book blogger · Book Review · childrens books · Uncategorized

The Goblin Princess Book 1 – J.O’Connor & Kate Willis-Crowley @inkydoodlesplat @faberbooks


Everything is topsy-turvy in Goblin world and Matty, the Goblin Princess, just doesn’t fit in! Her mum, the Goblin Queen, is always telling her to un-tidy her room and eat up her slug porridge (yee-uk!). Most of all goblins HATE nice things, including their enemies the sparkly Forest Fairies.

Matty has a problem. Her new pet baby dragon, Smoky, is far too good and her parents, the Goblin King and Queen, are threatening to send him away! But Smoky is her best friend – can she find a way to make him naughty enough to keep? She just might need the Forest Fairies’ help…

What does TWG think?

‘Smoky The Dragon Baby’ is the first book in ‘The Goblin Princess’ series written by Jenny O’Connor and illustrated by Kate Willis-Crowley. I am truly thankful for having an excuse to read children’s books nowadays without anyone saying anything, as I have a three-year old bookworm!

Firstly, let me talk about the illustrations. Wow. Will you just look at that cover? As we all know, book covers are really important. They are the first thing that readers see and most opinions of whether to pick up a book is based on that one cover. This cover in particular, however, has nothing to worry about in my opinion! The illustration of the Goblin Princess is beautifully drawn and it changed my opinion of what I assumed goblins to look like. As for the dragon, cutie! I think that the colouring works well in the background, subtle enough to catch your eye without overpowering the illustrations. Overall, my first impression of the cover was a big thumbs up.

When it came to reading the story itself, I knew that I had to get my mini-me to help, even though it did mean waiting until her bedtime to read it! Luckily for us, we got to savour the book over a few nights as I just knew she wouldn’t sit still for the whole story. Nothing against the story, she is just a fidget (and rightly so). I actually don’t think I asked her opinion at all, I didn’t have to. The belly laughing that was coming from the right side of me was enough of an answer! The names of the goblins and characters in this book are brilliant, they most certainly gave the story a fun edge.

The storyline is very easy to follow and I believe that it would be an excellent book for children of all ages to sit down and enjoy. There are a few tongue twister words involved so maybe children might be hollering for your help with the words. Either that, or hollering for the fact that they want their very own dragon!

The beautiful illustrations carry on throughout the book and match Jenny’s enchanting writing superbly. Even as a twenty-something, cough, adult, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this to my daughter and seeing her face light up every night that we read it.

Highly recommended and would be a perfect stocking filler for a little person this Christmas. Beautiful book.

Thank you Faber & Faber.

The Goblin Princess – Smoky The Dragon Baby can be bought from Amazon right now.

Keep your eyes peeled for the second book in the series; The Goblin Princess – The Grand Goblin Ball, coming in 2017!

blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#BlogTour! Twenty Four Days to Christmas by Fred Arthur (@fredarthurbooks) @authorrightukpr


Poppy is in agony – it is the First of December and she has twenty-four days to wait until Christmas and she is convinced that she will not be able to contain her excitement and impatience: How can she possibly wait so long for Santa to arrive? Poppy’s parents put their heads together and come up with a cunning plan that has Poppy completing a different, Christmas themed activity every day, to keep Her busy until Christmas (and Santa) finally arrives.
Twenty-Four Days to Christmas is an Advent
Calendar of a book, which can be read one day at a time, or as a complete story, and centres on Christmas, family and the magic of the Christmas season.

Buy from Amazon UK

What does TWG think?

What a brilliant Christmas book for children! If you have children yourself, or have young ones in the family, you’ll probably be aware that their patience is somewhat…non- existent. As soon as the shops bring out their Christmas goodies…in August, cough, children are led to believe that Christmas will be tomorrow. Rightly so, they’re only children and trying to teach them when Christmas is without ruining their dream, is a task in itself. Well, it was, until now. Fred Arthur has written a children’s book in the style of an advent calendar; 24 days to Christmas, with Poppy being the voice for young children everywhere. The book can be read a page a day as a count down, or, it can be read all at once. The choice is yours. Poor Poppy is devastated to hear that she has to wait 24 days until the big man in red gets stuck down the chimney, how can you tell a child they need to wait for goodies?

Well, just like Poppy’s parents, you get them doing Christmas themed activities every single day in the run up to Christmas Day. For example, baking mince pies, going to see Christmas shows, Christmas shopping; anything to keep their little minds full of Christmas joy ready for the big day itself. I thought the idea that Poppy’s parents had was GENIUS, they took her upset and devastation at waiting 24 days, and  turned it into something much more positive.

