Confessions of a Reading Challenge Cheat

It was 19 December and I still had 17 books left to read to complete my Goodreads challenge. I was convinced I wouldn’t reach my 100 book target before the end of 2018. So I decided to indulge in a spot of cheating by raiding the reading closets and shelves of the students on my tutoring rounds. Anyone who has followed my blog will know I have a bit of previous in this regard.
Exhibit A
Once more, my students did not let me down. They brought their books to me like Wise Men offering their presents up to baby Jesus. Huge thanks to the Chowdury children for trusting me with their treasured collection. You set me on the road to achieving my goal when all seemed lost and gave me the opportunity to read my first ever Peppa Pig. Thank you also for handing over Little Miss Splendid to boost my reading power and self-esteem. Due to this generous reading donation my unreachable target moved towards something achievable.

My next stop was the children’s section of Tate Brixton Library where I grabb…

Happy New Year


Festive Greetings

Thank you for all your magnificent support this year. Without your encouraging emails and comments on social media I'd be a lesser writer.

3 Easy Ways To Free Reads

Completing a reading challenge can put a bit of a strain on your finances if you’re watching the pennies or are a struggling author trying to make her way in the world. Unless - you come up with some inventive ways of getting cheap or free reads.
My 1st port of call has always been Carnegie Library on Red Post Hill. Sadly that was shut down by my local council. Boo Hiss It’s a long story which you can read more about in my post entitled Crisis: Ruskin Readers & Carnegie Library. However, I didn’t let my short-sighted council stand in the way of my reading addiction. The whole borough’s library catalogue is available to browse online. This means I can order any book which takes my fancy, reserve it and for a modest 50p get a notice to collect it from a library of my choice at a time of my choosing. When you have a schedule like mine that’s pretty priceless.
Using this method of book procuring has several advantages: ConvenienceYou have a never ending supply of booksBulked up arm musc…

In Search of 9 Lives

I had forgotten how much fun it is writing a children’s book or anything related to it. In the last couple of years themes and topics in my writing haven’t exactly been light-hearted. To name just a few: segregation, oppression and universal ecological catastrophe. See what I mean?
Earlier this year I asked my Facebook followers to choose my next WIP and The Witch Adoption Project [WAP] came out tops. This sequel was bound to happen as I’d already been mulling over what was happening to the characters of The Lonely Dragon since I left them on Long Upon A Time world. In fact I’d been storing ideas in a folder I like to call The Vault.
WAP certainly contains serious themes (issues faced by children in the foster system being one of them) but several of the characters mean I can explore a sillier side to my nature as I delve into what makes a particular character tick. Quite early on I began to feel the need to add the voice of Kastaspella’s cat Jinx into the sequel. Naturally Clarissa’s …

The Misunderstood

Originally a guest post on Rita Carla Monticelli's blog.

Before settling down to writing and self-publishing I used to be a full time teacher in an inner city London school. Regardless of the country you teach in, anyone will tell you this is a challenging environment. Very quickly into my teaching practice I realised I had a knack for communicating with children with Special Needs (SEN as it’s called here in the UK).
Most times when people think of Special Needs they latch onto the idea of a child with learning difficulties. Several times during my 13 year teaching stint I was reminded that while the majority of my students did indeed have these difficulties there were others whose behaviour marked them as SEN when in fact they were highly intelligent. Their lack of engagement with the average classroom content and insular or confrontational attitude masked their talent.
At the very start of my teaching career, an introductory lesson on Of Mice & Men to my SEN class brought a gi…

@ProlificWorks Read of the Month

Hereafter by Terri Bruce Genre: Paranormal Audience: Anyone who likes ghost stories Reader Rating: 4 STARS
After a night of drunkenness with friends and an inevitable death by car crash, 30 something Irene Dunphy finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost. She’s stuck in an earthly version of limbo with no idea of how to avoid final judgement and the only person able to see and communicate with her is a 14 year old boy fixated on the afterlife.
I loved the concept of this book. The central character wanders from place to place as she tries to figure out what has happened to her and more importantly, what will happen to her next. She is forced to rely on the resources of a teenage boy whose motives and movements she cannot quite fathom.
Both Irene and the reader are kept wondering about what will happen next. The writing style is relaxed and the characters well drawn. Even though Irene appears to have been living loose and hard when she was alive, we can’t help but worry for what her afterli…