Posted in Book Spotlight, Fantasy, Noir

Vile – Keith Crawford #BookSpotlight @keithcrawford77 @LoveBooksTours #LoveBooksTours #Fantasy #Noir @littlwonder

Elianor Paine is a Magistrate of the Peace in the Kingdom of Trist and a republican secret agent. She has 6 days to subvert her investigation, supplant war-hero Lord Vile, then coerce his adult children to start a revolution before her masters discover the truth and have her killed. Just how far is she willing to go? And can she change the world without changing herself?

Amazon UK

Keith Crawford is a retired Navy Officer, a disabled veteran, a Doctor of Law & Economics, a barrister, a stay-at-home Dad, and a writer. He has written for collections of scholarly works, academic journals, and newspapers including The Economist. He has had more than thirty plays recorded or produced for stage, been listed in a variety of short story competitions (in spite of his hatred of short stories), and runs a radio production company, www.littlewonder.website, which regularly runs competitions promoted by the BBC to help find, develop and encourage new writers.

In 2014 he was lecturing at Sciences Po in Paris and negotiating a contract to write a book on banking regulation when he and his wife discovered to their delight that they were due to have their first child. Rather than writing more work that would only be read by his poor students, and then misquoted by politicians, he decided he would do his bit to stick his fingers up at the patriarchy and stay home to look after his own kids rather than the grown-up kids of rich people. Two more children swiftly followed. Keith has discovered that if you recite Stick Man backwards you get the lyrics to AD/DC’s Highway to Hell.

This (looking after the kids, not satanic rites with Stick Man) allowed him to support his wife’s career, which appears to be heading for the stratosphere, and also gave him the space to write about swordfights and explosions. And spaceships. All of which are more fun than banking regulation. As an extension to his work in radio production, he set up his own small press, and his first novel, Vile, is due to be published in December 2019. More novels will swiftly follow, like buses in countries that don’t privatise the bus companies.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Magic

Lottie Sparkles’ Magical Discovery Petra Quelch 4*#Review @AustinMacauley @SparklyWord #rararesources #KidLit #ChildrensBooks #Grandparents #Magic #fantasy #family #clothes #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

#LottieSparklesMagicalDiscovery

Who wouldn’t like a magical jacket?

Lottie Sparkles is a little girl who loves everything sparkly, mainly clothes. Anything plain or dirty is a disgrace in Lottie s mind! When Lottie is sent to spend time with her lovely grandparents in the countryside, she is furious because that essentially means smelly animals, lots of puddles and hard work! But what she certainly didn’t count on was coming face to face with a magical object.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

#LottieSparklesMagicalDiscovery


My Thoughts…

I love a book which features animals and magic, and this one has both. Lottie is a young girl, who lives in the city with her professional parents and nanny, She is used to material comfort, and everything in her life is clean and ordered. With a love of sparkly things especially clothes, she views two weeks with her grandparents in the countryside with disdain and trepidation.

This is a story about trying out new experiences, realising that material possessions are not the most important things in life and finding magic in simple things.

I read the digital version of the story, and the illustrations are lovely, complementing the text well. The story is simple to read but uses words that stretch a child’s understanding and vocabulary.

The magical element makes the story special and teaches Lottie an important lesson. The characters are lovely. especially the animals and the story has a fairytale quality with a positive ending.

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#PetraQuelch

The author loves everything sparkly and glittery but hopefully, she says, she is not a diva like Lottie from her book. Aside from all the glitz and glamour, she is a collector of magical books, tea sets, movies and a huge fan of chocolate. She has two little girls also known as “The Little Book-Fairies” with a BIG imagination.

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Giveaway to Win 1 x signed copy of Lottie Sparkles’ Magical Adventure
(UK / Europe Only)
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*Terms and Conditions –UK / Europe entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Animal Friends, Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magic

Kim, Leon, and the Sky Path to Africa Barnaby Allen 4*#Review @leeawrites #KimLeon #SkyPathToAfrica #EasyRead #ESL #KidLit #ChildrensBooks #historical #Adventure #Fantasy @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours #AnimalFiction

#KimLeonandTheSkyPathtoAfrica

Kim and Leon live on a farm in Suffolk, England. Kim is a schoolboy and Leon is his pet donkey. A rainy day encounter leads them on an adventure far away in Africa. Along the way there are dangers, and fears about who can be trusted. There is also the threatening presence of a slave ship, looming in the bay. Barnaby Allen was a teacher of English and history. In this historical fantasy, he beautifully combines suspense with an immersion in history. This book comes with tasks of writing, acting and drawing. This is a simplified version of the original book. It suits especially ESL pupils.

Amazon UK

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I received a copy of this book from Random Things Tours in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I like the writing style of this children’s adventure story. Resembling poetic verse, it is easy to read and presents the story in a reader-friendly format.

The early part of the story, set in rural Suffolk has a traditional feel. It reads as if it was set in a pre-internet age, or even earlier. That would also explain some of the expressions, which are not twenty-first-century politically correct.

The main historical part of the story set in Africa reflects on the slave trade. This is an unusual choice for a children’s book, and parents and teachers should be prepared for children’s questions. The adventure element is charming and the detailed information about life in Africa at that time is interesting to adults too.