The writing itself is very child proof due to the fact it’s written in rhymes, brilliant idea. Also, illustrations are unbelievably cute and extremely innocent in the sense it made me feel as though I was able to bring out my inner child as I read it. I believe that Twenty Four Days to Christmas will be such a big hit for both children and parents alike; especially if you’re struggling to keep the little ones occupied and happy in the run up to Christmas. Who knows, you might turn the book into your very own tradition.
Fred Arthur, you’re a genius! Thank you Authoright!

About the author.

Fred Arthur is the combined pen name for friends Pincher Martin and Mike Dineen who met working in the Royal Navy. Leaving school at the age of fifteen Pincher Martin entered the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman and now holds the rank of Commander. Living with his family in Plymouth but working in Portsmouth writing creative emails and text messages to his young daughter has become part of his daily life. Mike Dineen graduated from St Andrew’s University before joining the Royal Navy, and he too holds the rank of Commander. Mike lives with his wife in Pickering, North Yorkshire and
works in Scotland. Both are keen sportsmen and qualified life coaches. Their goal is to become successful authors, so that when the Royal Navy finally forces them to retire, it will enable them to fulfil their shared desire to support local schools and libraries, satisfy their passion for writing and foster a belief in the importance of reading and imagination for children of all ages.

Find Fred Arthur on Twitter

Fred Arthur’s Top 11 Christmas Films

1. Scrooged –Bill Murray – Just love Bill Murray and the idea in this modern
2. Love actually – A great Christmas Family film, full of stars.
3. It’s a wonderful life – A beautiful Christmas Film and the Mother in Law’s
4. Scrooge – Muppets and Michael Caine – Daughter loves it, and MC is brilliant!
5. Miracle on 34 th street – The original and modern day are both as good – a real
feel good Christmas film.
6. Nativity – Who would like to meet Mr Poppy?
7. Home Alone – This is a family favourite
8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Always funny!
9. White Christmas – One for the older generation – Fred loves it.
10. Elf- Who can drink that much coke in one go?
11. Trading Places – An 80’s classic and one of Fred’s all-time favourites – not
just at Christmas!


blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · guest spotlight

#Review @Zak_and_Jen Astronomical Adventures: Tinsel Town by Natalie Page (@LexiMorgan26)

blog tour advert.jpg

Zak and Jen are back with a second instalment of their astronomical adventures as they head to…Tinsel Town! Tinsel Town was written by Natalie Page and illustrated by Chris Rivers Nuttall. What a fabulous team they make! Today is my stop on the blog tour and I have the honour of bringing you a review AND a guest post from the author, Natalie.

Ready for your adventure? Open your brollies!


‘Zak flew to Jen’s planet and giggled with glee, he was so excited for what they might see… Best friends Zak and Jen are off on a Christmas adventure with their special umbrellas. This time, the pair fly to a new planet, but where is everybody? Enjoy the magic as Zak and Jen make some new festive friends and discover how important it is to make the most of every day’

I absolutely adored the very first book that Zak and Jen starred in, so when Natalie asked me to be involved in the blog tour for the second book how could I say no? I couldn’t read this instalment without my special little helper;  my three year old,. As soon as she spotted the cover of the book, she danced over to her bookshelf to find the other one. Bedtime came and Tinsel Town was chosen, what a perfect moment to read the book for the first time!

My little girl wasn’t the only one who came to be under Tinsel Town’s magic spell as I was too! Reading the introductory page had me spellbound by the wonderful, enticing words. Then came the illustrations. Wow.

Chris, you have completely outdone yourself! Every single illustration in the book gave me such a magical feeling!
Natalie’s poetic story alongside the illustrations had me feeling so enchanted, I am starting to wonder whether this truly is a magical book.

My daughter adored the book so much, she sat still the whole way through and asked me to read it a further 7 times. Tinsel Town has quickly become one of our favourite books to cosy up in bed with at bedtime. Such a beautifully written and designed book for children of all ages to enjoy, as well as their parent or guardian too. I cannot wait to find out about Zak and Jen’s next adventure!
Thank you Natalie for inviting me on your tour!

You too can go on an adventure with Zak and Jen if you purchase your very own copy! Perfect for a Christmas present!
Buy now!

Also, if you wish to keep an eye on Zak and Jen’s adventures, you can ‘like’ their Facebook page right >here!<

Guest post from author Natalie Page.

