Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 reading challenge - Summer Vacation

One of the groups I'm on on Goodreads had a reading challenge this month where you spell out the name of somewhere you'd like to be this Summer using book titles. You use the first letter of the title, and can either use "a" or "the" as part of the name, or not, depending on your personal preference and the letters you need. For example, "The Pineapple Loving Dragon" could either count for the letter "p" or the letter "t"... Get it?

Anyway, I went with the word - well, words, technically - "the seaside" for where I'd like to spend at least some of my time this Summer. So, here are the books I read for the challenge:

T - Tanequil (High Druid Of Shannara, #2) by Terry Brooks ~ read on July 8th 2014.
H - The Homework That Time Forgot by J. Smith ~ read on July 16th 2014.
E - Enter: Ten Tales For Tweens by M.J.A. Ware and others ~ read on July 12th 2014.

S - Straken (High Druid Of Shannara, #3) by Terry Brooks ~ read on July 9th 2014.
E - Escape To Mars by GregKrehbiel ~ read on July 15th 2014.
A - Antrax (Voyage Of The Jerle Shannara, #2) by Terry Brooks ~ read on July 4th 2014.
S - Scarlet's Escape (The Sanctum Series, #2) by Katrina Cope ~ read on July 13th 2014.
I - Ilse Witch (Voyage Of The Jerle Shannara, #1) by Terry Brooks ~ read on July 2nd 2014.
D - Drippy The Peg-Legged Rainbow by John H. Carrol ~ read on July 16th 2014.
E - Esmerelda The Witch by Pacze Moj ~ read on July 17th 2014.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Can you solve these riddles without reading the answers?

Riddle 1: What looks like a star, falls off a tail and burns in the air?

Riddle 2: What swirls, loops, and circles on your fingertips, yet never moves?


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Scroll down for the answers.

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Answer 1: Dust and gravel from comet tails.

Answer 2: Fingerprints.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Space weekend

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, this weekend is space weekend on one of the TV channels we get.

So, I've spent most of today watching shows about NASA's various trips in to space: from the first shuttle launch, to the building of the space station.

I also watched something about the different weathers on other planets: the acid rains of Venus, the storms of Saturn, etc. This show compared the weather to the weather we have here on Earth, and discussed what would possibly happen to our planet if we had similar weather.

Plus, I watched a documentary about the possibility that life used to exist on Mars, and some of it possibly made it to Earth on an asteroid.

All very interesting.

There are more shows on tomorrow. If it's anything like dinosaur weekend was they'll be the same ones, but if they are then I'll just watch them again, LOL!

Edited on Sunday July 20th 2014 at 2:12pm to add:
Nope! They're different shows! Today it's about how the universe works: from the big bang theory and how the universe evolved after it, to what will possibly happen to the universe in the future.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Random things on my mind - July 15th 2014 (FD)

I have no idea where this year has gone. Did someone put the world on fast forward again? I wish people would stop doing that, LOL!


It's a beautiful day today. Probably one of the warmer ones we've had this year, which is bad when you consider the fact it's only somewhere around 20 degrees C (about 72 degrees F).


I've been dying for some kiwi fruit, but for some reason we've had trouble getting any. No idea why. We managed to get a couple of these tubs of prepared fruit with a few grapes, a couple of chunks of kiwi, and several chunks of pineapple in them. Those were nice, but not what I wanted. Finally found some kiwis today though, and it wasn't long after they were in the house before I was eating one.


The camera has some photos on it, but we haven't had a chance to sort them out. I admit this is partially because my computer is the one with the card reader so it has to be done through mine, and I've been engrossed in reading and writing. On the bright side, I'm more than half way through my 2014 reading challenge, ahead of schedule on the books I promised to read and review, and ahead of my own writing schedule when it comes to the writing and editing of my own stories.

Speaking of my stories... Don't forget that all my books are 50% off until the end of July 2014 on Smashwords. Just go to my Smashwords author page, pick your books, and put coupon code SSW50 in the boxes beside each book at checkout.


Kero's still all itchy. I think we're going to have to have tests done on him to see if more can be done to help him. Poor little guy! I don't think it helps that he's in need of grooming, but I haven't had him booked for a grooming session so far this year. We've been bathing him, but he's not had a haircut. I don't know how well she could manage with him covered in sores and being all grumpy, so I haven't had his groomer come cut his fur. Anyway, Kero hates the vet, but I think we're going to have to take him back pretty soon. He's not been his usual self in general to be honest. I'm hoping it's just where the itchyness is making him uncomfortable, but since he hasn't been quite right since when he got that doggy virus last October, and he is 10 years old after all... Well, you know what I mean, I'm sure.


