Sunday 31 October 2021

Tomorrow is...

...the start of NaNo so there won't be any news until that's over and done with for another year but I'll try and stop by as often as I can with word count updates and stuff, but they will all prolly be very short posts and I very much doubt that they will be daily.

Is anyone else taking part in this years NaNo please?  If you are, then I wish you lotsa luck to hit the target by the end of November in your time zone.  I'm hoping to type the last word on the 10th, celebrate with 2 J2O's then jump in the bath in preparation for my Covid jab on the 11th.  If it's too late by the time I finish NaNo then I'll jump in the bath very first thing then have a couple of slices of bread in preparation for the jab at about 10.30am so that my belly isn't completely empty like it was the first time.

Saturday 9 October 2021

Just added a little something for my members to hopefully...

...ignite their creative spark.

It's been 4 days since I last posted so when I saw this on a Facebook group, I knew I had to steal the ideas to share with my members!


If you're a member, just log in and it's in the Flash Fiction bit of the members area. If you're not a member, what are you waiting for?? You can read my terms and conditions at Stories 4 Children ~ Terms then join at Stories 4 Children application form.

If you're interested in becoming a member then I recommend you apply before the third week of October so that I can get you added before I start taking part in NaNo otherwise you'll have to wait until after the first half of November before I add you, then you've got until the third week in December before things go on hold again for JanNo... they are the only two times a year when things are guaranteed to be delayed for at least the first 10 days of each month.

Is anyone else taking part in NaNo this year?  Are you a Planner or a Pantser or a Plantser?  My very first NaNo was a disaster until I discovered yWriter and it's a must-have for me now!

Sunday 3 October 2021

Book Review: "Danny Defeats Asthma" by Debi Gueron

⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

This is my second book using my Kindle Unlimited subscription and as with all of my other book reviews recently, this book is starting off with the full five stars and I'm always hopeful that I'll finish reading and reviewing with them all firmly in place too.

Let's get started.

First off, I'm wondering what kinda age this book has been written for... it says 4-12 years but that is a huuuuge age range, maturity and ability as well as interest and knowledge.  As it's only 35 pages long, I'm guessing that it's aimed at the younger end of the suggested reading age though.

I'm even more confused now... it's definitely aimed at the younger part of the age range, but a 4 year old listener wouldn't understand the word "unique" on the first page, but it was first published in America so maybe they have different vocabulary teaching over there?  I won't knock off the first star yet, but it's already decidedly wobbly after only one page.

I love how the author has explained Danny needing his inhaler!

Oh dear... it feels like the author has used Gilly wearing glasses against him which would make youngsters needing to wear glasses feel self-conscious and upset about having to wear them... they might even take them off when they are at school so that they aren't bullied, purely because of what the teacher in this book has said, so that wobbly first star has now fallen off so we're down to four stars now.

The next couple of pages have been better, so it's a solid 4 star review so far.

Vocabulary issue again on page 13 - a 4 year old wouldn't understand the word "imaginary" and the play worlds they create are very real to them.  It's definitely a book for the younger child, but a few of the word choices would confuse and/or frustrate them.

Yet another vocab issue on page 16 - a 4 year old wouldn't have a clue what an "instructor" is and they would be picking their nose and eating it in frustrated boredom by now.

The author seems to be using words for a 12 year old in a book aimed at 4 year olds, which means that it's not suitable for either which unfortunately means another star is coming off, so we're now down to 3 stars.

I like that the illustrator has used such a wide variety of skin tones in the pictures... that's so refreshing!

It's potentially dangerous to have Gilly stealing Danny's inhaler in case it gives the young child ideas about doing it "for fun, just to see what would happen" to someone they know, without realising or understanding just how dangerous that could be to the asthmatic child or adult.

Yet more vocab that's too advanced - "admired" on page 33 and "faithful" as well as "bravery" and "ashamed" on page 34!

Just finished the book and other than several word choices and having such a huge age range for the age of this book, it's a pretty decent book... just needs different word choices on the majority of the pages as well as maybe aiming it at 4-6 year olds rather than 4-12 year olds is all.

Book Review of "Life Skills for Teens" by Karen Harris

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

This is my first book on Kindle Unlimited, so I hope it doesn't disappoint me!