A typical Christmas in Natalie’s house

I am so excited to be sharing my typical Christmas with Kaisha on The Writing Garnet!

Recently, we moved to a new house in a really nice neighbourhood and last year, our street held a Christmas street party on Christmas Eve. It was great fun, we had mulled wine and sausage rolls and everyone took some time out to get to know each other!

Christmas Eve in our house usually involves wrapping presents that we haven’t yet wrapped and making sure that all the food is ready for Christmas Day. If my mother in law is around, we usually persuade her to make her traditional sausage rolls – afterall, who doesn’t love a homemade sausage roll at Christmas!

On Christmas morning, we all get up and go downstairs to open our stocking presents together and I will usually get some nice food in for a special Christmas morning breakfast. Last year we had smoked salmon, croissants and orange juice and Bucks Fizz! Once the stocking present opening is done, we usually move on to main presents – this process can take some time! I will also note that we usually have something festive on the TV at this point to really add to the Christmas mood.

When we have finally finished all the present opening, we get up and dressed and then it is my job to make a start on Christmas lunch. We normally have lunch around 1 / 2 pm so whilst my daughter is busy playing with her new toys, I am busy beavering away in the kitchen!

No-one is a big fan of Turkey in our family so our Christmas dinner usually involves roast chicken and all the trimmings. We then finish up with Christmas Pudding, some kind of chocolate dessert and mince pies, if there is one thing we like, it’s our puddings – although I never expect anyone to have all three!

After lunch it is all about relaxing, perhaps watching a Christmas movie or playing some board games. If the weather is decent we might even pop out for a walk. We usually have a light tea in the evening and then it’s time to go to bed.

We have quite a large extended family, so Christmas in our house usually spans at least two days. Boxing Day then essentially turns into a second Christmas Day so we have lots more food, games and general fun!

That’s pretty much it for our typical Christmas, nothing out of the ordinary really but we do like to make sure we make plenty of time for family and friends!


blog tour · book blogger · Uncategorized

Blog tour: Alzheimers Research – Little Kitty by Caterina Longtail & co! @brookcottagebks @aruknews

This morning’s blog post is a rather special one as it extremely significant. As soon as I saw the information about this book, I knew I had to show my support in any way that I could, granted, not as much as the authors involved have!

All of the authors involved in ‘Little Kitty the Cat Burglar’ have donated their time free of charge and have written one chapter of the book each. All proceeds from the book will go to Alzheimers Research UK. You can find out more about the charity right here. The amazing authors involved are: Suzan Collins, Tottie Limejuice, Jo Wilde, JB Johnston, Lucy Rayner, Ros Lyons, Ann Bowyer and Tracy Terry. Together, they became known as Caterina Longtail!

Buying this cute book will not only give you a lovely bedtime story to read (for yourself or to a child!), it will also help to support a charity carry on their vital work in aid of such a devastating disease.


‘We are the UK’s leading research charity aiming to defeat dementia. We power world class studies that give us the best chance of beating dementia sooner. Our pioneering work focuses on prevention, treatment and cure. We are energising a movement across society to support, fund and take part in dementia research. We aim to empower people across all generations through greater understanding of dementia. Together we have the power to defeat dementia.’

‘Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimer’s is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called ‘mixed dementia’. (all info taken from Alzheimer’s Research UK website).


What does TWG think?

With a beautiful looking book like this, how can you NOT like it? This gorgeous book is a perfect little read for both and adults and children. Plus, it has outstanding illustrations, so if you don’t fancy reading it, at least you have the option to look at the cats! My three-year old daughter loves looking at this book and has claimed it as her new bedtime story. If, like me, you’re an avid reader and may want something lighter to read in between your other books; ‘Little Kitty the cat burglar’ will be perfect. Perfect length, stunning illustrations AND all for a good cause too. It really is a win win situation.

Want a chance at winning your own paperback copy of the book? You can enter the giveaway here:
Enter the giveaway


blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · guest spotlight

Review – ‘Bossy Flossy’ by Paulette Bogan (@paulettebogan1 ) & guest post! @iReadBookTours


I am extremely honoured to be part of this blog tour today, as I used to be called ‘Flossy’ when I was a little girl. Thank you so very much to Paulette for giving me a copy of this wonderful book, & to Laura at iReads for making it happen. Such a lovely childhood reminder to have.


Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She’s bossy at home and she’s bossy in school. She’s bossy to her friends and she’s bossy to her cat. Sometimes she’s even bossy to her teacher! Flossy doesn’t understand why no one will listen to her. One day, Flossy meets Edward, a boy who may be just as bossy as she is. Has Flossy finally met her match?

