Shirley Link 3 TC

Book Review | Shirley Link and the Treasure Chest by Ben Zackheim

31 January, 2015 / 2 comments

If you’ve read my reviews of the previous Shirley link books: SL and the  Safe Case and SL and the Hot Comic (which I reviewed on Goodreads, but seem to have missed on here), you’ll know I really enjoy this series by Ben Zackheim.  That Ben is a fellow Bookelf came later, so there’s really…

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FF Must Contain

Flash Fiction Friday: Guilt in Greyscale

30 January, 2015 / 4 comments

This week’s flash challenge from Chuck Wendig was an ‘include these things’ one.  Three things, chosen at random, from three lists.  I’ll tell you what they were at the end.  One is only there in passing, one is… well, you’ll see!  I found this week’s writing process fascinating, since I only realised halfway through exactly…

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Local Heroes Badge

Local Heroes Reading Challenge January Update

28 January, 2015 / 5 comments

This is my first Challenge update, and I’ve read one book towards my Local Heroes target of 6.  That was Never Let Me Go, which I reviewed a week or so ago, and as I said there, it may be listed as Norfolk, but only part of the action took place there.  It still counts!…

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Princelings new website web

Websites on screens, tablets and phones

26 January, 2015 / 13 comments

I finally got a Smartphone.  Three months later I’ve ventured into using Twitter on it, and then I started checking my websites. This blog doesn’t display too badly, although you had to scroll though quite a lot of menu stuff to get to the posts (I’m working on this as you may have noticed). The…

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Book Review | Skellig by David Almond

24 January, 2015 / 6 comments

This book was one of the most-recommended for children’s book authors to read when I went to the workshop which changed my life in 2011.  I came away from the workshop and went into self-publishing, and I thoroughly enjoy it.  The reason the book came up in recommendation was as a response to a panel…

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dolls for web

Flash Fiction Friday – A Covert Assignment

23 January, 2015 / 3 comments

“Take one from this list, and one from this, and mash then in the form of X meets Y, like you were marketing your book…”  Sounds simple enough.  First I crossed out all the titles on the lists that okay, I knew, but didn’t know the story in any detail, having either not read the…

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#Fi50 January 15

21 January, 2015 / 10 comments

This is my first attempt at the Bookshelf Gargoyle’s Fiction in 50 (words) Writing Challenge.  Each month he posts a writing prompt for us, and in the last week he asks us to link up our offerings. This month’s prompt was: A Dawning Realisation And this is what I made of it. I flounced out…

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Creative Commons – licensed to share

19 January, 2015 / 12 comments

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that earlier in the month a new badge appeared on the bottom left – on some posts – which is my Creative Commons license. Creative Commons is an organisation that works with legal establishments worldwide to agree a format whereby people can share their work yet protect their…

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Artist's impression of Beagle 2 on the surface of Mars

The Beagle had landed

18 January, 2015 / 2 comments

It’s December 2003.  Britain is agog with the possibility that a bit of British science might just discover life on Mars.  The Beagle 2 rover was lovingly described to us by the inimitable Professor Colin Pillinger, who had virtually single-handedly begged, borrowed and nagged people and institutions to put up the £50m ($80m) needed to…

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Never Let Me Go

Book Review|Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

17 January, 2015 / 6 comments

This is an odd book for me, in the nicest possible way.  It’s not an author I’ve read before, and it might fit into the Oddity Odyssey definition of odd author for that reason.  I wanted to read it because, after I saw the trailer for the film, I had it on my (very short)…

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Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Friday – What’s Your Poison?

16 January, 2015 / 4 comments

We clicked a strange link for a D&D character, for use in this week’s Chuck Wendig challenge. I got “courageous Half-orc Monk from the grave diggers union who was raised by ghosts”. I know nothing about Dungeons & Dragons, but I thought there must be special things an orc or monk does in D&D so…

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Quote and Question

14 January, 2015 / 9 comments

Here’s an idea.  I post a quote for you, probably from one of my books, and then give you a question related to it. Lame?  Well, let’s try it for a couple of months and see what happens. The quote: Something large, black and pointed protruded into the tunnel from the place where the light…

