Thursday, 23 November 2017

Charlie Poon's pomes - Blog tour

Charlie Poons Pomes
23rd November 2017

Unable to find good funny poems to read aloud to his grandchildren - other than the seventy year old A.A. Milne classics - British playwright Robin Hawdon sat down to write some himself. The result is this collection of thirty hilarious and touching poems, beautifully illustrated by Wendy Hoile, which recount the exploits of young Charley Poon - every parent’s nightmare - and his eccentric menagerie of nursery animals. The poems cover everything from youthful games and exploits, to the problems of growing up, to the ups and downs of school and family life, and the joys of country and seaside holidays. Parents and grandparents will be delighted to have something new and entertaining with which to occupy those tricky lights-out bedtime moments.

My review

What a delightful set of poems! I completely loved reading these and loved the cheerful illustrations. Charley Poon is definitely a character to be loved and you meet a whole host of animals along the way. My son really enjoyed hearing these poems and I'm sure would enjoy a paperback version when it's released as he found it a little trickier with the kindle as he's only two. There is plenty to see and talk about with the lovely pictures and gentle rhyming words. We particularly loved Charlie's song, and Sammy the snouse. Such great illustrations with the Donkey poem and the teachers poem really made me laugh. A great fun read with lots of potential uses in the classroom too for these lovely poems. Really enjoyable fun read, thank you.

About the author:
Dividing his time between Bath, Australia and the South of France, actor, playwright and grandfather Robin Hawdon has enjoyed a successful forty year career in the entertainment industry. During the early years he was a regular face on British TV — appearing in many series and co-starring with Michael Crawford in ITV’s 'Chalk and Cheese’ and starring in a number of films. He has trod the boards as Hamlet, Henry V and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion and in leading roles in London’s West End. Later his love of writing dominated his career and he is now recognised as one of the UK’s most prolific comedy playwrights —with productions including The Mating Game which has played in over thirty countries and Don’t Dress For Dinner which ran in the West End for six years before playing on Broadway and around the English speaking world. Many of his plays are published by Samuel French and Josef Weinberger. Robin has also directed a number of stage productions, and in the 1980’s founded the Bath Fringe festival, and subsequently became Director of the Theatre Royal Bath, England’s premier touring theatre. He has written several novels including A Rustle in the Grass, published by Hutchinsons in 1984 and republished recently by Thistle. A second novel, The Journey was published in 2002 by Hawthorns and a third, Survival of the Fittest, by SBPR in 2013. His first foray into children’s literature,

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Review of 'The Fragile Thread of Hope'

 Review of 'The Fragile Thread of Hope'

A gripping emotional inspirational fiction about love, loss, and finding hope in the darkest of times.

In the autumn of 2012, destiny wreaks havoc on two unsuspecting people—Soham and Fiona.
Although his devastating past involving his brother still haunted him, Soham had established a promising career for himself in Bangalore.
After a difficult childhood, Fiona's fortunes had finally taken a turn for the better. She had married her beloved, and her life was as perfect as she had ever imagined it to be.
But when tragedy strikes them yet again, their fundamentally fragile lives threaten to fall apart.
Can Fiona and Soham overcome their grief?
Will the overwhelming pain destroy their lives?
Seasoned with the flavours of exotic Nepalese traditions and set in the picturesque Indian hill station, Gangtok, The Fragile Thread of Hope explores the themes of spirituality, faith, alcoholism, love, and guilt while navigating the complex maze of family relationships.
Inspirational and heart-wrenchingly intimate, it urges you to wonder—does hope stand a chance in this travesty called life?

If you love contemporary literary fiction novels by Khaled Hosseini and Jhumpa Lahiri, contemporary christian fiction novels by Melissa Storm, and tragic romance novels by Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks, then make time for Pankaj Giri’s new heartbreaking inspirational novel The Fragile Thread of Hope.

My review 

This is a beautiful and tender love story that really struck a chord with me. The different stories were woven together expertly to make a great overall read. It was both emotional and heart lifting. I enjoyed every minute of this fantastically written novel. I love contemporary fiction so this book was right up my street.

The writer was able to provoke such emotion from the descriptions and the tenderness of the characters. I loved the hopefulness of Fiona and how the story follows the two families from different times cleverly. A heart breaking read that will stick with you a long time after you have finished.
More about the author:

Pankaj Giri was born and brought up in Gangtok, Sikkim—a picturesque hill station in India. He began his writing career in 2015 by co-authoring a book—Friendship Love and Killer Escapades (FLAKE). Learning from experience and the constructive criticism that he got for his first book, he has now written a new novel—The Fragile Thread of Hope, a mainstream literary fiction dealing with love, loss, and family relationships. He is currently working in the government sector in Sikkim. He likes to kill time by listening to progressive metal music and watching cricket.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Creatures of Chichester - The one about the Golden Lake

Review of The Creatures of Chichester - The one about the Golden Lake
by Christopher Joyce

The New Year celebrations in Chichester are going with a bang, but the city is about to be hit by floods and a terrible storm that wipes out communication with the outside world.
Most of the creatures of Chichester are trapped indoors, but Doc and the other goldfish search the strange golden lake looking for answers.
Can they help Jacob and his friends banish the blizzard before it’s too late?

