Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Competition for Star-Crossed Rascals

Competition to win a paperback of
Star-Crossed Rascals

I'm happy today because Star-Crossed Rascals is now available as an eBook. It's available on Amazon Kindle for the fantastic price of $0.99 and will remain at this price for a month.

I'm hoping to get feedback from children, so please drop me a line and let me know if you like it or not. The first child under the age of thirteen to post the name of Polly's little dog on my blog will recieve a signed copy of the paperback, so come along and meet Polly and Gertie. Oh, yeah, and you'll get to meet mean old Aunt Mabel too.

Here is one of my illustrations of Polly's little dog, so what is his name?

 Here is the link to the eBook: Shttp://www.amazon.com/Star-Crossed-Rascals-Lovable-ebook/dp/B0051XSEC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=A24IB90LPZJ0BS&s=digital-text&qid=1306047735&sr=1-1

You all come back now!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot is now available as a paperback on Amazon

Here is the link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Molly-Gumnut-Rescues-Bandicoot-Adventures/dp/146101946X

I'm delighted that one of my Molly Gumnut Adventure stories is finally published.
Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot is now available as a paperback on Amazon, and also as an eBook on Amazon Kindle.

I began writing the Adventures of Molly Mavis Gumnut  series four years ago when I posted the first chapters on Absolute Write Water Cooler, and then on Critique Circle.

Molly would like to thank all the wonderful writers that encouraged me to keep going with her stories, but she was most put out because when I published her first book,  I renamed her Pollyweena Grubble in the story:  Star-Crossed Rascals.  Gee, I'll never hear the end of it, even though I told her she'll get to keep her name in:
Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot.

I didn't think she'd want to be remembered for eating mucky bubblegum she collected from the pavement, or stuffing her yucky dinner in-between the clean sheets in the linen closet. I thought she'd evolved and was more interested in saving animals now. Sigh. But Molly said she's not even bothered if people know that she's a grub as well. She doesn't care if Gretchen Bloomfield teases her and calls her Mucky Molly because she loves bubblegum, and she'll always hate that yucky chopped liver with spaghetti.

Oh well, at least now Molly's happy she's got her own spot on her very own blog, but I know she'll never forgive me for publishing Polly before her. After all, this blog is called Adventures of Molly Mavis Gumnut, not Star-Crossed Rascals or Velvet Ball and the Broken Fairy. I guess I'd better get on with Molly's next book in the series. I can't tell you the tittle yet. It's a secret. But it's guaranteed to give kids a laugh. I'll give you a hint though. It involves trouble and strife.

Hope you all come back now!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Farida Mastec Interviews me.

I just had to share this interview that Farida Mestec gave me as she is such a fantastic interviewer.

Farida Mestec's Guest Interview with:
 Patricia Puddle.

Hi Trisha! Welcome to The Upper Kingdom! Tell me, please, how long have you been writing?

I’ve told stories all my life, but as I didn’t learn to write properly until I was 53, I would have to say five years. Though many of my stories were handwritten at the age of eighteen, so I could also say forty years.

And have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, I knew I would be from as early as five, but I didn’t know how I would achieve it.

Do you remember your first writing attempts?

Yes, and although I never learned to write properly as a child, I scribbled my own childhood antics in note books and read them too people. I got hooked on this because it made people laugh. I was a very strange child, accident prone and a dare devil. If ever anyone dared me to do things, I’d do it, then get into trouble of course. These memoirs were turned into fictitious children’s stories in my Mischievous Rascals series. The first book is published as Star-Crossed Rascals.

You remind me of Anne of Green Gables! What genre have you been writing in?

My genre is children’s fiction, mainly adventure, but I’ve also written a fantasy children’s book called Velvet Ball and The Broken Fairy. I’m writing the sequel to that story at the moment. I also wrote an educational adventure fiction story, (if there is such a genre) Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot is the first in that series.

That sounds very interesting – I love the title! What other genres would you like to pursue?

As my characters will grow up eventually, I’ll have a chance to write Y/A stories. I’ve already started a Y/A novel, which I’m quite excited about. The MC is a fickle teenager who can’t stay out of trouble. It’s a comedy, love story, but I’m having trouble finding time to finish it as I’m still writing my three children’s series.

I know what you mean! I have ever so many projects I want to work on and I wonder where to get the time! What is the main theme of your latest book? What was it inspired by?


Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot was inspired by a baby bandicoot I cared for. I’m a volunteer at a Wildlife Rescue Charity for injured and orphaned animals In Australia. I wanted to help the endangered little marsupials without being boring, so I came up with Molly. Hopefully, children and adults will enjoy this story and learn about the perils of the bandicoot at the same time.

That's so wonderful! What goals do you set out to achieve when you start writing a new book?

My goals are to tug at the heart strings of the reader. Make them laugh, cringe and cry, and also to think about the subject I’ve written about. If I don’t achieve all four things, I feel I’ve failed in my attempts. Velvet Ball and The Broken Fairy is about an eight-year-old girl with alopecia, (no hair on her entire body). Velvet gets bullied at school and when she finds a fairy in the woods, she thinks her problems will be solved. But the Fairy has her own issues, she has no magic, is cantankerous and rude. She’s just a big pain in the butt and causes more problems for Velvet.

Ooh, poor Velvet!

My first published children’s story, Star-Crossed Rascals, will certainly make the reader cringe and laugh, not sure about cry though as it’s a chapter book for very young readers. In this story, I tried to show how scared a child can become of an adult who doesn’t understand the fears of children. The first half of the book was a true account of the things I did as a child, and although I didn’t have a cruel auntie, I had a very cruel teacher, who was supposed to teach me to read and write, but instead bullied, belittled and humiliated me for for four years of my childhood, causing me to believe I had a learning disability, or was too stupid to learn anything. I left school at the age of fourteen still unable to write properly.

That's horrible! But it's great that you are writing about it – someone has to. Are you a fast or a slow writer?

Um, well, I’m fast at thinking of a story, I don’t plan the plots. I just start writing and the story unfolds on the pages, but I’m a slow typist. I taught myself, so I look at the keys. However, I write so much that my speed has improved tremendously.

That's great! Now you'll be able to write many more wonderful and educational stories. How long does it take you to write a book?

I can write a children’s book in a few weeks, but I’m obsessive compulsive and so I edit and edit until I’m happy enough to publish. It can take me months to a year, but Star Cross Rascals only took a few months.

That's me as well. I can write a children's book in a relatively short time but it can take me a very long time to edit and be happy with it. Do you ever base physical appearance of your characters on people you know, portraits or actors?

This is a hard question because the characters are usually based on my own experiences, so I’d have to say me. But in Molly Gumnut, I used photos of the real bandicoot and also of my eight-year old niece, who also resembles me as a child.

I use another niece as her best friend, Lara, and also as other characters in my other books.

Introduce the main character from your latest book. Who are they? Let them speak for themselves. What would they like to say?

Here is Molly Gumnut, the main character in:
 Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot.

Hello everyone. My name is Molly Mavis Gumnut and I’m eight. I just love animals, and I loved Tiddles too. He’s the black cat that lives next door in Mrs Wilson’s house. Well, guess what? That naughty cat went and hurt a baby bandicoot and I had to rescue him before Tiddles ate him. That sweet little bandicoot’s back was bleeding. Yuck! I don’t like blood. It makes me feel sick, but I had to help him. He’s so cute and I named him Furble, then I took him home to my daddy. Daddy and I took him to the animal hospital, but the vet said I couldn’t keep him. He said bandicoots are endangered marsupials and had to go to a wildlife sanctuary. I wanted to keep Furble, so I soon told him my Grandma is a member of a wildlife rescue. I was allowed to hand him to Grandma, but you know what? She said when Furble’s wounds are healed, she’s gonna send him back to his own territory to be with his mother. Well, she can’t do that because Tiddles will eat him for sure. I even told Grandma that Furble won’t have a mother if he’s dead, but she won’t listen to me. No one ever listens to me. Even when I asked Mrs Wilson to keep her cat indoors at night-time, she said I was an impudent child.

Well, I’m not letting Tiddles eat my Furble. I know how to look after bandicoots now because my Gran showed me. And after school today, I went to Grandma’s house and kidnapped Furble. Guess where he is? He’s in my backpack. I brought some mealworms and fruit with him too and I’m taking him far away to find him a much safer home. I know a secret place where we can be together forever and ever. Furble’s a bit scared though, so I sing songs to him that I make up just for him. He loves me and I love him. Oh, no! There’s a big black cloud above me and my legs hurt from walking so far. Do you know I went and forgot to bring some food and warm clothes for me? My tummy is rumbling and grumbling , but it’s a good job I brought a bunny rug for Furble. I’m cold now and it’s getting dark. I think it’s going to rain, so I can’t talk to you anymore. I have to get to my secret place before we get drenched, plus foxes and dingos come out at night. Yipes! I heard something growl.

