Girl, Woman, Author


Jessica Norrie has embraced the block editor and also the unique writing style of Bernadine Evaristo (stripped back and unadorned) to share her writing and reading biography and some recommended books.  As always an entertaining and interesting post.

blogger Jessica was first and foremost an author except on imposter syndrome days and ran her blog mainly to keep her writing hand in

having admired Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other she decided to try writing an autobiographical blogpost in Evaristo’s style

            which is harder than it looks, as each sentence in Girl, Woman, Other has its own paragraph with no capital letters to start or full stops, although you can use other punctuation like commas

so Jessica made each paragraph a separate block and indented first lines as Evaristo does (please excuse inconsistent indents due to sustained opposition from the WordPress Block Editor; also note links to Jessica’s previous blogposts don’t open in a new tab although links to outside sites do and Jessica who is a writer not a coder is flummoxed and frustrated by this as it used to be simple to do)

it was a toss-up between trying the Evaristo style and writing another post about mothers and daughters because the first one was four years ago now and she was excited because her own daughter, not seen since before lockdown, was coming to stay

anyway that’s all some weeks ago now

the stay went well and it was lovely to see each other

Jessica returned to Girl, Woman, Other and realised how refreshing it is to read so much straightforward back story (memo to any creative writing tutor she’s ever met that she’ll put in as much as she likes from now on)

it gave her hope for her own future books

the reading pleasure she had once she’d agreed to Evaristo’s style reminded her of when she stopped fighting Jon McGregor’s narrative terms in Reservoir 13 and just rolled with them

(although it was restful later to turn to the conventional narrative of The Confessions of Frannie Langton, which along with the Evaristo gives good insight into the experiences of black women in the UK both historically and now)


Head over to enjoy and comment.. thanks Sally


via Girl, Woman, Author

MarySmith’sPlace – Travels with a sheep – AfghanistanAdventures #51


A another wonderful post from Mary Smith about her time in Afghanistan in 1989 where she worked for ten years. This week the stunning Bandi-i-Amir lakes with stunning views and a great legend to accompany them…

Head over to enjoy the post in full.


MarySmith’sPlace – Travels with a sheep – AfghanistanAdventures #51

From Lal-sar-Jangal to Band-i-Amir, December 1989

Looking across the water to the shrine

We were almost in Yakolang before anyone remembered the sheep. When Jon unlocked the door, his gasp of horror made me fear the poor animal had expired. I peered in. It was still alive – bleating its protests at this unorthodox way of travelling. It lay flattened under a huge pile of bedding and a large box, its legs sticking out like a cartoon character. Jon shifted the bundles, and the sheep struggled to an upright position.

In the bazaar, Rahimy went off to buy fruit and other supplies, while the rest of us paid our respects to the Commanders at the Paygar. As it was in Yakolang the mujahideen had threatened to shoot Khudadad for using a torch, I was less than enthusiastic about the visit.  The Commander gave Jon the usual bear-hug embrace. As a foreign female I was granted a cursory nod.

One of the lakes at Band-i-Amir


head over to enjoy the rest of the photographs.. at Mary’s Place.  thanks Sally


via MarySmith’sPlace – Travels with a sheep – AfghanistanAdventures #51

Guest Post by Donald Lloyd Jr – about his experiences in 2020


If you are considering becoming a children’s book author or illustrator.. of both as did Donald Lloyd Jr..then I recommend you read this post…it will be just the encouragement you need.  Guest post on Splashes into Books

Guest Post by Donald Lloyd Jr – about his experiences in 2020

I am very happy to welcome Donald Lloyd Jr,
author of The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends
here today and to share with you his Guest Post.
Read on to discover more about him, his inspirational 2020 and
a chance to read again my 5* review for his children’s book!


Becoming a children’s book author and illustrator:

A roundabout story during the Covid-19 pandemic

by: Donald Lloyd Jr.

We are in unprecedented times! I do not believe that there is a person on this planet that would disagree with that statement. In times like these we find out a lot about ourselves and those around us. My year did not start off the greatest. In January I lost my job and began my unemployment journey.  Little did I know that a few short months later 2020 would change and put the majority of us in the same boat?  For me the question now became “how do I help provide for my family from home when everyone else is doing the same?”  My answer, write a children’s book!

I have long enjoyed art and the majority of the creative arts were not in my purview given where I grew up. My hometown was not large, it was isolated from a lot of other towns and creative arts were not as valued as sports. I know, it sounds like every other town right now!  Despite all of this I continued drawing and writing and pushing me to be more exposed to things like the theater, written word, media for drawing or painting. What I came away with was a new view of a world full of colors and people that I never knew existed.  My world was no longer the black and white world of a child but a world with grays, blues, purples and every other color imaginable or not yet imagined. My eyes were opening wider than ever before!

