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» Listings for April 2016

  1. I'm delighted to welcome Rachel Dove, on my blog today. Rachel is the winner of the Mills & Boon Prima Flirty Fiction competition. Congratulations, Rachel!



    Rachel is a mum of two from Yorkshire. She has always loved writing and has had previous success as a self published author. Her winning book, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, is out now!

    I asked Rachel to tell us more about herself.

    How did you get started writing?

    I was always doodling in my notebooks from an early age, and I wrote a few stories and half a novel. I got serious in my early twenties when I enrolled on a short course, and went on to do others, such as the Writers Bureau.

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself? 

    I have a bit of a photographic memory for figures. I memorise numbers for everything, and they always stick. Comes in handy!  

    What’s your top writing tip for new writers?

    Study your market, look at what's out there, read lots, learn lots. Always keep writing. 

    Good advice, Rachel!

    You can find out more about Rachel, here:


    Twitter: @writerdove




    About the book:

    The Chic Boutique on Baker Street

    You won’t be able to resist this heart-warming romantic story set in an idyllic Yorkshire village, full of lovable characters and laugh-out-loud moments…as Amanda finds her way to a second chance at life and love. This is the reading escape you’ve been looking for!




    The perfect escape to the country…

    Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of Westfield is the perfect place tomake a fresh start. 

    Local vet Ben is the golden boy of Westfield, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.

    When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?

    Sounds  a must-read! If you want to find out what happens to Amanda and Ben you can buy the book here:

    Buy Links


    Also available from ASDA, WHSmith, and Waterstones.  


    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Rachel.

  2. A warm welcome to David J Robertson, who's dropped by this week to tell us about his debut children's novel, Dognapped!





    I'll let David introduce himself to you

    I'm David J Robertson a ? year old, (sorry the number lock seems to be broken!), bloke from the Black Country. There's a children's book - DOGNAPPED! completed and published (about my dog, Misty and her adventures) The second ‘IN THE DOGHOUSE!’ is written with a third already in the pipeline.

    I've done quite a bit flash fiction and short stories. One day I’ll try to put them all together.

    And of course there's the novel. Haven't we all got one somewhere? It unfortunately needs attacking drastically with the red editing pen! A humorous (allegedly) science fiction/ fantasy adventure. I only started it in 2006 so it must be nearly finished by now.

    Thursday mornings are taken up with Castle Writers in Dudley - a bit of creative writing never hurt anyone.

    I began writing seriously following a heart attack. Being cracked open like a lobster for a quadruple bypass seriously focuses the mind. Heed my advice - this is not the way to get into writing!

    Sound scary, David! I hope you're fit and well now.

    Here's the cover of David's book

    book cover


    Can you tell us a bit about the story, David?

    DOGNAPPED! is an adventure book aimed at middle grade children (7-10) involving four canine friends. 

    The quartet investigate strange sounds coming from the chimney of a canal boat which turns out to be feisty puppy, Ashley, who is stuck inside the narrow tube. They manage to release him but accidentally cast themselves adrift. 

    On the boat's radio they hear, '...news is coming in of a dognapping. Ashley has been taken along with a narrow boat. In a statement his people said, "whoever has taken our poor puppy is very naughty indeed!”' 

    The situation rapidly deteriorates until they eventually find themselves lost at sea.

    Will they make it back to shore?

    Can any of them swim?

    How silly does Rascal look in welly boots?

    The book has eight chapters, each with a single colour illustration beautifully drawn by artist Ian R Ward and will be published on 28th April 2016 by Matador Books.

    Watch this space for news of the sequel - IN THE DOGHOUSE!


     It sounds fun, doesn't it? If you want to find out what happens you can buy the book here:



    I asked David to tell us a bit more about himself. How did you get started writing?

    I started around the age of eleven with the now infamous, ‘Owed to Grandma’s eaten cake, I have got the belly ache,’ and obviously after such a triumphant start I’ve never looked back. (although strangely it did take another 50 years to get published!)

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

    Interestingly (or not) I applied last week to have a record verified by Guiness World Records. It’s to do with writing, but I can’t spill the beans yet just in case.

    What’s your top writing tip for new writers?

    Keep writing. It’s like a muscle and needs regular exercise.

     Good advice!

    You can find out more about David, here:

    Website: http://www.mistybooks.net                  

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mistybooks2015/               

    Twitter:  @Misty_Books


    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, David.

  3. Today my guest illustrator is the talented illustrator, Monica Rondino.


    monica rondino


    I asked Monica to tell us a bit about herself and her work.

    I live in Rome, Italy, with my boyfriend and collaborator Andrea Pucci. Even though I've always loved to draw, I studied languages but when I couldn't find a job after finishing high school, I decided  to follow my heart and take an illustrating comics course and then a Master in 2D animation. It was while working in a studio when I was on this course that I met Andrea.

