Erin, aged 6, #reviews all three Once Upon a NOW #books @ajcraftybox #kidlit #giveaway

ajbookreviewclub, kid's review, book review, book blog


My children’s book tour and giveaway is now up to stop number seven: the  ajbookreviewclub

I’ve been delighted to be included on many blogs where real children have been invited to read and share their thoughts about the series with adult reviewers in the feature. Here on AJ’s blog we meet the delightful and wise Erin (who is six). She had all three books read to her and tells us about which bits she liked (and didn’t!) and which of the stories is her favourite. 

One common comment on all the reviews of ‘Alf The Workshop Dog’ is that readers love ‘the song‘. They are referring to  the fictional National Anthem of Zanubia, which you can hear and watch being sung from within the book.  

Zanubia, King of Zanubia, Zanubia National Anthem, song, Once Upon a Now song,  Oscar Sparrow, narrator

It’s performed by my daughter on the piano (she’s very clever and wrote the music) and Oscar Sparrow who is the wonderful narrator on the audio book editions of all my children’s stories. 

He was very worried about being too fierce and frightening the kids – so we made him a paper crown to go with his plastic sword.  This then gave us a lot of trouble as he couldn’t keep a straight face and we had to record many takes.  In the end I set the camera rolling and left the room and that solved it.

Want to see the video and hear the song? Well I’m afraid it’s exclusive to the book… it’s one of the ‘bonus features’ included via scannable QR code and secret URL links.  

(A hint for my special readers – ALF will be FREE on Amazon Kindle 8,  9, 10 Feb:  grab your copy and hear the song! http://www.smarturl.it/Alf )

All books in the series are ‘chapter books’.  These are aimed at younger readers maybe not yet ready to read a whole book in one go.  The stories are divided into manageable chunks with the bonus materials as a ‘reward’ for the end of a section. The videos, photos and colouring pictures are accessed via QR codes and URLs in the book. QR codes let people with the paperback version still get the benefit of these interactive materials. I guess they are a bit of a gimmick but I think they make for a richer experience and help make story time more fun. They certainly added a new element to the job of creating the books! 

A big thank you to AJ and her daughter for sharing their thoughts on my stories – I’m so pleased you enjoyed them!

Touring with the #Kid’s books – includes #giveaway & #Free dates on #Kindle pic.twitter.com/UV4tRZddAP


Today is the first day of my tour of literary blogs for Children’s Fiction.  Arranged via the wonderful efficient staff at CandleLit Author Services, it will feature my ‘ONCE UPON A NOW SERIES’ of modern fairy stories for kids.

The tour includes guest posts by me about the inspiration behind each book and reviews by readers old and young.  There is also a giveaway where you can win a complete set of the series in audio book, paperback or digital Kindle formats.


Stop One – 26th January 2015
BestChickLit – Review 

Stop Two – 27th January 2015
Tales of Yesterday – Review  

Stop Three – 29th January 2015
Chapter 5 – Review

Stop Four – 31st January 2015
Grab This Book – Review 

Stop Five – 1st February 2015 
It’s Not All Gravy – Review 

Stop Six – 4th February 2015 
It’s Not All Gravy – Guest Post  

Stop Seven – 5th February 2015 
AJ’s Book Club – Review  

Stop Eight – 7th February 2015
Lynsey Farmer – Review 

Stop Nine – 9th February 2015
Guest Post 

​Stop Ten – 10th February 2015 
On My Bookshelf – Review 

Bargain Books. Words Are Cheap.

Who am I? What is this Amazon thing?

I have the honour to write features for a “lifestyle” magazine. Recently the editor edged me into a side room. She confided that the trouble with my writing was that I used words. What people actually wanted was more pictures. In a forced outdoor flash I knew where I had been going wrong. For too long I had been trying to walkie-talkie the ball into the net. It was a Eureka moment almost equal to yesterday when David Beckham met an Amazonian Indian who had never heard of him. Dave – chill! No one at Amazon has ever heard of me and I’ve been lost in their jungle for years. 

It’s politics – it’s our National Y Front.


Okay – here is the deal. I’m having a big push to sell some books. This blog has nothing at all to do with David Beckham. If you read this Dave, get in touch for free copies of all my books. We Londoners need to stick together. After all, I’ve always cheered every swerve of your balls.

My own missions along the Amazon have brought little success. These days I have branched out onto all manner of tributaries. It’s great to see that Dave is getting away from football and doing the same thing.

99c/77p/€0,94 for sexy romance novel SHANNON’S LAW this week only…




Emma Thinx: A word is worth a thousand pictures. It’s your mind.








Virtual Book Fairs – Do they work?

In answer to my title question – I have no response, as yet.  I am about to embark on the  first virtual book fair that I have ever done, so in a couple of weeks I may have some sort of answer.  

I would say, that it’s a phenomenal amount of work… so I hope that there are positive outcomes.  What have you found?  Can you give any tips for getting the most out of this type of event?

As a break from my constant rabbiting on about my new book  (The Love in a Hopeless Place Collection – in case you missed all the hype 😉 ), I am going to be handing over my blog to fellow scribes from around the world and across genres, for the duration of the Blogger Book Fair (BBF) from the 22nd-26th July.

The Blogger Book Fair is a bi-annual event where authors celebrate and showcase each other’s work. There are book bargains/freebies/competitions and general literary fun – just like a real book fair but without the travel.

For my own contribution, I have reduced ALL my books to 99c/76p/89€ for the duration of the event.  So, if you need to fill your e-reader for the holidays… now is the time!


Here are the bloggers who will be visiting and showing their wares – and who in return, will be hosting me, on the same dates, on their blogs:
22nd July    Caitlyn Nicholas http://www.caitlynnicholas.blogspot.com
                   Jamie Campbell http://jamiecampbell.com.au/blog/
23rd July     Emily Tippets http://www.emtippetts.com/search/label/Blog
                   Penelope Reece http://penelopereece.blogspot.co.uk/
24th July     Leslie R. Wright http://thebasementlevelfive.blogspot.co.uk/
25th July     Aria Glazki http://ariaglazki.blogspot.co.uk/ 
                   Barbara Billig http://www.thenuclearcatastrophe.blogspot.com/
26th July     Don Wooldridge http://www.donwooldridge.com
So, here we go – all the fun of the fair… enjoy and hope you enjoy my guests’ posts.