OK, that's enough of the random things on my mind for now.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale 2014

I've enrolled my books in the 2014 Smashwords Summer/Winter sale.

Until the end of July, my books are on sale at 50% off!

Go to my Smashwords author page and grab a bargain while you can!

Just add any of my books to your cart, and enter coupon code SSW50 at checkout to get the book at half the regular price. The code works for all my books, and can be used for as many of them as you want.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Jinx And The Faerie Dragons - Officially released today!

"Jinx’s little sister, Ayla, has warned him time and time again that one day his mischief making will get him in to serious trouble. But Jinx isn’t interested in his sister’s warnings; not even when the trouble she warns him about is a cave full of goblins.

Like most pixies, Jinx loves to play tricks and explore. But, unlike most pixies, Jinx takes his tricks too far on a regular basis, causing chaos and taking risks that no other pixie would even consider, much to the amusement of his faerie dragon friends, Caia and Draco, and the annoyance of just about everyone else; especially Ayla. Now Jinx and his faerie dragon friends are off on a treasure hunt, and not even the threat of being captured and eaten by goblins is enough to stop them answering the call of adventure."
That's the synopsis for my latest book. It's called 'Jinx And The Faerie Dragons' and is officially released today. You can already buy it from Smashwords in all formats they offer, as well as from a few other ebook retailers (such as Barnes And Noble), and will be able to buy it from others that carry my books soon.

I'm proud of this book for two reasons. For one thing, this is the 30th book I've published; 25th children's story, but 30th book total. For another thing, this is the longest story I've published.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour

This tour highlights a main character from one of the WIP (works in progress), recently published, or soon to be published works of the authors tagged. A week ago, I was tagged in this event by Alexandra Butcher. Here' are her bio and links:

"A.L Butcher is the British author of fantasy series The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles in which "a beautiful young elven sorceress flees for her life in a dark world where magic is forbidden and elves live as slaves." Her books have been described as: "Dark" and "gritty" and that "The story is very much a romance at heart, with plenty of steamy graphic sex to keep erotica fans happy." She also has several short stories published in fantasy and romance anthologies."

Amazon author page:


Now it's my turn...

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

“My character’s name is Jinx. Jinx is a pixie; a pixie rogue, to be exact. I’m not going to get in to a debate as to whether or nnot pixies exist, but this particular pixie is fictional. Jinx is based on a combination of my own opinions on what pixies should be, and how they’re portrayed in the Pathfinder roleplaying system (which I used to help me design the character and decide on his skills and abilities).”

2) When and where is the story set?

“I suppose, if I have to pick a time and place, I’d have to say that the story is set back when forests and woodlands were less frequently visited by people, and that it’s set in one of those woods, as well as in a cave on the edge of that wood. Beyond that, I can’t really tell you when and where it’s set, since there’s no clearly defined date or location for the story, and both the woods and the cave are pulled from my imagination.”

3) What should we know about him/her?

“Jinx is a charming and kind-hearted pixie really, but – like most pixies – he’s fond of tricks and mischief. Unfortunately for everyone around him, Jinx is more fond of these things than your average pixie, and is always causing chaos wherever he goes; sometimes just because he’s bored and thinks it will liven things up a bit. He’s also very fond of exploring, and having adventures.”

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

“Jinx’s little sister, Ayla, is always trying to get him to behave, and constantly warning him that he’ll get in to serious trouble one day. As far as Jinx is concerned, she’s just jealous that he has more fun than she does, and he finds her constant reminders of possible danger annoying. There are also the goblins who live in the cave Jinx and his faerie dragons want to explore, who add an element of extra danger to his thirst for adventure. Not that Jinx is concerned, since he never takes the possibility of danger seriously.”

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

“Jinx’s goal is to fit as much fun and as many adventures as possible in to his life, despite his little sister’s constant warnings.”

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

“The title of the story is ‘Jinx And The Faerie Dragons’ and I’ve mentioned it a few times in posts and interviews lately. It’s already pre-released, so Smashwords and any other ebook retailers that already carry it have the synopsis listed, as does Goodreads. Also, you can read a sample of the first 20% of the story on Smashwords via the link mentioned below.”

