The Four Stages – #Poetry #Inspired

After a wonderful review of my poetry book, Poetic RITUals, Lucy Mitchell, of BlondeWriteMore blog fame (she is too funny, you must follow her!) she mentioned to me that she had been searching for inspiring pietry aimed at writers and creative types… words that may inspire and help nudge you through the tough writerly moments we go through…

ISn’t that just wonderful? ❤

Now, I can’t magic up a whole book but it got me thinking, and I penned a little Etheree quartet, dedicated to my fave Blonde, Lucy, and all the writers out there!

The Four Stages

Write
Right now
Momentum
The need to type
I feel them coming
Ideas multiply
Fingers fly across the keys
Story seeds blossom into trees
A book the world will all want to read
Thousands of words reaching a crescendo
 
Blank
It’s gone
I’ve lost it
My story thread
No ideas flow
Inspiration has run dry
All my dreams come crashing down
I’ll never be a best seller
Should I delete the whole sorry lot?
No one will ever want to read this stuff
 
Read
Inspired
Just maybe
I can do this
My book could happen
Someone might just like it
Plot twists thicken in my mind
Endings start to come together
Put the book down; get the keyboard out
It’s time to make my book dream come to life
 
Write
Again
Typing fast
Renewed vigour
Finish is in sight
I almost can’t keep up
Words tumble onto my screen
Loose ends seem to come together
Tying up the story completely
Breathe… and finally type those words… ‘The End’
 
  Ritu 2019
There is my inspiration for this verse… Lovely Lucy, alongside my dear friend, His Geoffleship!

February’s Books #BookReview

Yet another month has flown by, and for me, amidst all the family birthdays… My brother in law’s, my Hubby Dearest’s and Mother-in-law’s on the same day, Lil Princess and my Father-in-law’s (again on the same day) as well as Valentines Day, a little snow, the in-law’s departing for the Motherland and half term… I have managed to read another epic amount of books! Thirteen, including a new Julia Donaldson picture book! Exciting! 

peacefully reading

There are a few NetGalley ARCs, but I did steam through a good few from my TBR pile too! So, here goes!

Christmas For One (No Greater Love, #5)

Christmas For One by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wonderful to open a book and fall straight into the swing of the story, as it is based on characters you already know!
I am a huge Amanda Prowse fan and this is yet another page turner, following Meg’s life, after becoming a single mother, albeit with some fantastic surrogate family by her side. There’s love, drama, cute hikd and New York! What more do you want!

The Go-Away Bird

The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an arc for my honest review.

As a mother I have loved Julia Donaldson’s books, to read to my children. As an aunt, I have ensured my nephews have received many of her books so they can enjoy them in Finland. As a teacher, I have used her stories to enhance learning and entrance my students with her beautifully crafted stories.

I always love the underlying messages in the stories, and The Go-Away Bird is no different.

Using flowing rhyming verse to tell the story of a rather pompous bird who seems to think itself too good for all the other birds who wish to befriend it. Yet in its hour of need, those same birds come back to help him.

A story of friendship, and learning to look beyond the ‘cover’ of a person, to discover the real goodness inside.

I really enjoyed the premise of the book, and the illustrations by Catherine Rayner are simply stunning.

Definitely a book I would read to my class, to encourage friendship, no matter what.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an arc for my honest review.

Publication date: 7th March

Chicken Shift

Chicken Shift by D. Avery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Made me giggle. A whole poetry book, crammed with verses about chickens crossing roads!
Loved this one:

A chicken crossed the road, as happens now and then
Philosophers and passersby
Did their bit and wondered why
But the farmer wondered how it escaped the pen.

Twin Desires

Twin Desires by Pamela Wight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rae has had a hard life already.
Losing her mother as a young girl, in tragic circumstances, then after looking after her father and herself, losing him to the demon drink, she finds herself alone in this world.
She manages to build a good life for herself, quiet and steady, doing well for herself, until she has a chance encounter with the CEO of her company, Blake.
What she didn’t count on was the drama that accompanied him, in the form of his psychotic twin brother Alex, and scorned ex-wife Phyllis.
There is a lot in the story to keep a reader gripped, and I really enjoyed the twists the tale took.

Life on Hold

Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My first novel by Karen McQuestion and I enjoyed it.
A YA book exploring relationships at a most fragile age.
I almost wanted the book to go on… It was a shorter read than I usually choose, but that just meant I enjoyed its end quicker!