What does TWG think?

What a wonderful children’s book! As I’m sure a lot of you are aware, children tend to go through a ‘i’m the boss’ phase. But, it is an important phase as they learn independence and their boundaries. However, there will come a point when the ‘i’m the boss’ phase is a bit TOO much and sitting down with the child over a cup of coffee (or hot milk for them) having a discussion, doesn’t quite give the best result. Luckily, Paulette Bogan thought of an alternative. Children gravitate towards colourful and bold images, whilst adults gravitate towards the words (bonus), ‘Bossy Flossy’ hits both nails on the head (the book not the child).


Flossy is a very bossy child, she believes that the only way people will listen to her, is if she TELLS them what to do. All she wants is someone to listen to her, but she just cannot quite work out how to make that happen (aside from being bossy). Then one day, Flossy meets her match; Edward, another bossy child. Thing is, only Flossy OR Edward want to tell the other one what to do, not BOTH of them.


With such bold and striking illustrations, Paulette Bogan creates a visual representation of the words she has written, such an added bonus for the child. After all, what’s not to like about pretty pictures? When I first picked up the book, I noticed the illustrations first because of the way they stand out and are really well drawn. I love them! As for the story, I think that it is such a cleverly written book that will show children the effects of being TOO bossy and how they might be able to come out of that themselves, along with showing the benefits (through illustrations). When you’re a young child, communicating and trying to understand their own emotions, can be such a daunting experience. Thanks to Paulette, those daunting experiences can be eased into positive experiences with the help of this work of art. I adored it, and I know my daughter will too when she’s bigger.

Purchase links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

Guest Post from Paulette Bogan.

Everyone Loves a Good Back Story


Paulette Bogan 

We had the chicken pox, all four of us. My mother called us into the playroom and handed each of us a paintbrush and said, “Get started! This wall is boring.” And so we spent the whole afternoon painting a mural on the playroom wall.

People often ask me why I became a children’s book author and illustrator. The fact is I’ve always wanted to be an artist, and I’ve always loved writing stories.                                    


In third grade I gave my mother a drawing of a chariot and written on it was, “I want to be an artist when I grow up.”  In the fifth grade, I got in trouble for not paying attention. I was writing stories during math class. I told my parents, “I’m going to be a writer.” 


When I was at Parsons School of Design, a teacher of mine, Ivan Powell, was talking to the whole illustration department. He was talking about how difficult it was to be a freelance illustrator. He said that all of us in the room had talent, but you need drive and determination and a little desperation to make it. He said that most likely only TWO of us would go on to be freelance illustrators.

I looked around the room and thought, “Who is the other one?” I wasn’t being egotistical. (Well, maybe a bit at that age.) I was driven. This is what I wanted come hell or high water. Nothing was going to stop me.


My father wanted me to get a teaching degree along with my BFA in Illustration. (Now looking back, what a smart idea!) But I said no. I didn’t want anything to fall back on. So I waitressed at Blazing Salads till I could support myself as an illustrator.

My mother told me I should be writing and illustrating children’s books. Of course I didn’t listen and did political illustration and editorial illustration.

 flo13                                                                       (My wedding invitation)

I finally listened to my mother when I was pregnant with my first child. I decided to try children’s books. After a lot of research, hard work, and many rejections, I got my first book published. I loved it and have never looked back. (Okay, Mom was right!) 

                        (My family 1998)                                                     (Spikey and Mufasa)

 Now three children, two dogs, and twelve books later I couldn’t be happier. I get very frustrated sometimes when I cannot draw something. And writing doesn’t always come easy, but I am stubborn. I am doing exactly what I was meant to do.

 What’s the moral of the story? My mother would say, “Listen to your mother.”

My father would say, “Whatever you do whether it is digging a ditch or writing a novel, do your best.”

My husband would say, “Get over it and get going.”

I would say, “Don’t give up, don’t give in, when in doubt, take a nap.” 

PS. I’ve actually always wanted to be a back up singer too. I thought they got to wear really cool dresses and I could do it part time because you don’t have to learn the whole song.


 To find out more about Paulette Bogan, download cool activities and to check out new books go to

blog tour · book blogger · real life

TWG speaks to Natalie Page before her next ‘Zak & Jen’ adventure!