If you've read any of my other recent reviews, you'll know that I've started all the others by saying that every book I read and review starts off with the full whack of 5 stars and that I remain hopeful that it ends with them all firmly in place too.  It's the same with this book.

I can already tell that it's written for the American audience 'cos it's already talking about health insurance and checks as opposed to cheques, so I'll try and bear that in mind as I read through it all, could confuse a non-American teen though.

So far the information is great for anyone to know, not just teens... things like the brown spots on fruit (I always thought that when bananas started to get spotty they should be binned 'cos they were going off - turns out we've been binning them at their best and eating them when they were under-ripe according to this book lol)

I'm only 16% of the way through the book and this almost 44 year old is learning so much already so it's not just for teens so far!

If we set our toaster to the recommended 3 then it'd come out barely toasted at all... ours is set to 6 which is just right for us - maybe toasters are different over there?

The first 20% has been awesome and I could have done with reading it two decades ago lol.  Next up is personal grooming so we'll see what the author has to say about that next.

Didn't learn anything new about personal hygiene, but it was written in a really friendly, supportive way that teens would find helpful without being too dull like they may feel at school.

I'm really enjoying this book and at 27% of the way through, each of those five stars are still solidly in position!

Almost time for me to hit the sack for the night now, but I'll hopefully finish reading and reviewing this awesome book tomorrow... nite nite orl!

Mornin' all.  Time to crack back on with the reading and reviewing now and I'm hopeful that all five of those stars that it had last night stay firmly in place for the rest of today's book.

I'm wondering if the author has got written permission to use the brand name of the trainers?  If not, they could get into serious legal hot water, unless trademarks are handled differently in America?  Either way, that fifth star is wobbly after 42%

The section about money is useful to Americans, but don't different companies use different numbers to represent how good your credit score is over there, like they do here in the UK?

Section 6 should be interesting 'cos it's about coping with your emotions, so let's see what it says!

Ooooh!  That visualisation for dealing with strong emotions is a really good idea for everyone, not just teens!

The author has used another two well-known brand names, so like with other books I've read that have done that, the first star is coming off at 59% unfortunately.  The author has done well to get over half way before losing the first star though, so they should feel really proud of themselves!

What a great book!  Especially for American teens, but even UK adults would find parts of it useful - it's already saved me from binning a banana this morning and it was easier to peel, slightly less firm and it hit my sweet tooth more than it usually does too!

Overall, it's a four star book and the only reason it's not the full five is 'cos of those brand names being used... I've knocked a star off other books that have done that, so it's only right and fair that I do it with this book too.  Sooo worth the money!

Saturday 2 October 2021

2022 is gonna be... year.  


I'm not gonna sub to any agents or publishers (unless there's an open submission window for a short period of time), but I'm gonna read and edit and read and edit and read and edit some more.  My MSs will be in a much better shape by this time next year and I'll get myself an agent in 2023.

I'll write during NaNo21 and JanNo22 but the rest of the year will be full of edits of my entire collection of MSs.  I'm pondering on investing in Kindle Unlimited so that I can load my Kindle up with books upon books upon books next year.

I realise now that I haven't read anywhere near as much as I should have done and I've just written without reading very much.  As of now, that's gonna change.


There will hopefully be considerably more book reviews starting in February 2022 so be prepared to read loads of them lol  I'm gonna focus on one MS at a time, so there is likely to be a theme running through several books at a time.


If you've got any recommendations for YA books that have been published either this year or last year, about bullying, illness/disability, hospitals and friendship to start me off with, that'd be absolutely fantastic.  Thank you so so much.


News on 2nd October 2021

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2nd October 2021

Balcombe author’s new children’s book looks at dementia: Grandpa Forgets by Suzi Lewis-Barned tackles a difficult subject

Write On Hosts First Door County Book Fair

Children’s Books: R.J. Palacio’s ‘Pony’ Review

Library holding children's book fair

Top stars back Reading Rebels

California Governor Gavin Newsom Wrote A Children’s Book About Dyslexia

Let's Teach Children There Is No Such Thing As 'Normal'

Eleven New Birdy and Nature-Themed Books for Kids

Joe Wicks reveals new cookbook title Feel Good Food