The Christmas Cafe (No Greater Love, #8)

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 star
Yet another wonderful book by Amanda Prowse.
A heartwrenching story of Bea, recently widowed, and dealing with her wayward granddaughter.
Its a learning curve of a story, where both grandma and gran daughter learn a lot about themselves.
Letting love find you, finding first loves and a trip from Oz to Scotland.
A truly lovely read and a bonus when I read of some old favourite characters too!

I Won't Be Home For Christmas

I Won’t Be Home For Christmas by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another lovely read from one of my fave authors.
This wasn’t my favourite of her books. It one that dealt with hard hitting issues. However, an easy read that had an important lesson within. One my mother has always hammered into me. You shouldn’t ever change yourself for anyone. Love should be based upon a true knowledge of each other, not a facade.
Thank you Mandy.

Don't You Forget About Me

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was my first Mhairi McFarlane book and I wasn’t disappointed,
The story of Georgina and Lucas,
I loved how the story looped around, tying the beginning to the end.
There are plenty of women out there who had dreams and aspirations, yet the world doesn’t work in their favour, and they get stuck in the loop of bad job/bad relationships/bad fortune. Women like Georgina who thought life would be so much better.
Things don’t always work out for her, and the digs from her family don’t help.
But the chance offer of a one-off job leads to more, and some interesting twists and turns in her life.
I really enjoyed the story, reading it in one day, The characters were relatable, and there was the romance, interlaced with doses of the reality of dating life nowadays.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Happiness for Beginners

Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Carole Matthews does it again!
I have long been a fan of her novels and was thrilled to get a chance to review her newest novel.
This was another book I devoured in a day.
The story of Molly and her farm full of rejected animals, developing into a school for those children who are almost rejected from society.
Here we meet actor Shelby who brings his wayward teen some, Lucas, as a last resort.
There is fun, disaster, poetry, romance and so many fantastic animals with real characters.
What’s not to love!
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.

One Minute Later

One Minute Later by Susan Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What an emotionally beautiful story!
I have read a few of Susan Lewis’s books before and this was a stunning new one from her.
The number of times my heart was literally on edge as the twists and turns of the stories were revealed… I cannot even count.
I was entranced by the story of Vivi and Josh, and all the history, which had me almost cringing at one point, willing what I thought would happen to not happen… I’m not going to enter into any spoilers here!
The issue with organ donation is such a huge one and handled with true sensitivity by Susan Lewis.
I have to admit to teary eyes by the end of the book.
Definitely, one to recommend. Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for providing me with an arc in exchange for my honest review.

Good Man, Dalton

Good Man, Dalton by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second of Karen McQuestion’s books I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it,

It was an easy read, and entwines the story of Greta Hanson and her cousin CeCe Vanderhaven, two girls with a close connection but lives worlds apart, and that of Dalton Bishop, a young man from a well to do family, but with much to prove to his family.

I love how the story gives a subtle warning about how overpowering Social Media can be, and tackles the issues of Military Vets returning home without adequate support – a problem that is worldwide, not just in the US of A.

This is definitely a book I would happily give my daughter to read, as a young adult too.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Authors, Amazon Publishing and Karen McQuestion for an arc of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Out 12th March 2019

Nanny Returns (Nanny, #2)

Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read the first book a while ago, and this sequel has been lying on my shelf in my TBR list for a long time.
We meet Nan Hutchinson again, 12 years after the first book ends, and here she is faced with her old charge again, many years after having accusations from his parents thrown at her.
Nan ends up trying to save the day in a bit of a crazy situation.
It took me an age to really get into the story, unfortunately, and I really struggled to finish it. The mid to end of the book took on more momentum for me.

If Only I Could Tell You

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Imagine the way the mind of a child works.
They haven’t had the experience of the world, and life itself yet, enough to be able to make judgements that make sense. The sense of a ten-year-old is exactly that, only a decade old.
In this book, we followed the life of Jess and Lily, and their mother Audrey, following double tragedies in their family, and the far-reaching effects of not being able to talk to each other, because of preconceived ideas.
I rooted for Audrey the whole way through the book, and though I had an inkling of the secret, call it readers intuition, I was still captivated enough to want to read on and find out if a resolution was ever reached.
The bonds of siblings can be the strongest you will ever know, yet they can also be the most fragile.
A beautifully written story with lessons to learn.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for providing me with an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.






10 Bookish Questions… The Last Book I… #bookish #books #reader

10 Bookish Questions: ‘The Last Book I…’

I discovered this fun post on Shelley’s blog, I Write, I Read, I Review, and thought I’d give it a go.

