Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April's Monthly Reading Challenge - Celebrate April

This month's reading challenge on one of the groups I'm a member of on Goodreads was to read books for certain things that happen in April. There were 13, but I only did 10 of them. Here are the ones I did, and what I read for them...

April Fool’s Day - Read a book that is listed under the genre “Humour”
Read: If It Wasn't For Sarah by Lynne Roberts (read on April 25th 2014).

Easter Book Hunt - Hunt down that book you have been meaning to read for a while.
Read: Surviving The Fog (Surviving The Fog, #1) by Stan Morris (read on April 6th 2014).

April’s Showers - Read a book with a form of weather in the title. i.e. The Sun Dwellers or Water & Storm Country (The Country Saga, #3).
Read: Why Did It Have To Rain Today? by Donna L. Dillon (read on April 9th 2014).

Earth Day - Read a book in either the science fiction or dystopian genre or with a picture of the moon/earth on the cover.
Read: Xandra by Ann Snizek (read on April 1st 2014).

Fourth Month - Read a book that is fourth in a series, or has four words in the title.
Read: A Fistful Of Charms (The Hollows, #4) by Kim Harrison (read on April 17th 2014).

Reader's Choice - Read any book of your choosing.
Read: CRYO: A Changed World (CRYO, #2) by Geoffrey Wakeling (read on April 16th 2014).

April - Read a book which title or author’s name starts with “A”.
Read: Alien Coffee by John H. Carroll (read on April 9th 2014).

The diamond is the birthstone for the month of April - Read a book that has a diamond on the cover or in the romance genre.
Read: Missing In Egypt by Rita Lee Chapman (read on April 26th 2014).

National Frog Month is celebrated in the United States during the month of April - In honor of the little amphibians, take a moment to learn more about them. Find a frog-related craft or activity to get your family in the spirit of Frog Month and take the time to celebrate one of the earth's oldest living creatures. Come back and share with us via picture or tell us what you did to celebrate National Frog Month! OR Find and Read a book with a Frog on the Cover...(have fun).
Read: Roger The Frog by James Sutherland (read on April 9th 2014).

April Showers brings May Flowers - Spell it out – read a book that begins with each letter in the word…..MAY!

M - The Magician's Turban by Gita V. Reddy (read on April 2nd 2014).
A - The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents (Discworld, #28) by Terry Pratchett (read on April 5th 2014).
Y - The Young Wizard (Anaboraxus, #1) by Norman X. Scozzafova (read on April 13th 2014).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Author tag chain

This is an author blog tag chain about our writing, and I was tagged in this event by Alexandra Butcher.

"Alexandra Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genre. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys."



Now it's my turn to answer the questions...

1. What am I working on?

"I'm currently working on a story called 'Jinx And The Faerie Dragons' (which should be finished and published in the next couple of months). It's about a pixie and his faerie dragon friends who are always getting in to mischief, but one day get in to more mischief than usual, finding themselves in a cave full of goblins and a whole lot of trouble. I'm also working on a story called 'Cubby And The Beanstalk' (though this one is only in very rough draft right now). It's an alternative version of 'Jack And The Beanstalk' with bears. Oh, and I just finished a story called 'Quest For The Purple Pumpkin' a couple of weeks ago; it's a story about a little girl who ends up in a world full of elves where just being human is punishable by death. That last one has been submitted for inclusion in a collection of fantasy and science fiction stories a group of Smashwords authors are putting together via a Goodreads group, which will be published in a few months time. I also have several other ideas in various stages of development, including a story about a vegetarian zombie, and a story about a forgotten angel."

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

"I try to stay away from stereotypes. Also, I have my experiences of losing my sight to draw upon for characters like Toby in my 'Toby's Tales' series. Plus, being blind means I see the world slightly differently from a lot of other authors."

3. Why do I write what I do?

"I write for children because I enjoy doing so, and because I've been told I do a better job of writing for children rather than adults. But as for the actual topics and plots... I write what I write for one reason only: those are the ideas in my head, so I go with what I'm inspired to write."

4. How does my writing process work?

"It's pretty simple: I get an idea, then I sit down and start writing. Once I'm done, I go through it again and tidy it up a bit; fixing what doesn't work, adding a little more description here and there, etc. I do this several more times until I'm happy with it, then start the editing process to look for typing and grammatical errors I missed."