Now this new appreciation for the world came at a cost. Since the world is all about balance I found out that with all of the good I started to see I became increasingly more aware of the bad. I once heard a quote that made me stop and think, “He who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”  While I believe this to be true I do not make it a point to live my life this way. Moreover I do not raise my kids this way. I believe in exposing my kids to all sorts of things both good and bad. I do not believe in sheltering them completely because if they are to become stewards of the world we need to show them the world they will inherit good and bad.  It saddens me to see everything going on during a time when we should all be banding together to help each other through this time. When do we get back to being “we” instead of “me?”


Head over to read the post in full… thanks Sally.

via Guest Post by Donald Lloyd Jr – about his experiences in 2020

Liars and Thieves – Book Launch Central


D. Wallace Peach is celebrating her latest release Liars and Thieves with a whistle stop tour aboard the book launch train… with some great stations along the way…find out where she will be on the route…

Liars and Thieves – Book Launch Central

Welcome to Launch Central for Liars and Thieves, the opening book of the fantasy series: Unraveling the Veil.

Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who offered their support and encouragement, and a special thank you to everyone who agreed to share the news on your blogs. I am overwhelmed by your kindness.

First, a little Happy Dance from your hostess:

Then help yourselves to some refreshments:

And hop aboard the goblin railship.

Below is a list of tour locations. Click on the blue link to get to the blog site and learn a unique tidbit about the book.

And while you’re there, I hope you’ll take the time to visit the posts of these generous and talented bloggers and writers.

Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!

August 29

Jacqui Murray – Worddreams

Check out: A First Review of Liars and Thieves!

Jacqui’s Book: Against All Odds



August 30

Cage Dunn – Cage Dunn: Fibber, Fabricator, Teller-of-Tall-Tales

A Post from Cage: Diaballein 

Cage’s Book: Diaballein

August 31

Kennedy j. Quinn – Miss Liv Adventures – A Journey through Time… and Time Again

Q&A: Does Liars and Thieves have a map? 

A Post from Kennedy: The Lost Train Anthology: New release

Kennedy’s Book: Miss Liv Adventures Book Series


September 1

Kayla Brown – A Couple of B’s

Q&A: Your goblins aren’t stereotypical goblins. How did that come about?

A Post from Kayla: Top Ten Tuesday: Kayla’s Top Ten Audiobook Pick 


Staci Toilo – Staci Troilo: mulitgenre author also writing as DL Cross

Q&A: Which character was the most interesting to write?

A Post from Staci – Five Cover Reveals

Staci’s Book: The Gate: An Invasion Universe Novel (Astral Conspiracy Book 1)


Kim Laettner – Peace, Love and Patchouli

Q&A: Fantasy is a broad genre. Can you narrow down the description of this series?

Kim’s Book: Diary of a Middle-Aged Mermaid



Miriam Hurdle – The Showers of Blessings

Q&A: How do changelings shift into animal shapes?

Miriam’s Book: Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude


A.S. Akkalon – Fantasy Author – Fantasy books, terrible advice and random silliness

Q&A: Do you have an image that shows a goblin city?

A Post from A. S.: Why I haven’t read your book

September 2

D. L Finn – Author D. L. Finn

Q&A: On and off, Talin spends a decade as Slink, a marten. What’s a marten?

Book: Just Her Poetry: Seasons of the Soul



Elizabeth Gauffreau: Elizabeth Gauffreau

Q&A: This series took almost 3 years to write. Why?

A Post from Liz: Where the Story Wants to Go

Liz’s Book: Telling Sonny


September 3

acflory – Meeka’s Mind

Q&A: Do you create the plot to suit your characters, or do you create the characters to drive the plot? Or a bit of both?

Andrea’s Book: Miira (book 1 of Innerscape)


Jan Sikes – Writing and Music

A Post from Jan: Sunshine Blogger Award!

Jan’s Book: Flowers and Stone



Elizabeth Merry – embookstuff

Q&A: Do you write for a specific audience?





Catch up with Diana so far and also discover where she will be tomorrow onwards

via Liars and Thieves – Book Launch Central



A visit to Hever Castle


If you are planning on a staycation in the UK then here is a place to visit courtesy of a guided tour by Robbie Cheadle… head over to enjoy Robbies lovely photographs of the interior…

A visit to Hever Castle

During our trip to the UK in April 2016, we visited Hever Castle in Kent. Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry XIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Anne Boleyn was the first of the two wives Henry had beheaded. I always remember what happened to each of his six wives because of this little verse I learned at school:

Divorced, beheaded, died

Divorced, beheaded, survived.

Hever Castle was restored by William Waldorf Astor in the 20th century and it is very glamorous and beautiful with amazing carvings, tapestries and furniture. I enjoyed our visit and seeing all the lovely things in this restored and renovated castle, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as the more authentic castles we’ve visited like Dover Castle, Eilean Donan and Dunvegan (the second two are in Scotland).