Before Natalie decided to use Zak’s umbrella to go on her own adventure, I nabbed her for a chat to find out why she chose to write a children’s book! Here’s what she said:

TWG: What made you decide to write a children’s book instead of an adults?
I love reading to my daughter, which is probably what inspired me most to write children’s
literature. I also have a niece, nephew and two godsons so there are a lot of wonderful children in my life! I love the freedom of writing for children, you can allow your
imagination to wander completely off the grid and it doesn’t matter. I remember how I
used to feel reading when I was growing up, that sense of awe and excitement. Being so
eager to see what happened next that I didn’t want to go to bed until the book was
finished. I would love to inspire that feeling in others.
TWG: Did you have any inspiration behind your debut book?
The debut book was the result of fantastic source material. Chris had been an artist for
some time and often painted these slightly unique characters against beautiful night sky
backdrops. One day I called him and asked if I could write a story about them. I talked him
through some of my ideas and then sent him a first draft, thankfully he was completely on
board! The paintings already had quite an art following and so many people seemed to
love the idea of them being a children’s series.
TWG: Did you set out for the book to have a hidden message in it, or is that just me finding one?
Depends on what you think the message was! What has been so nice is watching how
other people and their children interpret the book. There is an obvious message about
appreciating what you have, and also the fact that you have the power to change things if
you are unhappy. However those that have read it so far have found strong messages
about preserving the environment, and accepting people for who they are and not what
they look like. The characters don’t have a traditional children’s literature look and feel
and I think that is one of the key things that makes this book unique.
TWG: Is your plan to continue writing children’s books or do you think you will write an adult’s book later on?
Interestingly the first book I finished was a Young Adult novel which I am still trying to edit (amidst everything else!). Because it is YA, the subject matter is much darker and grittier, and I was keen to have a very strong female lead character. However, I love writing books for young children, it is so wonderful to see the enjoyment they get from them. As for adult fiction, I am not against writing for adults at all! Although, I tend to follow my
inspiration when it comes to writing, if I come up with a great idea for an adult book I will
definitely do what I can to write it!
TWG: What was your favourite book when you were a child?
I was an avid reader as a child so I had lots of favourite books. However, when I was very
young my favourite, without question, was the Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton. I loved
being able to escape into a world of pure magic. Generally that is what I love most about
reading and writing, the escapism.
TWG: Did your experiences of reading as a child, influence your book writing now?
Absolutely. If I hadn’t been such a bookworm as a child, I would never have enjoyed
writing so much as a child and I doubt I would enjoy it as much now. Being able to write
stories takes me back to when I was a young and the way writing made me feel then.
TWG: If you had your own planet like Jen and Zak, what would you have on it, or what would your view be?
That is a tough one! I would want so many things! One of my greatest loves (and places of
inspiration) is sitting and looking at the ocean. It is one of the few places that I feel totally
at peace. I once saw a picture of a beach somewhere in the world where the water had
florescent plankton in it, so at night the water glowed and sparkled. I imagine my ocean
would look a bit like that. I also adore flowers and trees. Cherry blossom is one of my
favourites, which is why it appears in the book. However, I also love peonies and magnolia
trees (especially the purple ones). Overall, I think I would have a sparkling ocean with a
white sandy beach and then hundreds of flowers and blossom trees – maybe some with
unusually coloured flowers, like gold!
TWG: If you could choose any fantasy land or world from another children’s book, to disappear into yourself, which one would it be, and why?
Again, another great question – especially for a lover of fantasy fiction like me. I think it
would probably be Narnia (although Fantasia from the Neverending Story would be a
close second). I grew up reading the Narnia series and quite honestly, I always thought it
would be amazing to live at castle Cair Paravel! Oh, and who wouldn’t want to hang out
with Aslan?
TWG: I know you have plans for a second book, but what’s in store for you after that? What can we look forward to?
We have lots of exciting things that we are exploring for this first book, as well as working
on plans for a second and third book! I can’t reveal too much right now, but it seems that
people are very anxious to see more of these characters so we are looking at innovative
ways we can do that!

How exciting! That’s another person that enjoyed The Magic Faraway tree as a child, although I am yet to find someone that still reads it as an adult…except me of course! Big thank you to Natalie for stopping by for a chat, and a huge congratulations to Natalie & Chris for such a wonderful book.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the book before it was released, here’s what I thought about it: TWG is going on an adventure to ‘The Petal Planet’ with Zak & Jen!

If you wish to buy your own copy of this magical book, follow this link right here: Buy Zak & Jen from Amazon

I cannot wait to see more from Zak & Jen and what they get up to next!