I tag... Geoff Wakeling

"Geoff Wakeling lives in London and escapes the smog of the city through his writing. The Inside Evil series, even though being dark and mysterious, was a way to escape the drudgery of every day life and indulge in something a little more fantastical. Meanwhile, CRYO offers the chance to dream of a future life. With a degree in Zoology, Wakeling is animal mad and has three cats, fish and five chickens in his London home. He is a keen gardener and conservationist. He is also still awaiting the arrival of his Hogwart's Owl!"

Amazon author Profile:
Facebook: http://www.facebook/GeoffWakeling

I also tag... Michelle Cornwell-Jordan

"Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a New Adult/Young Adult-Paranormal Author. Her titles include a YA Novella series... School Nightz :Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy compilation and novel Chrysalis. She is also the producer of the online radio segment IndieReview Behind The Scenes, where she and her co-host Jamie B Musings interviews Indie Authors and Musicians. Michelle has been married for 18 years and has a 15 year old daughter. A book lover, her favorite genre has always been paranormal adventures. Another love is writing. Michelle has been writing about as long as she has been a bibliophile! Losing herself in a fantasy world that she is creating on paper is how she loves spending her spare time."

Hunter Alliance on Face Book:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

20 questions with Doug S

I did another interview, which I submitted a couple of weeks ago, but only went live today.

This time it's 20 questions with Doug S of Pegamoose Games.

You can find out what those 20 questions were, and how I answered them, by going to

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Filicity The Musical Platypus officially released

"Filicity is a platypus who loves music and has only one question on her mind... Why can’t a platypus be musical?

She’s heard the birds singing, she’s heard the music coming from the wonderful musical box with buttons that the humans call an ipod, and she’s heard the instruments of the travelling musicians on their way to the nearby town. All of them sound beautiful to her, and she longs to make music too!

Determined to find a way to be musical, Filicity sets off on a quest to find a way she can make the music she loves so much. After all, there has to be a way for a platypus to be musical too... Doesn’t there?"

Today (April 15th 2014) is the official release date for this book, and the ISBN for it is 9781311278012

It's already available via some retailers (such as Smashwords and Barnes And Noble) and will soon be available via others.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014

My guest post on writing and publishing on Indie Writers Review

Check out my guest post over at Indie Writers Review by going to, and learn about how I became a published author, as well as what advice I would give to others looking to follow in my footsteps.

Indie Writers Review will also be hosting me on their radio slot on June 7th 2014 at 11am Central Standard Time (12pm Eastern Standard Time). If you want to listen to my interview, just tune in by going to on the correct date and time.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Of dogs, degus and gerbils (FD)

Kero's being very good about taking his pills. I think he must be as eager as we are to make the scratching stop. He's not scratching much at all now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts back up once the pills are done. I mean, skin irritation in Westies is common, and Kero's done well to last this long without problems, so I'm expecting him to keep having problems now that something's triggered them. Hopefully when Serena can get some of that Billy goat soap to us I can keep it under control without pills though.


We often give the degus and gerbils empty cardboard tubes to chew up. One of the degus decided to put the one we gave them the other day in their nesting box; not unusual in itself, as they usually use them as nesting materials. When he tried to pull it in after him, it wasn't working. So he threw it out, then went after it. Then he tried pushing it in, but he had it at an awkward angle, so again it didn't work. Again he threw it in frustration before going to fetch it. His third attempt was more successful, and he managed to push it in the nesting box, still whole, looking pretty pleased with himself as he arranged it (and the other cardboard and paper pieces) so that they and the hay they have in the nesting box were to his liking.


When Kelly was feeding the gerbils the other day, Bilbo decided to jump in the bowl for a ride. Until, that is, it got a certain distance from the floor of the cage. All of a sudden he decided the ride wasn't so fun and he wanted out. Luckily, since Kelly only continued to lift the bowl because of Bilbo's apparent eagerness to have a ride, Kelly was watching him closely enough to lower the bowl for him to get out rather than little Bilbo having to jump from the bowl from a height.