Trisha and Molly, thank you very much for the interview and the introduction! It was great and I loved reading it. And I think bandicoots are becoming my favourite animals: they're so cute! But I don't think we have any here in Ukraine...

Available at Amazon as an eBook, and due in a few days as a paperback. Click this link to buy: Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot

 Molly Gumnut loves her neighbour’s cat, but when she catches him attacking a baby bandicoot, she runs screaming into Mrs Wilson’s garden. After shooing the cat away, Molly rescues the injured critter and names him Furble. But when she takes him to the vet, he says she can’t keep him because bandicoots are protected native animals and must to go to a wildlife sanctuary. Molly doesn't let that stop her from keeping Furble. She informs the vet that her grandmother is a volunteer with a wildlife rescue and would gladly look after him. The vet gives in, but Molly is horrified when Grandma insists Furble will be released back to his own territory when his wounds have healed. Molly can’t let that happen, ’cause that’s where the big mean cat lives.

Well, no way will she let Tiddles hurt Furble again. She doesn't care if she gets into trouble for yelling at the neighbour, or disobeying her parents. She kidnaps the little bandicoot and takes him on a journey to find him a safer home. When things go wrong, Molly realises she’s made a bad mistake. Now Furble’s in more danger and so is Molly.

Be sure to learn more about Farida Mastac and her books at her website or her blog: http://the-upper-kingdom.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 9, 2011

Introducing author: Farida Mestek.

Today I’m chatting to author Farida Mestek about her fantasy book:

Almendra - A Fairy Tale

Hi, Farida, how long have you been writing and have you always wanted to be a writer?

I honestly can't remember the time when I wasn't writing. It is something that I have to do in order to be happy. As a child I wrote poems, as a teenager – songs, as a young adult – fanfics, and now I'm writing books. And when in the past I couldn't think of anything to write, I kept journals. I always thought that it would be great to be a writer and I told my family that that's what I would become.

Tell me, do you remember your first writing attempts?

Oh yes! I was at school and, influenced by soaps that my granny used to watch, I decided to write a story about love, big money, murder and betrayal. Naturally, I didn't know what I was doing. It was absolutely ridiculous and beyond inconsistent and, of course, I didn't get too far into the narrative, because there was no plot at all. I remember that the main heroine's name was Margaret (my favourite name) and the first word was “Damn” and that it all started on the beach. It was so silly that I threw it away, but now I wish I would have kept it :D

What genres have you been writing in? What other genres would you like to pursue?

So far I've written three Regency-set books, one fantasy story and a number of fairy-tales. I think I'd love to write a detective story one day. I love detectives! I'd also like to try writing screenplays for movies or – better still! – TV shows. I grew up watching lots of those and I always wanted to work in the genre.

What are the main themes of your latest book? What was it inspired by?

In my latest published book (in fact it's the first book I ever wrote) – Almendra: A Fairy-Tale – there are quite a lot of themes: loneliness, fear of what the future holds, friendship, the search of love and mother/daughter relationship. It was inspired by my own experiences and fears and, in a way, if you take the fantasy and the magic away, it is quite autobiographical. It's funny and sad, because in the end of the book Almendra loses her gorgeous hair – dark, thick, wavy and very long – and as I had to go through chemotherapy treatment this year, so I lost mine just as gorgeous...

Farida, that is really amazing that we have just met. Wow! You've had chemotherapy? I wrote and published a story about an eight-year-old girl who also lost all her hair from alopecia. My book, Velvet Ball and the Broken Fairy is also a story of loneliness, fear and humour and was aimed to show the problems that children with alopecia have. I'm so delighted to meet a real Velvet. You're an inspiration. I'm sure children and adults with this problem will love your story. Okay, back to your book.

What goals do you set out to achieve when you start writing a new book?

Sometimes I simply want to tell the story. I have this need to share it with other people, because writing is such a personal and isolated activity. At other times, I want to try and write about an important issue. Ultimately, I want to write a story and characters that readers would like to come back to. I'm not sure I have accomplished that with any of my previous books, but I hope I will one day.

Are you a fast or a slow writer? How long does it take you to write a book?

I'm a very slow writer and it takes me about a year to write a book. I'm quick at outlining the plot – in my head – and not so quick at writing it down, so that I often have to stop myself from thinking about the story in case I forget something crucial. I do write it down eventually, but it takes me a long while. And then, as I've recently discovered – I am dependent on my muse and when she's out of town, I can't seem to write anything at all.