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

“The book is already pre-released, and is scheduled for official release on July 1st 2014. The Smashwords link is (for other sites, such as Barnes And Noble, you’ll have to go search for it, since I don’t have the link).”


I'm only tagging one person today, and the person I'm going to tag is Rita Lee Chapmen. Here are her bio and links:

"Rita Lee Chapman was born in the UK and migrated to Australia in her early twenties. It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel Missing in Egypt a romantic travel mystery. Her second book Winston - a Horse's Tale is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards. Told by Winston himself it relates his life experiences in Australia, as well as those of other horses he meets along the way. Rita enjoys playing tennis, reading, swimming, walking and the theatre."


Don't forget to check out Alexandra's post from last week to see which character she was talking about. Also, remember to check out Rita's website next week to see which character she'll be telling us about.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing news - June 16th 2014

'Jinx And The Faerie Dragons' is completed at last, and pre-released too! It's scheduled for official release on July 1st 2014. It took a bit longer to get done than I planned for it to, but I enjoyed writing it, and I'm pleased with it, so I don't mind. I hope everyone who reads it enjoys doing so as much as I enjoyed writing it.

So, what's next?

Well, next is officially 'Wyrd Worlds 2' (the collection of fantasy and sci-fi stories I'm contributing to). But since I've completed and submitted my story for that several weeks ago I don't need to do anything for that right now. Because of that, 'Cubby And The Beanstalk' is next. I mean, I will be working on other projects too, since I've always got at least two writing projects going at the same time. But 'Cubby And The Beanstalk' will be the one I focus most of my energy on.

Actually, 'Cubby And The Beanstalk' is about half written already.

I'll tell you more about both 'Wyrd Worlds 2' and 'Cubby And The Beanstalk' closer to their publication dates.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Today is Father's Day.

Now, I'm not sure if my Dad will see this, and I'd be very surprised if my Father-In-Law saw it, but I wanted to post it anyway.

On behalf of Kelly and myself... Happy Father's Day to both our Dads!

Also, happy Father's Day to all the other Dads out there.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Dad's birthday 2014

Today is my Dad's birthday, and I just wanted to take a moment to wish him a happy birthday. So... Happy birthday, Dad!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Grandma and Mom's birthdays 2014

Saturday (June 7th) was my Grandma's birthday, and today (June 9th) is my Mother-In-Law's birthday.

I doubt either of them will read this, but I wanted to take a moment to say "happy birthday" to them both. Or, "happy belated birthday" in my Grandma's case.


Happy birthday, Grandma and Mom!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Random ramblings - June 1st 2014 (FD)

I asked this on Facebook yesterday, but thought I'd ask it on here too...

If your sleep schedule has you sleeping in the day, do you call the meal when you get up breakfast or dinner?

Some people on Facebook say it depends what you're eating, some say it depends what others you're eating with call it, others say it's breakfast either way, because it's after you break your fast for sleep. Kim Harrison, in her 'Hollows' series of books, uses that last one, referring to the meal between noon and roughly 2:00pm as lunch for humans and breakfast for inderlanders (witches, werewolves, living vampires, etc) because humans get up in the morning, but inderlanders have a sleep schedule where they get up usually between noon and 2:00pm (unless they're undead vampires, in which case they don't usually get up until sunset). Kim Harrison used this rule even when the lunch and breakfast in question was burger and fries from McDonalds.

But, what do you think?


Kero's scratching got really bad again, so we spoke to the vet. He's on pills again; the same ones he had last time. He started taking them yesterday, and has already calmed down a bit on the scratching.


The degus and gerbils have noticed each other properly now and are trying to make friends through the bars. Jacob actually keeps trying to jump out of the degu cage when we have the top open to feed them or whatever. Well, I say "trying" but he's managed it at least twice, and was grabbed while standing on top of the gerbil cage, right beside the door on the top of the cage, squeaking to be let in. He wasn't too happy when he was picked up and returned to the degu cage, LOL!


I'm done writing 'Jinx And The Faerie Dragons' and am currently working on editing. The plan is to publish it in a month, which gives me plenty of time to do the editing and get it set up to publish. It should also have plenty of time to get listed on Barnes And Noble for those people who usually grab it via that site.


The weather is beautiful today. It hasn't been every day this week, but it is today. It's nice and sunny and warm, but without being hot. Plus, there's a nice breeze coming up from the sea.


Hope you're enjoying your weekend, however you've been spending it.