Buy the novel here:

My review

I enjoyed this children's book. The book tackles some deeper issues but in a light and enjoyable read. I liked Jacob and the relationship with his friends as they quest to banish the blizzard from the City. It was lovely to read a story that is based locally and would recommend to children in the local area, especially animal lovers. I love a good adventure and the threat of the blizzard and flood wiping out communication makes the novel a page-turner.

An enjoyable read with a deeper side. I loved that Jacob's problems become an advantage to him as he and his friends fight to banish the blizzard before it's too late. Great read.

More about the author:

Christopher Joyce, winner of the Cornish Writing Challenge 2017, is a Twoleg from Chichester in West Sussex, England.

He has been a teacher, marketing director, waiter; once made Venetian blinds, worked in a steel works and has run a garden design business.

He has written six books about The Creatures of Chichester. The latest book - the one about the golden lake is out now. For more information visit: or keep up to date on Facebook.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Geronimo Stilton - Review

 Review of Fangs and Feasts in Transratania
I was delighted to receive a copy of this spooky book 'Fangs and Feasts in Transratania' and thoroughly enjoyed the book too. Apologises for the review being late and not in the 'spooky' halloween week I'd hoped to, due to computer glitches!

After a mysterious phone call from his cousin Trap, Geronimo sets off for Ratoff in spooky Transratania. The garlic-fuelled town holds many mysteries, not least the residents of Ratoff Castle. Maybe it's the way they sleep during the day, maybe it's the blood-red drink they have with every meal, but there's something not quite right about them ...Who are these mice? And will Geronimo manage to survive the night? For children aged 5-7 and also available as part of a 10 book box set.

My review
Delightfully fun read, this book was immensely enjoyed. A spooky story to be enjoyed at halloween and throughout the year. Geronimo is a likeable character and it made me want to read more books in the series. The book was fun and delightful to read. It flowed and the story had purpose. Perfect adventure series for the 5-7 age group. I would recommend to keep all children engaged and amused.

More about the author...

He's a mouse, what more can I say! There are many books in the series. He is a popular mouse for sure.

Born in New Mouse City, Mouse Island, GERONIMO STILTON is Rattus Emeritus of Mousomorphic Literature and of Neo-Ratonic Comparative Philosophy. For the past twenty years, he has been running The Rodent's Gazette, New Mouse City's most widely read daily newspaper. Stilton was awarded the Ratitzer Prize for his scoops on The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid and The Search for Sunken Treasure. He has also received the Andersen 2000 Prize for Personality of the Year. One of his bestsellers won the 2002 eBook Award for world's best ratlings' electronic book. His works have been published all over the globe. In his spare time, Mr. Stilton collects antique cheese rinds and plays golf. But what he most enjoys is telling stories to his nephew Benjamin.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Book review 'Wide Awake Asleep'

Review of 'Wide Awake Asleep' by Louise Wise
Blog tour - 13th November

I was delighted to review this novel by Louise Wise.

 Julie Compton’s life should have come to an end in the car crash but instead she woke, unharmed, back in 1972 and primed to relive her life all over again.

One problem. She’s in the body of a stranger.

Journey back to the 70s and 80s England where Julie’s forced to jump through the eras, occupying and controlling the bodies of people she knew as a child. She must work out which destiny path was the wrong one, wondering all the while if her body, back in 2016, was dying in her car.

With each momentous change, her memories transform and she realises she’s not only changing her future but the futures of those around her.

A paranormal, time-slip adventure set in the real town of Northampton in England.

My review

The time travel aspect to this book was immensely readable. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the story, definitely my kind of read! It had elements of romance along with sci-fi/time travel so would suit a range of readers.When Julie's life should be over after a car accident, she's transported back to 1972 in the body of a stranger. 

The book flits between past and present and I found this to be exciting and interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat. All the while she is in the bodies of others, she is wondering about her own body in the car accident. I found this to be a convincing and thought provoking time travel novel, with relatable characters and a tight plot. I couldn't fault it. Well done to Wise for writing such an excellent, engaging novel that I would recommend.

Buy the novel here:

More about the author:

Louise Wise is a British writer and has been weaving stories all her life—even before she could actually write! For many years, she was a 'closet writer', and has a cupboard is full of ageing manuscripts depicting fantastical romantic adventures.

Most of her books have an element of romance, but tend to cross over into other genres, giving them a unique edge.