Here are some of the pictures I took during our visit:


Head over to enjoy the rest of the post..

via A visit to Hever Castle

MarySmith’sPlace – Reading tea leaves, first snow &chocolate eating mice. AfghanistanAdventures#50


Mary Smith with the next chapter in her time in Afghanistan in December 1989 with early snow threatening… and her planned exit strategy from the mountains at risk…find out if Mary gets out in time by reading the post in full…

MarySmith’sPlace – Reading tea leaves, first snow &chocolate eating mice. AfghanistanAdventures#50

Lal-sar-Jangal, December 1989

Aug2020-001 (Custom)

One of the few friends I’d made amongst the women was Aziz’s elderly mother who visited me sometimes to chat over a glass or two of tea. Unlike most of the women, she did not hound me for blood pressure checks and injections – contenting herself with the occasional plea for aspirin.

Aziz’s mother – I never knew her first name and adopted the local custom of referring to her as Mudder-i-Aziz – Mother of Aziz – thought rather highly of her powers of prediction. In an effort to provide consolation over Jon’s delayed arrival, she would sit tracing swirling patterns in the dust with a forefinger. These she would study with the utmost concentration until able to pronounce, decisively, the date of his arrival.

The fact her predictions had, on each occasion, proved wrong, never daunted her in the slightest  She would simply try some other method of divination, including peering hopefully into her (not my) tea leaves. These were not read in the cup but would be dumped on to the staff room floor.

On the first day of December I awoke to find everything white with snow. After shivering my way to the latrine, I headed swiftly to the warmth of the staffroom where the breakfast conversation was about the weather. This snow I was told was ten days early and everyone was most indignant about it. Haboly said, ‘The snow doesn’t start in Lal until almost the middle of December. It never snows at this time.’


Head over to find out if Mary gets out in time…

via MarySmith’sPlace – Reading tea leaves, first snow &chocolate eating mice. AfghanistanAdventures#50

My Summer of Books – Part 1


Jennie Fitzkee has selected some children’s books that would delight your children or grandchildren.. with over 30 years experience as a teacher of the youngest readers, she knows what will be enjoyed.

My Summer of Books – Part 1


My summer has been filled with reading children’s books, from new picture books to books for older children, and classics.  Every one has been satisfying and thrilling, yet in different ways.  Some books are funny, some are filled with history, some teach important lessons in a subtle way.  On and on.  I will tell you about these terrific books.

Part 1: picture books.


Together We Grow by Susan Vaught

The gorgeous illustrations by Kelly Murphy bring to life the story of a barn full of animals during a thunderstorm.  A fox and her kits look for shelter, but they are predators to the animals in the barn.  Can the animals welcome a fox for the night?  The rhyming text is sparse yet rich in language.  The opening words are, “Lightning gash!  Windy lash!”  I love this book!


Head over to discover all the books in this first part of Jennie’s list..

via My Summer of Books – Part 1

My Father’s Pride #memories #poetry #parachuteregiment


A wonderful letter from Geoff Le Pard’s father to his mother.. then his girlfriend in 1945. He was just age 18 and having made his first parachute jump was hoping they would let him serve abroad.  They put everything on the line.. Please head over to read the letter in full.

My Father’s Pride #memories #poetry #parachuteregiment

In June 1945 my father was 18. He wrote the letter below to my mother, his then girlfriend with momentous news. He had undertaken his first parachute jump preparatory to being admitted as a member of the Parachute Regiment. He was many things in his life but nothing gave him more pride outside of his family than that.

June 1945

8 Platoon



3 Coy

Darling Barbs,


Please head over to read the letter and leave your comments for Geoff.

via My Father’s Pride #memories #poetry #parachuteregiment

MarySmith’sPlace – Winter approaches AfghanistanAdventures#49


Winter is approaching in the mountains of Afghanistan and Mary Smith is in danger of being snowed in…with a long walk to the bathroom in the cold and essential supplies of TP running out, this post leaves us on a cliffhanger.. However, there is a respite with English lessons and cheating at cards….

MarySmith’sPlace – Winter approaches AfghanistanAdventures#49

Lal-sar-Jangal, November 1989

Lal scenery

The first week of November was almost over. It had become extremely cold. The sun, though still shining brightly in a deep blue sky, barely thawed the iced puddles in the compound, before they again froze hard. My daily activities were interspersed by increasingly frequent trips to the latrine – some hundred metres from the compound – as I tried to combat the cold with copious quantities of hot tea.  Once I heard Qurban call to me through the dividing wall between the two loos, ‘Would you like your desk and chair brought out here? It would save you an awful lot of walking.’

Aug2020-036 (Custom)


Please head over to read the post in full and enjoy the photographs.. thanks Sally.

via MarySmith’sPlace – Winter approaches AfghanistanAdventures#49