Do you ever base physical appearance of your characters on people you know, portraits or actors? Any examples or images that you'd like to share?

I often see my characters as people from real life. In fact, seeing them and their most outstanding features in my mind's eye makes it easier for me to describe them in writing. I also love sketching my characters and, because I'm not very good at drawing, they don't always end up as I would like them to. At times, however, I hit the mark. For example, this is one of many sketches of Almendra that I made and I can say that I'm really happy with it.

Introduce the main characters from your latest book. Who are they? Let them speak for themselves. What would they like to say?

My name is Jonnah Nibbler-Pincher. I'm a singer and a traveller. I've been travelling for years now. One day, as I was sitting on the bank of a river, singing a song and playing a tambourine, I encountered Almendra – the nowadays High Lady of The Upper Kingdom. It turned out that she was going to The Land of Men to try and find love in order to get rid of the curse of unhappiness, loneliness and gloom placed upon The Upper Kingdom by her mother many years ago. But she didn't know where she was going – she has never even seen a man in her entire life! – and, as I have long since wanted to supply my aimless wanderings with a purpose, I offered myself as her guide. We very soon became very good friends and she turned out to be not at all what I expected. Of course, she has a bit of a temper and she can be rude and stubborn, but she is also very na├»ve and is willing to learn. Well, I'm afraid that she had to learn quite a few lessons on her quest and pay a terrible price. This journey to The Land of Men – a vile land if there ever was one – changed her forever and so it fell upon me today to introduce us both.

Here is the blurb for “Almendra: A Fairy-Tale”:

Almendra, the High Lady of The Upper Kingdom, is doomed. Many years ago, in a fit of rage and broken heart, her mother banished all the men from the country and plunged it into unhappiness, loneliness and gloom. For many years Almendra’s only companions were her old Nanny and her faithful friend Woo, the wolf. Now Almendra faces a daunting task of going to The Land of Men and getting rid of the curse. But she doesn’t know the way and she has never seen a man in her life.

In comes Joannah Nibbler-Pincher, a girl with a tambourine, a bag of sad songs and a thick black choker that hides the mystery of her painful past. She and Almendra become best friends and Joannah takes it upon herself to take the High Lady and her unconventional family to The Land of Men, where Almendra intends to find love that, according to a fate line left by her mother, will have the power to restore The Upper Kingdom to all its former glory. But it’s a long way to The Land of Men and the outcome of the journey will change Almendra forever.

Thank you, Farida. That was wonderful and I really admire you for writting this book, considering your health issues. Maybe with our stories we can bring some happiness to readers suffering alopecia and cancer.

Here is the link to Farida's blog: The Upper Kindom

And here is the link to her buy page: http://girlebooks.com/ebook-catalog/farida-mestek/almendra/

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Book Review of - A Job From Hell by Jayde Scott.

A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends)A Job From Hell by Jayde Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great read. This is a story for teens as well as adults. A very well written vampire love story that's full of intrigue right to the end. Seventeen-year-old Amber starts a new job as a housekeeper in an old mansion in Scotland, but she knows nothing about housekeeping and hates cleaning. She thinks household chores are a waste of time, so she's quite happy that the house is sparkling clean. Instead of working, Amber spends most of her time drooling over her new boss and snooping around the house. But there are secrets she doesn't know about the people that come to the house, and she has no idea there's a unique bond between her and one of them, or that she's been summoned there by a vampire.

Not long after she arrives at her new job, her brother turns up. He tells her about a stash of jewels hidden in the woods close by. They decide to steal them and run away to start a new life, but on the night of the robbery, her brother disappears. Scared, Amber goes looking for him. She doesn't find him, but stumbles upon a hut in the forest as well as the hidden treasures. Though she steals the jewels, she doesn't know they're actually the first prize in a paranormal race organised by a blood-crazed succubus demi-goddess. Suddenly, Amber has the ability to travel to other worlds and communicate with so-called ghosts, but every paranormal being out there is hunting for her. Amber doesn't know it, but someone out there is drawn to her blood, and they are determined to have it.

Amber is hilarious and a bit of a klutz sometimes, but she's very endearing. The story kept me turning the page in anticipation of what's going to happen next, but I could never guess. I highly recomend this book and I give it a five-star rating. Well deserved too. A great read that I finished in one day and night.

View all my reviews