Kim goes on a character journey in this story, as much as a fantasy, geographical one. Learning about a different culture, and historic events change his perspective. Leon is a magical donkey, who provides Kim with his opportunity for adventure. His outward gruffness hides a wealth of intelligence and kindness and makes him a wonderful role model for Kim and the book’s readers.

The interactive quality of the book is excellent. The tasks make the children think about what they have heard or read and reinforce elements of the story.

A worthwhile reading book for the children and adults, which is rich in cultural and historical details, but delivered in an exciting, magical way.

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#BarnabyAllen

Barnaby Allen was born in Suva Fiji, as his father was working there for the British Crown.  He was introduced to literature by his mother, who liked to recite poetry and had a gift of telling engaging stories. As an adult, Barnaby Allen worked in education in several countries mostly teaching English. He loved to travel, classical music, discussions, current affairs, Pacific affairs, family, good food and board games. Barnaby’s children also had the benefit of Barnaby telling stories to them and making the characters come alive with acting out different roles.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Friday Read, Parenting and Famlies

A Spooky Tale Sue Wickstead 4*#Review @JayJayBus #kidlit #childrensbooks #BlogTour #BookReview #Halloween #school #walking #adventure @rararesources #Awalkwithourteacher #Giveaway

#ASpookyTale

A Spooky Tale – a walk with our teacher

When the teacher decided to take the class out on a walk the children did not want to go … But… What could possibly go wrong? why did the class not feel well? Read the book to find out.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A lovely bright book, which makes full use of children’s imaginations. The original story was written with children in the author’s class at school, and some of the ideas and images are very childlike and will appeal to the intended age group.

I love the map of the walk so you can relate the story to where the children are on the walk. The animal lover in me quaked at whacking a bear, with a stick and throwing stones at the wolf, but apart from that, it was an enjoyable read, for my grandson and I.

Fun, imaginative and perfect as a Halloween book for your little one.

#SueWickstead

I am an author and a teacher and have written six children’s picture books, all with a bus included somewhere.

Having been able to share my first book, ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, it was time to think about writing a book for younger readers.

While visiting a local school the children were writing stories about a journey, we read Jay-Jay’s book and then I remembered a book that I had written some years before and I read this to the class too, and they loved it.

The original story was based on a walk with my class around the neighbourhood of Bewbush, Crawley. The walk had led to map work and sequencing. Then together with the class I wrote an imaginative adventure.

The events we imagined were put into a class book. The book was shared with many classes and it was always a favourite.

Now years later I decided it was time to update, improve and look at publishing the book.

There is indeed a walk around the district of Bewbush. and following the publication of the book, I went back to see if and how the neighbourhood had changed.

‘Oh, I see you have written a book without a bus!’ commented a friend.

But, look through the pages and you will see there always has to be a bus!

The neighbourhood of Bewbush was a new estate built in Crawley town in the 1970s. The area was built without any shops, school or safe places for children to play. It was an area of high need and was supported by a special playbus which offered a much-needed playgroup venue.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share my stories. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

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#GiveawayPrize
Giveaway to Win 1 x Paperback copy of Daisy Daydreams bus rhymes and joke book (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Read my review of daisy Daydream The Nursery Bus

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Fantasy, Horror Fiction, Magic, Noir

The End of the Line Gray Williams 3* #Review @canelo_co @gray_books #noir #magic #fantasy #dystopian #crime #paranormal #bookreview

A fast-paced thriller set on the streets of a London rife with undercover magic.

Abras, as they are known, can harness these illegal powers, but for con-artist Amanda Coleman – whose father was a powerful and abusive practitioner – magic is anathema.

When her criminal crew decide to hire an Abra to help with their heists, they don’t expect to raise a demon or to quickly lose control of it. Now Coleman and her crew must travel across Siberia to a remote stone circle in order to kill this murderous creature, who has destroyed everything they hold dear.

But as the demon’s power grows, a battle of wills commences. Coleman must fight to survive, facing demons both in chains and within herself.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Fantasy and paranormal fiction do not have the popularity of a few years ago. The current trend for fusion in genres allows for paranormal and fantasy themes, to fuse with the crime fiction genre, something which has always been popular in graphic novels.

‘The End of the Line’, is a crime based story set in a dystopian world, where magic is outlawed, and paranormals are used to further criminal ends, often, as in this case, with disastrous results.

The violent world setting of this novel is immediately apparent. The leader of the gang is ruthless and emotionally damaged having suffered a personal tragedy. The violence is vividly described, indeed this story would make an excellent graphic novel.

Understandably, there is a great deal of world-building in the main part of this story, which adds to the complexity, and takes the reader away from the main story. If you are a fan of fantasy worlds, this will not be a problem, but if you find it difficult to merge into someone else’s creation, this will reduce the book’s appeal.

The story is fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled and dark. There is little to dissipate the noir world, some of the characters do have redeeming features, but these cost them dearly. The picture painted, is of a world without hope.

So, not an uplifting read, but something to try, if you enjoy fantasy crime in a dark dystopian setting.