Bitmoji Image

1. The last book I gave up on.That was a long time ago, and I can’t even remember the name of the book! It was something like White Rose, a historical saga, and I usually love those, but could I get into it? Nope!

2. The last book I re-read. I have to say, woth all the books on my TBR pile it is not often that I reread books, but one I remember rereading was My Sweet Audrina by Virginia Andrews, and of course, the countless picture books I love to read to my class at school!

3. The last book I bought. The Cactus by Sarah Haywood because I liked the cover!

4. The last book I said I read but actually didn’t. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever done that… I just say ” No, haven’t read that…I’ll put it on my TBR pile!

5. The last book I wrote in the margins.  Nope, sorry, I can’t do that! I can’t write in books I love! Probably the last would be my A-Level texts for English because I had to!!! That would be Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstein Are Dead!

6. The last book I had signed.  I think the last book I had physically signed by the author was Sacha Black’s guide to creating Superbad Villains! But that was 2 years ago! Since then though I have received books in the post from special authors, that have had lovely messages written in them for me.

7. The last book I lost.   I don’t think I have really lost books, but they have in the past been donated to charity, when I haven’t had space for more, they the regret kicks in…

8. The last book I had to replace.  Continuing from the last question…
I think some were my childhood favourites by Enid Blyton, like the Mallory Towers and St Claires series. I bought them again!

9. The last book I argued over.  I don’t think I have ever argued over a book! But I have found certain ones hard to read, that have been recommended to me by others. I just swallow it and carry on with the next good read!

10. The last book I couldn’t find. A book you can’t find? Do you not know about Amazon and Ebay?? I think I have always managed to find books I wanted to read, and if I wasn’t having much luck, then I would always find another book to distract my search!

peacefully reading

If you want to have a go, you can answer the book tag questions too!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 195

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“Reading allows me to recharge my batteries.” – Rahul Dravid

Thank you, Spidey for this.

Last week we talked about reading chapter books to the Early Years.

I am proud to say I started. We did go for Winnie the Pooh.

And the vast majority of the children – loved it!

There were a few who lolled around on the carpet, but the rest enjoyed the story, and asked/answered questions. There was great thought going into imagining the images created by words.

I loved it. I wanted to read for longer!

That being said, I am now tired… tomorrow’s Chai and a Chat will tell you why.

I am off to recharge, and read.

  • So… tell me, what are you going to do to help yourself recharge today? 😘

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps ❤ And enjoy your week!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 194

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“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales.” – Albert Einstein

Thank you, Spidey for another thought-provoking quote.

He knew I have been thinking about reading for a long while and coupled with the amazing posts about reading to children from Jennie, over on her blog, it spurred me on to chase for something I truly believe in.

Jennie is a kindergarten teacher in the USA and I always marvel at her posts about the importance of reading to her class, where she even reads chapter books to her extremely young children.

I’ve often said to her that I would dearly love to do that, but with the intake of children we have in our nursery, the English language knowledge is so low that introducing them to picture books, where they have a wealth of imagery to help their understanding of the words I then read is more than enough stimulation. ( I haven’t really mentioned this year’s intake, but suffice to say, sitting for a five-minute story, complete with all the voices, and props, is tough… let alone a chapter book!)

However, as I was last year, I am also teaching in the Reception class which is the next year up.

Something our deputy head had said a few years back really stays in my mind. Upon being told that some older children, because of their English being poor, were taken out of class during spelling time, to concentrate on the simple cvc words, meaning they missed out on hearing new vocabulary, said “Let them stay. Let them hear those words. They may not know them now but somewhere in their subconscious, those words will sit, and one day they will be able to use them too. Yes, test them on the simple, but expose them to everything.”

Makes sense.

I took the bull by the horns last week, and mentioned to my Phase Leader that I really felt reading chapter books to the children, alongside picture books, would be really beneficial. We would be introducing them to new vocabulary, and hopefully watering the seeds in their imagination with the words, so they could learn to build images up in their minds, and hopefully, ignite their curiosity so that great conversations are started, after listening to the books we choose to read.

Thankfully, she was really excited about the idea. We are starting a topic about Bears next week, so I suggested Winnie the Pooh by A.A, Milne. I still have my box set of books from my childhood to read to them! Possibly even Paddington Bear if we get through it!

She was enthusiastic, so hopefully, as of tomorrow, I shall be reading something different to the children, something they may not have even seen before, and I hope I can help water their creativity.

Let us fuel their imagination so we can create the writers of the future.

So… tell me, which chapter book would you recommend for young readers? 😘

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps ❤ And enjoy your week!

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