Normally I feed the degus and Kelly feeds the gerbils, but the other day we were late up, so I fed both sets of rodents. Well, eventually. You see, Bilbo has a thing for nipping at me; he's not biting nastily, and it doesn't hurt, so I think it could be an affection thing, but he does it every time my hands are in reach. So, I came in to the living room with the bowl of gerbil breakfast in my hand, then put my hand on the top of the cage, intending to use it to help with distance so I could find the door on the top of the cage more easily. Unfortunately, not only did I put the hand with the bowl there, but I just happened to put my hand right near where Bilbo was. He nipped at my wrist, making me jump so violently that I ended up throwing the contents of the bowl over my shoulder. Oatmeal and gerbil mix went everywhere! Kelly said the horrified look on Bilbo's face when the food went everywhere was priceless. As for me? It took me ages to stop laughing enough to go and fill the bowl again and give the boys their breakfast, and I still keep giggling when I think about it. I still don't know why I jumped so violently though; it's not like Bilbo nipping at my hand is unusual, and it's never made me jump like that when one of the boys - degus and gerbils both - have grabbed at my hand in some shape or form. I feel kind of foolish having jumped so violently from something so tiny, to be honest... It was funny though! And, when I went to feed the gerbils along with the degus yesterday, Bilbo clung to the bowl with his front paws when I went to try and pick it up as if trying to stop me taking it... Maybe he was worried I'd waste his food again? LOL!


Jacob was half asleep when we were giving the degus some pasta the other day. We waved the piece of pasta in front of his face for almost a minute before the confused look on his face vanished and he snatched it. Up until that point he'd been staring straight ahead in confusion, clearly not awake enough to know what was going on. If it hadn't been a one-off incident, we'd have been concerned. It also helps us that we know he'd just come out of the nesting box; probably wondering why his brothers had left him, since they'd all been asleep in the nesting box not long before.


We got new gnawing blocks for the degus and gerbils earlier in the week. The degus are, of course, enjoying theirs but fighting over it (they fight over everything). The gerbils share better though, plus Bilbo doesn't know what to make of it. Baggins thinks it's great though, and can often be found sat on top of it licking it and nibbling at it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

2014 A-Z title reading challenge

The same group I did the A-Z character reading challenge on over on Goodreads also has one for book titles.

The challenge goal is to read books with titles for each of the letters of the alphabet. Books starting with "the" or "a" can either be used for the letters t or a, or the words "the" and "a" can be ignored so that the next word in the title can be used. For example, to use a couple of my own books, "A Magical Storm" can be used for either the letter a or the letter m, and "The Pineapple Loving Dragon" can be used for either the letter t or the letter p.

Like with the character one, the challenge only needs to be completed by December 31st 2014, but I finished it not long ago.

Like I said with the quarterly reading challenge I posted yesterday, you may recognize some of the titles from other reading challenges. A couple are ones that weren't used for other challenges though.

So, here's my list:

A - A Friend Like Annabel by Alan Davidson (read January 15th 2014).
B - Blood Reaction by D.L. Atha (read January 1st 2014).
C - The Catalyst (Preternaturals, #3) by Zoe Winters (read January 2nd 2014).
D - Dolphins Of Expedor by Paul Anthony Barker (read February 18th 2014).
E - Even More Like Annabel by Alan Davidson (read January 16th 2014).
F - The Folklore Of Discworld by Terry Pratchett & Jacqueline Simpson (read January 19th 2014).
G - Girl Perfect by Jo Jenkins (read January 27th 2014).
H - Harriet's Hare by Dick King-Smith (read March 9th 2014).
I - Innocent Hearts by Jess Mountifield (read February 12th 2014).
J - Jayden & The Mysterious Mountain (The Sanctum Series, #1) by Katrina Cope (read January 12th 2014).
K - King Of The Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo (read February 11th 2014).
L - Life Cycle (Preternaturals, #4) by Zoe Winters (read January 4th 2014).
M - Millicent Marie Is Not My Name by Karen Pokras Toz (read January 23rd 2014).
N - The New, Thinking Annabel by Alan Davidson (read January 16th 2014).
O - The Ogre Of Ogrefort by Eva Ibbotson (read February 14th 2014).
P - Prince Caspian (The Chronicles Of Narnia, #2 or #4; publication and chronalogical order respectively) by C.S. Lewis (read February 22nd 2014).
Q - Queen-A-Bella Finds A Best Friend by Lisl Fair (read January 14th 2014).
R - Raising Steam (Discworld, #40) by Terry Pratchett (read February 15th 2014).
S - Schoolgirl Apocalypse by John Cairns (read January 21st 2014).
T - The Trouble Upstream by A.L. Means (read January 13th 2014).
U - Under The Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott (read February 20th 2014).
V - Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson (read February 16th 2014).
W - The Wishing Tree by Peter Nuttall (read January 22nd 2014).
X - Xandra by Ann Snizek (read April 1st 2014).
Y - Year Of The Dead (Sustainable Earth, #1) by Jack J. Lee (read March 25th 2014).
Z - Zealandia by Maia Jacomus (read April 1st 2014).