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 2014's reading challenge

One of the groups I'm a member of on Goodreads had a reading challenge similar to April's for this month. There were 12 holidays you could read books to celebrate, but I didn't do them all. Here are the ones I did, along with the books I read for them...

May 4 is considered by many Star Wars fans to be Star Wars day for "May the fourth be with you" sounding similar to "May the force be with you". Read a book that is in the Science Fiction genre.
Read: Only You Can Save Mankind (Johnny Maxwell, #1) by Terry Pratchett (read on May 11th 2014).

May 5 is Children's Day in Japan and Korea. Read a book that has children on the cover or that is in the child/middle grade genre.
Read: Fairy Rescue by Gwyneth Rees (read on May 1st 2014).

The last Monday of May is Memorial Day in the United States, first celebrated on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, New York. Read a book that has fireworks on the cover or Read a book that the author is from the USA.
Read: Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain by Richard Roberts (read on May 4th 2014).

May's birthstone is the emerald which is emblematic of love and success. Read a book in the Romance genre.
Read: Breathe Me by Alexia Purdy (read on May 5th 2014).

National Smile Month in the United Kingdom. Read a book that will make you SMILE!
Read: Fairy Secrets by Gwyneth Rees (read on May 1st 2014).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Character interview: Kero the Westie

Since he has his own series of books, which are the six books in the 'Kero's World' series, for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know, my Westie, Kero, had the oppertunity to be interviewed by Alexandra Butcher of

You can read the interview at

Friday, May 23, 2014

Kero is 10 today!

My little puppy is all grown up... Well, I say puppy, because he'll always be one to me, but he's 10 years old today!

It seems like only yesterday I was bringing home a little 9 week old Westie puppy, with a floppy ear that hadn't learned to stand up yet, and here he is all grown up... Time flies, huh?

A couple of times in the past year I've wondered if we'd make it to this day, but we did, and my little boy is officially in the double figures!

Happy birthday, Castellan Keroberous!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

11th anniversary outing (FD)

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary, and tomorrow is Kero's 10th birthday, so we decided to have an outing today to celebrate both.

We took Kero to the pet store to pick his own birthday gifts. He ended up with a blue stuffed elephant and a selection of treats, including one called a "salami" (it's not like a regular salami; it's a sort of soft rawhide covered in meat juice or something). The salami is the one he picked himself, and he wanted it right away when we got home. He's already eaten it, LOL!

Then we went to lunch at a local cafe I really like. It's a vegetarian friendly cafe, and also allows dogs in, which means Kero can come with us when we go there. I had a vegetarian cooked breakfast with some Victorian lemonade, then an organic banana milkshake to take away (they don't usually do milkshakes to go, but I asked if they'd put one in the cups they have for hot drinks to go, and they said they would). Kelly had a burger and coke.

There was a storm last night, so I'd been worried about the weather, but it was nice all morning. The rain came back this afternoon, but we were home by the time it came back so I don't mind.

We took a cab from home to town, then took another from town to the cafe, but we walked home from the cafe... Since it was a nice day and only 4 blocks away.

Kero was an absolute angel the whole time. We were all ready for a nap when we got home though... Even Kelly, LOL!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When Kero met Tramp

Here are the photos taken when Mam came to visit at the start of May with her little puppy.

The puppy is a Cairne Terrier; a closely related breed to the West Highland White Terrier, which is what my Kero is.

His name is officially Tramp, but he's also known as Buddie. I tend to use Tramp, Mam tends to alternate between Tramp and Buddie, but you can use which you like.


Here's one of Kero on his own:

Here's one of both Kero and Tramp:

And here's a photo of me with both the boys:

Sorry if they're not very clear, but Tramp wasn't very good at staying still.

I hope they publish up the right way, because even though Kelly made sure they were up the right way they turned themselves when we put them on Facebook. If they didn't, sorry.

Here's another photo of Kero. This one was taken a couple of weeks before the others, but with how much Tramp tired him out it could have easily been taken after my Mam and Tramp left, LOL!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gerbils and a gnawing block (FD)

Bilbo and Baggins, being typical gerbils, love their food. They especially love pumpkin seeds, cheese and oatmeal. But, being typical gerbils, they also love to gnaw on things in general. So, we brought them a big gnawing block of their very own like the degus have.

Here's Baggins trying to figure out what it is:

Bilbo is curious too...

We did try to get a photo afterwards when Baggins was actually gnnawing on the block, but it didn't come out clearly enough for him to be made out, so we didn't keep it.