    We worked in 2D animation field for almost 10 years and at the same time we worked in illustration, comics and graphic design.

    When we'd finished our 2D animation experience we moved more to the illustration field, doing comics and book covers and comics inking. Some years ago I decided to try to do illustrations for children’s books because it was something I'd dreamt of doing since I was a child. I was so lucky to met Jennifer Poulter a great Australian author, who gave us  the opportunity to illustrate one. This book, titled “TOOFS” was published for the first time in 2013 by an indy Australian publishing house. It will be soon republished with a new cover and new editing by Lulu.

    Here's the cover


    toofs cover


    The Wolf Family have famously BIG teeth, but when Baby Wolf BITES, they ALL take fright! 

    A humorous story to help older children, families & carers cope with teething babies and toddlers who bite! A picture book with a rhyming element for 3 to 6 year olds.  A picture book highlighting the problems in sibling relationships when an older child suffers whilst a younger sibling is teething.

    It sounds fun, Monica. And just what parents with toddlers need!

    What sort of illustrations do you like to draw?

    Mostly I love to draw cute animals,a lot of mice, or I try to draw them cute but lately I begun to add children. I use my imagination but often illustrations comes from something that I saw or heard. Mostly I work with  digital but I love watercolors too.

    Look at these cute mice!


    What was your favourite children’s book when you were a child?

    When I was I child I loved Beatrix Potter books and Winnie the Pooh. And I still love them

    What’s your top tip for new illustrators?

    Draw, draw and draw. You never finish learning. I didn’t love drawing children very much but continued to draw them, often just doodles, but I've discovered that the more I practice more I like it. But, in the end, you must feel happy when you draw.

    What do you like most about illustrating children’s books?

    I feel happy. I like the process when you need to create a character from nowhere and the fact that if the author give you the opportunity you can use your imagination with almost no limitation, something that in a lot of artistc work you can’t do.

    What illustration are you most proud of?

    An old illustration with a mouse on a hot-air balloon.I love the character but I love the perspective  the most. I don’t like drawing perspective very much.


    monica_rondino_hot-air balloon


    Here are some more of Monica's wonderful illustrations


    monica_rondino_doodle                monica_rondino_circus

    You can find out more about Monica here:

    Website:  http://www.theartofpuro.com

    Blog:  http://theartofpuro.blogspot.it

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theartof.puro

    TOOFS facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/TOOFSchildrenbook

    Author website : http://jenniferrpoulter.weebly.com


    Thanks for dropping by, Monica. :)

  4. I'm delighted to welcome to children's author Sophie Plowden, who's dropped by today to tell us about her writing. Sophie is the author of the Jack Dash series.






    Sophie Plowden is the author of Jack Dash and the Magic Feather (Catnip, September 2015) and Jack Dash and the Summer Blizzard which is coming out in 2016. She trained as a painter and etcher and has exhibited her work widely. She also teaches art in London, where she lives with her husband and son.

    You can find out more about Sophie here:

     Website: www.sophieplowden.co.uk

    Twitter: @sophieplowden 

    I asked Sophie to tell us a bit more about herself:

    How did you get started writing?

    I started writing three weeks into a protracted bout of insomnia. Although I was crashing through the day like a zombie, at two fifteen every morning my eyes snapped open and my brain switched on, ideas already zinging. I had to do something with all this excess synaptic activity so I crept downstairs and flipped my laptop open.

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

    I ate a slug once. I found it in a coat pocket and thought it was a hard-boiled sweet.

    Oh, yuk!

    What was your favourite book as a child?

    There are many books which pounced on me unexpectedly in my formative years and have clung on to this day, but Ferdinand the Bull (by Munro Leaf and exquisitely illustrated by Robert Lawson) probably has the most illustrious history: it was banned in Spain, burnt by Hitler and adored by Mahatma Gandhi. Not bad for a picture book.

    It sounds fun!

    What's your top tip for new writers?

    If you don’t like living in your head then back out now. Oh – and delete your browsing history. Research can take you to strange places, which you might find hard to vindicate.

    Great advice!

    Sophie's latest book 

    jack dash front cover final



    Jack Dash and the Magic Feather

    If you found a magic quill pen that makes drawings real, what would you draw?

    When Jack Dash finds the magic feather, thing go from dull to awesome in 0.6 seconds - he can have anything he wants! Only it turns out Jack isn't very good at drawing and his life is soon full of unexpected chaos, a pair of frilly knickers and a pet sea lion.

    When he finds himself on the run, it's time for Jack to save the day. Can he be quick on the draw?

    It sounds fun doesn't it? If you want to buy a copy then click on the link below:

     Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Dash-Magic-Feather/dp/184647099 


    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Sophie.