Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman

Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman 5/5

Loyal Creatures is the deeply moving story of war horse Daisy and her 16-year-old owner Will, sent from the Australian outback to the gruelling Middle Eastern campaign of the First World War. Their skill in finding water is vital to their regiment in the desert, but their devotion to each other is what keeps them alive in an overwhelmingly hostile environment. Is their unwavering loyalty enough to determine their destiny?

Review:

A powerful tale about the Australian Lighthorse Brigade in World War One. Frank is just a boy when he signs up with his Dad and Daisy, his trusty horse. This is a story of friendship and loyalty between men and animals.

Although the writing style makes this an easy, quick read, I can’t believe this is a middle grade book as the ending was so gut wrenching and sob inducing for me. Loyal creatures indeed, and such a tragic end for them.

I appreciate the honesty in this story and how there really is no happy ending in war.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Write for You (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

This post is more of a motivational, encouraging pick-me-up for anyone who needs it. I wanted to share the one thing that I have learnt in my time as a self published author, and that is to write for you.

Why did you start writing? Passion, a creative outlet? Has that changed over the course of your journey and are you asking yourself ‘what is the popular genre of the moment? Do people want to read this? Should I change something I like because statistics say my target audience won’t buy it?’

I’m here to tell you that the only person you need to impress is you. Yes, it is great to get sales and amazing reviews, but at the end of the day, you need to be happy with your process and your work.

I believe that your best writing comes when you stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your style.

I just wanted to put this thought out there today, and if you are writing today, remember to make yourself happy.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Finding Routine After a Hiatus (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

As you know, I have taken a long hiatus from writing, partly due to being a full time Mum, and partly because I let other things get in the way of my writing time i.e setting myself too much work for this blog and social media.

Now, I have set my priorities straight for 2020 and want to dive back in with editing my novella, Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. However, I am finding it harder than I thought I would.

I have now set myself some rules to get back into a writing routine and wanted to share them with you.

Chose a time of day and stick to it.

The mornings are best for me. My kids are early risers, so getting in a writing session when they’re eating breakfast and watching TV is best for me. If I get it done and dusted, then the rest of my day is free and I don’t feel guilty for not having written or for writing instead of family time etc.

Set low word count goals for the first few weeks.

I work best by hitting word counts rather than time limits. Ideally, 500 words a day would be perfect, but it is a daunting number coming back after a break, so I am setting small word count goals for a while of just 150 words a day. The sense of accomplishment motivates me each day.

Accountability is important.

Having someone ask ,what was your word count this morning?’ or ‘did you sit down and edit today?’ really helps me stay on track. Let people know what your plans and goals are and ask them to encourage you to stay on track every once in a while. My 9 year is best at this as she enjoys writing herself.

Mini deadlines over big ones.

When I was a mother of 1 school age child, I would happily set deadlines for editing and publication etc. Now, I have a toddler with me 24/7 a deadline seems scary. Deadlines used to motivate me, so I enjoy a mini deadline without the big stress of looming dates. For example, getting 15 pages edited in 5 days is doable and an extra push.


Do you have any tips to help me jump back on the writing wagon?


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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updates

February Update

February is over… what?! Huh?! Eh?! It’s time to recount my month, but it’s gone so fast I can’t see how much I actually accomplished. I guess that’s the purpose of these posts…

Writing

I can sum up my month of writing by saying that I had enough material to do a Teaser Tuesday post each week, but that’s about it. It didn’t help that half term holiday fell this month, and having both kids home really does effect my writing time.

Blog

I’ve got some new faces this month, and it’s great to know more and more of you are interested im Writerly Bookish Stuff.

I also did a post about what you wanted to see in my future blog series. I have taken your ideas into account and planned out blog series 3 and 4. More on that soon…

Talking about blog series, next week is the last installment of the Prompt Me series. Those ten weeks have flown by. The week after, you will find out about series 2, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Reading

Two books was my max this month. I’ve only been reading before bed, so getting through 2 was a feat. You can find the full reviews here:

Switched by Amanda Hocking.

How to be Champion by Sarah Millican.


I’m hoping to get much further with my WIP in March, then maybe a title reveal will be on the cards.


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Sharing Sundays

Sharing Sundays

Today’s Sharing Sunday is a shout out to a blog that I wanted to share with the writers amongst you.

Sarina Langer is an author and editor, and she has a blog, Cookie Break, dedicated to the world of self publishing and indie authors. You can find posts on setting goals, writing tools, and self publishing tips etc.


Find Sarina:

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Do you have any writerly or bookish blogs that you would like to share with me? I’d love to hear them and check them out.

Do you have a blog that may be useful/ informative for other writers?


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Blogmas

Blogmas Day 17

Santa Fun Run

Blogmas day 17 is a recount of an event we went to yesterday. Helston, Cornwall holds a Santa Fun Run every December, but this year was the first year we managed to get to it.

It wasn’t a massive affair, but it was all in the name of charity. A group of huskies even joined in. See for yourself:


My hubby is planning to join in with our kids next year.

Does your hometown do similar events at Christmastime? Do you participate in something totally wacky for charity?


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Blogmas

Blogmas Day 14

We Got Our Jingle On

Whilst procrastinating on Pinterest, I saw a fun idea that hasn’t really taken off in the UK…yet. ‘You’ve been Jingled’ is a great way to spread some Christmas cheer to friends and neighbours.

I told my daughter about it, and she begged me to start off a jingle train. Our targets… her besties.

We bought a gift bag and filled it with some treats. We made a little poem to explain the concept to the recipients and to encourage them to join in.

When you jingle someone you’re not supposed to be caught leaving the treats. As this was near impossible in our situation, us Mums had a chat before hand, but the children were none the wiser.

We had good fun doing this. It is always a bonus knowing we’ve put a smile on someone’s face too.

If you want to get your Jingle on, here is the poem we created:

‘You’ve Been Jingled!’

We wanted to spread some Christmas cheer,

After all it’s that time of year.

These goodies come from us to you,

With hope that you will do it too.

Leave your treats, but don’t get caught,

Show someone they’re in your thoughts.

Merry Christmas!


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