory, be every two or three days.  I'm not gonna pressure myself this time though, I'll write as many as I can each day and not worry too much about how long it takes.  In theory, I only need to write 2 chapters a day which is definitely doable, just need to stay motivated and creative for the rest of March is all.

What are your writing plans during March?  Planning?  Writing?  Editing?

Literally about to start on...

...writing my next YYA novel.  I wrote the same novel for JanNo as I did for JanNo so I'm aiming to spend March writing the novel I should have written in January 🤣

Got the music blasting through my headphones which always motivates me to start writing so I'd better get on with it instead of semi-avoiding it like I'm doing now for some reason.  I wanna write it, but the first chapter is always the hardest to motivate myself to write, 'cos I want to be sure to show rather than tell.

Talk to you all again at some point soon.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Updated the writing software again!

Just updated the writing software again... available exclusively for my members only again!

If you're not a member yet, now would be a good time to apply for membership so that you can get all these updates as well as access to the secret parts of the site!  There's no point trying to hack into the members bit 'cos the updates aren't uploaded, so you'll just be wasting your time and energy trying to get into it there  😜

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Writing software

Morning all.

Just updated the members version of the writing ideas software, which is the only one that gets updated.

If you aren't a member yet, what are you waiting for❓❗  You can apply here and buy the full software at a big discount, then it's yours for as long as you want to use it❗

I update it as often as I can... last time was at the end of November 2019 and I'd love to get some ideas for things you want to see on the site.  Already got another piece of software in the works for my members.  There's already an exclusive piece of software for my members in their shop that will only ever be available to them.

Give me some ideas of things you want and I'll see what I can come up with for you - leave me a comment in reply to this blog post and let me know what you think and how you want me to credit you with the idea on the site❗

Friday, 24 January 2020

Book review: The Rings: Journey Beneath Sirok (The Elias Chronicles Book 2) by E.G. Kardos

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5
This started off very slowly and  with very little speech so it was like wading through treacle, but when the author got into his stride, the book really did come alive.

I'm knocking off the star because of that and also because the main character was still a school student, so older young adults would put it down and never pick it up again.  Each new chapter started on the same page as the previous chapter too, instead of on a new page which was annoying because I like to bookmark the start of a new chapter on it's own page, but these started half way down the page at the earliest.

If you're a 13-15 year old who enjoys fantasy, then get this book... just be patient with the descriptions and very little talking to start off with.

It's a good book, it just doesn't meet industry standards, but with a bit of editing my an editor would definitely have given this the full five stars.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Currently planning out my next manuscript

I realised, literally minutes after finishing my JanNo manuscript, that I'd already written it during NaNo❗  D'oheth❗  Sooo, I'm currently planning out my next novel to write during March instead so that I really will have written two novels for the two challenges, instead of just the one.

I already know my main character's name and her dad's name but until like 5.30am 🕠 I only knew how it ended.  As always happens for me though, I'm woken up with an idea in the early hours and have to plan it out while I remember it 🤣  That's what I'm gonna spend the next few hours doing now that I've been smacked over the head by my muse again at last.

Wish me luck please❗

Thursday, 9 January 2020

The finishing line is in sight, so...

Just finished chapter 44 so the aim for tomorrow is chapters 45-50 then that's it until November's NaNo.  Not bad going for writing for 9 days❗  😁

Monday, 6 January 2020

Five days in and...

...I'm now past the half way mark.  Still hoping to be finished on the 10th, but if not, it'll be the afternoon (rather than evening) of the 11th that I put in the final full stop of the whole manuscript, which ain't bad going at all.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Three days in and I've written...

...up to chapter 18, so there's 3 chapters in the bank already.  Assuming I write 6 chapters tomorrow and Monday, I'm back on track for finishing on the 10th which is great going I reckon!

Gonna finish my cuppa and head to bed now.

Nighty-night-night everyone.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

First day of JanNo is officially...


After a veeeery slow start (as in 2 chapters in 8 hours), I've just put the final full stop in chapter 5, so I've written 3 chapters in 7 hours this afternoon/evening which is more writing in a shorter length of time than I did between 6am and 2pm.

Assuming that I can keep writing 5 chapters a day, I'll put the final full stop in the entire manuscript on the 11th, which ain't bad going at all❗

I'm off to bed now.  Nite nite orl... sea ewe in the morning❗