Her debut novel is the best-selling sci-fi romance EDEN, which was followed by its sequel HUNTED in 2013.

A PROPER CHARLIE is a romantic comedy written purely for the chick lit market, but then she decided to unite her love of all things supernatural with romance and OH NO, I’VE FALLEN IN LOVE and WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP came along.

Her other works include SCRUFFY TRAINERS (a collection of short stories with a twist). She has written numerous short stories for women’s magazines including Women’s Own and Take a Break.

She loves hearing from her readers - the good, the bad and the ugly stuff they want to share!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A Pocketful of Crows - book review

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris - book review

Buy the book here:

My review

This book is stunning to look at. A rich textured black with a flying golden image of the crow. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but with this one, I certainly did and I wasn't disappointed. I didn't think the book would be in the genre I usually read, but the rich descriptions and vivid storytelling led me in instantly. I loved the teenage protagonist and really connected with her and the situation she found herself in. You really follow her every step of the way. This is a beautiful fantasy story with a unique creative side. I really enjoyed seeing the animals perspective through the girls eyes. A beautifully woven story that I would recommend and will look forward to novels by the author again.

More about the novel...

I am as brown as brown can be,
And my eyes as black as sloe;

I am as brisk as brisk can be,
And wild as forest doe.

So begins a beautiful tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl.

Only love could draw her into the world of named, tamed things. And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escape.

Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Authors and their animals - Carly Kade

Author and their animals - Carly Kade

A big welcome to Carly for coming on my blog to talk more about her gorgeous horse Sissy. I was excited to learn more about her beautful horse, being a horse lover myself. My horse Bella was the main influence in my upcoming YA novel 'Rafferty Lincoln Loves...' so I was delighted to meet another horse lover and learn about how horses feature in her novels.

Over to Carly...

 Photos by Melanie Elise Photography
Im Gonna Kiss You (Barn name = Sissy) is my adult horse, and the one I always dreamed of owning. She is a registered Paint mare and the inspiration behind my In the Reins horse book series. 
I became Sissy’s owner when she was young and did a lot of her training myself (with the help of a good coach and a lot of horse training books) so the lessons learned through those experiences helped bring Faith’s training to life in my book, In the ReinsShe's taught me that good horse(wo)manship is a journey, not a destination. Sissy keeps me on my toes and perpetually teaches me something new, even after all of these years

Sissy and I share a very close bond much like my leading lady, Devon Brooke, and her horse, Faith, do. Sissy is a lot like Faith because she is forever forgiving of my equestrian mishaps and loves me unconditionally. There is nothing more peaceful to me than the quiet bond between a woman and her horse. If you’ve taken a tour of my website or followed me on my Carly Kade Creative Facebook page, you’ll notice Sissy stands in as Faith in my promotional videos for In the Reins. I do all the marketing for the book so it helps to have my own horse to stand in as I film the footage!
I think my history with horses is a reason why other horse lovers have been drawn to my book. I know what it feels like to enter a show pen and be nervous. I know what it feels like to be stuck with my horse’s training. I know what it feels like to swoon over a cute cowboy. Ha! I hope that sort of authenticity comes through in my writing. I’m a horse owner. I’ve shown competitively most of my life. I write about my lifestyle, not something I’ve researched, but what I do.

About In the Reins
In the Reins, Carly's novel inspired by the equestrian lifestyle has been an Amazon bestseller for more than 10 weeks, is an EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner for Best Western Fiction and has earned two Feathered Quill Book Awards in the Romance and Adult Book featuring Animals categories. The book is available now in Paperback and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

 A city-girl-gone-country, a handsome cowboy and a horse meet by fate on a southern farm. She's looking for a fresh start and unexpectedly falls for the mysterious cowboy. But can a man with a deeply guarded secret open himself up to the wannabe cowgirl in the saddle next to him? Deeply romantic and suspenseful, In The Reins captures the struggle between letting life move forward and shying away from taking the reins. Passionate, captivating, and full of equine epiphanies, this is a love story sure to touch your inner cowgirl.

Buy the book here:
Cowboy Away, the sequel to In the Reins, will release in 2017. Early reader, Laurie Berglie, author of Where the Bluegrass Grows says, "Sequels can be difficult to write, but not for Carly Kade. Cowboy Away is fantastic and without a doubt one of the best sequels I have ever read. This follow-up to In The Reins brings McKennon’s and Devon’s story full circle, yet leaves you hungry for more! I very highly recommend this equestrian romance!"
More about the author:
Carly Kade is an award-winning equestrian author from Arizona. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!  She writes fiction about horses, horse shows, western pleasure and a handsome cowboy or two.  Her books are for people just like her ... crazy about reading, horses and cute cowboys! 

Thank you so much, Carly for sharing on my blog today. It was lovely to read more about your novels and about your lovely horse, Sissy. If you would like to take part in my author animal feature, please contact me on