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Reading Challenges for 2015

12 January, 2015 / 8 comments

You may have noticed that all the badges and counters for reading challenges have disappeared from the sidebar.  Less obviously, there’s a new page called “Challenges” in the menu at the top left.  As I say on that page, I’ve been decluttering, and part of that is to put these things in a page of…

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Book Review| The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

10 January, 2015 / 11 comments

This is a cracking adventure story for younger readers by one of my fellow BookElves, Fiona Ingram. Adam and Justin manage to get leave from school to go with their aunt to Egypt – provided they tell their classes about the history they’ve learned and explored when they get back, of course. Their aunt is…

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Random Title bw

Friday Flash Fiction – The Thirteenth Snowflake

9 January, 2015 / 8 comments

I seem to have started last year saying that Chuck Wendig hasn’t emerged from his hibernation, and the same is true today.  I’ve stolen another random title from the lists he gave us just before Christmas – after all, with 20 half-titles in each of two lists, that gives us 200 combinations (I think) since…

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IWSG badge

I’m admitting it – I’m insecure!

7 January, 2015 / 18 comments

Well, three years after I started self-publishing my books and realised the need to blog regularly and appropriately about them, I am finally admitting I’m as insecure as the next person.  So I’ve joined the Insecure Writers Support Group, hoping to link in with other insecure writers who feel it worthwhile to band together on…

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book blogger hop

Do you delete old posts?

5 January, 2015 / 16 comments

Actually, this is NOT a Book Blogger Hop! This is the sort of question I’d like to see in the Book Bloggers Hop, but the ones scheduled seem a little repetitive around now.  Last year I saw someone talking about deleting old posts on their blog – something that hadn’t occurred to me.  At the…

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(c) Justin Ng

Comet spotting

4 January, 2015 / 7 comments

There’s another comet in the skies, and this time it should be in a spot most people in the northern hemisphere could find, since it’s passing close to one of the most obvious constellations in the winter night sky – Orion! From now until 7th January Comet Lovejoy is  heading closer to Earth, but that…

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Salmon Fishing

Book Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

3 January, 2015 / 1 comment

This was a book club read, and I think we selected it after we’d been to the cinema together and seen the trailer for the movie of the book.  Since we didn’t get round to seeing the movie, we read the book! I enjoyed the first part of it, which is told in email correspondence…

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Snowed in? So Read – Giveaway Hop

2 January, 2015 / 31 comments

Welcome to the first giveaway hop of 2015, thanks to Stuck in Books –  it runs until 15  January 2015 (EST).  If you’re bereft because there’s no flash fiction today, pop over to the Princelings website and catch up on six stories that ran through the Yuletide season there. The idea of being snowed in,…

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Local heroes badge

Enter the Local Heroes Reading Challenge 2015 HERE

31 December, 2014 / 1 comment

A couple of weeks ago I launched a new READING CHALLENGE for 2015. Every last Wednesday of the month, for the next twelve months, I’ll be doing an update post – for participants to report in how they’re doing and share comments about their book choices. Since the Challenge starts tomorrow, this is just a…

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Frost on grass

Tweaking my schedule for 2015

29 December, 2014 / 7 comments

As 2014 draws to a close, I’m ready to review my objectives for the year and set some new ones.  As part of that, I’ve been planning some new regular features, and that means a slight shift of my posting schedule.  Of course, if you receive notifications by email (and you can sign up in…

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The Red Queen

Book Review | The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

27 December, 2014 / 5 comments

This was a bookclub read, and so I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter.  Scanning the Goodreads blurb I noticed comments like ‘difficult to like the protagonist’ and ‘hard to identify with the Red Queen’, so I thought I was in for a difficult read.  I was, but not in the way…

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Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop

21 December, 2014 / 93 comments

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin… It was a dark, dark night in the middle of the day. Piku looked up at the stars and wondered whether the ice was hard enough to go to the North Pole. He set off on his journey, but he met Nanoo fishing in a hole in the…

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Book Review and Blog Tour: Real Santa by William Hazelgrove

20 December, 2014 / 5 comments

If you follow my reviews on Goodreads you may wonder why I said it was “great for Christmas journeys at risk of delays, cancellations, snowdrifts and other disasters”.  Well, I took this with me on a train journey at the start of December, and it kept me sane, well-balanced and even pretty warm through a…

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